Looking fear in the face!

AFFIRMATION

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.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I know after becoming actively involved with the 12 step program, that one of the best ways to overcome the handicap  of depression is to start by working on my faith – a faith that I will and can get better. I know that it is mainly staring my sadness in the face that I will be clear of it. I also know that my depression which has been part of my life for so long can be dismantled if I so choose. Surprised? So often  I hear others stories say that they have been depressed all their lives–until- let me repeat – until they hear others 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.

We know that 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 it might be the fears of the past. One of the better antidotes to fear is trying to live, just for today, Today is all I have.,

MEDITATION

God, we believe that there is no greater power than you . We have already admitted that our depression has made us feel hopeless. Now we are ready to let you get to work on our lives,  take over and lead us where we know we will be   in a safe healing place.”

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous  Publications. Louisville. Pages 95-96.

“I can make the hard changes.”

Your HIGHER THOUGHT  for today

Affirmation

I am gaining, day by day, a new and hopeful attitude about my life and my relationship with others.

“Strangely, I feel as if I’ve been incredibly lucky. Logically, I don’t believe in  luck. I believe the people make their own lives when they are what they  are, but still I feel so lucky to have been involved in a group which gave me the opportunity, and incentive, to start to make changes in my life: to understand why I am sometimes so angry, why I have been so  self-critical and self-destructing. Understanding why you feel as you do opens the gates for the even harder struggle of changing what you do.”

Making changes is part of making a life.  If I choose to stay mired in the deep pit of depression, I can choose that. I have that as an option. But, if I want to choose and risk changing  myself, I have the option of working to construct a different way of looking at my world. Just by changing my attitude about my life in the direction where I want it to go, I can make the hard changes. I want to change my attitude. I will now want  to listen to those who have been in recovery for months and/or years and listen to their hopeful attitude and how they are feeling better now that they are living one day at a time. They are no longer fearful that the old nemesis, the sadness, will sneak up and change everything back to the way it was.

I can only change myself. I will always try and keep the focus on how I need to change, not how others around me  need to change.

Meditation

God, we are always heartened  and  healed by the group. Please guide us and let us be led  to that healing community of persons who are  struggling to find the serenity that you promised to those who do you will. “Fear not, for I am always with you.”

SOURCE:   Copyright(c)  Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups. Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 43. (2/27/18.)

In order to get started on your own recovery, at your pace, and in the amount of time that you feel you need, we offer a HOME STUDY KIT. Please click onto the Depressed Anonymous Bookstore menu for information on ordering these materials of recovery.

“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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Change always involves uncertainty.

 

 

“I know that a number of people who are first introduced to the Twelve Step program of recovery wonder what their sadness has to do with  the spiritual program of Twelve Steps that originated for alcoholics. I might be depressed but I am surely not a drunk. Sometimes you will hear a new member of the group say that they never committed any wrongs against anyone, so why  do they need to make amends.  (See Step Ten). For many persons, the loss of a love, the death of a spouse, the end of a lifetime career  can produce a spiraling sense of despair in  in people  whose whole lives have centered on someone else’s feelings rather than their own. Their lives are lived for someone else rather being lived for their own self. When that other person is lost, they feel lost and abandoned. This is precisely  the point– the need to make amends for erroneously thinking that someone else can satisfy all their wants and desires. In making amends, we begin to take responsibility for our thoughts  and feelings, and when these have hurt others we need to do something about them.”

SOURCE: Page 86. Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011)Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

__________________________________

On page 71 of The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2001) Depressed Anonymous Publications, we discover further positive insights about living our lives with spontaneity and hope.

Dorothy Rowe in her Award Winning book, Depression: The way out of your prison, tells us the following:

Dangers, perhaps even greater dangers, threaten you if you leave your prison of depression for the ordinary world. There you might have to change, and change always involves uncertainty. The good thing about being depressed is that you can make everyday the same. You can be sure of what is going to happen. You can ward off all those people and events that expect a response from you. Your prison life has a regular routine, and like any long term prisoner,  you grow  accustomed to the jail’s security and predictability. The prison of depression may not be comfortable, but it is at least safe.”  Page 127.

