“I have learned and I have grown.”

 

“As I began working on the abuse issues in therapy, the pieces of my life began to fall together in a way they never could have before, as I had never  dealt   with this catastrophic event. In the book, Depressed? Here is a way out! the author talks about how people find their time of depression to be one of the great gifts in their life. The first time I read this, I thought it was the craziest thing I had ever heard. Yet during this time of depression, I have learned and I have grown. I have come to understand myself and my God in a way I never could before.

It has been many years now. Life is starting to come together for me again, one day at a time by the grace of God and the fellowship of this program. From the very first time I walked through the doors of Depressed Anonymous I knew that I was in the right place. Having been an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous for so many years, I was already a firm believer in the Twelve Steps. I attended meetings, I worked the Steps with my sponsor. I used the Depressed Anonymous phone list and talked to people about my pain and my day to day problems. I read the book and followed the suggestions in it.

With God, through Depressed Anonymous, this program and the fellowship literally carried me through the darkest time of my life and God did not let me die. I have truly experienced the ‘miracle of the group.’  I have heard it said that sometimes God’s greatest miracles are unanswered prayers. I  believe it.  After all, I am one.”

Anonymous

Copyright(c)  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 119-120.

I was hard on myself.

 

A Depressed Anonymous member shares  their story (A victim of my own mind #9 )  of recovery  in    Depressed Anonymous. The following is an excerpt.

“I had always known that I was hard on  myself. I reamed myself every time something bad  had happened. “Why can’t I find someone to love me?  Or “I don’t understand how I can be nice and people still keep hurting me.”  Or “Why isn’t God looking after me.”  But for some reason when I realized  I was doing this to myself, it made me realize that maybe all I would have to do is stop doing it.  All of a sudden it made sense.

If I tell myself negative things, I feel negative. If I tell myself nothing I feel nothing.  So, if I tell myself positive things, eventually I’ll have to feel positive.”

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (1998, 2008, 2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.  (Excerpt from Personal Stories section).

 

 

Don’t Let Life Get You Down.

+ People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

+ If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

+If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.  Succeed anyway.

+ If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.. Be honest and frank anyway.

+What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.

+If you find serenity, and happiness, there may be jealousy. Be happy anyway.

+The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Be happy anyway.

+Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give the world the best you’ve  got anyway.

+You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Copyright (c) Mother Teresa

 

That Vital Spiritual experience helps us become conscious of God’s light within each of us.

” If we have worked the Twelve Steps on a daily basis, I do believe we   now realize the value of surrender and the power that releases in us. Just by making a decision at Step Three “to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand God” is the beginning of reconnection with life and with our selves. Now, we are conscious how our own isolation paradoxically  isolated family, friends, loved ones from us.  The more our friends tried to help us the more we went deeper into the darkness. Our darkness and their inability to comfort us in turn pushed them deeper into their own feelings of helplessness and isolation. Many times the desire to help the depressed pushes the helper deeper into the isolation of the depressed –mirroring the reality of the depressed person.”

________________

 

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. (Appendix B: The Vital Spiritual experience.).

(c) The Dep-Anon Family Guide (2000). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY.   ( This important work will soon be reprinted and published at the end of 2019.)

Running out of gas?

 

MY LIFE BEFORE

Running out of gas  is a scary proposition, especially when you know  the   nearest town and gas station  is fifty miles away. Your  mind starts cranking up some o f the most dire scenarios  one can  imagine .   Running out of gas has not been a problem for me in recent years.  I have learned that it’s best to keep an eye on one’s  gas gauge.  That usually takes care of any problems of being stranded on the highway.

For me, being depressed is like running out of gas.  Even though I was   going about my life as usual, I began noticing my energy level (physical gauge) was reading close to empty. This didn’t cause much concern at first and I kept plodding along. I didn’t give the thoughts too much attention.

Suddenly, yes,  it was suddenly  like some huge hand reached into my head, turned the mental ignition switch off, with my life  spiraling down into  a bottomless pit. I was out of gas, emotionally, spiritually and motivationally  paralyzed.  My battery was dead and my tank was empty. What to do?

MY LIFE NOW

” The important thing to remember about depression is that you are not a victim. You have bought into the belief that you can’t change how you feel. You need to believe that once you change the way you think then that in itself can begin to produce a change in the way you feel.”

It’s been more than 30 years since I spiraled into the bottomless pit.   I continue to live, one day at a time,  with the strength that daily replenishes me with hope and confidence. That strength I call my Higher Power, or my God as I understand God. (Step Two).

