Life can be good for a change.

 

I read the Depressed Anonymous manual, go to counseling, and attend the Depressed Anonymous meetings. The meetings are a must. I need them to survive. The support group’s  members help each other by listening, talking, expressing their feelings, and giving support on how to  cope with depression. By letting my Higher Power help me, I am beginning to feel free from depression. I am not so nervous and  tensed up. My Christian inner faith is getting stronger. I am not so stressed out  and I am beginning to get confidence within myself. I still have trouble with sleep pattern and I am getting some motivation back. I have learned how to handle anxiety by taking deep breaths when I am nervous or troubled. This was suggested by my therapist. I also am learning how to stand up for myself.

All these tools have helped me and will continue to do so. They also taught me not to dwell on my past, to live life one day at a time, and to look toward the future, but not live there. It  will take me a long time to deal with depression, but I am glad that these tools are available. Life can be good for a change. Please don’t give up.”

~ANONYMOUS

Anonymous, is  one of the many persons who share their  personal story of recovery  in  the group’s  manual, Depressed Anonymous.

For more of her story and many others please go to The Depressed Anonymous Publications at www.depressedanon.com.

 

One picture is worth a thousand words!

 

The reason I started a Depressed Anonymous meeting in 1985 is because I knew that getting a meeting organized would be a help to those suffering from depression. I also know  just like in any other 12 step fellowship group,   power is in the group. Whatever the serious nature of the problem we face, a group of people who are on the same page, mentally, spiritually and physically, provides  a healing atmosphere   for the participant.

Since I was also a member of another 12 step fellowship, I instinctively knew that getting the depressed out of their isolation and into relationships with people like themselves would be therapeutic. We all had the same story to tell. It was not only a story of  our struggles with our own depression but it  was a story that brought   a fresh  new hope for ourselves and  for all those with whom we shared out lives.

I mentioned the song sung by Ane Brun, the Norwegian singer,  in a recent blog(10/13) and now today I would like to give you the lyrics to the song. I dedicate it to those   who bring to life something new. We bring a new life not just for ourselves but for others like ourselves. In this case, here is the last stanza of her powerful message.

“It all starts somewhere

It all starts with one

Everything comes from something

It all starts with one

Starts with one.”

Copyright(c) Ane  Brun

(You can hear her whole song on YouTube.)

I have found this song’s  lyrics so powerful that I was motivated to  share a small part of this song with each of you.  As you and I know, ideas and movements have to start somewhere with somebody. They don’t just happen. Movements, great ideas, they   always “start with one, and then two and then three and more. ”  Truly a song about the power of ONE.  We all know about the power of social media and how experiences of others  become viral so that  millions of people may see the same picture and get the same message. As the saying goes, “one  picture is worth a thousand words.”

I remember well the reaction that I got when I asked my Dean of the Psychology Department if I could start a group for persons depressed. I felt that we had possibly found a way out of depression, using the 12 spiritual principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and modeling this program of recovery for persons  depressed, The Dean’s response  was doubtful. He gave me  the  “go ahead”  but remarked that  “since the depressed normally can’t get themselves out of bed because of their depression, don’t be disappointed if they don’t show up for this project.” I’m glad that we went ahead. We  had a very successful outcome where most of the depressed in our program  felt their depressed mood lighten. What happened after that is history. In May of 1985, with the help of members from our initial group, Depressed Anonymous was started. It is now is spreading around the world. Our literature is now in English, Farsi language, Russian, and presently being translated into Spanish (2019) and Dutch. The Internet has brought our message of hope  into lives and  homes around the globe.   Our message  of hope is just a click away.

Remember, it all starts with one, and two, three and more….

Hugh

“It all starts with one.”

A popular singer from Norway (Ane Brun)  penned the lyrics of a song which I found to be a powerful testament to the “power of one.” If you type in the words “It all starts with one ” at You Tube you can hear the song and read the lyrics as well.

