THE PROMPTER

 

The prompter  is a person who prompts; specifically one who cues performers when they forget their lines.  Other speakers use Tele-Prompters, which enables the speaker to read their  speech from a screen.

In the Depressed Anonymous program of recovery, we  find ourselves listening to a spiritual Prompter —  an inner  voice, a Higher Power, providing us with a brand new line of thinking. An action oriented  prompt, where we come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves nudging  us to change the way we think and behave.

But who is this Prompter? What is its name? And why  am I hearing it’s voice now. I am hearing it now because I am ready to hear it. Fair enough?  I have surrendered.  Once beat down by my addictions, I now no longer follow the cues which produced for me  a life of negative moods and behaviors. I told the  God of my understanding that I’ve had it! No more beating myself up   with blame and  negative thinking.  Negative thinking  produced those painful  moods  spiraling me   down into feelings of hopelessness and depression.  I had the  feeling that all my efforts at finding hope were futile.

The  Prompter which I have been  listening to in the inner depths of my soul has been leading me towards serenity and filling me with a powerful meaning for my life. After having been introduced to the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps I continued to listen  to the Prompter in the quiet of those daily moments of meditation and prayer.

It was my decision to put my life on a brand new trajectory of wellness and healing. I had a spiritual awakening, ever so gradually. I just knew it was the Prompter itself who was placing a new life script into my heart.

Each and every day of my life I pray, I quiet the chatter in my mind, and draw near to the God of my understanding.   When we draw near to God, God draws near to us. What you seek, seeks you.

I believe that  my daily conscious contact with  God in prayer and meditation  I am able to  discover that we  are no longer dependent on our will but on God’s will for us. And just as Bill W  tells us  in Alcoholics Anonymous that when we are faced with the indecision about something, we then ask God for inspiration and we let go  of struggling for an answer.  He tells us that you will be surprised at how the right answers will come after we have practiced  this way of living. It also comes to pass that our hunches are more right than wrong. We also pause throughout the day when we are fearful, puzzled or anxious. We pray to the Higher Power for which direction to take. I like the suggestion the best when AA  says,” We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self pity, or foolish decisions. We become more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we  are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves..”  (Depressed  Anonymous, Page 101).    We  all know that our new life script which  the Prompter has provided us  gives our life  direction and meaning.

Depressed Anonymous   shares with us Meister Eckart’s   thoughts on that  Vital Spiritual Experience which comes to each of us when we surrender our lives and wills to the  God of our understanding.

“This work (birth), when  it is perfect, will be due solely to God’s action while you have been passive. If you really forsake your own knowledge and will, then surely and gladly  God will enter with his knowledge shining clearly. Where God achieves self-consciousness, your own knowledge is of no use, nor has it standing. Do not imagine that your own intelligence may rise to it,  so that you may know God. Indeed when God divinely enlightens you, no natural light is required to bring that about. This natural light must in fact be completely extinguished before God will shine in with his light, bringing back with God all that you have forsaken and a thousand times more, together with a new form to contain it all.” (Depressed Anonymous, Page 161).

“Made a decision to turn our will and lives   over to the care of God as we understand God to be.

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SOURCE:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.  Page 101, 161.

I have a plan that is simple with startling results.

 

Years ago I needed help and I was offered a number of plans/solutions  which promised me relief for my particular problem.  The plans offered me didn’t seem to work.  In my desperation I thought I would try a 12 Step program of recovery. The plan was very simple. Not hard to understand. I tried it. I went to my first meeting and was given hope. All the folks there at the meeting were using the same plan. They talked about how this plan changed their lives. That got my attention. It got my attention because their story was my story. The group provide me with the plan’s  list of areas in my life that I needed to look at.  The plan, as I mentioned before was simple. Not complicated at all.

Have you ever in your life had to put something together  and the thing that you put together came with a plan.  It was  a blueprint like thing that showed you what  the end product would look like. when all the proper instructions were carried out.  At this first meeting I made a commitment to follow this plan for 24 hours.  Only 24 hours. Hey, not a big deal. I could handle that. So, I took the plan home and started to read the instructions, chapter and verse.  It was a simple plan.

Now I had this plan. It was a plan for everyday of my life. I thought wow! is this good or what. That is exactly what I needed. I remember saying to myself, “I hope it works.” It works.  Over 30 years later I am using the same plan. It never gets old and stale.

