Higher Thoughts for Down days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for 12 Step Fellowship Groups.

May 15

  AFFIRMATION

I will forgive myself for my past faults, mistakes and live just for today and try not to be afraid.

“Even without using not forgiving as a way of controlling people, taking other people’s thoughtless slights and bad temper personally and vowing never to forgive them soon leads to loneliness….If you see forgiving as something you ought not do, then when you do something wrong, you must not forgive yourself.” (7)

CLARIFICATION IOF THOUGHT

Today, I am becoming more aware of how I cannot control life because life is so broad and expansive.  The area that I do control is quite small when compared to all areas of my life. To live means to let life happen and life is spontaneous. The more we try to control our relationships, our friends and what happens  to us we short circuit any serendipitous intervention into our life today by our Higher Power.

The best place for me to experience  life and the stories of others like myself is at Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings, Al-Anon meetings, Dep-Anon Family  Group  meetings, Depressed Anonymous meetings and the many other Twelve Step program meetings.

One of those absolute truths that live in every cell of our bodies when  we are depressed is that I can never forgive myself – nor anyone else for that matter. It is this absolute truth that we hold about ourselves that continually imprisons us in our depression.

MEDITATION

Just for today, we are going to really attempt to forgive ourselves for what happened to us yesterday and act as if today, the first day and only day of our lives, that I will be a new me. We are beginning life all over today. God, let your peace fill us now, and forever.”

Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky  Page 99.

SNAP OUT OF IT!

How often have you ever found yourself saying this, SNAP OUT OF IT!  to your loved one who is depressed?  Doesn’t work. Do you know why?

It doesn’t work because of the many symptoms that make up the painful experience of depression. Fatigue is a big part of depression. The emotional war going on inside of a depressed person depletes the vital energy from a person and as everything seems hopeless the body gets the message not to even try.  The depressed finally learns that motivation follows action. To get better, the depressed has to find a reason to get help. The understanding family is the best motivation.

Family members discover they  experience many of the same feelings as the depressed!  If you checked off more than  five of the items below , you might consider the DEP-ANON FAMILY GROUP.

When family members were asked to prioritize, describe and list which feelings they experienced most often and most intensely, the following are those which they documented, from most intense to less intense.

1) Feeling overwhelmed and burdened by a family member’s depression.2) Feeling restricted around the depressed, feelings of something similar to the expression of walking on egg shells.3) Feelings of helplessness. 4) Anxiety about the situation and not knowing what to do about the feelings they were experiencing. 5) Feeling emotionally drained. 6) Feeling inadequate, faced with a loved one’s immobility and lack of motivation.7) Feeling anger and frustration at the depressed. 8) Being an enabler. 9) Feeling that one was living an unproductive life as one was stymied by the  depressed   unproductive depression. 10) Having feelings of irritability and impatience.11) Feeling inadequate. 12) Unhappy. 13) Feeling betrayed in retirement by spouse’s late life depression. 14) Indecisive and lacking confidence in themselves.

ARE YOU SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT THE DEPRESSED EXPERIENCE THE SAME EMOTIONS?  YOU HAVE MORE IN COMMON THAT YOU THOUGHT!

SOURCE: (COPYRIGHT)  DEP-ANON FAMILY GROUP MANUAL: The 12 step support group for family and friends of the depressed.  DEPRESSED  ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY.

FREE OF DEPENDENCE

” ‘ I asked myself  “Why can’t the Twelve Steps work to release me from this unbearable depression? ”  By the hour, I stared at the St. Francis Prayer:”  ” It is better to comfort than to be comforted.”

Suddenly I realized what the answer might be. My basic flaw  had always been dependence on people or circumstances to supply me with prestige, security and  confidence.  Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams and speculations, I fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.

Reinforced by what grace I could find in prayer, I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty emotional dependencies upon people and circumstances.  Then only could I be free to love as Francis had loved.

SOURCE: Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous

What is Dep-Anon Family Group?

DEP-ANON FAMILY GROUP

Support Group for family and friends of the depressed.

Scores of books have been written on the subject of depression. If you are like most of us, we have all run after and read the latest work on depression looking for clues to see just what is wrong with our loved ones and what it is that they face and struggle with.
DEP-ANON is a support group for family and friends of the depressed. This program is very much like AL-ANON where family members gather to help each other learn how to detach and cope with alcoholism. In the same way DEP-ANON is an effort of family and friends to gather together and learn how to live with and cope with their depressed loved one.
At a planning session for DEP-ANON, family members were asked to list all the feelings that they experience while living with a depressed loved one. From the discussion we were surprised to find out some amazing facts. 1) That the feelings family members were experiencing were very similar to those which their depressed loved ones were experiencing, and 2) these feelings were also having an equally destructive effect in the lives of family members. DEP-ANON FAMILY GROUP (1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville, KY.USA.
______________________________________________________
More on this important subject tomorrow. Please let us know if this topic is of interest to you. We might be able to help you set up a Family Group in your locale or just use the material for your own guidance.