“Help is on the way!”

 

Learning some creative ways   to deal with depression, based on one’s  own personal experiences utilizing the   power of the Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous.  Our program is modeled after  the recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Many times a person depressed will look for help from our website,  hoping that we have something that will give them relief and present for them  a positive solution.  We  do our best to help them with our solution focused approach to overcoming depression. Most are thankful to know that we are here and have developed various avenues for one’s own  recovery from depression.

To understand who we are and what we do, we always advise that the seeker read each   of the items listed on our website menu. We also  point them to past issues of our published  Newsletters in the Newsletter Archives.

Our readers are treated to timely posts at our website  center (www.depressedanon.cm) which include those topics which are most helpful to a person depressed as well as for one’s family members and friends.

Recently, we initiated an ongoing program of recovery for those persons who would like to start their own Depressed Anonymous group This program is one in which our DA members (SPONSORS) work collaboratively with those who choose this HOME STUDY PROGRAM OF RECOVERY.  The program enables the person desirous of learning more about depression and their own unique experiences,  to  communicate with their sponsor  by email. The participant   answers  questions from the Depressed Anonymous Workbook and reading  from the Basic text of Depressed Anonymous.    Each of the Twelve Steps is    reflected upon as it relates  to one’s life past and present. The participant’s responses are then emailed to the sponsor and a return mail by the sponsor  answers   those questions which the participant may have during the  course study of  their ongoing Home Study  Program. The best part of the Home Study is that you can go at your own pace and  get feedback from someone who has lived the program in their daily life!

If you choose to start a group that is entirely up to you and there is no obligation to initiate a group in your locality.

So there you have it. You may discover  things about yourself that you never know existed. And  whatever questions you might have about the origins of your own experience may come to light during this program. The best answers are there in your own life experiences and your taking the time to reflect upon them by using the DA WORKBOOK and the DA BASIC TEXT.

A participant will need the two books  mentioned above for the program of Home Study and these are used in the group program.  You can purchase both books as a unit   from the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore as well as purchase the books as eBooks from the Depressed Anonymous  Publications Bookstore onsite at www.depressedanon.com.

If for whatever reason you are financially  unable to purchase these  books, please send me  an email (depanon@netpenny.net)   and we will contact you privately about the matter.  Our main concern is to get these positive materials in the hands of those who want a way out of the prison of depression.

For an explanation of the HOMNE STUDY PROGRAM in more detail please click onto the Website Menu and click onto the drop down menu labeled HOME STUDY PROGRAM.

 

 

Rumination and Sunspots

 

“Jim, learned that he needed more  “SUNSPOTS” to bask himself in. These “SUNSPOTS”  are meditation times where we can focus on all those pleasurable events, people, places or things that can make us feel happy.  The trouble with most of us is when we are depressed it is that our whole life seems to go  into a deep pit and an eighty foot hole and with an eight foot ladder.

One good way to escape from the prison is to get with a group of people who by joining together each other’s  section of the ladder will eventually get to the top and out of this deep dark hole that we call depression. Think upon these small SUNSPOTS through out the day and know that you are gradually  coming into the light of a new day. Prepare a list of memories which at one time in your life were the cause of some joy and pleasure, and try to recreate that activity in your imagination as often as you can. At first, all you might be able to do is  to just  make a mental decision to do it even though at the time you don’t feel any particular pleasant emotion. Keep at it and with continual encouragement of the group, you will be able to recapture a little joy and peace. You will begin to have more mastery over your life and the world and this in itself can lower your feelings of sadness. When you have a negative image or thought which produces an unpleasant feeling, replace it immediately with three positive and pleasant thoughts or mental images. In DEPRES SED ANONYMOUS we call this THE LAW OF THE THREES.”   One negative thought is immediately replaced by three pleasant thoughts and/ or memories.” Pages 47-48. Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

In the  Personal stories section of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS (Page 114), a member of the fellowship tells us  how SUNSPOTS helped her face the work of freeing herself from the shackles of depression.

“Look for SUNSPOTS,   memories from the past that were happy times and ones which bring back happy feelings from years gone by. I tried, but none came to mind. But I did find that thinking about the book and what it said did make me feel a little bit better. The piece of a song popped into my mind, “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all the others will be added to you. ” “Hey! A SUNSPOT” I   said to myself.

Then I felt a warm glow and then I did feel better–I did it! I made myself feel better. I can undepress myself! I had mixed feelings. I want to feel better, but admitting I depressed myself was not an easy thing t do.

I went back and reread the book, but now with an open mind. I have started to follow the Twelve Steps and with the help of the Higher Power, I can have a brighter future. I am making and putting in my memory a lot of  SUNSPOTS for those times when I am feeling depressed and when I can choose to draw upon when I feel that I need them.

