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.

“To live is to participate.”

“Our Depressed Anonymous program of recovery is one of hope and peace.  The more active I become in my efforts to think and act positive the more confident and free I become.” The TWELFTH WAY to leave the prion of depression. An excerpt from Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression.(2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

“It is recommended that if you want to be helped by our program of recovery it is best to go to at least six meetings before you make any long term commitment to whether or not the group is for you. Just  as it has taken time to get ourselves depressed, in some cases it may be a lifetime…There is a Swahili saying that states
to live is to participate.” How true this is especially if you happen to be depressed. One of the things we want to do when depressed is hide and isolate ourselves. We don’t want anyone to bother us. We want to be left alone….You will  start feeling different about yourself the more meetings you attend. In time you will be taking the focus off yourself as you listen how others are showing improvement of mood and behavior and you will discover that they are much like yourself. You are not alone. You begin to hope again.”

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Give yourself the opportunity to attend a meeting and hear how others, much like ourselves, are feeling better. Gradually, for those who keep coming back to the meetings, week after week, will begin the journey out of the prison of depression . Wouldn’t you like to try it?

“Just get on base!”

These few words are ones that all base ball players hear when they go to bat. “Just get on base.” If a team is to win the game they must get on base. They have to be able to score at home plate and rack up points needed to win the game.

In our world, we know that to recover from any problem, disaster or misfortune, we have to get back on our feet and get to work. The longer we wait to get the help we need the longer will we suffer with whatever ails us. In my own life, I know that this to be true. When I started to slide slowly down that slippery slope of sadness, I could feel, in an analogous way, my feet slipping out from under me. I was losing control. It was when I finally lost all control and could no longer get up the energy to do anything-except force myself to go to work- that I got on base. If I was to win this battle then I had to do something. It was when I admitted to myself that I was losing  it that I did something to help myself.

Because of my involvement in another 12 Step program of recovery I now knew that I had to admit that I was in trouble, physically, emotionally and every other  way. So, with the urgency that my situation demanded,  I got on base and started to walk miles every  day  I had to shake off this inner hollowness and jitteriness  that had my whole existence in its teeth. By remembering the 1st Step of the program, that “We admitted   that we were powerless over depression and that our lives had become unmanageable.” Yes, my life was more than just unmanageable-I was  totally frozen in place. I could only think about me-what was happening to me? It was a brand new experience and totally foreign to me.   I always was “in control”   and now I was totally “out of control.” Something else was running my life. I felt like the proverbial prisoner locked down in the small confining cell of my despair.

To cut to the chase here, I finally got back to a feeling of lightness in my spirit, after having  walked miles for weeks. By admitting that I couldn’t go on the way I was, I made the  choice to do something.- get on  base (work the Steps of the program of recovery). With the help of my belief in a  Higher Power, God as I understand God, I finally got moving and got better. It was slow process of recovery but it worked.

I want everyone to know who is reading this now and feeling alone that there is hope for you too. It does take time and it takes work-there  are no magic wands waved over our head and presto! we are back on the playing field of life again. No, it takes time, work and a day by day, Step by Step  program of taking care of ourselves coupled with the belief that I too can get better. With that attitude you will not only get on base but you can win the game.

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NOTE: If you would like to start your own program of recovery  having a roadmap out of your own prison of depression it would do you well to read the  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition Manual and the Depressed Anonymous  Workbook. These two excellent sources of self help are published by Depressed Anonymous  Publications and titled the HOME STUDY KIT.

To learn more about the helpful publications offered please VISIT THE STORE at this website, DEPRESSEDANON.COM.  You will be glad that you did.

” For the first time in 14 years I have hope…”

”  I had always known that  I was hard on myself. I reamed myself every time something bad happened. “Why can’t I find someone to love me?” “Why isn’t God looking after me?”   But for some reason, when I realized that I was doing this to myself, it made me realize that maybe all that I  would have to do is to stop doing it.   All of a sudden it made sense.

If I tell myself negative thoughts, I feel negative. If I tell myself nothing, I feel nothing.  So if I tell myself positive thoughts, eventually I’ll have to feel positive.

Of course I’m still testing it out, but I feel better and for the first time in 14  years I have hope, It’s not that hard to find something positive about myself or my life now. So I remind  myself of something positive every day and that’s what I am going to do until I don’t have to remind myself anymore because I’ll know.”

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To read more by this member of Depressed Anonymous see #9, A VICTIM IN MY OWN MIND in the Personal Stories contained in Depressed Anonymous, pages 120-121.

Also, it’s good to remember as pointed out in the 1st Statement of Belief in Believing is Seeing,  that “I accept and believe that however  hopeless everything appears right now, I will make a decision to recover from depression.  I am not helpless.  I will make a choice  to get better.”

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

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

Louisville.

Information for additional literature on Depression and the 12 Steps of recovery is available at   VISIT THE STORE. (See Menu)

“When the pain gets bad enough, you will seek the cure.”

“…Recovery is a gradual and pains taking process for both the person addicted to alcohol (depressive feelings)  and the person addicted to the addict…I had journeyed to counselor after counselor and program after  program seeking to get my husband well. But as the saying goes, “when the pain gets bad enough, you will  seek the cure.”  Recovery, however is looking for more than relief from the pain. In my case the cure involved a counselor, Al-Anon meetings, Al-Anon Adult children meetings, daily readings, meditations and new supportive friends. It also involved a constant struggle to be honest with myself, and to stop denying the feelings I had refused to recognize for  so long.  Recovery for me is a miracle. I still remember the craziness, but today my life no longer resembles a jigsaw puzzle of a thousand pieces that someone has dropped on the floor…Painful though recovery may be, it is well worth the effort and is definitely not as painful as no recovery at all.” The Forum, May 1991, Vol.39.No.5. p.11.

Comment: I know that recovery does take time and it does take work. Could this possibly be the worst thing a depressed person hears who wants to leave the prison of depression. Time and work? They tell us that they  can’t even get out of bed in the morning. They  have no desire to do anything, nothing, zilch!   I know what that  is all about. When I was depressed I too felt the pain of living  like a zombie. No energy. No motivation. Stuck in my own juices of nothingness. But like the person said,  quoted above, I knew that I had to do something because the pain became unbearable. That is when the  12 Steps of recovery pushed me toward a cure. They provided me   a way out of my own homemade emotional prison. I had to quit denying my painful feelings and get started  to work on myself. It was here at the Depressed Anonymous meeting that I was given my “toolkit” of recovery. There was no rush to get cured. There was only the desire to find a way to relieve myself from the pain of isolation and the lack of motivation to do anything for myself. My first job was to quit saddening myself.  With my “toolkit” and the 12 Steps I gradually, and with time, dismantled all that was keeping me prisoner.  I found the key that unlocked my prison door.

My life today is good. My feelings are no longer painful and crippling. The Depressed Anonymous Promises are true.  ” …a power greater than myself restored me to sanity.”

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

Please  VISIT  the STORE for literature resources. also, PRINT OUT MENU items from website for more detailed information about who we are and what we offer.

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 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.

Is depression an addiction?

At the weekly Depressed Anonymous meetings there stirs a glimmer of hope for the saddict  as he/she begins to encounter others like themselves at group meetings.  It is a bigger payoff for the saddict  to gradually believe that  the recovering members  of the Depressed Anonymous group are holding out a hope that can be theirs if only they would depend on the serenity of the members of the group rather than depend on the long time comfort of their addiction.

“Whether it is therapy or not, addicts improve when their relationships to work, family, and other aspects of their environment improve. Addicts  have come to count on the regular reward they get from their addictive involvement.  They can give up these rewards when they believe they will find superior gratifications from other activities such as  the DA meetings  in the regular fiber of their lives. Therapy helps this process by focusing on external rewards and assisting addicts in conceptualizing these rewards and obtaining them. What any rewards therapy itself produces must be regarded as intermediate and time limited, as a passage to the stable, environmental rewards that are necessary to create  a non addictive equilibrium in people’s lives. Only when such everyday but potent  reinforcements are firmly in place is an addiction cured. ”  Source: The Meaning of Addiction: Experience and its interpretation. Stanton Peale. Lexington Books. Lexington,  MA, 1988. p,55.

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SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. (2011) Louisville. Appendix  Is depression an addiction?

What gives purpose to my life today?

To  properly answer that question is to look deep inside of myself and reflect upon what brought me to where I am today. I want to take time this day to reflect on what issues are still mine today that were part of my life, let’s say, some  thirty years ago.  What happened those many years ago that has turned me into an evangelist for hope and serenity today? I know what it is that has motivated me to be who I am today. We all know that the past is the prelude to the future.

Reconstruction, revamping and recovery are a daily part of my life today. I am  continually making contact with the God of my understanding and asking guidance and direction.  When I am not completely able to make that decision which will better my relationship with my God and others,  I take a deep breath and wait. What am I waiting for you might ask. I am waiting for a prompt, a hunch, a possible direction that might lead me further  down the path for my own recovery plus   to be  a source of help for those “still suffering” from depression. If you know something works, you normally keep doing it. You see and feel the benefits of the direction your life is  taking. You begin to feel peace (integrity) and hope as you follow the roadmap which lays out for you   a step by step journey producing sobriety, sanity and serenity. We are all a “work in progress” as the saying goes. We all feel this inner urge to move ahead  after being immobilized so long by fear, shame and physically immobilized. I speak for myself here.

My new and improved reconstruction process is ongoing. My revamping has been painful at times. I admit that. Change is never easy, especially when it has to do with personal beliefs and attitudes that we always have held  about ourselves. But after using my program of recovery of the Twelve Steps, and clarifying my thinking about who I am and who I need to become,  a completely new vista for living   opened up to  me  that  multitude of possibilities  of which  I never could have imagined.

What gives purpose to my life today? My life has purpose today because I felt a need to share a simple program of reconstruction, recovery for anyone suffering from something over  which they felt they had no control. Telling my story and sharing my belief of hope to those who lost all hope and who believed life had to always be lived in misery and despair gives great meaning to my life. We put hope where once there was no hope; help where there was no help.

Here I am, today, continuing to keeping hope in my own  heart as I continue to give hope to your heart. Now if that doesn’t give meaning/purpose to one’s life I don’t know what could. What are your thoughts on this?

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

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) DAP. Louisville.

Depressed Once-Not Twice (2000) : A spiritual autobiography of the journey out of depression. DAP,. Louisville.

Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations. Louisville

NOTE: Please Visit the Store for more literature.

“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.