The “noise” of my depression decreases…

I accept and believe that however hopeless everything appears right now, I will make a decision to recover from my depression. I am not helpless. I will make a choice to get better.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT.

The “noise” of my depression decreases the more I am able to share my feelings of anxiety, hurt and helplessness with others. I am not going too far to say  that “all my sadness is gone,”  but I am saying it seems to help to talk  about my fears and anxieties. I can do this sharing within a  Depressed Anonymous group, by journaling or talking with my sponsor. I am noticing that my life improves in relationships,  the more that I force myself to get connected with others who are suffering from depression just as I am.

I accept myself now that I feel that I am depressed.  I now have a definite way out of my sadness. I don’t have to be this way all my life, I tell myself. I believe that I can accept  the fact of the way that I feel and that I can choose to feel something other than the misery of my sadness. I am no longer going to run and hide whenever something or someone appears on the horizon of my life that I don’t like. I accept the fact that  I am going to choose to feel better today.     I am going to spiral up instead of down.

Meditation

God, you created us with strengths and a predisposition of sorts that set us up to be a depressed person. We can’t  choose the family we are born into, but we can choose to find out how to get in touch with those persons who seek health,  our  12  Step family of Depressed Anonymous.

Personal comments

Source:   Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. Kentucky .  Page 228.

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

Please VISIT THE BOOKSTORE here for more helpful literature on ways to use the 12 Steps to overcome depression. Orders online are possible.

A Being in Nature.

 

When I was depressed I found walking around the beautiful grounds of a Franciscan monastery providing me with moments of peace and hope. In the midst of hundreds of acres of wooded land I felt a part of something greater and more beautiful than the ugliness of my thoughts which colored everything and which felt like a glass wall that separated me from everything around me. The monastery lake was calm and looked like a sheet of blue sparkling water, with diamond -like sprouts, popping up  all over the surface.

The mood of the entire  area had a calming effect on my racing thoughts and the negative perceptions that I had brought with me into this idyllic nature sanctuary. It reminded me of Walden’s comments about the purity and freshness of the morning air at Golden Pond. He thought that it would have been wonderful to have it bottled up with its powerful scent always available. Another life giving refreshment for me came as I walked an earthen trail circling the oval shoreline.

One of the great tendencies of depression is to retreat into the comfort of isolation and aloneness. Being in the center of nature’s veritable cycloramic diversity,  I was surrounded by every kind of living growth, bush, trees and wildlife. There was an abundant activity all around and it  directs  our seeing, hearing and sense of smell, distracting us from our interior world of pain, isolation and chaos.

Just as signs on beautiful lawns ask us to “keep off the grass” so does our mind become drawn outside itself focusing onto that which is bigger than what has kept us riveted on thoughts causing us to feel hopeless and depressed. We learn that ever so slowly we can have a slight respite from worry, and the ruminations about how awful we feel.  We mistakenly believe that our misery will never end.

I believe that just moving the body in the world of nature will be a start for you, as it was for me, to have a hope that life has to get better. So, get up, get out of your solitude and find a world full of life, beauty and hope. This world of nature is waiting for you to enjoy and grow stronger because of it.

Hugh

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

A BEING IN NATURE is one of the Tools of Recovery recommended and  located in the drop down Menu on the depressedanon.com website  home page.

Rx Walk in Nature

 

Time magazine writer,  Jamie Ducharme, in the 2018  Nov ember 19th issue of Time magazine, shares with us the benefits of going outdoors.  In fact, Dr. Robert Zarr in 2017 founded Park Rx America “to make it easier for more health profesionals to write park prescriptions for patients  of all ages, particularly those with obesity, mental health issues or chronic conditions like hypertension and type 2 Diabetes.”

Dr. Zarr,  a pediatrician, in Washington, D.C.,   writes  up to 10 park prescriptions a day. By writing these prescriptions the doctor is giving encouragement to get out in nature and experience  a number of positive benefits of going outdoors. The author lists the following benefits of being in the “green.”

Relaxation

Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can decrease levels of the hormone cortisol, lower blood pressure and reduce other markers of stress.

Physical activity

Exercise is an important pillar of health, and going outside encourages you to get moving, whether by hiking, biking, gardening or strolling.

Social support

Parks are inherently social places. Seeing and interacting with others guards against loneliness – a major public health threat – and fosters community.

Mental health

Researchers has shown that spending time in green space can lift mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, including rumination and feelings of worthlessness.

Awe

Soaking in the arresting beauty of nature has been found to lower levels of inflammation in the body and spark feelings of generosity, perspective and selflessness.

