To really believe, possibly for the first time in my life that I can free myself from the prison of depression and begin to feel better. I know that I need to be proactive in my efforts at self-recovery. But what causes our outlook and attitude to change?
I have begun 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 and get to the next step. Watching someone actually take these steps week after week and watch that feeling of wellness rise up in them can provide 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 we put into our personal recovery.
A door opens every slightly, and there appears a way out! I do know that when hope and faith in recovery rises, my symptoms of depression go down.
From: I’ll do it when I feel better. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Page 46.
HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS
I have a desire to get connected with everything around me today!
“Until we have actually been depressed we do not realize that there is a great difference between being depressed and being unhappy. When we are unhappy, no matter what terrible things have happened to us, we still feel in contact with the rest of the world. When other people offer comfort and love we can feel it warm and support us… When we are depressed we feel cut off from the rest of the world.” (7)
I admit to taking full responsibility for my detachment from my world and also from my very self. It seems that by numbing my grief over those matters lost in my past life, this has caused myself to be depressed. By burying what need to be faced and mourned, I am making a stand to face the depression that I have created over the years. I am going to care for myself and make the effort to hope that this twenty-four period that I call TODAY is one of rebirth and movement toward others.
Many times I wish I was merely unhappy rather than depressed. I can handle being unhappy, depression is a different story./ I am not about to give up on myself as I step out of depression and begin to take responsibility for my recovery TODAY. Because I have “made a decision to turn my life and my will over to the care of God as I understand God” my life is already starting to show the signs of a positive nature.
My God has given me hope that my depressed days are going to be less and less: I believe that. My faith in God has given me hope.
Source: (c)Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. (1993, 2014). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Page 210.
We have entered the world of the spirit
From the AA Big book
“…We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past (Steps 4 & 5) . We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for a lifetime (Step 12) . Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code…Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. “How can I best serve Thee? Thy will (not mine) be done.” These are the thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.
THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK Step 10 Question for personal reflection #10. 12. Page 76.
I WANT TO SHARE SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT SOME DOMINANT FEELINGS THAT I AM EXPERIENCING TODAY.
OCTOBER 18 Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications (2014) pages 207-208.
Today, I want to write down the dominant feelings and share some thoughts about them with some friend.
“…Whenever we bring something clearly into consciousness and then put it outside ourselves in words or in something we make, we take control of it and thus reduce its power.” (7)
I am finding that letting out feelings and ideas into the open after having stuffed them for a time is like steam being released from a boiler. The more I release my sadness and my feelings of helplessness and despair, the more I am able to feel a bit lighter in mood. When I see in front of me, on black and white, what I have been thinking, I am able to debate the material that has had me crippled for so long. I am able to rattle the skeleton’s cage and not run away.
When I give away my power I give away a part of myself. And to give away part of myself is to lose hope about my life and my purpose e in life. Purpose, self and power all go together. I have, within my grasp, the power to work myself out of my helplessness the more I put my power to work.
God, grant me the power to take hold of the power that comes from you and put it to use in controlling the fear that pushes me deep into my sadness. I now have the hope that God is going to deliver me my power, that I am taking hold of it and using it to hope.
“It seems to me that the more we share our story with other members of the Depressed Anonymous group, the more we can hear for the first time our own unique story. It is amazing how, when we speak to others about ourselves and our addictions, we begin to loosen up and release in ourselves a new sense of ourselves — a freedom to express our true selves. It is at these times when we discuss our addiction at the Depressed Anonymous meetings that we get first-hand information and feedback on how others are walking free of their sadness and hollowness.”
Source: Depressed Anonymous (2011) 3rd ed., Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 79.
PS. Also, in The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, on page 68 and at # 8.36 we discover how our depression may have kept us disconnected from others.
PROMISE # 7 OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS
“As we start our program of recovery we notice that there are persons in the group who are less well off than are we.”
” Newcomers also remind us of ourselves when we stepped into the group for the first time. They struggle to keep back tears and hurt as they speak, possibly for the first time, trusting that they are with people who have been where they are. This is what provides the beginning of hope and healing. People in the group speak their language of hope and possibility. They hear how recovery is possible. They want those tools to use in their own recovery.
… We need to air our hurts, our shame, and let others hear our story. (3)
I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force, a loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me and restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those who are willing to risk leaving the prison of their depression. By my own interest in getting in touch with the Higher Power and getting its direction to “do the next right thing” I find that my own life is gradually becoming more filled with purpose and energy.”
SOURCE: I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Pages 43-44.
“Many depressed people will say, ‘I don’t know why I am depressed. It just happened suddenly, like a black cloud coming down.’ They say this because they do not want to look at the terrible events which threatened to destroy the way they saw themselves and their world. These events might not seem very significant to other people, but to the person concerned, they are very important. It is not the events in themselves which made them important, frightening, or overwhelming, but the meaning which we give to these events.” Dorothy Rowe, Ph.D., in the Foreword to the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS book. Page 12.
“What is the power of Depressed Anonymous? Well, let me say that when I started attending Depressed Anonymous meetings, I went for a couple of months and then stopped. I stopped going because of my depression was so bad that I didn’t want to leave my apartment. I didn’t want to be around to talk with anyone. I didn’t want to do anything but crawl in a hole somewhere and isolate myself from everything. Then after about six weeks of isolation, I called the residential treatment facility where I had been a client to see if I had received any mail there. One of the members of the Depressed Anonymous group where I attended answered the phone. I spent a few minutes talking to her and there was something in her voice that told me that for some reason, it was important for me to be at that meeting. After the meeting was over, I suddenly realized the importance and power of Depressed Anonymous.
So what is the power of Depressed Anonymous? For me, its just like attending the first meeting. I was a little scared and apprehensive at first, but then I found the Depressed Anonymous meeting was a place to go where there were other depressed people just like me. They could relate to and understand what I was going through. They didn’t judge me or think of me as crazy. I was accepted.”
SOURCE: PERSONAL STORIES. A quote from Ray in Depressed Anonymous (2013) 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Page.133. OPOWER
A quote from PERSONAL STORIES in the 3rd edition of the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS book. Page 148.
” I had to get my priorities straight. I put a lot of importance on things that were not important, or what somebody else might say about me. I was afraid to change. I was afraid that I would change into a person that would be selfish and uncaring, but it didn’t happen that way. I just found a different way to go about it. In getting my priorities straight, I discovered that if a person doesn’t accept me the way I am, then that doesn’t matter. I am going to do the best that I can. If someone else can’t handle that, I am awfully sorry about that, but it has to be. I want everyone to approve of me, but I am just not going to do that. I am not going to please everyone. I have got to take care of myself. I was so busy trying to please everyone else that I wasn’t taking care of my own needs. At the time I was doing it, I didn’t realize that I was doing it. Now I won’t deliberately hurt anyone else, but I am going to take care of myself.” –Helen
NOTE: The PERSONAL STORIES include accounts from those persons who found themselves while being active participants in the fellowship of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS. Their accounts of struggle and hope provide the necessary motivation for those still struggling with depression and shows how one can leave their own prison of depression. The DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS program of recovery provides not only a guide for productive and active living–it provides the tools on how to get to where you want to go.