When will it end?

How often did I ask that question of myself. And the only answer that I could give was "I don't know." That was never a very heartening response. In fact it just made matters worse. I don't know about  you,  but I sure  didn't have a clue about my own situation. Why couldn't someone tell me, like when you get the flu or a cold, "How long will it take to get well." Not even a Doctor.  Nobody could tell me. All I ever heard was their  opinion that if you do this or do that treatment  you should start feeling better. If not, then  something else would be recommended. Most of the time it was  usually those who do this or that  treatment they should l be feeling better in a couple of weeks.

What I was hearing was that it really depended on many different factors. One size (diagnosis) doesn't fit everyone. Everyone's depression is unique to that individual who is depressed. All depression experiences even though unique still have characteristics which are common to all.

In my case, I knew nothing about depression and in fact didn't have a clue that what I was living through was actually the various symptoms of depression. All I knew was that I needed to do something with the hope that doing something was better than doing nothing. After all I was unable to get myself out of bed. After my 8 hours at work, I came home and went to bed--waking up during the night, tossing and turning in my bed. That became my daily routine. I isolated myself. I never felt wanting to call my parents or my friends. I was locked down in despair.

My day eventually began with an hour of walking. I felt like Forrest Gump who didn't know where he was going but he knew he wanted to walk. I did know that maybe I could shake off whatever was locking me down, physically, emotionally thinking all the while that I was hopeless and helpless.
Then it happened. Suddenly, my mind's mental fog evaporated and I could feel a lightness, unlike the feeling of a heavy weight bearing down on my mind, causing a continued fatigue and sadness. Immediately I felt different. Wow! This is the way I felt all the time before my sadness overwhelmed my life., I momentarily became energized and continued my walk. What happened next was predictable. The first thought that came to mind was "it isn't going to last." And yes, it doesn't last, but then the next day and in the next few days my mind completely returned to its former clarity and upbeat hopefulness that "it was all 'gonna' be alright."

Was my new feeling due because I was walking everyday for over a year, that I continued going to work, or talking to my Depressed Anonymous group on a weekly basis the reason for the change? I would say Yes, that had much to do with my life getting back on track.
The fatigue disappeared, the negative thinking disappeared, and I now was on a new playing field. I now had the tools with which to strengthen myself against negative attacks from my mind and body, I started to exercise on a regular basis, talked to people in the program of recovery, got a sponsor, read the Depressed Anonymous literature, ate healthy foods and went to regular DA meetings.

The end of your own depression will end, once you begin to tackle those fears and anxieties that once locked you down into isolation and immobilization. It might not happen today but there is a strong possibility that it can and will happen. It happened for me.

RESOURCE:

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville KY. (Personal Stories section relate how others found hope and a plan for leaving behind their depression.)


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This is it!

How often must I learn not to get caught up in the mania of having thoughts  and feelings and flights of grandiosity as I flee  from the depths of my sadness. I will not run from my sadness, but instead, I will focus on the fact that I have to stake out my claim and say, this is it — I am going to get well starting today – right now.  When I am manic I am panicky  and very jittery, but when I am depressed or feel myself slippimg down into the abyss of darkness I run as fast  as I can until I no longer can stop my racing thoughts, nor find an end to the obsession of wanting complete perfection in everything that I do.

What this means is that I am going to believe that I am about to be released from a terminal illness. My sadness has dogged me throughout my life. I no longer am willing to give in  to it, this Black Dog  of sadness once labeled as “melancholia.”  I have tried all the pills to rid myself from the angst  of my soul until there were no more pills, no more solutions and no more avenues of escape. I could escape the pain from time to time, but not a lifetime of hurtful human experiences.

MEDITATION

God, you call each of us by name. Give us the power to name anything that is blocking us from growing in the wisdom of your will for us  today. Lead us home to your peace.  (Add your own personal thoughts here.)

RESOURCES:

(c) Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step Fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. November 20th.

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

Go to the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore to order online.

Today (11/14/19) join International Depressed Anonymous Online Skype meeting.

For information for logging onto this Online Meeting please go to www.depressedanon.com website  and on the first line of the homepage Menu click onto International Online DA SKYPE meeting times. For the English speaking the group starts today at 12:30pm  Central Daylight time.

If there is a problem then enter depanon@hotmail.com. That should get you into the online group meeting. See you there!

Hugh

I made a daily commitment to keep myself connected to hope!

One of the ways I  stay connected to the work of recovery is  finding  those thoughts and meditations which speak peace, truth and hope. For that reason a few years back I decided to develop a daily  meditation book for those of us depressed.  Everyday I find and reflect upon  the healthy thinking of persons who live and walk the Steps. Not only would I be in touch with empowering thoughts,  I will also be inspired with words of hope  for daily living.  I knew that my recovery depended on keeping connected with the Steps, those Twelve Spiritual principles that   daily empower me with  positive  thoughts, feelings  and behaviors.

Staying connected with positive thinking inoculates  me  from spiraling downward into that abyss of hopelessness. I am grateful that I not only have these daily meditations to keep me sane and sober but that  I   keep myself  focused on that which provides  my life with meaning and purpose. For that reason I chose to call this daily meditation  Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Some of our Depressed Anonymous  groups use these thoughts  at their weekly meetings. They also serve as   topics for the discussion period in the groups meetings.