Fresh Air

Pollution is linked to a number of ills, ranging from respiratory problems to cancer and heart disease -so breathing clean air may reduce your risks.”

The National Park Service’s Healthy Parks Healthy People program promoted parks as a ” powerful health prevention strategy” locally and nation ally.  Mentioned are the Walk with a Doc , which sponsors free physician led community walks is now in 47 states, and Park Rx which has  studied and tracked park prescription programs since 2013, says there are at least 33 states  and Washington, D.C.

NOTE:

Our website depressedanon.com at the drop down menu Tools of Recovery, lists Being in Nature  as one of the very important  tools for a depressed  person’s  recovery.

Personal comment:  Walking, I discovered,  played a major role in my recovery from depression.

Hugh/Editor

ATTENTION : Readers and SUBSCRIBERS To Depressed Anonymous Newsletter (Read post below)

 

Dear Readers

For those of you who are subscribers to the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS NEWSLETTERS, you can read the latest issue of the  VOLUME #2   FALL  2018 ISSUE  of the  ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET.   Please visit our website <http://depressedanon.com> and look at the NEWSLETTERS ARCHIVE  at the drop down   menu list  (NEWSLETTERS ARCHIVE) of issues past and present.

Thank you,

Hugh S/Editor

“The Steps had to be the key to get me out of this prison.”

 

As a new member of Depressed Anonymous, Linda  knew that ” she would have to work very hard, because you really  have to fight depression –  negative thoughts replaced by positive thoughts – action to create motivation. Most of all, I had to surrender to God, quit controlling everything and everyone, including God. Let go and let God. So I started reading the Twelve Steps. At first, I was really rebellious, so much so that I didn’t go back to the group for two weeks. I was too depressed, but inside I knew the Steps had the key to get me out of this prison. They pointed me to my Higher Power, which unashamedly is Jesus Christ . (‘Made a decision to turn my life and will over to the care of God as I understand God’. Ed).  Now I attend every meeting, sharing the things I learned and the times I fall (which are still quite a few) into depression.. But it is working, and I could not be writing this right now if it was not for the love and the support of these very special  people. As a matter off act, I told them once a week was not enough for me. The leader suggested that I start another one, which is just what I have done. I now attend the meetings twice a week – twice is nice.”

——Linda

Source: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  (Personal stories #6. I was a compulsive over – eater).). Page 116-117.

Does being hopeful mean taking risks?

 

“Hope can exist only in a state of uncertainty.

That certainty means total certainty That security means to be without hope.

The prison of depression is built with the bricks of total certainty.

 

Certainty. Security. No hope.

To hope means to run the risk of disappointment.

Avoid   disappointment.  Stay depressed.

To be insecure means to not be in control.

Stay in control. Be depressed.

To be uncertain means to be unsure of the future.

Predict the future with certainty. Stay depressed.

Hope can only exist where there is uncertainty. Absolute certainty means complete hopelessness. If we want to live fully we must have freedom, hope and love.  So life must be an uncertain business. That is what makes it worthwhile.”

Source: Depression: The way out of your depression. D. Rowe. 1996. (2nd Ed.)

Hope is to seek things and  have the expectation that what we desire will come true. In the matter of depression, Dr. Rowe warns us that when we predict that we will ways be the way we are is to predict a life of uncertainty but one that is without hope. In the reality of the way we construct our world we begin to live with some uncertainty  and with the uncertainty we are going to little bit by little  bit accept some pain, hurt and disappointment in our lives. This is not bad but it is not always pleasant. When we are depressed it is not so important always as to how we got to be depressed but what is important, is how we see our depression.  Do we believe, like Dorothy Rowe, that we will always see ourselves as bad, worthless, unacceptable to ourselves and to others, when we are depressed. If this is the way that we want to look at ourselves then we are sure to believe that we will never change. We hold these beliefs about ourselves as immutable truths –absolute and ever binding. This is the thing about depression – we believe that it will always be this way–namely being possessed by this hollow feeling and deadly emptiness which we carry around in our bodies, day after day, year after years.

Our identity as persons depressed is to believe that we are always going to be the way we are now and be depressed forever. We know that it won’t always have to be this way. Our identity is that of a free agent who has the option to choose misery for the rest of their lives or to choose hope and so live with some uncertainty that may bring us to a life filled with hope.  The more we allow the feelings of pain and the unpleasantness of our feelings to surface the more we will live in uncertainty and hope. To live with uncertainty is to live with some hope that our tomorrow will be different than our today. We hope for things not yet seen. We hope for things to be different. This is the identity of a person  who is working the 12 Steps of Depressed  Anonymous. This person is the one who withholds judgment about whether this first Anonymous meeting is going to do any good for them. This is where they learn how to cope. They hear other members of the group tell them that they have to keep coming back to  the meetings if they are to get help and find release from their feelings of despair.”

