Cleaning house: Steps 4 & 5.

AFFIRMATION

I know that I can be forgiven.

“Our moral inventory had persuaded us that all around forgiveness was desirable, but it  was only when we resolutely tackled Step Five that we inwardly knew we’d be able to receive  forgiveness and give it, too.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

In Step 5 we really get serious about our life and our thirst for freedom.  It is especially evident when we work this step that a new spirit of freedom penetrates the very fiber of our being. I know that it is when I look myself in the face, list and spell out each and every fault/defect that keeps me locked into my prison of depression. I can say with all truth and humility that I am more free now than I have  ever felt in my life because of my working the Fourth and Fifth Steps.  I am learning that what it takes to be set free from our painful past is the total honesty in speaking about it.

I gain forgiveness by giving it. When I release my anger or revenge toward another human being I am then free.

MEDITATION

God, please release in us our need to hang onto our guilt and anger. Cast your light on our pain and let us find peace. (Personal comments).

SOURCE:  (c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship  groups. (1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. pg 129.

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

(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2009) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

To order ONLINE please VISIT THE STORE at this site.

Life can be good for a change. I am not alone.

 

The following account is taken from the personal stories section of Depressed Anonymous.

“It seemed  that I was living in another world until one of my parents gave me a phone number of Depressed Anonymous. The Depressed Anonymous meetings, plus reading the Depressed Anonymous manual  have  provided me with the tools to live without being depressed. Most important of all, the Twelve Steps mentioned in the book have made me understand that God (my Higher Power)  will give me strength to deal with my depression and get on with my life and be happy with myself.

The book with its Twelve Steps,  has taught me that I am not alone. And that I am not the only one who is suffering from depression. It has brought me to believe more in my Higher Power and to let it handle my depression.

I read the Depressed Anonymous manual, go the counseling, and attend the Depressed Anonymous meetings. The meetings are a must, I need them to survive. The support group’s meetings help  each other by listening, talking, expressing their feelings, and give support  on how to cope with depression. By letting my Higher Power help  me, I am beginning to feel free from  depression. I am not so nervous and tensed up. My Christian inner faith is getting stronger. I am not so stressed out and I am beginning to get confidence in myself. I still have trouble with  my sleep pattern and I am getting some motivation back. I have learned how to handle anxiety by taking deep breaths when I am nervous or troubled. This was  suggested by my therapist. I am also learning how to stand up for myself.

All these new tools have helped me  and will continue to do so. They also taught me not to dwell on my past, to live one day at a time, and to look toward to the future, but not live there.  It will take me a long time to deal with depression, but I am glad that these tools are available. Life can be good for a change. Please don’t give up.”

++++++++++++++++Anonymous member of Depressed Anonymous Fellowship.

SOURCE:  (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages. 148-149.

I refuse to run from what I feel.

AFFIRMATION

I will be in touch with my feelings throughout the day. I refuse to run from what I feel.

“The ability to experience one’s  feelings without resisting or running from them, determines  to a large degree whether a person is healthy are not.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I’m going to make a real effort today to do what I  see works for depressed persons like myself. They all say that the longer they are in the program (Depressed Anonymous) , the more feelings they are able to express and the  less the unpleasant feelings of fear dominates their life. I am finding that by  writing my feelings down, the less frightening they seem to be to me. I am now able to deal head on with my feelings.

My addiction was a way of walling off my pain. In time, I became addicted  to the pain and in doing so, I lost myself in the process. I find this experience to be a freeing  one.

My addiction was a way of walling off pain.  Now the pain is more important than what I am running away from.

What I experience in my life determines to a large extent what I predict life to become. My past experiences are predictors of a life not as yet lived. I am wanting to experience the fact that my good days are more frequent now and my bad days occurring not as often.

MEDITATION

God, the more I give up my need to be depressed the more I’m finding that I’m becoming more assertive and truly present to others in my life. I want you to help me feel my feelings and express them today. [ADD YOUR OWN PERSONAL THOUGHTS HERE]

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SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowships. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Personal empowerment step by step

It is with a personal sense of awe that I see the empowerment  that comes to those persons working the 12 Step program of Depressed Anonymous. The empowerment comes to those who  are conscious of the various ways they will have to change if their lives are to grow and  change.  This is of course not without its risks.

One of the major obstacles that we have to face when we are depressed is to be willing to change the way that we think about ourselves, our world, and our future. We have to dwell on and experience our pleasant as well as the unpleasant feelings in the present. We have to be willing to  face the discomfort of living life with a sense of unpredictability. This is not an easy task.  It is a task that can be achieved with time, patience and work.

