I said to myself, “if I ignore it maybe it(depression)will go away.”

“There was a time when we ignored trouble, hoping it would go away. Or, in fear and in depression, we ran from it, but found it was still with us. Often, full of unreason, bitterness, and blame, we fought back. These mistaken attitudes, powered by alcohol, guaranteed our destruction, unless they were altered.

Then came AA (and DA. OA, NA,  Al-Anon etc). Here we learned that trouble was really a fact of life for everybody – a fact that had to be understood and dealt with. Surprisingly, we found that our troubles could, under God’s grace, be converted into unimagined blessings.

“Indeed, that was the essence of A.A. itself: trouble accepted, trouble squarely faced with calm courage, trouble lessened and often transcended. This was the A.A. story, and we became a part of it.  Such demonstrations became our stock in trade for the next sufferer.”

COMMENT: It was with my own experience with depression that I tried to deny that it was anything that could keep me from a life lived with hope and joy. I thought that if I just ignored it, like Bill W., stated so well above, it would just evaporate like the morning midst. Of course this just didn’t happen.

As I commented on this denial factor which is a big part of all addictions, I also came to believe that,  “well, what I am going through will surely pass. It isn’t so bad, really. I can put up with a little discomfort.”  Sorry. It didn’t work that way. And as I pointed out in   I’ll Do It when I feel Better  I said  ” we also learn that our depression is a defense and predictable and for some, depression is even come to be a comfort and as has been said before, at least one knows what they have with depression. And to change and risk removing this numbness is better not to be undertaken  because it’s better to know what one has than to risk getting something worse. Much like the example cited before of the debate within ourselves to go to the dentist for the toothache or just tough  it out and hope for the best.  We call this denial.” Page 17.

To examine more literature about depression and using the Twelve Steps in your personal recovery , please taker a look  at VISIT THE STORE here at our website.

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SOURCES:

1) As Bill sees it. Page 110.

2)  I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014)  Depressed  Anonymous Publications.                                  Louisville.

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

 

An addiction exists when…

“Peale says that an addiction  exists when someone’s attachment  to a person or a sensation lessens his appreciation to deal with other things in his environment or in himself. The person  becomes increasingly dependent on that attachment as his only source of gratification. ” Source: Looking for love in all the wrong places: Overcoming romantic and sexual addictions. Jed Diamond. G. P.  Putnam’s Sons. NY

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When I was depressed all I could think about was the fact that I felt I was going crazy. I could think of nothing else other than the misery of my pain and the isolation of my self from everything around me. My feelings of depression were truly inescapable and my dependence on the negativity of my life and feelings kept me imprisoned and isolated.  And the one way that dealt a blow  to my circular thinking of doom and gloom was to force myself to get my body moving with the result that my mind gradually and slowly followed suit. It was like I was defrosting the frozen  windshield of my mind so that I could establish a way to see where I needed to go.

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed   Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

I am more than my addiction!

“…Because addicted individuals generally  possess such strong feelings of shame, embarrassment and self-loathing, it is extremely curative when they learn that they can be viewed by others in a positive manner.

…Shame, a more profound feeling all alcoholics and addicts (saddicts)  struggle with implies “I feel bad because of what I am.”  Addiction from this view implies that group therapy must enhance the self understanding and the acceptance that one is worthwhile despite their strong feelings of self loathing and self-hatred.  (The Depressed Anonymous Fellowship Group. ED)   ….before a person can  be healed, they have to know they can heal another. …It is this opportunity to learn that one has the ability to help another in being a healer which supports the use of  group psychotherapy. In  fact, this is the very same principle which AA  (DA) applies within the Twelfth Step of its Twelve Step program for recovery. The alcoholic and the addict (saddict)  maintains their own sobriety by helping another alcoholic get sober.” Source excerpts: Group Psychotherapy with Addicted Populations.  , (1988)  Flores, Phillip J., The Haworth Press. NY

Likewise, the person depressed has a better chance of  overcoming depression when they hear someone else,  with the same situation, feeling better and overcoming their depression.

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications.Louisville.

“Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” Step 5 of Depressed Anonymous

“I haven’t done anything wrong, so why do I have to admit anything? And anyway, what does this have to do with my depression?”

