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.

Giving yourself a mental make-over.

      HOW TO VIZUALIZE YOURSELF

“One way to increase your potential for serenity is to form a strong mental picture of yourself with it. For just one day, eliminate guilt, anger, and meanness from your mind.  Practice visualizing yourself as calm, purposeful, and strong. First thing in the morning, take a moment to form a mental picture of yourself smiling, happy and ready to meet the day with serenity. Throughout the day, whenever you think about it, picture yourself as deeply relaxed and peaceful.

Now, listen!  It doesn’t matter if that is the way that you really feel. Without even realizing it, we tend to become just what we picture ourselves to be. After a few days of steady practice, you will feel peace taking hold in your life. So, now is the time to use your self-discipline to form a positive image of yourself.

To help you form a strong and serene picture of yourself in your mind’s eye, you might try  using the following affirmations.

+My goal is serenity. I see myself as  really strong, centered, and calm, with the help of a serene mind, I can face the day. I have what it takes to be happy.

+Today, I will feel the presence of peace  in my life. I feel alive, filled with positive energy, happy to face the challenge of the day. Peace is positive, active, creative, and today I feel peace all around me.

+I see myself as strong, controlled and serene. (I am a child in the safety of my Higher Power). And with God’s help, I will not be frightened or alone. I am strong, Thank you  God, for my strength.”

Keep saying these affirmations to yourself. Believe their positive messages. Keep practicing them, and in time they will embed themselves in your unconscious mind, where they will be accepted as fact.

Replacing old negative and hurtful thoughts with positive and healing affirmations is one of the first steps in the process of transforming chaos and pain into serenity and strength.”

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Source:  Strong Choices, Weak Choices, Gayle Rosellini  and Mark Verden.  A Harper/Hazeldon Book, Harper and Row Publishers ,San Francisco 1988, pp. 63-64.

Source:  Believing is seeing: 15 Ways to leave the prison of depression.  Hugh Smith.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. ( 2016).

VISIT OUR STORE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Click onto Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore here at depressedanon.com.

Admitting that we are in pain is the start of freedom!

  THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS.

PROMISE #1. We believe that once we have diligently and with rigorous personal honesty managed to complete the first nine steps of our program – good things can begin to happen in our life. It is after we have made amends to those whom we had harmed, swept the porch in front of our own house, and go to step ten and complete the remainder of the steps, we will be amazed at the peace that is become a part of our life.

The pain that we experience now – and working our program step-by-step is indeed slight – compared to the pain that may continue if we don’t bite the bullet and look at the issues that have trapped us these many years.

Working the 12 steps is like the person who heads toward  the light at the end of the tunnel. The closer one gets to the light – the more one discovers a way out. The light in this case is symbolized by the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous. The expression of light, health and recovery of its members helps each of us to stay focused on recovery. Work is to be done if we are to find not only the light  – but a life free from the symptoms of depression.

Change is painful.  The first step is for the beginning of the end of our pain.  By admitting that we are in pain is that which paradoxically begins a release of our pain. This is the paradox of letting go and holding on as we learn from step three. What we hold onto holds on to us. What we seek – seeks us.

It is difficult for any of us to admit that our lives are out of control.

People sometimes speak of their depression as a comfort. I can identify with that, because if they were to change for anything else, they might end up with something far worse than what they have now. They feel that they might end up the hole in the doughnut. This pain of depression begins to dissolve as a result of doing something we’ve never done before – or rather doing something about our lives that we have not done before. It happens to be true that the more we get in touch with and remove our resentments, fear, guilt, and self-pity from our lives, the lighter we feel emotionally. The less need we have   to rely on defense mechanisms which shielded our fragile egos from pain,  hurt or remorse, the freer we become.

I do believe that the pain of our depression originates from inside ourselves. We construct present-day reality based on past life experiences. The past is a predictor of the future.  As it says in Depressed Anonymous, many of us held the absolute belief that “since bad things have happened to us in the past, bad things will happen to us in the future. In other words – we have made up her mind – nothing will ever change. And of course this belief is what promotes and keeps our depression  alive.”

The opposite of depression is spontaneity and vitality. When we are depressed we move about as in a fog.  we are stuck.  Since we desire everything to remain the same, that is, predictable, we in no way believe that life can be different. If we intend to stay suck, we make the decision, choose to stay in the rut of being  lifeless, hapless and helpless.

As we change old beliefs into new ones we believe that things can change as things begin to change.  We will begin to experience light, hope  and joy.   ”

In every   Depressed Anonymous story (See Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition) one’s personal story of recovery  illustrates how pain has been the admission price for the beginning  of a new life without depression and isolation.

.”The God that we know speaks to us through members of the Depressed Anonymous group. The Higher Power will put a new sense of purpose into  your life once you know how to turn  to it and surrender your pain. The Depressed Anonymous group will lead you safely and gently. The miracle is in the group.”

“The starting point is the admission that so far everything we have tried has not worked…”  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. DAP. Louisville. DA/P.39.

“… Life doesn’t have to be lived alone in agony or misery.” DA/.41.

 

Choices: To be or not to be!

For many, just knowing that they might have a choice and be able to choose to feel differently can be a startling revelation.  I can choose to be happy or I can choose to stay miserable.  ” Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) DAP. Louisville.

The following is a story of how one person, deeply depressed told her story of how by letting go she was able to hang on.  And she not only  was able to hang on but she was able to help others and hang on  and live life to the full.

” I started sleeping more, stayed in bed mostly and let the house and the children go.  I felt empty inside. No one or anything could help me. If I hadn’t thought that suicide was the cardinal sin, I would be dead today. So one night I lay on the floor crying and praying from my heart. In the past when I prayed I wanted God to do all the work, while deep down I  didn’t want to let go of my miserable, yet safe way of life. And as long as I wouldn’t  really let go, God seemed to have no answers for me. This time though, I was at his mercy. Life for me could no longer go on this way. I prayed the most releasing prayer. I offered up my entire self to him. Nothing magical happened after this except the sudden urge to call my Church for Christian counseling. They referred me to this very affordable, warm, lady counselor, who I had seen in the past. She suggested that I start attending Depressed Anonymous,  a Twelve Step meeting. This was a great effort for me. I was SCARED AND SKEPTICAL  Since that first night I’ve been attending weekly Depressed Anonymous meetings and reading Depressed Anonymous literature. I also attend drug free therapy, attend church and church activities and continue to pray and walk regularly.  I know that my life is being richly blessed. I am also using the Depressed Anonymous literature and  listening to the people in the  Depressed Anonymous  meetings where I have received valuable tools which I put to daily use.   The moment that I read that I had a choice to stay in depression, I immediately knew that I could make the choice to get out of my depression.”

And finally, a word from Bill W., the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous who tells us, “When we look back, we realize that the things  which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned.”

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Personal Stories section.

NOTE: Fore more information on a broad variety of subjects dealing with depression and the Twelve Steps click onto the VISIT THE STORE.