I now have the key that unlocks my prison of depression

In the Promises of Depressed Anonymous, we know that they will materialize  if we work for them. What kind of work do we need to do?

In the Depressed Anonymous Publication,  I’ll do it when I feel better we find that there are a number of healing routes which will  lead us out of the prison of our isolation and despair.

First we read our Depressed Anonymous Manual. and apply what we have read in  each  Step and  utilize the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. And of course, we go to as many meetings as possible and apply the 12 step spiritual principles of recovery to our daily life. Also, we get a sponsor, which is a person who is familiar with the Steps and who applies these spiritual principles in their own life. The sponsor and you will meet as often as agreed and he/she will help guide you along the road to recovery. In time and with work you will feel the release and freedom provided by having had a “true spiritual awakening” which can keep you in God’s will. This happens to be God’s plan, so always remember to stick to the plan. Good things begin to happen to us when we live in God’s will. And that’s a PROMISE!

SOURCES: (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2017)  DAP  . Hugh Smith. Louisville. KY. Page 53.

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

(c) Depressed Anonymous Workbook.  (2001) DAP. Louisville. KY

To order ONLINE please go to VISIT THE STORE.

Got too much on your plate?

 

Yes, I have too much on my plate. So, now what can I do to make my plate lighter? How can I slow down, smell the roses and deal with  all those pressures coming at me at the same time?  Even before I get out of bed   I get depressed just thinking of all the things which are facing me today.  I just want to take the bed covers, pull them over my head  and say goodbye to it all. I keep telling myself “I don’t want to do this anymore.  My life is  a metaphor for a roller coaster. I just wanna get off!”

Ok, my life is out of control. My life is unmanageable.  I feel like the clown in the circus,  who has  dinner plates all spinning around at the same time  – all zipping around at top speed and not a one crashing to the floor. Amazing!  Today we call this multitasking. Yes, I  multitask  and it’s killing me! But I want to know how to keep life simple? How to  gain control of what is on my plate and how to rid myself of those things which I can live without.

In Higher Thoughts for Down Days, I read how ” I can learn to keep my life simple. I plan to do that by first of all admitting that I am powerless over my depression and that my life is unmanageable. I also believe that I can get out of this mess by focusing on respected and workable solutions rather than keeping focused on my ever present difficulties.

The word simple comes from the Latin word “simplex”  meaning one fold. Also, it means to just have one part. I think to keep it simple means to be single-minded and keep the focus on the solution and practice that particular solution in all my daily affairs.”

Here at our site (depressedanon.com) we have listed a number of tools which each of us can use for our own personal recovery.  (See Tools for Recovery at Site Menu). I guarantee that if you begin to use these recovery tools, on a daily basis,  you will begin to   free yourself from being overwhelmed and your life  will no longer feel out of control and unmanageable.  Each of the tools  describe a particular action to take which can give you more control over your life.  You will in time be able to  take issues off your plate, which  once immobilized you,   providing  you  with a sense of hope.

I recommend that you take one of the listed tools, read up on how to  put its action into your daily   life. Take one at a time and get good at doing it on a daily basis. This will form a habit and habits determine what  course our behaviors will take.  Please write to me and let me know how you are doing with this exercise of hopefulness.

I will leave you today with this riddle:

QUESTION

How do you eat an elephant?

ANSWER

One bite at a time!

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SOURCES:   Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. June 26. pg. 128.

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

Copyright(c)   I’ll do it when I feel better! 2nd edition. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

VISIT THE STORE at  Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore for more information available. Ordering online is available.

Is your soul getting what it wants?

 

Thanks to (c)Dep-Anon,   which is the name of the Depressed Anonymous  Family fellowship group, we can  find ways  to  give support  to  each other  whose lives  are intertwined  with  those  significant others  who are depressed. Our basic text makes use of the 12 Step principles of Recovery just  as does Depressed Anonymous, the basic text for those of us who are depressed.

Dep-Anon,  with its  thoughts of support  and  with a foundation of 12 Step spiritual principles are written by those persons who  have Family members and friends who are depressed. Their experiences speak and carry  great weight for those  of us who are desirous of learning how to live with understanding and serenity  in very trying circumstances.

A psychologist James Hillman stated that “Until the soul gets what it wants, it must fall ill again.”

For what does our soul yearn? Can you tell me? Can you tell me even what is this soul reality. Is it my personality? Is it my character. Is it me? Is it all of me?  And then, what is it that your soul yearns? Is there a “hole” in your soul that  is  continually filling up with sadness and despair?  In order to make a difference in our lives, day by day, is to reflect  on the Serenity Prayer (below) and make it one’s mantra  throughout our day.

“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

“We treasure our “Serenity Prayer” because it brings new light to us that can dissipate our old and nearly fatal habit of fooling ourselves.