Early on I got some tools to go with the instructions on how to use the plan. The first tool showed me how to admit what was fouled up in my life and to also admit how things were terribly out of hand.  In our plan there were all sorts of other tools that I needed to use if I was to get back on my  feet. I have to confess some of these tools were not easy to use exactly. I mean there were parts  of the plan that I needed to look at more closely than I ever had before. This plan came with a great instruction book that I and others call the Big Book. It spells  out not only how to use the tools but what happens when we actively embrace them and put them to use in our daily life.

So, now besides the plan, we have the tools to go along with the instructions. So my life began to change. I began to find serenity in my life and I began to realize that there were things that I need to change in my life and then there were things I knew I couldn’t change. You know, like things that happened to me in then past. The instructions showed me a great way to take care of those issues that up to a time haunted me. I now really feel at home in my own skin now.

Startling results? Well, for sure. And part of the reason for these startling results is besides having a plan–having new tools to use-I was plopped right in the middle of a group of men and women that were using the same plan as I was. Like, we are all on the same page, literally. I was in a fellowship of folks who were telling each other their stories about how the instructions and tools brought them some really fantastic experiences  changes in their lives.  The first time I set foot in this group, I was  promised that certain things were going to happen to me. You know what? They were right.  They said that once  I had the instructions under my belt, I would want to go and tell others my story.  I would want to go and let those still suffering from whatever addiction  was killing them, that they could live with the hope that their lives  would change, as did mine.    By following our plan, using our tools of recovery, and being a part of our fellowship (a 12 Step group) you “will be amazed before you are halfway through ” ( the instructions.) Again, that’s a Promise!

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

Contact: depanon@netpenny.net for more info.

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.

“..we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life.”

Promise #4: We comprehend the word serenity and we know peace of mind.

Agitation, anxiety and jitteriness were all part of my life as I muddled through day after day, one foot in front of the other.  Serenity was definitely not a part of my life.

As with any attachment to a negative behavior, serenity and peace was the farthest thing from my life. The new beliefs and thoughts which I heard expressed at Depressed Anonymous meetings started to help me change the way I thought about myself, my world and my future.

I believe that it takes work, time and prayer and quiet periods of meditation to achieve the peace and serenity that we are talking about here.

  PEACE OF MIND IS THE RESULT OF:

  1. A clear conscience
  2. Living in the present
  3. Gratitude everyday
  4. Belief that the God of my understanding will get me through the problems of my life
  5. Forgiveness of myself and amends to all person I have harmed
  6. Doing God’s will means letting go

I am firmly convinced that in order to continue any semblance of peace and serenity I will have to structure a daily quiet period into my life. This is an essential part of the prescription for getting well and staying well. Also, I believe that when I am quiet, God can give to me all that is mine to have. My will and my life  have to be attuned to God’s presence and love.  We will know that in order for God to make itself present to us and demonstrate its love we have to sit still, be quiet and listen with purity of heart. This is an essential part of the formula where we will find our sobriety and serenity.

It is my belief that God does speak to those who remain quiet and have a design to listen. Peace is defined as “an undisturbed state of mind, absence of mental conflict.”   Serenity is defined as “a quality or state of being serene; calmness, tranquility.”

The quality or state of being serene all takes time, work and discipline. I believe that  the big book of AA says it best: ” When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts   of remarkable things followed.  We had a new employer; being all powerful he provided what we needed, if we kept close to him and performed his work well.

Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in plans, our little designs  and ourselves.  More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of his presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or hereafter.. We’re reborn.” ( Page 63, AA).

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SOURCE: Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 36-38. The Promises of Depressed Anonymous.

 

Knocking me down–raising me up.

In thinking about my experience with depression and the painful isolation that followed, I felt I was being knocked down by some invisible force. The force was so great that I felt I was going to be swallowed up in its vast black hole of nothingness. Indeed, I felt that I was going to end up being a hole in the doughnut. So, what could I do but try and ride it out–much like the surfer on their surfboard, riding precariously on one wave after another. I just knew that I would be forced out to sea as my body gradually began to slide off the only means of  survival. I thought that I had no options except to just surrender and go the bottom of the sea.

Well, that’s half of the story.  I knew I had to do something. Do anything but lie down and just linger on –immobile and lifeless. So, I picked myself up –got out of bed and started walking.And walk I did. Five miles a day. Almost two weeks later, with miles on my bodily odometer, I began to feel a little lighter – a little more hopeful that somehow I could get back in the game.  I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel — and it wasn’t a train.  And so it was possible — a person so depressed that I couldn’t force myself out of bed before, but now I know that I could raise myself up and move. I could move,  not because I wanted to, but because I had to. I felt hopeful and I felt a gratitude and relief that I was not losing my mind.

