KNOW THE SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE!

 

Be on the alert for symptoms of inner peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions.  This could pose a serious threat to what has up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

SOME SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE

+  A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.

+ An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

+ A loss of interest in judging other people.

+ A loss of interest in conflict.

+ A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom).

+ Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation and gratitude.

+ Contented feelings of connectedness with others and with nature.

+ An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

+ An increased susceptibility  to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

+ Frequent attacks of smiling.

***********

Source:  Anonymous

The Antidepressant Tablet Vols. 8. Issue 4  1997

“I am not broken.”

 

More than 30 years ago  I felt that I was a broken human being. We all have heard the old saying that  “what  doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.” Looking back over the time I spent dealing with the darkness within,  I now can see my recovery time  did  make me stronger. That recovery forced me to use tools that I had never realized existed and fit for what I needed to raise myself up. These tools   gave me strength for  survival. The  saying was true: move the body and the mind will follow. Instead of my mind and life spiraling further down into the pit of hopelessness I began  spiraling upward with hope.    In the beginning of my descent into nothingness I  believed  that  the inner war that was  going on in my body  was going  to kill me. I did believe that I was coming apart, unglued and a danger to myself.  I was like a nomad in a  wasteland where all the guideposts for directions  had disappeared.  My life had lost all meaning. My mind resisted thinking about hope and the  future.  I felt that I was in a state of limbo–no moving forward–only backward and down. My personal pain and anxiety kept me tied down in my own desperation.

Many have found my own  story to be  a positive  statement  in which almost on a daily basis I am able to share some of my thoughts about this journey which I am on and which you too  can be on. Our own story of recovery is really a tool that others can put to use for their own lives,

My depression experience has  provided me with a life purpose and given me meaning which I never dreamt would be my own recovery gift  for others “still suffering” to use for their own recovery;  the repair of their own personal brokenness. My own life and the Twelve Steps has provided a key which helped me unlock the prison of my depression.  The Steps provide ample guidance and direction for those of us who continue the spiral upward, living out in our own lives the hope and   purpose which have been promised to those of us who desire a life after depression.

Hugh

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.

You can read the author’s story  in the Depressed Anonymous book, plus 30 more personal  accounts of those  who have also  used the recovery tools for their own freedom from depression.

Click on to The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore for more literature which deals effectively with depression and recovery. Orders can be made online.

 

God doesn’t act like gangbusters.

“In Depressed Anonymous, we are exposed constantly to the tough message that we have to give up our self-pity  and sadness if we want to be happy. We have to think in terms of what is possible with God in our lives. Sometimes people come to Depressed Anonymous and don’t want to talk about  God and the Twelve Steps, and can’t understand what this has to do with how bad they feel. If after a number of meetings they still don’t want to work the Twelve Steps, we recommend other groups to them. Depressed Anonymous is a spiritual program and it is allowing the Higher Power into our lives that eventually delivers us from the habit of feeling sad and depressed. We in Depressed Anonymous are committed to working  the Twelve Steps and listening to each other share how God, as we understand God, has worked in our lives….

Jim, a member of Depressed Anonymous admitted that he had seriously thought of taking his own life as he had lost all hope of removing this sadness which, like a cancer, was taking his life by inches. It was only when he had nothing to lose that he made a decision to turn his mind and his will over to the care of God as he understood God. It was at this point that that the God of his understanding or the Higher Power was allowed to work in Jim’s life. God doesn’t act like  gangbusters and force its way into our lives -God has to be invited. Once again there is an invitation from us and we admit our dependence  on God instead of on our own addiction. It is then that our feelings begin to come alive and the flow of God’s love makes its way into our lives. We begin to to find that we are feeling better and that something good as we trust, possibly for the first time,  this God who will give us our heart’s desire. “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things that we can and the wisdom to know the difference. ” Trust God to be God, and let this power help you, as it has helped millions of other men an women before you.”

COPYRIGHT(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed. Depressed Anonymous Publications Louisville, KY.

 

The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk got it right!!

 

“It’s an addiction if you find yourself continually bashing yourself for past mistakes and /or failures.  It is this constant rumination that puts us in the negative spiral which leads to more isolation, withdrawal and psychic pain. The familiar feeling of sadness and the continual inner hollowness that make our life so miserable becomes our security.”

But, where do we go from here?  I myself  got caught up in the spiraling downward descent into the darkness and hell of depression. I felt  trapped and helpless.

My spiraling upward came when I felt the hope in the  stories of those like myself, who no longer felt hopeless and helpless.  I became proactive in my own recovery and survival. Some had already attempted to commit suicide.  Once I discovered others just like myself, I was  fascinated by the fact that others were really telling my story as well. There were differences in some of the details, but basically  their stories rang true with my own. It was from that moment on that I was hooked.

