Want to help yourself out of depression? Good. Get a plan.

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? The working out of a plan might not be simple but it does hold a promise once the plan becomes active,something good will most probably happen.   Now if I was still depressed I would have stumbled over the word “probably” and say to myself, see “it won’t work.” I used to think that everything had to be perfect. No more.

Here’s the point: a plan is an active small goal oriented operation in which you take each step one at a time. In our program of recovery you have 12 steps and you don’t move on from one to the other til you have finished working the step before. You give each small goal as much time as you need or as little time as you think you need. We have heard the question “how do you eat an elephant? Answer: “one bite at a time.” By setting  up small attaintable goals, you can gradually get at the root of your problem and move slowly on developing answers to what is bothering you and causing you to feel sad and anxious inside.

Let’s make it clear here that I cannot promise that this is an easy road to take but a plan that once activated (put into practice on a daily basis) and will give you the best chance for ongoing recovery. How may times have I tried a program and I failed. It’s like  buying something that you have to assemble yourself. You know how that goes (or at least familiar with it) because initially you are excited about getting the thing up and running. But you miss some essential step along the way. You either have to go back and reread the instructions, and start over again and pay close attention to the plan’s directions.

Depressed Anonymous has a plan which is like a map indicating the right direction. The beauty with an activated plan, the 12 Steps such as the one that guides our mutual aid groups with a positive result, serenity and hope. Even though you might be in therapy or on meds, you can work this plan  everyday, anytime of the day and find yourself hopeful about something good happening for your life. Now you have a workable plan. You don’t have to wait around til your meds take effect. You can get started right now.

When I had used this plan of Depressed Anonymous, I felt that a Workbook would be a helpful way to guide myself gradually and with others toward serenity and a hopeful life. You also can read the DA book, Depressed Anonymous with its thirty stories written by members of the DA group who have activated a plan, worked the 12 step program into their daily lives and found hope and  happiness. No longer are they feeling helpless. The Workbook provides, by questions, in response to each Step, covering every facet of your life’s major life’s transitions. Also, the personal issues specific to one’s own life situations can be broached.

The Deprssed Anonymous Manual and Workbook both contain commentaries  on each of the plan’s 12 Steps and helps elaborate on depression and how to deal with your own situation and the severity of one’s depression. Every person depressed has an unique depression experience, even though symptoms may be similar to others, it remains that your experiences are totally your own.

Our website www.depressedanon.com has a home page with menu items where you can check out your own question about the plan and how it works. You might also want to read some past issues of the Newsletter (See archives) and that can be helpful in understanding abut your own experience with depression. One can also review almost 1000 past blogs at the site which will give you a quick look into the nature of depression and the many tools provided for its recovery.

Depression is constructed with many symptoms. Our recovery plan attacks each of the symptoms in one way or the other. Formerly depressed individuals, have written about their success of finding the 12 Step map that took them out of their sadness and aloneness into life in a community of light and peace. In fact, all of our books are written by those of us who are recovered from depression.

Our program and plan is a “we” plan. We come together in groups and as individuals  seeking that path that brings hope and healing. When will you activate your plan?

For more information about Depressed Anonymous literature available, please click onto
THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE.

 

Having a secure base in life.

After ten years of repeated meeting  with the depressed of Depressed Anonymous meetings, it’s clear that the meetings create a secure base for those who in their childhood had neither kindness nor the life-giving warmth and affection of a loving family.

People who keep coming back to Depressed Anonymous continue to grow and become aware of the inner change taking place week after week.They find not only attention to their story, but find that they are loved and cared for at the same time. Possibly for the first time they find that they look forward to each weekly meeting  and become attached to the positive feelings that emerge inside themselves  they continue to share the story of their pain. In time, they share how their week is suddenly being filled with more good days than bad. It also becomes obvious to the participants that childhood behavior and experiences are carried right on into adult life. Trusting is such a hazard for the depressed because every person is different. You can’t trust your environment because it could suddenly shift and you would be without a certainty that you were bad and worthless.

The meetings gradually present to you an opportunity to be someone worthwhile and valued. Your starting and risking information about yourself begins the construction of a new and secure you. The Depressed Anonymous group becomes for possibly the first time in your life, a very secure and stable environment where you can share, trust and grow.”

