The protective wall of the community.

 

I do believe the term “protective wall of the community ” is surely an apt and meaningful description  of those who are messengers of hope in the 12 step Program of Depressed Anonymous. The program and suggested principles of Depressed Anonymous serve as  a protection against the frailty  of us all producing  in each  of us a solidarity with other’s sense of futility and isolation.  We then  become  a wall against which our addiction(s) attempt to overcome and divide us. It is on the ramparts of struggle that we gain access to hope again. We, the group, now serve as a protection against despair. We know now, thanks to our active participation in our 12 Step program, that we no longer stand alone, isolated and vulnerable. We now stand together with those “others” who  are aware and conscious that some Power greater than themselves is to restore us all to sanity today.

Only by gaining an insight into my addiction to sadness and misery that I can be free from  this need to numb myself from the feelings of hurt and despair.

In recent   retreats many of the participants gathered there were in agreement that they could do something about their depression. In fact, one of the participants said that she was surprised and pleased that she could in fact take  responsibility fir her self and begin to work herself out of depression.

This was a revelation for her  that she could be an active participant in her own recovery process.

I think that too often people depressed mistakenly think that they had nothing to do with  their depression – and if they had nothng to do with it, then they think that they have no power to undo it. And like other problems in life, we have to consider our habitual attachment to those thoughts, behaviors and actions which continue  to keep us isolated  with the comfort of not making a decision on our behalf to escape the prison of our depression. We are NOT helpless.

Now that I am willing to assume responsibility for my depression I have begun to take a closer look at my life and the way in which I was living it. It now has become clear that I have to make some changes in the way I think, feel and behave.

I had to become conscious  that with the help of God, as I understand God and my recovery group called Depressed Anonymous, that I could in time free myself from my depression.

So often we want someone to take away our pain, our hurt and our grieving with out any effort on our part. Of course –life doesn’t work that way.  For more information about our program of recovery click onto the Depressed Anonymous menu and discover how you to can find hope .

Hugh

What does God have to do with my depression?

 

I have heard this same question many times over the years. It is a very good question I might add. In fact, when I was going through my own valley of despair,  God wasn’t on my radar.  All I did know was that I was feeling  hopeless. I was at the bottom of a deep dark pit. Isolated and scared.

Fear was at the center of my thoughts, 24/7. I thought that I was losing my mind.   I wasn’t able to formulate anything that made any sense. It was beyond my state of mind to envision the light of a possible escape from the prison,   taking away all hope  of ever recapturing the person that I once was. Basically I lost all hope  as my helplessness swallowed up everything that I felt was me.

Still unknowing the reason for my complete emotional and physical collapse I begged God, the God of my understanding to do something–anything,  that would free me from the day in and day out grip  of this unseen demon.  Because of what I felt was happening to me, like feeling I was in the power of this demon who was cutting off any bit of strength that I had left. I also knew that Alcoholics Anonymous was built upon spiritual principles which Bill W., and Dr. Bob called the Twelve Steps of recovery. In fact, they wrote that it is our belief in a Power greater than ourselves that would restore us to sanity. And this belief is my belief.

So, to many of us, we had a hard time to see how God could do anything about our depression.  Some of us really didn’t believe in God or if we did we weren’t so sure if possibly God was just a figment of our imagination. But after we admitted that we needed help for this sadness, which was taking us, like a circling watery whirlpool deeper into the depths of blackness and despair to our utter destruction.

