Looking fear in the face!

AFFIRMATION

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.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I know after becoming actively involved with the 12 step program, that one of the best ways to overcome the handicap  of depression is to start by working on my faith – a faith that I will and can get better. I know that it is mainly staring my sadness in the face that I will be clear of it. I also know that my depression which has been part of my life for so long can be dismantled if I so choose. Surprised? So often  I hear others stories say that they have been depressed all their lives–until- let me repeat – until they hear others 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.

We know that 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 it might be the fears of the past. One of the better antidotes to fear is trying to live, just for today, Today is all I have.,

MEDITATION

God, we believe that there is no greater power than you . We have already admitted that our depression has made us feel hopeless. Now we are ready to let you get to work on our lives,  take over and lead us where we know we will be   in a safe healing place.”

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous  Publications. Louisville. Pages 95-96.

When I am “powerless” I feel out of control.

 

During my depression   I was “powerless“.  I no longer had the ability to bounce back from my ongoing ruminations about how bad I felt. The more that I tried to figure out why I was feeling so bad and horrible,  the intensity  deepened. The more that my thoughts circled around in my head the more despair I felt.  I felt hopeless. All I was able to do was lay down and sleep, hoping against hope that my anxiety and fear would disappear. But no, they only intensified my despair. I knew that I had to do something. I had to get my body in motion. I had to talk to someone. I had to DO something besides sit at home and think, think and think some more.

I gradually discovered that my  thoughts produce feelings, feelings produce moods and my  moods produce behaviors. In my case. the behavior was to do nothing, The one thing that I did do, was to begin to isolate from family and friends. This deepened my anxiety and frustration. I knew about talking with someone and so I contacted a friend who was in another 12 Step fellowship. We call these friends sponsors. And so it was in talking with a sponsor that I gradually dug myself out of the hole that I was in. I quit digging.

Today, at the present we have some persons who have decided to do something about their depression and pain–they have begun to participate in our HOME STUDY PROGRAM of recovery. This program is a one to one relationship with a sponsor. All one has to do is sign up  and contact us here at depressedanon.com. There are no fees or dues just a willingness to learn all they can about depression and their  own depression experience,   while  utilizing both  the Depressed Anonymous Manual and the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Both can be found by clicking onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore here at this website.

For more information as to how this Home Study works, please read more at Newsletters, the Antidepressant Tablet. You can read how Kim found us on her computer and is now engaged  in getting herself free of the shackles of depression.

She is longer powerless.

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+++For more information please contact me at  depanon@netpenny.net.

Personal empowerment is an investment in ourselves.

 

It is with a personal sense of awe that I see the empowerment that comes to those persons who work 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 of course is 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 we think about ourselves, the world and our future. And of course, to change the future we have to dwell and experience the 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, but 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 came to Depressed Anonymous meeting I am making the first major step–namely, that I admit with 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 on the challenge of living life with risk and enthusiasm. But how can I possibly say that I want to depress myself?  We are not blaming ourselves here  but are taking responsibility for our own feelings, behavior and thinking. We are no longer going to  run on mental auto-pilot. Now that I am conscious of some negative patterns of my own for my own 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, that this can in time help me make it out of my prison of fear and sadness.

I am empowered by taking the bull by the horns and choosing each new day, one day art a time, and start to feel different. I now have the support of the group–a sponsor–support from those people who have walked where I have walked.

I am investing in myself. I am making my recovery my highest priority. I may have been on all the antidepressants medications- I may have seen all the counselors, psychiatrists and doctors but now finally I am going to a room full of depressed people –people who understand me. These people I discover are investing in themselves. What will I find there? I will find some of the most caring people on the face of thee earth. Some of the group will have ben coming for months, and they are having more good days than bad and it’s getting better. The more meetings they attend the better they feel and the more support they receive. They are feeling empowered. It’s the miracle of the group.  Instead of living with a compulsion to repeat old negative and life negating thought and feelings we now have a compulsion to live with hope plus a desire for a brand new way of living. We are now about  to change the way we live –not just the way we talk to ourselves.

We are going to get  a life.

I now feel that I’m getting better in learning how not to repeat my old way of thinking, feeling, believing and isolating myself. I now know that this  healing all takes time. With    work and patience I will get better. For most of us, it has taken us a few years to get here (depressed) so why not take the time and daily work toward getting better – one day at a time-one meeting at a time.

Hugh  /The Antidepressant Tablet

Dear reader: No DA group in your community. Today sign onto the Home Study Program of Recovery which begins online this November 15, 2017. There are no fees or dues just a commitment to utilize the Home Study combo of DA Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition and the Depressed Anonymous Workbook.  This will be an online person to person program where emails between participant will form the basis for discussions between the participant and the sponsor.

Click onto The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore to learn how to purchase study material.  SKYPE may also be an alternative means of communication.

For a description of the program please go to the Website menu at www.depressedanon.com and go to the Newsletter drop down menu where the latest Newsletter, titled The Antidepressant Tablet, Volume 1 Issue Fall, 2017. Here  a member of DA shares her recovery  experience using our new method of contact with the Home Study Program.  All the work is accomplished with emails between the sponsor and the DA member.  I know this  will help so much to facilitate one’s own recovery from depression.

To join, please sign up soon. Contact us at depanon@netpenny.net  for more information. Thank you.

Depression and quicksand–what do they have in common? Online Home Study provides the answers.

 

One thing that they have in common is their capacity to suck you down into the darkness in which you feel there is no escaping.  Quicksand is no respecter of persons and neither is depression.  What happens when we step into quicksand our feet become aware that something is drawing us  down into a place that has no bottom. There is no support that will hold us up.

With depression we too feel that once the spiraling begins, the mood changes and we are there alone without support to hold us up. We are afraid to tell anyone that we are depressed. We continue to isolate ourselves and the prison of depression is gradually being built by fear, isolation and ongoing ruminations  about how bad things are.  By withdrawing and living in the small world that we have created all hope appears to have ben sucked out of us.  Now it’s the lack of motivation to do anything to help ourselves and so we begin to eat too much or not eat at all. We want to sleep all the time or not sleep at all. We are no longer interested in those pleasant activities that we once enjoyed but now we get no pleasure from them.

I would like to offer you a way out of depression and protection from being sucked down into the pain of nothingness.

On November 15, we will initiate our HOME STUDY RECOVERY PROGRAM ONLINE. The program is an online process where you can email answers to questions posed in the Depressed Anonymous Workbook and get a response to your progress from a Depressed Anonymous  sponsor. Because there might not be a Depressed Anonymous meeting in your community we have found that providing you with the possibility of working the Steps, gaining information about yourself and what depression feels and looks like. All this becomes possible by taking part in this online individual help from a member of the DA fellowship. You and your sponsor/guide who continues to help those who want to leave the prison of depression. To challenge yourself and free your self from depression this is the program for you. There are no fees or dues, all you need is  a plan, a well marked out path, provided by our fellowship, which we call the  12 steps of recovery and restoration,

Start now and be part of the HOME STUDY  PROGRAM BY signing up soon so that you will be ready to start your one on one in recovery on November 15.  We are accepting only 10 persons in this program. The two books which you will need are the Depressed Anonymous Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous Manual, 3rd edition.   Please VISIT THE STORE here at www.depressedanon.com to learn how you can order online to receive your material. This is NOT  a group meeting, but a program personalized  to meet you where you are in life. The whole step by step process is achieved like a long distance course offered by colleges and universities. You and your guide will be in communication via emails to each other to get the most benefit for your own life.

If you have any questions please contact me here or at our website: depanon@netpenny.net. We will be looking forward to visiting with you. I have been helping others free themselves from depression these past 30 years and I am willing to go to bat for you too.

If for any reason you prefer to SKYPE then that will be fine with me and our guides.

