My freedom today is growing inside of me as I hope for new life, new friends and new opportunities for serenity and peace.
“We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, ever dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this Step Five, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our creator. We may have had certain spiritual experiences. The feeling that the drink (insert depression) problem has disappeared will often come back strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.” AA Big Book.
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
“…When I am in the early days of my recovery, it is so natural for me to begin thinking how bad things will be today, or when will I actually begin to feel better? I don’t believe that these good feelings will last. I set myself up for sadness. This type of thinking is similar to the alcoholic who think they can take one drink but continue to drink til they are drunk. For us to think that we can start to bash ourselves with sad thoughts without getting drunk with the numbing effects of sadness is sorely mistaken. This is called denial.
I believe with all my power that even though I walk through the valley of darkness that my God will always be there with me. I believe also that my sadness will not last forever, but that today is all I have and I have hope for my day, today. I know that the more I turn to my Higher Power, the more my Higher Power turns to me.
God, please don’t let us get attached to anything that isn’t of your making. Our thoughts that we will never feel better are really thoughts that aren’t based on fact as most people admit, since they have both good days and bad days in the future. God, help us to have a good day, today! Help us to be free today!”
Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Hugh Smith. (Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville. KY. Pgs 133-134.)
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On this New Year’s Day, I find that my work for my life today, and only today, is to reflect on a time in my life that I have experienced a feeling of happiness and contentment. If I can remember a pleasant situation form the past, I will construct a happy situation and imagine it occurring right now.
In getting my priorities straight, my feelings of depression lessened.
Clarification of Thought
In my relationship to God, I am beginning to realize that it isn’t so much that I believe that I’ll ever feel better, but that I just can’t know for sure. My first priority is to admit that I have a problem and that with God’s help I can get through my depression.
As soon as I give up my victim stance and begin to take responsibility for my feelings and my life, I can start to work as if my recovery is really up to me and that I will, in time, succeed in getting out of this deep hole that I call depression. My priority is to begin each day with the conviction that the Twelve Steps will be an aid in getting out of my depression.
God, we seek your guidance and your strength for our lives. Whatever we have lost or feel we have lost, please heal the holes in our souls and fill them with your love and peace. In our quiet time today, show us what part of us needs to be healed.” See Steps 1, 2, 3.
SOURCE: Copyright(c) Smith, Hugh. Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for 12 Step Fellowships. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Page 1.
#FOUR/ BELIEVING IS SEEING: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
” No longer am I alone in my depression. I can now see that it is up to me to form new friendships with others in the fellowship of the Depressed Anonymous Group. I have found persons who understand me and my problems. I also learn coping skills and new positive behaviors from my fellow group members. ”
Below are listed some of the advantages of belonging to the Depressed Anonymous fellowship.
- Receive acceptance and support from the fellowship.
- The fellowship of DA places no judgments on those who join the group.
- No longer isolated and alone.
- No “snap out of it” comments from persons who have not experienced depression.
- Learn how to gradually remove depression from our lives by utilizing the tools provided by the fellowship.
- Gain new friends who actually “do know” how we feel.
- Learn skills in taking full responsibility for their feelings, thoughts and behaviors.
- Learning how to be with others in a mutual aid group while simultaneously developing our interpersonal and social skills.
- By being part of the group, with persons like oneself, have an overwhelming BELIEF that since they are all getting better, they tell themselves “so can I.”
- Depression symptoms grow best in isolation and the withdrawal from others. Healthy encounters with others like ourselves and by using the spiritual principles of the 12 steps, we begin to feel better and gain hope for ourselves.
Ray’s personal testimony, #20. The Power of Depressed Anonymous is found in DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. pgs.133-134.
“So what is the power of Depressed Anonymous? For me, it’s 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 persons 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.
Ray tells us how “the most important power of Depressed Anonymous is hope.”
The fellowship makes available a HOME SELF STUDY KIT comprised of the Depressed Anonymous Manual and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Both of these books can be purchased together. For those who might desire some further support for issues in their recovery that may arise from the Self Study KIT can contact us at email@example.com.
For many, a Depressed Anonymous group may not be available in your community and so the reason for the Home Study Kit. Depressed persons who feel isolated and with no group available can profit from this Home Study and gain insights into their own depression symptoms plus learn how to deal with them.
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.
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.
I GET IT!
I didn’t get it at first when I walked through the door and into the fellowship of a Twelve Step meeting. I was there with a bunch of people that I didn’t know. Instead of feeling threatened by the fact of being like a stranger in a foreign land I was made to feel welcome. I sat down and listened to what members of the group had to say. When I was asked if I had something I would like to share I said I would pass. That was the first meeting.
But the longer the meeting went the more I began to feel that these people were talking about me and my life. They were sharing how their lives had fallen apart, how they were despairing of any help. They said that just by walking through the door was an admission, a public admission (public only to this group) that their life was unmanageable and out of their control. They felt helpless and alone. Wow! I thought to myself. I just might be in the right place. No one told me to “snap out of my pain” they just listened and responded with how their lives were before coming to the Twelve Step meeting and how, after work and time living out the Steps, how their life was today. I hung on every word as to how their life was today. By the members honesty, willingness and openness to come to terms with what they needed to work on, I finally saw the light. I got it!
There are no magic potions, no magic wands–no, all that is needed to start the process of personal recovery is to believe that, with the group’s help and with the map of the Twelve Steps to follow,we can find our way out of the prison of depression. Finally, just as a final thought, I still get it!
(Read: Depressed Anonymous (2013) Third edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications)