Discover the patterns of behavior from your own life. Example: How you think about yourself.

AFFIRMATION

I want to believe that my God, as I understand him, will continually make a path for me through life. I want today to listen to its leading.

“Our patterns are more successful than the fortune telling arts,  since we expect our patterns  to prove true, and expecting this, we usually find that they do. Edmund Carpenter once wrote,
“We say, ‘If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it, but the phrase should be, ‘If I hadn’t believed it with all my heart, I wouldn’t have seen it.'”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I  usually expected bad things to happen to me because bad things usually did happen to me, as Dorothy Rowe points out in her six immutable beliefs that make up the prison of our depression. I used to believe that God punished me for all the bad things I did in my life and for my being the bad person that I believe that I am. But now, I am changing my beliefs about my depression and that I am only a passive victim. I believe that I will survive this time of depression.

It’s as if  my depression is like a rotted tooth, a thing that can be extracted. I am slowly believing that it is important what I believe about myself and how I have a responsibility to extract myself from my own lifestyle of sadness. I do know this, that if I continue to think the way that I have over the last couple of years, I will stay stuck in the deep pit of depression.   If  we do  something over and over again, day after day,  we can say that we have created a pattern of thinking and behaving. Some say that our life is on auto-pilot.

I now believing with all my heart that I will get better with the help of my own resources and through the help of others and the Twelve Step program of recovery.

MEDITATION

God, you can make all things new but you never infringe your will upon any of us. But the more peace we receive from turning our will over to yours, the more I can predict that my future will be more according to your design.”

RESOURCES

(C) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Louisville, Ky.

(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Pg.29.

(C) Believing is Seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville Ky.

Order Online from The Depressed Anonymous Bookstore here at our website www. depressedanon.com.

How long will my depression last? What can I do to fix it?

 

That very same question is one which I also found myself asking. How long will this pain last? The good news here is that for the 85% of people who become depressed, their  sad mood usually has been noted to leave for different periods of time. Some say that normally mild and moderate depressions last for about a year or so.  That was pretty much my situation.  It was only after  a year and a few months  that the fog of my depression lifted. Some researchers claim that on average  almost 80% to 90 % of  persons depressed find the depression gone during this time frame. Some say that depression symptoms are self- limiting.  All I know is that I could not fix whatever had taken over my life. But I did know this. I couldn’t continue to stay isolated. Withdrawing from everyone made it so much worse. Instead of a place of safety, it became my depression.

In the Depressed Anonymous book we read how the author shares “that our withdrawal from others has given excessive power to those already entrenched feelings of worthlessness and sadness. It seems that our inactivity and social isolation just help build higher and stronger walls to our prison. This is why we need to hear stories like Bob who was one of the  original members of Depressed Anonymous who felt that the Depressed Anonymous meeting was one  of the few places where he could be himself. He was with people who understood him and they didn’t consider him crazy or reinforce his own feelings that he might be losing his mind. ”

I believe that Bob, who couldn’t fix himself, discovered that it was only when he broke out of  The Closed system  of Depression with its syndrome of symptoms,    no longer withdrawing from  friends and family. Instead, Bob began attending  Depressed Anonymous meetings where he began to feel accepted and no longer alone.

Bob learned as we all have, that once we tend to the various symptoms of depression, working their own synergy in creating this syndrome,  trapping us in a downward  spiraling vortex  of  hopelessness and despair.  It is at this point in our recovery where we take these five symptoms one by one and start to work out a positive recovery strategy for developing  our thinking,  our feelings, our behaviors and motivating ourselves to use our  tools for recovery and putting each of them into practice. Accomplishing this goal, we can find a refreshed spirit, a healthy body and a mind sharpened by being part of the DA community. We are no longer alone now. By being active  participants in our own recovery ,   we gradually find that our lives have  become happier and that we now have a renewed and purpose for our lives.