I hope to hear from you soon. Our email address is  depanon@netpenny.net for those who wish more information about the upcoming program on November 15, 2017.

Hugh

for the fellowship of DA.

Moving to a new home means packing, unpacking, and packing up things we no longer need or want.

 

There is a strange but real similarity with moving from one place to another with the packing up and unpacking that  is involved. The same holds true for our lives. We packed  habits of thinking, feeling and behaving from early childhood into our adult lives.  It is no surprise to us then and now that certain habitual modes of behavior and thinking have got us to a place where we either hit an emotional wall or we reflect that something in our lives has to change.  It’s time to pack up stuff in our lives that no longer work for us and discard all the extra baggage. It might be painful to rid ourselves of the stuff that has been such a part of our daily lives, but now we see that  it is time to take a closer look. It’s time to dig up and plant something new that will carry us along with a hope and a feeling of freedom as we continue throwing over board the extra weight (emotional and physical) as we continue on our journey in life.

For my own life I gradually found a way to unpack stuff that had me imprisoned and bound up without hope of ever being free of the shackles. Don’t get me wrong, packing  and unpacking certain areas of our life is not an easy thing to accomplish.  It takes time and work. Today I am still unpacking. With work, time and prayerful reflections on my changed thinking, feeling and behaviors I came to the conclusion that with help I could at least get through one 24 period at a time. And this is the point of my writing this piece today. I am pleased to say that it was when I first was introduced to the 12 spiritual principles of recovery with the tools which these principles provided, I now had a plan, a path, on how to live with hope and serenity.  I feel lighter as I reflected upon what I need to let go of.  I learned what exactly I needed to let go of.

It was after reading the literature of a 12 step program dedicated to help with my addiction that I gradually was  learning   more about me. I found what worked for me.   It was in the  Big Book, as it is called,  and written by Bill W., and Bob S.,the co-founders of AA..  There were questions in this book that helped me unpack those areas of my life that needed to be thrown overboard.

In the past years, when not everyone had the opportunity to join a Depressed Anonymous group in their locality, our Publisher Depressed Anonymous Publications decided to offer a HOME STUDY KIT where a person could begin to learn more about themselves by using the Home Study Kit. This includes the Big Book of our fellowship Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) and the Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) –both published by our publisher (DAP). Starting in November,  I will be offering those persons who want a guide to help them with  the Question and Answer part of the Kit, the DA Workbook, which is coordinated with each  chapter of the companion volume   Depressed Anonymous.

Through the years,  persons who have used this method of recovery, have found it has changed their lives. And this, without a group. When I founded this group in 1985 I knew that each persons depression really was unique even though it had many similarities with others depression experience. So with  our Home Study program your own unique experiences can be examined and reflected upon. This is how the healing can begin for you.

I can take only ten persons initially to start this online Home Study program,  which has been  successful  for those who utilize its process. Soon our program will be published in Spanish, as it has already been published in other languages.  One of the fellowship who lives in another region of the world has just written and shared how she feels the program has changed her for the better. I agreed with her that I have seen a change in her thinking and feelings toward herself as she continues to answer questions from the workbook that has enlightened her about her own life. . It’s as she has had a spiritual awakening. A realization that she is not alone.

So, if anyone is interested in a long distance Home Study approach, by email, then you might find it particularly useful. The whole process will be done via our emails. It will be strictly confidential and I will work with any  person who wants to find a way out of depression.   Basically our work will enable us to clarify our thinking about ourselves and help us formulate strategies for gaining back our freedom to be whom we want to be.

We will start our HS program on November 15th, 2017.  If you are serious about committing yourself to this self study then please contact me here at our website or email me at depanon@netpenny.net.

You may find this individual effort challenging as  I was, but in time and with work and the interaction with a sponsor–you will be happy you did. You will learn how to unpack those areas of your life which have kept you imprisoned.  This time you will be living with hope.

