Stick to the plan!

Stick to the plan!  This is especially relevant for those of us who  try and live one day at a time.  I have found that by doing the same thing everyday, and in the same place everyday, that this in itself will provide the incentive to keep doing   the next right thing.  Doing the next right thing  will be the motivating power to get moving on our own recovery.  For many of us, we have found  that we have an established plan for our recovery in the HOME STUDY PROGRAM. Without a doubt, I have found that once we have felt a strong need to move out of the isolating deadness of depression, we no longer have to wait for something to happen, be that with  a prescribed medication or a twice a month or monthly therapy visit.  What do we do in the meantime with all this pain? What do we do til the medications kick in? Everyone knows that nothing happens over night. But something can happen  when we  do the same thing over and over again, every day,  Once we commit ourselves to the belief that something good can happen, especially with a concrete plan laid out before us, then change can happen. I know. Been there done that.

The Fellowship of Depressed Anonymous has developed an excellent toolkit for those of us who want a daily plan — a way to take our recovery a step at a time. We no longer have to wait to see if something happens, either with a medication or a therapy session. Don’t get me wrong, these are all possible routes to recovery, but why not do something that works in the meantime? There is a way out and the HOME STUDY PROGRAM provides just the right tools to give us insights as to how we got where we are today, namely depressed, and then provides ongoing insights for leaving our depression behind.

The two great resources in our “toolbox” is the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition manual. This is the book written by those of us who were depressed and who wrote out our own reflections for each one of the 12 Steps. This exercise took 12 weeks of discussion by our  newly formed Depressed Anonymous group –no psychobabble here –just people like you and me sharing how the Steps had freed us from the bondage of isolation and despair.

Because not everyone was able to have a Depressed Anonymous fellowship in their community we saw a critical need for this Depressed Anonymous program of recovery to be used by any and all who were committed to leaving the prison of their depression. It was later that we developed The Depressed Anonymous Workbook that is used in conjunction with the DA Manual. So that is how the HOME STUDY kit  was developed. A person, possibly like yourself, can utilize a daily plan of action not only to help understand the nature of the depression process  but it likewise can help you answer questions about your own experiences. The two works, in combination, will enable you to clarify your own thoughts about how you got where you are today and then using the Steps to get where you want to be — depression free. Let’s be honest here, we all know that if we want to get out of the depression isolation it will take work and time.

To find out more about a program that works please visit the store and find out how to order this “toolkit” of recovery. You might also want to check our website to see if there is a group near you.

Stick to the plan! Do the next right thing. Get involved in your own recovery. You can do it. Just do it!

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

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous

Publications Louisville.

THE RISKS OF FAITH ( Part 2)

Yesterday we talked about the various parts that make up one’s progress on the path to recovery. Now we will continue to see how the path of hope is formed.

1. The first item is choices and we discussed how our path is first formed with the choices that we make.

2.  Next come acceptance. Acceptance for how  we are and what we are, accepting our own ideas, values, feelings and emotions but even more important is accepting the  fact that these changes  can and will be made by ourselves and other people can’t do  that for us.  They can only add or detract from those changes. By accepting our choices and taking responsibility for those choices for our journey on the path of hope has begun.

3. The third item is trust. Trust in ourselves to make the right choices. Trust in ourselves to overcome any obstacle we face no matter how difficult it is. Also, trusting another person, especially when that person loves, cares or just  believes in us.   Trust is so important, as it tells us we are not alone and we can accept and trust in another to lead us down our chosen path as well as trusting in our self.

4. The last item is faith.  Faith in ourselves that things will be solved even when no answer or solution is in sight or seems impossible. Faith in others helps us when we need help and that they will be there for us.  Faith in God or our Higher Power and that thru him our anguish, our sorrow, our pain will be lifted. Faith in our path of hope.”

The path of hope for depression sufferers is not easy to build or to find sometimes.  That’s why I think it is so important to take your medications  if medications  are prescribed, see your Doctor, counselor or therapist and go to a Depressed Anonymous meeting as often as you are able. Remember –when all seems to be lost there is always hope.”

Source: Copyright(c) How to hope and let it blossom. 1999. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky 40217. Pages 12-13.

And more from How to Hope — “As I attend more meetings I sense growing within me a personal competency to meet head-on the challenges of what were formerly fearful feelings of just existing  –just going through  the motions of life.  Now I attempt not to run when I feel so miserable but instead I stand and feel what  I am feeling. It seems the more I gain a sense of personal competency about how to love life, the more I am able to be willing to express my feelings whenever I feel them, This seems to be the secret of my gaining more hope on an ongoing and daily basis  — namely,  that the more I am able to feel less insecurity in having to have everything nailed down in my life and a willingness to express my feelings whenever I need to express them and with whomever I choose to share them with.” Page 5.

This is empowerment!

DEPRESSION: Only the concern of the lone sufferer or is it a harbinger of a societal (community) problem?

Remember the canary in the coal mine? The canary, carried by miners into the mine was the first one to smell potential disaster, alerting miners to get out of that mine. Today, with so much emphasis on medical treatments, David Karp, a sociologist, in “Speaking of Sadness” comments in his chapter Sociology, Spirituality and Suffering that “once individuals realize that medical treatment is unlikely to fix their problems, their thinking moves away from the medical language of cure toward the spiritual language of transformation.” He also tells us that “…(T)he Iroquois Indians, for example, believed that when any single person suffered, it reflected the suffering of nature, of the whole world, in fact.” The reality is that all life is interconnected with other living organisms. We see this illustrated best when a culture becomes narcissistic and centered primarily on the individual. Karp maintains that “the social disconnection generated by an ethic of individualism is an important element in the proliferation of affective disorders in America.”
While I believe that medications can alleviate the pain of some of those who are depressed and seek clinical help, the meds in themselves cannot remove whatever caused the pain, or the initial hurt. But the depression itself will allow us to take a deeper look at how we live out our lives. And for this reason that is why I am an advocate for mutual-aid groups where persons can come together, form community/fellowships and follow a procedure for healing ourselves while assisting in the healing of other members of the community.
The first step of Depressed Anonymous states that “We admitted…” and in Steps three, eight, ten, eleven, twelve again the word “we” is used. If anyone wants to find a community and a spiritual antidote to individualism, the 12 step fellowships provide a solution focused recovery program. I am an advocate for 12 step programs based on helping each other out of isolation into a fellowship of hope and healing. No longer is it just about me, me alone, but about something bigger than just me .It is a “we” program.
We are all connected!