–Anonymous

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

The prescription for sanity in one’s life.

This idea of choosing sanity  is   what we desire.  Who would ever choose insanity? But, believe it or not,  people choose insanity all the time. You  remember the saying, “doing the same thing over and over again is insanity.” If you are honest with yourself, I think you might   remember a time when you yourself  kept doing something that was assuredly insane. Today, if you   can honestly say that  you  always choose sanity,  then my response to you  is that   is a good thing.  I am happy for you.

In our 12 Step program of recovery we  learn about the   2nd Step, “Came to believe that a power greater than myself can restore  me to sanity.” Now for most of us, like it says in the 12 &12 and 12 Traditions, written by Bill W., co-founder of AA,  sanity “means soundness of mind.”  Now here is the point, when I was in the throes of depression, I was scared and I really did think that I was losing my mind. I could not concentrate. My feelings and emotions were flowing through me like a river overflowing its banks. My thoughts always circled back on themselves, making a tight grip-like  on every thought that flowed from   my mind. I was in a circular round dance – without a partner.  I would   try to think my way  out of my depression. What was happening to me I thought? The more I thought,  the more I got tangled up in my own mental fog.  After the mental wrestling which  went on in my mind, hour after hour and day after day, I begin to wonder if there was any  way out of this  labyrinth. The paths led to places which indicated that there was no exit. I began to believe   there was no way out and so my daily recourse/solution was to sleep. Sleep was the only thing that would deaden the assault on my mind.

Many times my own mind goes back to the time when as a therapist I tried to help others break down their life choices into  small pieces. When I was depressed,  all I could think of was a wall, a huge wall that would show up,  every time I wanted to go  and try to figure out a solution for my problem. And it was here that I would continue the insane banging my head against a wall that would not let me gain entrance. But when I began to break the  symptoms of my depression into smaller parts and take a closer look at where the solutions might lie.  I discovered a way out of my own prison by  this method and   it  gradually provided  hope for me. I  discovered that what I needed  to do was to utilize some of these ” tools ” as a way out of the prison of depression and gave me a gradual  exit out of my prison. Instead of going over and over in my mind on how bad or worthless I was, I began to cut off these self-bashing thoughts with hopeful designs on making a new me. No more was I engaged in that insane circular thinking that provided no solutions, but instead, always sent me right back to square one from where I started. Insanity! It was like a dog chasing its tail.  Doing the  same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Sorry, it doesn’t happen that way when we are with a group of people at a Depressed Anonymous meeting.  We all have experienced the type of thinking that puts us deeper in the lowest mood possible. It is the group experience and the spiritual principles of the Steps that help us to spiral upwards into wholeness and sanity.

One of the great lessons that I have learned over the years is listening to those persons who share their stories of hope. They tell the stories of their own recovery sharing with us how they used all the “tools” at their disposal for their own recovery

.(See Tools of Recovery at our website Menu where you will find a list of many of the effective tools for extricating oneself from depression. You will be able to use  ” sane” tools as a means of rejecting the insanity of our own lives and making sense out of how to live a life without depression. A life with hope. It happens.)

Also read the many stories in our Depressed Anonymous “Big Book”   Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY). Personal testimonies section.

More information at the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore.

Order are accepted online.

 

 

 

We do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. PROMISE #3/13.

Many of us have lived with guilt, shame and regret for our past.  Until we got down to business – that is taken a moral inventory – did we desire that the  God of our understanding help us see what we needed to do to forgive our selves and get on with our lives.

As the Promises state in so simple a manner, this does not mean that “oh well  we made some mistakes so let’s just forget about everything that happened in the past.”  We can spend a lot of wasted time wallowing in the self-pity that occupies our addiction. We also might regret all the time we have spent staring  at a blank wall, alone and trying to figure out in the circling of our thought the  “whys” of our immobility, passivity and pain.

It is in Steps Four and Five where our past regrets are played out and dealt  with. Once we have made a list of all our resentments and fears and spoke of them to a trusted friend we can begin to feel a new sense of freedom.

