Having the right tools helps me get the job done.

TOOLS FOR RECOVERY FROM DEPRESSION

Whenever I have a job to do I make sure that I have the right  tool. When I want to saw a board I make sure that I am cutting the  right length  We all know the carpenter’s  rule about “measure twice and saw once.” How many times have I made the mistake of not getting the proper length before I sawed.

In life there is a another rule about thinking before you leap. Think about the consequences of one’s actions before you act.  Look at the blueprint before you build. Check your resources before you buy something. It’s all about having the right tools in life before you start to build a life of character and possibilities for yourself. Having the right tools will definitely get you where you want to go.

Now let’s talk a bit about life’s tools and check out  how we are using the tools at our disposal.  I would think that because you have come to our site which deals with depression that you are also looking for the tools that will get you where you want to go. You and I want to have the tools which  will help us remove the pain, the feeling isolated and even angry at where we find ourselves today.

With the right tools, the right thinking and behavior tools, you will be able to construct the new you.  That is a given!  Many others are using these tools and you can read all about them in Depressed Anonymous, published by Depressed Anonymous Publications. There is a whole chapter in this book of persons who tell us who the tools of recovery saved their lives and gave them daily hope.

One of the major areas in our lives that change quickly by  our attendance at the group meetings is that we pity ourselves less and less. We begin to be grateful for all that we have and all that we are. We begin to see that once we start getting connected to others like ourselves on a regular basis, through our Deporessed Anonymous meetings, we now are listened to by others and we are validated.  We don’t hear “snap out of it” at our meetings. Suddenly our years of self-pity, isolation and desolation have been cashed in for a currency that buys us a new competency, a new identity, autonomy and a burgeoning inter relatedness with others. We are connected. We are not alone.

We now can speak about our experience with depression in the past tense. We now can share how we have the tools of self care whereby we can dig out and begin to  construct an edifice of hope that will last the rest of our life. As  long as we continue to use the tools of the program we are  bound to feel differently as well as think differently.”  Source: I’ll  do it when I feel better (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisvile. KY.  The Feelings of Uselessness and Self-Pity Disappear. #6. The Promises of Depressed Anonymous.

 

NOTE: For more information on tools for recovery please go to MENU on Home Page and Click onto the drop down menu item TOOLS OF RECOVERY

To be depressed or not be depressed. I had a choice!

To be depressed or not be depressed?  That  was my choice.

“I believe that I’ve been a depressed person all of my life. I’ve had a lot of lows but never as low as this past year.  My husband of   years left me and my three children for another woman. I lost my job. Depression  hit me and I couldn’t snap out of it. My life started to spiral down. I was in and out of mental hospitals and on different medications. I was diagnosed as having a chemical imbalance. In my mind, this seemed to tell me that I had a sickness that I had no control over and which only drugs could cure. Then one night, I began to have a horrible reaction to the last drug.  I was rushed to the emergency room and almost died. After that, I refused to take drugs again. Then life really started going down for me. I started sleeping more, stayed in bed mostly, and let the house and the children go. I felt empty inside.  No one or anyone could help me. If I hadn’t thought 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 still didn’t want to let go of my miserable yet safe ways 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 that except the sudden urge  to call my church for Christian  counseling. They referred me to this affordable, warm lady counselor who I had seen in the past. She suggested that I start attending Depressed Anonymous Twelve Step meetings and reading Depressed? Here is a way out!  This was a great effort for me. I was scared and skeptical. Since   that  first night, I’ve been attending weekly Depressed Anonymous meetings. I also attend drug  free therapy, attend church and church activities regularly and continue to pray and walk regularly. I know that my life is richly blessed. I’m also using the Depressed Anonymous literature and listening to people in the Depressed Anonymous meetings where I receive valuable tools which I put to use daily.

