We trust our newfound beliefs…

THE THIRD WAY TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION : AN EXCERPT

“We trust others by sharing our recent episodes of loss/sadness while at the same time sharing our hopes and strengths.  We trust our newfound positive beliefs for getting  ourselves out of the prison of depression.

Many of us won’t allow ourselves to trust anyone. We are so distrustful of ourselves that we cannot trust ourselves to feel. The painful hollowness of depression is such that we can’t allow it to be felt.  It is only among our brothers and sisters in the 12 step group that we can share our hurts and deep pain of being isolated. When we hear other members share their stories of hurt and isolation we know that we are not alone. We gradually begin to trust ourselves to touch our own nerves of pain and hurts. We trust the nurturing and accepting atmosphere of the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous to take part of our hurt and help carry us along. Every time we share a hurt from our own past we remove one more brick out of our prison wall of depression. The more we find that our trust is validated by the continual acceptance from the group, the more energy we muster up for ourselves to continue trusting our deepest thought and feelings to others. No longer do we take refuge in the numbed comfort of our isolating sadness. Now we walk upright and begin making choices on how we want to feel, think an believe.  We no longer live our lives in isolation and disconnected from others.  Now we join in the mutual  fray of battling depression with all our new friends on the broad road of healing.”

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SOURCES: Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 15-16.

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

VISIT THE STORE for more literature on the subjects of depression and the 12 steps of recovery.

 

I accepted that God, as the God of my understanding…

The Second way out of the prison of our depression states that “I accepted that God, the God of my understanding is loving and forgiving. The 12 Step group and our God is the pillar  of our strength and healing.

LIVING A HALF-LIFE

In depression the first thing that we must do is to take charge of our lives and incorporate a planned pleasant activity in our lives. If I don’t, I will continue to linger on  alone and live a half-life. Nothing beyond my reach can absorb my pain of isolation and feeling worthless.

This is especially true for many of us in mid-life where the dreams we once thought possible  remains stillborn. We seem to have  lost the time to do something positive with our lives. We feel stuck. I want to get involved with a fellowship of persons who  are learning new ways of living with a sense of purpose. We want to live our lives with hope. Step  Two of Depressed Anonymous states that “we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”  We will “let go and let God.” P.11.

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Check the menu here  at our site and discover if there is a Depressed Anonymous group in your community.

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression.(2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

I said to myself, “if I ignore it maybe it(depression)will go away.”

“There was a time when we ignored trouble, hoping it would go away. Or, in fear and in depression, we ran from it, but found it was still with us. Often, full of unreason, bitterness, and blame, we fought back. These mistaken attitudes, powered by alcohol, guaranteed our destruction, unless they were altered.

Then came AA (and DA. OA, NA,  Al-Anon etc). Here we learned that trouble was really a fact of life for everybody – a fact that had to be understood and dealt with. Surprisingly, we found that our troubles could, under God’s grace, be converted into unimagined blessings.

“Indeed, that was the essence of A.A. itself: trouble accepted, trouble squarely faced with calm courage, trouble lessened and often transcended. This was the A.A. story, and we became a part of it.  Such demonstrations became our stock in trade for the next sufferer.”

COMMENT: It was with my own experience with depression that I tried to deny that it was anything that could keep me from a life lived with hope and joy. I thought that if I just ignored it, like Bill W., stated so well above, it would just evaporate like the morning midst. Of course this just didn’t happen.

As I commented on this denial factor which is a big part of all addictions, I also came to believe that,  “well, what I am going through will surely pass. It isn’t so bad, really. I can put up with a little discomfort.”  Sorry. It didn’t work that way. And as I pointed out in   I’ll Do It when I feel Better  I said  ” we also learn that our depression is a defense and predictable and for some, depression is even come to be a comfort and as has been said before, at least one knows what they have with depression. And to change and risk removing this numbness is better not to be undertaken  because it’s better to know what one has than to risk getting something worse. Much like the example cited before of the debate within ourselves to go to the dentist for the toothache or just tough  it out and hope for the best.  We call this denial.” Page 17.

To examine more literature about depression and using the Twelve Steps in your personal recovery , please taker a look  at VISIT THE STORE here at our website.

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SOURCES:

1) As Bill sees it. Page 110.

2)  I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014)  Depressed  Anonymous Publications.                                  Louisville.

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

 

PROMISE # 2: We realize a new way to live.

“After having made a clean breast of things we begin to live with a clean conscience. We have made amends, made it right with our God, others and ourselves.

How does one acquire freedom? Freedom is based on detachment. Detachment means to no longer cling to persons, places, things or behavior that cripples or demeans itself or others.

