I am beginning to taste what a new life can be like. Hope is close at hand. I want my wings!

 AFFIRMATION

I  deserve to be free of my sadness.

“Now that small  voice, that little part of you that wants to have light and some hope, is getting up the courage to seek more for itself.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I can no longer turn back and live in my old self. I am like the butterfly gradually becoming winged and ready to fly as soon as it throws off its old body, the body of the caterpillar. My metamorphosis is in process and nothing is going to turn me back to the  way my life had been. I want  now for my life  to continue to get better as I notice   the more I work on myself and trust in my Higher Power, the more I am ready to live with courage and hope. I am beginning to like the taste of living life and look forward to each new day as it comes. I want my wings!

Courage is to have heart and to believe that all things can work out if I just put my belief into gear and work as if it depended on myself and pray as if it all depended on God.

MEDITATION

God, we hear you speaking to us to grow and to trust. We all count the ways that you have cleared the obstacles from our path so that our down days are less than before and we have now more good days than before.

(Write your personal comments here).

SOURCES: (c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. April 2. Page 55.

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

(c) Believing is Seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

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For more  information about depression and the twelve spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore. Please know that one can order online.  Our ebooks  are also available.

Notice

Depresivos Anonimos is soon ready for publication.  Those who wish to have our Big Book in Spanish will be able to order this new version.

 

I believe that my life is going to get better! Hope is a hard habit to break!

 

How often have I heard these powerful words at one of our group Depressed Anonymous meetings. In fact, it is  oftener  than one would think, seeing where most of the group members have been before opening the door  into our fellowship.

Not only have we heard powerful stories of recovery but we also witness them with  own eyes. By coming to meetings week after week, we  begin to see the truth of the Promises as laid out for each of us who take that first step into recovery.  In Higher Thoughts for Down Days I read that I am going to be secure in my belief that my life is going to get better.

Today is the day. Doing your best, living each day to the fullest is the art of living. Yesterday is gone forever, and we don’t know whether we will be here tomorrow. If we do a good job of living today, and if tomorrow does comes for us, then the chances are we will do a good job when it arrives – so why worry about it?

This makes sense to me. What about you?  I know that the more I share myself with others, be that with my DA sponsor or with other members of our fellowship, that my life is beginning to change for the better. Also, the more I share with others the more spontaneous I become, and there are now some bright periods  of my life beginning to appear in my life.

I believe that by living in the present reduces my trust in the past fears of yesterday or the anxious moments I thought I needed for tomorrow.

Knowing that others, who are just like me, can make it through   the day with a greater amount of serenity and peace  as they try to live in today-just for the next 24 hours.

We all believe that the more we turn our minds and wills toward God, the more God will turn his love and will for us in unmistaken ways  and with our belief that God is truly with us.

AS Brad Cohen tells us in that great Hallmark Movie, FRONT OF THE CLASS, “Hope is hard to break.”

Hopeful people gather together on  every continent on this planet. Their hope stems from a strong belief  that with God’s help and support from their fellow members of DA (Or any other 12 Step mutual aid group) they become energized by people feeling better and coming more energized about trying to live their life with purpose and meaning.

Every Depressed Anonymous meeting starts with a statement on How Depressed Anonymous Works:

” 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. ”

In the Big Book of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition,  you can read story after story of those persons who have  escaped from the prison of their isolation. These stories tell each of us that there is hope and you can have it too. If it has taken  you a lifetime to find a healing way out of your depression, you then can   appreciate those others who have made it-all now living with hope and trust.

SOURCES

(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications.Louisville. Ky. (Personal stories section).

(C)I’ll do it when I feel better. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky.

(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups. (1998) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

 

Healthy Adulthood? What is it?

 

Saint-Exupery, in The Little Prince   said  “that to be a  man, a woman, an adult, is to accept responsibility. And during those years that are bracketed by the dawning of conscience and end of adolescence (seven to ten) we must be slowly expanding the dominion of what we can be responsible for – becoming our own grownup.”

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A Higher Thought for Today/ March 19.