Over these many years with our fellowship Depressed Anonymous I have found that the song “It all starts with one ” to be a powerful reminder of the power individuals have when they have a passion for service. I am referring to those persons who start Depressed Anonymous meetings in their communities.  They are the living proof  that it only takes one person to share their passion and set up a meeting for those “still suffering” from depression.  Most DA group  founders who  have started groups I know personally . Some are still at it after a decade or so of service.

Yes, it’s true. “It all starts with one” . Are you that one?  Let us know  at Depressed Anonymous if you are interested in helping others like yourself who are depressed. Depressed persons are looking to you for help.

Contact us here at info@depressedanonymous or email us   at depanon@netpenny.net.

Hugh

“My life is out of control!”

 

“I have come to the Step program because my life is out of control. Whatever I do or think or say seems to make no difference on the way that I feel right now. I feel out of control, and some other force is in charge of my life. I know also that this force, this power other than myself, this sadness has me captive and somehow I have felt unable to do much about it.”

Until today!

In our Home Study program of recovery,  we use the Depressed Anonymous Workbook in conjunction with the  Depressed Anonymous Manual,   together  let them lead us, Step by Step   out of our depression.

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook facilitates a new self awareness  by questions which we need to answer.  Each Step is provides  further meaningful thoughts from the “Big Book” of Depressed Anonymous. By reading certain noted paragraphs, as indicated in our Workbook, (Page #), we move through all the questions with that  greater  self-awareness of how depression controls every day of our lives. Actually, the Workbook, by its questions and my responses, continues to open up for me  where my life can be lived with hope once again.

Example: Workbook question #1.9 “What areas of one’s life appear to be more out of control now that you are aware of how depression can isolate a person. What areas  of one’s life appears more manageable now that you are aware of how you can change things around —  choosing to feel differently?” Workbook, Page 9.

“It is in the admission that we are out of control that a remedy can be applied to our battle with depression. It is a paradox for our understanding of depression to learn that only  when we give up control, do we gain control over what we want to be, think or do. If there is anything that creates a sense of hopelessness, it’s when we  fee that we don’t have any control over our lives. When we are depressed, we feel  dependent on all the forces that act on us and our environment. We feel that we are like the victims of the interminable feeling that we call depression. Depression can be like a hell or bottomless pit from which we feel we can never escape. It’s like being in an  eighty foot hole with an eight foot ladder.” Depressed Anonymous Manual.  Page 28.

______________________

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed., Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.Ky

Many Depressed Anonymous meetings  use the Home Study as a meeting Step Study group

For more literature about Depression and the Twelve Steps click onto the Depressed Anonymous Bookstore.

Faith appears to be good for one’s health.

Joyce  was a client of mine a few years back. She was in her early sixties and just recuperating from   a successful  open heart surgery. She also was very  depressed.  That’s where I come in. I was asked by my clinical supervisor  if I would spend some time with her and see  how I might be of help to her.  I agreed to do what I could do.

In the midst of counseling and listening to Joyce’s  story, I discovered her  strong faith,  which included her personal faith in God which gave her the belief that she was going to get through whatever  that had her  in lockdown.

She wasn’t aware of our Depressed Anonymous group and so I shared my story with her and the fact that I too  was once depressed. I told her how I became a  believer in the spirituality of the Twelve Steps and how my belief in God  delivered me from my symptoms of depression. Now don’t get me wrong -my own story is that it took me over a year to finally  get free of this noose around my neck.  Also, because of my faith in a program and the  recovered  people who lived it out in their daily lives,  I started on the road to recovery.

My faith told me if I would follow some of the simple steps outlined in this recovery program I would get better. My faith got me off of my seat,  out of bed and out my door to begin walking.  I believed  walking might be the key that unlocked my prison of depression. I read  that some Doctors in England were writing out   prescriptions for exercise for their depressed patients. I figured that it worked for them and so why wouldn’t exercise work for me.  After a year of walking everyday I finally walked out of the mental fog, lost the jitters and became free of depression. My faith in a Higher Power and my getting my body moving on a daily basis produced the healing effect that I had hoped for.