In the radiance of this prayer we see the defeat, rightly accepted, need be no disaster. We now know that we do not have to run away, nor ought we again try to overcome adversity by still another bulldozing power drive that can only push up obstacles before us faster than they can be taken down.” (ABSI. pg.20).

SOURCE:   Copyright(c) Dep-Anon Family Group Manual.    Pgs.33.

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“We  can only live now, and so we have to let go of past hurts and past resentments.”  Depressed Anonymous. p. 37.

Further  reflection points! See website MENU at the drop down Tools of Recovery site and check out The Serenity Prayer and Live in the Present.

Coming attractions!

How often do we  hear about “coming attractions” when we go to our local theater? There are always movies that are advertised to be shown in the future. They usually depict short clips from some of the movies  that will be coming  soon.

Now, today, as we go  about our day, our mind reviews some of the coming attractions that we will bump into this day. Have you ever noticed that the human mind, with its fears and apprehensions, usually attracts all those things that we fear might actually  happen to us. Let me give  an example of how “coming attractions” works in the brain. It’s very much like Murphy’s law which tells us that if you think something bad is going to happen–it usually does. It is a strange phenomenon but it actually works out that what we fear many times actually occurs. It’s almost like the negative fear attracts the very thing that we fear. Let’s say we are thinking about a person who is a big pain and suddenly there they are -right in front of us. How does this happen? Is  there some mysterious magnetic force in the universe that  makes this fear become a reality? Or another example: I go to a room filled with strangers and I think, “nobody will want to talk with me.” And almost magically we find ourselves standing in a corner watching everyone else interacting with others.  We just knew that this would happen. This is one of those “coming attractions” to which  our mind alerted us. And then again, how about this situation. You are at the grocery or market and you  see someone you’d just as well not want  to see . So you go down another aisle in the store and head for the check out lane. Lo and behold, guess  who pulls up their cart right behind you. Yep, you guessed it. It’s one of those “coming attractions” that our mind makes happen. Negativity attracts negative events. Negativity thoughts  attracts more negative thinking.

Can there be a reverse side of this “coming attractions” business of the mind?  I believe so. It is just as true that our mind attracts whatever we put into it. If we fear this or that,  make a mountain out of a molehill, but then reflect and see it for what it is, and reduce it to its appropriate size, we will not get stuck in the cycling negative thinking  of how bad it is or might appear to us at the time.

In Step Three  of Depressed Anonymous we  read that “we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”   This is one of my favorite “coming attractions” that has proved time and time again to be so true. Over time and with practice,  I no longer waste my time thinking about what is going to happen to me in the future  with its promised catastrophic end. So now my positive thinking abounds in a positive outlook for my life. I just know that whatever comes to me today I can handle. I just know that the Promises of Depressed Anonymous are as true today as when they wewre first written back in 1935. I also believe that all I have is today–just this 24 hour period. That is all God gives me. One day at a time. And whatever the “coming attractions” are  for me today–God and myself can handle them. I am going to have a great day  today! How about your day?

For more about the “coming attractions ” for your life,  read what will happen for those of us who choose the  way that leads out of depression. In the program of recovery we call them the “PROMISES.”

“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development , we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new happiness.  We will not regret the  past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word “serenity” and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how  our experience can help others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will  lose interest in  selfish things and  gain interest in our fellows. Self  seeking will slip away.  Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. The fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize  if we work for them. ”

SOURCE:   Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 109.

The Promises (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications .Louisville.

Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

VISIT THE BOOKSTORE FOR MORE INFO.

“..we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life.”

Promise #4: We comprehend the word serenity and we know peace of mind.

Agitation, anxiety and jitteriness were all part of my life as I muddled through day after day, one foot in front of the other.  Serenity was definitely not a part of my life.

As with any attachment to a negative behavior, serenity and peace was the farthest thing from my life. The new beliefs and thoughts which I heard expressed at Depressed Anonymous meetings started to help me change the way I thought about myself, my world and my future.

I believe that it takes work, time and prayer and quiet periods of meditation to achieve the peace and serenity that we are talking about here.

  PEACE OF MIND IS THE RESULT OF:

  1. A clear conscience
  2. Living in the present
  3. Gratitude everyday
  4. Belief that the God of my understanding will get me through the problems of my life
  5. Forgiveness of myself and amends to all person I have harmed
  6. Doing God’s will means letting go

I am firmly convinced that in order to continue any semblance of peace and serenity I will have to structure a daily quiet period into my life. This is an essential part of the prescription for getting well and staying well. Also, I believe that when I am quiet, God can give to me all that is mine to have. My will and my life  have to be attuned to God’s presence and love.  We will know that in order for God to make itself present to us and demonstrate its love we have to sit still, be quiet and listen with purity of heart. This is an essential part of the formula where we will find our sobriety and serenity.

