The gift that just keeps on giving!

 

“These Twelve Step;s work for those who work the program and who try to live one day at a time.  Many times we have been so scared of being rejected once more that we have withdrawn deeper into  the anguish of our shame and hurt. We need to to air our hurts, our shame, and let others hear our story.  There is something healing  about hearing ourselves speak to others about  our own journey in life and the many emotional potholes that we have fallen into from time to time. We have felt our lives were jinxed. But now we can begin to feel hopeful when other members of the group shake their their heads in knowing approval of what we are saying when we tell our story. Most have been where we are now. And the more we make an effort to come to meetings regularly, the more we will find members of  the group telling us how they are seeing a change in the way we act, talk  and look.  We will accept the group’s comments as being true and honestly expressed. These people speak our language and they all have been where  we are now. You gradually begin to see yourself as healer instead of victim the more you work the program and get excited about the possibility of helping others. When you start reaching out to others in the group, it is at that point thay you are carrying the message of hope to others. You have a future with Depressed Anonymous. ”

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 105.

The last Step of the Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous says it best for those of us who  now want to be that “gift that keeps on giving.” and become bearers of HOPE.

STEP TWELVE of   the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS FELLOWSHIP

“Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we  tried to carry this message to the depressed,  and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put SUNSPOTS in your life today and everyday!

 

THE   EIGHT WAY.

Excerpts from BELIEVING IS SEEING: 15 WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION.  (See resources)

Please treat yourself  kindly! Begin to plan pleasurable activities into your life today!”

“I think one of the two things which depressed persons feel  is lacking is in not having mastery over the way they feel and believe. Secondly, they seem to have lost a desire to perform a pleasant activity which might attach their interest. One of the things I recommend for people depressed is to find one  pleasant activity that  they once enjoyed before being immobilized  by their present depression. I think it is a good learning  experience to believe that my depression won’t last forever and that someday I can feel better. In other words, I can still try and do that one thing that was a pleasant activity before I got depressed. We feel that we “have no reason to treat ourselves kindly” because we can’t find anything hopeful or of interest in our lives at the moment. We also feel that because we are so bad we don’t deserve anything good.

Also, as for planning pleasurable activities, you might want to start to  listen for the way that you talk to yourself. Try to speak kind words to  yourself as if you were talking  to a guest in your home. Talk out loud if you like–hear yourself say kind things to yourself. For once, say something  good  about  yourself instead of listening to all those old negative tapes that always made you feel you’d be better off dead. Or else someone else. You get the idea.

When you start listing your strengths as part of your Fourth Step Inventory, list all the good things that you like about yourself. (See the Depressed Anonymous Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous manual, 3rd edition., both books comprise the Home Self Study Program of Recovery).

With every negative statement about  yourself don’t allow yourself another statement about yourself until you are able to replace it with three positive statements.  We call these your SUNSPOTS.  I mean let’s be fair and balance this thing out! I know that you might feel a bit uncomfortable about prizing yourself, byut give it a try anyway.”

Also, plan some activities for the next day and write them  on your calendar. This is especially important for the weekend days   when there are so many hours that we may find hard to fill.  Some of us have made  plans  for each of the hours of the day.  We must force ourselves to get active.  Our life may depend on it!

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NOTE: Another resource for personal reflection is the work titled  I’ll do it when I feel better which presents some basic personal behaviors which can lead us out of our personal prison.

RESOURCES: COPYRIGHT(c)  BELIEVING IS SEEING:   15 WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION. Hugh Smith (2017) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.  pgs.43, 44,45,46.

COPYRIGHT(C)  I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER. Hugh Smith  (2016) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.

HOME SELF STUDY KIT 

COPYRIGHT(c) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, 3rd edition.   (2011) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.

COPYRIGHT(c) THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOLUS WORKBOOK. (2011) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.

NOTE: To order online please   VISIT THE STORE. There you find other excellent resources on the subject of depression and recovery.

Empowerment comes from being informed

 

Empowerment comes  from being informed and making choices that help us change our lives for the better.  When I came to a Depressed Anonymous meeting I am making a first major step- namely, that I admit 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. Now that I am conscious of some negative patterns of 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 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 can be empowered by taking the bull by the horn and choosing each new day, one day at a time and start to feel 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 -I  may have seen all the best counselors, psychiatrists and doctors but now finally I am going to a room full of depressed people –  people who understand me and what I am going through!

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 the earth. Some of the group will have been coming for months, and they say that 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 thoughts and feelings we now have a compulsion to live with hope plus a desire for a brand new way of living — and not just the way that  we  once talked to ourselves.

