Did I create my own prison of depression?

You know,  that’s a  great question for us who have been , or who are presently depressed.  My own reflections about my own experience with depression wasn’t a question that I  asked myself. Actually, that came later in my recovery.  I  really didn’t care who or what  created it – all I knew was I had to get rid of it.  In fact, the experience was much like Noah’s  in the belly of the whale.  I was just walking along one day minding my own business, and suddenly bam! physically feeling swallowed  up by some  invisible  creature who  was devouring me. And that was that. From that  moment on, the feeling continued to overwhelm  me for the next year and half.

Because I had no label to pin on this “whatever it was,”  and I thought nothing important to talk to  anyone  about, but only that the  feeling of helplessness had me locked down.  Oh, I still went to work, trudged through Graduate studies and continued my relationship with others, never revealing my interior mysterious  sense of isolation and despair.

My only distraction was to get up early every morning( biggest challenge of the day) and walk for miles, round and round,  thankful I was still able to function.

Long story short, during this period,  I gradually felt   small lift’s in my spirit but they never lasted. So I continued walking until I managed to walk out of the fog. I was feeling hopeful again,  able to face life with hope. Finally feeling fully freed from the  hopelessness that had isolated me from my world, disconnecting  me from everything, everybody, even myself. That was then.

Now reaching back into the past, looking at my life before ”  whatever it was” that had me,  I began  discovering that I’d unconsciously constructed my own prison and confinement. My ruminating on fearful scenarios of losing my job, not able to handle     negative life issues and constant  frightful thinking plus the  continuous feeling deep painful moods, all grinding my body, mind and spirit into the ground. The feeling, best described this  is  like  someone scraping  their  fingernails on  a blackboard all day  without end.  If you are old enough to remember this particular feeling, (or even a blackboard)  then you know it was that painful knife-like  feeling thrust through your stomach that echoed throughout your whole body. Well, that was the way I felt all the time, particularly in the morning each day.  I wanted never to get up. Here is where motivation  follows action . Move the body and the mind will follow.

When I speak of the pain that threw me to the ground and ended the familiar  life that I knew,  the members of the Depressed Anonymous group know exactly what I am talking about. Depression is physically  painful.  Usually when I tell someone I was depressed, they normally  don’t understand, unless of course, they have been depressed themselves.

In my case, I unconsciously  caused and created  my depression, and allowed the symptoms to grind me down until I took steps to feel differently.  The steps that I took   was to attend the “miracle of the Depressed Anonymous group ” where  I could share my own experiences, strength and hope, make the 12 Steps a daily part of my life, and to share this message of hope with all who feel the same way as I did.

Believing in a Higher Power greater than myself  continues to keep me sane and living one day at a time. It works. It can work for you as well.

For more information contact us @

Depanon@netpenny.net and read  what we are about @ depressedanon.com.

Resources:

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publicatiuons. Louisville, KY 40241.

Home Study Program of Recovery  (See DA literature here at The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore).

 

How to work the 12 Step program of recovery and put them to use in your everyday life.

When someone new comes to a Depressed Anonymous meeting they will hear    about people  in the group working on the 12 Steps. What this means is that since the group of people are into working the 12 Steps  they intend to live out what the Steps mean.

The first Step that all of us make when we walked through that door into our first DA meeting was our admission that we were helpless over our depression. We needed help.

We need to admit that at the present time our will power is powerless over this constant sadness and emptiness that we have been carrying around most of our lives. We just need to talk to someone who will understand us and respect us and not tell us to “snap out of” our depression.

Working the 12 Steps means reading all we can about the Steps and  how these Steps relate to my own sense of aloneness and sadness. The manual, Depressed Anonymous is specifically designed to help the depressed person learn about  each Step  is treated with it’s own chapter in the book.

In order to have a change of feelings we have to work the Steps, which means putting them into practice  in all our daily affairs. It means that we have to try and live out the message of the Steps one day at a time.

A person needs to take each Step and reflect on how that particular Step speaks to our own life. If a Step that we are  studying is unclear as to how it applies to us then  we need to bring that up in a group discussion so that other members can share how that Step has been applied to their own lives. Sometimes persons who have been in recovery for a long time have more experiences with the Steps and they can share how this or that Step has helped them. We know that at the DA meetings there are people  who are each  at different levels of the understanding of the Steps.

