I have a gratitude attitude.

THANKSGIVING   DAY

“I saw that I had been living too much alone, too much aloof from my fellows, and too deaf that voice within. Instead of seeing myself as a simple agent bearing the message of experience, I had thought of myself as a founder of A.A.

How much better it would have been had I felt gratitude rather than self-satisfaction – gratitude that I had once suffered the pains of alcoholism, gratitude that a miracle of recovery had been worked upon me from above, gratitude for the privilege of serving my fellow alcoholics, and gratitude for those  in the fellowship   which bound me ever closer to them in a comradeship, such as few societies of men have ever known.

Truly, did  a clergyman say to me, “Your misfortune has become your good fortune. You A.A.’s are a privileged people.”

Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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”  I TOO AM GRATEFUL FOR  THE TWELVE STEPS OF  DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS   OF RECOVERY  FROM  DEPRESSION.  THE FACT THAT I ONCE SUFFERED THE PAIN OF DEPRESSION AND NOW I AM FREE  PROVIDES ME WITH A GRATITUDE ATRTITUDE,  DAY IN AND DAY OUT!

Hugh S.

I have a plan for living one day at a time.

 

When I was depressed I found it help to do some one thing, everyday that would keep me focused on my recovery. It was when I was deep down in the pit of hopelessness that I made a commitment to myself to do something positive for myself. I could no longer just “zombie” through a day and somehow magically think I was gonna  get through  whatever had my mind and motivation in chains.

Here is what I decided to do: I would walk every day. I would also join a 12 Step   program of recovery. The main thing is to have a plan and stick to it everyday. Move the body and the mind will follow. As a result, I began to get into a  rhythm  where I was able to keep motivated and was keeping faith with myself as I accomplished one small goal after another.

Today, I want to share with you, a simple plan of action for your own recovery here at depresedanon.com. Everything to inspire you to get moving is on the pages of this website.  So, first of all, here is a suggested plan of action.

For each day of  the week, for the coming  12 days, go to the TOOLS FOR RECOVERY menu, choose one of the TOOLS to work on for that day.  You will see that the following 12 TOOLS are all part of the healing elements for recovery from depression.

  1. Being in Nature 2. Cut off Negative thinking (The Law of the Threes) 3. Exercise 4.Journaling 5.Music 6. Nutrition 7.Positive self- talk 8.Sleep  9. Social engagement (support groups) 10.Stay in the present 11. Removing stress 12. The Serenity Prayer.

So, pick one for yourself and print it out and put it in a notebook. There you can keep it in front of you for each  day as part of a written campaign to help yourself.  Also, this will be a good plan/record  book to see where you have been and where you are going in your recovery…on a daily basis.

Besides working with the TOOLS OF RECOVERY, you might go to the menu’s NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES where you can choose one of the issues for more insights into the Depressed Anonymous Program of Recovery. These Newsletters can be read in conjunction with the TOOLS  as an added motivation for each day’s consideration.

Finally, before you start working your planned activity for each day–you might preselect 12 POSTS  from the  past editions as you move from one day to the next. And remember, you are setting goals only for one day at a time.

Remember the riddle “How do you eat an elephant? Simple. One bite at a time.”

We know, especially those of us who are procrastinators, “that to fail to plan is to plan is to fail. Makes sense to me. Set small goals for each day, stick to it and you will begin to see progress as you gradually work yourself out of depression.

For more information please contact us at Depanon@netpenny.net

Hugh

 

The essence of the depression experience.

 

The essence of the experience of depression is that you are alone in some kind of prison. You can describe your prison. You might see your prison as being at the bottom of a deep pit, or locked inside of a cage, or wrapped in a shroud.  You might feel that you are stumbling across a stony desert, or through a thick fog, or that a large black bird is crouched on your shoulders, making it  impossible for you to move.  Whatever your image, you are alone, and in this prison you are both the miserable prisoner and the cruel prison guard.   When we are simply unhappy, no matter what terrible  fate has befallen us, we still feel a connection to the rest of the  world and to ourselves.  We let others comfort us, and feel warmed and supported, and we comfort ourselves. But when we are depressed, no warmth or support comes through our prison wall, and we punish ourselves most cruelly.”

COMMENTS

If the quotation above,  from Dr. Dorothy Rowe,  paints a picture of yourself,  then you will find  answers for your own recovery at our Home page website  at depessedanon.com.  Literature is also available at Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore.

 

The Successful Self: Freeing Our Hidden Inner Strengths. Dorothy Rowe. (1988) Harper Collins/Publishers. London. Pages 197-198.

I am beginning to trust myself!

 

 

 

“The more I am able to break out of my isolation and fear, the better I begin to feel.  It’s like my past sadness and my attachment to it has prevented me from doing anything at all, including the pleasant feelings of joy and serenity. I have lived tied up in the cords of fear and anxiety. I am learning that this Power, whom I choose to call God, is steadily releasing me  from these  bonds, the more I face my fears and the shame of being depressed.

At one time, I found it difficult to place much trust in those people who crossed my path in this life. Now, little by little, I am beginning to trust myself as I am feeling more in control of what I feel, think and do.”

It is in trusting others, namely, those in my fellowship group of Depressed Anonymous, with whom  I share my hope and positive beliefs about myself. These feelings, when they come time and time again, free me gradually from the prison of my depression moods.

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

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

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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.