Source: How to hope and let it blossom. Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications.  (1999). Louisville. Ky.

For more helpful literature on depression and 12 Step spirituality please click onto The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore. Online purchases are possible.

Today I am going to be active in my own recovery.

 

”  I believe that our involvement with people like ourselves in the  group  (Depressed Anonymous) can gradually broaden our perspective in the area of hope. We have to utilize new found tools that help us live with hope as well as enable us to learn that we have to be active in our own recovery.  ”

Copyright(c)  I’ll do it when I feel better. 2nd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.

A  person who wants to get active in their own recovery would do well to go to the Main Menu at depressedanon.com  ( here) and check out the drop down menu  at TOOLS OF RECOVERY. It is here that one can find many  recommended ways  and activities to begin the journey to freedom out of the prison of depression.

If not today, then when?

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

PS   For more Information about Depression and the 12 Step program  of Recovery go to DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE @  DEPRESSEDANON.COM

Hibernation works for bears!

 

One of the situations that develop for those of us who are depressed is to isolate. To hole up. To hibernate.  This of course works for bears –but just makes things worse for those of us who are depressed. Isolation from life causes a fracture–a disconnectedness from others and our daily activities. We find that we are gradually slowing down–withdrawing from others and choosing to be alone rather than being connected. Our minds  go round and round choosing to do nothing,  circling around like a dog chasing its tail,  rather than finding solutions. Basically, isolation is our solution.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

A mantra that needs repeating in our minds is to tell ourselves that we need to move our bodies if the mind is to break free from the chains of immobility. Move the body and the  mind will follow.  Once we have committed ourselves to   get physically moving the more the mind will challenge our isolation and inactivity. At first we will have that ongoing debate inside ourselves telling ourselves “I’ll do it when I  feel better.” I know,  I’ve been there.

I am going to keep myself physically fit.

“Keeping physically fit! It is a must for us, who are and who have been depressed.  Walking not only restores harmony to the body, it likewise restores my self-esteem and self-confidence.”

Try walking. It costs nothing. No gym fees or dues.  Walking can make a difference for those of us who find ourselves with our thoughts of suicide, despair and hopelessness. In the very act of walking, I move outside  the narrow and limited circle of my life and move into relationships with other people, places, and situations. Walking releases mood elevating chemicals in my blood  and like others, may cause me to feel a slight elevation of mood. Walking also helps distract me from the ever present round of negative thinking that continues to oppress me.

With time and perseverance, I discover that exercise not only reduces physical tension in my life, but it also makes it possible for me to feel better about myself.

For me to feel good about myself, I have to first want to like myself. I want to attempt to live just for today and not be concerned about what if this , or what if that happens. I am deciding today, that for me to feel better, I must get active and exercise.

God will help us and motivate us to get out into the world of fresh air and the diverse beauty of creation so that we may enjoy God’s goodness manifest itself all around us.

***

Please click onto the TOOLS FOR RECOVERY menu here at the website.  See items EXERCISE and BEING in NATURE.

SOURCE: (c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days” 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.Ky. Pages 222-223. November 8.

  I’ll do it when I feel better. Depressed Anonymous  Publications.  Louisville.

2018 FALL ISSUE OF THE ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET ( @Newsletter Archives)

                                                                  2018 FALL NEWSLETTER

  ( Go to Newsletter Archives Menu for  articles)

ARTICLES

 1) Thinking unpleasant thoughts wears me out–Until I did this.

2)How to live outside the box? The Depression box.

3)So far today

4) The World of the “selfie” mirrors a world of the isolated and disconnected.

5) TRUE OR FALSE?

6) Depressed Anonymous Spanish edition  (2019)

7) Dep-Anon Family Group manual: A Twelve Step Support Group for Families and Friends of the Depressed. (Visit the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore)

This is what I need when I am depressed.

 

What one needs when in  this situation  is someone to talk with, someone who will not give advice and produce solutions but who will help to unravel the complexity of one’s thinking and feeling and to look at positive alternatives, someone whose presence ensures that the isolation is not complete,.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

In order for someone to listen to me I have to have the courage to talk. Today, I am going to share as much of my pain and feeling isolated with a trusted friend. I might even make an appointment with a therapist. I know that the most important thing for me to do is to break out of my isolation of negative thinking and behaving and get close to someone who will listen to me but not judge nor give me advice such as “snap out of  it.

Admitting that I am depressed is the first step and best step to walking out of our isolation.”

SOURCE:  Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. November 4. Page 220.