If there is one thing that you crave when you are depressed it is certainty.

AFFIRMATION

I am willing to live in the imperfect moment and focus on the now, not yesterday’s now or tomorrow’s now.

“So it is if we are to make changes in our lives we must be courageous.  Such courage can be found relatively easily in two kinds of situations. When we are certain that the new situation in which we shall find ourselves will bring us every advantage and happiness; when we are certain that the situation we are leaving is totally and absolutely bad.

Thus if the new situation promises perfection, or if the old situation is totally imperfect, we have certainty, and if there is one thing you crave when you are depressed, it is certainty. ” Dorothy Rowe.  Breaking the Bonds.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

My thinking always had been very black and white when I was depressing myself. I know that if I want to continue to live in uncertainty, in time, my depression will also be left behind me in the darkness of yesterday, as I live in the light of today.

The only certainty that I have today is that I want to free myself from the attachment that I have to sadness.  I must be willing to risk giving up the certainty that my life will always remain the same. I know that it is only by living with some uncertainty, that my life can be lived with any hope.

MEDITATION

Today, we pray for the courage to remove as much fear from our lives as possible. We pray that God will let us live with the conviction that our  lives can be one without fear of people, places, or situations. We believe that once we begin to live without the every present need for certainty in our lives that our fears can be diminished.

(Personal comments: See  March 12, 2015 in the Archives of the Blogs.)

SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and  meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed  Anonymous  Publications. Louisville. KY.  September 1.

 

Attitude is everything

 

I saw Jerry six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”

I declined to see his wounds, but  did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then as  I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”

“Weren’t  you scared? Did you lose consciousness? ” I asked.

Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great! They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes I read, ‘He’s a dead man.’ “I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctor and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breathe and yelled, ‘bullets!’ Over their laughter, ‘I told them I am  choosing to live.’ Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude , after all, is everything.

Personal note:

You have two choices now:

  1. Delete this from your mail box (brain).

2.  Choose to live

+Hope you will choose choice #2.

(This item has been picked up from the internet and forwarded around the system many, many, many times.)

Drinking Depression: One man’s story of recovery from alcoholism and depression.

 

DRINKING DEPRESSION:  One man’s story of recovery from alcoholism and depression and the parallels between the two. 

By Steve P.

“I have had experiences with alcohol abuse since childhood. I have also struggled since childhood with depression. I quickly learned to rely on both.

I call  this paper “drinking depression” because that’s exactly what I did when I no longer had the alcohol. The following thoughts will express my feelings and the parallels that I have seen between these two addictions.

RELIANCE

There was always an excuse to drink, mostly I was upset with something –I should say angry, for it was anger at the root of my depression that I was trying to suppress in medicating myself with alcohol. Later, I learned to do the same thing with my depression except to be in a depressive state high.  I didn’t even have to leave the house and after awhile I didn’t want to break the cycle of reliance that dependency had begun. Where I was absorbing alcohol into my blood stream  I was now   injecting the depression into my soul and absorbing it like a sponge

FAMILIARITY AND COMFORT

As a recovering alcoholic, I can look back on my drinking and see where I took comfort in being drunk because   eventually   the numbness became the only way I could feel better.  When I was drunk I could retreat into myself and not have to deal with everyday life.

The same escape tool was used in the form of depression. I could ball up like a wooly worm and the outside world was not going to hurt me. However, the more I wallowed in the darkness of my depression the deeper I got stuck  in the mud of despair and hopelessness.

DESPERATION

In order to deal with alcoholism and depression I had to hit rock bottom. I had reached a point in both that I had to call out for help or drown in my addiction.  I called on my Higher Power to help  deliver me from alcohol and he led me to a counselor  to  also help me with my depression. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit I am harnessing my talents now and I am seeing incredible results. My recovery has not been overnight but it is a day by day and step by step recovery process.

THE PHYSICAL

After some time had passed,  the drinking affects the physical body breaking it down. Once I saw a film in which the brain of an alcoholic was compared to the brain of a heroin addict and they were very similar. The depression I  experienced also had physical implications. For over twenty years the way my body would respond from too much emotional stress was to pass out. Instead of blacking out from alcohol I was using depression to numb myself and my brain.

THE SPIRITUAL

When I was drinking I felt alienation and guilt. I felt professing Christians did not drink. The more I drank the more guilty I became. I felt  much more distant from God the more I drank and spiraled further down into a cycle of despair.

In my depression,  I felt God had no time for  me and that I was unworthy of his love. Again,  it was a carousal filled with guilt and anger going round and round so that I couldn’t get off the merry-go-round.

SELF-ESTEEM

When I was drinking,  I was sure that no one cared or could understand what I was going through, so I had many pity parties and I was the guest of honor. Why should I care if no one else cared? This was my way of thinking.

From painful experiences in my childhood I felt  I was of no worth and just taking up space. It has taken therapy and the support of family and friends to finally look in the mirror and begin to like what I saw.

HOPE

I have been sober over two years although I often have the desire to drink I daily call  on my Higher Power to help me and march on one day at a time experiencing serenity and a release from my need to take that first drink.

I have been in therapy for almost a year off and on, although in order to recover one has to stay with it. I have to take my emotional and spiritual healing, like my drinking —one day at a time knowing   I can make it.  It is only by opening the door of the past that   the light of the present can get rid of the darkness  today,  providing  hope for the future.

It is my hope and prayer that this has helped you,  in some small way.  It has helped me by writing about my experiences. May God put walls of protection around you so that the way ahead for you may be crystal clear so that today may be your first step towards recovery.”

God bless.

Steve P.

+This article first appeared in THE ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET, Spring 1994.

 

 

Looking fear in the face!

AFFIRMATION

I am no longer alone in my suffering depression. I believe that by getting more active in my recovery that my life will begin to brighten up.

“We of AA and Depressed Anonymous find that our basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening.” Bill W.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I know after becoming actively involved with the 12 step program, that one of the best ways to overcome the handicap  of depression is to start by working on my faith – a faith that I will and can get better. I know that it is mainly staring my sadness in the face that I will be clear of it. I also know that my depression which has been part of my life for so long can be dismantled if I so choose. Surprised? So often  I hear others stories say that they have been depressed all their lives–until- let me repeat – until they hear others stories as to how with work, time and belief in a power greater than themselves that they did and are feeling better now. I need to trust that once I have made my conscious decision to turn my life and will over to the care of God as I understand him, that my life will indeed begin to change.

We know that fear is truly a poison in some ways and in others it is a gift. We need to fear only that which will keep us locked in the prison of depression. Sometimes our fears are of what tomorrow might bring or it might be the fears of the past. One of the better antidotes to fear is trying to live, just for today, Today is all I have.,

MEDITATION

God, we believe that there is no greater power than you . We have already admitted that our depression has made us feel hopeless. Now we are ready to let you get to work on our lives,  take over and lead us where we know we will be   in a safe healing place.”

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous  Publications. Louisville. Pages 95-96.

I am certain that our life doesn’t always have to remain the same.

I am willing to live in the uncertain moment and focus on the now, not yesterday’s  now or tomorrow’s now.

“So  if we are to make changes in our lives we must be courageous. Such courage can be found relatively easily in two kinds of situations. When we are certain that the new situation in which we shall find ourselves will bring us every advantage and happiness.

  1. When we are certain that the situation we are leaving is totally and absolutely  bad.

2. Thus, if the new situation promises perfection, or if the old situation is totally imperfect, we have  certainty, and, if there is one thing you crave when you are depressed, it is certainty.”

Copyright(c) Breaking the Bonds –Dorothy Rowe

“The only certainty that I have today is that if I want to free myself from  the attachment that I have to sadness, I must be willing to risk giving up the certainty that my life will always remain the same. I know that it is only by living with some uncertainty, that my life can be lived with any hope.”    Copyright (c)  Higher Thoughts for Down Days.

My own experience with depression plus the  fear that my depression pain would always be with me, had me totally imprisoned.  In  fact, it was this fear which got me motivated to change – to do anything that could  release me from its deadly clutches. I didn’t have a clue  why I wanted to sleep all the time, sudden loss of memory, unable to concentrate, thinking hopeless thoughts, always wanting to sleep and a rapid weight loss. I felt that I had fallen into some deep and dark pit.

I was no longer my “happy go lucky self.” Always positive and upbeat.  Always feeling confident. And then, the fog began to settle in on my life. My mind was like it was made out of cotton. Also, like many people who suffer the same as myself, the symptoms are all pretty much the same, and with different intensities.  And for some, the painful and hopeless feelings of depression can be a real life threatening situation.  That is why I write this BLOG, to give others hope that they too don’t have to go it alone. We, the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous are here to help. You are not alone!

In time, all I wanted to do after a days work, was to come home and go to bed. I was beginning to feel more and more isolated as my world  became uninteresting and without appeal. All the pleasant things and activities which in the past had energized me,  had all  lost their power to lift my spirits. I felt paralyzed. And worthless.

In a short period  of time, I grew frightened as to what my life was becoming as I grew more and more isolated. Since I didn’t know what I had I didn’t really know what to do.

I got motivated. I walked everyday. Five miles. Every day. No change came right away. Then those insidious thoughts such as “you are losing your mind, ” or “you’re going crazy. You have a brain cancer which is making you feel sad, hopeless and helpless.”

