“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.

 

 

Sisyphus and his rock.

There is an ancient Greek myth about a greedy King (Sisyphus)  from Corinth who was sent to Hades (hell) and who spent all eternity pushing a heavy rock up the hill, only to have the rock roll down again.

What do I make of this myth? What meaning can we give to it? What is its message?  And how can I relate it to my own life?

First of all, it has all sorts of meaning for all sorts of situations in my own life. I like to think of the story about Sisyphus and his rock much like my own story and struggles with the “rock” that I keep pushing up the hill. That rock was my struggle with  depression which  always seemed to be a part of my daily existence. Everyday, I just knew that it was time for me to face the rock and start pushing.   In time, the thought of facing another day with my hands on the rock gradually wore me down. I was exhausted.

I couldn’t get out of bed in the mornings. I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t think a coherent thought. My nerves were in revolt and my anxiety precluded any sort of activity that might help me escape my rock pushing. I began to feel hopeless and too helpless to walk away from this rock which was  chained to my mind, body and spirit.  I felt I had no choice but to get up and push the rock.

This started me to force myself to walk each day, and without thinking about the rock. It was like I was distracted from thinking about anything while I walked. And so in time, with my daily walks, I found that my rock grew smaller and smaller. And then one day, I reached the top of the hill without my rock. I was free. I felt free. I felt that my time in hell had ended.  (Read: I’ll do it when I feel better. Depressed Anonymous Publications).

Over the years I have found other tools besides that of walking in dealing with my depression. I founded a group, called Depressed Anonymous, where all the various shapes and forms of Sisyphus could gather, share their hopes, and their  victories and discard their rocks. I knew that being all alone in one’s hell, made life even more unbearable. But with a group of persons together, all with their own situations and experiences could get the strength to find their way out of this rock pushing bondage  .

All in all, I have found that when you get together with others like yourself, and you share your stories, things start to change.  You finally feel accepted, and made welcome  as you share your own rock pushing over the years, months, even a lifetime. We all can check our “rocks” at the door as we discuss ways out of our misery,  week after week .

For more information please check out our stories in our manual Depressed Anonymous, which by the way, is written by those of us who have been depressed and are in recovery, attending Depressed Meetings week after week. And if there is no meeting in our community we can also participate in our Home Study Program of Recovery, accompanied by an online sponsor.

Click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore for  learning more about who we are and what we do.  If you choose you can order online from our website at depressedanon.com.

Join us here everyday as we continue sharing our serenity and our hope online at our BLOG: Depressed Anonymous.

 

When I am “powerless” I feel out of control.

 

During my depression   I was “powerless“.  I no longer had the ability to bounce back from my ongoing ruminations about how bad I felt. The more that I tried to figure out why I was feeling so bad and horrible,  the intensity  deepened. The more that my thoughts circled around in my head the more despair I felt.  I felt hopeless. All I was able to do was lay down and sleep, hoping against hope that my anxiety and fear would disappear. But no, they only intensified my despair. I knew that I had to do something. I had to get my body in motion. I had to talk to someone. I had to DO something besides sit at home and think, think and think some more.

I gradually discovered that my  thoughts produce feelings, feelings produce moods and my  moods produce behaviors. In my case. the behavior was to do nothing, The one thing that I did do, was to begin to isolate from family and friends. This deepened my anxiety and frustration. I knew about talking with someone and so I contacted a friend who was in another 12 Step fellowship. We call these friends sponsors. And so it was in talking with a sponsor that I gradually dug myself out of the hole that I was in. I quit digging.

Today, at the present we have some persons who have decided to do something about their depression and pain–they have begun to participate in our HOME STUDY PROGRAM of recovery. This program is a one to one relationship with a sponsor. All one has to do is sign up  and contact us here at depressedanon.com. There are no fees or dues just a willingness to learn all they can about depression and their  own depression experience,   while  utilizing both  the Depressed Anonymous Manual and the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Both can be found by clicking onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore here at this website.

For more information as to how this Home Study works, please read more at Newsletters, the Antidepressant Tablet. You can read how Kim found us on her computer and is now engaged  in getting herself free of the shackles of depression.

