Most days we just want to go to our room, lie down and sleep.

 

“… listen to that small  voice,  folks – this is the voice that has been trying to be heard for years, only other negative voices and our own old negative mental tapes have had  more training in getting their message across. Now that small voice, that little part of you that wants to have light and some hope is getting up the  courage to ask more for itself. It tries to get stronger as  it attempts to outshine those other parts of ourselves; those parts that have been telling us how trapped we are in our feelings of worthlessness. How often do people say that part of them  wants to do this and yet another part of them wants to do that. I believe that is the best expression of the conflict that goes on in many of us when we are depressed. Usually the part that is hurting and sad speaks the loudest and so often gets the  most attention  – but why not? It’s hurting. When that part of us gets hurt , it wants to withdraw–to hide and cry. It’s like a small child who wants to run away from all the anguish and disappointment. But inside of us when the  parts are struggling with each other, it’s like two teams pulling in a tug of war, and that takes energy to keep alive. We get worn out as we continually ruminate about how sad we are feeling and how hopeless everything looks.  Most days we just  want to go to our room, lie down and sleep. Have you noticed that the more depressed you become, the more sleep you need or don’t need? There is that constant jittery feeling that won’t go away and whichever reminds us of the hollowness of our lives. The life we live is as bitter as ashes in our mouths.”

COMMENT: How often have I heard that small voice amplified by the many hopeful voices at our Depressed Anonymous meetings. In our literature you can read  and reflect  upon those  voices of hope as they express the new life that they are now  living because of their working the Steps–doing positive things for themselves and learning new ways to dig themselves  out of the pit of depression.

The experience of depression and ruminating about how awful our lives are, presents us with   a one way street.  It’s said that “whatever won’t kill you, will make you stronger.”  I get that.  I found that my year long struggle with depression, and my ultimate  recovery from its deadly grip, definitely made me stronger.  Now I have chosen multiple ways to live my life. I walk more, my exercise is steady – not just now and them. I read all the 12 Step  literature that I can. Go to meetings. I write a BLOG for this website and visit with the many persons who come here and seek our help. I also have a sponsor who walks with me in my recovery life. Tis is a strength that provides me hope for the journey. I am busy doing those things which now has become a passion for my life–helping all those who are still “suffering  from depression.”

As in the past, there was only one road to take. On that road all I could hear was the voice of despair and hopelessness ringing in my head. Now I have a myriad of roads that I can take, all of which continue to lead me to serenity and hope.

VISIT THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE Where you too can find the roads which will lead you to hope and serenity. Also, there you will meet the many fellow travelers  who, like yourself, are making the journey.

 

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SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (1998, 2008, 2011)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.  Page 33.

I now have the key that unlocks my prison of depression

In the Promises of Depressed Anonymous, we know that they will materialize  if we work for them. What kind of work do we need to do?

In the Depressed Anonymous Publication,  I’ll do it when I feel better we find that there are a number of healing routes which will  lead us out of the prison of our isolation and despair.

First we read our Depressed Anonymous Manual. and apply what we have read in  each  Step and  utilize the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. And of course, we go to as many meetings as possible and apply the 12 step spiritual principles of recovery to our daily life. Also, we get a sponsor, which is a person who is familiar with the Steps and who applies these spiritual principles in their own life. The sponsor and you will meet as often as agreed and he/she will help guide you along the road to recovery. In time and with work you will feel the release and freedom provided by having had a “true spiritual awakening” which can keep you in God’s will. This happens to be God’s plan, so always remember to stick to the plan. Good things begin to happen to us when we live in God’s will. And that’s a PROMISE!

SOURCES: (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2017)  DAP  . Hugh Smith. Louisville. KY. Page 53.

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

(c) Depressed Anonymous Workbook.  (2001) DAP. Louisville. KY

To order ONLINE please go to VISIT THE STORE.

I believed depressed people could help depressed people!

I have always believed in the power and the  influence of the group -either serving as a power for good or a power designed for destructive ends. But as for our group Depressed Anonymous, I believe  that it truly builds, enhances and strengthens any one who gets involved with  it on a regular and consistent basis. Those who do interact with our fellowship,  gradually come out of the pit of their depression and start feeling hopeful about their lives. They know  that  they are feeling hope instead of despair. This is actually happening all the time as those involved in the fellowship begin to see personal changes occurring in their lives.

I remember when I first proposed my idea, in 1985,   to the Dean of the Psychology Department at the University where I was earning my Master’s degree, that we ought to try and get depressed people together. I mentioned that Alcoholics Anonymous,  with a few fellow alcoholics, got its beginning  with a peer to peer approach. It takes one to know one, so to speak!  The professor looked at me like I was completely  out of my mind – that  I would suggest that depressed people could even muster up the necessary energy  to  even climb out of bed in the morning,  much less get themselves to a meeting with other depressed individuals like themselves. The idea seemed doomed to failure.

With a begrudging approval from the Dean, we got our peer to peer depression group off the ground. It was a success. Just as one alcoholic helping another alcoholic, so it  was true with the depressed person.  This peer to peer model of recovery worked. In a few months, following the groups formation, we opened our fellowship to the public . On May 30th, 1985,  our brand new mutual aid group, Depressed Anonymous was launched. It is still being launched today, globally.

If you believe  you can find hope, plus have a ticket out of depression by going to Depressed Anonymous meetings, then there will be nothing stopping you. I have found that my Higher Power has released me.  I am carrying a hope to those hurting from a life of isolation and feeling alone. We have a message of hope for them.”

