“Depression is more than being sad.”

Georgina, from the newly formed  Depression Anonymous group in Sydney, Australia sent us her reflection.

Depression doesn’t really feel like sadness to me….it feels like

exhaustion,

irritability,

no motivation,

no desire to do the things I love doing.

Being depressed is more than being “sad.”

 

Thank you Georgina E., for this powerful quote which you are sharing with us. We are  always happy to get contributions from Depressed Anonymous members. It is a gratitude of ours that the Depressed Anonymous groups are sprouting up around the world. Please go to the depressedanon.com  homepage menu  and see the International SKYPE groups meetings listed.  Please join up.  Check time zones so that you can go online live .

Please feel free to access our website at depressedanon.com and check out our BLOG and share your  own thoughts with our international fellowship…We want to hear from you.  We are not alone.

 

The 12 Step program of recovery is helping me learn how to love myself.

AFFIRMATION

I have hope that I can accept myself today and just let fly  by all the old messages from old tapes of childhood.

“You desperately wanted people to love you, but you became very wary of giving your love to others. You reasoned  that the less you loved another person, the less it would hurt when the inevitable rejection came.” Dorothy Rowe

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I have been so holed up in my own little world of feeling hurt and rejected that to attempt to love someone else seems the greatest challenge of my life. I desire so badly to be loved by someone else,  that this lack of another’s love makes my isolation from others so hurtful.

After witnessing the miracle of the group of Depressed Anonymous, where depressed people come with their feelings of being hurt and rejected, I find that other’s love and nurture challenges me to hope once again. I can share with the group the fact that I haven’t measured up, that I am angry and that I want to just lay down and die.

I am open now to let the light of love from others, who like myself, realize that I am not alone and that I am beginning to  affiliate and give of myself fro someone else’s good. In the program  of recovery I am starting to love myself.

MEDITATION

We are going to make a mental decision right now to let God, as we understand God, guide us and instruct us on how to love ourselves.

(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365  daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY.  Pg. 38. March 3rd.

To be honest, open and willing to look at ourselves gets us the hope we are looking for!

 

We notice in Step Seven  (Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings) we don’t tell  God how we want God to remove our shortcomings – we leave that up to God.  This of course takes time just as it took time to develop our shortcomings and our defects of character. Sometimes, we hear some professionals say that people who are depressing themselves shouldn’t spend time taking an inventory of their faults or shortcomings because that is what got them  here in the first place – namely dissecting and bashing ourselves for all the bad things we have done and become. Why would those depressed want to make themselves sadder? The answer to this is that you will not make yourself sadder, you will make yourself healthier as you admit how you have kept yourself locked up in the prison of your depression by any or all of the following: your perfectionism, your anger, anxiety, indecisiveness, feeling always overwhelmed, self-doubts, all or nothing thinking, your passivity and avoidance of getting in touch with your feelings, people pleasing, pessimism toward yourself, lack of feeling competent, loss of identity, feeling unconnected to the world, and finally feeling socially isolated. These are some of the shortcomings that each of us has to look at if we are to live with any amount of freedom.  Some of the above are sure to be part of the depressed person’s life and thinking.”

Quoting  Dorothy Rowe,  tells us that

“People won’t change until they have some assurance that when they do change they will be completely happy. They want to have someone promise them that if they decide to change, they will have no more problems and will be happy.

This request is based on two assumptions, namely: 1) Anyone who hasn’t got my problems has no problems at all (therefore when my present problems disappear I shall have no problems); 2) Happiness is total certainty  (therefore unless I know exactly what is going to happen I cannot be happy).

Change is always difficult. I need to examine in my own life and check out to see if I always expect my actions to produce perfectly happy results or I won’t pursue them.”

Ordering can be done online (depressedanon.com) The two works listed here make up our HOME STUDY RECOVERY KIT. It is a long distance approach for learning more about the power of the  Twelve Steps and how to apply them to oneself.

——————————–

RESOURCES:  (C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY  Pg. 72.

(C) The  Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2002)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY . Pg. 59.

Our whole outlook and attitude upon life changes. A sense of purpose transforms us.

To  really believe, possibly for the first time in one’s life that I can free myself from the  prison  of depression and begin to feel better. I know  I’m  needing  to be proactive in my efforts at self recovery. But what causes our outlook and attitude to emerge?

I have to begin to believe that hope and healing is possible. Once we have gone through some painful inner changes, such as dealing with our character defects and our isolating tendencies we see there is a way out. We have to have a positive attitude that will move and motivate us to want to go get to the next step.  Watching someone actually take these steps week after week and watch that feeling of wellness rise up in them and can promote a belief that with work and time, their lives do improve. Soon we see  that a sense of purpose begins to manifest itself the more time and work, into our personal recovery.