She is longer powerless.

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+++For more information please contact me at  depanon@netpenny.net.

Widening the chinks in the armor of our denial.

When I was depressed, I gradually found myself  imprisoned behind the bars of hopelessness and helplessness.  My physical self, emotional self, thinking self and spiritual self all slowly retreated into the isolating darkness of  despair.

My whole life became consumed with  self bashing, guilt, shame and  self-pity.  I felt all alone. I didn’t want to be with anyone or do anything that would nudge me into some unwelcome activity.  And yes, others told me to walk, to say a prayer, do something fun, snap out of my doldrums and get back onto life’s playing field. Oh yea, all of this was said to be in my best interest. And the problem was that those who gave me all this wonderful advice were missing one important item, namely,  they didn’t have a clue how depression, the crippling illness that it is,  was shutting down my very willingness to live. For many it can be  life threatening.

In the darkness, the cycling  menacing  thoughts continued their hourly, minute by minute destruction of my identity and what I had found to be  meaningful for my life. The key to a meaningful and purposeful existence was lost –I was lost. It was like I had just abandoned myself to a self imposed prison sentence.

My first indication was a gradual weakening of a willingness to live with hope and spontaneity. I became joyless. The more I opened up my mind and took a closer look at what  I was thinking about,  I found that losing hold of the key to hope and what was happening to me, it wasn’t  long before  my continued introspection was  accompanied by  feelings of despair and pain. This experience became so cunning, baffling and powerful, that it was totally impossible for me to free myself from its complete domination of my living free.

And now let me tell you about finding the key that opened the door to a new horizon filled with a path that was filled with signs leading to a fellowship of persons like myself who were on the same path.

And so here is what I finally had to do to reverse the  plummeting into the hell of nothingness and annihilation. I no longer felt that the pieces of the puzzle about depression had control of my life. The more I took an active role in my recovery, like walking everyday and renewing my physical being, finding a fellowship of men and women who are using the 12 steps of recovery, I began to get my life back. By embedding myself and my mind and body  in this healthy fellowship, I was gradually able to enter through and repair the  chinks in my armor  and continue discovering how the process of my  own thinking and inactive physical life  gradually paralyzed me psychologically and  physically. I  had been  frozen with fear which enlarged  my isolation and helplessness.

Now that I understood how  the trajectory of the initial feelings of sadness,  completed my shutdown,  I understand how depression works its number on our bodies, mind and spirit, and I now know how to overcome and  gain a new  control of my life. I am free and alert always to those “red flags” which tell me  there is a landmine on the road ahead and so I dismantle it and continue on.  A landmine may be as simple as telling myself that I cannot get the energy to go to a Depressed Anonymous meeting, or talk to my sponsor when a thought of fear overtakes and begins to isolate me. I might also cut down on sharing my story with others and  provide another human being that there truly is a way out of depression. Been there and done that. Who knows more about depression than those of us who have been there and freed  from its  personal ravages of the human spirit. I also learn so much from people who like myself are always sharing the how of their recovery. I can also go to the Depressed Anonymous website www.depressedanon.com.,  where I can find story after story, one blog after another, giving us hope and strength. We tell ourselves “that If he or she can do our program of the 12 Steps of recovery so can I.”  Our 12 Step program of recovery is a simple one and by using the spiritual principles  that it offers, plus the fellowship, we can’t lose.

A “red flag” for many of us depressed is to begin to isolate ourselves from our family, friends and familiar activities.  Get involved! If there is no Depressed Anonymous group in your community you still can work and use the Depressed Anonymous HOME STUDY PROGRAM. The KIT uses two of the groups (written by those who have made the program their way out of depression) books: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook.(2001)  These two works give the reader a sense of  hope and renewal. These books are coordinated with each other and if we want to understand the nature of depression and the tools that we use to overcome it, then you’ll find the HOME STUDY KIT  will work for you.

The HOME STUDY KIT can be ordered  online. Visit the STORE where you will find  other works  which will be helpful for your recovery.

 

 

 

 

With Depressed Anonymous I keep on an even keel.