When we suppress a negative emotion an refuse to deal with it, either consciously or unconsciously, it becomes one of those blocks that form the walls of our personal prison. This unexpressed emotions can foster and boil over so that our energy level is dissipated, scattered . We find ourselves and our will weakened. We discover that with the internal war raging  inside of us we,  can hardly find the energy to get to work and /or roll ourselves out of bed a morning. The pain from depression freezes all efforts at mobility.

We discover that our ability to make ourselves do something is now beyond our personal strength and power. We have become helpless. We also discover that we are powerless. Our will power has no control over our feeling depressed,

How do we know that this particular Promise will come true for me? The only thing that we can rely on is our own experience. Our experience tells us that the more we live non the  solution of the Promises of Depressed Anonymous that the  serenity and peace is ours for the moment.

We have discovered that it is when we begin to live in the solution that our solution focused program leads us past the fear of what might happen to the serenity of the present moment. Our freedom begins when we start to reflect consciously on what is happening now at this very moment, I have noticed that it is when I become conscious  about what I am feeling –  the direct result of my thinking –it is at that moment that I make conscious  decisions to bring myself back to the present. ”

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

(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous : Planting a seedbed of hope.(2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.  40241.  # 3/12 Promises.

DEPRESSIVOS ANONIMOS (Spanish edition) PUBLISHED TODAY(MAY 1).

 

Today, Depressed Anonymous Publications has published the First Spanish Edition of DEPRESSIVOS ANONIMOS.   (This Spanish edition   is  the English  edition of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition).

This Spanish edition provides the 12 Step fellowship with a Step by Step program of recovery.

See our website at www.Depressedanon.com for information on ordering online.

DEPRESSIVOS ANONIMOS  can be ordered from Amazon.com and/ or from the Depressed Anonymous website at www. depressedanon.com.

For more information  email at  depanon@netpenny.net.

 

I’m on a personal journey of transformation! Today!

I can do almost anything to feel better and more alive.  All I need to do is believe that I can do it. I want to believe.

“Through the Twelve Step program of recovery, I have been on a journey of transformation from the familiar life of drudgery, gloom and desperation,  to discovering a new freedom and a new happiness – something I didn’t know existed.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

This is the real world, the 12 Step program for healing and  gradual abstinence from hiding the pressure that builds from inside and pushes me to want to withdraw and isolate myself.  I am more sure today than  I was yesterday.  The more I work my 12 Step program I  feel better. I also believe that the more I begin  to take charge of  areas of my life, like exercising,  getting a  hobby,  and moving about, the speedier will  be my recovery.

From childhood, I had a scarce amount of love and nurturing. I know that I can find the freedom to live and feel differently than I did  in the past. Today presents me with a clean slate –a new beginning, if you will.  Granted my yesterdays are always there, but my today is what really counts. This is the exciting part of living with hope. Life is a challenge and I need to forgive myself for all my yesterdays and live right now as if it is the first day of my life.

MEDITATION

God, make peace and serenity the by-word of our lives and efforts this day. We know that you are here – closer to us than the light in our eyes. We again trust you so that we can  live this unpredictable life with hope and trust in you. (Personal comments).

(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days:365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for all members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

What are my priorities and why is it important to know this?

AFFIRMATION

I know that in time and with care, for myself, I am going to believe that I am truly living the way the God of my understanding wants me to live.  We need to know what our priorities are. If you don’t already know this question about yourself, you can work it out by becoming something that is important to you  and asking., “Why is this important?”

CLARFICATION OF THOUGHT

I came to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity  is really one of my belief priorities and one which brings me a certain amount  of serenity everyday. I know and believe that this is what is most important to me in my life. In my efforts to free myself from the fear and insecurity of depression, I am living in the solution instead of in  the problem.

I only want to do what I believe  will allow me to live with a desire to do God’s will.   He will not let me fall back again into  the false comfort of my attachments to depression. So  much of my attachment to these ongoing negative thoughts about  myself and my future seemed to flow so  naturally into my thoughts. They have all been brought to light and are daily exposed. I am trading them in for thoughts  which are new and unfamiliar, but healthier,  as I now live with gratitude.

