# ME TO. Shouting out our anger and rage

THIS SOUNDS RIGHT

Dorothy Smith has shown how women are forced into a secondhand understanding of the world. Women are trained to invalidate their own experiences, understanding, and feelings and to look to men to tell them how to view themselves. Ideas, concepts, images, and vocabularies that women use to think about their experiences have been formulated from the male point of view by universities, churches, and other social institutions.

In Women and Madness Phyllis Chesler  describes  women’s experiences as psychiatric patients. Very few of the women she interviewed appears to have a mental disturbance. Most were unhappy and responding to the oppression in their lives. Seeking help, Chelser  pointed out, is not valued in our society, and women seemed to be punished “for their own good” by the institution for exhibiting such weakness.

Jean Baker Miller looked at the relations between dominant and subordinate groups. She isolated certain characteristics of subordinate groups as typical of any irrationally unequal power  relations based on ascribed status such  as race religion or sex. Those in  a relationship of subordination need to survive, above anything else. Direct response to destructive treatment must be avoided, as it may be met with rejection, punishment, or even death. Women who step out of line Miller noted, can suffer a combination of social ostracism, economic hardship, and psychological isolation. They may even be diagnosed as having a personality disorder if they do not conform to the male-defined norm for a woman.

If conflict cannot be expressed openly, it is turned inward and the ground is fertile for depression. Once depression is identified, the victim is blamed for her illness, and she accepts this responsibility until she is helped to examine her own self-defeating patterns, to see how she allows  herself to be victimized.”

SOURCE:  Melva Steen, Ph.D, RN. Historical Perspectives on Women and mental illness and preventing of depression in women using a feminist perspective. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 12:359-374, 1991.

Appeared in THE ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET in the Spring  edition  (v.5, #3: 8-9).1994. 

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The following is an excerpt from the Basic Text for the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous world wide.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition , 2011,2008, 1998. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 82.

“Maybe I need to make amends to my children for  making a clean house the number one priority the number one priority and never allowing them to give expression to their feelings. Or maybe I was the good daughter or son who never told anyone how I really felt because I was afraid of how my parents would react. Now we might be dredging up all the old feelings of anger and resentment that we have submerged under a mask of  kindness ands sweetness over the years. We need to voice our anger for having to act like someone we aren’t. I can think of many women who in therapy begin to get in touch with the times when as little girls, they were conditioned to think that good little girls didn’t get angry, and so they stuffed and sat upon all these powerful and unpleasant emotions. Feelings that are not expressed can accumulate in our bodies and can’t get out until we share them and express them. These stuffed feelings get lodged in our bodies and immobilize us until we feel completely wrung out!

Some have heard all their lives that you shouldn’t get angry as mother won’t love you anymore. This makes it quite difficult suddenly to shout out our rage and anger at a world that has made women in general feel less than second-class citizens. ”

 

Valuing yourself is risky business

MY PERSONAL  AFFFIRMATION FOR TODAY

I choose again to read my 12 Step Manual (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition) on a daily basis and from it find the courage to make decisions that promote my well being and my joy.

“There  are two problems about deciding things for myself. First, it means that you can’t blame anyone else when things turn out badly. (But you can take credit when things turn out well). Second, other people can get very angry with you for not doing what they want. Valuing your self is a risky business. What risk is preferable?  The risk of making your own decisions or the risk of not valuing yourself? ”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
I  see myself as part of the solution to recovering from my attachment to sadness. I was a sadness addict. Now I am attached to the joy of risking myself so that I can live. That is what I value most now — the desire to live with uncertainty  and be unafraid.

I blame when I no longer want to look inside of myself. I feel that when I admit my former need to sad myself, I no longer blame anyone, but instead, I am putting my energies into sharing how I feel with others.

MEDITATION

God, we trust in you. We commit ourselves to you. We know that you are ready to act in our behalf the more we commit ourselves to you and your will. Give us the courage to keep in contact with you daily. Our time with you is our daily bread. (Personal comments)

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

“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.

Our feelings come about due to how we think of things.