__________________________________________

NOTE TO THE READER

One of the most valuable ways to deal with the pain and isolation of one’s depression experience is to utilize our latest tools in freeing ourselves from the prison of depression.

Our Publisher (DAP) has provided those who wish to learn more about themselves a HOME STUDY KIT where a person can begin  sorting out what makes them tick. The two works, include both the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition Manual and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook.

These two works have been written and organized by those of us who know what depression feels like and the potential risk to life that it presents.  We’ve been there.

In one of our first Depressed Anonymous  meetings, the group who were members of the Fellowship became  part of writing the commentary on the  12 Steps which resulted in our manual Depressed Anonymous. All these were persons working their way out of depression and who shared their story in the personal story section of  the DA Manual. There are 31 testimonies total.  In other words, our material is one of the very few that are written by persons depressed and who have  freed themselves from the shackles of the depression prison.

If you want to begin your own personal recovery from depression the HOME STUDY KIT combo is what you are looking for.  And possibly you and a friend, a therapist, pastor, family member may like to work with you  as you move on and through the depression experience.

You can put your online  order in today at our literature STORE.  You will also be able to communicate online at our website www.depressedanon.com and FIND HELP with our  BLOG provided by WordPress.com.

 

 

“You don’t have to be like this.”

” As one person told Dorothy Rowe: When I think of all those years I wasted being depressed, I wish I would have listened. I wished I’d realized that all I had to do was to say I’d had enough of being put upon and put down, feeling that there was something wrong with me. I’d like to go up to the hospital  and tell everybody: ‘You don’t have to be like this.’ Up there nobody ever told me that. I’d see those people going on and on being miserable. If I’d seen someone like me now, it would have given me hope.” Page 72 (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. 2011 )

“…Depression feeds on hurt, pain and self-doubt. When we are depressed we have a need to bash ourselves for our misguided errors and sinfulness.  The fifth step if done genuinely and prayerfully, will in time help restore our sense of freedom  and belief that we are truly forgiven. It is the miracle of the group and its acceptance, love and nurture that helps the depressed person feel secure without recourse to depression.” Page 52 (The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2001) DAP, Louisville.

___________________________________

For more information on the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition book and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook –also listed as the HOME STUDY KIT. Please VISIT THE STORE to discover more information about these valuable and helpful study works.

Ordering is available online at our secure Bookstore.

Depressed? Feeling all alone? Want support?

Want support? That’s what we all want for our lives, especially  when we are depressed. This is certainly  a fact as  we sink deeper into the quagmire of a melancholy mood. Without support from others when we  feel depressed —  even  hopeless — is   a critical time for  us.  It’s a do or die moment. It’s time to make a decision.  What do we want?

I think that for most of us who are or were depressed to have someone understand what we are living through–but let’s be frank–unless you yourself  have experienced the deadening feeling of depression it is quite a leap for others to try and understand our experience if they have never been there themselves. And really this is the reason we have a support group for those of us who can come together and get support. We are not alone. We have walked the walk where we were all alone and in  a continued isolation from family, friends and our world.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

In a social diagnosis made by C. Lasch,  (La cultura del narcissimo (Andres Bello, Barcelona. 1999). “who typified  our contemporary culture as a culture of narcissism – a culture in which every person relies on himself alone and is horrified by old age and radically  marginalizes the elderly.” (Dolentium Hominum. Church and Health in the world. xix. 2004.)

Social support for   those of us who are or have been depressed has  saved many of us from those deeper and life threatening  forms of addiction, such as alcoholism, gambling,  pornography, hoarding.  We  have become a materialistic  throw away society,  craving more things to consume and  more things  filling  up the hole of our emptiness.

While having already personally experienced the power of the 12 spiritual principles  of the 12 steps, plus a powerful social support  of the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous, I know of the power of being with others who just like myself, who find unconditional acceptance from the group. I also continue to learn about and use the many tools that keep me from relapsing back into depression . In Depressed Anonymous we all speak the same language of hope and recovery.