Empowerment comes from being informed and making choices that help us change our lives for the better. When I come to a Depresseed Anonymous meeting I am making the first major step –namely, admitting  by my presence at the group meeting that my life is out of control. My compulsion to depress myself is  at the root of my inability to take the challenge of living life with  risk, hope and  enthusiasm. But how can I say that I want to depress myself?   We are NOT BLAMING ourselves but are taking resposnsibility  for our own feelings, behavior and thinking. Now that I am conscious of some negative patterns of my own thinking and behavior,  I can get on  with learning new strategies for my own healing. With the heartfelt prayer of a monk, I now understand that it is by sharing the story of my life –and with the conviction that someone is there to listen to me, that this can in  time  deliver me out of my prison of fear and sadness.

I can be empowered by taking the bull by the horn and choosing each new day, one day at a time, where I can  start   feeling  different.  I now have the support of the group –support from people who have walked where I am walking.

I am investing in myself. I am  making my recovery my highest priority.  I may have been on all the antidepressant medications and  I may have seen all the best counselors and psychiatrists and doctors, but now I am coming to a group of depressed persons, men and women–people who will understand me, not judge me,  but will support me. I investing in myself and my future. What will I find there? I will find some of the most caring people on  the face of the earth. Some of the group members will have been coming for months, and week after week,  know that they are gradually feeling different and having more good days than bad.  And it’s getting better for them.  The more meetings they attend the better they feel and the more support they receive from the fellowship.  They are feeling empowered. It’s the miracle of the group. Instead of living with a compulsion to repeat old negative and life negating thinking, we now have a compulsion to live with hope. We  now  have  a desire for a brand new way of thinking. We want to change the way we live — not just the way that we talk to ourselves.

We  are seeking out a new way to live.

I now feel that I am getting better in learning how NOT to repeat my old way of thinking and bashing myself mentally with bad feelings. I am learning how dangerous it is for me to isolate and separate myself from others.    I now know that healing all takes time and with work and patience I will get better.  For most of us, it has taken a few years to get here (depressed) so why not take  time today — focusing  one day at a timeempowering ourselves, and finding the hope and serenity that others like me are living out today in   own lives. Will you join us?

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

Copyright(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

THE  HOME STUDY KIT, A COMBINATION OF BOTH DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, PLUS THE DEPRESSED ANONMYMOUS WORKBOOK CAN BE PURCHASED TOGETHER. PLEASE CLICK ONTO VISIT THE STORE AND ORDER ONLINE.

Pray, but keep your oars in the water.

I love this Russian saying. How true it is that if we keep rowing,  keep  praying and believing that God can and will provide his peace for us, we will in time discover that this is not just wishful thinking but reality. The more we take care of ourselves, admit that we need help,  ask this power greater than ourselves to lead us out of our darkness,  the God of our understanding will take us where we want to go.” Move the body and the mind will follow ” is especially true when it comes to our self enforced isolation. To get well we have to move, we have to put our oars in the water and row if we ever want to reach the shores of peace and serenity.

We believe that we already have the map laid out for us in the 12 spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous that can  take us  to  a land of hope and fellowship. And if we feel we have run aground on the shores of ruin and desolation we now know we can go where others just like us have gone and find a new life.

“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves  could restore us to sanity.”

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

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Depressed Anonymous. Pollyanna or the real deal ?

Is Depressed Anonymous the real deal or is it just too good to be true. Are we much like the novel character Pollyanna, over optimistic about everything or are we the realists who take life on lives terms and then deal with it the best way that we can. For all of us who are program people we know the answer to that question.

The best way to deal with any problem or life situation  is to face it squarely and deal with it.  Feelings and all have to be felt, looked at and then dealt with. Take it from me and the  many others who come into our program depressed and who discover that we are not the” pie in the sky “people,  the people with the magic potions or the magic wand wafted over  our heads. But, we are the solution focused folks who will help you build a program that will last a lifetime, giving hope, with a fellowship of hopeful people with whom one can always be in contact with.

One of the areas of life that the depressed has not much experience with is to be like  little  Pollyanna of Porter’s  novels.  Most times the gloom that settles in our minds and heart are those feelings of despair and darkness which we are unable to shake off. It’s that feeling of hopelessness, the feeling of being completely helpless as we gradually make our whole existence one of inner pain  and anxiousness. We can’t sleep–or we sleep too much. We eat too little or we overeat.   Our life is lived out in what feels like a prison cell. It’s a prison without bars, granted, but we cannot  leave it just because we will to.  Will power is initially useless. I know, I tried that route. The Depressed Anonymous fellowship is one of the means which provide  us with a key–a way to leave this prison of isolation.