In the Depressed Anonymous Workbook these questions there are provided answers for those who are struggling to free themselves from depression. In fact, the more we work through each of the questions posed in the Workbook, we can also go to the Depressed Anonymous Manual, 3rd edition., and find six pages  (pgs. 59-64) of thoughts from members of the fellowship on Step 5.  We discover that the Depressed Anonymous Manual is written by people like you and me. We have been where you are and we came to believe after admitting that we were powerless over our depression and that life was unmanageable we had to make a decision.

In Step 3 we made a decision –that is what life is all about –namely, making decisions. Our decisions are the product of the meaning that we give to those persons, events and circumstances that fill our lives every day.  We make the decisions based on those meanings that we give to those situations and experiences. We are making a decision to day to share part of our dark side with another human being.

In Alcoholics Anonymous it describes the way to make a good 5th Step:

” We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this Step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye.  We can be alone at perfect peace and ease.  Our fear fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our creator. We may have had certain beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience…”

Telling someone else seems to be the key to our freedom: When we decided who is to hear our story, we waste no time. We have a written inventory and we are prepared for a long talk. We explain to our partner what we are about and why we have to do it.” (This is why it is so important to write down in a  separate notebook the answers to all the questions in the Workbook which now bring us to the point of sharing our answers with a person we can trust, such as a clergy person or our sponsor. ED).

Steps 1 and 5 are the two Steps where the word “admitted” is used.  When we hear the word “wrongs” such as in this Step 5 – we may induce in ourselves a feeling of guilt. This is NOT the intention of Step 5 at all.

To be depressed is not to be wrong. We are not accusing ourselves of being bad. We are only pointing out the ways that I need to act, think and behave as a non-depressed person.”

SOURCES:  The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2001) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 49-50.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 59-64.

ARE YOU GOING IN CIRCLES? THE ADDICT’S CIRCULAR DANCE.

In the work  I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER,  recently published  (2013) by Depressed Anonymous Publications, Chapter Six centers its attention on COMPULSISIONS AND CHOICES; THE ADDICTIVE NATURE OF THE DEPRESSION EXPERIENCE. The following thoughts reflect some of the ideas discussed in  Chapter Six.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

“We all  know that any addictive/compulsive type of behavior gradually removes you from the regular  activities of persons around you, including family, friends and coworkers, until you are established in the narrow confines of pain and isolation. We are always going to be just a little more isolated the more we try to think our addiction through in the circle of our own thoughts.

This is what I have found out about addictive/compulsions is that they are like that of a dog chasing his tail. It’s a circular dance that can never end. The dog can never catch his tail. The addict can never get enough of what they are chasing, be it one substance or the other. The next physical rush  is the next hit, the next drink, the next porno movie/picture.

Once we have admitted that our lives are powerless and unmanageable we begin to get excited about a vision, a vision of the new person that we might become. We also learn that there are other alternative ways and various choices that we can make in our behalf. It is beginning to sink into our minds that we are truly responsive for our choices and personal decisions. Like others in the program of recovery who broke out of the vise grip of their addictions they slowly learned to make decisions that favored sobriety and serenity”. Pgs. 61 – 62.

MY LIFE WAS A SINKHOLE!

MY LIFE WAS A SINKHOLE!

If you know anything about a sinkhole you  know one thing–you know that everything is gobbled up which sits on the sinkhole spot.  I mean, houses, cars, buildings, streets, etc.  And if you throw anything else down the hole it too gets gobbled up.   Just recently, at the Corvette car museum in Bowling Green,  Kentucky, a number of their vintage  cars ended up at the bottom of a sinkhole–ironically,  it  occurred in their showroom.  There was no way anyone was going to drive these vintage cars out of there.

In our Big Book, Depressed Anonymous as quoted in our recent publication  ” I’ll do it when I feel better,” it states that

The overeater, gambler, smoker, sexual addict are all driven by their compulsions. The emptiness of our lives is like a hole  that  continuously  needs to be filled with some compulsive and addictive behavior.  By letting go of our excessive tightfisted hold on our life, which paradoxically it causes us to lose hold; we start to face reality for the first time without the crippling crutch of our compulsion. We let go of our compulsion to repeat –the ritual of addictions.