NOTE: The various symptoms which create the closed system   include our cognition, feelings, behavior, motivation and what makes up our physiological self. Each of the five symptoms can be negative or they can be positive.  The secret is to gradually break into any of these symptoms and by doing so, you will find positive alternative ways to  think, instead of being possessed with those continued negative thoughts and ruminations. You will find ways to change negative self talk which is always self critical and start learning how to think ways to love and prize oneself.

RESOURCES

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

(C)  The Closed System of Depression. Depressed Anonymous (1987)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

(C) Tools of Recovery. Go to depressedanon.com Home Page and click onto Tools For Recoverry

 

Giving up old ways of thinking and acting.

“For the depressed person, giving up old ways of thinking and acting is much like giving up any other addiction. At first letting go of the behavior  makes us feel uncomfortable. The old behavior wants to cling on to our spirit like swamp mud hangs on to knee-high boots.  Before your participation in Depressed Anonymous you would go home from work, get by yourself and ruminate on how bad you felt.  The new behavior will help you think differently about yourself. You will find that the Higher Power, or the God of your understanding is not the same God that you might have met when you were  young.  When you were a child, you came to believe that first, God was watching you, ready to punish you if you were not perfect. You will begin to develop an adult new way of being related to God, as you understand God to  be. With time, persistence and patience, you will gradually trust your life to this Higher Power. ”

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

 

When Bill W., (co-founder of AA) had his spiritual awakening in the hospital room  he tells us that “the room lit up with a great white light. It seemed to me, in the mind’s eye, that I was on a mountain and that a wind not of air but of spirit was blowing. And then it burst upon me that I was a free man. I lay on the bed, but now for the first time I was in another world, a new world of consciousness. All about me and through me there was  a  wonderful feeling of Presence, and I thought to myself, “So this is the God of the Preachers.!”

RESOURCE:

(As Bill Sees it. Pg.2 )

Skype meeting for the Association of Depressed Anonymous groups of Iran.

Today  we were able to hold a conference meeting for 50 members of the Association of Depressed Anonymous in Iran this morning. They provided an interpreter for the 1 hour 1/2 meeting and had submitted 12 questions for us to  consider and respond.  Because  of distance and time,  their group, using the DA book Manual and Workbook (translated into Farsi) made a very informative meeting for the participants,.

This program  has been used in Russia and other locales, as they too have our DA book translated in Cyrillic . The event was a  Depressed Anonymous conference via Skype for  members of a treatment Center in Siberia. This event had a director of the program who spoke  English and translated my English into Cyrillic.  It was a very wonderful event  to experience.

Anyone , who has access to the Russian DA book, 3rd  edition , or the Farsi  copy of the DA 3rd edition, can set up a SKYPE conference.  Now  we have the DA  3rd edition in Spanish   and the Dutch editions in paperback  format. A person who is fluent in English would be able to communicate with a  member of a group conference members will have their questions, comments passed back to us in English

There are two EBooks presently available and which can be downloaded on your computer for a group conversation in your own home region and language. You will provide a translator.

Attention: Depressed Anonymous groups in USA and beyond: If you would like to set up a conference call via SKYPE, please Email us at our office :

Depanon@netpenny.net.  Put the word SKYPE in the subject space.

We can visit together about what might be the best way for  us to start a group in your area where there is no Depressed Anonymous recovery program available.

NOTE: The least expensive way to purchase these two EBooks is to use the download process.   There is a saving of $9.00 USD.  There is no charge for postage. Please go to our Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore and find information that would explain more about our literature.

Our website is : depressedanon.com. Type the URL into your  browser and learn more about who we are and what we are about.

Thank you

Hugh

 

 

Did I create my own prison of depression?

You know,  that’s a  great question for us who have been , or who are presently depressed.  My own reflections about my own experience with depression wasn’t a question that I  asked myself. Actually, that came later in my recovery.  I  really didn’t care who or what  created it – all I knew was I had to get rid of it.  In fact, the experience was much like Noah’s  in the belly of the whale.  I was just walking along one day minding my own business, and suddenly bam! physically feeling swallowed  up by some  invisible  creature who  was devouring me. And that was that. From that  moment on, the feeling continued to overwhelm  me for the next year and half.

