Faith appears to be good for one’s health.

Joyce  was a client of mine a few years back. She was in her early sixties and just recuperating from   a successful  open heart surgery. She also was very  depressed.  That’s where I come in. I was asked by my clinical supervisor  if I would spend some time with her and see  how I might be of help to her.  I agreed to do what I could do.

In the midst of counseling and listening to Joyce’s  story, I discovered her  strong faith,  which included her personal faith in God which gave her the belief that she was going to get through whatever  that had her  in lockdown.

She wasn’t aware of our Depressed Anonymous group and so I shared my story with her and the fact that I too  was once depressed. I told her how I became a  believer in the spirituality of the Twelve Steps and how my belief in God  delivered me from my symptoms of depression. Now don’t get me wrong -my own story is that it took me over a year to finally  get free of this noose around my neck.  Also, because of my faith in a program and the  recovered  people who lived it out in their daily lives,  I started on the road to recovery.

My faith told me if I would follow some of the simple steps outlined in this recovery program I would get better. My faith got me off of my seat,  out of bed and out my door to begin walking.  I believed  walking might be the key that unlocked my prison of depression. I read  that some Doctors in England were writing out   prescriptions for exercise for their depressed patients. I figured that it worked for them and so why wouldn’t exercise work for me.  After a year of walking everyday I finally walked out of the mental fog, lost the jitters and became free of depression. My faith in a Higher Power and my getting my body moving on a daily basis produced the healing effect that I had hoped for.

Back to Joyce. She and I had ten sessions together and I suggested to her that she start to think about the things that she did before her depression. What provided the satisfaction  and those pleasant events previously in her life. She talked about how she at one time was a cartoonist as well as a lover of writing poetry. So, that is what I suggested — that she involve herself with these pleasant activities again.  She said that she believed that she could do it–even though her mind and body rebelled at moving out of her comfort zone of doing absolutely nothing. The main defense for doing nothing is the oft repeated mantra from all of us when  we are depressed which  is “I’ll do it when I feel better.”

With each new session she would share with me a cartoon or a poem which she had created the previous  week. As she continued doing what she liked, I  noticed more energy in her voice as she shared her feelings about her new  creations.  All the while, she was compliant with her own physical recovery from heart surgery. Her pleasant moods  gave her a feeling of being in control of her life and her future.  She came to believe that a power greater than herself would restore not only her sanity but her health as well. Her faith was renewed in the God of her understanding while restoring  her belief that her  health was going to get better. Not only did  she have a plan to follow but she made the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps her way out of depression. She continues to follow this map to this very day.

The following quote is from a work  titled,  The Secret Strength of Depression written by Frederic Flach, M.D., K.H.S.

Faith appears to be good for one’s overall health. Cardiovascular illnesses are more frequently seen in depressed individuals, in patients with coronary ischemia, depression worsens the outcome, possibly due to alterations in platelet function and changes in autonomic tone. Depression is also associated with a higher mortality rate following acute myocardial infarction; for those patients who survive, the recovery process is often a more complicated  one. Studies suggest that the recovery rate from medical and surgical procedures, from the repair of hip  fractures to coronary bypass surgery, is faster among believers. Moreover, patients undergoing such treatment appear less likely to have serious complications or die.” Page 239.

SOURCES:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. Ky.

Copyright(c)  I’ll do it when I feel better. 2nd  Edition 1986,  2013.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

Copyright)(c)  Believing is seeing:15 Ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.

Always trying to “please others” diminished me!

“I’d rather be imperfect and happy than always trying to be perfect.”  The THIRTEENTH WAY to leave the prison of depression.

The following two  excerpts quoted below  are from   Believing is seeing:15 ways to leave the prison of depression.(2015). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

 

”  One of the areas in my life where I strive to excel is in the area of trying to be perfect.  Somewhere in our early development as children we got the message that if we were perfect we could be more acceptable to others. I gradually began to believe the more I  tried to please other’s that this would bring me happiness. Instead all it brought me was a loss of myself.  The loss of self reduced me to a shallow self without direction  or meaning.” Page 63.

”   Eventually, my depression became a sort of a comfort as it kept me from having to risk an unpredictable life. In other words, this way of living took away all hope. This is what keeps many of us depressed. We hold onto the mistaken belief that since bad things happened to us in the past, bad things will continue to happen to us in  the future.” Page 64.

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

VISIT THE STORE for more information on other publications offered to the depressed by Depressed Anonymous Publications.

I found my energy coming back!

 PLEASE TREAT YOURSELF KINDLY TODAY! BEGIN TO PLAN PLEASURABLE ACTIVITIES INTO YOUR LIFE TODAY!  The EIGHTH WAY  to leave the prison of depression. An excerpt.

“I think one of the two things which depressed people feel lacking is in not having mastery over the way they feel and believe. Secondly, they seem to have lost a desire to perform a pleasant activity which they might attach their interest. One of the things I recommend for people depressed is to find one pleasant activity which they once enjoyed before  being immobilized by  their present depression. I think it is a good learning experience to believe that  my depression won’t last forever and that someday I can feel better. In other words, I can still try and do that one thing that was a pleasant activity before I got depressed!  We feel “we have no reason to treat ourselves kindly” we may say to ourselves -because we can’t find anything hopeful or of interest in our lives at the present. We also feel that because we are so bad we don’t deserve anything good…”

“At a time when I was especially feeling a total lack of energy I would go and lie down -why fight the fatigue? But then I learned that if I would reject the thought of lying down and instead interest my attention in an activity such as typing on my computer  I found my energy coming back. The thought that I was too tired to do anything disappeared in a short while. Weird, but it works!”

What pleasant activity have you planned for today?

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SOURCES:  Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 43-46.

Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better. Hugh Smith. (2012) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

VISIT THE STORE  for a variety of works dealing with depression and the 12 Steps of recovery. You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

IF YOU SERVE PEOPLE BREAKFAST IN BED, THEY’LL NEVER LEARN TO COOK THEMSELVES.

How to start a  Depressed Anonymous Mutual-Help group.

“Think “Mutual-Help” from the start.  Find a few others who share your interest in starting (not simply joining) a self-help group. To do this, first distribute some flyers or letters that specifically cite your interest in hearing from those who would be interested in “joining with others to help start” such a group. Consider including your first name and phone number. Xerox copies and post them at places you feel most appropriate, example., people whom you think would know others like yourself. You can also have a notice published in your local newspaper or church bulletin.  When, hopefully, you receive a response, discuss with the caller what the interests are, share your vision of what you like to see the group do, and finally ask if they would be willing to share the work with you for a specific period of time (e.g., a few months or so) to try to get the group off the ground…Once a couple of people have said yes, you have a “core group” or “steering committee”  — and you won’t have to do it alone.

It is much easier to start a group if the work is shared…if you don’t involve others in leadership and work from the very beginning you won’t get them later.  As one self-help group leader put it, “if you serve people breakfast in bed, they’ll never learn to cook for themselves.”  Lastly, consider obtaining the help of any professionals who may be sensitive to your needs and willing to assist you in your  efforts. They may be helpful in various ways, from providing needed referrals and information to locating resources and providing suggestions. Remember, everyone in the group is a leader.”

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 81-82.

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

BELIEVING IS SEEING

  BELIEVING IS SEEING

AFFIRMATION

I will use a notebook or my Depressed Workbook Home Study program  to chart my course, list how each day goes, so that I can repeat the feelings or thoughts that have allowed me to feel I am becoming responsible for my activities.

“”…there is one great advantage about seeing yourself as helpless and in the power of others.  You don’t have to be responsible for yourself.  Other people make all the decisions and when things turn out badly, you can blame other people. And things always turn out badly. You know this.  That’s why you always expect the worse.”  (3)

REFLECTION/ CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Truly, I know  this is where the great serenity lies, being responsible for myself.  If all I did was sit around and say poor me, and woe is me, I am not only making life tough on myself but I am making life miserable for those around  me. This is why I, as a writer and therapist, and one who has been depressed, knows that it is only when I get moving, even though I felt like death that I began to get better.   No one will make me feel better. (See: I’ll do it when I feel better) I will now make myself feel better. Make up your mind to do what needs to be done…TODAY!  I want to enjoy this world. I am tired of the pain of feeling worthless. I don’t want to blame anyone for my problems because no one is making me live in the problem. I will live in the  solution from now on.  The solution for me is working the Twelve Step program.

Blame helps me to never have to look inside myself and ask myself how much of my present state of depression is due to the way I have learned to think about myself and my life? I am not in the blame game and so I am now willing to face the enemy and start the changing process.

MEDITATION

Faith can move mountains. (See: Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression)  Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door shall be opened for you. I believe this. What  do you believe?

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SOURCE: Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for Twelve step fellowship groups.