Was the group my own Higher Power? Who was the God  that was greater than myself?   How did I contact this Power?  It was listening to others that I came to believe that there is someone, somebody that I could believe in, to free  me  from my prison of  depression.

It was just like the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina who believed that humans could fly.  They had their ups and downs, (no pun intended) but their faith in what they were doing got them in the air and off the ground.

The way to get up and get moving toward recovery is to get moving and start working the Steps, one by one.  You too will begin to live in hope one day at a time.   You will now have a flight plan that will take you where you want to go.

Hugh

The second Step of the Twelve Steps  promotes the belief  that we “came to believe that a  Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed. ,Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville. KY. Page 40.

For more information on the Steps and Depression click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore for your own flight plan!  It’s a journey you will never regret.

 

Do you want a new way of living?

 

AFFIRMATION

I now  have a new way of living!

“But with OUR new way of living and thinking we are going to stay in the now. We know tomorrow produces anxiety and fear. Yesterday is there with all the past hurts and anger. All I have is the now!  If I live in the now I can begin to  try to stay out of yesterday  with all its old wounds  and hurts and resist living in tomorrow with its unknown problems.  Negative thoughts about our past or those about tomorrow can numb our feelings so that we don’t have to feel the pain of whatever it is that isolates us from the world around us. We also admit,  like any one person addicted to a person, thing,  place,  chemical or drug, that our lives are out of control. We have to admit, that by depressing ourselves, we have chosen saddening ourselves as our drug of choice. We medicate ourselves with sadness any time we might have to change the way we live our lives. Sometimes, our depression or sadness arises out of guilt as we continue to turn our personal mistakes into giant catastrophes – this continues to make us feel as if we are nothing and valueless. This all adds to our frustration and the feeling of our being out of control. We know that if we just give up our struggle against depression and admit our powerlessness over it, we can begin to surrender it to our Higher Power and practice letting go of it. I can decide that I want to feel happy and put this constant sadness and hollowness behind me once and for all. I know that no longer will I have to retreat or flee from   those sad feelings and escape with sleep, over activity or drugs.  I know that, whenever my sadness seems unending, I then just admit that I am not helpless and that I can do something about it because I have the tools and I can learn the skills that I didn’t know were available to me before.  Now I am deciding to think, act and behave differently, much to my personal credit and a new-found trust in the Higher Power.  I am a sailor who sees the land, knows the right direction and does the rowing to get where I want to go.  The Twelve Steps are my compass. I also   know that this group of people which we call Depressed Anonymous will help me assume a sense of no longer feeling out of control.”

_________________________________________________

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed., Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Pages 34-35.

 

 

We shall look for progress, not perfection.

In the Depressed Anonymous Manual, 3rd edition it says

Responsibility is the name of the game of recovery and it is here that we need to focus our attention.  As we get into a discussion with other people who are depressed-much like ourselves, we see that they talk about feeling better while at the same time acting on their own behalf. These people who are doing better are also talking about taking charge of their lives and doing things for themselves instead of constantly trying to please others.”

It takes hard work and faith to free oneself from depression.

MY AFFIRMATION FOR TODAY

I believe that with time and work I can feel better about myself.

“But don’t expect that one psychologist can tell you just what the trick is to get out of being depressed. There  is no trick, just hard work.” Dorothy Rowe. The way out of your prison. 2nd ed. (1983, 1996). Routledge. London.

The first three Steps of the Twelve  Steps are about faith and the remaining nine Steps are about action. One has to have faith that there is truly something bigger in this world than  one’s own depression and one’s perspective. I formerly used to believe  that I was stuck forever in these moods where I just didn’t want to live anymore. I was sick and tired of being sick  and tired with the feelings of despair. But now my program is a spiritual one and the spiritual way is the way out of my depression.

If I truly want to be free of my fears and anxieties, I will have to have faith that the God of my understanding is not going to  let me down.

My energies and commitment used to be directed toward finding ways to live always with the predictable and secure feelings that my sadness provided. I am working another program, one which will help me find a way to live a lifer filled with serenity and hope.

MEDITATION

God, help us know your will so that we may start today filled with hope. (Personal comments).

SOURCE: (c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Puff Wheat or Cornflakes? What’s it gonna be today?

“Every decision that we make alters the world of meaning which we have created. Deciding to eat Puff Wheat instead of Cornflakes for breakfast may not be a major change, but abandoning ‘I am bad and unacceptable‘ and replacing it with ‘I accept and value myself‘ is. Every decision you have made since you decided that you were bad and valueless was based on the decision. Now, all these conclusions need reviewing and changing. ” Dorothy Rowe.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Making a decision is the first step in getting free and being liberated from my depression. From this step follows the many other steps that are to be taken that will allow me to begin to see how the thoughts  I think definitely do affect the way I feel. The next step is to review the different ways in which I can value myself.  My first new response to my own negative  thinking about myself is to believe that I will today begin my exit from the prison of my own negativity  and pessimism.

