Tom had a problem.

“Tom asked why we needed Step Four in our recovery which states that “we made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”  He said that he was depressed and didn’t need anything else to make him feel worse – like dredging up things that he might have done in the past. Why, Tom wondered, should he resurrect old ghosts?  Anyway, when we spoke about a moral inventory it reminded him of religion with its “do’s and  “don’ts ” with special emphasis on the “don’ts.”  Tom said he came into Depressed Anonymous to learn about what was making him depressed and that he didn’t need anything else to make him feel guilty or sadder.

Some people think that for a person to dredge up old hurts and wrongs will make them that much more depressed. I guess it depends on what type of stuff we put on our inventory. The following list will help  our sadness persist: our perfectionism, our need to control our fears, guilt, shame or resentments, dishonesty, selfishness, passivity, anger, indecisiveness,  fear of change or finally the inability to live with uncertainty. When we begin to ask God for help in removing these areas from our live, this asking for help  will not make us more depressed – it will in fact make us more hopeful. In Step Three we said we make a decision. This means just that and not just a promise as it says in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book.  When we begin to surrender our will and our life to the Higher Power and are willing to expose our  effects to others in the group, it is then that our life may be able to take on a peace coupled with new purpose. This really is an essential and necessary step that has to be taken if we want to leave our prison  of depression behind.”  SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 53.

In our Depressed Anonymous Workbook, which coordinates each of the Twelve Steps, with its questions and answers coordinated with the individual Twelve  Step commentaries in the Depressed Anonymous big book, we can  discover who we are and  how we became the way we are.

Here we can deepen our awareness of what makes us who we are by continuing our search by means of those questions put forward in our Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Because of the essential nature of the inventory procedure as outlined in our personal recovery program, an individual will see  that their own openness to the process will provide  them with a wealth of hope and serenity.

Working the 4th Step is like coming home a different  route.  It is a path that is filled with signposts that point us in a  different direction than where we are used to going. And for many of us this is in a different direction than where we are used to going. And for many of us this is the first time that we are really intent upon taking a good hard look at who we are. This taking inventory of ourselves has much to do with our loving ourselves and making ourselves open to a new path and feeling different.” The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  The 4th Step, Page 24.

–For more information on this Group/Home Study Kit and how to order it, please VISIT THE STORE.  Both Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, comprise our Study Kit. One can order all literature online.

MORE TOMORROW ABOUT THE 4TH STEP.

What gives purpose to my life today?

To  properly answer that question is to look deep inside of myself and reflect upon what brought me to where I am today. I want to take time this day to reflect on what issues are still mine today that were part of my life, let’s say, some  thirty years ago.  What happened those many years ago that has turned me into an evangelist for hope and serenity today? I know what it is that has motivated me to be who I am today. We all know that the past is the prelude to the future.

Reconstruction, revamping and recovery are a daily part of my life today. I am  continually making contact with the God of my understanding and asking guidance and direction.  When I am not completely able to make that decision which will better my relationship with my God and others,  I take a deep breath and wait. What am I waiting for you might ask. I am waiting for a prompt, a hunch, a possible direction that might lead me further  down the path for my own recovery plus   to be  a source of help for those “still suffering” from depression. If you know something works, you normally keep doing it. You see and feel the benefits of the direction your life is  taking. You begin to feel peace (integrity) and hope as you follow the roadmap which lays out for you   a step by step journey producing sobriety, sanity and serenity. We are all a “work in progress” as the saying goes. We all feel this inner urge to move ahead  after being immobilized so long by fear, shame and physically immobilized. I speak for myself here.

My new and improved reconstruction process is ongoing. My revamping has been painful at times. I admit that. Change is never easy, especially when it has to do with personal beliefs and attitudes that we always have held  about ourselves. But after using my program of recovery of the Twelve Steps, and clarifying my thinking about who I am and who I need to become,  a completely new vista for living   opened up to  me  that  multitude of possibilities  of which  I never could have imagined.

What gives purpose to my life today? My life has purpose today because I felt a need to share a simple program of reconstruction, recovery for anyone suffering from something over  which they felt they had no control. Telling my story and sharing my belief of hope to those who lost all hope and who believed life had to always be lived in misery and despair gives great meaning to my life. We put hope where once there was no hope; help where there was no help.

Here I am, today, continuing to keeping hope in my own  heart as I continue to give hope to your heart. Now if that doesn’t give meaning/purpose to one’s life I don’t know what could. What are your thoughts on this?

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

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) DAP. Louisville.