I am looking forward to hearing from you. Reading the Depressed Anonymous  literature, which I might add,  has been written by those persons who have been depressed and are now depression free and in recovery will be a great benefit to you and your daily living.  More information will be coming on this BLOG tomorrow.

Please click onto our literature store and discover more about the Manual and the Workbook which will be used for our Home Study program.  I hope that you will be joining us soon.

With gratitude, for the fellowship,

Hugh S

 

 

 

 

“You don’t have to be like this.”

” As one person told Dorothy Rowe: When I think of all those years I wasted being depressed, I wish I would have listened. I wished I’d realized that all I had to do was to say I’d had enough of being put upon and put down, feeling that there was something wrong with me. I’d like to go up to the hospital  and tell everybody: ‘You don’t have to be like this.’ Up there nobody ever told me that. I’d see those people going on and on being miserable. If I’d seen someone like me now, it would have given me hope.” Page 72 (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. 2011 )

“…Depression feeds on hurt, pain and self-doubt. When we are depressed we have a need to bash ourselves for our misguided errors and sinfulness.  The fifth step if done genuinely and prayerfully, will in time help restore our sense of freedom  and belief that we are truly forgiven. It is the miracle of the group and its acceptance, love and nurture that helps the depressed person feel secure without recourse to depression.” Page 52 (The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2001) DAP, Louisville.

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For more information on the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition book and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook –also listed as the HOME STUDY KIT. Please VISIT THE STORE to discover more information about these valuable and helpful study works.

Ordering is available online at our secure Bookstore.

“I wanna be free!” (Part 2) HOME STUDY PROGRAM

HOME STUDY PROGRAM

Today  we want to continue to  share more about how the Home Study Program, using  the Depressed Anonymous   Manual and the Depressed Anonymous Workbook can gradually facilitate a better understanding of the nature of depression and our response to it, using the spiritual principles of the 12 steps of Depressed Anonymous

 

The reason most people use the Home Study Program is that it is a simple and straightforward way to begin to  walk on the path that leads out of depression.

So, I admit that I’m depressed. Now what do I do? The next thing we do is to ask ourselves how much can I dare admit to myself  how out-of-control  I really am? How much do I dare tell myself that I have really hit bottom and that I have nowhere to go but to ask for help? I have been afflicted with this tendency all my life to run and hide whenever I was challenged  by a task, a relationship or  old unpleasant memories that frightened me. I would run and hide. I would be willing to barely admit to myself that what I was feeling wasn’t really me.  I also came to believe that the sea of gloom that I swam in  day after day would one day drown me – the exact day and  time just  happened to be unknown at the time.

One of the things that keeps giving me hope at the Depressed Anonymous fellowship meetings  or here on our website (Depressed Anonymous)   is where we can  continue to read about how others   have been successful  in leaving their own prison of depression.  We see a real challenge  that can open a new Vista – a new way to live out our lives and open up hope before us. One man said that the God of his understanding uses him and his depression for helping others who are likewise depressed.   In other words, God will use your depression to help others.

You will learn that you have the choice as to whether you want to stay depressed  or choose to learn the ways to get out of your depression.  In fact you will also learn that you have the opportunity to feel differently, if you so choose.

SOURCE:  The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Page 5.

One of the most powerful experiences and benefits of being a member of the Depressed Anonymous  fellowship is at that you will learn that you have the choice as to whether you want to stay depressed or choose to learn the ways to get out of your depression. In fact you will also learn that you also have the opportunity to feel differently, if you so choose.

“We” is the first word of step one. It is a very important word to remember because it sets up  immediately sets up a group fellowship with people who are having the same difficulty. It also makes us feel that we too are not alone, but that there is someone else out there that is experiencing the same difficulty as you and me.