 

Bill’s personal story of recovery.

“Before  Depressed Anonymous, I was paralyzed. I couldn’t even interview for a job. I had no confidence. I could hardly get out of bed in the morning. I would just mope around and never really get moving. I would pick fights with my mother. I didn’t know what to do with my anger and frustration. I didn’t know where to place my misguided fears.

But then I found a place. The depressed anonymous group. We were a small group at first. In this group, we all had a story, and we had to let it out. I thought that no one could be in as bad shape as I was in. I thought everyone was perfectly happy. We started the Depressed Anonymous group about a year ago. We took one step at a time.

Being depressed is like being in a deep dark hole with no one to turn to. Your friends don’t understand you. People around you don’t understand your mood changes. I was so lonely that I didn’t know what to do about myself. I just didn’t give a damn. Now my self-esteem is up. I finally believed in myself. Depressed Anonymous had given me all that back. My attitude is positive. Right now, I feel as if I’m in recovery. I still go to the group because without the group, I get argumentative, and with the group, I keep on an even keel.”

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A personal story of recovery  from a member of a Depressed Anonymous group.

Copyright(c) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS,   3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pg.151.

Being depressed means isolation.

How do I know if I’m depressed?

“Being depressed means isolation – and being cut off from everybody and everything.  It is like being in prison, like a pit where the walls are like soft clay and I cannot climb out. To me the isolation is pre-hell and often I feel so dead inside.  There is an awful feeling, that hole in my soul which is like a clenched fist.   I don’t know where to turn with all the pain and hurt. I can’t imagine anyone hurts the way I do and I hope no one does. I would never want to inflict this pain on anyone, so I tried to hold it inside and it seems like it’s too much to bear, especially alone. This is where Depressed Anonymous comes in – this is where powerlessness and God come in. There was no one to help, even to try to understand before Depressed Anonymous. No one wanted my pain  and others started  to avoid me.  I understand better now, especially since I’ve been around Depressed Anonymous via Hugh and the book Depressed Anonymous,3rd edition and the journaling I’ve done. My hope is that I will be more at peace and will try to use the  specific tools which continue to be  great helps in overcoming depression while  giving me  hope —  just for today.”

Source:  Mary C, Sterling Heights, Michigan.

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

Visit the Store for more information on Depression and the use of the 12 Steps.

Our feelings come about due to how we think of things.

Happiness is an elusive feeling – and for each of us happiness can mean something very different. When I say to myself “life doesn’t get any better than this,” then I know that life is indeed good and that all is well with my soul.

What can keep us in the prison of depression is a construction that we place on events and situations that occur in our world.

To be free means  to act with a degree of spontaneity. This after all, is the opposite of depression. Events of themselves are not the cause for depression – similar events are in the lives of many folks  but there are some folks that don’t experience depression because of them. So, it must be the way we think about these events and the meanings that we place on the situation. Our lives and the way we look at life is composed of past and present events. Our past life is a way we predict the future. “Since bad things have happened to me in the past – bad things are bound to happen to me in the future.” How true this is.  Our  prison is composed of blocks of times and situations which at one time were fluid – like a river moving. Since these events affect our sense of self – we caused the river to stop flowing – and instead our painful thoughts and feelings – are the blocks that make up the walls of our personal prison. We need to restore the fluidity the of our lives. Once when our self has been restored – namely our spontaneity,  we will experience freedom and happiness. By having that spiritual experience and being an active member of  the fellowship  of Depressed Anonymous is what can restore us to sanity. Happiness comes from finding loving support, and acceptance.”

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SOURCES:  (C)   The Promises. (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

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

(C)The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, 2nd edition. (2002)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Depressed Anonymous had been the ultimate key to a successful life.

Depressed Anonymous had been the ultimate key to a largely successful life for me. Prior to entering the program, I had no money, no driver’s license, and had dropped out of college  due to poor grades and a personal breakdown for which I was hospitalized. I had not then worked Step One because I wasn’t aware that I was powerless over my depression, that my life was disorganized as the mess in my closet.

