What’s in your backpack?

Have you ever embarked and planned for a camping trip where you set up camp  for a couple of days. Remember how you would load up your backpack with what you thought you needed? Gradually, it became clear  that you had too much stuff. How could you possibly carry all that stuff on the  mile long trails?  It was obvious that now you had to figure out what to leave behind.  That is the trick: what do I leave behind?

Almost a year ago, my wife and I moved to a new home. We were downsizing. Again, the metaphor of the backpack comes into play. What to give away. What to throw away. It was now that we realized that we no longer needed what we had accumulated over the years. As Ecclesiastes tells us, there is a time to plant and a time to root out.

The American naturalist Sigurd Olson shares that “years of walking through wild country has taught him a great deal about traveling light. Backpackers learn, sometimes the hard way, that simplicity is always a question of knowing what to leave behind.”

I relish listening to the old tape of George Carlin who gives his spiel about  our “stuff.”  We all have more “stuff” that we know what to do with.  We all carry our “stuff” where ever we go.   Too late are we  aware of what our backpack is carrying. I am referring to the “stuff” of   our sad moods  which if not dealt with, will by the sheer weight of it all, overwhelm us.  Our backpacks could be filled with rage, fear, anger, suicidal thoughts and everything else that weighs us down. Not only our body but our mind  is immobilized.

Most of the time now, my backpack has only the essential items  for my life journey. I have opened up my  backpack, looked inside and removed all the situations and feelings that I no longer felt were positive and life giving. Today, I know perfectly well what is in my backpack.  Along with all the solutions that I carry with me day after day, I have my guide book, giving me a Step by Step plan for living my life with serenity and grateful heart.

I no longer let a negative and unpleasant mood spiral  down  so that my backpack becomes heavier and the depression mood darkens a path ahead. Today after years on the road, I now can tell when I need to get on the unpacking thing, take out what I don’t want or need, and move on.  We can  leave behind that which weighs us down

If you want  to know what might be in your backpack, and want to take out that stuff you no longer need or want on this life journey, please join us, get your guide book, and walk with us. In time and with a lighter load, you can join us (Depressed Anonymous).

Together we will get where  we need to be and with what we need to continue to travel on this broad and wide road, not alone but with each other.

Hugh

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SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

Visit The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore where you will find your plan for the way out of the wilderness.

Setting a force in motion.

 

“I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force – the loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me – restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those  who are ready to risk leaving behind the prison of their depression. By my own interest in getting in touch with the Higher Power and getting its direction to “do the next right thing” I find that my own life is gradually more filled with  purpose and energy.

There is a saying that to gain energy you must give energy. I have found this to be true for my own life.

What appears to deplete our energy is when our thoughts implode and collide with each other as they are kept focused on the problem. Actually, a person who is depressed is much like a community which is divided and at war with itself.

If you nurture yourself, you will find that just as in the natural world, the growth will be good and  the growth will be gradual. There are no quick fixes in life –only slow solutions.

We have a competency, an identity, an autonomy and an interrelatedness to everything alive around us. We are truly a part of every living community on the planet and in the entire universe. We are all one – and the more we see ourselves as part and parcel of this universe, we discover that we are a part of creating a wonderful garden of diversity and plurality where everyone feels a part.

We realize again that by my willingness to live in the will of God that I can live in the peace of my own consciousness of being one with all. What I mean by this is that God acts in and through us the more we let go and let God.

We believe that as we can become aware that God dwells in each of us and demonstrates its power in us the more we remain   open to God’s personal presence.

We humans are so grounded in the material and the spatial that it is veritably impossible to be conscious of a Higher Power in and around us. We are so mired in the muck. We can begin to believe that we can tap into this consciousness and let it unfold its plan, its purpose and plot for our life. It will not plan something small and insignificant but will, by small steps, lead us, cause to unfold in our lives that which it has for us to accomplish while we are here on this earth. And I believe the spiritual nature and the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous is what God uses to get us aware and conscious of its love and presence.”