The God of my understanding took me seriously when I asked for help and I admitted I couldn’t do what I need to do  alone without some godly help. So for me, my belief in this Power greater than myself  began to free me from my depression experience. And yes, this belief brought God into my life in a very powerful and healing way. In fact, Bill W., who was an agnostic (didn’t know if there was a God or not) had a spiritual  awakening in his hospital room where he said that he met the God of the preachers. And it was this singular spiritual event that gave him an infusion of hope and  power to let the God of his understanding lead him on that daily path of sobriety and recovery. For the millions who use these spiritual principles of recovery in their daily lives, they each and every one find a new beginning and a sane and sober way to live out their lives. And in turn,  as a result of their recovery, they turn and help others, who like themselves, had chosen  to do it ” their way.” As most of us are so painfully aware, our way was  to  keep on digging a deeper hole. And so, the first spiritual principle, namely Step One tells us that “We admitted that we were powerless over depression , and that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Now it is at this next Step that God enters the picture. Actually, we call God, this Power, who is greater than ourselves, who we let come into our life, where “we made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.”

And whatever notions you may have about God, you can be assured that there is something that happens to people when they start the journey of working the 12 Steps of Depressed Anonymous. It is here that we learn how God has everything to do with our battling  depression in our life. If you read any of the more that 30 stories of people who worked the 12 Steps (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition) and who testify to the truth that God does respond to their plea for help.  God   helps turn our life around and brings us a peace that a clear conscience and a faith in something bigger and more powerful can make happen in anyone’s life who believe.

A sociologist by the name of David Karp interviewed 50 people who indicated that they had received a diagnosis of being depressed from a physician. And by spending time with these many people of all ages and professions he learned about their beliefs about their own depression experiences. and which he wrote about in his book Speaking of Sadness. It is a very interesting and captivating account of how persons respond to the pain and despair that comes with being depressed. But the thing that amazed me the most is what he said about  spirituality as playing an important  role in the coping and living with depression of those whom he interviewed.

“At the same time that my conceptual consciousness was being raised about the connection between depression and spirituality, I would leave  many of my interviews awed by the courage and grace with which certain people faced unimaginable pain and loss. I was especially impressed with those  who spoke of their depression as a gift from which they had learned valuable lessons. While I would not relate  emotionally or intellectually with visions of incarnation or explanations of depression as central to a god given life mission. I left many interviews with a sense that spirituality engaged individuals were in touch with something important.  The issue was not a matter of evaluating the truth of their particular  brand of spirituality. What I felt was a measure of envy of those who displayed an acceptance that seemed to me incongruous with accounts of exceptional pain. These people possessed  or knew something that I didn’t.”  David A. Karp. 1996. Speaking of sadness: Depression, Disconnection, and the meanings of Illness.  Oxford University Press. Oxford. Pgs 190-191.

 

 

 

Before attending my mutual aid support group, Depressed Anonymous, I felt that I had nothing to live for.

 

Tommie tells us in Depressed Anonymous(c) 3rd edition,  how she honestly thought  “she had nothing to live for.  As a mother of five beautiful sons, a wife,and  a mother to be of quads, I wasn’t sure that I was a  member of the human race. I couldn’t eat, sleep, and cried for no reason. I wanted to be alone. It even got to the point that I didn’t know who I was. I was a physical body without a life.”

I’ve been going to Depressed Anonymous now for about five months. The program and my new found friends have been a  miracle of God. So many people have a big misconception about our meetings. They think we all sit around, tell our stories and cry on each other’s shoulders. Well there is a news flash for them – we learn that each and every one of us has experienced some degree of depression in our lives. We find out how to laugh, to comfort each other and  sincerely understand what each one is going through because we all have been here one time or the other. I  also learn that there is always  hope. Since coming to Depressed Anonymous, I have learned to grieve for my lost children and how to live with my depression. I still have good and bad days. …My life is not perfect, but now with the love of my God, my family, my friends and my husband, life is now worth living. But, the most important thing is that there is life after depression.”

SOURCE: Copyright (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 132-133. Personal Stories section of the book.

Please VISIT THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS BOOKSTORE for more information about Depressed Anonymous and how to order books online.

I want to believe.

 

AFFIRMATION

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

“Through this 12 step program   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 Twelve Step program for healing and a gradual abstinence from hiding the pressure that builds from inside and pushes me to want to withdraw. I am more sure today than I was yesterday the more I work my Twelve Step program,

I know that like the others who work their program, I will begin to feel better. I also believe that the more I begin to take charge of some area of my life, like exercising, getting a hobby and moving about, the speedier will be my recovery.