I put up a “stop” sign for all negative thoughts and bring out a SUNSPOT to carry me through.”

-Anonymous. A member of the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship.

NOTE: If you are presently registered as a member of the  ONLINE HOME STUDY program,  please go to your DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK (Question # 3.7) on page 16 of the WORKBOOK and answer the question for this subject of SUNSPOTS.

“Pretend that you are putting together  a photo album of the happiest moments  of the  most pleasant events of  your  life. Imagine they are still photos and that  you place them  in their  chronological order. When you feel  depressed you will then look through  the album  –one by one – and  you will  have a pleasant feeling take over your mind and heart. Now,  list eight pictures and the subjects that they represent.”

By working on this project, it can not only slow down the process of rumination (as discussed in yesterday’s BLOG). but it will also can distract you from that spiraling negativity that keeps you depressed and obsessing.

May your day be filled with SUNSPOTS

Hugh

As my mind began to heal…nothing will stand in my way to make choices.

“As my mind began to heal and my thoughts became more lucid it became apparent that something inside of me is changing. Depression, when you begin  to examine the various symptoms up close, and deal with them, the experience becomes less threatening. Some say that depression is a collection of behaviors that are brought into play to defend us against things that are too painful to face. Also, depression results when a love object is lost through death or that one feels abandoned. We have become so at one with our lost love, that we mourn the death of part of us. The love object and ourselves has become one. I believe we use the word co-dependent   today.

At first I was frightened by my various symptoms of depression.  The symptoms proved to be baffling. I was not able to get out of bed as well as being unable to concentrate or manage a complex thought. I began to worry that I was losing my mind and I often asked myself if I was going to survive.   But now my ability to handle situations  in a meaningful way is due to my frequent attendance  at meetings, and by making a daily time for prayer and meditation and a feeling that my life has purpose and meaning. The more I am physically  active, that is.,  going to meetings even when I don’t feel like it. Working in my Depressed Anonymous Workbook, reading my 12 step literature. This behavior is where my freedom begins. And yes, I do feel lousy a times but I also know that nothing can stand in my way to make choices in my own behalf. Previous to my involvement with the group I had no idea that my depression was not so powerful as to  prevent  me from  even thinking that I could choose to feel differently. ”

SOURCE: (Copyright)  I’ll do it when  I feel better. (2016) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.  #11 PROMISE:  Intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. Pages 50-51.

“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.

You begin to see yourself as healer instead of victim…

These Twelve Steps work for those who work the program and who try to live one day at a time. Many times we have been so scared of being rejected once more that we have withdrawn deeper into the anguish of our shame and hurt. We need to air our hurts, our shame, and let others hear our story. There is something healing about hearing ourselves speak to others about our own journey in life and the many emotional potholes that we have fallen into from time to time. We have felt our lives were jinxed. But now we can begin to feel hopeful when other members of the group  shake their heads in knowing approval of what we are saying when we tell our story.  Most have  been where we are now. And the more we make an effort to come to meetings regularly, the more we will find members of the group telling us how they are seeing a change in the way we act, talk, and look. We will accept the group’s comments as being true and honestly expressed. These people speak our language and they all have been where we are now. You gradually begin to see yourself as healer instead of victim the more you work the program and get excited about the possibility of helping others. When you start reaching out to others in the group, it is at that point that you are carrying the message of hope to others. You have a future with Depressed Anonymous.”

___________________________________________

SOURCES: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 105.

Copyright(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

NOTE:  These two works comprise the Home Study Kit which can be purchased TOGETHER  at VISIT THE STORE.

Childhood messages -how are they working for you today?

In the  Depressed Anonymous Workbook, we are asked a very important question included in STEP FIVE.

AT 5.1 the question is asked:  As a child did you get a message that if you were good and did everything that you were supposed to do that you would end up happy and everything would go your way?  (The Workbook then asks you to write out your response.) For all of us, who are experiencing depression, this is a very important question. I myself have often wondered how the messages of childhood are working for us now that we are adults.

STEP FIVE is about intimacy and the sharing of one’s  innermost self with its secrets to that other human being. This is something that we hate that we would much rather snuggle back into our little corner and keep all knotted up in the addiction to our misery. In STEP FOUR we learned about getting it straight within ourselves so that we looked into every nook and cranny inside ourselves that kept us from being honest with ourselves, our God and all the other human beings that we have shared our story with.

For that personal experience of our lives, as we see it, can be obtained by spending time with the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. You will be amazed  by the feelings that come up and present themselves as we work through our lives using the Twelve Steps as a roadmap of life.

 

WORKING IT OUT

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Our feelings expressed and positively received by the group allow us then to focus on the way we think about ourselves, and make it possible for us to parent ourselves instead of  continually seeking out the lost unavailable parent in the guise of multiple sexual relationships, alcohol, gambling, and any of the many other compulsions that are used  to fill the void in our lives.