Steps Four and Five really have to be faced head-on if our depression is to go away. Step four and five are all about cleaning house. We must square off with ourselves and begin the rooting out   processes that will in time free us from our sadness and our “feeling less than”  as a depressed person. So often a person depressed is afraid, panic stricken really, in facing some issues that were never their fault in the first place.

It is possible that our anger hasn’t as yet been released over some things that have been done to us as children.

Step Twelve speaks about practicing these principles in all of our affairs – that means exactly what it says – we have to practice these Steps day by day. We have  to say I’m sorry as soon as I am aware that I have said or done anything that is out of the way. We again need to study each Step, tear it apart and get every ounce of truth from the Step  as it relates to ourselves. We then write down how each of them has  a special application for my life. We also have a practice of finding quality time everyday of our lives for making room to listen to our Higher Power, or God as we understand God and how that power is going to operate in our lives today and everyday. It is like we must learn  to let go and let God operate in our lives.

For all of us who have had a dependency on depression and sadness, it is hard to let go of the sadness and thinking that somehow gave us an identity to our lives. Depression can serve as a safe defense  and haven againt the uinpredictableness  in our lives.

Practicing these principles in al our affairs or as we say  “walking  the talk and working the Steps”  means that we have to be ever mindful through our times of prayer and meditation, which is a way to find out  what God’s will for us is for my life. Hope appears on the horizon.

Practicing these Steps, for me,  means they will promote an ever growing awareness that the Higher Power is leading me  according to its will and promise.

RESOURCE:

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

(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.

Ordering online is possible through this website  at www.depressedanon.com.

 

I can’t do anything to remove my compulsive behavior until I choose to live without it!

REFLECTION

I know that I have to continue to work on myself and the way that I speak to myself on an ongoing and daily basis. My letting go and let God take over my life doesn’t mean that I’ll just sit back and let God do all the work. No, it means that I will work on myself and leave the outcome up to my Higher Power. I know that my life can be lived differently if I make the effort to choose to become conscious of the thoughts that I let myself ruminate and think about during my day. The more I monitor my thoughts, the more I  am able to filter out the negative thoughts and have them replaced with positive and constructive thoughts.

So often, when I am depressed I continue a thinking style that was learned as a small child. I am not even counscious as to how I would always select the negative attribute about myself to reflect upon, instead of   thinking  positive and hopeful thoughts about myself and my relationships. The more I believe that I have a choice as to how I am to  feel, the more I become conscious of the thoughts that influence the way I feel.

BECOMING MINDFUL

God, let me just for today, dwell on your mercy and kindness that you desire to bestow on us. We pray that our awareness of your love for us will free us from our sadness.

Resources:

(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous  Publications. Louisville, KY  December 14th.

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed., (2011)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville KY.

(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

Put a HIGHER THOUGHT in your life every day. A spiritual vitamin will increase your spiritual metabolism so that you  begin to replace negative thinking with thoughts of hope and serenity.

You may order online from the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at www.depressedanon.com

Depressed Anonymous offers a Home Study as an alternative path for recovery:

An alternative path:  The Depressed Anonymous  Home Study Program of Recovery has been offered for those who cannot find a   Depressed Anonymous group in their area. One of the drawbacks to finding a Depressed Anonymous meeting in one’s  community is the nature of the problem in that depression  has our life shut down.  Depression is such that it isolates and  immobilizes. We don’t want to move out of our comfort zone. We’ll take care of our problem when we feel better. But we never feel better and so stay in our isolation. It is only when we feel we have to get help that we move toward a solution for our depression or whatever it is we have.

Depression is not a substance addiction problem, even  though we modeled our program on the 12 spiritual principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. Like so many problems  facing our modern society,  many people have  put the  power of these principles to work  in their own lives, be that of overeating, opioids addiction and a plethora of compulsive behaviors, phobias and  so on.

Depressed Anonymous  formed as a mutual aid group where others,  like ourselves,  have come together, utilizing the 12 Steps of recovery  and have found a way out of their depression.

When people ask us for a group in their area  more times than not we suggest they use the tools that we offer at our site and come together and form their own group.  But for those who cannot do this, for all sorts of reasons,  find  themselves without the help that they are looking for.

