This is what I need when I am depressed.

 

What one needs when in  this situation  is someone to talk with, someone who will not give advice and produce solutions but who will help to unravel the complexity of one’s thinking and feeling and to look at positive alternatives, someone whose presence ensures that the isolation is not complete,.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

In order for someone to listen to me I have to have the courage to talk. Today, I am going to share as much of my pain and feeling isolated with a trusted friend. I might even make an appointment with a therapist. I know that the most important thing for me to do is to break out of my isolation of negative thinking and behaving and get close to someone who will listen to me but not judge nor give me advice such as “snap out of  it.

Admitting that I am depressed is the first step and best step to walking out of our isolation.”

SOURCE:  Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. November 4. Page 220.

I accept and value myself today!

 

“Every decision that we make alters the world of meaning which we have created. Deciding to eat Wheat Puffs instead of Corn Flakes  for breakfast may not be a major change, but abandoning  thinking  ‘ I am bad and unacceptable’ and replacing it with ‘I accept and value myself’ is.  Every decision you have made since you decided that you were bad and valueless was based on that decision. Now, all these conclusions need reviewing and changing. ” Dorothy Rowe, Breaking the Bonds. Fontana. 1991.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Making  a decision is the first step in getting free and being liberated from my depression. From this step follows the  many other steps that are to be taken that will allow me to begin to see how the thoughts I think,  definitely affect the way I feel. My next step is to review the different ways in which I can value myself.  My first new response to my own negative thinking about myself is to believe that today I will  begin my exit from the prison of  my own negativity and pessimism.

My struggle to wrest myself free from depression means that I am to make some initial steps in my own health. I want to believe that it is the fact  that I want to value myself and my life that I will no longer allow myself to wallow in self-pity, but decide to start to make an effort to take mastery again over the way I feel and think.

MINDFULLNESS/SELF REFELCTION

We will let go of our ignorance about how this universe is operated. I let the God of my understanding take charge. I continue to dip my oars into the water of life and risk letting   God be the rudder master.

I want to make a plan today, to decide how I can do one thing differently so that I might value who I am as a human being. I will write down how I will dip  my oars in the water in the next 24 hours and change what I need to change. 

(Check out The Depressed Anonymous Workbook at   THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS  BOOKSTORE for that excellent tool for self reflection and personal recovery.)

 

A depressed person needs a supportive presence–not a sermon or critical lecture.

 

We have learned as it says in Appendix B of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, how “Many times the desire  to help the depressed pushes the helper deeper into the isolation of the depressed  – mirroring the reality of the depressed person.”

“One thing I’ve learned is that of all the horrendous problems we face in the world, what strikes me as the root cause of them all, and it is  a myth: “I don’t have any power.” Mark DuBois.

Sometimes in our efforts to help the family member or friend we often forget that it is our recovery that needs to be first considered. We need a fresh approach and we need a plan.  We can now admit that we became angry because of depressed friend didn’t recovery according to our schedule of events for their lives, We might  have berated our family member that all they had to do was pick themselves up by their bootstraps and all would be well. Now that our  eyes have been opened and our minds have been enlightened we realize that we are learning new ways to take care of ourselves.”

Dep-Anon Family Group. Pg.19.

It is true that what a loved one needs who is depressed is not a lot of lecturing on why he or she needs to get out of bed and to take care of themselves.  They also don’t need  pity.

I like to go to the family and friend guide for those who have a depressed loved one in their lives. This group, the Dep-Anon family group has some valuable thoughts on how to deal or not deal with the depressed person. In fact they wrote the program of recovery for those on the other side of the fence–namely the family member or friends of the depressed.

Let’s take a look at some of their thoughts on this subject, namely, how to help the depressed in the best possible way.

It is beginning to dawn on us that just as there are sure things the depressed needs to get them back on track  –so now our focus continues to be inside our selves, We begin to  admit that my own  need to control my depressed friend or family member provides me with a  sense of power and purpose for my life. The more I was willing to give and pity them –the more they were willing to be passive and receive.