Happiness is an elusive feeling – and for each of us happiness can mean something very different. When I say to myself “life doesn’t get any better than this,” then I know that life is indeed good and that all is well with my soul.

What can keep us in the prison of depression is a construction that we place on events and situations that occur in our world.

To be free means  to act with a degree of spontaneity. This after all, is the opposite of depression. Events of themselves are not the cause for depression – similar events are in the lives of many folks  but there are some folks that don’t experience depression because of them. So, it must be the way we think about these events and the meanings that we place on the situation. Our lives and the way we look at life is composed of past and present events. Our past life is a way we predict the future. “Since bad things have happened to me in the past – bad things are bound to happen to me in the future.” How true this is.  Our  prison is composed of blocks of times and situations which at one time were fluid – like a river moving. Since these events affect our sense of self – we caused the river to stop flowing – and instead our painful thoughts and feelings – are the blocks that make up the walls of our personal prison. We need to restore the fluidity the of our lives. Once when our self has been restored – namely our spontaneity,  we will experience freedom and happiness. By having that spiritual experience and being an active member of  the fellowship  of Depressed Anonymous is what can restore us to sanity. Happiness comes from finding loving support, and acceptance.”

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SOURCES:  (C)   The Promises. (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

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

(C)The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, 2nd edition. (2002)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

I said to myself, “if I ignore it maybe it(depression)will go away.”

“There was a time when we ignored trouble, hoping it would go away. Or, in fear and in depression, we ran from it, but found it was still with us. Often, full of unreason, bitterness, and blame, we fought back. These mistaken attitudes, powered by alcohol, guaranteed our destruction, unless they were altered.

Then came AA (and DA. OA, NA,  Al-Anon etc). Here we learned that trouble was really a fact of life for everybody – a fact that had to be understood and dealt with. Surprisingly, we found that our troubles could, under God’s grace, be converted into unimagined blessings.

“Indeed, that was the essence of A.A. itself: trouble accepted, trouble squarely faced with calm courage, trouble lessened and often transcended. This was the A.A. story, and we became a part of it.  Such demonstrations became our stock in trade for the next sufferer.”

COMMENT: It was with my own experience with depression that I tried to deny that it was anything that could keep me from a life lived with hope and joy. I thought that if I just ignored it, like Bill W., stated so well above, it would just evaporate like the morning midst. Of course this just didn’t happen.

As I commented on this denial factor which is a big part of all addictions, I also came to believe that,  “well, what I am going through will surely pass. It isn’t so bad, really. I can put up with a little discomfort.”  Sorry. It didn’t work that way. And as I pointed out in   I’ll Do It when I feel Better  I said  ” we also learn that our depression is a defense and predictable and for some, depression is even come to be a comfort and as has been said before, at least one knows what they have with depression. And to change and risk removing this numbness is better not to be undertaken  because it’s better to know what one has than to risk getting something worse. Much like the example cited before of the debate within ourselves to go to the dentist for the toothache or just tough  it out and hope for the best.  We call this denial.” Page 17.

To examine more literature about depression and using the Twelve Steps in your personal recovery , please taker a look  at VISIT THE STORE here at our website.

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SOURCES:

1) As Bill sees it. Page 110.

2)  I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014)  Depressed  Anonymous Publications.                                  Louisville.

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

 

I am choosing to live now-today!

AFFIRMATION

I am choosing to ask the God of my understanding to help me be open to all the persons like myself who are getting free of their hopelessness.

“Being constantly on guard against the future is exhausting, but it does have the advantage of directing your attention away from the present. Since the past and the future are ideas in our minds we can insist that the past and the future are exactly as we see them.  The trouble with the present is that it has the habit of suggesting that my ideas may not be entirely right.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

To live now takes more courage, on some days more than on others.  What I need to do is to attempt to live right now. The living in the present will make it possible for me to gradually learn some new truths about life and myself.  This opening myself up to the present moment will give me the opportunity to hear how I can live with hope and serenity.