I am aware for the first time since I have been working the program of recovery, that my thinking is cylical in that my negative thoughts constantly keep  going around and around in circles. I have found that I need to stop my negative self-destructive thinking that has dogged me most of my life. I am able to break the circle of hurt and my own self-inflicted pain and come to my senses.  I do have some good things going for me and I plan to use these good character traits as building blocks for a future  filled with hope.

I am learning to take good care of myself. I am interested in my own self-care than I am of what others around me want or need. I am not being as selfish as much as I am being concerned about my own growth and development. In the Third Step we declare that “we made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God as we understand God.” To be in the care of someone means that they are concerned about us and are burdened with a concern for us.

MEDITATION

Restore our fortunes O God. Bring back and keep near all those good, empowering thoughts that are producing  hope and meaning for that new life that we live  everyday. Keep us connected to being connected!

(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications . Louisville.KY. November 14. Pages 186-187.

Order books online from the Depressed Anonymous Bookstore at www.depressedanon.com.

 

To please everyone made me into a doormat.

If we are ever sad about people we have hurt or even more  angry about people who have hurt us over the years,  we need to get this out into the open. We also need to share the anger that we feel inside of us that has been swallowed for so many years and which  need to get expressed.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Finally, I can give myself permission to express my feelings. I have held in many strong emotions over the years. Now, thanks to my friends who are in recovery with me, I have been assured that that it’s alright to express my strong emotions. It has been said that depression is anger turned in on itself. It should also be said that anger unexpressed flattens all feeling, especially the pleasant ones. Today, I know and believe that it is alright to first identify my feeling, secondly to own it, and then thirdly, to express it.

I am learning much from  the old axiom that we “first have to be true to our own self.”  I am also learning that my need to be perfect and to please everyone made me into a doormat. I thought that I didn’t deserve any better.

Anger has its root, usually from a hurt or an old grievance. The soil that gives  nurturance to this hurt is resentment. The best way to get rid of my need to be vindictive is to find out what triggers my anger.

MEDITATION

God show us your mercy and let our trust in you heal all our hurts and let trust be strengthened as we go about our activities today.

(C) Higher thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditation for members of 12 step fellowship groups. Hugh Smith (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Pages 224-225. November 11.
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Depressed Anonymous is not the place to have people feel sorry for you. Depressed Anonymous is a spiritual program where you will find people like yourself, honestly, openly and willingly dealing with character defects – gradually admitting that they will have to change their lives and lifestyle if they are going to be a whole and honest human being. The decision is yours. You make the choice. The Twelve Steps and your own personal story can now be shared with others and can help them on their own life’s journey.

(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 126.

To order these publications online, contact www. depressedanon.com at the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore.

Help is on the way!

Many times it is difficult for persons interested in attending a face to face Depressed Anonymous meeting in their community, sadly discovering  that there are no DA meetings available.

Our Fellowship has developed tools to help  those who have no support groups to utilize our Home Study Kit of Recovery. The Home Study Kit includes a Depressed Anonymous Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous Group Manual( 3rd edition).  Both books used together provide information about depression plus personal enrichment.

You will find that the Depressed Anonymous Workbook, with questions pertaining to each  of the chapters in the Manual   are coordinated by page and paragraph with the Manual.

Our approach to depression is based on the 12  spiritual principles of Recovery. Your answers to the questions are your own and gradually move you one step after another until all the 12 Step are personally assimilated and examined based on  your own life experiences. The whole Home Study process will let you go at your own speed so that you have an in depth awareness of how depression can by overcome by learning  how you got to where you are today.  Following this learning experience you will  gradually acquire  tools for facing  and overcoming  those areas of your life which     previous to the study, had you imprisoned in pain plus  isolated from others. In fact, after moving through all the Steps and learning how depression has negatively affected your life – you will gradually have   tools to dismantle those various thoughts, behaviors which have kept you immobilized.

For every person who uses the Home Study a sponsor will be available to you (just like in any 12 step program) as a mentor, per your choice, and walk with you through this recovery process. If you choose to take this healing path and make a decision to do so, you will find that you not only are feeling better but that life has meaning for you once again. You are hopeful!

An example from  The DA Workbook on Page 83, Question 11.18 states that:

“We conclude that since our depression and sad thoughts are getting progressively worse  over the course of time, we then have to admit that our feelings are out of control and we need help.” (M116). And it is here that the question prompts a solution from the same person. Here is her solution and one that you could use as well.

M116 refers to the Depressed Anonymous Manual where we find  the personal story of Frances who shares with us that “I just hope that I will always be able to attend Depressed Anonymous meetings regularly and wish more people had the opportunity to do the same. Depressed Anonymous has helped me so much. I cannot begin to explain sufficiently the support the meetings can give one who is depressed. Depressed Anonymous has been and is my salvation. I know the Twelve Steps program is the only way to go to get one on the right track and it takes the meetings to keep you there.  They are also  a “Godsend” for me and I know for a lot of others who are depressed.” Page 116.

Finally, if there are no meetings in your community  this process of using the Home Study Recovery program will provide so much for you that it will enable you   to lead a support group in your home community now that you have worked all of the Steps – and that with the support of a sponsor.

Resources:

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

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

Both books that make up the HOME STUDY KIT can be ordered online from the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore. These two books are also in eBooks format  and are available for ordering online.

You can get started today.