Promise # 11. “Intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.”

As my mind began to heal and my thoughts became more lucid it became apparent  that something inside of myself was changing. Depression, when you begin to examine the various symptoms up close and deal with them, the experience becomes less threatening. Some say that depression is a collection of behaviors that are brought  into play to defend  us against things that are too painful to face. Also, depression results when a love object is lost through death or that one feels abandoned. We have become so at one with our love object, that we mourn the death of part of us.  The love object and ourselves has become one. I believe we use the word co-dependence today.

At first I was frightened by my various symptoms of depression. The symptoms proved to be baffling. I was not able to get out of bed as well as being unable to concentrate or manage a complex thought.  I began to worry that I was losing my mind and I often asked myself if I was going to survive. But now my ability to handle situations in a meaningful way is due to my  frequent attendance at meetings, and by making a daily time for prayer and meditation and feeling that my life has purpose and meaning.  The more I am physically active  and going to meetings even when I don’t feel like it. Working on my Depressed Anonymous Workbook, reading my Twelve Step literature. The behavior is where my freedom begins. And yes, I do feel lousy at times, but I also know that nothing can stand in my way to make choices in my own behalf. Previous to my involvement with the group I had no idea that depression was not so powerful now as to prevent me from even thinking that I could choose to feel differently.”  (Read more tomorrow on Promise # 11.

SOURCE: Copyright(c) I’LL DO  IT  WHEN I FEEL BETTER.  (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 50-51.

The risk of being willing to change!

“When you and I begin to work on our life’s journey and start to make this list of people we have resentments against, and begin to forgive them, then this is the beginning of my making things right in our life. 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.  You realize the effort to take responsibility for your sadness.  You realize that you no longer want to stay depressed but instead are willing to risk feeling better (differently). This is taking the risk of being willing to change.

When a person stops smoking there is a residual craving for nicotine, and the craving is most painful for the first weeks after quitting the addiction.  Gradually over time, and due to being able to say no to the impulse to smoke  you feel stronger and so the painful withdrawal becomes less intense.  The same applies to the addiction of depression in that at first it’s sad thoughts, but with time and working our Twelve Steps and our active involvement  with the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous  we have the strength to say no to these sad thoughts and begin to choose hope and serenity instead,.”

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

12 Ideas about appropriate self-help activities for use when depressed.

1. Attributing the depression to a cause. 2. Attempting to rectify the problem considered responsible for evoking the feeling of depression. 3. Finding social and moral support. 4. Engaging in diverting and distracting  recreations.  5. Keeping busy and working. 6. Focusing one’s attention elsewhere than on the depression problems or depressed feelings. 7. Restructuring one’s cognitions so as to minimize the significance of the depressing events. 8. Engaging in  self-care and maintenance activities. 9. Visiting one’s emotions. 10. Taking prescribed medication. 11. Finding compensations and boosting feelings of self-esteem/ or self sufficiency through useful, purposeful activity. 12. Taking comfort in one’s religious beliefs.

Source: Rippere, V., and Williams, Ruth. Wounded Healers. NY: John Wiley and sons. Ltd.,1985.

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I might add that one of the more therapeutic activities for a person depressed is to join a Depressed Anonymous group where you will find yourself no longer alone and isolated. The group members will speak a language which tells you that they know what you are  experiencing. And when you do turn your attention to your personal experience with depression they will provide you with a solution-focused plan of recovery. We call it the Twelve Step program of recovery This plan has been tried and tested for almost a century now, and  has been found to be the “real deal.”

Take a look at some of the literature offered by Depressed Anonymous, use it,  then become a believer that it works.

Sources: Believing is seeing:15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville

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

Let’s get this straight…

Let’s get this straight about  depression: it is a very serious illness and needs to be taken seriously as a potential life threatening illness. We already know about the rising number of suicides in the country, especially those from the ages of 18-35. Our mission is to let people  know that we are here (Depressed Anonymous) and we have a program that works.

What’s my point? My point is simple: know that depression is a life threatening illness and that society needs to get with it and learn how to reach those who feel hopeless and want to kill themselves. Because of those who come to our meetings and share how they have tried to kill themselves in the past but now have found hope in the fellowship of DA because of the acceptance of group members. They know they are not alone and can share their pain with members of the fellowship and gradually discover hope.