From childhood, I had a sparse 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 and a new beginning, if you will. Granted my yesterdays are always there ;  my today is what really counts like 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 operative word of our lives and efforts. We know that you are here- closer to us than the light that is in  our lives. We again trust you to help us to live unpredictable lives with your hope and trust in us now. (Your own personal comments).

SOIRCE:  Copyright (c)  Higher Thoughts  for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. April, 30. Pages87-88

I am able to beat loneliness by repeatedly being with other people in recovery or by doing the Home Study* program with my sponsor.

A HIGHER THOUGHT FOR YOUR DAY

AFFIRMATION

“I’m sure many sufferer’s could find a lot of comfort and support by coming into a group as I’ve done, to help beat the terrible loneliness which is felt by many and who find lasting friendship with lovely people.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

In the group, I established myself and got some positive feednback from others who watched me grow and have seen the genuine changes I make personally. I am gradually throwing off my personal way with sadness. The real support comes when I begin to learn that members of the group have the same problem that I have. That helps me trust others with the story of my life. These people are the ones who want to hear my story of how depression 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 AND BEING MINDFUL OF A HIGHER POWER

God, you are our rock and our refuge, on you I place my trust. We know and  believe, easier now than before, that God has something good in store for me today. (Personal comment).

SOURCE:  Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  April 26. Pages 84-85.

*HOME STUDY PROGRAM, is an individual approach to a STEP study  program when no  Depressed Anonymous group program is available in one’s community. The participant is helped in working the steps by utilizing the help of a sponsor. The sponsor leads the individual through all the steps using the Depressed Anonymous Manual, 3rd edition as well as coordinating this work with the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. By means of emails the sponsor and participant communicate with each other on  a regular basis.

For more information in how to set up this HOME STUDY program please click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore. Or contact us at depanon@netpenny.net for how you can be part of this individualized study.

The Home Study material  can be ordered online.

 

Your emotional wellness starts today!

                                                                              A HIGHER THOUGHT FOR TODAY

AFFIRMATION

I am going to treat myself with  the same respect  that I afford others.

“The pain that other people inflict on us can be very great, but the pain that we inflict on ourselves can be even greater. While many of the people who get depressed, despite the temptaition, do not kill themselves, and many inflict on themselves the long, drawn out pain of taking pride in keeping yourself to yourself.” D.Rowe.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

When I continue to isolate myself and keep to myself, I am continuing to serve myself nothing but a life of emptiness. I am living a life that is so predicatable that it is like being frozen in time and left there all alone.

No person is an island. The more that the  belief that I am no good, bad, worthless, unacceptable to myself and others, grows in my consciousness. the more that belief crowds out the hope that possibly there is a way out of this awful isolation –  this self imposed hell.

Keeping to ourselves perseveres the predictableness of our small universe. It is steady, never changes and it is a prison. Isolation, aloneness and being unsupported is what my depression is all about. Now my new words are fellowship, togetherness, support.

I can move out to those like myself who are in the pain and the throes of depressison. I can learn how I can work my step program and assume a new relationship in my expanded world.  I need not  worry about the depression coming back. I just try and live one day at a time. Survive the now and I will survive the tomorrow.

MINDFUL of THE HIGHER POWER

God, you have created a universe full of cousins, namely the beetles, lots of them,  butterflies, snails, fish and all sorts of lions, tigers and bears. We are not alone now and intend no longer to keep ourselves to ourselves. We want to get connected again. We never really were connected to anyone, or anything. It was all too frightening. But, we know, we believe, we feel your presence hovering over our hearts and we feel strong and willing to risk ourselves with others. (Personal comments)

SOURCES:   Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship groups. Dperessed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  April 12

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

Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous  Publications. Louisville.

I’m depressed. How can a group of other depressed persons help me?