A door opens ever slightly, and there appears a potential route to freedom. A way out! I do believe that when my hope and faith and recovery rises, my symptoms of depression go down.”

Resource:

(C) I’ll do it when I feel  better. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville,  KY. Page 46.

Order online from  The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at our website www.depressedanon.com.

THE HIDDEN ANGER SURVEY.

                                                         SWALLOWING MY ANGER

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               (Articles on how anger can  affect our lives on a daily basis.)

An excerpt from  The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (Fourth Step.   Question # 4.41.) Page 33.

“Because you are unaware of being angry does not mean that you are not angry. It is the anger you are unaware of which can do the most damage to you and to your relationships with other people, since it does get expressed, but in  inppropriate  ways. Freud once likened anger to the smoke in an old fashioned wood burning stove. The normal avenue for discharge of the smoke is up the flue and out the chimney; If the normal avenue is blocked, the smoke  will leak out the stove in unintended ways…around the door, through the grate, etc., choking everyone in the room. If all avenues of escape are blocked, the fire goes out and the above ceases to function. Likewise, the normal human expression of anger is gross physical movement and /or loud vocalization: watch a red-faced hungry infant sometime. We learn to be “be nice,” which means(among other things) hiding  “bad” feelings. By adulthood, even verbal expression is stifled, and to protect ourselves from the unbearable burden of continually unexpressed “bad” feelings,  we go to the next step  and convince ourselves that we are not angry, even  when we are.  Such self-deception is seldom completely successful and the blocked anger “leaks out” in   inappropriate ways…”

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

 

TOMORROW’S   BLOG (2/21) is about discovering  how we hide our anger from ourselves.  TAKING  THE HIDDEN ANGER SURVEY.

 

 

 

 

 

Have you swallowed any anger lately?

Anger is a much talked about subject these days. People are anger at this politician or that politician, They are angry at how they are mistreated on their job. Or they are angry at the government  for whatever reason. They are angry at their spouse, or ( choose one) who have done them wrong. Yes, I am angry and  I don’t like it. I don’t like it most times, but sometimes I think, wow, that felt good getting it out of my system. It’s  better than punching a hole in the wall  again, or picking up a gun and shooting someone. I believe that so many of us are angry. We are angry and we think that giving someone the “what for” is going to change them.  But then we see that our anger is pouring gasoline on a fire.

Let’s take a look at the Depressed Anonymous book, which says a lot about anger and what our own anger says about ourselves. Is there a solution here. Yes.

” Many times we hear how depression is anger turned inward. This is one way to explain it. Depression is also a way to keep from assuming our rightful place in the world and society. You must tell others that your very fear of the future and of others is the  very thing that builds  your  prison.  You need to surrender the fears and hurts in your life. You need to give them up to the Higher Power or to God as you understand God. It is with this in mind that you begin to gain more insights and honesty in your life. Others in the DA group will also help you see that you can blame the other people in your life for your problems all you want, but it is only when you no longer see yourself as victim that you can stand up and say that you no longer choose to stay depressed. “I am going to enjoy life and hope for good things to begin to happen to me”, you can say.  I  think sometimes we can say we liked being called a “depressive” as it made us feel as though we couldn’t help being the way we were and, of course, we know this isn’t true. Once we admit our victim stance and no longer consider ourselves as permanent sufferers of depression, then this honesty, can release a new sense of identity for  ourselves. The support of the group will allow me to say that I don’t have to be what I was anymore. I don’t need it.

The fifth immutable belief that builds hopelessness in us is the belief that it is wrong to get angry. We have learned from childhood that not only do little girls not show anger, but little boys likewise were made to believe that any type of outward expressions of one’s unpleasant feelings was not permissible. We believed  that we had no right to be angry. To be always smiling and happy means you are good; to  experience and express the emotion of anger is a sign that you are out of control, and being out of control is bad. But if anything can  cause us to  be depressed it is a lifetime of swallowing our anger. This might have its roots in our childhood when we were abused, physically, emotionally or even sexually by a parent, relative or guardian. The mere thought of this might throw us into a deep sense of personal worthlessness  and rage —  until we were able to get in touch with it. Sometimes this rage is so powerful that we have to numb ourselves  so as not to feel the power   of it and so be afraid that it will  destroy our very selves.”—–More about ANGER  in tomorrows BLOG.

RESOURCES:

(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY (See Step Five chapter in DA book, Pages 59-64). ).

(C) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2002 Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY   (Step Four Pages 22-47 contains some excellent ideas on anger which can help us look at our anger and deal with it.)

+Both of these excellent books can be ordered online (depressedanom.com)  at   the DAP Bookstore.

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