My battery is charged by those others in the Fellowship of Depressed Anonymous who as  my companions on this broad highway of recovery, who speak the language of hope.  Each time that I read and reflect on the thoughts in the big book of Depressed Anonymous (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition) and stay in touch with a weekly meeting and my sponsor, I find my strength and resolve renewed.

If you are visiting this website for the first time or the hundredth time,  know and believe that you too  CAN  rise up and resist all  those hopeless and helpless thoughts  trying  to crowd out these new feelings of hope and resolve.

RESOURCES

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (1998, 2008, 2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.

(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2001)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

For more information about ordering material online please click onto VISIT THE STORE at THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE.

 

 

Magic wands and silver bullets are not available here.

AFFIRMATION

“…seeing and talking to other people are amongst the most helpful experiences for depressed people generally.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

What a novel thought: a  depressed person talking  to another depressed person.    When I tell people I am going to a Depressed Anonymous meeting their first response is   “Isn’t that depressing?” “Actually,”  I respond, “it isn’t.”  I know from my    experiences in other 12 Step groups how sharing with persons who have the same problems as  my own,   is always helpful and therapeutic.

“It takes one to know one”  as the saying goes. The reason that meetings with the depressed are not depressing is that all of us speak the same language. All of us come with a  HOPE that they  can find a way out of the  isolation and pain. The depressed person  is discovering  meetings which are hopeful and solution focused. No “poor me” attitudes here.  No ” pity party”   going on here.

I find the meetings upbeat and focus on the solution. The solutions are found in the 12 Steps;  spiritual principles presenting a Step by Step plan  for recovery and freedom from sadness and isolation. At the core of these meetings is a belief in a power greater than ourselves, who is restoring us to sanity. This power, for some, is the group meeting and while for others it is a being  called  God, the God of our understanding.

How Depressed Anonymous Works.

At each Depressed Anonymous meeting the following message  is read to the group  by a volunteer:

“You are about to witness the miracle of the group. You are joining a group of people who are on a journey of hope and who mutually care for each other.  You will hear how hope, light and energy have been regained by those who were hopeless and in a black hole and tired of living.

By our involvement in the group, we are feeling that there is hope – there is a chance for me too. I can get better. But we are not the people with the magic pills and the easy formulas for success. We believe that to get out of the prison  of depression takes time and work.

We all  have been wounded in different degrees by the experience of depression. We also know that there is a method to regain control over our lives that is practical and workable.  It is successful for all those who want to change their lives. Some of us believed that there was no hope and that suicide was the only way out.

In this natural world, one of the first laws is that all growth is gradual – that belief is the bottom line for all of us who are depressed and who want to get better. The more we attend meetings, the more we will learn and see the various ways to escape from depression. We also learn  how important it is not to give up on ourselves.”

_____________________________________________________________________

RESOURCES

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 156-157.

(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

(c) Believing is seeing:15 ways to  leave the prison of depression.  Hugh Smith (2016) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. .

Please VISIT THE STORE @THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE   if you would like to order online any of the books  listed here.

Approval seeking and emotional dependency.

 

I have observed that many depressed persons, including me, are given to approval seeking, some more so than others.  It seems fair to call it a kind of emotional dependency. Little children are truly and completely  dependent on their parents or whoever is taking care of them. They have no choice and are helpless. They’d better have their parents approval or else.

Some of these children carry this kind of dependency right into  adulthood, even to their graves unless they do the hard work of unlearning it. They have become so unsure of themselves, their opinions, thoughts and skills, that they feel an imperative urge to get someone’s approval that they are doing the right thing and that they  are still OK.

When we, the former children, reach physical maturity, we find that people soon resent those who become dependent on  them. They often become contemptuous of them – leaners, clinging vines, etc.  We literally drive them away from us with our constant demand for reassurance, hanging onto them, and begging them to throw us a few crumbs of approval now and them. We become fearful of asserting ourselves at all,  for fear of retaliating with outright ridicule, not being given a seat around the campfire,  prolonged silent treatment, or stopping cooking for us, etc.  How can we avoid this treatment? Please them more, of course? Hardly. That brings us more contempt.

What will become of us? We will spend our lives doing what others want us to do. Not what we want to do. If it gets bad enough, we will have feelings of total worthlessness and self-loathing. Some will reach the point  where they would rather die than to continue living with that yoke around their neck.

You can free yourself from this fetter, but it’s really rough depending how badly you are addicted. It will take determination and sustained effort. It’s worth it to finally breath the air of freedom. And you, give it to yourself. Start with a proven self-help program like Depressed Anonymous. Here you will learn how to prize yourself.

I include some words by Lao Tzu, 500 BC, who wrote the TAO TE CHING.

