Now is the time to get into action…

 

Now is the time to take charge over my life and do something good for myself   by drumming up  positive thoughts about myself.  In the program of Depressed Anonymous of which I am an active member, we call these positive thoughts and mental images as SUNSPOTS.  These are the times in my past life where something happy came to mind and I remember how good I  have felt about that event. Those pictures in my mind need to be deeply embedded into my memory as they are the steps that can lead me out of my prison if I think about them often enough.

Joy is a rare commodity for those of us who have been depressed. I know how hard it is to smile, to laugh and to feel happy about much of anything. I tell myself don’t get too comfortable getting happy as it will all end anyway.  I continually caution myself to watch out. Now I can take mastery over my life and learn how to share something good within myself and be kind to myself.

 

RESOURCES

Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditation for members of 12 Step Fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Pg. 34. January 22nd.

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

After 14 years, I have hope!

I had always known that I was hard on myself. I reamed myself out every time something bad happened. “Why can’t I find someone to love me?” “Why isn’t God looking after me?”  But for some reason, when I  realized that I was doing this to myself, it made me realize that maybe all I would have to do is stop doing it. All of a sudden, it made sense.

If I tell  myself negative thoughts, I feel negative. If I tell myself nothing, I feel nothing. So, if I tell myself positive thoughts, eventually I’ll have to feel positive.

Of course, I’m still testing it out, but I feel better and for the first time in 14 years, I have hope.  It’s not hard to find something positive about  myself or my life now. So I remind myself of something positive everyday and that’s what I’m going to do until I don’t have to remind myself anymore because I’ll know.”

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY . Pages, 120 -121.

I was hard on myself.

 

A Depressed Anonymous member shares  their story (A victim of my own mind #9 )  of recovery  in    Depressed Anonymous. The following is an excerpt.

“I had always known that I was hard on  myself. I reamed myself every time something bad  had happened. “Why can’t I find someone to love me?  Or “I don’t understand how I can be nice and people still keep hurting me.”  Or “Why isn’t God looking after me.”  But for some reason when I realized  I was doing this to myself, it made me realize that maybe all I would have to do is stop doing it.  All of a sudden it made sense.

If I tell myself negative things, I feel negative. If I tell myself nothing I feel nothing.  So, if I tell myself positive things, eventually I’ll have to feel positive.”

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (1998, 2008, 2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.  (Excerpt from Personal Stories section).

 

 

“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.

Sisyphus and his rock.

There is an ancient Greek myth about a greedy King (Sisyphus)  from Corinth who was sent to Hades (hell) and who spent all eternity pushing a heavy rock up the hill, only to have the rock roll down again.

What do I make of this myth? What meaning can we give to it? What is its message?  And how can I relate it to my own life?

First of all, it has all sorts of meaning for all sorts of situations in my own life. I like to think of the story about Sisyphus and his rock much like my own story and struggles with the “rock” that I keep pushing up the hill. That rock was my struggle with  depression which  always seemed to be a part of my daily existence. Everyday, I just knew that it was time for me to face the rock and start pushing.   In time, the thought of facing another day with my hands on the rock gradually wore me down. I was exhausted.

I couldn’t get out of bed in the mornings. I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t think a coherent thought. My nerves were in revolt and my anxiety precluded any sort of activity that might help me escape my rock pushing. I began to feel hopeless and too helpless to walk away from this rock which was  chained to my mind, body and spirit.  I felt I had no choice but to get up and push the rock.

This started me to force myself to walk each day, and without thinking about the rock. It was like I was distracted from thinking about anything while I walked. And so in time, with my daily walks, I found that my rock grew smaller and smaller. And then one day, I reached the top of the hill without my rock. I was free. I felt free. I felt that my time in hell had ended.  (Read: I’ll do it when I feel better. Depressed Anonymous Publications).

Over the years I have found other tools besides that of walking in dealing with my depression. I founded a group, called Depressed Anonymous, where all the various shapes and forms of Sisyphus could gather, share their hopes, and their  victories and discard their rocks. I knew that being all alone in one’s hell, made life even more unbearable. But with a group of persons together, all with their own situations and experiences could get the strength to find their way out of this rock pushing bondage  .

All in all, I have found that when you get together with others like yourself, and you share your stories, things start to change.  You finally feel accepted, and made welcome  as you share your own rock pushing over the years, months, even a lifetime. We all can check our “rocks” at the door as we discuss ways out of our misery,  week after week .

For more information please check out our stories in our manual Depressed Anonymous, which by the way, is written by those of us who have been depressed and are in recovery, attending Depressed Meetings week after week. And if there is no meeting in our community we can also participate in our Home Study Program of Recovery, accompanied by an online sponsor.

Click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore for  learning more about who we are and what we do.  If you choose you can order online from our website at depressedanon.com.

Join us here everyday as we continue sharing our serenity and our hope online at our BLOG: Depressed Anonymous.

 

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.

HOW DOES A PERSON CHANGE? THINK ABOUT IT AS A FOUR STAGE PROCESS.

In order for us to escape depression we need to begin to be aware of the process of how people change. That process for change is of the nature of a spiral instead of a straight line. In other words, now that we are willing to risk feeling differently we have been gearing up to improve our situation. In other words we are making a very important decision right now about our lives.
1. AWARENESS STAGE: We become conscious that we can’t go on feeling the way that we do. Something has to give.
2. MOTIVATING STAGE: I am going to prepare myself for needed change in my thinking, acting and feeling.
3. DOING STAGE: I am going to take charge and be responsible for positive changes that have to be made by me if I am to feel differently.
4. MAINTAINING STAGE: I will continue to seek out and sustain my recovery with people, concepts and my personal working of the 12 step program for recovery.
Now apply these four stages which serve as antidotes to our character defects and which cause us to stay imprisoned in our prison of depression…The first is the character defect of BLAMING.
(1) AWARE. Now that I have admitted that I am powerless over my depression and that it serves no purpose to blame myself for my depression an d bashing myself with daily reminders how bad and unacceptable I am. And now I am: (1) AWARE of my need to discover what there is about myself that I do find acceptable, good and wholesome.

(2) I am MOTIVATING myself now that I am aware how I have depressed myself by the faulty beliefs that I have held about myself over the past years. I now know that part of the way I feel is due to the way I automatically talk to myself throughout the day. Without ever being conscious of it I now realize that my feelings about myself are very negative and emotion laden.

(3) DOING. I intend today to replace all negative statements that I make in my head and replace them with positive statements –positive affirmations. I am going to alert myself –like a red flag waving –every time I call myself stupid or put myself down mentally. I will use affirmations such as “I will build a new life.” “I am strong.” “I have courage to go through this experience.” “I no longer blame myself or others for my sadness.” “I do not have to wait for someone to make me feel differently.” “I can do it myself.”

(4) MAINTAINING. I am very hopeful that I can feel differently just today, for this 24 hour period. I am going to tolerate my imperfectness while at the same time refusing to feel sorry for myself. I am going to make myself accountable for how I feel –not blame it on another, the weather, parents or whatever.
SOURCE: The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (Pgs. 41-43)- Depressed Anonymous Publications – Louisville
Continued tomorrow: BEING A VICTIM