I CAN’T MAKE A DECISON!

AFFIRMATION

I make a decision today to read one of the newsletters listed at the Newsletter Archives on this website (www.depressedanon.com.) or the BLOGS from the past week.

“Psychiatrists regard a person’s statement, ‘I can’t make a decision’ as a symptom of an illness, when really it is a reasonable effective defense…if you are trying to shut out all the matters which you find uncontrollable, threatening and confusing, you cannot give those matters the careful scrutiny they need if you are to make a decision about them. They create such turmoil in our mind that you decided that it is best to not decide. You can say ‘I am depressed. I cannot make my decision.’ Spending the day with the blanket over your head is as much a result of a decision as is going out and facing the world.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Most times when I am depressed, I don’t want to think about  changing anything. Everything is hopeless and  useless anyway so why try and  use all that mental  energy to sort it all out. This is the type of thinking that continues the fuzziness and the confusion. It is a refuge from having to do something. about where I am today.

But when  I decide that I’ve had enough, I get my dander up and declare to myself, and really to the world around me, that I am going to play my cards differently. This is a good place to begin working on the Fourth Step, that “I will make a fearless and  moral inventory of myself.”

Meditation

God help us change what needs to be changed today and let us know what it is and what is OK with us as well. Help us sort out the fog and fuzziness of our mind so that your guidance will create in us a desire to help ourselves.”

SOURCES:             Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. February 7th.

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

  I’ll do it when I feel better. (2018) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.

 

The “noise” of my depression decreases…

I accept and believe that however hopeless everything appears right now, I will make a decision to recover from my depression. I am not helpless. I will make a choice to get better.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT.

The “noise” of my depression decreases the more I am able to share my feelings of anxiety, hurt and helplessness with others. I am not going too far to say  that “all my sadness is gone,”  but I am saying it seems to help to talk  about my fears and anxieties. I can do this sharing within a  Depressed Anonymous group, by journaling or talking with my sponsor. I am noticing that my life improves in relationships,  the more that I force myself to get connected with others who are suffering from depression just as I am.

I accept myself now that I feel that I am depressed.  I now have a definite way out of my sadness. I don’t have to be this way all my life, I tell myself. I believe that I can accept  the fact of the way that I feel and that I can choose to feel something other than the misery of my sadness. I am no longer going to run and hide whenever something or someone appears on the horizon of my life that I don’t like. I accept the fact that  I am going to choose to feel better today.     I am going to spiral up instead of down.

Meditation

God, you created us with strengths and a predisposition of sorts that set us up to be a depressed person. We can’t  choose the family we are born into, but we can choose to find out how to get in touch with those persons who seek health,  our  12  Step family of Depressed Anonymous.

Personal comments

Source:   Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. Kentucky .  Page 228.

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

Please VISIT THE BOOKSTORE here for more helpful literature on ways to use the 12 Steps to overcome depression. Orders online are possible.

Drinking Depression

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

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 really say angry, for it was anger at the root of my depression that I was trying to suppress  in medicating myself. 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. When 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 when I took comfort in being drunk because after awhile the numbness became the only way I could feel better because 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 woolly 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 me with my depression. With 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 a heroin addict and the alcoholic were very similar. The depression I experienced also has 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 my brain and myself.

THE SPIRITUAL

When I was drinking I felt alienation and guilt. I felt professing  Christians did not drink  and the more I drank the more guilty I became. I felt that 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 understood 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 for help and march on one day at a time experiencing serenity and a release from my need to  take the 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 and know when I can make it because it is only opening the door to the past can the light of the present get rid of the darkness today and have hope for the future.

It is my hope and prayer that this has helped you, the reader,  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 and that today be your first step towards recovery.

God bless.

—Steve P.  A member of the Louisville Depressed Anonymous Group.

 

Good stress and bad stress

 

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

“There is good stress and bad stress. Good stress challenges us to live each day with enthusiasm and hope as we go  about our daily routine.  Bad stress  is that which causes us to worry, be concerned about  things which we have no control over and generally  causes us to feel tired.  By following our 12 step program  of recovery, we discover that our life can have hope and purpose.