This is where the Depressed  Anonymous Home Study comes in to help. With this program, a person can use the Depressed Anonymous Manual and Workbook. They also can be provided with a sponsor to work their program online. The program is conducted via emails between the Home Study participant and the sponsor.  The  12 Steps are examined and applied to one’s own experience with depression by answering the questions provided  by Home Study. From having a positive experience with the Home Study Program of Recovery some of the participants have begun a Depressed Anonymous program in their own community. Before the Home Study Program of Recovery  there were no DA groups in their home community. After the Home Study Program was used , and a thorough study of the Steps was accomplished , a group was set in motion. Sometimes a therapist was obtained who helped the participant work the Steps. Sometimes a member of another 12 Step fellowship  could help  share  how their own involvement with the Steps  provided them a release from their addiction.

To learn more about the Home Study Program we have given you some resources   at our website www.depressedanon.com for your examination

Kim shares her own experiences with the Home Study Program in Volume #1 Fall  Issue of the DA Newsletter.  She tells us about the “before” of working the Steps and the “after” of completing the Home Study an how it freed her from the captivity of depression and isolation. Please read it–be inspired as was I.   Her story is to be found at the NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES on the Home Page Menu list.

Also, a full explanation of the HSP and what it is about,  is explained at the Depressed Anonymous Home Page Menu-See HOME STUDY PROGRAM.

Depressed Anonymous groups also use the HOME STUDY as the basis for the STEP STUDY home group.re are different and creative ways to use this tool for recovery from depression. Also remember that there is available a sponsor to help the participant work through each of the Steps.

NOTE: I f you desire to start a group in your community is  also advisable to have worked all the steps yourself. We  can then share that we have worked through all the Steps and that we have a Sponsor.

A member of a newly formed  Depressed Anonymous group in an international community is now started with the Home Study and will be the first member of the group to go through all the Steps with a Sponsor. Congratulations to her and her group. It is a positive that the questions contained in the Workbook have a unique relationship to one’s own life as the steps are applied to one’s own life situations.

 

You can contact us at depanon@netpenny.net. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, that’s my story. She is talking about me.

 

Do you want share your story with someone? Yes or no. (Circle one)

Do you want them to understand you? Yes or no. (Circle one)

Do you want some feedback? Yes or no. (Circle one).

Do you want them to listen to you?   Yes or no. ( Circle one)

When I walked into my first 12 Step meeting and listened to what everyone was saying, it dawned on me that they were  telling my story.

I couldn’t believe it. It was surreal.  How did the speaker know that she was talking about me?  And then suddenly it hit me: they were talking about themselves , their  addiction to drugs, just  like my own addiction to drugs.  We were on the same page.  We were kin to each other.

Just then, this stunning news that I was not alone. I felt like a snake shedding its skin.   What I thought was impossible happened. It was a spontaneous reaction to my feeling at home with this group of people. I raised my hand. I got recognized by the group chair. I stumbled around for a second or two and then I plunged into my own story. It was true that my story was basically every one’s story.  What guilt  and shame that I felt  at that moment melted away.  No longer did I want to hide. It was now out in the open. My image,  the good time Charley,  the always happy,  smiling dude,was shattered.  Now here  I was,  broadcasting to these total strangers that  I was an empty shell–living a lie on the outside and afraid to face the truth   on the inside.

I got my 24 hour token that  day.  And ever since the day I heard someone else tell my story-36 years of 24 hour days– I am now telling my story to you, the reader.

We know that if you attend a meeting of Depressed Anonymous, and listen to everyone’s story, you too will feel they are telling your story.That’s the “miracle“of our group.

For more information click onto www.depressedanon.com and discover how you too can find a way out of your depression. We are waiting to hear your story.

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

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.

Got too much on your plate?

 

Yes, I have too much on my plate. So, now what can I do to make my plate lighter? How can I slow down, smell the roses and deal with  all those pressures coming at me at the same time?  Even before I get out of bed   I get depressed just thinking of all the things which are facing me today.  I just want to take the bed covers, pull them over my head  and say goodbye to it all. I keep telling myself “I don’t want to do this anymore.  My life is  a metaphor for a roller coaster. I just wanna get off!”

