The 12 Steps are my North Star.

 

   “Depressed Anonymous means hope -as long as you want to get out of the pit of depression just start to believe that little voice which says “Yes,  I am hopeful. I will feel better too.”  The other members of Depressed Anonymous give me hope. Others have made it  out of the deep lonely pit of depression and so can I.  I choose to be happy even if I don’t feel happy right away. I am going to risk feeling different from this wretched sadness that I feel all the time.   I have nothing to lose – except my fear of the future.

But with OUR new way of living and thinking,  we are going to stay in the NOW. We know tomorrow produces anxiety and fear. Yesterday is there with all the old hurts and anger.  All I have is the now!  If I live in the now, I can begin to stay out of yesterday with all its old wounds and hurts   and resist living in tomorrow  with its unknown problems. Negative thoughts about our past or those tomorrow can numb our feelings so that we don’t have to feel the pain of whatever it is that isolates us from the world around us. We also admit, like any one person addicted to a person, place, thing, chemical or drug, that our lives are out of control. We have to admit that by depressing ourselves, we have chosen saddening ourselves as our drug of choice. We medicate ourselves with sadness any time we might have to change the way we live our lives. Sometimes, our depression over sadness arises out of guilt as we continue to turn our personal  mistakes into giant catastrophes -this continues to make us feel as if we are nothing and valueless. This all adds to our frustration and the feeling of our being out of control. We know that if we just give up our struggles against depression and admit our powerlessness over it we can begin to surrender to our Higher Power and practice letting go of it.  I can decide that I want to feel good again. I can decide that I want to feel happy and put this constant sadness and hollowness behind me once and for all. I know that no longer will I  have to retreat or flee from these sad feelings and escape with sleep, over activity or drugs. I know that whenever my sadness seems unending, I then just admit that I am not helpless and that I can do something about it because I have the tools (see Tools of Recovery at Menu)  and I can learn the skills that I didn’t know were available to me before. Now I am deciding to think, act and behave differently much to my personal credit and new found trust in the Higher Power.  I am a sailor who sees the land, knows the right direction and does the rowing to get where I want to get. The Twelve Steps are my compass…”

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (1998, 2008, 2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY. Pages. 34-35.

I wasn’t taking care of myself

AFFIRMATION

I am going to choose to do one thing today that I can find pleasant. I will keep a list of things that I do for myself that I can always have at hand something that I like to do.

“You can’t please everybody. I wasn’t taking care of myself, so that  I contributed to my depression but I will live  the best I know how. But I will never deliberately hurt anyone else but I am going  to take care of me too.”

CLARIFICATION OF MY THOUGHT/  A REFLECTION

 

I am discovering over time that I was the one responsible for my sadness.  I have come to accept  the reality and the truth that I am the one who is causing the depression and that I need to learn the different ways to get out of the depression. In the past, I had always been willing to crawl along in life but now I am learning how to stand up for myself and begin to recover my true self and be my best self now that I have all the tools. The tools that I am now using, the Twelve Steps, are freeing me up for  a life with hope instead of despair and dread.

In the past, my life was filled with hurt and pain. In fact, the hurt goes back so far that I can’t even remember why I hurt so much. All I know now is that I want to choose to feel good.  Just like Bill W., a co-founder of A.A., I do have the belief that someday my days of fear, anxiety and dread will be  a thing of the past.

MY MEDITATION FOR TODAY

God of hope and serenity, let us just live  in your peace today. We want to absorb each and all your  messages of hope for our soul and spirit. We are waiting on you. We are listening to your voice so that we might learn the best way to take godly care of ourselves.”

Personal comment

SOURCE: Copyright(c) HIGHER THOUGHTS  FOR DOWN DAYS: 365  daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

 

A KINDLE EDITION OF HIGHER THOUGHTS IS AVAILABLE.

Please VISIT THE STORE  for all available literature.

 

Depressed Anonymous meetings are normally positive and the focus is upbeat!

WHAT IS DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS?

Depressed Anonymous is modeled after the 12 Steps (principles) of Alcoholics Anonymous and was  founded in Evansville, Indiana in May of 1985. It uses a group approach where members mutually support each other.

In Depressed Anonymous the depressed person admits that he/she is powerless over his or her depression. The depressed person admits that the various areas of his/her lifer are controlled by depression, and that he /she needs help from one’s inner resources, combined with a faith in a Higher Power to help work through one’s time of hopelessness and helplessness.

At Depressed Anonymous meetings, we do not pry into people’s personal lives. We also do not give advice at meetings but instead tell our story and how the 12 steps are releasing us from the tight grip of depression. Meetings are normally upbeat and the focus is positive! Each of  us set  small concrete  and positive goals for ourselves and begin to learn how to gain some mastery over our lives and feelings. Each of us has time at meetings to share our experiences with other member so f the group. As a new member you are ready to make a commitment to quit sadding  oneself, and that’s when results begin to happen.