Rheatha  describes her situation of being overwhelmed and suicidal with her personal story in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, (2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.Pages 124-125.  Rheatha,  by making the 12 Steps a daily part of her life,  she found her life to be a gift  and not a burden.

The solution-focused journey out of depression.

Solution-focused is not only a description of a particular type of therapy but is likewise an apt description of the work that is done when one becomes  a member of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship. The Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous present to those still “suffering from depression” positive solutions for the overcoming of their own feelings of worthlessness and despair.

By using the Steps you can begin to take the journey that will change your life, your feelings  and your relationship with the world inside yourself as well as the world in which you live.

Step Twelve  tells us that  “Having had  a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to the depressed,  and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.”

And, that is why we do what we do. Now that we have admitted we had a problem, turned our life over to something bigger than ourselves,  cleared away the rubbish of lives that kept  us imprisoned  (fears, guilt, isolation), we gained a freedom to live everyday in the solution of hope and serenity.

Try the solution! See if our program will work for you. It’s already restored thousands of lives and families.

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VISIT the STORE and check out the HOME STUDY PROGRAM, and order it today.    The solution-focused program consists of The DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK,(2001), and  DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, 3rd edition. (2011).Both books  and all our literature is written by those of us who have been depressed and who  now live a daily life of hope.

All we have to lose is our misery!

The truth will set us free!

I will tell as much truth about myself as I am humanly capable today.

AFFFIRMATION

“Only God  can fully know what absolute honesty is.  Therefore, each of us has to conceive  what this great ideal may be to the best of our ability.”

“Fallible as we all are, and will be in this life, it would be presumptuous  that we could ever really achieve absolute honesty.  The best we can do is strive for a better quality of honesty.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I admit that I am depressed. This honesty about  the way I feel creates in me a real hope that by my being honest, I can admit other things about myself. My spiritual well being rides on how honest I am.  It is this inner  truth about myself that I want to share with others. I gain freedom the more I share who I am with other’s like me.

It is in talking about my attachments to depression that sets me free from my fear of getting more depressed. Indeed, the truth will set us free and enlighten us as to how our attachments to behavior such as depression and sadness have imprisoned us.

I have to be honest with myself if I am to be released from my prison of depression. In  my heart, I really don’t believe all the nonsense that I keep pumping into my head about how bad I am and how hopeless everything is. In reality, I know things might be bad but never hopeless. I have just to look around me and see hope blooming, budding and growing.

MEDITATION

“He satisfied the longing soul and filled the hungry soul with good things.”  Psalm 107. 9

SOURCE: Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 Step fellowships. (1999) Depressed  Anonymous Publications. Louisville. October 1. Page 197.

Knocking me down–raising me up.

In thinking about my experience with depression and the painful isolation that followed, I felt I was being knocked down by some invisible force. The force was so great that I felt I was going to be swallowed up in its vast black hole of nothingness. Indeed, I felt that I was going to end up being a hole in the doughnut. So, what could I do but try and ride it out–much like the surfer on their surfboard, riding precariously on one wave after another. I just knew that I would be forced out to sea as my body gradually began to slide off the only means of  survival. I thought that I had no options except to just surrender and go the bottom of the sea.

Well, that’s half of the story.  I knew I had to do something. Do anything but lie down and just linger on –immobile and lifeless. So, I picked myself up –got out of bed and started walking.And walk I did. Five miles a day. Almost two weeks later, with miles on my bodily odometer, I began to feel a little lighter – a little more hopeful that somehow I could get back in the game.  I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel — and it wasn’t a train.  And so it was possible — a person so depressed that I couldn’t force myself out of bed before, but now I know that I could raise myself up and move. I could move,  not because I wanted to, but because I had to. I felt hopeful and I felt a gratitude and relief that I was not losing my mind.

