I refuse to run from what I feel.

AFFIRMATION

I will be in touch with my feelings throughout the day. I refuse to run from what I feel.

“The ability to experience one’s  feelings without resisting or running from them, determines  to a large degree whether a person is healthy are not.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I’m going to make a real effort today to do what I  see works for depressed persons like myself. They all say that the longer they are in the program (Depressed Anonymous) , the more feelings they are able to express and the  less the unpleasant feelings of fear dominates their life. I am finding that by  writing my feelings down, the less frightening they seem to be to me. I am now able to deal head on with my feelings.

My addiction was a way of walling off my pain. In time, I became addicted  to the pain and in doing so, I lost myself in the process. I find this experience to be a freeing  one.

My addiction was a way of walling off pain.  Now the pain is more important than what I am running away from.

What I experience in my life determines to a large extent what I predict life to become. My past experiences are predictors of a life not as yet lived. I am wanting to experience the fact that my good days are more frequent now and my bad days occurring not as often.

MEDITATION

God, the more I give up my need to be depressed the more I’m finding that I’m becoming more assertive and truly present to others in my life. I want you to help me feel my feelings and express them today. [ADD YOUR OWN PERSONAL THOUGHTS HERE]

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SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowships. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

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.

Friends are good medicine

 

Research continues to show how friends or social support can play a significant  role in maintaining good health.  One of  the studies published in 1992,   in  the  Journal of the American Medical Society, examined 1,368  heart patients over time. The Duke University study found that those persons who lacked a spouse or confident were three times as likely to die within five years of diagnosis than those who  were married or had a close friend.

In an article on the study, ( in New York Times of February 5, 1992, page’s C – 12), it was noted that the Duke University researchers had concluded, ” a support group may be as effective as costly medical treatment. Simply put, having someone to talk to is very powerful medicine.” American self-help clearinghouse, Denville, NJ 07834.

As any member of a 12 step support group, or mutual aid group can testify, just being able to share one’s own story with others like ourselves,  can produce healing and hope. To know that we no longer have to suffer alone is in  itself a great source of hope!

“Hope is Something more, Someone more, so keep going!”

In Man’s  Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl describes  how hope is a key to survival and the heart amid the horrors of a concentration camp. The prisoner who was able to find meeting – in nature, in the memory of a loved one, and a generous act – would more likely not to give up. When we hope, in whatever circumstance, the future we long for comes closer, an experience of mind and heart that sustains us now and impels us forward.

Thomas Aquinas named hope as a theological virtue. It is a gift from God that we receive now, fueling our journey to a fuller union with God. Hope is the way God encourages us. It stirs up memory of God’s abiding faithfulness. Hope expands our vision beyond the immediate horizon. It breaks open our heart to dispel fear. It stokes our imagination to realize unexpected opportunities. Hope whispers, or shouts, when we need it “There is Something more, or Someone more, so keep going!”

Hope is not sentimental optimism. Optimists to easily escape reality, denying challenges in making promises that the are hard to keep. When we hope, we face reality because God is found in what is real. We know that things  may not turn out as we want, but we strive  valiantly nonetheless.  God is faithful, we insist, so there is meaning even in the toughest and most unexpected circumstances.

When we hope, we live generously and gratefully in the present because deep down we know that all will be well – not perfect, but well. With every word or deed steeped in  hope, the future opens up to reveal a present beyond our imagining. ”

Source:  Fr. Kevin O’Brien

The Ignatian  Adventure: Experiencing  the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in Daily Life.

 

Kevin O’Brien, SJ, is Dean of this Jesuit school of theology of Santa Clara University he is author of the nation adventure: experiencing the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius and daily life.

 

What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?

What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?


“Well,  first let me say that when I first started attending Depressed Anonymous, I went for s couple of months and then stopped. I stopped going because my depression was so bad that I didn’t  want to leave my apartment. I didn’t want to be around or talk to anyone. I just didn’t want to do anything except crawl in a hole somewhere and isolate myself from everything. Then after about six weeks of isolation, I called the residential treatment center where I had been a client to see if I had received any mail there and one of the members of the DA group where I attend answered the phone. I spent a few minutes talking to her and there was something in her voice that told me  that for some reason, it was important for me to be at the meeting. I attended the next Depreseed Anonymous meeting. After the meeting was over, I suddenly realized the importance  and power of Depressed Anonymous.

So what is the power of Depressed Anonymous? For me, it is just like attending that first meeting. I was a little scared and apprehensive at first, but then I found the Depressed Anonymous meeting was a place to go where there were other depressed people just like me. They could relate to and understand what I was going thr0ugh. They didn’t judge me or think of me as crazy. I was accepted.

Another power of Depressed Anonymous is the miracle fo the group and what each person brings to the group. I have seen our fellowship get stronger and grow. I have developed many friendships that I can depend on for support and understanding. I have watched some  of the newcomers that have kept coming back grow and improve. Even something as simple as a smile when there was none before.  The miracle of the group empowers and energizes me.

The most important power of Depresseed Anonynous is hope. Hope that we will not be locked into the prison of depression forever and that there is a way out for each of us. A hope that our Higher Power will work the miracle through us and that we will find our own happiness. I have hope that our heart and minds will know love and peace like we have never known or felt before.  The power of Depressed  Anonymous works for me.  I hope and pray that it works for you. Keep coming back!

SOURCE:  Copyright(c)  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY . Pages 134,135.  Ray’s personal story of recovery.