We believe that the God of our understanding makes it possible for us to gradually eradicate our need to worry  and distress ourselves. I am like the addict who continually needs to medicate their feelings of helplessness and hopelessness by saddening  myself when things look bleak and out of control. With the help of my Higher Power, I believe I can begin to feel better as I take the proper means to take care of my physical health.”

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pg. 159. August 8th.

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The following is an example of a member of Depressed Anonymous turning  their bad stress  into good stress:

At first I was frightened by my various symptoms of depression. The symptoms proved to be baffling. I was not able to get out of bed of a morning as well as being unable to concentrate or manage a complex thought.  I began to worry that I was losing my mind and I often asked myself if I was going to survive.  But now my ability to handle situations in a meaningful way is due to my frequent attendance at meetings, and by making a daily time for prayer and meditation and a feeling that my life has purpose and meaning. The more I am physically active, i.e., going to meetings even when I don’t feel like it. Working in my Depressed Anonymous Workbook, reading my 12 step literature.

This is where my freedom begins.  And yes, I do feel lousy at times but I also know that nothing can stand in my way to make choices in my own behalf. Previous to my involvement with the group I had no idea that my depression was not so powerful as to prevent me from even thinking that I could choose to feel differently.”

SOURCE: I’ll do it when I feel better. (2016) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 50-51.

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As my mind began to heal…nothing will stand in my way to make choices.

“As my mind began to heal and my thoughts became more lucid it became apparent that something inside of me is changing. Depression, when you begin  to examine the various symptoms up close, and deal with them, the experience becomes less threatening. Some say that depression is a collection of behaviors that are brought into play to defend us against things that are too painful to face. Also, depression results when a love object is lost through death or that one feels abandoned. We have become so at one with our lost love, that we mourn the death of part of us. The love object and ourselves has become one. I believe we use the word co-dependent   today.

At first I was frightened by my various symptoms of depression.  The symptoms proved to be baffling. I was not able to get out of bed as well as being unable to concentrate or manage a complex thought. I began to worry that I was losing my mind and I often asked myself if I was going to survive.   But now my ability to handle situations  in a meaningful way is due to my frequent attendance  at meetings, and by making a daily time for prayer and meditation and a feeling that my life has purpose and meaning. The more I am physically  active, that is.,  going to meetings even when I don’t feel like it. Working in my Depressed Anonymous Workbook, reading my 12 step literature. This behavior is where my freedom begins. And yes, I do feel lousy a times but I also know that nothing can stand in my way to make choices in my own behalf. Previous to my involvement with the group I had no idea that my depression was not so powerful as to  prevent  me from  even thinking that I could choose to feel differently. ”

SOURCE: (Copyright)  I’ll do it when  I feel better. (2016) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.  #11 PROMISE:  Intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. Pages 50-51.

SURVIVAL IS TO MEET LIFE’S PROBLEMS HEAD ON!

AFFIRMATION

I am going to take a fearless and moral inventory of myself today and list on paper my strengths as well as my weaknesses, that is those characteristics in my life that might keep me fearful and depressed,

“Step Four and Five really have to be faced head-on if our depression is to go away. Steps Four and Five are all about cleaning house. We must square off with ourselves and begin the rooting out process that will in time, free us from our sadness and our identity as a depressed person. So often a person depressed is afraid, panic stricken really, in facing some issues that were never their fault in the first place.”

REFLECTION

I see so many people are liberated from their depression the moment they begin to look themselves in the eye and reflect on  their character defects. These persons are the ones who are not afraid to make a list of all the persons they have hurt by their isolating depression and by the thought that they are unacceptable to others and to themselves. By working Step Five which states  that “we admitted to God, ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” I am assured by another person’s acceptance of me that I will get through this time of pain and hurt.

Bill W., the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous had a spiritual awakening on night as he truly was at the lowest point in his life and begged God to help him. God’s love lit up the room for Bill and he was never the same after that. He was a changed man. I need to make restitution to my family, my friends, my spouse and to whomever for my withdrawing from life and hiding from my responsibilities. This is the work that is needed if I am to get free of the shackles of sadness.