The greatest benefit was that it brought me  into a program of recovery where in order to remain standing up –raised up if you will, is my living out the 12 Steps of recovery in my daily life. Now all this happened some thirty years ago. Thanks to Depressed Anonymous and participating in the fellowship, I learn not only how  to live a life of serenity but I also how I have a gift of sharing my own experiences of depression and  offer others a way out of their depression. And  today if you are depressed,  please follow us in our program of recovery. All you need is a willingness to get better and live with hope. That’s it. A desire to get better. Admit you need hope and help and then get started. Move the body  and the mind will follow. Please join us.

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

“Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” Step 5 of Depressed Anonymous

“I haven’t done anything wrong, so why do I have to admit anything? And anyway, what does this have to do with my depression?”

In the Depressed Anonymous Workbook these questions there are provided answers for those who are struggling to free themselves from depression. In fact, the more we work through each of the questions posed in the Workbook, we can also go to the Depressed Anonymous Manual, 3rd edition., and find six pages  (pgs. 59-64) of thoughts from members of the fellowship on Step 5.  We discover that the Depressed Anonymous Manual is written by people like you and me. We have been where you are and we came to believe after admitting that we were powerless over our depression and that life was unmanageable we had to make a decision.

In Step 3 we made a decision –that is what life is all about –namely, making decisions. Our decisions are the product of the meaning that we give to those persons, events and circumstances that fill our lives every day.  We make the decisions based on those meanings that we give to those situations and experiences. We are making a decision to day to share part of our dark side with another human being.

In Alcoholics Anonymous it describes the way to make a good 5th Step:

” We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this Step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye.  We can be alone at perfect peace and ease.  Our fear fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our creator. We may have had certain beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience…”

Telling someone else seems to be the key to our freedom: When we decided who is to hear our story, we waste no time. We have a written inventory and we are prepared for a long talk. We explain to our partner what we are about and why we have to do it.” (This is why it is so important to write down in a  separate notebook the answers to all the questions in the Workbook which now bring us to the point of sharing our answers with a person we can trust, such as a clergy person or our sponsor. ED).

Steps 1 and 5 are the two Steps where the word “admitted” is used.  When we hear the word “wrongs” such as in this Step 5 – we may induce in ourselves a feeling of guilt. This is NOT the intention of Step 5 at all.

To be depressed is not to be wrong. We are not accusing ourselves of being bad. We are only pointing out the ways that I need to act, think and behave as a non-depressed person.”

SOURCES:  The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2001) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 49-50.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 59-64.

I can still hope…

AFFIRMATION

I am finding a way out of my sadness and just for today, I will remain hopeful!

“…We have come a long way on our journey,  for the road to coping and recovery is widening and has its obstacles, but we have all fared well, we have braved the storms and found a hope that extends beyond tomorrow.”

  CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Even though the journey out of this darkness might be longer  than I am wanting to admit, I can still hope that the end will be in sight at some time. There is going to be a light at the end of the tunnel. With time and with work, I will get better. I have already admitted, time after time, that I need help in learning how to free myself from my need to sad  myself, day after day.   This compulsion of mine has been with me for many years, but I have hope that it will not be long until my good days begin to outnumber my bad days with depression. I have the faith of a beginner, a novice if you will, in the ways of recovery. I can’t find a way out of this depression without hope. I know that there is going to have to be a change in the way I view life if I am to get better. I am going to take responsibility for my life and begin to change!

Troubles in one’s life may cause our persistence and endurance to grow and is the reason our faith is strengthened.

MEDITATION

God, help us realize that we are part of your plan and that we have a purpose here on this earth; if for no other reason than to let others like us know that we have a place where hope starts, namely, in you.

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Source: (c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Depressed Anonymous helps us get in touch with our best selves.

Taking charge and being responsible for oneself is at the core of all recovery programs. As we get into a discussion with other people who are depressed, much like ourselves, we see that they talk about feeling better while at the same time acting on their own behalf. These people who are doing better are also talking about taking charge of their lives and doing things for themselves instead of constantly trying to please others. In fact, at Depressed Anonymous meetings, the recovering people often delight at how assertive they are becoming now that they have gained a sense of mastery over their lives. They are also committed to their own recovery. People who want to change begin to swallow their pride and ask for help. They begin to get in touch  with their feelings and feel! This is truth and this is getting in touch with one’s best self.”

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SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 91.