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. Bingo! It wasn’t an illness. This did not have control over me. And another tool I use frequently through the Depressed Anonymous manual is that “thoughts produce moods, moods  produce feelings and feelings produce behavior. ”

So I began to realize that if I thought about bad or disturbing thoughts, I could stop myself and produce positive thoughts automatically. I had control. This is priceless to me. Staying out of depression takes work on my part, as well as God’s. Thank you Lord above for using people through my church, my therapy and the wonderful members of Depressed Anonymous    who give of themselves  unconditionally. Thank you for answering my prayer.”

–KIm

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SOURCE: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. ( Kim’s Personal story included to day!)

How to live outside the box? The depression box!

If you really want to begin to “live outside the box“, a description of what the box feels like and looks like might be helpful to you.  First of all, a box has an identifiable shape. It is a box mainly because it contains something–whatever that might be. And when we speak of the subject of depression, we talk about depression having us boxed in. The box as it is used here, in this context is a metaphor for feeling enclosed and which there is no exit. It is like being trapped or like in a prison.

Now, in order to live outside the box we want to live creatively, which means  that we are having to learn  how to live outside the box. Now, if you  find  this hard to believe -stick with me now  as I will explain what I mean.

Just briefly, my own experience with depression can be used as an example. First of all, when I was depressed I thought that I was losing my mind. The box that I put myself in was getting more restricting by the day and making my life hell. I could see no way out. I was trapped. What could I do I asked myself?  As hard as I tried, I couldn’t just will these feelings and scary  thoughts away–like taking a broom and brushing them out of my life. No matter which way I turned I hit a wall. With no answers forthcoming on how to keep my head above water, my body slowly  was being sucked down into  the quicksand of despair. The thought came to me, much like that small glimmer, a tiny light so far away, but nevertheless  a light. It was  like the lighthouse which with its  intense brightness warns seafarers that rocks were nearby and to be watchful before approaching. My mind began to race here and there for a way out of the box and then it hit me —   get moving. Move the body. Get busy.  The key out of this prison was already in my hand. And now, those of us here in the Depressed program of recovery,who have been putting “out of the box” ideas to work in our daily lives, we want to share what has worked for us and we know, if you actually use them for your own recovery, they are  bound to  ultimately free you. That is the promise I share with you today.

The following activities,  listed below  are some of  the tools that will get you “out of the box” when you get serious about using them.

I think taking a close and personal look at the following tools will not only help you get  “out of the box” but can be tools that you will be able to utilize, day after day as you continue your recovery.

  1. Exercise is a great tool if you happen to be depressed.
  2.  Getting out into nature will also help put your mind on beauty and your surroundings.
  3. Overcoming fear is also a great place to learn how to get out of the box. Learn about “first fear” and “second fear.” Fear doe seem to be at the center of our life when depressed.
  4. Recite the “SERENITY PRAYER” as often as you need it.
  5. The present. Staying in the now.
  6. Making use of the God box. This is an exercise, a simple one at that, which helps us learn the discipline of “letting go.”
  7. Feelings need to be examined and expressed. We will look at why expressing feeling is  so important,  instead of having them bottled up and causing all sorts of physical and emotional problems.
  8. Disable negative thinking: learn how to short circuit negative thoughts when they pop into our minds.
  9.  Reading Depressed Anonymous literature and all material on the subject of depression.
  10. Learn how we all have choices. We make those decisions that bring us closer to freedom–not those that continue to imprison and box us.
  11. Journaling is a great tool for writing down what has been our experience for the day.  It helps to clarify our thinking and puts things into perspective.

NOTE

In the next post, I will begin placing attention on each of the eleven ideas listed above.  Gradually we can take time to evaluate  our response to each individually and make our own notes as how to use these recommended ideas  for our own recovery.

Hugh

” We are not the people with the magic pills and the easy formula for success.”

The following instruction, How Depressed Anonymous Works, is read at every Depressed Anonymous meeting.

” You are about to witness the miracle of the group. You are joining a group of people who are on a journey of hope and who mutually care for each other. You will hear how hope, light and energy have been regained by those who were hopeless and in a  black hole and tired of living.

