“I really couldn’t care at one time if I lived or died.”

   Bill has two degrees  behind his name and he still got depressed.

Depressed Anonymous is a spiritual journey, which makes you go back into your past, find the rubbish there, and let it go.  Without the Depressed Anonymous group or a group like it, I don’t think I could function in a world as I know it.  I thank God for the people who have the courage to come to the group. They will grow and learn. There is no easy way out. You don’t change overnight. You have just got to keep working at it. I have been in the trenches with nowhere to go. I find this very common in humans. Change is very tough for us. We would rather bear so much pain before we are willing to change. This black hole is a terrible thing. I wish no one would ever feel it. It is a painful and nasty.

This is my short  story. I was down and I was out. Really I couldn’t care at one time if I lived or died. Now I do. It really didn’t matter.  I met a great woman and decided to get married. I couldn’t have done it without Depressed Anonymous. It’s a wonderful experience. I’m learning how to take care of myself. I met a lot of new friends at Depressed Anonymous. It takes time to change. You got to be willing to take time to change. It might not work for everyone. But without Depressed Anonymous, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

For more of Bill’s story and other personal stories please go to the Personal Stories section in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition pages 110-152.

 

SOURCES:  Copyright(c)   Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, Depressed Anonymous Publications (2011) Louisville KY. pgs. 150-152.

Copyright(c)    I’ll do it when I feel better. Depressed Anonymous Publications (2017) Louisville. KY.

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.)

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.

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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.

…change always involves uncertainty.

 

   Dorothy Rowe wrote:

“Dangers, perhaps even greater dangers, threaten you if you if you leave your prison of depression for the ordinary world. There you might have to change, and change always involves uncertainty. The good thing about being depressed is that you can make every day be the same. You can be sure of what is going to happen. You can ward off all those people and events that expect a response from  you. Your prison life has a regular routine, and like any long term prisoner, you grow accustomed to the jail security and predictability. The prison of depression may not be comfortable, but at least it is safe.”

In Depressed Anonymous we read that:

“We believe that to be conscious is to have been able first of all to listen to someone or something that expresses God’s desire to free us from our misery as soon as we are willing to turn  our minds and our wills over to it. Somewhere along the way, we were convinced that the only safe way to make this life bearable and predictable was to continually sadden ourselves, withdraw into our little shell  (prison) and make sure that our own small world was completely under our control. It was a perfect little world, this world of ours. It was dark, gloomy and painful, but at least we knew what we had. It is this predictableness that makes life inescapably hell for all of us, even though we’d rather have this than the total surprise of living.”

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COMMENT:  One of the things about this life is that it is hard to predict. We call this the  surprise of living. And for us to really get into living we have to face the fact that it is unpredictable. We must give up trying to control other people in our lives.

I have found that the spirit of mutuality which permeates all mutual aid groups, such as our own Depressed Anonymous fellowship, promotes that feeling of security which enables us to live with all sorts of unpredictability. We look forward to living our life,  with whatever comes. “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Step Two of Depressed Anonymous.

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SOURCES: #11.19  in The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Page 84.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 97. Step Eleven.

NOTE: These two books, The Depressed Anonymous Workbook and Depressed  Anonymous,3rd edition, can be purchased together as the HOME STUDY KIT. Please VISIT THE STORE on how to order.

“…you always expect the worst.”

 

AFFIRMATION

I will use a notebook to chart my course, list how ech day goes, so that I can repeat the feelings or thoughts that have allowed me to feel I am becoming responsible for my activities.

“…there is one great advantage  about seeing yourself as helpless and in the power of others. You don’t have to be responsible for yourself.  Other people make all the decisions and when things turn out badly you can blame other people. And things always turn out badly.  You know this. That’s why you always expect the worst.”

 CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Truly, I know this is where the great scrutiny lies, being  responsible for myself.  If all I did was sit around and say poor me, and woe is me, I am not only making life tough on myself but I am also making life miserable for those around me. This is why I, as a writer and therapist, and one who has been depressed, knows that it is only when I get moving, even though I felt like death, that I began to feel better. No one will make me feel better. I will now make myself feel better.  I want to enjoy this world. I am tired of the pain of feeling worthless. I don’t want to blame anyone for my problems because no one is making me live in the problem. I will live in the solution from now on. The solution for me is working my Twelve Step program of recovery.

Blame helps  me to never have to look inside myself and ask myself how much  of my present state of depression is due to the way I have learned to think about myself and my life?  I am not in the blame game and so now I am  willing to face the enemy and start the changing process.

MEDITATION

Faith can move mountains. Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you. I believe this. Personal comment?

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SOURCE:  Copyright(c) Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. (1993, 1999). Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. Thought for February 6th. Pages 28-29.

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A VICTIM IN MY OWN MIND

-A personal story of a Depressed Anonymous member

Depression was something that I grew up with.  I really had no idea that I had it until my senior year in college. It started with my parents divorce  and ended with me totally losing control over everything in  my life. I couldn’t decide what career I wanted, but hated every job I could think of. I couldn’t decide what city or state to live in, so I kept moving, hoping that the next place I lived in would make me happy. Eventually, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to die or live.   I cried at the drop of a hat, but still found enough rage inside to push the people I loved as far away from me as possible.

I knew that I needed help. I have been to counselors on three other times in my life, but nothing seemed to work or last.  This time, I have been in counseling about two months. I was sick and tired of being like this. I wanted a life and I wanted to be happy.  Every week, someone would notice a change in me, but I still felt the same. Then one day while watching TV (thinking thoughts at 100 mph), it occurred to me that I was making myself miserable.

I had always known  that I was hard on myself. I reamed my self every time something bad happened. “Why can’t I find someone to love me? “Why isn’t God looking out after me?” But for some reason, when I realized that I was doing this to myself, it made me realize that maybe all I would have to so is stop doing it! All of a sudden it made sense.

If I tell myself negative thoughts, I feel negative. If I tell myself nothing, I feel nothing.  So if I tell myself positive thoughts, eventually I have to feel positive.

Of course. I ‘m still testing it out, but I feel better and for the first time in 14 years, I have hope.  So I remind myself of something positive every day. and that’s what I’m going to do until I don’t have to remind myself anymore because I’ll know.

I’m slowly finding out that my life is not as horrible as I’ve made it out to be. I used to tell myself that since it happened before, it will happen again–and that simply is not true.  Yes, my past was horrible and it’s no wonder I ended up with depression. I want out of it and the only person to get me out is me. There is no magic wand to transport you to the life you want. Everyone knows what they wish their life could be  — so do it!  Make the changes you have to make, trust in God and always remember that good things come to those who wait. I’ve waited over half my life. I don’t have to be a victim of my past or of my mind anymore. I’m more than ready for the good things!  With love and hope. ”

SOURCE : (Copyright) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd Edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville  Pages 120-121/Personal Stories # 9.