“Care about people’s approval

and you will be their slave.

Must you value what others value

and avoid what they avoid?

How ridiculous!

When you are content to be simple yourself

and don’t compare of compete

everybody will respect you. ”

(c) Quote from The Antidepressant Tablet.

NOTE : Bob P., author,  of Evansville, Indiana, is  founding member of Depressed Anonymous and one whose friendship I cherish. (Hugh S.)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

 

Depressed or unhappy?

 

Depressed Anonymous bases its healing and recovery on the  premise that once depressed persons admit they are out of control, even to the extent of attempting suicide, they come to believe that a power greater than themselves can restore them to sanity, while at the same time, making a decision to turn their minds and wills over  to the care of God, as they understand God,

The God, as we under stand God, is what appeals to more and  more persons as we admit our helplessness over our compulsive, depressive thoughts, actions, or behaviors. We feel we have lost all control over everything including our thinking. The depressed person is aware that their unpleasant thinking is a cyclical and spiraling process where there is never a respite.  This obsession,   driven by one’s one feelings of guilt, shame and worthlessness is the fuel that that continues our own isolation.  This experience is not so much a psychopathology as it is a  way for the human spirit to comfort itself. The depression  is more of a disease of isolation and being disconnected than  a biological disorder.

The Twelve Step program helps people to become God conscious. It is in working the  program while making no excuses for the spiritual nature of our recovery. We can begin to attribute our new found sense of hope and peace to the Higher Power. For the active member of Depressed Anonymous, there begins to glimmer in the distance the bright light of hope.

By recognizing how it feels to be depressed, more people will have the help and guidance that will get them through their depression. Lives  will be saved as well. Besides reading the Twelve Steps at each meeting, the group learns on a firsthand basis about the “miracle of the group.” It is in the sharing and getting connected with the other members of the group where one’s recovery begins.

RESOURCES:

(c)  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Pages 162-163.

(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

Please click onto The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore for more information on Depression, spirituality and recovery.

There is hope for you now.

AFFIRMATION

“One of the most important things to remember in  the midst of depression  is that it won’t last forever, that there is hope for you to begin to feel better. We won’t tell you to SNAP OUT OF IT (who have never experienced depression) like other folks,  because we are not turning something on and off like a water faucet. Just as it took years to get where you are now, it   takes  time to get better and air out your sad thoughts as well.” D. Rowe

I know that in our program of recovery we try and live one  day at a time. This is not easy for someone who usually wants to know the outcome for something that might happen ten years from now,  not to mention the need to try and make right something not done properly ten years from our past.  When I work my program I want to work on myself, finding serenity in knowing that in time and with patient work I can begin to feel better. There are just too many success stories of how people get better  when they work their Twelve Step recovery program.

Forever is a word that hardly is heard in a Depressed Anonymous meeting. I intend to try and live just for today. I accept that I am depressed but that I do have a choice to find my way out of this sadness. I also believe  that it is irrational to think that this sadness can last forever. The more I change the way I think and behave the more positive will my attitude be about my recovery.

MEDITATION

Our Higher Power, or our God as we understand God, is guiding and leading us toward a life free from sadness. We intend to place more of our trust in its hands. (Personal comments).

RESOURCES

(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily  thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step Fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.  (May 21, page 103.)

Note. To discover more literature about depression and recovery  please click onto The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at  VISIT THE STORE.  All literature can be ordered online.

When the student is ready the teacher arrives.

 

My shame of not being in control of  my life has paradoxically placed me in more of a state of powerlessness,  feeling hopeless and helpless.

“…that’s the way it is with depression –over the years you get comfortable with being miserable, which doesn’t mean you like it,  but that you’re just too afraid to risk feeling different.

Now that I have admitted I am having a difficult time living, I wanting  to learn some new avenues that will make my life more enjoyable and   more livable.

I know now that at this point that I think my life is at its lowest point  – that is when  this program of recovery came into my life. I believe with the Psalmist  that who said  that we need to commit ourselves to God, trust in God, and that the God of my understanding will act in my behalf.

When I learn to let   go of all those persons, mental images, past hurtful situations and memories, the better I am able  to let God control my life. I find this “letting go” a fearsome project. I nevertheless  find that I must do it– if I want to find hope .

Some of the major ways people help build the walls  of their depression are to consider themselves worthless. They won’t allow themselves to get angry.  They can’t forgive themselves or others, and they believe that life is hard and death is worse. Also, they  believe that since bad things happened to them in the past bad things are bound to happen to them in the future.”

Resources:

(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications., Louisville. KY.

(C)) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.  Page 7.

See the Home Study project for more information  for working with another for one’s recovery.