The Antidepressant Tablet (Copyright@ DAP))
VOLUME #2 – FALL ISSUE – 2018
The following are a few of the BLOGS from the past which I have selected to share with you in this FALL ISSUE. I hope you find their content helpful.
THINKING UNPLEASANT THOUGHTS WEAR ME OUT–UNTIL I DID THIS.
Just a note today to share with you something that you already know, namely, how the continuous thinking of unpleasant thoughts wears us out. One day, quite by accident I discovered a secret. I discovered how my mind was trying to fool me by making me believe that I was tired, worn out and needed to lie down and just sleep.
So again, I was wearing myself out with my gloom and doom thoughts when I believed I was too tired to do anything. I suddenly thought, “Hey, wait a minute, I don’t have to keep running from myself and let this fatigue force me down on my back.” So, what did I do? I went to my computer desk, and began to write. It was like driving through a blasting blizzard with nothing to be seen ahead of me except the hood of my car. I continued to write. The fatigue persisted. And then gradually with about ten minutes under my belt, my negative thoughts slowly replaced with thoughts focused on what I was banging out on my keyboard. I felt a resurgence of energy. Now, I wanted to continue to write. Gradually I began to feel the light of hope coursing through my arteries. It was like someone had turned on the light and gave me the secret to keep on my feet, so to speak, and regain the energy that I wanted to sleep away.
I distracted myself. I pulled away from the gloomy thoughts and focused all my attention on creating something brand new. I now know that I can walk away from that which would have continued to immobilize my desire to be free.
Try it. It works for me. It can work for you as well.
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 for you. First of all, a box has an identifiable shape. It is a box mainly because it contains something -whatever that something 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, is a metaphor for feeling enclosed from 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, 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 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 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 suddenly it hit me –I needed to 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 Anonymous Program of recovery, who have been using “out of the box” ideas to work in our daily lives, want to share what has worked for us. 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.
- Exercise is a great tool if you happen to be depressed or not.
- Getting out into nature will also help put your mind on beauty and your surroundings.
- Overcoming fear is also a great place to learn how to get out of the box. Learn about “first fear” and “second fear.” Fear does seem to be at the center of our life when depressed.
- Recite the Serenity Prayer as often as you need it.
- The Present. Staying in the now.
- Making use of the God Box. This is an exercise, a simple one at that, which helps us learn the discipline of “letting go.”
- Feelings need to be examined and expressed. We will look at why expressing feelings is so important, instead of having them bottled up and causing all sorts of physical and emotional problems.
- Disable negative thinking: learning how to short circuit negative thoughts when they pop into our minds.
- Reading Depressed Anonymous literature and all material on the subject.
- 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 in.
- Journaling is a great tool for writing down what has been our experience for the day. It helps to clarify our thinking and put things into perspective.
We can take our time to evaluate our response to each of the tools listed and so make our own notes as how to use these recommended ideas for our own recovery. “NOTE: At the site menu page (depressedanon.com) you can click onto the drop down menu TOOLS FOR RECOVERY to read more about the tools and how to use them.
SO FAR TODAY!
So far today God, I’ve done all right’
I haven’t gossiped.
I haven’t lost my temper.
I haven’t been grumpy, nasty or selfish.
I’m really glad of that.
But in a few minutes,
God, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on,
I’m probably going to need a lot of help!
THE WORLD OF THE “SELFIE” MIRRORS A WORLD OF THE ISOLATED AND DISCONNECTED
In our ongoing discussion of the ecology of the depression experience, and looking at the personal, biological and environmental facts that are each part of the whole, we are able to make some observations about how to overcome this human and life threatening reality. Environmentally, we have seen the post-industrial society, at least in America, become a nation of diminished size of families (1 in 4 Americans now live alone), fewer family farms and more persons living in isolated and disconnected environments. It appears that we all are moving away from that wholesome community form of life toward an individualistic and SELFIE generation. The “we” society is gradually turning into the “me” generation. To quote David Karp (Speaking of Sadness, Pg.195) he states “The estimated 11-15 million people suffering from depression and the million more with anxiety disorders are the victims of a society that has lost sight of what I now see as a shared sociological and spiritual message. It is that our individual emotional health and health of society are inseparable. If we do not nourish society by revitalizing our individual responsibilities to it, we pay the price in terms of individual illness. In this way, those millions pained by affective disorders are part of a dialectical process in which the extent of collective suffering eventually causes an urge to change the social structures that has made so many of us ill. During this current of cultural discontent we may be better able to appreciate the spiritual message that all of us are connected to and responsible to each other. Although we can never return to the small, intimate communities of the Nineteenth century, such a communitarian vision is the necessary starting place of efforts at social reconnection and thereby the creation of a more generally happy society.” In another place Karp contends “we may be at a juncture where we are ready as a culture to see the wisdom in the spiritual idea that our individual well-being is inseparable from that seamless web of connections…”At our Depressed Anonymous group fellowship meetings it is evident how the “we” trumps the “me” at every turn and how the “we” of the fellowship produces, not only societal recovery from isolation and being disconnected, it also provides the tools in which a community of people who care about each other is built. Won’t you care to join in this community building adventure? Search our website menu at depressedanon.com to find a Depressed Anonymous meeting in your community. If there was none, then you might want to check out the HOME STUDY PROGRAM from our website and determine if this would be an appropriate route to take for your own recovery.
You can also contact the author of this BLOG at Depanon@netpenny.net.
TRUE OR FALSE
- You can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard.
- My reality check bounced.
- I don’t suffer from stress. I am a carrier!
There are presently 4 individuals who are working with the Home Study Program of recovery: two in the USA, one in the Netherlands, a Step Study group (25 members) in Iran. See more information about the Home Study Program of Recovery from our website.
Also, good news for those who speak Spanish (1/3 of earth’s population is said to speak Spanish). Depressed Anonymous Publications is making it possible to have our Depressed Anonymous Manual, the 3rd edition, translated into Spanish. Hopefully, this work will be completed shortly after the New Year. The translator lives in Louisville and is a native of South America.
A DA member from the Netherlands is translating our work into Dutch so that she can share this program with those interested in her country. She is also working with a member of a 12 Step person from Portugal desirous of setting up an International DA Step Study SKYPE online group.
Our group literature is presently published in English, Farsi (Iran) and Russian (Ukraine).
DEP-ANON FAMILY GROUP MANUAL: A TWELVE STEP SUPPORT GROUP FOR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF THE DEPRESSED.
Dep-Anon is a support group for family and friends of the depressed. This program is similar to AL-ANON where family members gather to help each other learn how to detach and cope with a loved one’s alcoholism. In the same way, DEP-ANON is an effort of family and friends to gather together and learn to live with and cope with their loved one’s depression. Now is a good time, I believe, in the history of our 12 Step Fellowship to spend time refining and detailing strategies for helping family members and friends of the depressed to understand help support the depressed. In fact, the name chosen for this companion to Depressed Anonymous is DEP-ANON.
The recovery program of DEP-ANON is based on the 12 Steps and each step featured as an individual chapter in the DEP-ANON manual. A commentary is included for each Step for family members and friends to use in their group or as individuals. Also, each Step chapter concludes with a questions section providing material for group discussion.
An important note is that this seventy-seven page manual was written and developed by two members of the DA fellowship. They came to Depressed Anonymous wanting to learn more about depression. One of the members lived with a depressed husband. The other member had a depressed daughter. By sharing together their experiences and applying the principles of the 12 steps to their situations, they came up with the idea for a DEP-ANON. We all are grateful for these two women for putting together a book that uses the 12 Steps of recovery for their own lives, friends and families of