I am learning how to reinforce my own worth!

AFFIRMATION

I am getting healthier the more I realize that I don’t have to feel the way I feel and I have the option to feel content and even smile today if I so desire. I will act like I want.  I will  smile even though I don’t feel like smiling.

If you have made yourself a martyr to your unappreciative family, remember the principle of partial reinforcement and apply it to your family. If you are always at their beck and call trying to meet their every demand, they will not appreciate you, but once they find that they cannot rely on you to meet ther demands, they will appreciate what you do for them.” (7)

RELECTION/CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I know that so often those who are codependent and live all the time in everyone else’s feelings need remember that the real maturity and happiness lies in being there for me not for  everyone else. I think that this reflection points out the fact that I need to reinforce my own worth by going to meetings, actively getting involved with my own recovery and putting this recovery over anything or anyone else. If I am going to begin to be a pleasant person, I will want to learn how to be pleasant to myself.

Now is the time and this is the program where I want to detach from other people’s opinions of myself and start to reflect on my own opinions about myself.  When I am depressed, I know that I haven’t been able to get angry, nor able to forgive anyone, much less to forgive myself. I feel totally cheerless. I meet my own demands and continue to work the Steps so as to get in  touch with what I need to do  to reinforce positive concepts that I am forming about myself. I need to get prepared for a new day today.

“We are now on a different basis: the basis of trusting and relying upon God. We trust God rather than on our finite selves, just to the extent that we do as we think God would have us do., and humbly rely on him, does he enable us to match calamity with serenity.” (As Bill sees it, p.265).

MEDIATION

When we gradually work our way to our real self we get closer to the God who made us.

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of the 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed  Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 14, 15.

 

Get the body moving and the mind will follow!

Sue, tells us how working at a local Zoo got her out of the house and focused on a new volunteer position at the zoo. She found that she loved it. It gave her a purpose and a self dignity that her depressed lifestyle had taken from her. The following is her own account of what this volunteer position brought into her life.

Action does precede motivation and I began working at a local zoo. It is a beautiful place (and safe from muggers too). I began talking with people and learned about classed there to become a docent (a volunteer teacher). I enrolled and graduated. This gave me a new purpose in life. I get great joy from working there doing outreaches to schools, nursing homes and hospitals. I have made friends with both animals and humans. There isn’t a day that I go  there to talk that I don’t get thanked by someone, a visitor, or employee (or sometimes an animal).

My family hasn’t changed ( although my mother commented on the change in my face), but I have. In this the Serenity  Prayer really helps.  I know that I can’t change them but I have new friends and a real support system so this doesn’t matter so much now.

Whoever you are, you who are reading this. Believe! The first Three Steps are the most important. Walking or other exercise is important. Staying with it is also important. Going to the meetings and participating is important, but above all else, faith is important. Faith will truly move mountains.”

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 142-145. Personal Stories: Sues story: Faith does move mountains.

 

“I gave up my negative thoughts one at a time.”

“It has been a year now since I gave up on those negative thoughts that I had over my lifetime.  I gave them up one at a time. It wasn’t like I dumped them all at once. It was like the people needed to show me a new life  and that I can be happy again. In the beginning, I thought the old familiar tapes that begun playing again . The old tapes saying that I was “stupid” began to play. But then I would attend Depressed Anonymous  meetings every week  and I would   go and find that I could use things that other people said at the meetings which would help me. That it was one place where you could go and be fully accepted for whatever you had to say, and someone else there said that they knew exactly what I was feeling.”

“For the depressed person, giving up old ways of thinking and acting is much like giving up any other addiction. At first letting go of the old behavior makes us feel uncomfortable. The old behavior wants to cling to our spirit like swamp mud hangs on to knee-high boots. ”

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

VISIT THE STORE for more literature pertaining to the Steps of DA and depression.

Our basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening!

 

 

Antidote: “A remedy to counteract a poison.” This is the definition as given by Webster’s dictionary. Fear is truly a poison in some ways and in others it is a gift. We need to fear only that which will keep us locked in the prison of depression. Sometimes our fears are of what tomorrow might bring or might be the fears from the past. One of the better antidotes to fear is trying to live, just for today. Today is all I have.

So often I hear others say that they have been depressed all their lives until – let me repeat- until they hear other stories as to how with work, time and belief in a power greater than  themselves that they did and are feeling better now.  I need to trust that once I have made my conscious decision to turn my life and will over to the care of God as I understand him, that my life will indeed begin to change.

“I am no longer alone in my suffering depression. I believe that by getting more active in my recovery that my life will begin to brighten up.”

“We of (AA) and  Depressed Anonymous find that our basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening.” Bill W.

 

SOURCES:

Copyright (c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed  Anonymous Publications. Louisville. May  10. Page 95.

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

Copyright (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

 

Clarification of thought through journaling.

AN AFFIRMATION

I see myself better when I write  down who I feel I am today.

” The simple act of writing something down is tremendously helpful, because to do so we have to bring something clearly to mind. Instead of having half-formed thoughts and confused emotions crashing and  fumbling around inside of us, we crystallize these thoughts and feelings into sentences. Once we put these sentences down on paper we have taken something from inside and put it outside.  Now we can look at it, judge it, and master it.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I am making every effort to get in  touch with who I am and I am taking the opportunity now to focus on what gets me down and what keeps me up. I am seeing, too, that the more I associate with people like myself who are following and working their program of recovery, the better I feel. I intend to journal or keep a diary of my good progress.

I know that the more I stay in my head the greater the confusion. It is only when I begin to see on paper my expressions of hope and confusion that I can begin to change some of my thoughts  which I find I am repeating to myself, day after day. I now can write down a new positive thought about myself. I can choose to feel whatever I choose.

MEDITATION

Our guiding love, our God as we understand God, is doing for us all that it desires to lavish on us today. I am hopeful that I can find my new path and grow stronger in learning the various ways to hear our Higher Power’s promptings.

 

SOURCE:  Copyright(c)  Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily  thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups.(1993, 1999). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  April 19th, pages 78-79.

THE LIFE REVIEW

Below is a line, divided into time segments, which you are asked to consider as representing various periods in  your life.

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Birth      10        15          20          25          30            35           40      45      50      55       60         65

Here are some questions that may help your meditation.

What moments on this line stand out in   sharpest detail to your memory?

What faces from your past can you see most clearly?

What voices can you hear most vividly? (From among your friends, your family, classmates, playmates , lovers, idols, rivals?)

Which of these did you trust the most?

Which of these did you want to be like the most?

Which were the events which molded or affected you the most deeply, positive or negatively?

Which were the experiences which molded or affected you most?

What were the scenes of your greatest sadness?

What were the scenes of your deepest joys?

What helped to preserve constancy in your life? (People who for example, lack of geographical movement, few deaths, crises, religions, faith,etc.)

 

SOURCE:  THE LIFE REVIEW. (c) The Three boxes of Life. Richard Bolles, Ten Speed Press. Berkeley CA  94707.

 

GET CONNECTED! CHOICE NOT CHANCE DETERMINES DESTINTY!

The NINTH WAY out of the prison of depression.

The following is an excerpt from the book, Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Smith, Hugh. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

“Withdrawing from friends and other social contacts is the first clue that you are slipping back into the isolation and pain of depression. Move toward a friend, get a sponsor, and go to a 12 Step meeting. Ask your Higher Power for that nudge that can guide you onto the appropriate path.

There are two times that we need to go to a 12 Step meeting, 1) One, when we don’t want to attend a 12 Step meeting and 2) secondly when we  do want to go to a meeting. From my personal experience I can share with you that it’s when I go to my meeting that I am able to come away from it with something positive to think about. I can honestly say that I feel better after a Depressed Anonymous meeting. I know in my heart that when I just want to sit at home by myself, isolating and ruminating within my head about all the horrible things that have happened to me, or are about to happen to me, that is when I depress myself even more. Get connected. ”

It’s not complicated.

No longer am I alone in my depression.

The FOURTH WAY to leave the prison of depression: An excerpt.

No longer am I alone in my depression. I can now see that it is up to me to form new friendships with others in the fellowship of the Depressed Anonymous group.  I have found persons who understand me and my problems.  I also learn coping skills and new positive behaviors from my fellow group members.

One of the best things about belonging to a Depressed Anonymous group is that a person will find support and acceptance there. Frequently those persons who begin  to work the 12 step program begin to realize that instead of wanting to stay isolated and sad,  it’s the acceptance that they receive in the Depressed Anonymous group that keeps them coming back to the meetings. Another reason people keep coming back to the group is that members of the group place no conditions on you or judgments when you join the group.

They love you and accept you just the way you are,. That’s pretty neat I’d say.

For more on the FOURTH WAY to leave the prison of depression is to read further (Pages 21-28) in BELIEVING IS SEEING: 15 WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION. DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.  

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.”

——————

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.

 

“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.

_____________________________________________

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.