AFFIRMATION

Remove the letters “d”, “e”, and “I” from the word depression and I have “press on’!

“The  idea that we have to be responsible for ourselves and that the ways of the world are neither  good  nor just,  is too terrifying  for you to contemplate. You cannot tolerate such uncertainty. You do not trust yourself, so how can you take responsibility for your self? ” Bill W.

CLARIFICATION OF  THOUGHT

I don’t like facing the fact that ultimately I am the one responsible  for myself, no one else. It appears to me that I have to take care of myself, depend on my Higher Power for direction, and go from there.  My Higher Power isn’t going to do it all. I know that I have to do all that I can to restore my life and my feelings.   God is the rudder to my boat and I have to put my oars into the water if I am to get moving  in the right direction.

I am attempting, day by day, to tolerate the  unpredictableness   of my life and gradually learn new ways to cope with uncertainty. While I am depressing myself, I want everything to be perfect and under my control. I know now that I will be happier when I learn how to tolerate a pleasant mood without telling myself that it will not last!

MEDITATION

We believe that the closer that we come to God, as we understand God, as we understand Him, the closer our God draws to us. We believe that whatever we want changed in our life, this can best be accomplished by approaching the God of our understanding and letting the  power  greater than ourselves steer us across the stormy sea.”

SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for Members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. (1997) Pages 47-48.  Louisville. Ky.

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RESPONSIBILITIES AND CONNECTIONS
We have to acknowledge that I am the one who is having the harsh and negative thoughts about myself, and that I alone must take responsibility for the feelings that I have about myself. I can’t continue to blame others for my depression and still think that I will feel better. Dorothy Rowe says that instead of blaming someone else or making someone else the scapegoat of our problems,  we need to put aside blame and guilt and think in terns of responsibilities and connections.  What she means here is that when she has dealt with depressed persons, they seem as though they are carrying the weight of the world and feel responsible for everyone and everything except themselves. She says that when it comes to themselves they se themselves as totally powerless. We need to look at what is happening in the here and   now and take responsibility for our lives, without living in the fear of tomorrow and the hurt of yesterday, Humbly ask God to help  you live in the now, even if that means living with the temporary horrible pain of depression.”

Source: Depressed Anonymous   3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. pp. 73-74.

NOTE: Click onto  www. depressedanon.com where you can order ONLINE informative and helpful 12 Step literature.  At the Home Page Menu please click onto  VISIT THE STORE,  and go to THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE.

To contact us please  use this email   depanon@netpenny.net .

 

 

Today’s Hope: Depressed Anonymous

  1. Today  I can experience hope. I will believe I can live this day with pleasant, thoughts. I will do one activity that will give me hope and light for today.
  2. Today I will “not” dwell on the past and the losses that have occurred up until those times and space.
  3. Today I will  “do” whatever I can put movement into my life. Any  small effort will help lessen the feelings of the stagnant sadness of depression.
  4. Today I will look forward to seeing a rose, the sunshine, a precious person – be it a baby laughing, a child at play, an elderly person on a park bench, and let myself believe that we are “all” of infinite value and vey loved.
  5. Today I will embrace myself in some small way and this may be going to lunch with a friend over coffee, or ice cream or a good brisk walk to the park or around the mall, or just a smile into my mirror and back at me. I will believe that I am worthwhile and worth the effort to recover today.
  6. Today I will believe I can live this entire day “hopeful” and that I can return to the above activities anytime and as many times as I need to just for today.

 

Mary- A Member of the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship

SOURCE:   Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. (Personal Stories #21.)

Talk is not cheap! Walk the talk!

When I first attended a 12 Step mutual aid group meeting  I found  the members   talking about their feelings, life situations, and other painful memories. Talk is not cheap! It cost everyone in  the group who wanted to talk about their lives that sharing themselves comes at a certain price.  At the same time,  they discovered that by opening up to others and talking with others, an   important  shift began to take place in their thinking. Many  times when  they were sharing they found others in the group who  also wanted to talk about these same  problems.  Even though each of us was a unique individual , we all suffered from the same compulsion and addictive attachments.