 

Good question. Let me tell you this. The people best able to tell you about leaving the prison of depression are people like us who are or were depressed at one time, or even many times before.  In fact,  some of us in our fellowship tried to end our lives because of the pain of depression.  We do have a solution to the problem. We speak the language of depression, which means our  isolation, our continued and oppressing negative thinking and our constant thoughts on  how bad life is for us. But the good point here is, because we are feeling better,  we share our hope and new found recovery with all those who will listen.

We are not the people  with the silver bullet or the magic wand that  mysteriously and magically takes away the pain that we feel 24/7.  But in our group meetings and by reading literature written by people like ourselves–done that, and been  there   —   we begin to have hope that  maybe something good can happen for me too. Now if you want to believe what I just told you, then please read on.

It’s said that it takes one to know one. And if you are depressed and you want to feel at home with people like yourself, then you need to look into our fellowship Depressed  Anonymous.  Click onto a search engine  like Google and go to our website Depressed Anonymous and discover for yourself who we are and what we do. You can even subscribe (free) to our Newsletter. (See Newsletter Archives at the site menu). You might also want to scroll down the Blogs written by those of us  who are getting  the  message out that  there  is  hope for those of  you want to try our way.

And for those of you who do not have  a meeting in their own community, we have a HOME STUDY PROGRAM  in which you can learn all about our program of recovery at your own leisure and find how there is a real hope that you can feel better like the rest of us in the program of Depressed  Anonymous.

Please take a look at VISIT OUR DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS  PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE and discover the helpful literature that will inspire you and provide you with the tools to overcome your own depression.

To be depressed or not be depressed. I had a choice!

To be depressed or not be depressed?  That  was my choice.

“I believe that I’ve been a depressed person all of my life. I’ve had a lot of lows but never as low as this past year.  My husband of   years left me and my three children for another woman. I lost my job. Depression  hit me and I couldn’t snap out of it. My life started to spiral down. I was in and out of mental hospitals and on different medications. I was diagnosed as having a chemical imbalance. In my mind, this seemed to tell me that I had a sickness that I had no control over and which only drugs could cure. Then one night, I began to have a horrible reaction to the last drug.  I was rushed to the emergency room and almost died. After that, I refused to take drugs again. Then life really started going down for me. I started sleeping more, stayed in bed mostly, and let the house and the children go. I felt empty inside.  No one or anyone could help me. If I hadn’t thought suicide was the cardinal sin, I would be dead today.  So one night, I lay on the floor crying and praying from my heart. In the past when I prayed, I wanted God to do all the work. While deep down, I still didn’t want to let go of my miserable yet safe ways of life.  And as long as I wouldn’t really let go, God seemed to have no answers for me. This time though, I was at his mercy. Life for me could no longer go on this way. I prayed the most releasing prayer. I offered up my entire self to him. Nothing magical happened after that except the sudden urge  to call my church for Christian  counseling. They referred me to this affordable, warm lady counselor who I had seen in the past. She suggested that I start attending Depressed Anonymous Twelve Step meetings and reading Depressed? Here is a way out!  This was a great effort for me. I was scared and skeptical. Since   that  first night, I’ve been attending weekly Depressed Anonymous meetings. I also attend drug  free therapy, attend church and church activities regularly and continue to pray and walk regularly. I know that my life is richly blessed. I’m also using the Depressed Anonymous literature and listening to people in the Depressed Anonymous meetings where I receive valuable tools which I put to use daily.

The moment that I read that I had a choice to stay in depression, I immediately knew that I could make the choice to get out of my depression. Bingo! It wasn’t an illness. This did not have control over me. And another tool I use frequently through the Depressed Anonymous manual is that “thoughts produce moods, moods  produce feelings and feelings produce behavior. ”

So I began to realize that if I thought about bad or disturbing thoughts, I could stop myself and produce positive thoughts automatically. I had control. This is priceless to me. Staying out of depression takes work on my part, as well as God’s. Thank you Lord above for using people through my church, my therapy and the wonderful members of Depressed Anonymous    who give of themselves  unconditionally. Thank you for answering my prayer.”