No longer do I have to choose to live in the encapsulated  and isolated prison of my own fears and prejudice about the past and the future.  The past is always full of hurt and unexpected anger. The future never seems to be without its colossal fears and “what if’s.” Now is the time to accept the fact that I want to change the way I think, act and believe. Right now I am wanting a change and am willing to face the challenges that making changes bring. To do this is called living.

The Third Step tells me that I have made a decision to turn my mind and my will over to the care of God as I understand him. This is the freedom that I am looking for. This is the source of my strength today, namely, these healing Twelve Steps. Granted that I have to clean house and admit that I have unknowingly constructed my own depression  (See Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition)

MEDITATION

I will make a decision. This is the first step in getting free. I make a decision to choose freedom  over the security of isolation and a life that is lived in the past.

SOURCE:  (c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of  12 Step fellowship groups. (1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. January 7. Pages 4-5.

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

 

Choices: To be or not to be!

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 miserable.  ” Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) DAP. Louisville.

The following is a story of how one person, deeply depressed told her story of how by letting go she was able to hang on.  And she not only  was able to hang on but she was able to help others and hang on  and live life to the full.

” I started sleeping more, stayed in bed mostly and let the house and the children go.  I felt empty inside. No one or anything could help me. If I hadn’t thought that suicide was the cardinal sin, I would be dead today. So one night I lay on the floor crying and praying from my heart. In the past when I prayed I wanted God to do all the work, while deep down I  didn’t want to let go of my miserable, yet safe way of life. And as long as I wouldn’t  really let go, God seemed to have no answers for me. This time though, I was at his mercy. Life for me could no longer go on this way. I prayed the most releasing prayer. I offered up my entire self to him. Nothing magical happened after this except the sudden urge to call my Church for Christian counseling. They referred me to this very affordable, warm, lady counselor, who I had seen in the past. She suggested that I start attending Depressed Anonymous,  a Twelve Step meeting. This was a great effort for me. I was SCARED AND SKEPTICAL  Since that first night I’ve been attending weekly Depressed Anonymous meetings and reading Depressed Anonymous literature. I also attend drug free therapy, attend church and church activities and continue to pray and walk regularly.  I know that my life is being richly blessed. I am also using the Depressed Anonymous literature and  listening to the people in the  Depressed Anonymous  meetings where I have received valuable tools which I put to daily use.   The moment that I read that I had a choice to stay in depression, I immediately knew that I could make the choice to get out of my depression.”

And finally, a word from Bill W., the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous who tells us, “When we look back, we realize that the things  which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned.”

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Personal Stories section.

NOTE: Fore more information on a broad variety of subjects dealing with depression and the Twelve Steps click onto the VISIT THE STORE.

 

 

 

I WILL CLIMB EVERY HILL AND CROSS EVERY VALLEY…

I WILL CLIMB EVERY HILL AND CROSS EVERY VALLEY SO THAT  I MAY GET BETTER AND SHARE THE STORY OF MY RECOVERY WITH NEW MEMBERS AT MY NEXT REGULAR MEETING.

AFFIRMATION

Admitting our helplessness, we can abandon our desperate  attempts  to control everybody and everything, and simply ‘go with the flow,’ taking life as it comes. Many people, emerging from depression or from a major trauma, do this when they decide to take ‘one day at a time.'”

REFLECTION

This is the hard part, trying to stay out of the past and avoid living in the future. It’s wise to be as aware  as I can of what is going on  inside of me and around me. One man who is a regular at our group meeting said that the trouble with those who were depressed, including himself, was that he always felt sorry for himself.  He was overwhelmed that his self-pity would never help him feel better. He’s right. It won’t!

I need to study the steps, especially Step Eleven in which it states that I should make conscious contact with God as I understand God, praying only to do His will for me. This is the letting go that will help me to relax and help me try and live one day at a time.

MEDITATION

Jesus said don’t worry about tomorrow because there are enough  worries to concern ourselves with  today.  He was right. Just keep praying that God, as we know Him, will give us all we need when we need it, and how we need it. It will all come when it is supposed to.

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SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed  Anonymous Publications, Louisville, Ky 40217.

Go to Website store for information on literature dealing with depression and the Twelve Steps.