After many months, and many miles, I felt that the mental fog and physical  pain was gradually disappearing until one day I realized that I began to feel like my old self , with hope and the old familiar upbeat feeling that I had always lived with. My first thought when this happened, the fog lifting, I told myself “this won’t last.” And I was right. It didn’t. But I kept on walking and the fog completely disappeared over time. I was free once again. It was like a night and day experience all bundled up together in my brain. Finally, with work,  time and talking to the  fellowship members of Depressed Anonymous, I found the necessary tools to keep me from relapsing.  And now, others are learning how they too can follow our path and get the relief and the answers they need to work their way out of depression.

—————————————————-

You can read more of my own thoughts about how to leave the prison of one’s own depression in DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, 3rd edition. (2011)Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

The price of recovery

Many times in my past I would ask myself if I could possibly live without my addiction? I always said “yes”, I could–but not just yet. How often I repeated that phrase to myself over the years. Or I’d tell myself “I’ll do it when I feel better.” That was another favorite mantra of mine. Have you ever said those same words to yourself? It’s like if I just keep pushing it off maybe the problem will go away. But, we know that is not how it works. If you are presently reading this and in recovery you know how this recovery really works.

For me, it was told to me that really what recovery is all about is to accept the pain of withdrawal  for the short term or to choose to continually  abuse yourself for the long term. When I have a toothache I can see a dentist and have the tooth and the associated pain   neutralized or I can continue with the pain till it is unbearable and then I  must do something radical and drastic–like pulling the tooth.

I began this whole painful process of recovery with an admission. I admitted that my life was unmanageable and that my life was out of control. That was the first step. And then having admitted that, I  listened to other members of a 12 Step fellowship group and I learned how the  program worked for them.  In fact it worked so well that many of them have not fallen back into any of their old past addictive behaviors. But as you and I know, there is a price to be paid for this new way of living. We first had to admit that we had a problem. We needed help.  And we needed it now. We had hit bottom. We then came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to a life of sanity. Making a decision to turn my life over to a Power greater than myself really got the ball rolling. I now knew that there is a God, of my understanding–and  I wasn’t God. When drinking and drugging we had the feeling that we  could do anything–that we were immortal and God’s gift to humankind.

This is where we had to face all this garbage that was ours and we had carried around for years–we needed to take an inventory of where we had screwed up. This is   painful to have to look in the mirror and see that person who made our life so miserable. No blaming anyone else. As Pogo, the comic character tells us, “we looked for the enemy and it was us.” You don’t have to look very far do you?  We might also look in the mirror and ask, “mirror , mirror who is the craziest of us all?” I think you get it. Without a doubt it is necessary if we want to stand tall and face life past and present with hope. and a sense of peace. There is pain, lots of it –but let me tell you, there is a great sense of relief that we no longer have to live in the shadow of life but now live in the light and the good humor of freedom.   The shackles of bondage are thrown off. I am a person who is free now and able to tell my own story at a fellowship meeting  just like when I walked through the 12 Step fellowship doors and found what I really was looking for: freedom from the pain of my depression and addictions. Look for a freedom group in your area.

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

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

NOTE: These two books comprise The Home Study Kit. See VISIT THE STORE.

 

 

Choice, not chance, determines destiny

“We must never be blinded by the futile philosophy that we are just the hapless victims of our inheritance, of our life experiences, and of our surroundings  — that these are the sole forces that make our decisions for us. This is not the road to freedom. We have to believe that we can freely choose.”  Source: As Bill sees it.

If we leave to chance what happens to us, we soon discover we are like the ship without a rudder. We  can continue to go in circles and get caught up in the deadly  downward spiral of helplessness or we can make a decision to choose, finding  a way out of our despair.  We discover that we can choose–we can admit that what we have been doing is not working. The staying in bed with the sheets pulled up over our head; the continued beating up of ourselves with the “what if’s, the “I should have done this or that,” and all the other negative self-talk that has me immobilized.

When I made the decision, when I chose to do something about my desperation, I found a group of people just like myself. We all chose that group because we had lost all hope. The group gave me hope. I too could get better. And we had to face the fact that if we didn’t deal with our depression now and make  the choice to feel differently, we would continue to go down that slippery slope that would lead us to who knows where.

Today, take a look at the Twelve Steps (see site menu) , go down the list, one step after another and see how this climbing out of the pit of despair works. And then, if you have a copy of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, you can read the real life stories of persons like you and me who made a choice to live — made the choice to use the same program of recovery that has freed a world of  people from their prisons of depression. Don’t take a chance–make a choice –save your life. Choose freedom!