MEDITATION

God, shine the light of your wisdom into our hearts so that you might help us find the way out of our depression and get on with living our  lives the way you would have us live them.  Our fears and anxieties are definitely not the way you would want us to live. You have shown us the way out of our misery by bringing us close to those who once were depressed, but now in recovery, are doing better.”

SOURCES: Copyright (c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for all members of 12 Step fellowships. Depressed Anonymous  Publications. Louisville. Page 224/ November 10th.

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

Taking pleasure in simple things

AFFIRMATION

 

I am going to make an effort today to take pleasure in  some simple  things as I did when I was a child.

“We need to get in touch with these feelings from our childhood days and try to remember when we made ourselves sad and what situation today makes us feel sad. There  sometimes is a connection between the two.  We know this return  to early childhood feelings is one of the best ways to get a beginning  in our self-healing.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I can never forget  how in the third grade I was unable to satisfactorily answer the teacher’s question to me and she immediately told me how I would never by like my brother. I had felt the blood flush to my face as I was humiliated  for not knowing the  right answer. I can still see myself standing in front of the class and feeling like I wanted to die.

The best thing that I can do to overcome the times when I want to run and hide in myself and withdraw from others , is precisely the time that I should be with someone.  I am going to promise myself when these feelings come, I will think of those different persons that I know in my recovery program and call them. When I do this the feelings gradually disappear.

I want to feel better today. In order to do so, I am going to choose to work the Steps  of my program and enjoy the fellowship whenever I am able. Whenever I go to my   Depressed Anonymous meetings, I always come out feeling better.

MEDITATION

I thank God today for all those persons in my life who support me and accept me just as I am today.

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SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step  recovery groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville

Living in the security of my hope

I am choosing to live in the security of my hope rather than in the fear of life’s possible pain.

“…Haven’t our sadness and thoughts of unworthiness been our last refuge from having to face ourselves, take charge and accept responsibility for our own lives? For many, just knowing that that they might have a choice and be able to choose to feel differently can be a startling revelation.  I can choose to be happy or I can choose to stay feeling miserable.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Life is one that provides me with many areas of choice. I can choose to live with the uncertainty of hope or I can stay mired in the despair of having to always have everything predictable. The latter is the hell of my depression.

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

” For the first time in 14 years I have hope…”

”  I had always known that  I was hard on myself. I reamed myself every time something bad happened. “Why can’t I find someone to love me?” “Why isn’t God looking after me?”   But for some reason, when I realized that I was doing this to myself, it made me realize that maybe all that I  would have to do is to 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’ll 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, It’s not that hard to find something positive about myself or my life now. So I remind  myself of something positive every day and that’s what I am going to do until I don’t have to remind myself anymore because I’ll know.”

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To read more by this member of Depressed Anonymous see #9, A VICTIM IN MY OWN MIND in the Personal Stories contained in Depressed Anonymous, pages 120-121.

Also, it’s good to remember as pointed out in the 1st Statement of Belief in Believing is Seeing,  that “I accept and believe that however  hopeless everything appears right now, I will make a decision to recover from depression.  I am not helpless.  I will make a choice  to get better.”

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

 (c)Believing is seeing: 15  ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications.

Louisville.

Information for additional literature on Depression and the 12 Steps of recovery is available at   VISIT THE STORE. (See Menu)

I am choosing to live in the security of my hope rather than in the fear of life’s possible pain.

“…Haven’t our sadness and thoughts of unworthiness been our last refuge from having to face ourselves, take charge and accept responsibility for our own lives? For many, just knowing that they might have a choice and be able to choose to feel differently can be a startling revelation. I can choose to be happy or I can choose to stay feeling miserable.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Life is one that provides me with many areas of choice. I can choose to live with the uncertainty of  hope or I can stay mired in the despair of having to always have everything predictable.  The latter is the hell of my depression.

MEDITATION

We choose to place our trust in you, our God, and to believe that all we can ever have is to be provided with your love and protection in our daily struggles to free ourselves from this continued depression.

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