 

One the best part of being a member of Depressed Anonymous is that we don’t have to be alone if we don’t want to be. That might sound strange to some of us but we have to admit that what keeps us depressed is our need to keep apart from other.  To remain disconnected and isolated. We have a need to be by ourselves and to stay apart from human contact. For to be in contact with others like me is that we will have to take some risks  and to make some choices. But when I am depressed and alone I don’t have to make as many choices or take any action except to keep  isolating myself and staying apart. This Home Study Program will help you see that it is in being part of a bigger group, with people like yourselves, which  will gradually give you the desire  to be part,  share and  stay involved in your own  active recovery using the 12 steps of Depressed Anonymous. ”

Source:  Home Study Program: (c)The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, pages 4 and 5.

“One of the more constant behaviors of the individual depressing is to engage in fewer and fewer pleasant activities. The person depressed just can’t bring himself or herself to do anything that might cause a sense of elation or pleasure. If you feel that you are bad, worthless and without any value, then you can’t  get yourself to do something that might make you have a good feeling about yourself. An individual depressing can make him or herself feel anxious, sick and even faint. With the support of a group like Depressed Anonymous and the fellowship here on the web one   can begin to see that life doesn’t have to be lived alone and in  misery. And that is precisely the miracle of the group. You begin to see that you can stay parked in  neutral in your misery and feel hopeless or you can  step out in faith as most members of our group do, and admit that you’ve had it with the sadness and begin to choose life. I do believe and know  a renewed sense of hope is in our hands – we can choose to be sad or by our inaction could choose to live without purpose and  joy.  It’s a risk we choose to take. ”

SOURCE: HOME STUDY PROGRAM:  (c)Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 37.

NOTE:  The Home Study Program/Kit includes both the Depressed Anonymous Manual and the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. This Program is available for purchase online  here at the Depressed Anonymous Website.  Other literature, which applies to  the 12 Steps and to the experience of depression are likewise available. Check it out.

 

 

Being depressed means isolation.

How do I know if I’m depressed?

“Being depressed means isolation – and being cut off from everybody and everything.  It is like being in prison, like a pit where the walls are like soft clay and I cannot climb out. To me the isolation is pre-hell and often I feel so dead inside.  There is an awful feeling, that hole in my soul which is like a clenched fist.   I don’t know where to turn with all the pain and hurt. I can’t imagine anyone hurts the way I do and I hope no one does. I would never want to inflict this pain on anyone, so I tried to hold it inside and it seems like it’s too much to bear, especially alone. This is where Depressed Anonymous comes in – this is where powerlessness and God come in. There was no one to help, even to try to understand before Depressed Anonymous. No one wanted my pain  and others started  to avoid me.  I understand better now, especially since I’ve been around Depressed Anonymous via Hugh and the book Depressed Anonymous,3rd edition and the journaling I’ve done. My hope is that I will be more at peace and will try to use the  specific tools which continue to be  great helps in overcoming depression while  giving me  hope —  just for today.”

Source:  Mary C, Sterling Heights, Michigan.

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

Visit the Store for more information on Depression and the use of the 12 Steps.

“WE HAVE THE TOOLS TO BEGIN THE WORK OF CHANGING BEHAVIORS FOSTERED BY DEPRESSION.”

 

THE BEAST

“… We are also under an increasing obligation to confront our illness, seek the proper treatments, and to the extent we can, begin the work of changing the behaviors fostered by depression. This is not blaming the victim; it is – to use a trendy phrase – empowering the victim.  To  fail at this is, to surrender to the devouring  self-pity this illness can engender, violates an unwritten law of society which needs all the talents and energies of every member.  To remain a victim of depression when I’ve been given the tools to be healthy, or at least healthier, means that I am withholding a part of me from people who might need what ever I have to give.”

SOURCE: THE BEAST.  A reckoning with depression. Tracy Thompson. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1995. Page 13.

TOOLS FOR THE DEPRESSED

We recommend the HOME STUDY KIT, comprised of the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition manual (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications, and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky.

 

VISIT THE STORE FOR FURTHER DETAILS ON THESE TOOLS — PRODUCED BY THOSE WHO LIVE OUT THE PROGRAM OF RECOVERY IN THEIR  OWN LIVES.