During the first night in the hospital,  a member informed me of a support group known as Depressed Anonymous. I decided to give it a try. By telling me about this wonderful, miraculous and very spiritual program, this person had not only worked the  Twelfth Step, (Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all our affairs) but has also given me a key which would open many doors for me. Walking through these doors was like admitting defeat. I was playing first base in a  ball game in which I would eventually win. If I struck out, I was back on Step One. By playing ball with a positive attitude, I was allowing my Higher Power to walk the Steps to recovery with me. With the help and positive sense of fellowship that I enjoyed in the group, I began to understand God’s will for me.  With the love, support, and true friendship of three faithful members in the group, I began working on my driver’s license, which had been another step toward my independence  for me. Within a year, I earned my license when two members of the group took me in for a road test. A new sunnier life had begun for me. The worst was finally over.”

Lena, in  PERSONAL STORIES (#2): “We never talked about our feelings. ” Pages 112-113.

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

A therapist speaks out about Depressed Anonymous

“One of the greatest resources I’ve used in working with many depressed persons has been Depressed Anonymous. The transformation it causes in an individual’s life is truly miraculous. This stems from it being primarily a spiritual program of healing and recovery.  It encourages a person to seek a personal relationship with God, whoever they understand God to be. In doing this, it helps a person to look inside for healing, rather than in a pill or some quick “cure.” Many persons who suffer with  depression look on God as being one who judges them harshly. This thinking usually leads  to much anger towards God, which results in more negative thinking. I know this from my own experiences with depression, and the angry relationship with God I had during those times. This is where Depressed Anonymous offers hope by getting a person connected to a group who also suffers with depression, and are working the Twelve Steps. In doing this, it helps a person come to a realization that it will only be through a power greater than themselves that they will find sanity in their life.  Depressed people cannot do this alone because of the compulsion to ruminate endlessly over negative thoughts. It is only through coming together with a group of people like Depressed  Anonymous that they are able to break the cycle of negative thinking. ”

To read more of what therapists have to say about Depressed Anonymous please read  their thoughts in  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. KY.  Page 67-68.  ( The therapist who wrote the above is Ms. Denise List, doing therapy in Louisville, KY.)

As a therapist myself, I have found, as  Denise herself found, that our own struggles with the isolating and painful reality that we call depression, made a difference in our relationship with clients. To have a mutual aid group such as Depressed Anonymous  to which we could  refer them had  special and positive outcomes.

Our manual contains a veritable host of testimonies from persons from all walks of life who found Depressed Anonymous to be the “real deal.”  It is  here where they found acceptance tools for recovery and most importantly a safe place to share their story.

Please VISIT the STORE here at our site.  And if you are a therapist reading this now, it would serve your clients well for you to suggest  that they pick up  this book and begin to see and find hope for themselves.

May the Force be with you!

The Force (in Star Wars movie) is that Power which guides, protects and surrounds those who believe in it.

For those of us who crawled(figuratively speaking) into our first 12 Step meeting of recovery,  Depressed Anonymous, we too were hoping that there was to be found a Force that would protect us, and eliminate forever the pain that we felt 24/7. We just knew that we were “sick and tired of being sick and tired” and wanted relief and help…now.

When we heard members of this group tell us how their lives had begun to change, with hope  being part of their new  way of thinking about themselves, we knew they were onto something big. We felt a spirit of hope as we listened to their  stories of how they to came into the group feeling  beaten and despairing.

And as we wrote in our book  I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER (2013)  we shared how Newcomers to the group reminded us of our selves when we stepped into the group for the first time.

“They struggle to keep back their tears as they speak, possibly for the first time  trusting that they are with people who have been where they are. This is what provides the beginning of hope and healing. People in the group speak the language of hope and possibility. They hear how recovery is possible. They want these tools to use in their own recovery. ”

Now we  can all  share our stories of our own personal recovery. The Force is with us!

Please read all of the 30+ stories of how persons coming into the group and using the steps of recovery, led by the Force, find  a daily source of hope and happiness for their lives. These stories can be found in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

PLEASE VISIT THE STORE HERE AT THIS SITE.