In  our struggle with depression, we had felt that we had lost all freedom and happiness. We now know that we have the key to our prison in our hands and as we move through each of the steps a new fact was discovered, that we don’t have to remain frozen in time with our depression.  We know that now we can celebrate a release from all the old fears, resentments and images that we held of ourselves over these many years.

Our happiness is now dependent on how we look at ourselves, our world and the understanding that we have of our God. I know for a fact that when I first came into the fellowship, I felt like a stranger in a foreign country. My thoughts and feelings were all confused as I began the journey into myself with a deepening desire to discover the engine that drives my sadness.  The battle raged inside of me – a battle that was fought in the shadow of past events – relationships. It was a personal triumph for me to finally see that there was a way out of this despair and emotional atrophy.  I now follow a practical plan as outlined by our suggested 12 Step program.  I make sure that every day that I get into action and do something.  I used to think that if I wait long enough the good humor fairy would tap me on the shoulder and I would be well. This is exactly the opposite of what our program of recovery promotes. Our position is that you have to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

A pill might make you feel differently-but it will never take away the circumstances that brought you down in the first place. The Promises here tell us that we will find a new freedom of happiness – but first, work has to be done. Our lives and the way we look at life are composed of past and present events.”

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SOURCES:     Copyright(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications.

Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better(2015). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 33-34.

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 109.

You begin to see yourself as healer instead of victim…

These Twelve Steps work for those who work the program and who try to live one day at a time. Many times we have been so scared of being rejected once more that we have withdrawn deeper into the anguish of our shame and hurt. We need to air our hurts, our shame, and let others hear our story. There is something healing about hearing ourselves speak to others about our own journey in life and the many emotional potholes that we have fallen into from time to time. We have felt our lives were jinxed. But now we can begin to feel hopeful when other members of the group  shake their heads in knowing approval of what we are saying when we tell our story.  Most have  been where we are now. And the more we make an effort to come to meetings regularly, the more we will find members of the group telling us how they are seeing a change in the way we act, talk, and look. We will accept the group’s comments as being true and honestly expressed. These people speak our language and they all have been where we are now. You gradually begin to see yourself as healer instead of victim the more you work the program and get excited about the possibility of helping others. When you start reaching out to others in the group, it is at that point that you are carrying the message of hope to others. You have a future with Depressed Anonymous.”

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SOURCES: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 105.

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

NOTE:  These two works comprise the Home Study Kit which can be purchased TOGETHER  at VISIT THE STORE.

Get connected!

AFFIRMATION

I  feel affirmed to know that I can always find a group of people who know how I am feeling anytime I want to get in contact with them.

“The isolation of depression begins as a place of safety and goes on to become a place of torture.”  Dorothy Rowe

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I hear it often in meetings and I see it in the faces of the new members to the group. There is the fear of the new and the different. One has to give credit to those people when they come to their first Depressed Anonymous meetings. They are admitting first of all that they are having a problem. Admitting that their lives are out of control takes courage. Secondly, they are coming out of their isolation and looking for help with their problem. They are willing to give up the safety of their isolation for the pain of telling others that they are miserable and have no hope of ever feeling different.

Every new move I make toward other sufferers when I am depressed takes me closer to another human being and help.  My torture is so great that I am willing to come and meet with a group of total strangers and tell them my story. The amazing thing is that they listen!  No one else wants to or has time to hear me tell my story. I have the key to gain escape from my misery if I just use it.

One of the telltale signs that I am depressed is when I begin to isolate and withdraw from others.  When I find myself wanting not to be bothered by anybody, I just get myself to talk to another person, who like me, understands and can predict the painful path of depression.”

MEDITATION

Our powerlessness lies in  not being able to snap out of our depression. We know now that God as we understand God or our Higher Power is going to get  us through this period of our lives.  We are on no time table with God, but we know that his power is inside of us and we want to be conscious of this power in our lives now and everyday.” (See Step 1.)

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SOURCE:  Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  For January 28. Pages 21-22.

NOTE WELL!    If there is no Depressed Anonymous group in your community, please consider using the   HOME STUDY KIT. (VISIT THE STORE).

Misery is an option.

I can make it as long as I know that my life is supposed to have some ups and downs.

“You might now be feeling better for the first time in your life as you continue to make a conscious effort to take responsibility for your sadness.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

One of the hopeful sights to see at a Twelve Step meeting is that the people who work their program and who are serious about leaving their depression behind,  start to not only look more content with themselves, their world and their future, but they also seem to be enjoying life once again.

Teresa told me that her Doctor never once said she was depressed after her physical exam and it wasn’t until she got involved in therapy with me did she learn that what she had been feeling for months before was depression. She was relived to  know that she wasn’t losing her mind but only that she was experiencing the excruciating sadness that we all create when we get depressed.