We are learning that our individual strength, our sanity if you will, comes from our active participation in Dep-Anon where we are no longer alone but instead find ourselves in touch with the healing of those much like ourselves. Instead of casting any blame at them we now are in the active process of discovering  areas  in our lives that need work.

One of the issues that I might want to focus is that of self-pity. I need to quit feeling sorry for myself because all that I have tried in getting my family member back on their feet has seemingly been a failure.  At first we might have been encouraged by the fact that this or that new drug was supposed to do the trick —the miracle pill–that was supposed to remove all the darkness and provide the light for that loved one. And when that didn’t happen we began to feel a panicky feeling –we began to feel helpless and disappointed because then it came back on us again to make them well –to do something-anything. Also, I felt angry at times when things didn’t go good for my loved one. I  wanted so bad for them to begin the way that they once were. The way they are now is hard to accept. At times I am even angry at God for allowing all this sadness to be such a big part of our life. I find that any family group is a good place to share all those hurts with my newfound  fellowship group.

The courage to share with others that we didn’t have all the answers as to how and when a family member is to recover. We now admit that no matter how much we cajole, criticize and scold there still is no change.

AS Bill W., says “The  problem of resolving fear has two aspects. We shall have to try for all the freedom from fear that is possible for  us to attain. Then we shall need to find both the courage and the grace to deal constructively with whatever fear remains.” (ASBI,P. 61).

Finally, the words of Bill W., ring in our ears and hearts where he writes in the AA  Big Book, “We need not apologize to anyone for depending upon our creator. We have good reason to disbelieve those who think spirituality is the way of weakness. For us, it is the way of strength. In a letter Bill states that “we lose the fear of making decisions, great and small, as we realize that should our choice prove wrong we can, if we will, learn from the experience. Should our decision be the right one, we can thank God for giving us the courage and the grace that caused us so to act..

The verdict of the ages is that men of faith selfdom lack courage, They trust their God. So we never apologize for our belief in God. Instead we try to let him demonstrate, through us, what he can do.”

++++++

SOURCEDep-Anon Family Group Manual: A 12 Step Support Group for Families and Friends of the Depressed.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

Personal empowerment step by step

It is with a personal sense of awe that I see the empowerment  that comes to those persons working the 12 Step program of Depressed Anonymous. The empowerment comes to those who  are conscious of the various ways they will have to change if their lives are to grow and  change.  This is of course not without its risks.

One of the major obstacles that we have to face when we are depressed is to be willing to change the way that we think about ourselves, our world, and our future. We have to dwell on and experience our pleasant as well as the unpleasant feelings in the present. We have to be willing to  face the discomfort of living life with a sense of unpredictability. This is not an easy task.  It is a task that can be achieved with time, patience and work.

Empowerment comes from being informed and making choices that help us change our lives for the better. When I come to a Depresseed Anonymous meeting I am making the first major step –namely, admitting  by my presence at the group meeting that my life is out of control. My compulsion to depress myself is  at the root of my inability to take the challenge of living life with  risk, hope and  enthusiasm. But how can I say that I want to depress myself?   We are NOT BLAMING ourselves but are taking resposnsibility  for our own feelings, behavior and thinking. Now that I am conscious of some negative patterns of my own thinking and behavior,  I can get on  with learning new strategies for my own healing. With the heartfelt prayer of a monk, I now understand that it is by sharing the story of my life –and with the conviction that someone is there to listen to me, that this can in  time  deliver me out of my prison of fear and sadness.

I can be empowered by taking the bull by the horn and choosing each new day, one day at a time, where I can  start   feeling  different.  I now have the support of the group –support from people who have walked where I am walking.