–KIm

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SOURCE: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. ( Kim’s Personal story included to day!)

I saw the light! The light of hope. The light on the path to freedom and sanity!

AFFIRMATION

Spring can only start in my mind and, today, the first day of Spring, I want to be a beautiful flower. I will visualize myself growing tall and bright and filled with God’s most beautiful colors.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

“One of the reasons I am depressed is because I have made this an absolute belief of mine, namely the  belief  ‘Only bad things happened to me in the past and only bad things will happen to me in the future.’ (3) Dorothy Rowe, Ph.D

Now that I am working on myself and admitting that I have to do some housekeeping on myself. I am beginning  to hope and see a light at the end of the tunnel. I also believe that I will begin to feel better, the more I go to my DA meetings and listen to how other people are working the Twelve Step Program.

The future is where I live right now. The future now is the yesterday’s  tomorrow. I am making my future now.

I no longer believe that only bad things will happen to me in the future, because now I hear how people who once were ready to give up on life speak of how they have found hope in the fellowship of Depressed  Anonymous  and are getting, better one day at a time.

MEDITATION

God , please help us live up to our belie that each day we will get better as we live only in today and not in the fears and anxious moment of a tomorrow that may never come.”

(Your personal comments, please)

“MADE A SEARCHING AND FEARLESS MORAL INVENTORY OF OURSELVES. (Step four of Depressed Anonymous).

Step four is a critical step if we want to begin the journey toward wholeness, peace and having good feelings about ourselves again. But if we want to stay in the pit of sadness then the belief that we are worthless and not quite  good enough will definitely limit our awareness of what we can become and what we can do for ourselves.   I believe a lot of our difficulties have their roots in our need to be perfect and to do things the way others expect. It’s as if we have to take care of their needs before our own. ”

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous  Publications. Louisville. Page 54.

This work, the flagship  manual of our fellowship group, can be ordered online at depressedanon.com at VISIT THE STORE the Depressed Anonymous  Publications Bookstore.

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NOTE: Copyright (c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and daily meditations for members of 12 Step Fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. March 21, pages 58-59.

To Order online, Higher Thoughts for Down Days (either in KINDLE edition or paper book edition) at our Bookstore —VISIT THE STORE–at (Depressed Anonymous Publications at depressedanon.com. Discover other great literature about depression and the 12 Steps.

“I have to put my oars in the water if I want to get to my destination.”

MY AFFIRMATION

“The idea that we have to be responsible  for ourselves and that the ways of the world are neither good nor just is too terrifying for you to contemplate. You cannot tolerate such uncertainty. You do not trust yourself, so how can you take responsibility for yourself?”

CLARIFICATION  OF THOUGHT

I don’t like facing the fact that ultimately I am the one responsible for myself, no one else.It  appears to me that  I have to take care of myself, depend on my Higher Power for direction, and go from there. My Higher Power isn’t going to do it all. I know that I have to do all that I can to restore my life and my feelings. God is the rudder to my boat and I have to put my oars in the water if I am to get moving in the right direction.

I am attempting, day by day, to tolerate the unpredictableness  of my life and gradually learn new ways to cope with uncertainty. While I am depressing myself, I want everything to be perfect and under my control. I know now that I will be happier when I learn how to tolerate a pleasant mood without telling myself that it won’t last.

MEDITATION

We believe that the closer that we come to God, as we understand God, the closer our God draws to us. We believe that whatever we want changed in our life this can be best be accomplished by approaching the God of our Understanding and letting this Power greater  than  ourselves steer us across the stormy sea.

(Your own personal thoughts)

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SOURCE: Copyright (c)  Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of the 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymlus Publications. Louisville. Page 57. March 19.

NOTE:   This book and others can help you find the serenity and hope that you are looking for in your life today. You can order on line here at our website. Click onto VISIT THE STORE.