Ok, my life is out of control. My life is unmanageable.  I feel like the clown in the circus,  who has  dinner plates all spinning around at the same time  – all zipping around at top speed and not a one crashing to the floor. Amazing!  Today we call this multitasking. Yes, I  multitask  and it’s killing me! But I want to know how to keep life simple? How to  gain control of what is on my plate and how to rid myself of those things which I can live without.

In Higher Thoughts for Down Days, I read how ” I can learn to keep my life simple. I plan to do that by first of all admitting that I am powerless over my depression and that my life is unmanageable. I also believe that I can get out of this mess by focusing on respected and workable solutions rather than keeping focused on my ever present difficulties.

The word simple comes from the Latin word “simplex”  meaning one fold. Also, it means to just have one part. I think to keep it simple means to be single-minded and keep the focus on the solution and practice that particular solution in all my daily affairs.”

Here at our site (depressedanon.com) we have listed a number of tools which each of us can use for our own personal recovery.  (See Tools for Recovery at Site Menu). I guarantee that if you begin to use these recovery tools, on a daily basis,  you will begin to   free yourself from being overwhelmed and your life  will no longer feel out of control and unmanageable.  Each of the tools  describe a particular action to take which can give you more control over your life.  You will in time be able to  take issues off your plate, which  once immobilized you,   providing  you  with a sense of hope.

I recommend that you take one of the listed tools, read up on how to  put its action into your daily   life. Take one at a time and get good at doing it on a daily basis. This will form a habit and habits determine what  course our behaviors will take.  Please write to me and let me know how you are doing with this exercise of hopefulness.

I will leave you today with this riddle:

QUESTION

How do you eat an elephant?

ANSWER

One bite at a time!

==================================

SOURCES:   Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. June 26. pg. 128.

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

Copyright(c)   I’ll do it when I feel better! 2nd edition. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

VISIT THE STORE at  Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore for more information available. Ordering online is available.

Drinking Depression: One man’s story of recovery from alcoholism and depression.

 

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

By Steve P.

“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 say angry, for it was anger at the root of my depression that I was trying to suppress in medicating myself with alcohol. 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. Where 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 where I took comfort in being drunk because   eventually   the numbness became the only way I could feel better.  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 wooly 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  deliver me from alcohol and he led me to a counselor  to  also help me with my depression. With the 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 an alcoholic was compared to the brain of a heroin addict and they were very similar. The depression I  experienced also had 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 myself and my brain.

THE SPIRITUAL

When I was drinking I felt alienation and guilt. I felt professing Christians did not drink. The more I drank the more guilty I became. I felt  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 could understand 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 to help me and march on one day at a time experiencing serenity and a release from my need to take that 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 knowing   I can make it.  It is only by opening the door of the past that   the light of the present can get rid of the darkness  today,  providing  hope for the future.

It is my hope and prayer that this has helped you,  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 so that today may be your first step towards recovery.”

God bless.

Steve P.

+This article first appeared in THE ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET, Spring 1994.

 

 

I am able to beat loneliness by repeatedly being with other people in recovery or by doing the Home Study* program with my sponsor.

A HIGHER THOUGHT FOR YOUR DAY

AFFIRMATION

“I’m sure many sufferer’s could find a lot of comfort and support by coming into a group as I’ve done, to help beat the terrible loneliness which is felt by many and who find lasting friendship with lovely people.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

In the group, I established myself and got some positive feednback from others who watched me grow and have seen the genuine changes I make personally. I am gradually throwing off my personal way with sadness. The real support comes when I begin to learn that members of the group have the same problem that I have. That helps me trust others with the story of my life. These people are the ones who want to hear my story of how depression cost me my life.  Now, my life is freeing me from my need to sad myself.

I feel more able to attach myself to the group now that I know that they are struggling with the same depression that I struggle with. I no longer have to fight this battle on my own.

MEDITATION AND BEING MINDFUL OF A HIGHER POWER

God, you are our rock and our refuge, on you I place my trust. We know and  believe, easier now than before, that God has something good in store for me today. (Personal comment).

SOURCE:  Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  April 26. Pages 84-85.

*HOME STUDY PROGRAM, is an individual approach to a STEP study  program when no  Depressed Anonymous group program is available in one’s community. The participant is helped in working the steps by utilizing the help of a sponsor. The sponsor leads the individual through all the steps using the Depressed Anonymous Manual, 3rd edition as well as coordinating this work with the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. By means of emails the sponsor and participant communicate with each other on  a regular basis.