Practicing  the  program enables  us to be used by the Higher Power to do the most good that we can and which our Higher Power wants us to do.”

In the Depressed Anonymous Workbook(2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville., in the section relating to Step number 11, (Page 80) read the following statement  and respond with your own answers to questions about what you are doing now that you were not doing before you came into the Depressed Anonymous group?

“I can’t do anything to remove my compulsive behavior until I choose to “live without it.” It is truly living in the will and mind of God that will help us, one day at a time to stop being so compulsive in our rigid and automated thinking about people and things so that we do not let our dated emotions and thoughts predict what the outcome of our perceptions ought to be.” (See Page 95 in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

For best results in working out a gradual release from the darkness of the depression is to use the WORKBOOK and 3rd edition of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS together. We call this the HOME STUDY KIT. Please VISIT THE STORE here at our website (www.depressedanon.com)  for more information about the  literature that is now available.

Promise # 11. “Intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.”

As my mind began to heal and my thoughts became more lucid it became apparent  that something inside of myself was changing. Depression, when you begin to examine the various symptoms up close and deal with them, the experience becomes less threatening. Some say that depression is a collection of behaviors that are brought  into play to defend  us against things that are too painful to face. Also, depression results when a love object is lost through death or that one feels abandoned. We have become so at one with our love object, that we mourn the death of part of us.  The love object and ourselves has become one. I believe we use the word co-dependence today.

At first I was frightened by my various symptoms of depression. The symptoms proved to be baffling. I was not able to get out of bed as well as being unable to concentrate or manage a complex thought.  I began to worry that I was losing my mind and I often asked myself if I was going to survive. But now my ability to handle situations in a meaningful way is due to my  frequent attendance at meetings, and by making a daily time for prayer and meditation and feeling that my life has purpose and meaning.  The more I am physically active  and going to meetings even when I don’t feel like it. Working on my Depressed Anonymous Workbook, reading my Twelve Step literature. The behavior is where my freedom begins. And yes, I do feel lousy at times, but I also know that nothing can stand in my way to make choices in my own behalf. Previous to my involvement with the group I had no idea that depression was not so powerful now as to prevent me from even thinking that I could choose to feel differently.”  (Read more tomorrow on Promise # 11.

SOURCE: Copyright(c) I’LL DO  IT  WHEN I FEEL BETTER.  (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 50-51.

Great ideas give energy of purpose and great wings to the soul!

“A great object to awaken resolute choice, must be seen to be within our reach.  The truth, that progress is the very end of our being, must not be received as a tradition, but comprehended and felt as a reality.  Our minds are apt to pine  and starve, by being imprisoned within what we have already attained. . A true faith , looking up to something better, catching  glimpses of distance perfection, prophesying to ourselves improvements proportional to our conscientious labors, gives energy of purpose, gives wings to the soul; and this faith will continually grow, by acquainting ourselves with our own nature, and with the promise of divine help and immortal life which abound in revelation… A great idea…if seized on clearly and vigorously, burns like a living coal in the soul.” –William Ellery Channing

Know what you want,  find out how to get it, and then go get it!

Within each of us is that soul spirit which urges us on to do what we know we must do. So often, almost  by a strange set of circumstances or coincidence we are presented with a person, an idea, or a situation by which we can fulfill the need which we search for.  Do not pass up this prompting, this nudge, but take it upon yourself to investigate and then to take it as your own if it appears to fulfill your need.

Did this fulfilled need just  “happen”  that I ran into an old friend?  Did it just “happen”  that I  picked up a book where my greatest need and solutions were outlined neatly? It was as if they were there all the time.

If you are reading this piece today, and feeling crushed down and alone, could it be that this message for you just didn’t happen but fulfills your own needs for healing and complete recovery from a depressed spirit?

Like all of us who  look for that nudge, that prompting which will push us to make an investment  in ourselves that can last a lifetime, and what I have done, these many years ago, and still use today, is the solution focused Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous for my everyday use and continued recovery. Was it the coincidence of a friend giving me a book on depression while I was searching for a way out of my depression  –did it just “happen” or did I see in this coincidence, that something, which had always been in plain sight, and knowing if I pursued this “happening” with vigor and tenacity I could be the serene person that I always wanted to be.

Here are the books that gave me the nudge to fulfill the Promises of the Twelve Steps. These two books, combined in use together are the source of my strength and the “idea”  that fulfilled my need. Follow your nudge! And if you have decided that you are reading this BLOG today, and that it’s message applies to your situation today then take a look at the HOME STUDY KIT and make something great “happen” for your life today!

HOME STUDY KIT (Visit the store)

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

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (201) Depresses Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

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.