Back to Joyce. She and I had ten sessions together and I suggested to her that she start to think about the things that she did before her depression. What provided the satisfaction  and those pleasant events previously in her life. She talked about how she at one time was a cartoonist as well as a lover of writing poetry. So, that is what I suggested — that she involve herself with these pleasant activities again.  She said that she believed that she could do it–even though her mind and body rebelled at moving out of her comfort zone of doing absolutely nothing. The main defense for doing nothing is the oft repeated mantra from all of us when  we are depressed which  is “I’ll do it when I feel better.”

With each new session she would share with me a cartoon or a poem which she had created the previous  week. As she continued doing what she liked, I  noticed more energy in her voice as she shared her feelings about her new  creations.  All the while, she was compliant with her own physical recovery from heart surgery. Her pleasant moods  gave her a feeling of being in control of her life and her future.  She came to believe that a power greater than herself would restore not only her sanity but her health as well. Her faith was renewed in the God of her understanding while restoring  her belief that her  health was going to get better. Not only did  she have a plan to follow but she made the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps her way out of depression. She continues to follow this map to this very day.

The following quote is from a work  titled,  The Secret Strength of Depression written by Frederic Flach, M.D., K.H.S.

Faith appears to be good for one’s overall health. Cardiovascular illnesses are more frequently seen in depressed individuals, in patients with coronary ischemia, depression worsens the outcome, possibly due to alterations in platelet function and changes in autonomic tone. Depression is also associated with a higher mortality rate following acute myocardial infarction; for those patients who survive, the recovery process is often a more complicated  one. Studies suggest that the recovery rate from medical and surgical procedures, from the repair of hip  fractures to coronary bypass surgery, is faster among believers. Moreover, patients undergoing such treatment appear less likely to have serious complications or die.” Page 239.

SOURCES:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. Ky.

Copyright(c)  I’ll do it when I feel better. 2nd  Edition 1986,  2013.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

Copyright)(c)  Believing is seeing:15 Ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.

” I have found that the Depressed Anonymous fellowship is a good place to share my story!”

 

AFFIRMATION

I am involved in something bigger than myself and this is providing me with a sense of mission for all those persons who  are suffering from sadness.

 

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I know that there are many like me out there in this ever changing world. My message of hope is always available to those who will listen  to my message. I know that there is hope because I have more hope when I realize that there is something that I can do in order to help myself. I know that by experiencing my God in such  a special and life giving way, my life  will straighten out in time and with the help of God.

The more I use the Twelve Step program of recovery, the more I am able to take care of myself and keep the focus of my growth on myself. I am no longer blaming someone else for my depression. Nobody has the power to depress me. I might get a feeling of sadness when around certain people but they don’t depress me. It’s the way I look at the world, people or situations that I depress myself. I am confiding my thoughts about my recovery to those new friends that I am making in the program.

MEDITATION

God makes himself available to anyone who make themselves available to God. So God, we believe  you are right here with us in our deepest moments of despair. We will see the light with your help. (Personal comments).

SOURCES:  Copyright(c) Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and  meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship groups. Hugh Smith  (1999, 2018) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY . Page 120.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition  (1998, 2011, 2014  )Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

My anti-depression tool kit: An arsenal of weapons to defeat depression.

The following is a personal story of how a member of Depressed Anonymous  used her anti-depression Tool Kit to disarm and dismantle symptoms of  depression in her daily life.

I am no longer alone

” I am writing this information with the hope  that it will help anyone who is suffering from depression that is brought on by stress, anxiety, loneliness, physical or mental emotions, death or insecurity.