It is my belief that God does speak to those who remain quiet and have a design to listen. Peace is defined as “an undisturbed state of mind, absence of mental conflict.”   Serenity is defined as “a quality or state of being serene; calmness, tranquility.”

The quality or state of being serene all takes time, work and discipline. I believe that  the big book of AA says it best: ” When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts   of remarkable things followed.  We had a new employer; being all powerful he provided what we needed, if we kept close to him and performed his work well.

Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in plans, our little designs  and ourselves.  More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of his presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or hereafter.. We’re reborn.” ( Page 63, AA).

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SOURCE: Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 36-38. The Promises of Depressed Anonymous.

 

Something powerful is starting to blossom within me.

Promise # 12 of Depressed Anonymous tells us that: We would suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Pages 51-53.

“Before we discovered  the program of Depressed Anonymous we were convinced that the only chance that we had to get better was to wait while the drugs kicked in and then everything would be alright. But now we are certain that our ability to get well is based on how much we develop the belief that we can choose how we feel and think.  Indeed, we are now convinced that we can either sad ourselves or choose not to sad ourselves. The community and common bonds of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship produce a feeling that as other members of the group are recovering so can I.

We must be willing to let go of all thoughts that tell us that we will never get  well. These are the same thoughts that have imprisoned us over the years. We now listen to the God of our understanding and proceed with the belief that what we hold about the world on the outside of us is determined and governed by the world that is lived within us.

We are in a brand new way, on a new path, and find ourselves committed to a fresh belief that something powerful is starting to blossom within me. A peace that surpasses all understanding is beginning to be born as we learn to relax and wait and listen for that still small voice.  We let go, we surrender, we relax and let it speak.  We pray that the God of our understanding make a way out of this desert of misery just as it has already created a way for those of us who live in the fellowship. Our thoughts move inside us with light and peace.”

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SOURCE:  I’ll do it when I feel better. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 51-53

 

You can let your thoughts come into your mind, just don’t invite them to stay for tea.

The Promises of Depressed Anonymous: Promise #10 of 15.

Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.

Losses may produce a variety of very intense and painful feelings. Fear can cripple the best of us. Why fear people and economic insecurity? In Steps 4,5,6,7,8,9 we have examined our lives piece by piece, ending up with a good conscience, while feeling neither guilt or shame for things of the past. We have thrown off the shackles of the past.

Bill, in his personal testimony in the DA book relates that you don’t get better overnight, but you do get better. “I was down in the muck  as far as I could go.  I had to go and open  the door for the first time  because there was no other place to go. I had already used up all the hiding places in my life. I still have many problems like anyone else, but when I need sleep very badly, I turn the problem over to the Higher Power and go to sleep. I can always pick  life up in the morning. Somehow it all gets done. Every few days the world dumps on you and beats you down. That’s just life..” (Source: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.)

I believe this man definitely “got it.” when he began attending the  group, spending some quiet time every day and learn that people like himself were able together to form a new environment, a surrogate  family if you will, where there exists healing and hope.

Granted the group cannot find you a job or take away fear of people, but it can provide you with a map where you can discover a way out of the prison of one’s depression. How can you learn that?

Kim, a member of DA in her personal story says that “the moment I read that I had a choice to stay in depression I undoubtedly knew that I could make the choice to get out of my depression. Bingo! It wasn’t an illness. This did not have control over me. And another tool I use frequently through the DA manual is  that “thoughts produce feelings, feelings produce moods and moods produce behavior.” (Source: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.)

In the tradition of one major religion, there exist the three poisons, greed, anger and delusion. And as the saying goes “You can let your thoughts come into your mind, just don’t invite them to stay for tea.”

And as it says in the Bible; “Fear not, for I am with you. Let not your heart be troubled.”

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If you have ever experienced the pain and hurt of depression you know what the thoughts expressed here are all about.

I remember Bill very well from the time he came into our group for the first time. And  with time passing I saw him change right before my eyes and live out what he shares with us in his personal story in Depressed Anonymous. I do know that it is just in the sharing of who we are that life can begin for us once again. It truly is like a rebirth. I also know how our feelings produce our moods and the moods produce our behavior. My behavior shifted dramatically from the extrovert that I normally was to the reclusive and isolated person trying to figure out the “why” of my depression. It was only until I got moving did my  feelings begin to change and I became more positive in my thinking so that gradually I began to climb out of the deadness of my  inactive behavior. “If you want something that you never had before,  you must do something that you never did before.”  Doing that something will be the thing that will change your life!

SOURCES:    I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014). DAP. Louisville.

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

Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression (2015) DAP. Louisville.