This 12 Step recovery program can be a great healer  of personal wounds and provides the depressed with a new start in lifeIt also provides hope for people like yourself who have been where you are. Hope now resides where once there was only darkness and despair!

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SOURCE: (C)  I’ll do it when I feel better.(2013). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Pages 22-23.  Chapter Three: What  is Depressed Anonymous.

Please VISIT THE STORE and  discover the many exciting chapters, which will outline hope for the depressed and how the group can provide essential tools for unlocking the prison of one’s own depression.

“We can feel a change happening…”

THE FIFTH WAY OUT OF THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION: AN EXCERPT

“Remember that an oak tree was once an acorn –recovery begins by taking one step at a time as well as reading DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS literature and regularly participating in the meetings.”

How often do we meet people in the program who want the quick fix, the easy way out, the feeling getter -now! But just as it might have taken years for the person to learn how to get themselves  depressed, it will take time and work to start to feel better. I do believe that all good growth in nature is gradual and that if we want the good growth to continue, we need to follow certain steps  to make sure this growth will continue. One of the first things that we want to do is to admit, like any  thing, person or substance to which we are attached/addicted to,  which we cannot free ourselves from the attachment by will power alone. We ask our Higher Power, this  power greater than ourselves, to free  us. We begin our recovery by meeting with our local Depressed Anonymous group and admit by our presence that we want to change.  We are dissatisfied where we are now and decide to work on ourselves so that we will feel better. By our taking one step at a time we can feel a change happening. Many people have  been depressed for years-they are in so much pain that they want relief now. The members of the group are taking full responsibility for their feelings, moods and behavior.

If you want some inspiring stories of persons who have freed themselves from the deadly grip of depression and isolation, please read their stories  in DEPRESSED ANONYNMOUS, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 110-152.

THE  HOME STUDY PROGRAM: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition is combined with another publication The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002). These two separate publications provide an individual with an opportunity to further their recovery on their own, with the possibility of getting a Depressed Anonymous  mutual aid group started in their own community. The best help for ourselves is in helping others.

Please VISIT THE STORE to discover  a plentiful resource for books dealing with depression and our 12 Step recovery program, Depressed Anonymous.

 

 

THE MIRACLE OF THE GROUP

“By our continual shutting ourselves up in the little world of our own mind, we gradually sink more and more into despair and feel that no one can understand how we think and feel. The biggest freedom that we can gain from confessing to someone else is that we no longer have to have it all together and be perfect.  We can begin to  admit  it when we are petty, selfish and self-centered. We can then admit that we want to have restored a sense of peace by getting free  from  all worry and fear from the past and by turning those over to the  Higher Power. We can then discover that forgiving ourselves and being forgiven by God are one in the same thing. The group will see to it that the more you admit your own fears about yourself and the future, the less terror the present will hold for you.”

“My dear friends, it is this spiritual experience, to feel that God is with you, and that this joy is the joy that will restore your youth and renew your spirit.  We no longer have to be the way we are -we can choose to feel and be different. Others are doing  it-so can you!”

Depression feeds on hurt, pain and self-doubt. When we are depressed we have a need to bash ourselves for our misguided errors and sinfulness. The Fifth Step  if done genuinely and prayerfully, will in time help restore our sense of freedom and belief that we are truly forgiven.  It is in the miracle of the group and its acceptance, love and nurture that helps the depressed person feel secure without recourse to depression.”

THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK, examining Step Five, asks the following question at 5.21:  List what action you will have to take if you want to respect yourself again? Remember, it’s our past need to tell ourselves how bad and unacceptable that we are that keeps us depressed. This is a “wrong” if there ever  was one.

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HOME STUDY KIT

SOURCES:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 64 (Book One of the Home Study Kit).

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002). Depressed  Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 52. (Book Two of the Home Study Kit).

VISIT THE STORE   at this site for ordering online.

 

I’ve had it living with feeling out of control.

If you really want to leave behind your painful sadness, the daily fears, and the feelings of worthlessness, then begin now to admit the unmanageability   of your depression. You have had it with feeling out of control.

That’s the way it is with depression –over the years you get comfortable with feeling miserable which doesn’t mean that you like it, but that you’re just too afraid to risk something different. When you want to change and leave your depression behind, the choice that you want to make is immediately dashed to the ground because you just feel that there is no hope for you. “I can’t pull myself up by my bootstraps and start to feel better,” you tell yourself. Most of the time, we tell ourselves that we’ll do it when we feel better. Folks, let me tell you something – you’ll never feel better until you begin by physically get moving. We all know that we feel better only when we get in gear and get busy – distracting ourselves from those ever present miserable thoughts whispering how bad we are  and how hopeless life seems to be.”

____________________HELP IS ON THE WAY! ___________________________

SOURCE:         Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 32.

I am responsible for me!

Higher Thoughts for Down Days

I am responsible for me!

” Responsibility is the name of the game in recovery…people who want to change begin to swallow their pride and ask for help.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

The ability to respond to the truth of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous comes particularly forceful when we have hit bottom in our lives and there seems to be no way out of what troubles us. This is where I begin to take responsibility for myself and ask others for help. Who is the best person to ask for help when you are depressed? Obviously, it’s that person who ha been where you are now. I believe that one of the biggest assets of being a member of Depressed Anonymous is the fact that so many people begin to live with happiness, peace, and hope after they have given up control of their lives to the Higher Power.  They indeed have hit bottom and there is no way for them  but up.

To say that my life is out of control is usually hard for any of us to have to admit. The pride that said that I had to please everyone to be happy, or in order to get other’s approval, had to do everything perfect, has resulted  in my depressing myself until I can hardly stand it. Now that I am telling it like it is and I begin to accept myself as I am and refuse to  let other’s opinions of myself overwhelm or dictate life to me, I begin to feel better.

MEDITATION

God, put your love into our hearts and your guidance into our minds as we struggle, day after day, to live with the understanding that we can only do your will by beginning to be responsible for ourselves.

 

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 Step Fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 244.

 

“I now am conscious of a new path out of my misery.”

In our book, Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression (2014) we learn that there is a path that will lead us out of the prison of depression. We know from experience that once we begin to take this path, walk it, step by step, that we will find ourselves gradually leaving behind our misery. Our sense of personal worthlessness will disappear and the courage  to confront our selves will grow stronger with each effort at stepping onto a path with its daily pointing toward hope.

How do I know this to be true? I know it to be true because I myself have walked the path and continue to walk it everyday of my life. I show others how to walk the path and many reach the same point of hope as did I. But let’s be straight about the way we get on this path. First of all, we have to admit that we have a need for this journey of hope. The alternative is potentially deadly. Just by admitting that I was powerless over my depression and that my life had become unmanageable put my feet on the path. I had to choose: take the first step or not take the first step. I took the step forward. The further I moved along the path of hope the further back was the misery that held me in its tight grasp. Now when a difficult situation appears on my path I deal with it effectively and move on.  I believe that with my own growing confidence, with a group of persons like myself who want to make the trip with me, will lead out of the twisted thinking  that kept me confused and helpless. No more.

If you too want to join me on the path of hope, give us a call (502) 5691989 or email us (depanon@netpenny.net) and we can tell you  how you too can have the same positive results in your own life that  those of us who chose hope instead of misery.

Thank you.

Hugh

Admit, believe, decide.

These three words appear in the first three Steps of Depressed Anonymous.  These are the words that make us well. These are the words that start us on our journey to a life lived without fear. These are the words that will thrust us into a life filled with hope and meaningfulness. Of the 12 Steps of recovery, these are the first steps that one takes when they want to find peace and hope.

I remember so vividly when I took my first step over the threshold of despair  and isolation into the bright light of awareness and hope at my first 12 step group meeting. Just by walking through the door I admitted that I needed help. My life had spiraled out of control. It was on that day, at that meeting of the fellowship, that others heard my story, that I started to believe that  I could be restored to a purposeful life lived with hope and peace. It was on that day, at that meeting, that I made a decision to turn my life and my will over to the care of God as I understood God.

And here I am  today, 33 years later, not only with a life filled with a purpose designed to help others depressed but by doing so, have kept myself free from isolation and self-pity.

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

“The world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places.” Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway got it right! I believe that if you were ever depressed and began to find yourself gradually finding hope, is it because  you  have become strong at the broken places  of hopelessness and worthlessness.  It seems like a paradox doesn’t it? How can I become strong at the places which nearly destroyed my life, my purpose, and my peace?

In Depressed Anonymous, the author speaks about how “we had given ourselves to the belief that this growing feeling  of helplessness is what must govern our lives, mood and behavior. We have given it license to run roughshod over every part of our life and over our relationships. Most people can’t see inside us and discover the pain that make up our every waking lives.  For the most we are able to hide how miserable we feel. ” (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition).

This book, written by those of us who were depressed, using the 12 Steps of recovery, discovered a way out of those places where we were broken. We have become stronger because of what we have learned about  HOW our lives had became broken.

” As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a creative intelligence, a Spirit of the universe  underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of  a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps. We found that God does not make too hard terms for those who seek him. To us, the realm of the spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe to all men (sic) …We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?”  As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he  is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.” AA, Pages 46-47.

As Bill W., (co-founder of AA) tells us, “our seeking always brings a finding.”

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