The healing shows on the faces of all those who keep coming back to meetings.”

THE TENTH  WAY to leave the prison of depression. #10 of 15.

I know that with time and work I will get better and out of my depression. I believe that though I might feel helpless, I am not hopeless. I will make a decision to get better today!”

One of  the most heartening phenomenon of our 12 step program for persons depressed is to see how quickly healing becomes apparent to those who keep coming back to meetings. The healing shows on the faces of all those who keep coming back to meetings.They commit themselves to getting better. The work that one has to engage in is a deep desire to quit sadding  themselves. This means that a person depressed really must make a commitment to themselves, that with time and work, they can leave the prison of their own depression.

This statement of belief is so important that it, like the rest of the 15 ways to leave the prison of depression provides hope for those still suffering from depression. Just by coming to the meetings, even when we don’t feel like moving out of our isolation and comfort zone. This is in itself an investment that must be made if we are to reap the dividends of healing which can be ours. The program works by investing your time and energy in it.

Depressed Anonymous provides a step-by-step program of recovery and doesn’t talk in vague generalities about your own depression experience. Actually,  the program offers a map where you can walk out of your past filled with negative thoughts and  behaviors  creating your own new hopeful lifestyle. The Depressed Anonymous mutual aid  group is the  “miracle”  incentive for getting ourselves motivated   and living with hope. The group provides a continued acceptance and support for your life. The purpose of the 12 steps is to free ourselves from the debilitating isolation and pain of our sadness. We realize now that it is by accepting responsibility for our physical, emotional and spiritual care of self that predicts the hope filled long-term effect of a life lived without depression.

First of all, what gains consciousness is to be aware of  one’s  own need to discover what there is about myself that I do not find acceptable, good and  wholesome. Secondly,  preparation. I am aware of how I have depressed myself by the faulty beliefs that I’ve held about myself over the past years. I now know that part of the way I feel is due to the way I have automatically talked to myself throughout the day. I now realize that my feelings about myself have continually been very negative and emotional laden. Now I take action. I intend today to replace all negative statements that I make about myself, they are like waving a red flag  before my eyes. Every time I call myself stupid or put myself down mentally, I will substitute  affirmations such as the following:  I will build a new life for myself. I am strong today. I have the courage to go through this experience. I will no longer blame myself or others for my depression. I do not have to wait for someone to make me feel better, as I can do this myself if I choose to do so. And this will   sustain me and not just for today but every day of my life.  I’m going to tolerate my imperfections while at  the same time refusing to feel sorry for myself.  I am going to make myself accountable for how I feel… and not blame it on someone else.”

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Sources: The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. pages 51-56.

Please VISIT THE STORE where all publications of Depressed Anonymous can be ordered online.

HOW DOES A PERSON CHANGE? THINK ABOUT IT AS A FOUR STAGE PROCESS.

In order for us to escape depression we need to begin to be aware of the process of how people change. That process for change is of the nature of a spiral instead of a straight line. In other words, now that we are willing to risk feeling differently we have been gearing up to improve our situation. In other words we are making a very important decision right now about our lives.
1. AWARENESS STAGE: We become conscious that we can’t go on feeling the way that we do. Something has to give.
2. MOTIVATING STAGE: I am going to prepare myself for needed change in my thinking, acting and feeling.
3. DOING STAGE: I am going to take charge and be responsible for positive changes that have to be made by me if I am to feel differently.
4. MAINTAINING STAGE: I will continue to seek out and sustain my recovery with people, concepts and my personal working of the 12 step program for recovery.
Now apply these four stages which serve as antidotes to our character defects and which cause us to stay imprisoned in our prison of depression…The first is the character defect of BLAMING.
(1) AWARE. Now that I have admitted that I am powerless over my depression and that it serves no purpose to blame myself for my depression an d bashing myself with daily reminders how bad and unacceptable I am. And now I am: (1) AWARE of my need to discover what there is about myself that I do find acceptable, good and wholesome.

(2) I am MOTIVATING myself now that I am aware how I have depressed myself by the faulty beliefs that I have held about myself over the past years. I now know that part of the way I feel is due to the way I automatically talk to myself throughout the day. Without ever being conscious of it I now realize that my feelings about myself are very negative and emotion laden.

(3) DOING. I intend today to replace all negative statements that I make in my head and replace them with positive statements –positive affirmations. I am going to alert myself –like a red flag waving –every time I call myself stupid or put myself down mentally. I will use affirmations such as “I will build a new life.” “I am strong.” “I have courage to go through this experience.” “I no longer blame myself or others for my sadness.” “I do not have to wait for someone to make me feel differently.” “I can do it myself.”

(4) MAINTAINING. I am very hopeful that I can feel differently just today, for this 24 hour period. I am going to tolerate my imperfectness while at the same time refusing to feel sorry for myself. I am going to make myself accountable for how I feel –not blame it on another, the weather, parents or whatever.
SOURCE: The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (Pgs. 41-43)- Depressed Anonymous Publications – Louisville
Continued tomorrow: BEING A VICTIM