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If there is no Depressed Anonymous group where you live–don’t let that stop you from joining our fellowship. Get started today and use the HOME STUDY KIT (SEE STORE)  where you can begin your own recovery using the tools that members in a “face to face” group use at their meetings.  The HOME STUDY  version provides you with a Depressed Anonynmous WORKBOOK plus a Depresssed Anonymous  MANUAl. These two works will provide you with an amazing process in which you can grow and learn more about depression and its effect upon your own  life.  It can also  provide you with an access to our web blog where you can read article after article on the “how” to leave the prison of depression. You are always welcome to involve yourself with any and all comments that you would like to send to the site in response to what you see and read here.

We welcome you.

Home Study Kit

Pray, but keep your oars in the water.

I love this Russian saying. How true it is that if we keep rowing,  keep  praying and believing that God can and will provide his peace for us, we will in time discover that this is not just wishful thinking but reality. The more we take care of ourselves, admit that we need help,  ask this power greater than ourselves to lead us out of our darkness,  the God of our understanding will take us where we want to go.” Move the body and the mind will follow ” is especially true when it comes to our self enforced isolation. To get well we have to move, we have to put our oars in the water and row if we ever want to reach the shores of peace and serenity.

We believe that we already have the map laid out for us in the 12 spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous that can  take us  to  a land of hope and fellowship. And if we feel we have run aground on the shores of ruin and desolation we now know we can go where others just like us have gone and find a new life.

“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves  could restore us to sanity.”

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

VISIT THE STORE for more helpful information on depression and the 12 steps.

“To live is to participate.”

“Our Depressed Anonymous program of recovery is one of hope and peace.  The more active I become in my efforts to think and act positive the more confident and free I become.” The TWELFTH WAY to leave the prion of depression. An excerpt from Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression.(2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

“It is recommended that if you want to be helped by our program of recovery it is best to go to at least six meetings before you make any long term commitment to whether or not the group is for you. Just  as it has taken time to get ourselves depressed, in some cases it may be a lifetime…There is a Swahili saying that states
to live is to participate.” How true this is especially if you happen to be depressed. One of the things we want to do when depressed is hide and isolate ourselves. We don’t want anyone to bother us. We want to be left alone….You will  start feeling different about yourself the more meetings you attend. In time you will be taking the focus off yourself as you listen how others are showing improvement of mood and behavior and you will discover that they are much like yourself. You are not alone. You begin to hope again.”

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Give yourself the opportunity to attend a meeting and hear how others, much like ourselves, are feeling better. Gradually, for those who keep coming back to the meetings, week after week, will begin the journey out of the prison of depression . Wouldn’t you like to try it?

“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.

I accepted that God, as the God of my understanding…

The Second way out of the prison of our depression states that “I accepted that God, the God of my understanding is loving and forgiving. The 12 Step group and our God is the pillar  of our strength and healing.

LIVING A HALF-LIFE

In depression the first thing that we must do is to take charge of our lives and incorporate a planned pleasant activity in our lives. If I don’t, I will continue to linger on  alone and live a half-life. Nothing beyond my reach can absorb my pain of isolation and feeling worthless.

This is especially true for many of us in mid-life where the dreams we once thought possible  remains stillborn. We seem to have  lost the time to do something positive with our lives. We feel stuck. I want to get involved with a fellowship of persons who  are learning new ways of living with a sense of purpose. We want to live our lives with hope. Step  Two of Depressed Anonymous states that “we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”  We will “let go and let God.” P.11.

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Check the menu here  at our site and discover if there is a Depressed Anonymous group in your community.

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression.(2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Six ways to build a prison of depression for yourself.

“Hold these as if they were real, absolute and immutable truths these following six options.

  1. No matter how good and nice I appear to be, I am really bad, evil, valueless, unacceptable to myself and to others.
  2. Other people are such that I must fear, hate and envy them.
  3. Life is terrible and death is worse.
  4. Only bad things  happened to me in the past and only bad things will happen to me in the future.
  5. It is wrong to get angry.
  6. I must never forgive anyone, least of all myself.”

Excerpted from the book by Dorothy Rowe: Depression. The way out of your depression. Routledge and Kegan Paul. London. 1983. Page 15.

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Comment by Hugh S.

I believe that the above list of the  six immutable beliefs is an accurate summation of the major beliefs that one needs to hold if they want to truly stay walled up in their prison of depression. And as Dorothy Rowe always brings out so dramatically -if you build the prison you can likewise take the walls down.

You dismantle your depression by thoroughly examining your own beliefs and how you construct your world. It’s in the way we usually think about ourselves and the world that enables us to predict with accuracy the way things turn out. If I believe my life is hopeless and that I am an evil person, that fact that someone claims that I am not that way still won’t change the way that I believe about myself. The way I have constructed my world will invariably set my life up in a way so that I will feel hopeless and evil.  It is only when I find out that others who once had the same negative mind constructs and thoughts about themselves,  but who now are living with hope that I am beginning to listen and take note. Is there really a way out of this prison of depression?

People who know the painful and deadening experience of depression realize  that they can never just Snap out of their deadness. Just as their sadness feels like it can never come to an end, so does their ability to do anything about the hopelessness seem impossible. But once the depressed person begins to  share their story and the history of their personal experience of sadness the more that can experience hope and the possibility that maybe they too  can escape depression.

Not only do I see people who are depressed gradually start to live with hope and energy but I also see this happen more quickly while they are engaged in a group of other depressed persons. In time, with a person’s   involvement with the group they sense a feeling that they aren’t alone any more and that they can make a choice to try and feel differently. In other words, they will be meeting on a regular basis  with people who will never say SNAP OUT OF IT but instead will say  I’M WITH YOU.  They will also find a new family where they are accepted, understood and strengthened for the work they need to do on  themselves to get better. Again, I can’t emphasize it enough how Depressed  Anonymous is the program  to follow if you want to start feeling better.”

SOURCE: Copyright(c)The  Antidepressant Tablet. Volume 2:1. 1990.