I will make a daily inventory of all my strengths.

 

BELIEVING IS SEEING:   15  WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION.  # Eleven.

 

I will make a daily inventory of all my positive strengths. I tended to magnify the worst in everything in my life and make mountains out of molehills. I will focus on my stars and not my scars.

 

“One of the  problems of being depressed is that every circumstance and situation is filled with potential hurt and disappointment. The depressed  person has a tendency to think in patterns of despair, hurt, and disappointment. It appears to be a proven fact that  the more a person keeps their fears and anxious  thoughts  to themselves, this can cause the mountain to grow larger. But by sharing these  fears  and thoughts with  others, either by writing them out, as in a daily journal, or group discussion (like on SKYPE and ZOOM) we soon discover that our fears are not as big as we thought. The expression of fear  many times decreased  the size of their fear.  Now that we are accepting ourselves we can begin to see that we possess the  strength and persistence to tackle whatever obstacle lies ahead.

One of the features that stands out in our lives when depressed  is  we see everything in dark colors. Nothing looks  hopeful. There does not appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel – except that it might be an oncoming freight train. We feel that we do not have a friend in  the world. We feel that we’ll never feel good again. The list goes on and on.

What may be of some help is to take out pen and pencil and begin writing down your good points that you feel are your strengths. We have already done this,  but it still remains an excellent exercise no matter how often you do it.

What do you remember as strengths before being aware  that you are depressed?  Going to  Depressed Anonymous meetings has the potential to restore your sense of proportion about  your strong points. At the meetings your friends in the fellowship will  begin to tell  you are showing improvement the more you are participating in  the meetings. To listen to those who themselves are working the program and who share their lives week after week, you begin to realize that you too can begin to feel differently. Today can be a new start and  yes, you do have it within yourself to be that person who is reversing old negative patterns of thinking and replacing them  with thoughts of hope and optimism.   You now believe that there is hope for yourself.  Right  now your strength seems to be that of maintaining a habitual  way of thinking thoughts of hope.  By the fact that you are reading this, takes the strength to want to feel good and continue to maintain a positive recovery. Begin now and reflect on your strengths. Believe that you  have a way to maintain a personal persistence and desire to continue with gratitude for this new feeling of hope.”

NOTE: Take your pen and/or  pencil and begin writing your thoughts down in response to the questions posed in the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK.  Depressed Anonymous Publications.

RESOURCES:

Copyright(c)  Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2020) Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Pages 57-59.

Copyright(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

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

These basic books of the  Depressed Anonymous Fellowship can be ordered online.

See: www.depressed anon.con.

LITERATURE AVAILABLE.

To receive  a mailing of Depressed Anonymous literature, send a Self addressed stamped envelope to : DAP, Box 465 , Pewee Valley, Kentucky. 40056. 

The material can be used as “handouts”  at your local Depressed Anonymous meetings.

 

 

Our whole outlook and attitude upon life changes. A sense of purpose transforms us.

To  really believe, possibly for the first time in one’s life that I can free myself from the  prison  of depression and begin to feel better. I know  I’m  needing  to be proactive in my efforts at self recovery. But what causes our outlook and attitude to emerge?

I have to begin to believe that hope and healing is possible. Once we have gone through some painful inner changes, such as dealing with our character defects and our isolating tendencies we see there is a way out. We have to have a positive attitude that will move and motivate us to want to go get to the next step.  Watching someone actually take these steps week after week and watch that feeling of wellness rise up in them and can promote a belief that with work and time, their lives do improve. Soon we see  that a sense of purpose begins to manifest itself the more time and work, into our personal recovery.

A door opens ever slightly, and there appears a potential route to freedom. A way out! I do believe that when my hope and faith and recovery rises, my symptoms of depression go down.”

Resource:

(C) I’ll do it when I feel  better. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville,  KY. Page 46.

Order online from  The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at our website www.depressedanon.com.

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.

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.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depressed Anonymous helps us get in touch with our best selves.

Taking charge and being responsible for oneself is at the core of all recovery programs. As we get into a discussion with other people who are depressed, much like ourselves, we see that they talk about feeling better while at the same time acting on their own behalf. These people who are doing better are also talking about taking charge of their lives and doing things for themselves instead of constantly trying to please others. In fact, at Depressed Anonymous meetings, the recovering people often delight at how assertive they are becoming now that they have gained a sense of mastery over their lives. They are also committed to their own recovery. People who want to change begin to swallow their pride and ask for help. They begin to get in touch  with their feelings and feel! This is truth and this is getting in touch with one’s best self.”

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SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 91.