My anti-depression tool kit: An arsenal of weapons to defeat depression.

The following is a personal story of how a member of Depressed Anonymous  used her anti-depression Tool Kit to disarm and dismantle symptoms of  depression in her daily life.

I am no longer alone

” I am writing this information with the hope  that it will help anyone who is suffering from depression that is brought on by stress, anxiety, loneliness, physical or mental emotions, death or insecurity.

I am a thirty-four year old single female, who has been suffering from depression for a long time. Most of my depression was brought on by feelings of insecurity, such as not being able to express my inner feelings, being controlled by a dominating parent, loneliness, stress, workaholic, anxiety attacks (related to work and everyday pressures of living), too much sleep, nervousness, lack of motivation, being tired all the time, sadness, weight gain, digestive problems, a feeling of being trapped, self-consciousness, not trusting myself, dreams of dying but yet managing to come back to life, withdrawal from family, or loss of interest in meeting with the opposite sex.

It seemed that I was living in another world until one of my parents gave me a phone number of Depressed Anonymous meetings, plus reading the Depressed Anonymous manual have provided  me with the tools to live without being depressed. Most important  of all, the Twelve Steps mentioned in the book have made me understand that God (my Higher Power) will give me strength to deal with my depression and get on with my life and be happy with myself.

The book with its Twelve Steps, has taught me that I am not alone. And that I am not the only one who is suffering from depression. It has taught me to believe more in my Higher Power and to let it handle my depression.

I read the Depressed Anonymous manual, go to counseling, and attend the Depressed Anonymous meetings. The meetings are a must. I need them to survive. The support group’s members help each other by listening, talking, expressing their feelings, and give support on how to cope with depression.   By letting my Higher Power help me, I am beginning to feel free from depression. I am not so nervous and tensed up. My Christian inner faith is getting stronger. I am not so stressed out and I am beginning to get confidence  within  myself . I still have problems with sleep patterns and I am getting some motivation back.   I have learned how to handle anxiety by taking deep breaths when I am nervous or troubled. This was suggested by my therapist. I am also learning how to stand up for myself.

All these new tools have helped me and will continue to do so. They also taught me not to dwell on my past, to live one day at a time, and to look forward to the future, but not live there. It will take me a long time to deal with depression, but I am glad that these tools are available. Life can be good for a change. Please don’t give up.”

-Anonymous.

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (Louisville, KY, 2011. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Pages 148-149.

Please go to MENU and click onto TOOLS* FOR RECOVERY.    There you will discover those tools which can be used to dismantle those painful areas of your life which in the past have imprisoned you.

  • RECOVERY TOOLS: Exercise; Meditation; The Serenity Prayer; Cutting off negative thinking-The Law of the Threes; Being in Nature; Journaling; Managing stress; Music; Nutrition; Positive self-talk; Sleep; Social engagement; Stay in the Present.

Read more stories of persons who have dismantled their own depression. Check out the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore and order online.

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.”

___________________________________________________________________________

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).

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Drinking Depression

Drinking depression: One man’s story of recovery from alcoholism and depression and the parallels between the two.

I have had experiences with alcohol abuse since childhood. I have also struggled since childhood with depression. I quickly learned to rely on both.

I call this paper “drinking depression” because that’s exactly what I did when I no longer had the alcohol. The following thoughts will express my feelings and the parallels that I have seen between these two addictions.

RELIANCE

There was always an excuse to drink, mostly I was upset with something. I should really say angry, for it was anger at the root of my depression that I was trying to suppress  in medicating myself. Later, I learned to do the same thing with my depression except to be in a depressive state High. I didn’t even have to leave the house and after awhile I didn’t want to break the cycle of reliance that dependency had begun. When I was absorbing alcohol into my blood stream I was now injecting the depression into my soul and absorbing it like a sponge.

FAMILIARITY AND COMFORT

As a recovering alcoholic I can look back on my drinking and see when I took comfort in being drunk because after awhile the numbness became the only way I could feel better because when I was drunk I could retreat into myself and not have to deal with everyday life.

The same escape tool was used in the form of depression. I could ball up like a woolly worm and the outside world was not going to hurt me. However, the more I wallowed in the darkness of my depression the deeper I got stuck in the mud of despair and hopelessness.

DESPERATION

In order to deal with alcoholism and depression I had to hit rock bottom. I had reached a point in both, that I had to call out for help or drown in my addiction. I called on my Higher Power to help me with my depression. With guidance of the holy spirit I am harnessing   my talents now and I am seeing incredible results. My recovery has not been overnight, but it is a day by day and step by step recovery process.

THE PHYSICAL

After some time had passed, the drinking affects the physical body breaking it down. Once I saw a film in which the brain of a heroin addict and the alcoholic were very similar. The depression I experienced also has physical implications. For over twenty years the way my body would respond from too much emotional stress was to pass out. Instead of blacking out from   alcohol I was using depression to numb my brain and myself.