Depressed Once-Not Twice (2000) : A spiritual autobiography of the journey out of depression. DAP,. Louisville.

Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations. Louisville

NOTE: Please Visit the Store for more literature.

Spontaneity is the opposite of depression.

Dorothy Rowe once said that trusting  oneself   is an essential part of creativity. And why wouldn’t trust of oneself be an essential part of creativity?  We all recognize how spontaneity is the opposite of depression. The symptoms of depression not only paralyze us into inaction physically but likewise freeze our cognitive facilities so that not another thought can move forward so as to connect with another thought to form some meaningful sentence.

So to trust oneself can bring to one’s life a new dimension of hope that there might be a possibility for a positive change. But we need to take the road less traveled –not the road that is worn and rutted with the traveled  path of hopeless journeys and dead ends. The road less traveled is the one that joins with fellow travelers who are filled with hope and purpose.

Rowe  says that by listening to  our inner voice  and so trusting that quiet inner voice is the beginning of getting help for your self and serves as the key out of depression.   Bill W., says that as time passes and we begin to “:get” the program of recovery that we are  better suited now to follow those intuitive hunches which come with our renewed trust in self and the god of our understanding.

SOURCE: Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better.  2013. 2nd Edition.  Smith, Hugh. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky. 40217  (Pgs.  77-78).

HOPE IS CONTAGIOUS!

HOPE IS CONTAGIOUS!

A great benefit of belonging to a fellowship is the power of hope. “If he or she can do it, then so can I.” This is a common belief for those who begin reading a book called Depressed Anonymous. This book, by the way, is written by folks who have felt hopeless and helpless.   The many accounts and personal stories in  the book  fill one with hope and courage.  The pages of this book help  serve as a manual for those of us who want to embark on this personal journey of hope and recovery from depression. Now this book and all of the other books published by DAP are specifically geared to those of us who want to leave the prison of depression and are written by persons who were depressed — and who got better. What is  better than to hear that the program works. Hearing how  other people  use the Twelve Steps and have them always available, is much like tools in your toolbox. The tools  are there to help build a structure for one’s own life  making it an adventure of hope–not a prison from which we felt we could not escape.

In Depression: The way out of your depression. Dr. Dorothy Rowe.1996 (2nd Ed).,  tell us that “Hope can exist only in a state of uncertainty. That certainty means total certainty. That security means to be without hope. The prison of depression is built with the bricks of total certainty.

Certainty. Security. No hope.

To hope means to run the risk of disappointment.

To be insecure means not to be in control.

Stay  in control. Be depressed.

To be uncertain means to be unsure of the future.

Predict the future with certainty. Stay depressed.

Hope can  only exist where there is uncertainty. Absolute certainty means complete hopelessness. If you want to live fully we must have freedom, love and hope.  So life must be an uncertain business. That is what makes it worthwhile.”

So, when we gradually believe that in each life some  rain must fall, and pain can come, we  begin to live life with hope. That’s the way it is. We can gradually believe, like thousands of other pilgrims on this path of recovery, that having a spiritual program such as the Steps, hope is possible, hope is doable and  our lives can take on new meaning and have purpose.

I WANT TO SHARE MY THOUGHTS ABOUT SOME DOMINANT FEELINGS THAT I AM EXPERIENCING.

I WANT TO SHARE SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT SOME DOMINANT FEELINGS THAT I AM EXPERIENCING TODAY.

OCTOBER 18 Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications (2014) pages 207-208.
AFFIRMATION
Today, I want to write down the dominant feelings and share some thoughts about them with some friend.
“…Whenever we bring something clearly into consciousness and then put it outside ourselves in words or in something we make, we take control of it and thus reduce its power.” (7)

REFLECTION
I am finding that letting out feelings and ideas into the open after having stuffed them for a time is like steam being released from a boiler. The more I release my sadness and my feelings of helplessness and despair, the more I am able to feel a bit lighter in mood. When I see in front of me, on black and white, what I have been thinking, I am able to debate the material that has had me crippled for so long. I am able to rattle the skeleton’s cage and not run away.
When I give away my power I give away a part of myself. And to give away part of myself is to lose hope about my life and my purpose e in life. Purpose, self and power all go together. I have, within my grasp, the power to work myself out of my helplessness the more I put my power to work.

MEDITATION
God, grant me the power to take hold of the power that comes from you and put it to use in controlling the fear that pushes me deep into my sadness. I now have the hope that God is going to deliver me my power, that I am taking hold of it and using it to hope.
PERSONAL COMMENTS.