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) The Promises of  Depressed  Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Pages 15-17.

12 self-help ways to get undepressed

 

 

+ Attribute the depression to a cause, e.g., loss of a loved one, loss of a childhood, loss of a pet, loss of a job.

+Attempt to rectify the problems considered responsible for evoking the feelings of depression.

+Finding moral and social support (Depressed Anonymous mutual aid group).

+Engaging in diverting and distracting recreations.

+ Keeping busy and working.

+ Focusing one’s attention elsewhere than on the depressing problems or depressed feelings.

+Restructuring one’s  thinking so as to minimize the significance of the depressing events.

+Engaging in in self-care and self maintenance activities.

+Venting one’s feelings.

+Taking prescribed medication as long as you and your doctor agree that the medication is working on your behalf.

+Finding compensations and boosting feelings of self esteem or self sufficiency through useful purposeful activity.

+Taking comfort in one’s religion.

SOURCE: Wounded Healers.  V. Rippere & W. Ruth.  John  WIley and Sons, Ltd, 1985. pgs. 86-87. (Reprinted and published in the ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET.)

“I have to put my oars in the water if I want to get to my destination.”

MY AFFIRMATION

“The idea that we have to be responsible  for ourselves and that the ways of the world are neither good nor just is too terrifying for you to contemplate. You cannot tolerate such uncertainty. You do not trust yourself, so how can you take responsibility for yourself?”

CLARIFICATION  OF THOUGHT

I don’t like facing the fact that ultimately I am the one responsible for myself, no one else.It  appears to me that  I have to take care of myself, depend on my Higher Power for direction, and go from there. My Higher Power isn’t going to do it all. I know that I have to do all that I can to restore my life and my feelings. God is the rudder to my boat and I have to put my oars in the water if I am to get moving in the right direction.

I am attempting, day by day, to tolerate the unpredictableness  of my life and gradually learn new ways to cope with uncertainty. While I am depressing myself, I want everything to be perfect and under my control. I know now that I will be happier when I learn how to tolerate a pleasant mood without telling myself that it won’t last.

MEDITATION

We believe that the closer that we come to God, as we understand God, the closer our God draws to us. We believe that whatever we want changed in our life this can be best be accomplished by approaching the God of our Understanding and letting this Power greater  than  ourselves steer us across the stormy sea.

(Your own personal thoughts)

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SOURCE: Copyright (c)  Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of the 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymlus Publications. Louisville. Page 57. March 19.

NOTE:   This book and others can help you find the serenity and hope that you are looking for in your life today. You can order on line here at our website. Click onto VISIT THE STORE.

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.

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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.

What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?

What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?


“Well,  first let me say that when I first started attending Depressed Anonymous, I went for s couple of months and then stopped. I stopped going because my depression was so bad that I didn’t  want to leave my apartment. I didn’t want to be around or talk to anyone. I just didn’t want to do anything except crawl in a hole somewhere and isolate myself from everything. Then after about six weeks of isolation, I called the residential treatment center where I had been a client to see if I had received any mail there and one of the members of the DA group where I attend answered the phone. I spent a few minutes talking to her and there was something in her voice that told me  that for some reason, it was important for me to be at the meeting. I attended the next Depreseed Anonymous meeting. After the meeting was over, I suddenly realized the importance  and power of Depressed Anonymous.

So what is the power of Depressed Anonymous? For me, it is just like attending that first meeting. I was a little scared and apprehensive at first, but then I found the Depressed Anonymous meeting was a place to go where there were other depressed people just like me. They could relate to and understand what I was going thr0ugh. They didn’t judge me or think of me as crazy. I was accepted.

Another power of Depressed Anonymous is the miracle fo the group and what each person brings to the group. I have seen our fellowship get stronger and grow. I have developed many friendships that I can depend on for support and understanding. I have watched some  of the newcomers that have kept coming back grow and improve. Even something as simple as a smile when there was none before.  The miracle of the group empowers and energizes me.