For more information in how to set up this HOME STUDY program please click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore. Or contact us at depanon@netpenny.net for how you can be part of this individualized study.

The Home Study material  can be ordered online.

 

Why does the dog chase it’s tail?

Good question. It could be for many reasons. It might have fleas. It might have gotten hurt in some way. It itches. The reasons can go on and on.

I  suggest that one of the reasons may be that the dog is unaware that its  tail is part of the dog. It is an attachment which comes with the dog. However, no matter how fast and furious the dog chases its tail the dog will never get hold of it. I gather it soon discovers this important fact!Anyway, why think about this fact here?  What has this to do with the information we normally share here at our Depressed Anonymous website.

So often as a   therapist  I have  heard  how some persons believe that their depression just came out of the blue.  You know, like the rain, snow, and stormy weather.  And ironically, I felt the same way. I just couldn’t understand how  it was that I felt so bad with no prior  warning.

In our manual Depressed Anonymous I give the reader a brief account of my own experiences with depression and how I always felt that this plague of the spirit just happened. I too felt that It just came out of the blue for no apparent reason.

Here is a little bit of what I wrote in the introduction to Depressed Anonymous and I want to share this with you now.

What it was like. More than ten years ago, I began to notice that something was very wrong with the way I was feeling. I can tell you exactly the place and the time when this terrible sadness began to swallow me up;. I felt myself, without warning, sliding down and into the dark pit from which I was not able to climb out for a year of painful months. Feelings of inner pain and numbness descended upon me, and began to rule my life.

At the time, I thought that this descent into hell came from “out of the blue” but, like all feelings we experience, I knew that because of situations in my personal past, my emotional reservoir was overdrawn. My reactions to these situations had allowed thoughts and feelings to accumulate a wealth of debt whose note had come due.

“…Looking back over my life and experiences, I discovered that my thoughts produced the feelings, the feelings produced moods and the moods produced my behaviors. The mind-body connection is never as much in evidence as it is in the human experience that we label  depression.”

In another chapter of the Depressed Anonymous book we hear Mary tell us how  she felt about her own depression experience:

“…Because of shame, Mary was never able to share her story with any of  her friends. In time, she began to think that  her feelings were disloyal to her parents, whom she felt she had to love because they were her parents.  She said she got confused because they seemed to want her around sometimes but at other times they told her what a worthless and lazy girl she was. The thing that hurt most, she said, is that she believed them. So now she wonders how this Fifth Step  applies to her when it’s her parents who need to admit their wrongs to her. Mary was puzzled. All she wants to do is to get over some of the anger that she still holds for the way her parents neglected her when she was growing up. She says that every time  she goes back home a sadness just seems to come over her -as though out of the blue -and for no apparent reason. She also says that her stomach gets all  knotted up.”

And now, why do we seem to have a mental disconnect between our  life losses and the depth of pain that we are presently suffering?

The author gives an explanation here:

“To have lost a parent  early in life, either through death or divorce can have a serious effect on the life of  a young child. Early losses in life cause a lot of hurt later on in life and many people  think that their depression just happens, out of the blue without rhyme or reason, but usually there IS  a reason and most probably it is buried deep in the unconscious because it has been too painful to look at.  It is in sharing with a trusted friend, group member or therapist that you can gradually let out the bits of the secret that has been under lock and key for years. It is also when we can be in contact with persons we trust that the hurts of the past can be revealed.”

And finally to answer our questions: why does the dog chase his tail? I honestly don’t have a clue. But what I do know that when I was depressed   I could sit and think for hours about why I   felt so miserable –but   never coming up  with the reason. No matter what avenue I went down trying to understand my present pain, I really  couldn’t stop chasing false leads and dead ends of why I was so despairing of relief.

Later, with a mind cleared of the fog of sadness, and with a new ability to process where I had been in my life, I finally began to see that nothing just  comes out of the blue. There is always a reason.

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If you would like to read more of how other members of Depressed Anonymous share their stories of recovery  in our Depressed Anonymous manual  and how they found their way out of depression.  They all discovered how their symptoms of depression didn’t just  come out of the blue.

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 20,67, 79.

Visit The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore here at this site depressedanon.comOne may order online.