…Gradually over time, and due to being able to say no to the impulse to smoke, or sad oneself, you feel stronger and so the pained  withdrawal becomes less intense.  The same applies to the addiction of  depression in that at first it’s difficult to stop completely the compulsive repeating of sad thoughts, but with time and working our Twelve Steps, and by our active involvement with DA we have the strength to say no to these sad thoughts and begin to choose hope and serenity.”

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I use the analogy of a sinkhole because it truly expresses what happened when I was depressing myself. I couldn’t stop these incessant flow of thoughts that continued to gobble up my serenity,my peace and/or the desire to do anything positive for myself.  All I could do was to sit in a room, look at the four walls and reflect on how hopeless I felt. As my pain intensified ( like a total body toothache) I found myself getting  more isolated from life: meaning  family, spouse, friends, groups, you name it.

How did I get out of the sinkhole? The first thing I had to admit was that I was IN A SINKHOLE. If this is where you find yourself today, you might want to go back to the Menu of this Website and read all the stuff there that tells about the” what” of Depressed Anonymous. And if you want to begin your own personal home study program for a further clarification of thought, you can get the Depressed Anonymous Manual and the Depressed  Anonymous Workbook.  I believe you’ll be happy you did. You’ll get some answers. It happens to be written by folks like you and me. That’s the good part.

Source: I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER, (2013) Smith, Hugh. Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville, Ky  40217.(p.60).

“WE NEVER APOLOGIZE TO ANYONE FOR DEPENDING UPON OUR CREATOR.”

In an effort to promote a spiritual sixth sense in ourselves as is discussed in Alcoholics Anonymous, we find that what is applicable to one addiction is also applicable to all  addictions. One enlarges their  personal  belief that there is a Force in our universe  which is bigger than ourselves. And as Step Three states in Depressed Anonymous , “We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God to be.”

“As God’s people we stand on our feet; we don’t crawl  before anyone.” AA Big Book (p.83).

”  We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our creator. We can laugh at those who think spirituality the  way of weakness.  Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage.  They trust their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him demonstrate, though us, what He can do.  We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us to be.  At once, we commence  to outgrow fear.”

AA  Big  Book, page 68.

“Joel Goldsmith a spiritual writer contends that the more we gain  this consciousness of God’s presence you have the whole secret of success in every walk of life.” He continues to remind us that  “there is an invisible bond between all of us. We are not on earth to get from one another, but to share those spiritual treasures which are of God.  Our interest in each other is, in truth purely spiritual. Our purpose in life is the unfolding of the spirit within..” (Goldsmith, Joel. The Infinite Way. Pages 145-146).

DEVELOPING THE VITAL SIXTH SENSE

“Much  has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration, and direction from Him who has knowledge and power. If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have became God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. But we must go further and that means more action.”  AA Big Book (p.85).

“…We now believe that we can tap into this God consciousness and let it unfold its plan, its purpose and mission for our life. It will not plan something small and insignificant but will, by small steps, lead us, cause to unfold in our lives what it has for us to accomplish”  I’ll do it when I feel Better. (p.45).

If we stick to the spiritual plan that God gradually reveals to us in the quiet moments of our reflection and meditation we can grab hold of the power of the Twelve Steps –integrating each one of the Steps into our consciousness –and moving out of the dark into the light. To accomplish this saving process of recovery we recommend the HOME STUDY PROGRAM and/or a Depressed Anonymous in one’s own community.

ALL OR NOTHING.

ALL OR NOTHING

“During acute depression, avoid trying to set your whole life in order all at once.  If you take on assignments so heavy that you are sure to fail in them at the moment, then you  are allowing yourself to be tricked by your unconscious. Thus you will continue to make sure of your failure, and when it comes you will have  another alibi for still more retreat into depression.

“in short, the ‘:all or nothing’ attitude is a most destructive one. It is best to begin with whatever the irreducible minimums of activity are. Then work for an enlargement of these –day by day. Don’t be disconcerted by setbacks – just start over.”  Bill W., As Bill Sees it. (p.308)

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I know  about this “all or nothing ” experience. It was really made manifest in my daily study of the Twelve Steps and writing down my thoughts in my journal. Now I use the HOME STUDY PROGRAM, which lets me go at my own speed and examine my own life in relationship to the Steps as spelled out in the Depressed Anonymous Manual and  with questions asked in the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Together,  these really have helped me focus on one piece of the puzzle at a time. When I first entered the Twelve Step fellowship I wanted to devour everything there was to know about addictions in one big gulp.  Gradually I learned that if I took my time, read the literature and continued to use Workbook and Manual one day at a time, that my life began to have that promised serenity and a hope that continues to this day.

