That very question is one which I myself have asked. It would have been neat if I could have just set my mind to it and deciding not to pay any attention to those never ending ruminations about my life and all those crazy thoughts and painful feelings that came to roost in my mind. They were unending. You know, sort of dig a hole and bury your head in it. Hoping against hope that all the noise would just stop. It got worse. I told myself–it’s only going to get worse. It did!
It was strange how the more I didn’t want to have these thoughts live in my head, day after day, the more my mood continued spiraling down into that abyss where no kind word, no positive thinking, nor pleasant future for myself dwelt. My thoughts turned angry and my mood was at a ground zero.
Now what do I do I thought to myself? What can I do? All these thoughts were accompanied with an anxiety that seemed to envelop my whole body and turned my insides into to what felt like a shaking bowl of jelly. At this point, my mind was not thinking of anything, but being fixated on how rotten I was feeling. Again, what can I do? How to get this constant agitation and jitteriness removed? And how did it get this way in the first place. No answers.
I told myself. Nothing can help me. I might as well give up– throw in the towel. Even my thinking was changing. I couldn’t read with any comprehension or even wanting to do the most common of my normal daily activities. All my thoughts seemed like sand slipping through my fingers. I was losing my grip on reality. Was I losing my mind?
I knew that I couldn’t lie in bed all day and do nothing. I knew that my mind was not coming up with any solutions that would ignite my motivation to move. “That’s it” I said to myself. I got to get moving. And so that is what I did. I started to move the body–and gradually my mind began to work, but I had to prime the mental machinery to get it operative once again. I made up my mind that I must walk myself out of the mental and physical mess that I was in. I knew that if I just moved the body my mind would follow–at least that is what I was hoping would happen. And after a year or so, my mind did began to work. My thoughts gradually became clearer and by taking care of my body’s physical needs (exercise) my mind welcomed this healthy change. I also had my support group Depressed Anonymous help me at our meetings. I could call them anytime and get some help. I WAS NOT ALONE.
I noticed that gradually my low mood was spiraling upwards and my mood began lifting the fog that had me confused and dazed and immobile.
Did I think my way out of depression? I don’t think so. What did happen is that over time I learned how to create my own “red flags” alerting me when I discovered my thinking was getting off track. Now these “red flags ” pop up in my mind when old negative thoughts, negative behaviors and irrational thoughts want to start their cycling around in my head. The old habits that create depression die hard. Now I use my many tools (see Tools for Recovery at site menu) that defend me against relapsing and spiraling out of control. In other words, I have brought a new and sane balance into my life and my thinking.
Before, when I was depressed, my mind was filled with horrible thoughts, suicidal thoughts and my thinking was getting more and more erratic. In fact, the mind was telling me all sort of negative lies about myself–which I believed. I felt worthless and helpless in the midst of this negativity, an unyielding, relentless, and pounding me down tsunami-like, till I was flat on my back.
My mind has learned a lot since those days when I was a prisoner of my own fears. My thinking no longer focuses on what is negative about myself. Now I am focused on what I like about myself and ways that will help me grow and be of help to others just like me. Now it’s all about the progress I am making on a daily basis and not worrying about being perfect.
One of our best tools is to use the Depressed Anonymous Workbook where I can go through each of the 12 Steps and relate my own depression experience to myself, my past and discover reasons how I got depressed in the first place. Questions in this book prepare us to make discoveries about ourselves and our lives which we never gave much thought previous to our getting into reovery.
I cannot think myself out of depression. I know that now. I tried that route. Funny thing though, is that I always came back to where I started with no more answers than when I started. It’s like a dog chasing its tail.
(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
(c) Home Study Program of Recovery. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
For more information on Depressed Anonymous Fellowship publications, please check out the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore. Ordering online is available.