My struggle to wrest myself free from depression means that I am to make some initial steps in my own health. I want to believe that it is the fact  that I want to value myself and my life that I will no longer allow myself to sit and wallow in self-pity but will start to make an effort to take mastery over the way I feel and think.

MEDITATION

We will let go of our ignorance about how this universe is operated. I let the God of my understanding  take charge as I continue to dip my oars into the water of life and let God be the rudder master,”

 

SOURCE:  Higher Thoughts for Down Days. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. September 3rd. Page 155.

If there is one thing that you crave when you are depressed it is certainty.

AFFIRMATION

I am willing to live in the imperfect moment and focus on the now, not yesterday’s now or tomorrow’s now.

“So it is if we are to make changes in our lives we must be courageous.  Such courage can be found relatively easily in two kinds of situations. When we are certain that the new situation in which we shall find ourselves will bring us every advantage and happiness; when we are certain that the situation we are leaving is totally and absolutely bad.

Thus if the new situation promises perfection, or if the old situation is totally imperfect, we have certainty, and if there is one thing you crave when you are depressed, it is certainty. ” Dorothy Rowe.  Breaking the Bonds.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

My thinking always had been very black and white when I was depressing myself. I know that if I want to continue to live in uncertainty, in time, my depression will also be left behind me in the darkness of yesterday, as I live in the light of today.

The only certainty that I have today is that I want to free myself from the attachment that I have to sadness.  I must be willing to risk giving up the certainty that my life will always remain the same. I know that it is only by living with some uncertainty, that my life can be lived with any hope.

MEDITATION

Today, we pray for the courage to remove as much fear from our lives as possible. We pray that God will let us live with the conviction that our  lives can be one without fear of people, places, or situations. We believe that once we begin to live without the every present need for certainty in our lives that our fears can be diminished.

(Personal comments: See  March 12, 2015 in the Archives of the Blogs.)

SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and  meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed  Anonymous  Publications. Louisville. KY.  September 1.

 

CODE BLUE! CODE BLUE!

If you have spent anytime at all in a hospital or nursing home you know what these two words mean. Basically they mean, drop everything your doing and go immediately to the area (patient)  that needs immediate assistance. There is no waiting around. You go!

I personally believe that our country’s mental health system is in a state of Code Blue. I also believe that  with all the old and new antidepressant  drugs now available  to resolve this epidemic, (yes, an epidemic) there are more depressed people now than ever before. It would appear that  there would be less depressed persons because of all the medications available, specifically  designed to deal with this national mental   health emergency of depression.

In 1985 I was able to do something about the emergency when I founded a mutual aid group called Depressed Anonymous. The group is modeled after the successful Alcoholics Anonymous program of recovery. The emphasis was on mutual aid and a group  focused solution for those depressed.  Persons who came to the group were many times in a Code Blue situation and needed immediate help. Most times they needed the help of other persons depressed who were speaking the same language as they were.  In fact, when they  did attend meetings they gradually knew that they were not alone and that others were  going through the same things as they had experienced. And  by attending meetings week after week they felt the strength  of hope  and began living their life  with a renewed sense of purpose and meaning.

The following is Lena’s story and how she began to live a life filled with hope and purpose.

“During my first night in the hospital, a member informed me of a support group known as Depressed Anonymous. I decided to give it a try. By telling me about this wonderful, miraculous, and very spiritual program, this person had not only worked the TWELFTH STEP, but had also given me a key, a key which would open many doors  for me. Walking through these doors was like admitting defeat.  I was playing first base in a ball game in which I would eventually win.  If I struck out, I was back on Step One. By playing ball with a positive attitude, I was allowing my Higher Power to walk the Steps to recovery with me.  With the help and the positive sense of fellowship that I enjoyed in the group, I began to understand God’s will for me. With the love, support and true friendship of three faithful members in the group, I began working on my driver’s license, which had been another step toward independence for  me. Within a year, I earned my license when two members of the group took me for my road test. A new sunnier life had begun for me. The worst was finally over.”

The account of her recovery is just one of many stories that one can read in the Depressed Anonymous manual (Depressed Anonymous, (3rd ed.) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 113.  )

A total of 31 stories, in the Personal Stories section of the book,   are powerful testimonies of how  members of the DA   group who are living out the Steps in their individual and  group life.  No more Code Blues

 

For more information about the Personal Stories and Depressed  Anonymous literature click into THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS  BOOKSTORE