“Jim, learned that he needed more “SUNSPOTS” to bask himself in. These “SUNSPOTS” are meditation times where we can focus on all those pleasurable events, people, places or things that can make us feel happy. The trouble with most of us is when we are depressed it is that our whole life seems to go into a deep pit and an eighty foot hole and with an eight foot ladder.
One good way to escape from the prison is to get with a group of people who by joining together each other’s section of the ladder will eventually get to the top and out of this deep dark hole that we call depression. Think upon these small SUNSPOTS through out the day and know that you are gradually coming into the light of a new day. Prepare a list of memories which at one time in your life were the cause of some joy and pleasure, and try to recreate that activity in your imagination as often as you can. At first, all you might be able to do is to just make a mental decision to do it even though at the time you don’t feel any particular pleasant emotion. Keep at it and with continual encouragement of the group, you will be able to recapture a little joy and peace. You will begin to have more mastery over your life and the world and this in itself can lower your feelings of sadness. When you have a negative image or thought which produces an unpleasant feeling, replace it immediately with three positive and pleasant thoughts or mental images. In DEPRES SED ANONYMOUS we call this THE LAW OF THE THREES.” One negative thought is immediately replaced by three pleasant thoughts and/ or memories.” Pages 47-48. Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
In the Personal stories section of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS (Page 114), a member of the fellowship tells us how SUNSPOTS helped her face the work of freeing herself from the shackles of depression.
“Look for SUNSPOTS, memories from the past that were happy times and ones which bring back happy feelings from years gone by. I tried, but none came to mind. But I did find that thinking about the book and what it said did make me feel a little bit better. The piece of a song popped into my mind, “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all the others will be added to you. ” “Hey! A SUNSPOT” I said to myself.
Then I felt a warm glow and then I did feel better–I did it! I made myself feel better. I can undepress myself! I had mixed feelings. I want to feel better, but admitting I depressed myself was not an easy thing t do.
I went back and reread the book, but now with an open mind. I have started to follow the Twelve Steps and with the help of the Higher Power, I can have a brighter future. I am making and putting in my memory a lot of SUNSPOTS for those times when I am feeling depressed and when I can choose to draw upon when I feel that I need them.
I put up a “stop” sign for all negative thoughts and bring out a SUNSPOT to carry me through.”
-Anonymous. A member of the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship.
NOTE: If you are presently registered as a member of the ONLINE HOME STUDY program, please go to your DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK (Question # 3.7) on page 16 of the WORKBOOK and answer the question for this subject of SUNSPOTS.
“Pretend that you are putting together a photo album of the happiest moments of the most pleasant events of your life. Imagine they are still photos and that you place them in their chronological order. When you feel depressed you will then look through the album –one by one – and you will have a pleasant feeling take over your mind and heart. Now, list eight pictures and the subjects that they represent.”
By working on this project, it can not only slow down the process of rumination (as discussed in yesterday’s BLOG). but it will also can distract you from that spiraling negativity that keeps you depressed and obsessing.
May your day be filled with SUNSPOTS