THE SPIRITUAL

When I was drinking I felt alienation and guilt. I felt professing  Christians did not drink  and the more I drank the more guilty I became. I felt that much more distant from God the more I drank and spiraled further down into a cycle of despair.

In my depression I felt God had no time for me and that I was unworthy of his love. Again it was a carousal filled with guilt and anger going round and round so that I couldn’t get off the merry go-round.

SELF ESTEEM

When I was drinking, I was sure that no one cared or understood what I was going through so I had many pity parties and I was the guest of honor. Why should I care if no one else cared- this was my way of thinking.

From painful experiences in my childhood I felt I was of no worth  and just taking up space. It has taken therapy and the support of family and friends to finally look in the mirror and begin to like what I saw.

HOPE

I have been sober over two years although  I often have the desire to drink.  I daily call on my Higher Power for help and march on one day at a time experiencing serenity and a release from my need to  take the first drink.

I have been in therapy for almost a year off and on, although in order to recover one has to stay with it. I have to take my emotional and spiritual healing like my drinking.– one day at a time and know when I can make it because it is only opening the door to the past can the light of the present get rid of the darkness today and have hope for the future.

It is my hope and prayer that this has helped you, the reader,  in some small way. It has helped me by writing about my experiences. May God put walls of protection around you so that the way ahead for you may be crystal clear and that today be your first step towards recovery.

God bless.

—Steve P.  A member of the Louisville Depressed Anonymous Group.

 

I wasn’t taking care of myself

AFFIRMATION

I am going to choose to do one thing today that I can find pleasant. I will keep a list of things that I do for myself that I can always have at hand something that I like to do.

“You can’t please everybody. I wasn’t taking care of myself, so that  I contributed to my depression but I will live  the best I know how. But I will never deliberately hurt anyone else but I am going  to take care of me too.”

CLARIFICATION OF MY THOUGHT/  A REFLECTION

 

I am discovering over time that I was the one responsible for my sadness.  I have come to accept  the reality and the truth that I am the one who is causing the depression and that I need to learn the different ways to get out of the depression. In the past, I had always been willing to crawl along in life but now I am learning how to stand up for myself and begin to recover my true self and be my best self now that I have all the tools. The tools that I am now using, the Twelve Steps, are freeing me up for  a life with hope instead of despair and dread.

In the past, my life was filled with hurt and pain. In fact, the hurt goes back so far that I can’t even remember why I hurt so much. All I know now is that I want to choose to feel good.  Just like Bill W., a co-founder of A.A., I do have the belief that someday my days of fear, anxiety and dread will be  a thing of the past.

MY MEDITATION FOR TODAY

God of hope and serenity, let us just live  in your peace today. We want to absorb each and all your  messages of hope for our soul and spirit. We are waiting on you. We are listening to your voice so that we might learn the best way to take godly care of ourselves.”

Personal comment

SOURCE: Copyright(c) HIGHER THOUGHTS  FOR DOWN DAYS: 365  daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

 

A KINDLE EDITION OF HIGHER THOUGHTS IS AVAILABLE.

Please VISIT THE STORE  for all available literature.

 

Empowerment comes from being informed

 

Empowerment comes  from being informed and making choices that help us change our lives for the better.  When I came to a Depressed Anonymous meeting I am making a first major step- namely, that I admit 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 on the challenge of living life with risk and enthusiasm. But how can I possibly say that I want to depress myself? We are not blaming ourselves  here but are taking responsibility for our own feelings, behavior and thinking. Now that I am conscious of some negative patterns of my own behavior I can get on with learning new strategies for my own healing. With the heartfelt prayer of a monk, I now understand it is by sharing the story of my life – and with the conviction that someone is there to listen, that this can in time help me make it 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 and start to feel 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 -I  may have seen all the best counselors, psychiatrists and doctors but now finally I am going to a room full of depressed people –  people who understand me and what I am going through!

These people I discover are investing in themselves. What will I find there? I will find some of the most caring people on the face of the earth. Some of the group will have been coming for months, and they say that they are having more good days than bad and it’s getting better. The more meetings they attend the better they feel and the more support they receive. They are feeling empowered. It’s the miracle of the group. Instead of living with a compulsion to repeat old negative and life negating thoughts and feelings we now have a compulsion to live with hope plus a desire for a brand new way of living — and not just the way that  we  once talked to ourselves.

We are going to get a new life. And here is how.

I now feel that that I am getting better learning how not to repeat my old way of thinking, feeling and believing and isolating myself when I fear –whatever. I now know that with work and patience I will get better. For most of us, it has taken us a few years to get here (depressed) so why not take the plunge today and work toward getting better–one day at a time – one meeting at a time —  and using the “tools” of the program.

It has only been when I began to examine the way I talked to myself (negatively) and how I gradually isolated myself from a life lived in serenity and hope,  that I realized I could change this pattern of diminishing myself . Others were doing it and so why couldn’t I? And so can you!

Hugh

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

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

                     PLEASE VISIT THE STORE FOR MORE USEFUL AND INFORMATION.

” 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.