We are going to get a new life. And here is how.

I now feel that that I am getting better learning how not to repeat my old way of thinking, feeling and believing and isolating myself when I fear –whatever. I now know that 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 plunge today and work toward getting better–one day at a time – one meeting at a time —  and using the “tools” of the program.

It has only been when I began to examine the way I talked to myself (negatively) and how I gradually isolated myself from a life lived in serenity and hope,  that I realized I could change this pattern of diminishing myself . Others were doing it and so why couldn’t I? And so can you!

Hugh

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

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

                     PLEASE VISIT THE STORE FOR MORE USEFUL AND INFORMATION.

Depression is different from normal sadness.

Depression cannot be reduced to a single factor. It is the result of the coinciding of different factors. Biological, historical, environmental and psychological factors play a certain role in the beginning and its evolution.

Many people never reach a state of clinical depression .  Such depression, with the feeling of paralysis that it involves, is different from normal sadness. People with clinical depression, in general, demonstrate physical and psychic alterations; people who are  not depressed manifest certain mental signs of sadness.

In addition, people often confuse depression with unhappiness. often one can hear the phrase “I feel depressed’, even though the person concerned only wants to say that he or she is not happy. Until, one has really experienced depression one cannot realize the enormous, difference that exists between being depressed and being unhappy. When we are unhappy, despite the scale of the tragedy that has afflicted us, we remain in contact with reality. When other people offer us consolation and love we can still feel gratitude for their warmth and support. But when we are depressed we feel like people who are excluded from the rest of the world. The comfort and love offered by other people do not penetrate our barrier and we feel neither consoled or loved. To experience real depression means to feel entrapped in pitch or suffocated by some dense, heavy material or buried alive in a dark tunnel. The depressed person   is interested in nothing and nobody, and does not feel any hope.”

SOURCE: Jose Saraiva Martins

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Comment: If you are  a depressed person and are reading this you know the guy who is writing the above material  knows what he is talking about. But, if you are  a person who has been unhappy but never depressed, it is  impossible for you to even begin to fathom what he is talking about.  ” Yes”, you might say, “but I don’t see any plaster casts, no sign of physical brokenness and the guy or gal is always happy. You know, the life of the party.”

There is a night and day difference between being depressed and being unhappy. I know,  as I have been depressed. I also  have been very unhappy as well. Being depressed is  a life threatening illness and for many the trajectory can lead to suicide  preceded by thinking that is hopeless and suicidal.

The person who has experienced depression themselves and who seeks  help to climb out of the dark pit now has friends in the  Depressed Anonymous fellowship of the 12 steps.  The new person coming into our group soon learns that the members know about the depression experience. Some have talked about trying to commit  suicide.

My point is that  persons depressed live in a world that they cannot touch, a world which they are viewing from the insides of an  enclosed soundproof glass room. They are completely isolated and adrift —  floating alone in a river of turbulence and dangerous currents. And when the time comes to flee this pain and isolation they run to the people who say they know what depression is. They also have a “toolkit” which they continue to use in their daily lives which helps them to forever stay out of that glass enclosed room.  I am one  of those persons who never  returned to that past time in my life when I felt totally alone, without friends, purpose or meaning in my life. I owe my life to Depressed Anonymous and its powerful focus on hope instead of hopelessness.

Hugh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I CAN CHANGE THE WAY I FEEL

“We  do know that depression, like any other long standing emotion, can and does cause a physiological change in the body. Many scientists also know that positive emotions over time can produce a change in the immunological makeup of our human body and so protect it from illness.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Depression can be eliminated from my life after I take a closer look at my lifestyle. If I want to conquer depression, I have to take a closer look at the way I think, behave and live out my life.  Of course, to have a belief in some power greater than myself produces the hopeful vision that, in time, I can begin the healing process. My brokenness and fear of risking change is at the core of my depression.  I know that once I begin to get moving in a positive physical and mental way, the healthier I can become.

Someone once said that an emotion is energy in motion. A good description I would say.  My ability to maintain an emotional balance depends heavily on my belief that I can change the way I feel. I know with the help of my conscious contact with my Higher Power that I can find the peace that I am searching for.

MEDITATION

We know that good things start to happen when we give up our will to the one who wills nothing but our personal good.  The power which is greater than the power  of our depression is desirous of eradicating its dominion of our lives.  Let go now your fear to let go and let God.

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Source: Copyright(c)Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 106.  Higher Thought for May 25.

Source: Depressed Anonymous (3rd Edition) 2011. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky.