“Depressed Anonymous is a light to guide me.”

Dear All,

I have been very busy lately, out living life, and I wanted  y’all  to know that just being on this Blog subscription list and reading the shares and the “Big Book” of Depressed Anonymous has helped me tremendously to not fall into depression in blind denial as was my custom,. Two things are helping  me.

do the next right thing

motivation follows action

Thank you so much for being here!

Also for the first time I can handle flashbacks from PTSD more easily because I am not depressed. I even had more repressed memory come up. I was depressed for about a day and a half and then got sick of it and got up and went back to my daily life. It  is a miracle! Thank you, thank you, thank you…I believe I am  on the path that leads to depression being something that I used to struggle with so mightily. I don’t think I’m cured, just that Depressed Anonymous is a light to guide me, to keep  me on the path to wellness….

Trish.”

The Antidepressant Tablet.

A     Comment

Thanks to you Trish,  for your thoughts and your enthusiastic response to the  power of the 12 steps of Depressed Anonymous at work in your own  life.  And yes, the mutual aid support group  which we  fondly know  as Depressed Anonymous  group  has participants thought out the world.  It  has come a long way since it was founded in 1985, Truly, the group is like the “mustard seed” of the Gospels. Our BIG BOOK  is being translated into Dutch, Spanish, Iranian(Persian). It has already been translated into Russian and now made available to those in Eastern Europe who speak Russian.

All of us who use  the Steps of recovery can give thanks to Bill W., and Bob S., the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (1939).All of us in the program continue to stand on the shoulders of these two giants, plus those who were the first members of this healing initiative.

I personally can say that my own recovery and the life I lead now  would not have been possible if I had not become a member  of a 12 Step  recovery program and lived my life around the Promises of the Steps.

You might want to participate in our online HOME STUDY PROGRAM  where you will be able to work your own program using the DA Workbook and Manual (BIG BOOK). The online program works via emails and  correspondence that are set up between you and the sponsor.

You can find out more about this personal recovery effort by clicking onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications website  www.depressedanon.com. At the Site menu, you can use the drop down individual menu HOME STUDY PROGRAM, and learn how to order the materials and then start your own program using these two books. Trish, would be happy that you will find the serenity and hope that she has found.

Hugh

 

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.

“I just wanted to be left alone.”

“I had good friends at work – I am well educated – two degrees behind my name.  I wasn’t fulfilled. My world was falling apart. I left counseling after things went  better.  I had a major loss about two and a half years ago. I lost a job and then another job. I purchased a home. I lost my job and I lost my girl. Bills were too much.  I wanted to be left alone. The burden was too unreal.  Stress and anxiety were beating up on me. I didn’t want to get up in the morning. I just wanted to be left alone to be isolated and bored.  It was tough. I was nasty and mean.”

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Comment

How many of us have felt the way Bill felt? I bet most of us have felt this way. I have. But when you read the next part of Bill’s story tomorrow,  you’ll find out what he had to do to feel differently. And as you might suspect–he did find a way to feel better.

I remember  how it was when I was depressed. Getting out of bed was the biggest accomplishment of my day.  I had to force myself — I couldn’t afford to lose my job.

In time I discovered a way out. My recovery took time, work and support. I had the full support of my fellowship group, Depressed Anonymous. And now, 30 years later I still have the fellowship and all the necessary supports that I need to stay out of the prison of depression. If you are looking for an “easier and more comfortable way”  out of the quicksand of your depression–I hope you can find it. Most of us know it is not that easy. It’s a total body pain. It is analogous to having a tooth ache all over. A pain that won’t let up. For some, it turns into a life-threatening situation and ultimately the taking of one’s own life.

If there is  anything that I am most grateful for today it is the fact that I have found a powerful  program  with its 12 Steps and spiritual principles of complete recovery.  Our program comes with a complete set of “tools” provided for each and every one’s use. I have found, as does Bill now, that these “tools” are at my disposal every day of my life. By trying to live each day at a time, I have found my life is lived in the now. My life no longer is lived in the yesterdays or the future tomorrows.

NOTE

Put some sanity in your living today and read Bill’s whole account in DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. (See Personal Stories).

“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.

Asking the right questions delivers some important answers!

QUESTION #1

”  Now that I have admitted  I am having a difficult time living I want to learn some new avenues that will make my life more enjoyable and much more livable.

Some of the major ways people help build the walls of their depression  are to consider themselves worthless, won’t allow themselves to be angry, they can’t forgive themselves or others, and they believe that  life is hard and death is worse. Also, they believe that since bad things happened to them in the past, bad thigs will happen to them in the future.”

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) DAP. Page 7. Question 1.2

Respond how you might relate to the statement above. The five immutable beliefs as Dorothy Rowe calls them, are part of so many persons depression and they aren’t even aware that these beliefs  have anything to do with their depression experience.

YOUR ANSWER HERE

QUESTION #2

” What kind of meaning do you need to find which would enable you to master your experience  and so allow you to get on with your life? “The Depression Handbook. Dorothy Rowe. Page 318.

YOUR ANSWER HERE

QUESTION # 3

” What  have you learned from your experience of depression which you feel would be helpful to other people?” Dorothy Rowe, in the Depression Handbook. Page 318.

YOUR ANSWER HERE

Stepping up to hope.

“I want to get well so badly…”

These words were spoken by Helen, who as an active member of Depressed Anonymous found that she was no longer alone. She tells us that  when a person wants relief from the pain and isolation of their depression that they will go to any lengths to find help.

She writes in the Personal Stories section of Depressed Anonymous the following testimony:

” I finally knew after two years or more of sleepless nights that someone had to help me. I found a card saying “Depressed Anonymous” in the back of the phone book. It had a phone number and that was all. I talked to the man on the other end of the phone. I said to myself, this man is too busy to talk with me, but anyway I made the first appointment myself. I made myself go. I thank God that I did. I thank God that I went for help. It was a whole new beginning for me. I wanted to  get well so badly. I think people do have to want to change. I went in with the attitude that I have to get well. I heard things about counselors that  scared me, but this was just all the old negative feelings that caught up with me and boxed me in.

I got better and started to think differently. I started to get rid of some of my negative thoughts. I began to feel better and I continued to see my counselor. I started in Depressed Anonymous some weeks later.”

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You know, sometimes it takes just that one person with their liberating story of being freed from the isolation and pain of depression that we feel that there is hope for me. If it worked for Helen, it can surely work for me as well.  If you would like to read Helen’s working free of depression see the full account in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011).

Available at Depressed Anonymous Publications.

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.

Living and facing life head on.

Affirmation

I am making an effort today to live one day at a time.

“We can try to stop making unreasonable demands upon those we love.”

Clarification of thought

I am learning that to have any peace, I will have to learn how to accept others as they are and not try to change them.  I believe that when I no longer have these great expectations of other persons, or myself, it is then that my level of peace and serenity go up.  It’s my unreasonable expectations of how things should be that causes me to panic and to live in the future instead of the present.

I am aware that I don’t want the people I love to pity me, feel sorry for me, or even to feel that somehow they are to blame for my chronic relationship with depression. If I am able to feel better, I am going to have to make the decision to work toward that goal. From now on, all that I have to ask of anyone is to be patient with me as I break out of my solitary world of sadness.

The only real demand that I make upon myself is that I do all in my power to begin to get better.  I make only those demands upon myself that are attainable, not perfectionistic and which are based upon the reality of hope that one does and can get better by living and facing life head on.

Meditation

We are going to begin to pray today that God helps us find out other ways to love ourselves.

SOURCES: Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 168. August 21.

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

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