The price that each of us paid at these meetings was an investment   in personal freedom releasing  us  from what had kept us locked down in despair.   For some, this talking with others was the first time they were able to share their hurt and pain with others.

For some, including myself, it took   awhile to trust others. It is only when someone else talks about a life situation  that I was given the   prompt   to  talk and share how we had the same experience. Talking helped me to see that I too could be accepted and loved–just for me. Talking helped me believe  that from this time on I was not alone.

Talk is not cheap. If you don’t talk, it could possibly cost you a lot more.

Hugh

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

Did I build my own prison of depression?

How could that possibly be? Build my own prison of depression?  Impossible. Wait. There might be a possibility if I go back to my childhood and think about some of the things that happened to me growing up.

The following are some of the examples that others (my clients)  might have experienced   unconsciously or consciously influencing their thinking, feelings and behaviors in their later teens and adult life.

EXAMPLES

*My  parents fought all the time and made me scared. (They added   a few   bricks to the structure of your prison).  I would go in my room and hide in the closet.  ( The foundation for our prison is being built).

*Because my Dad was a town drunk he would show up at my school and make a fool of himself…I felt shame and anger at these   times . (Put a few more bricks on that foundation.).

* I was bullied at school and I just wanted to die. I felt worthless. I felt no one liked me… (Bullies added more bricks   to my  prison. The walls are getting higher and higher).

*I was told that I was not allowed to get angry. I was not allowed to cry. I was not allowed to tell my parents how much I hated their drinking.  No expression  of feelings were allowed in my family.  I wasn’t able to trust anyone with my feelings.

*Another message that I always got was  “You’ll never amount to anything,” or “you’ll never be like your older brother.”  (An especially large row of bricks is laid here  when a Third grade teacher tells you this in front  of the whole class and your face  always turns crimson when you think about this shaming event).

*I was given the message that the world beyond  my family was dangerous and threatening. ”

*It was at this  point that my teenage years were spent behind the walls of a nearly finished prison. I was locked down and there was no way out of my prison. No one gave me a key.

*All these  building blocks that produced a prison  for myself all came with  early life relationships.  The messages that I got growing up gradually and effectively locked me down. I was   growing up with out hope. All the messages were  like  building blocks  which further imprisoned me.

Now that I am an adult, I have  begun to take  bricks away, one by one and the structure  is being dismantled,  one brick  at a time. And how did this happen?

It all happened when I became sick and tired of being sick and tired.   I needed help. I needed someone, something, other than the alcohol and opioids that I was abusing  to turn my life around.

Yes, I built my prison and I was not even aware that  each block carried to my structure was imprisoning  me. So many of my toxic relationships, growing up,   all came with another brick to put into my prison.

Taking the wall down, brick by brick we have to have a plan. We have to find ways to remove the bricks and free ourselves from those deadly feelings  of personal worthlessness and feelings that we  are unacceptable  to ourselves and to others. I know now that   I was not to blame for being in a prison and that  I had no idea that all those messages given to me when I was growing up,  influencing my life so directly,  they all were only  other people’s opinions of me. These opinions determined my future. They were responsible for building  my prison. No child or young person wants to live their life in a prison–especially which is not of their own making.  The tragic point here is that their imprisonment is not their fault.  For some youngsters and even older adults the tragedy is that they believed what was told them so that their pain is so great they take their own life.  They wanted  to be free, be  happy and have people around them who love them  and support them in every way possible. The real problem is that none of us  had  a choice when we got our parents,  teachers and relatives.

I think Bill W., the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous says it best when  gives us hope when he   wrote the following:

“We must never be blinded by the futile philosophy that we are just the hapless victim of our inheritance, of our life experiences, and of our surroundings –  that these are the forces that make our decisions for us. This is not the road to freedom. We have to believe that we can really choose.”  (c) As Bill Sees it. A.A. World Services. NY. 1967.