MEDITATION
We need your help now God.  We seem to believe that it is all too much for us to bear with so many disappointment and burdens. We feel a bit like Job,  the Bible  character . We will attempt  for just  twenty-four hours to hang onto our faith that you God  will bring me through our darkness today. (Personal reflection).

(C) Higher  Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Pages 70 -71.

I am part of something bigger than myself.

By being in a recovery group I am able to beat loneliness.

In the group, I established myself and I got some positive feedback from others who watched me grow and who have seen the genuine change I have made  personally. I am gradually throwing off my personal war  with sadness. The real support comes when I begin to learn that members of the group have the same problems that I have. This helps me trust  others with the story of my life. These people are the ones who want to hear my story of how depression almost cost me my  life. Now, my life is freeing me from my need to sad myself.

I feel more able to attach myself to the group now that I know that they are struggling with the same depression that I struggle with. I no longer have to fight this battle on my own.

MEDITATION

God you are our rock and our refuge, on you I place all my trust. We know and believe easier now than before, that God has something good in store for us today.”

 

Source:

(C) Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of  12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Page 69. April 26.

We do not have to ask anyone’s permission to exist.

 

                                 CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Like it says in the Desiderata, I have every right to be in this universe. I have a right to be here.  I need not shrink or fear anyone or anything. The times that I have felt so guilty for being alive, I now know it is my sense of not being worthwhile or acceptable to myself and to others that keeps me down.

I no longer need other people’s approval, just my own. Everyday I keep my mind and my heart focused on the solutions, while the problems seem less oppressive and frightening. Today, when I want  t o hide, avoid others, or just climb into the security of the comfort of my depression, I cease to exist. I know that I am breaking free from my sadness  by working the twelve steps and listening to the voice inside of me that promotes  my self-respect.

I now have the permission to give myself a real boost by discovering that I can free myself from my sadness and my desire to sad myself. I give myself permission to risk living life to the fullest.

MEDITATION

I believe that my Higher Power has put me here in this universe to serve it’s purpose.  I do  know this, that I am here for the creator’s purpose and that when I  leave this place,   my human community, I want to leave  this green earth   in better shape than when I first came from my mother’s womb.

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

MOTIVATION FOLLOWS ACTION!

Why do I continue the work of bringing hope to those still suffering? What motivates me to continue to try and help others? What has made the change in my life where now I want to share what I know and what I feel.  Basically, I know that the program of recovery works. I no longer feel powerless over  my depression. In DA group meetings members speak my language. We see how useless it is to waste time looking back over our shoulder to see if the dark shadow of my own inner fears is going to overtake me.  I now have attained small amounts  of hope and strength as I go from day to day. I am prepared for those moments of despair that at times overtake me and cause me to feel paralyzed and out of control.

In the first step “we admitted we were powerless over depression and that our lives had become unmanageable.” It is a paradox that it is in the admission of our lives being out of control that we began to take control of our lives.”

It was an interesting fact that in the very beginning of my recovery   that I received a very important message… that if I was to get well I had to motivate myself to do something. I had to get in motion. That sounds simple enough doesn’t  it?  I must stop the isolating of myself and get to work on ways that would gradually lead myself  out of despair and hopelessness, and deadly inactivity.

The first thing that I began to do each and everyday was to start walking.  I just knew  that the inner war that  was waged with every step that I took was the message that “walking would not do me any good”  would almost  completely scuttle my best intentions to complete my walks.  The odd thing about it was that, almost without fail, if I could just continue on and walk at least for 15 minutes  and ignore the messages “that I was too tired to walk this morning”    my body began to get into  a  rhythm. I would feel content  to finish my walks. And ironically, there is not a day that goes by,  when I start my walk that I don’t feel the lethergy and resistance to continue my walking.  Then as always, after about 10-15 minutes into my walking, I feel  a rush, an energy spurt, to continue walking. Other walkers have told me that they have the same experience. It must have something to do with the human body,  with all its members working together and harmonically working in sync with each other.

I just add the above note to let others know that your body will repel the healthy attempt to move out of its   isolation. It’s the force of one’s motivation powered by action that will in time help us all do one of the more beneficial exercises that our body can undertake, namely to walk.

——————————————

(C) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Page 42.