And then here comes this group called Depressed Anonymous.  Why go to a  group of people who are depressed and listen to stories  about their sense of futility and oppression? That would be depressing! That is, unless they are using in their lives the 12 spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous. This is the  blueprint which build one step at a time the rest of the structure  that, like the Alcoholic, overeater, all build a structure that can  last a life time. Once they are onboard and begin using Steps for their own personal recovery to build a new life of hope, no adversity can force them to go back to their old and addictive behaviors.

The depression experience is what brings them into our fellowship and it is here that hope is gradually restored. But please, we don ‘t have the easy answers or  magic pills, or the magic wand to make our pain go away.  What we do is provide a plan, a blueprint if you will, a daily dose of hope with a lively  fellowship, sponsors and literature.

There is no sugar coating here. No whitewashing the pain of an individual depression experience. But just like the alcoholic who makes a commitment to keep from alcohol one day at a time, we too have the same program. We come in and decide that yes, I have a problem,  and yes  I will do all in my power,  plus with the ever present  God of my understanding,  change what needs to be changed in my life, one  day at a time.  This is the real deal. And so won’t you join us in this program of recovery and make the effort to discover how you too can live a life of hope and happiness.

Hugh

 

 

Depressed Anonymous meetings are normally positive and the focus is upbeat!

WHAT IS DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS?

Depressed Anonymous is modeled after the 12 Steps (principles) of Alcoholics Anonymous and was  founded in Evansville, Indiana in May of 1985. It uses a group approach where members mutually support each other.

In Depressed Anonymous the depressed person admits that he/she is powerless over his or her depression. The depressed person admits that the various areas of his/her lifer are controlled by depression, and that he /she needs help from one’s inner resources, combined with a faith in a Higher Power to help work through one’s time of hopelessness and helplessness.

At Depressed Anonymous meetings, we do not pry into people’s personal lives. We also do not give advice at meetings but instead tell our story and how the 12 steps are releasing us from the tight grip of depression. Meetings are normally upbeat and the focus is positive! Each of  us set  small concrete  and positive goals for ourselves and begin to learn how to gain some mastery over our lives and feelings. Each of us has time at meetings to share our experiences with other member so f the group. As a new member you are ready to make a commitment to quit sadding  oneself, and that’s when results begin to happen.

This 12 Step recovery program can be a great healer  of personal wounds and provides the depressed with a new start in lifeIt also provides hope for people like yourself who have been where you are. Hope now resides where once there was only darkness and despair!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SOURCE: (C)  I’ll do it when I feel better.(2013). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Pages 22-23.  Chapter Three: What  is Depressed Anonymous.

Please VISIT THE STORE and  discover the many exciting chapters, which will outline hope for the depressed and how the group can provide essential tools for unlocking the prison of one’s own depression.

“DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING.”

I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force –the loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me — restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those to whom are ready to risk leaving behind the prison of their depression. By my own interest in getting in touch with the Higher Power and getting its direction to “do the next right thing”  I find that my own life is gradually becoming more filled with purpose and energy.”

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) THE PROMISES  OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS: Planting a seedbed of hope. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky. P.15.

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I like the statement to “do the next right thing.” For me that was a motivator for the times that I wanted to just give up. These were the powers that continued to give me the nudge to keep on doing all those things that could help in my recovery from depression. What, for me was “the next right thing?” For one, it was to continue working the 12 steps in my own life–one step after another. I also found another person to walk with me in my journey of recovery. I also read everything that I could find on my addictions. No “rock was left unturned”  that could help me accomplish doing what I knew would keep me on my feet and  moving forward with hope. I attended faithfully my 12 step group, read most if not all of their literature and continued to follow the promptings of my God. I heard other members of the group telling how they knew the Promises were working in their lives, sometimes quickly and with most,  over time. But they worked.  Life began to be better for us as we moved from one step to the next. We discovered that we had less concern about ourselves and gained interest in others. We want to scream it from the housetops –don’t give up!  We too felt hopeless and that our lives were unmanageable. Looking back we saw that a change had taken place  once we had established a daily plan for our serenity. We followed the direction of our Higher Power as we continued to “:do the next right thing.”  The next right thing for me today is to tell you — there is hope for you too.  That’s a PROMISE!

Hugh