The most important power of Depresseed Anonynous is hope. Hope that we will not be locked into the prison of depression forever and that there is a way out for each of us. A hope that our Higher Power will work the miracle through us and that we will find our own happiness. I have hope that our heart and minds will know love and peace like we have never known or felt before.  The power of Depressed  Anonymous works for me.  I hope and pray that it works for you. Keep coming back!

SOURCE:  Copyright(c)  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY . Pages 134,135.  Ray’s personal story of recovery.

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If there is no Depressed Anonymous group where you live–don’t let that stop you from joining our fellowship. Get started today and use the HOME STUDY KIT (SEE STORE)  where you can begin your own recovery using the tools that members in a “face to face” group use at their meetings.  The HOME STUDY  version provides you with a Depressed Anonynmous WORKBOOK plus a Depresssed Anonymous  MANUAl. These two works will provide you with an amazing process in which you can grow and learn more about depression and its effect upon your own  life.  It can also  provide you with an access to our web blog where you can read article after article on the “how” to leave the prison of depression. You are always welcome to involve yourself with any and all comments that you would like to send to the site in response to what you see and read here.

We welcome you.

Home Study Kit

Depressed Anonymous. Pollyanna or the real deal ?

Is Depressed Anonymous the real deal or is it just too good to be true. Are we much like the novel character Pollyanna, over optimistic about everything or are we the realists who take life on lives terms and then deal with it the best way that we can. For all of us who are program people we know the answer to that question.

The best way to deal with any problem or life situation  is to face it squarely and deal with it.  Feelings and all have to be felt, looked at and then dealt with. Take it from me and the  many others who come into our program depressed and who discover that we are not the” pie in the sky “people,  the people with the magic potions or the magic wand wafted over  our heads. But, we are the solution focused folks who will help you build a program that will last a lifetime, giving hope, with a fellowship of hopeful people with whom one can always be in contact with.

One of the areas of life that the depressed has not much experience with is to be like  little  Pollyanna of Porter’s  novels.  Most times the gloom that settles in our minds and heart are those feelings of despair and darkness which we are unable to shake off. It’s that feeling of hopelessness, the feeling of being completely helpless as we gradually make our whole existence one of inner pain  and anxiousness. We can’t sleep–or we sleep too much. We eat too little or we overeat.   Our life is lived out in what feels like a prison cell. It’s a prison without bars, granted, but we cannot  leave it just because we will to.  Will power is initially useless. I know, I tried that route. The Depressed Anonymous fellowship is one of the means which provide  us with a key–a way to leave this prison of isolation.

And then here comes this group called Depressed Anonymous.  Why go to a  group of people who are depressed and listen to stories  about their sense of futility and oppression? That would be depressing! That is, unless they are using in their lives the 12 spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous. This is the  blueprint which build one step at a time the rest of the structure  that, like the Alcoholic, overeater, all build a structure that can  last a life time. Once they are onboard and begin using Steps for their own personal recovery to build a new life of hope, no adversity can force them to go back to their old and addictive behaviors.

The depression experience is what brings them into our fellowship and it is here that hope is gradually restored. But please, we don ‘t have the easy answers or  magic pills, or the magic wand to make our pain go away.  What we do is provide a plan, a blueprint if you will, a daily dose of hope with a lively  fellowship, sponsors and literature.

There is no sugar coating here. No whitewashing the pain of an individual depression experience. But just like the alcoholic who makes a commitment to keep from alcohol one day at a time, we too have the same program. We come in and decide that yes, I have a problem,  and yes  I will do all in my power,  plus with the ever present  God of my understanding,  change what needs to be changed in my life, one  day at a time.  This is the real deal. And so won’t you join us in this program of recovery and make the effort to discover how you too can live a life of hope and happiness.

Hugh

 

 

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.