She will feel better when she learns that it’s her life and the way she chooses to interpret what happens to her is also her choice. Misery is an option and if she want to go for that she may, but if she wants to live with some unpredictability  in her life, then she needs to get ready for some bumps in the road –but also she needs to be prepared to smile, laugh and know that her life can be filled with hope.

MEDITATION

God, please give us the wisdom to know that you want us to enjoy this life while we are here. We want to enjoy it, so let us seek to want to be in your will. We can make it.

SOURCE:  Copyright (c) Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. January 27. Pages 20-21.

In getting my priorities straight, my depression got better.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

On this New Year’s Day, I find that my work for my life today is to reflect on a happy period of my life  where I have experienced   happiness and contentment.  If I can’t remember such a time,  then  I will construct a situation of contentment in my mind  and just imagine it happening right now.

In my relationship to God, I am beginning to realize that it isn’t so much that I don’t believe that I’ll ever feel better, but that I just  can’t know for sure. My first  priority is to admit that I do have a problem and that with God’s help I can get through my depression.

As soon as I give up my victim stance and begin to take responsibility for my feelings and my life, I can start to work as if my recovery is really up to me and that I will in time, succeed in getting out of this deep dark hole that I call depression. My priority  is to begin each day with the conviction that the Twelve Steps will be an aid in getting out of my depression. I know and believe without a doubt that WE have a solution for depression!

MEDITATION

God, we seek your guidance and your strength for our lives. Whatever we have lost or feel we have lost, please heal the holes in our soul and fill  it with your love and peace. In our quiet time today, show us what part of us needs to be healed.”

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HAVE A NEW YEAR FILLED WITH PEACE !

VISIT THE STORE TODAY AND DISCOVER THE TOOLS THAT WILL BE THE PATHWAY TO YOUR OWN RECOVERY, DAY AFTER DAY.

An excellent tool that is highly recommended for the Depressed Anonymous  group use or individual study is the HOME STUDY KIT which is composed of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) both published by Depressed Anonymous Publications. These two books give a complete listing of the Twelve Steps and a commentary for each Step. The Workbook provides a coordinated listing of Steps with its appropriate questions related to each Step in the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition..

 

 

 

“I will continue to have faith in myself.”

France’s way out of depression.

“I joined DA in 1988. At that time, I was totally depressed, with no interest in anything or anyone, and especially no interest in myself. I felt I had no worth, a feeling  I am sure that I had for many years, as  a very young child.

Having lived with this feeling for so many years, I guess I thought this was normal, probably most people felt the same way. I had all the symptoms of depression but I know nothing about the sickness except to live with it, which I have found to be a terrible fate, until I discovered Depressed Anonymous.

I attend the Depressed Anonymous meetings quite regularly. I have found that if I can attend the meetings regularly, I get the support of the members, who I have found to have about the same kind of problems as I have, maybe not quite as bad as mine, but I guess each of us feels that our problems are worse that anyone  else’s, I know mine are.  But with the regular meetings and my friends support, I find that I am able to manage pretty well from week to week. I have more faith in myself since I work the Twelve Steps the best that I can and trust my Higher Power  (God) with all my heart. I pray to the fullest extent that I will continue to have faith in myself and others. I have become a more human being than I have ever been. I work a lot, I volunteer a lot and have a far better outlook on life than I have ever had, and I attribute all of these good feelings to DA.

I just hope that I will always be able to attend DA meetings regularly and wish people had the opportunity to do the same. DA has helped me so much. I cannot begin to explain sufficiently the support the meetings  can give one who is depressed.

DA has been and is my salvation and I know the Twelve Step 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 a “godsend” for me and I know for a lot of others who are depressed also.

I thank DA and my Higher Power for a life worth living.

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. (Personal Stories)

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NOTE: For more information about the  12 Step literature, please VISIT THE STORE  here at our website.

 

 

 

“We can’t blame it on our genes, hormones or a chemical imbalance.”

AFFIRMATION

I am taking full responsibility for myself and I am making a commitment to my own health and healing.

“Now that we have learned that we have to take care of ourselves and our recovery that we begin to look at the way we think and feel.  Even though we don’t want to blame ourselves for having been depressed most of our lives, we know now that we are responsible for finding a way out of this depression. We can’t blame it on our genes, hormones or a chemical imbalance.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I am aware for the first time since I have been working my program that my thinking is cyclical in that my negative thoughts constantly keep going around and around in circles. I have found that I need to stop the negative self-destructive thinking that has dogged me most of my life. I am able to break the cycle 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 more interested in my own self-care than  I am of what others around me want or need.  I am not being 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 wills and our minds 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, like the torrents in the southern desert that those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves. ” Psalm  126.

SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowships. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.