By our involvement in the group we are feeling that there is hope – there is a chance for me too – I can get better. But we are not the people with the magic pills and the easy formula for success. We believe that to get  out of depression takes time and work.”

And so at each and every Depressed Anonymous meeting the group listens as we hear what it will take to escape from the prison of depression.

Also at every meeting of the fellowship we hear how by using the spiritual tools, our Twelve Steps, we can gradually find the path that will and can lead us out into the light of freedom.”

SOURCES:  Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

The following  books listed below indicate the “toolbox” by  which  one can find the path that leads  out of depression.

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

Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

VISIT THE STORE for more information on available literature.

 

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!

How often have I heard these words spoken at a Depressed Meeting or in a letter telling us about how sadness and despair have overtaken one’s personal life. They relate that they have fallen into a darkened pit with no way out. I know all about that feeling as I  have had  those same feelings many years ago. I too had been “sick and tired” of trying to get out of bed every morning but unable to do so because of feeling completely wiped out.

That was then (30 years ago). Today, because of the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous I continue to have hope and the “toolbox” of the 12 Steps which provide  me  with access to a daily plan of recovery.

One of the greatest “tools” that I use is to question myself on my relationship to each Step and present my answers to a friend and/ or members of the group.  I have discovered that the Depressed Anonymous Workbook, plus the coordinated Depressed Anonymous Manual, provides me with a life giving and formidable resource for my own recovery. The best part of the Workbook is that the questions asked in the Workbook are some of the questions I have asked myself. The two books together (Home Study Combo) have provided many of us in the fellowship with a very detailed path, laid out by the many questions which a participant is to answer as they climb out of their own unique pit of depression. The depression experience is unique for every person.  We each come from a myriad of personal  life experiences. No one shoe fits all. We all have heard the saying “Be yourself! All the other people are taken.” One person’s life experiences are in many ways the same,  but for most of us, the difference lies in our own unique childhood and adult experiences.

In the Depressed Anonymous Workbook we read “…And if you take an active role in your own recovery –the answers will begin to come! Depressed Anonymous gives you a great choice on the various ways to tell your story and come to some of your own conclusions why you might be depressed.

I can begin to use the 12 steps and begin the task of working myself out of the pit of this depression. I believe that with time and patience plus the group fellowship and support that I will be able to make some positive strides in feeling differently about myself and the world.

We can now add that our Home Study Program, which Includes the Workbook and Manual,  is an excellent resource in digging ourselves  out of the isolation and pain of depression.

Following are examples of a few very important questions that you will be able to answer for yourself in the Workbook.

@Question 1.4.  How many years, months, days can I remember being depressed? How far back in time can I remember always feeling sad and wanting to withdraw from others?  There is no need to feel bad for wanting to isolate and withdraw.  Please write out your feelings about these experiences. (See DA Manual  for further clarification about this question and those following.. Page 32).

@Question 1.5.  Write down the number of people whom, you have admitted that you have been or are depressed now?

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SOURCES: Depressed Anonymous Workbook(2001) DAP. Louisville.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011)  DAP. Louisville.

  •                     To get more information on the literature available about depression and the Steps visit the store. The Home Study Combo is available here at this site.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE 12 STEP DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PROGRAM OF RECOVERY?

Depressed Anonymous  

1) Educates and informs us about our experience of depression. 2) Nurtures us so that we can begin to share and to trust our unpleasant feelings with others.  3) Accepts us and does not make   judgements  about  our experiences with depression. In other words, we don’t hear “snap out of it” in the group. 4) Teaches coping skills by our frequent meetings and group  membership interaction.  It provides us with a  “toolbox” of new skills we can utilize in our overcoming of sadness. 5) Empowers us to believe that there is truly a way out of our depression. One of the major benefits of our group is you can hear how other persons depressed have made it out of depression. (Read the Personal Stories in Depressed Anonymous).   It is clear that the program works best for those who keep coming back to meetings.

There are multiple benefits that come to those of us  who  are committed to being  active participants in our fellowship of Depressed Anonymous. I should know, I am one of the active participants.