Because I had no label to pin on this “whatever it was,”  and I thought nothing important to talk to  anyone  about, but only that the  feeling of helplessness had me locked down.  Oh, I still went to work, trudged through Graduate studies and continued my relationship with others, never revealing my interior mysterious  sense of isolation and despair.

My only distraction was to get up early every morning( biggest challenge of the day) and walk for miles, round and round,  thankful I was still able to function.

Long story short, during this period,  I gradually felt   small lift’s in my spirit but they never lasted. So I continued walking until I managed to walk out of the fog. I was feeling hopeful again,  able to face life with hope. Finally feeling fully freed from the  hopelessness that had isolated me from my world, disconnecting  me from everything, everybody, even myself. That was then.

Now reaching back into the past, looking at my life before ”  whatever it was” that had me,  I began  discovering that I’d unconsciously constructed my own prison and confinement. My ruminating on fearful scenarios of losing my job, not able to handle     negative life issues and constant  frightful thinking plus the  continuous feeling deep painful moods, all grinding my body, mind and spirit into the ground. The feeling, best described this  is  like  someone scraping  their  fingernails on  a blackboard all day  without end.  If you are old enough to remember this particular feeling, (or even a blackboard)  then you know it was that painful knife-like  feeling thrust through your stomach that echoed throughout your whole body. Well, that was the way I felt all the time, particularly in the morning each day.  I wanted never to get up. Here is where motivation  follows action . Move the body and the mind will follow.

When I speak of the pain that threw me to the ground and ended the familiar  life that I knew,  the members of the Depressed Anonymous group know exactly what I am talking about. Depression is physically  painful.  Usually when I tell someone I was depressed, they normally  don’t understand, unless of course, they have been depressed themselves.

In my case, I unconsciously  caused and created  my depression, and allowed the symptoms to grind me down until I took steps to feel differently.  The steps that I took   was to attend the “miracle of the Depressed Anonymous group ” where  I could share my own experiences, strength and hope, make the 12 Steps a daily part of my life, and to share this message of hope with all who feel the same way as I did.

Believing in a Higher Power greater than myself  continues to keep me sane and living one day at a time. It works. It can work for you as well.

For more information contact us @

Depanon@netpenny.net and read  what we are about @ depressedanon.com.

Resources:

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publicatiuons. Louisville, KY 40241.

Home Study Program of Recovery  (See DA literature here at The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore).

 

Bill W., co-founder of AA meets Father Ed who made a pilgrimage to talk with Bill.

 

He’s originally became interested in AA., Father Ed said, through  studying the Twelve Steps in which he found parallels in the Exercises of St. Ignatius, the spiritual discipline of his Jesuit Order, and when Bill confessed he’s not known this, he appeared  utterly delighted. Then the curious little man went on and on, and as he did, Bill could feel his body relaxing, his spirit  rising, gradually he realized that this little man sitting across from him was radiating a kind  of grace that was filling the room with a strange, indefinable sense of presence. Primarily, Fr. Ed wanted to talk about the paradox of AA, the “regeneration, ” he called it, the strength arising out of total  defeat and weakness, the loss of one’s old life as a condition for achieving  a new one. and Bill  nodded, and agreed with everything he said, and soon found…but Bill never really had any words for what he found that night.

“…(As) a matter of  fact, it was the  Word of God they were talking about through most of the night. In time Bill told him that he no longer understood  God, that he had lost what once he understood so clearly. And Father Ed told him that he would never understand, that our idea of God would always be lacking, “for to understand  is to be equal to God.” But he added, our concept could grow, could deepen, and he spoke of the responsibility referred to in the “Eleventh Step> ” To improve our conscious contact.”

“…Bill told Father Ed about  his anger, his impatience, his mounting dissatisfaction. But nothing discouraged  Fr.  Ed. He quoted Matthew, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst.” The saints he said, were always distinguished by their yearning, their restlessness, their thirst.

When Bill asked if there was never to be any satisfaction, the old man snapped back. “Never. Never any.” There was only a kind of divine dissatisfaction that would keep him going, reaching out always.

Bill had made a decision, Father Ed reminded him, to turn his life and his will over to the care of God, and having done this, he was not to sit in judgment on how he or the world was proceeding. He had only to keep the channels open  — and be grateful, of course, it was not up to him to decide how fast or how slowly AA developed. He had only to accept.”

RESOURCE:

Robert Thomsen. Bill W. Harper and Row. Publishers. NY. 1975. Pages 307-309.

(See a picture of Father Ed in the pages of this book.)

Now that I have admitted to myself and to others that my life is out of control…

 

I’ve admitted that my life is unmanageable because of my depression. My fears and anxiety have taken over my life.  The  admitting for me was the hard part.    I then  made  a decision to walk through the door that led me into my first 12 step meeting. I had to surrender  and  I told myself “OK. Here goes nothing.” Actually, to my surprise, my life has never been the same since then.

I discovered that the reason  I have been depressed so long is not as important as the fact that I admitted that I was depressed.

Once I feel safe to say that I am depressed or  that  I have been depressed most of my life, this is the beginning of freedom for me. The depression mutual – aid groups  are making it Ok to say ” I am depressed.”  Most people now recognize that depression is a way that we have constructed  our world in which we can survive. To admit that we are depressed  is really half the battle. Once I began to take charge  of my life and choose to recover from this emotional sadness, I am able to get my life back.

This is the first step toward recovering from my attachment to sadness: namely, admitting through no fault of my own that I have spent many a year of my life avoiding life. I have closeted myself up in the cocoon of isolation. Now I know that I have work to do and, like others before me, I am finding  a brand new life opening up for me day after day.

MEDITATION

We now know that God knows all about us and our situation. We cannot hide from God as did Adam in the garden of Eden. Adam’s nakedness became his shame before God. Being vulnerable is to be naked  to the threatening gaze of strangers. By sharing the shame of ourselves with others like  our self  we will gradually  and in time, deliver ourselves from the threatening situation. Our dependence on our Higher Power or God as we understand God will get us through today. God can do the same for you!

RESOURCE

(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. KY. February 4th, Page 22. (Your personal comments welcome.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am coming to believe that “what goes around comes around.”

I am coming to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. I look forward to my meetings because it is there that I am accepted and I feel worthwhile.

“Seeing yourself as basically good reduces the need for other people’s approval… but if you see yourself bad then you need everybody’s approval.”

REFLECTION

So often I think of myself as mentally deficient because of the way my sadness keeps me from having a sense of mastery over my life. and withdrawing  into my own little world of ruminating about how bad and worthless I am.

Now, thanks to the Twelve Steps, I am seeing that I am not alone in my sadness. I can, in time and with work, get out of this thing that I myself unknowingly have created over time. The more I “carry the message” of hope and how the Twelve Step program works for me the more I am feeling better  about myself. By helping others I help myself.

I think I would  be less than honest if I said I didn’t need other  person’s approval of me. The problem is in never wanting to hurt other people’s feelings. I’m afraid that I might not have said things just the  way the other party liked to hear them.  I sometimes feel guilty because I  have to disagree with a friend and then beat myself up over it for days later.  Is something wrong with this picture?  I now know that I need my approval of myself first of all.  That is most important and above other’s approval of me.

MEDITATION

It is one of the immutable truths of the universe that the more we give out in love and hope, the more that love and hope come back to us. What we give can come back to us. If we begin to see how we fooled others into seeing ourselves as less than worthy to be alive, then we give the message to others “kick me.”  What goes around comes around.!