I am a thirty-four year old single female, who has been suffering from depression for a long time. Most of my depression was brought on by feelings of insecurity, such as not being able to express my inner feelings, being controlled by a dominating parent, loneliness, stress, workaholic, anxiety attacks (related to work and everyday pressures of living), too much sleep, nervousness, lack of motivation, being tired all the time, sadness, weight gain, digestive problems, a feeling of being trapped, self-consciousness, not trusting myself, dreams of dying but yet managing to come back to life, withdrawal from family, or loss of interest in meeting with the opposite sex.

It seemed that I was living in another world until one of my parents gave me a phone number of Depressed Anonymous meetings, plus reading the Depressed Anonymous manual have provided  me with the tools to live without being depressed. Most important  of all, the Twelve Steps mentioned in the book have made me understand that God (my Higher Power) will give me strength to deal with my depression and get on with my life and be happy with myself.

The book with its Twelve Steps, has taught me that I am not alone. And that I am not the only one who is suffering from depression. It has taught me to believe more in my Higher Power and to let it handle my depression.

I read the Depressed Anonymous manual, go to counseling, and attend the Depressed Anonymous meetings. The meetings are a must. I need them to survive. The support group’s members help each other by listening, talking, expressing their feelings, and give support on how to cope with depression.   By letting my Higher Power help me, I am beginning to feel free from depression. I am not so nervous and tensed up. My Christian inner faith is getting stronger. I am not so stressed out and I am beginning to get confidence  within  myself . I still have problems with sleep patterns and I am getting some motivation back.   I have learned how to handle anxiety by taking deep breaths when I am nervous or troubled. This was suggested by my therapist. I am also learning how to stand up for myself.

All these new tools have helped me and will continue to do so. They also taught me not to dwell on my past, to live one day at a time, and to look forward to the future, but not live there. It will take me a long time to deal with depression, but I am glad that these tools are available. Life can be good for a change. Please don’t give up.”

-Anonymous.

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (Louisville, KY, 2011. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Pages 148-149.

Please go to MENU and click onto TOOLS* FOR RECOVERY.    There you will discover those tools which can be used to dismantle those painful areas of your life which in the past have imprisoned you.

  • RECOVERY TOOLS: Exercise; Meditation; The Serenity Prayer; Cutting off negative thinking-The Law of the Threes; Being in Nature; Journaling; Managing stress; Music; Nutrition; Positive self-talk; Sleep; Social engagement; Stay in the Present.

Read more stories of persons who have dismantled their own depression. Check out the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore and order online.

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.

Filling up the “hole in our soul.”

AFFIRMATION

On this New Year’s day, I find that my work for my life today, and just for today, is to reflect on a time in my life that I have experienced a feeling of happiness and contentment.  If I can’t remember a pleasant situation from the  past, I will construct  a happy situation and imagine it occurring right now. Why not?

“In getting my priorities straight, my depression got better.”

CLARICATION OF THOUGHT

In my relationship to God, I am beginning to realize that it isn’t so much that I don’t believe that I’ll ever feel better, but that I just can’t know for sure.   My first priority is to admit that I do have a problem and that with God’s help, I can through my depression.

As soon as I give up my victim stance and begin to take responsibility for my feelings and my life, I can start to work as if my recovery is really up to me and that I will, in time, succeed in getting out of this deep dark hole that I call depression. My priority is to begin each day with  the conviction that the Twelve Steps  will be an aid in my getting out of  depression.

MEDITATION

God, we seek your guidance and your strength for our lives. Whatever we have lost  or feel we have lost, please heal the “holes in our souls” and fill them with your love and serenity. In our quiet time today, this first day of the New Year, show us what part of us needs to be healed.

See Steps 1,2, and 3.

__________________________________________________________________________

SOURCE: HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS : 365 DAILY THOUGHTS AND MEDITATIONS FOR MEMBERS OF TWELVE STEP FELLOWSHIP GROUPS. is now on KINDLE. Have it handy, everyday, and each day this coming year,  for your uplifting thought. You’ll be glad that you did.

PLEASE VISIT OUR STORE here at our website www.depressedanon.com.

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.