Now the plan that is working for many of us  is  to discover   that when we live out the solution in our lives,  that we focus on the solutions for removing those bricks from   the walls of our depression, that  it wasn’t our doing that the prison was built.  We didn’t choose to have the wall built. Who chooses to live in a prison  anyway? We didn’t know when we were young that these messages were never true but we believed them.   We do not take the blame today for our depression and feeling worthless and unacceptable. We know that blaming others doesn’t do us any good either.

What works for us is a well thought out plan of recovery.   We can begin to learn how to   prize  ourselves and  realize and celebrate who we really are and  the person whom we desire to become. The 12 Steps will get you there!  You will have the tools to rebuild and you will see results. That is a Promise. (See page 109 in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition where it lays out the PROMISES of the Steps  for those who choose to use them).

By using the spiritual principles of the  12 Steps we have begun to choose to dismantle all those negative and hurtful messages from others  that were never true in the first place.

If you want to write your own story as how the 12 Steps helped you remove the blocks from your own prison, please let us know by writing to depanon@netpenny.net., as we would love to hear from you.

Also, please read the   personal stories of those who have chosen to  free themselves from the prison of their own depression in our Big Book:

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

Click onto The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at our website www.depressedanon.com. Online purchases of our literature is  available.

ACCEPTANCE!

” When  I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away. From that moment on, I have not had a single compulsion to drink.” Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The people of AA  had something that looked much better than what I had, but I was afraid to let go of what I had in order to try something new, there was a certain sense of security in the familiar. And acceptance is the answer to all problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place or thing, or situation -some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place or thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.  Nothing, absolutely nothing hapens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism (insert: depression ), I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms. I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate  not so much on me and on  what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes…AA (DA) and acceptance have taught me that there is a bit of good in the worst of  us and a bit of the bad in the best of us…We are all children of God and have every right to be here on this earth. When I focus on what’s good today, I have a good day. And when   I focus on a problem, the problem increases; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases…When we deal in feelings, we tend to come to know ourselves and each other much better.”  Bill W. , Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. SOURCE:  Alcoholics Anonymous,  pp.449.

 

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The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end may also  be only the beginning.”  Iva Baker Priest

That one sentence describe in  a few words what our recovery is like.

Since our mutual aid group, Depressed Anonymous is based and modeled after he 12 Step recovery  program of Alcoholics Anonymous, we have discovered that they are a powerful source of healing when used to recover from the life threatening reality   called depression.

Even though our fellowship is composed of many varied types of addictive behaviors, alcoholism being one of them, depression  is intimately connected to all compulsive and addictive behaviors.

Live in the problem and you deepen the problem. Live in the solution, and you deepen the solution. For samples of the many persons who no longer are depressed, thanks to their belief in the power of the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps, read their own personal stories of recovery in our Manual,  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) DAP. Louisville. Ky.

For more information about this book, and others like it, please go to the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore and find how to order online.

 

People have the seeds of their own recovery within themselves.”

 

” Having spent time researching causes of, and vulnerability to depression, I know that I was a prime candidate for the disorder.  The person typically diagnosed as depressed is likely to be a married woman who is also  a mother, and beset with practical problems.: Children, interpersonal relationships, and spouse concerns. What I learned from my own depression and recovery and try to practice when working with clients, is that people have the seeds of their own revival within them. I want to ask the right questions so that people can hear what they say, recognize what changes they want to make, and how they can choose to make them. Specific time limits are met, and I prefer to focus initially on people making changes in their behavior, rather than mood. I explain that although  the depressed mood colors the whole world, it  has not been shown to be causally related to improvement, whereas behavior has.

When clients know that there are specific and tangible things they can do, they begin to experience an immediate upswing.  A specific time limit is often motivating.  People begin to see themselves making positive changes in their behavior,  and can begin to change attitudes about themselves.  They begin to see themselves controlling aspects  of their environment, and as this happens, helplessness and hopelessness begin to dissipate and self- esteem level rises proportionally. People see themselves to be improving as a result of their own efforts. Nothing can  be more rewarding to a depressed person.”

Sources:  Wounded Healers. V. Rippere. Pages 86-87.

The Antidepressant Tablet  Vol. 2:3  Spring 1991.