RESOURCES:

(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship  groups. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. February 2nd. Page s 20-21. (Please add your own personal comment).

How to work the 12 Step program of recovery and put them to use in your everyday life.

When someone new comes to a Depressed Anonymous meeting they will hear    about people  in the group working on the 12 Steps. What this means is that since the group of people are into working the 12 Steps  they intend to live out what the Steps mean.

The first Step that all of us make when we walked through that door into our first DA meeting was our admission that we were helpless over our depression. We needed help.

We need to admit that at the present time our will power is powerless over this constant sadness and emptiness that we have been carrying around most of our lives. We just need to talk to someone who will understand us and respect us and not tell us to “snap out of” our depression.

Working the 12 Steps means reading all we can about the Steps and  how these Steps relate to my own sense of aloneness and sadness. The manual, Depressed Anonymous is specifically designed to help the depressed person learn about  each Step  is treated with it’s own chapter in the book.

In order to have a change of feelings we have to work the Steps, which means putting them into practice  in all our daily affairs. It means that we have to try and live out the message of the Steps one day at a time.

A person needs to take each Step and reflect on how that particular Step speaks to our own life. If a Step that we are  studying is unclear as to how it applies to us then  we need to bring that up in a group discussion so that other members can share how that Step has been applied to their own lives. Sometimes persons who have been in recovery for a long time have more experiences with the Steps and they can share how this or that Step has helped them. We know that at the DA meetings there are people  who are each  at different levels of the understanding of the Steps.

Steps Four and Five really have to be faced head-on if our depression is to go away. Step four and five are all about cleaning house. We must square off with ourselves and begin the rooting out   processes that will in time free us from our sadness and our “feeling less than”  as a depressed person. So often a person depressed is afraid, panic stricken really, in facing some issues that were never their fault in the first place.

It is possible that our anger hasn’t as yet been released over some things that have been done to us as children.

Step Twelve speaks about practicing these principles in all of our affairs – that means exactly what it says – we have to practice these Steps day by day. We have  to say I’m sorry as soon as I am aware that I have said or done anything that is out of the way. We again need to study each Step, tear it apart and get every ounce of truth from the Step  as it relates to ourselves. We then write down how each of them has  a special application for my life. We also have a practice of finding quality time everyday of our lives for making room to listen to our Higher Power, or God as we understand God and how that power is going to operate in our lives today and everyday. It is like we must learn  to let go and let God operate in our lives.

For all of us who have had a dependency on depression and sadness, it is hard to let go of the sadness and thinking that somehow gave us an identity to our lives. Depression can serve as a safe defense  and haven againt the uinpredictableness  in our lives.

Practicing these principles in al our affairs or as we say  “walking  the talk and working the Steps”  means that we have to be ever mindful through our times of prayer and meditation, which is a way to find out  what God’s will for us is for my life. Hope appears on the horizon.

Practicing these Steps, for me,  means they will promote an ever growing awareness that the Higher Power is leading me  according to its will and promise.

RESOURCE:

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

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

Ordering online is possible through this website  at www.depressedanon.com.

 

Now is the time to get into action…

 

Now is the time to take charge over my life and do something good for myself   by drumming up  positive thoughts about myself.  In the program of Depressed Anonymous of which I am an active member, we call these positive thoughts and mental images as SUNSPOTS.  These are the times in my past life where something happy came to mind and I remember how good I  have felt about that event. Those pictures in my mind need to be deeply embedded into my memory as they are the steps that can lead me out of my prison if I think about them often enough.

Joy is a rare commodity for those of us who have been depressed. I know how hard it is to smile, to laugh and to feel happy about much of anything. I tell myself don’t get too comfortable getting happy as it will all end anyway.  I continually caution myself to watch out. Now I can take mastery over my life and learn how to share something good within myself and be kind to myself.

 

RESOURCES

Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditation for members of 12 Step Fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Pg. 34. January 22nd.

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