Dr. Aquilino Polaino-Lorento, a psychopathologist,   in his  article Is depression solely a matter of medical intervention?  tells us   “the absence of social support  is not  a cause of depression but is its consequence….less social support meaning a greater expression of symptoms.”

Here are more of his thoughts on social support and how that can be a predictor in a depressed persons’ response to therapy. He shares the following;  Depressive illness in elderly patients is higher the lower the level of the social support they receive.The speed of the response to therapy correlates in both sexes with  the social support they received.  The higher the level  of social support the more rapid the response.

Social support for many who are depressed is just not there. Period. It is a sad fact that there is even a stigma placed on persons depressed.  A depressed person has need of other depressed persons who can give them hope that their experience doesn’t have to go on.  The  social support of a mutual aid group can give exactly this–support and hope. As  persons depressed have a tendency to isolate themselves — and  the less social support they receive the deeper the spiral into darkness.

So what we have here is that more persons in our modern societies are isolated and remote from others.  We have become nomads looking for more things, more experiences that deepen a focus  on oneself, pushes  us away from the community however large or small, and contributes to an attitude of “it’s all about me.”

So is all we are left with is a society filled with isolated narcissists? No, that doesn’t have to be at all.  But if we want help for those of us who are depressed, we learn that the greatest help can be not to judge, not to tell them how to live, but instead,  listen and be present to them as friend.

In our Dep-Anon Family Group Manual we have a section titled

    WHAT TO SAY TO SOMEONE WHO IS DEPRESSED.

“It is more tempting, when you find out someone is depressed to immediately fix the problem. However, until the depressed  persons has given you the permission to be their therapist (as a friend or a professional) , the following responses are more likely to help.

The things that didn’t make me feel worse are the words which 1) acknowledge my depression for  what it is (“No, its just a phase.”) 2) give me permission to feel depressed ( “But why should  you be sad?) .

Here is a list  of things that might be said to a depressed friend or family member. “

“I love you.”

“I care.”

“You are not alone in this.”

“I’m not going to leave you or abandon you.”

“Do you want a hug.”

“It will pass, we can ride it out together.”

“When all this is over, I’ll still be here (if you mean it) and so will you.”

“You are important to me.”

“We are not primarily on earth to see through someone –but to see one another through.”

“I am sorry that you’re in so much pain. I am not going to leave you.  I am going to take care of myself so that you don’t need to worry that your pain might hurt me.”

“I listen  to you talk about it, and I can’t imagine what it’s like for you. I just can’t imagine how hard it must be?”

“I can’t fully understand  what you are feeling, but I can offer my compassion.”

If you need a friend…” (And mean it).

Here we are. There is hope and there is social support available.

___________________________________________________________________________

For more information please read and learn about the HOME STUDY KIT which one can use as an individual with their therapist, family member  or a friend.

The two works which comprise the Home Study Kit are:

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

and

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook(2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. These two works comprise the Home Study Kit.

Depressedanon.com (here at this site) has a daily blog from which information and inspiration can be experienced.

VISIT THE STORE for other   available literature. Remember, our literature is written by those of us who were depressed.

 

 

youI lov

Put SUNSPOTS in your life today and everyday!

 

THE   EIGHT WAY.

Excerpts from BELIEVING IS SEEING: 15 WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION.  (See resources)

Please treat yourself  kindly! Begin to plan pleasurable activities into your life today!”

“I think one of the two things which depressed persons feel  is lacking is in not having mastery over the way they feel and believe. Secondly, they seem to have lost a desire to perform a pleasant activity which might attach their interest. One of the things I recommend for people depressed is to find one  pleasant activity that  they once enjoyed before being immobilized  by their present depression. I think it is a good learning  experience to believe that my depression won’t last forever and that someday I can feel better. In other words, I can still try and do that one thing that was a pleasant activity before I got depressed. We feel that we “have no reason to treat ourselves kindly” because we can’t find anything hopeful or of interest in our lives at the moment. We also feel that because we are so bad we don’t deserve anything good.

Also, as for planning pleasurable activities, you might want to start to  listen for the way that you talk to yourself. Try to speak kind words to  yourself as if you were talking  to a guest in your home. Talk out loud if you like–hear yourself say kind things to yourself. For once, say something  good  about  yourself instead of listening to all those old negative tapes that always made you feel you’d be better off dead. Or else someone else. You get the idea.

When you start listing your strengths as part of your Fourth Step Inventory, list all the good things that you like about yourself. (See the Depressed Anonymous Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous manual, 3rd edition., both books comprise the Home Self Study Program of Recovery).

With every negative statement about  yourself don’t allow yourself another statement about yourself until you are able to replace it with three positive statements.  We call these your SUNSPOTS.  I mean let’s be fair and balance this thing out! I know that you might feel a bit uncomfortable about prizing yourself, byut give it a try anyway.”

Also, plan some activities for the next day and write them  on your calendar. This is especially important for the weekend days   when there are so many hours that we may find hard to fill.  Some of us have made  plans  for each of the hours of the day.  We must force ourselves to get active.  Our life may depend on it!

————————————————————

NOTE: Another resource for personal reflection is the work titled  I’ll do it when I feel better which presents some basic personal behaviors which can lead us out of our personal prison.

RESOURCES: COPYRIGHT(c)  BELIEVING IS SEEING:   15 WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION. Hugh Smith (2017) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.  pgs.43, 44,45,46.

COPYRIGHT(C)  I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER. Hugh Smith  (2016) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.

HOME SELF STUDY KIT 

COPYRIGHT(c) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, 3rd edition.   (2011) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.

COPYRIGHT(c) THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOLUS WORKBOOK. (2011) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.

NOTE: To order online please   VISIT THE STORE. There you find other excellent resources on the subject of depression and recovery.

“I feel that everything is going to be OK with me—“

The 5th Way, excerpted from BELIEVING IS SEEING: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Remember that an oak tree was once an acorn -recovery begins by taking one step at a time as well as reading DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS literature and regularly participating in the meetings.

How often do we meet people in the program who want the quick fix , the easy way out, the feeling better now! But just as it  might have taken years for the person to learn how to get themselves depressed, it will task time and work to feel better. I do believe that all good growth in nature is gradual and that if we want the good growth to continue, we need to follow certain steps to make sure this growth will continue. One of the first things that we want to do is admit, like any other thing, person or substance to which we are attached we cannot free ourselves from this attachment by will power alone. We ask our Higher Power, this power greater than ourselves to free us. We begin our recovery by meeting with our local Depressed Anonymous group and admit by our presence that we  want to change.  We are dissatisfied where we are now and decide to work on ourselves so that we will feel better. Thus by our taking one step at a time we can actually feel a change happening. Many people who have been depressed for years — they are in so much pain that they want relief now. The members of the group are taking full responsibility for their feelings, moods and behavior.”pgs. 29-32

To live means to participate  in a weekly face to face meeting with other members and  if there is no group available to go to in your community –you can do an at Home study program  with the self-help  HOME  STUDY KIT which includes the DA Manual and the DA Workbook.  One can also access and read the hundreds of Blogs in the Depressed Anonymous archives and Newsletters. .


Here is an excerpt from Helen’s Story, in her own words, as it appears in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, personal stories. Pages 147-148.

“Now that I look back and see the way I was and see how I am now, I can’t believe that I ever knew that other person. The person is different altogether. I like this person very much now. I am so thankful to the group. They are just wonderful. They are my family. They are my Depressed Anonymous family. I also have my church family. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that there is a Higher Power that can help you through these things.  At first, I thought “I  doubt that very much ” when everyone was talking  about the Higher Power and  peace in my life. Then  it happened to me.  Every few days, the world dumps down on you and beats you down. That’s just life. I always think to myself that there is that extra strength that I didn’t have before. I feel that everything is going to be OK with me. I have that peace now myself.”

______________________________________________________________________

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

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (1998, 2008, 2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  HOME STUDY KIT

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. HOME STUDY KIT

—————————————————————————-

All the books listed here can be purchased online.

For more info please VISIT THE STORE.