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Believing is seeing:15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 64-67. (The 14th Way out of the prison of depression).

For more information about  the lives of  those  individuals who believed in the group power, please read about them in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. There is a special section in  the book where  thirty members of DA share their personal stories of healing and hope.

For more information about who we are  and what we are about, please VISIT THE STORE. Thank you.

 

“I wanna be free and live a life free from fear and anxiety!

Came to believe that  a power greater than  ourselves can restore us to sanity.”

Now that I’m beginning to make an effort that this higher power is really on my side the more my faith and belief will help me overcome my fear of failure that  my depression ever coming to an end.

My fears, anxieties and other obstacles to my serenity will gradually disappear the more I learn that there is somebody up there that love me and wants me to be free from that gnawing emptiness   that continually plagues me  day after day. I am beginning to see that the more I attend meetings and read   my  Depressed Anonymous Big Book, and do my daily meditations the more peace and hope I will have. I truly believe that  life will  get better for me.  My sanity and my health will increase like a seed watered, nurtured and which receives a lot of sunlight.

 

We aren’t alone anymore. In fact, we are strengthened by the bonds of fellowship and friendship in the group and not burdened by the fear that we will again soon slump back  into our depression.” The Depressed Anonymous Workbook/Step 2-Page 13.


Excerpts from  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.

“This new belief in a Higher Power is not the creation of any organized religion but instead is the Power that creates the universe. Our surrender and trust in it frees it to work its way in our life. That is a paradox of the 12 Steps – the more we depend on the Higher Power instead of our addictions,  the freer we in reality become.”

For the depressed person,  giving up old ways of thinking and acting is much like giving up any other addiction – at first letting go of the old behavior makes you feel  uncomfortable.  The  old behavior  wants  to  cling  to  our spirit  like swamp  mud hangs onto knee-high boots. Before your participation  in Depressed Anonymous you would go home from work, get by yourself and ruminate on how bad you felt. This new behavior will help you think differently about yourself. You will find that this higher power, or God as you understand him, is not the same God that you might have met when you were young. When you were a child you came to believe that God is watching you, ready  to punish you if you are not perfect. Now you can  begin to develop an adult and new way of being related  to God as you understand God.  With time, persistence and patience you will gradually trust your life to this Higher Power. ”

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. Page 43.

SOURCE: HOME STUDY PROGRAM. Please see Depressed Anonymous  literature  for more information.  You are able to order your own Kit online from www.depressedanon.com.

Symptoms of inner peace

Be on the alert for symptoms of inner peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now,  been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

 

          Some signs and symptoms of inner peace:

A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.

An unmistakable  ability to enjoy each moment.

A loss of interest in judging other people.

A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

A lost interest in conflict.

A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)

Frequent, overwhelming  episodes of appreciation.

Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

Frequent attacks of smiling.

An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

An increased susceptibility  to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

—Anonymous

I’m ready for the good things now !

 

I’m slowly finding out the 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 not a magic wand to transport you to the life you want. Everyone knows what they wish their life could be like – 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 my mind anymore. I’m more than ready for the good things! With love and hope!

SOURCE:    A member of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship. You can find more of her story in the PERSONAL STORIES section of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 120-121.

NOTE: For more literature resources please VISIT THE STORE at our site WWW. DEPRESSEDANON .COM.

I was a compulsive over-eater.

“… a friend told me about Depressed Anonymous and I was so desperate that I went. To my surprise, these wonderful people accepted me, all of me for myself.  They encouraged me right from the start. They were open and honest about their pain and constantly reassured me that I could make it.  But I would have to work very hard, because you have to really fight depression – negative thoughts replaced by positive thoughtsaction to create  motivation. Most of all, I had to surrender to God, quit controlling everything and everyone, including God.  Let go and let God! So I started reading the Twelve Steps. At first I was really rebellious, so much so that I didn’t go back for two weeks. I was too depressed, but inside I knew the Steps had the key to get me out of this prison. They pointed me to my Higher Power, which unashamedly is Jesus Christ. Now I attend every meeting, sharing the things I learned and the times I fail (which are still quite  a few) into depression. But it is working and I could not be writing this right now if it was not for the love and the support of these very special people. As a matter of fact, I told them once a week was not enough for me. The leader suggested  that I start another one which is just what I have done. I now attend the meetings twice a week–twice is nice.

To sum it up, Depressed Anonymous has pointed to the only hope there is – our Higher Power is the only way out.  Our  Higher Power is the key, the life and the hope. And once I have been able to admit that, everyone in the  group has been very loving and supportive. After all, they have all been where I am today.

-Linda’s story as presented in the Personal Stories section  of  Depressed  Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011).  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville,  KY.   40217. Pages  116-117.

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.

Now available in the KINDLE format. Check out our STORE for more information as how to order online or snail mail.

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

Our basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening!

 

 

Antidote: “A remedy to counteract a poison.” This is the definition as given by Webster’s dictionary. 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 might be the fears from the past. One of the better antidotes to fear is trying to live, just for today. Today is all I have.

So often I hear others say that they have been depressed all their lives until – let me repeat- until they hear other 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.

“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.

 

SOURCES:

Copyright (c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed  Anonymous Publications. Louisville. May  10. Page 95.

Copyright (c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015 ) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Copyright (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.