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

“We do not have to ask anyone’s permission to exist.”

 

There  are two problems about deciding things for yourself. First, it means you can’t blame anyone else when things turn out badly. (But you can take the credit when  things turn out well.)  Second, other people can get very angry with you for not doing what they want.

Valuing yourself is a risky business.

Which risk is preferable? The risk of making your own decisions or the risk of not valuing yourself?

Undoing the training of our early years, when we learned that we weren’t good enough, that we had to be good to earn the right to exist, and never even think about, much less question, why and how we were taught this, is not easy. If you have spent all the years you remember feeling that somehow you have to prove yourself by your achievements , so that you have to earn the right yourself by your achievements, or that  you have to earn the right to breathe by working hard in devoted service to others, for if you don’t prove yourself to be brave or a hard worker, some vast hand will come down from heaven and pick you off the face of the earth like a flea off a dog’s back and cast you into nothingness, if this is how you have spent your life, then deciding that you are simply going to be and that you accept your being is a revolution in thought that you aren’t likely to achieve  in the twinkling of an eye.

Though some people do  it, just like that. They say to themselves. I’m not going to go on carrying this load of  s __t  that other people have dumped on me over the years. I’m dropping it now. And they do. They are free, just being themselves.

But some people, I find, don’t even know what I am talking about when I say, ‘Just be yourself.’

So we have to begin by saying, ‘Do we have a right to exist?’

If we exist, we have the right to exist.

We do not have to ask anyone’s permission to exist.”

SOURCE:  Beyond Fear.   Dorothy Rowe., PhD.  ( 1987) Fontana Paperbooks. London. Pages 383-384.

Why can’t I think my way out of depression?

 

Good question. You know, I tried to do just that. First, I asked why?  Then I moved on to what is going on here in my body?  I just knew, mistakenly, that all I had to do was just say a prayer (even though that is always a good idea) or change channels of thought in my mind. Click!  I was back where I wanted to be.  Back into life again.

I knew that life had changed drastically for me in the last few months. I had gotten myself on a path that led deeper and deeper into a very low mood, one that quite frankly worried me.  I didn’t feel sick or like I had the flu. I just started to feel irritable and moody. It was like I was emotionally sliding down a slippery slope and there was no way to stop the downward motion. I was in a free fall. That is what really got my attention. That is when it was time for me to yell help!

That is time for me to just sit and think and try and figure out this mysterious circumstance in which I found myself.  It was as I was trying to watch a video of myself  these last few months and to sort  out what had caused this gradual deepening spiral  which ground my life to a halt. I ran out of physical and emotion gas.  All my best thinking couldn’t get me to budge. I was down and out. Even my mind couldn’t  do anything for me –it was busy conjuring up all sorts of awful and frightful symptoms that convinced me that I was losing my mind. My concentration was zilch! I felt more than worthless. My mind and my body became enemies. My bed and sleep became my  best friends. And then, the moment came.  It was like a far- away voice that whispered to my psyche  “do something. Do anything! Move it! I did what the voice suggested. I moved my body. I began to walk and walk some more and I began to feel like I was starting to spiral upwards.

I had an “aha” moment at this time. Thinking wasn’t the way out–it was moving the body that was the clincher. It was the exercise of every nerve and limb in my body that got me back on track. I  began to believe  that I couldn’t think my way out of my isolation any more than I could fly. My mind had me go around in circles always ending up at the same desolate place.

I will cut to the chase now and share how my life came back together. It’s when I began to hook  up  with a bunch of people like myself. I had heard that they were freeing themselves from depression by coming together and sharing their feelings, hope and strategies for getting back on track with their lives.  The people in the group made me feel welcome right away. I knew I was home and that they had a message that gave me hope. It was that belief in myself that helped me choose the way out of my depression. It was the tools they provided me that helped me find a way to live free and without depression. It was like a miracle really.

This group is Depressed Anonymous. There is no charge and it is organized around people like myself who were depressed and who found recovery, unity and the opportunity to help others just like themselves. And just as our body and spirit got strengthened, so did our thinking.

 

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY  40241