I am investing in myself. I am  making my recovery my highest priority.  I may have been on all the antidepressant medications and  I may have seen all the best counselors and psychiatrists and doctors, but now I am coming to a group of depressed persons, men and women–people who will understand me, not judge me,  but will support me. I investing in myself and my future. What will I find there? I will find some of the most caring people on  the face of the earth. Some of the group members will have been coming for months, and week after week,  know that they are gradually feeling different and having more good days than bad.  And it’s getting better for them.  The more meetings they attend the better they feel and the more support they receive from the fellowship.  They are feeling empowered. It’s the miracle of the group. Instead of living with a compulsion to repeat old negative and life negating thinking, we now have a compulsion to live with hope. We  now  have  a desire for a brand new way of thinking. We want to change the way we live — not just the way that we talk to ourselves.

We  are seeking out a new way to live.

I now feel that I am getting better in learning how NOT to repeat my old way of thinking and bashing myself mentally with bad feelings. I am learning how dangerous it is for me to isolate and separate myself from others.    I now know that healing all takes time and with work and patience I will get better.  For most of us, it has taken a few years to get here (depressed) so why not take  time today — focusing  one day at a timeempowering ourselves, and finding the hope and serenity that others like me are living out today in   own lives. Will you join us?

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

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

THE  HOME STUDY KIT, A COMBINATION OF BOTH DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, PLUS THE DEPRESSED ANONMYMOUS WORKBOOK CAN BE PURCHASED TOGETHER. PLEASE CLICK ONTO VISIT THE STORE AND ORDER ONLINE.

It’s the miracle of the group where I can start loving myself!

I have hope that I can accept myself today and just let fly all the old messages from the old tapes of childhood.

“You desperately wanted people to love you, but you became wary of giving your love to others.  You reasoned that the less you loved another person the less it would hurt when the inevitable rejection came.” Dorothy Rowe

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I have been holed up for so long in my own little world of feeling hurt and rejection that to attempt to love someone else like the greatest challenge of my life.  I desire so badly to be loved by someone else that this lack of another’s love makes my isolation from others so hurtful.

After having witnessed the miracle of the group in DA, where depressed persons come together with their feelings of being hurt and rejected, I find that other’s love and nurture challenge me to hope once again,. I can share with the group the fact that I haven’t measured up, that I am angry and that I just want to lay down and die.

I am open enough now to let the light of love from others , who like myself, realize that I am not alone and that  I am beginning to feel better already now that I no longer need to be perfect.

This means to be willing to affiliate and give of myself for someone else’s good. In the program I am starting to love-myself.

MEDITATION

We are going to make a mental decision right now to let God, as we understand God, guide us and instruct us on how best to love ourselves .”

____________________________

Source: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. March 3rd. Page 47.

SPOON FEEEDING IS NO USE TO YOU. YOU HAVE TO FEED YOURSELF.

Dorothy Rowe sums it up splendidly in her work, The Way out of your prison, where she states how we have to learn to take care of ourselves. It takes time and work. And  this applies to learning ways to work our selves out of the pit, the prison of depression. She  promotes the solution that joining a self-help group like Depressed Anonymous is a way to do this. This of course entails work and a persistence in keeping one’s hand to the plow and focused on our own recovery.

She states that   ” …joining a self-help group will be one of the most valuable things you can do. You will meet a group of people who knows what it is to be depressed. You don’t have to explain it to them, or apologize, or pretend that you are happy when you are not.  In a self-help group, you give and receive friendship, and in sharing the responsibility for the group, you build  up your confidence and self-respect.

….you can get help, provided you are prepared to go out and find it and to work with what you are offered.

 Spoon feeding is no use to you. You have to feed yourself.”

Comment:  To work on any aspect of one’s own life it does take work as Dr. Rowe suggests. In our own recovery program of Depressed Anonymous we are provided a “toolbox”  where we can step by step learn and use the various tools of the fellowship to overcome our isolation and pain.  All this can be accomplished in the context of the group as well as in the literature provided by the group. By our working the Twelve Step program of recovery, designed specifically for those of us depressed, we can and do leave the prison of our depression. One can read the many personal stories of those who have used the Steps and are free of the bondage of sadness in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.