“I find the insights of Bill W., to be at the cutting edge of whether or not a person depressed gets better or just simply gets., that is,  gets more isolated and disconnected from life.  Many hurting folks come to  Depressed Anonymous with the mistaken belief that they are coming to a class; while there, someone will teach them about how to quickly get out of their depression. They want a quick fix and then get right back to living the way they used to – never realizing that they have to do some work on themselves if they indeed want to stay free of depression…” DEPRESSED ONCE – NOT TWICE.

I MADE A DECISION-

Back in the last century I made a decision that continues to direct my life today and everyday. That decision was that I needed help. I needed to know how to free myself from an addiction to a substance that was gradually killing me. The only place that I knew that might offer me some help would be a local AA group. Frightfully, but expectantly, I walked through the door of my first 12 step meeting. The power that was greater than me–was the group of men and women who were meeting to talk about a solution–namely, to their addiction to alcohol. I felt at home. Well, not totally at home–but I did find acceptance for me and my particular addiction. They presented me with a toolbox–not material tools–but spiritual tools that I use to keep myself free of my desire and craving for alcohol. We call them the 12 steps.
That was in 1982, December 7th. And then three years later I became depressed and I applied the steps to my depression experience, which likewise was killing me. I got out my tool box and began applying the same tools as I had applied to my other addiction and found I again had a solution to my twisted and distorted thinking. It was only after I admitted that I had a problem, and my life was unmanageable, did I find a way out. My Higher Power leads the way, day after day, month after month and year after year. If you want to learn more about how YOU can make a decision, find the tools and keep your attention focused on the solution oriented 12 steps, then you let us know. We want to share with you our story and how it was before in our life and how it is now.
Looking to find that toolbox? We can help. Don’t give up. Look us up and give us a call.

SPIRITUAL LIBERATION

“The Wright brothers almost childish faith that they could build a machine which would fly was the mainspring of their accomplishment. Without that, nothing could have happened.
We agnostics and atheists were sticking to the idea that self-sufficiency would solve our problems. When others showed us that God-sufficiency worked with them, we began to feel like those who insisted the Wrights would never fly. We were seeing another kind of flight, a spiritual liberation from this world, people who rose above their problems.” Bill W.
Somehow each of us, in our way and in our own time, may come to the fork in the road. We have to decide whether to take the well trod road or take the “road less traveled.” The Wright brothers chose the road less traveled. They believed that they could fly with a machine that looked like a bird. Kittyhawk will always remind us of the childish faith of two brothers who put wings on their dreams. Because of their faith in their dreams, they experienced a spiritual liberation, a spiritual flight if you will. Believing in a Power greater than themselves that places no barrier in the minds and hearts of those who believe, they achieved in their dream that humans can fly.Step Two of Depressed Anonymous tells us that we “came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” In my experience with depression I felt that I was going crazy. My mind was a fog. I couldn’t remember a thing. No retention of words I had just read. No memory power at all. I was always feeling that deadly jitteriness in my gut. Sleeping all the time. Feeling so worthless and lacking any self-confidence. Feelings of guilt and shame. Thinking only of what I didn’t like about myself. Beating myself up for past mistakes. All of these gradually squeezed out any hope of feeling different. I felt that I was in a prison –locked into a solitary isolation.
Then came the “spiritual liberation of “believing in a power greater than myself.” Instead of relying solely on self-sufficiency I relied on God-sufficiency. I joined a group of and women who came to the belief that whatever they tried to give them life (addictions to substance, behaviors) and these didn’t work–they came into the fellowship of the Twelve Steps of recovery. For me, I believed that Depressed Anonymous, a Twelve Step program of recovery might help me. In time and with work, and prayer, I found myself gradually breaking out of my prison–brick by brick. People, like myself in the group which I attended, gave me a new map, a map of hope, based on a promise of spiritual liberation. Because of regular attendance at my meetings I saw the light. Others believed in this Power greater than themselves and so did I. I was no longer alone. I believed! The Wright brothers were right!