The greatest benefit was that it brought me  into a program of recovery where in order to remain standing up –raised up if you will, is my living out the 12 Steps of recovery in my daily life. Now all this happened some thirty years ago. Thanks to Depressed Anonymous and participating in the fellowship, I learn not only how  to live a life of serenity but I also how I have a gift of sharing my own experiences of depression and  offer others a way out of their depression. And  today if you are depressed,  please follow us in our program of recovery. All you need is a willingness to get better and live with hope. That’s it. A desire to get better. Admit you need hope and help and then get started. Move the body  and the mind will follow. Please join us.

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

I CAN FEEL A CHANGE INSIDE OF ME…

AFFIRMATION

“I am going to handle what has taken a lifetime to develop one day at a time.

“When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God.  Our ideas did not work. But the  God idea did.” (1)

  CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I always doubted the power of God until I started to see and read about other people working their Twelve Step program and getting on to meetings. I also believe that there is surely hope for me as I hear about other depressed persons who are in the fellowship with each other and have a genuine desire to stop  sadding  themselves.  This is all that is needed, a desire to stop sadding  oneself.  I can feel a change inside of me as I begin to rely more on this God who loves me and cares  how I feel. This program of hope works if you work the program.

This is the word that gives hope.  It is a simple reliance, day  by day, hour by  hour, that I will find the serenity, the simplicity of a life lived without the anxiety, hollowness, jitteriness of my depression. It is in  my admission of such that begins me on the road to recovery and hope.

MEDITATION

We trust in our God. We rely on you as we turn as often as we can to be present in your  Presence.  We want to pray unceasingly and learn from you  how to love ourselves.

SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship  groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 150. July 27.

LIVE TODAY AS IF IT IS THE FIRST DAY OF YOUR LIFE!

A HIGHER THOUGHT FOR TODAY!

I can do most anything to feel better and more alive.  All I need to do is believe that I can do it. I want to believe.

” Through this Twelve Step program, I have been on a journey of transformation from the familiar life of drudgery, gloom and desperation to discovering a new freedom and a new happiness -something I didn’t know existed.” (8)

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

This is the real world -The Twelve Steps program for healing and a gradual abstinence from hiding the pressure that builds from inside and pushes me to want to withdraw. I am more sure today than I was yesterday that the more I work my Twelve Step program, I know that like others who work this program, I will begin to feel better. I also believe that the more I begin to take charge of some areas of my life, like exercising, getting a hobby and moving about, the speedier will be my recovery.

From  childhood,  I had a sparse amount of love and nurturing. I know that I can find the freedom to live and feel differently than I did in the past. Today presents me with a clean slate, a new beginning, if you will. Granted my yesterdays are always there but my today is what really counts.  This is the exciting part of living with hope. Life is a challenge and I need to forgive myself for all my yesterdays and live right now as if it is the first day of my life.

MEDITATION

God, make peace and serenity the by-word of our lives and efforts. We know that you are here — closer to us than the light that is in our eyes.  We again trust you to live this unpredictable life with your hope and trust in us now.

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SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down days. Pages 87-88.

BELIEVING IS SEEING

  BELIEVING IS SEEING

AFFIRMATION

I will use a notebook or my Depressed Workbook Home Study program  to chart my course, list how each day goes, so that I can repeat the feelings or thoughts that have allowed me to feel I am becoming responsible for my activities.

“”…there is one great advantage about seeing yourself as helpless and in the power of others.  You don’t have to be responsible for yourself.  Other people make all the decisions and when things turn out badly, you can blame other people. And things always turn out badly. You know this.  That’s why you always expect the worse.”  (3)

REFLECTION/ CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Truly, I know  this is where the great serenity lies, being responsible for myself.  If all I did was sit around and say poor me, and woe is me, I am not only making life tough on myself but I am making life miserable for those around  me. This is why I, as a writer and therapist, and one who has been depressed, knows that it is only when I get moving, even though I felt like death that I began to get better.   No one will make me feel better. (See: I’ll do it when I feel better) I will now make myself feel better. Make up your mind to do what needs to be done…TODAY!  I want to enjoy this world. I am tired of the pain of feeling worthless. I don’t want to blame anyone for my problems because no one is making me live in the problem. I will live in the  solution from now on.  The solution for me is working the Twelve Step program.

Blame helps me to never have to look inside myself and ask myself how much of my present state of depression is due to the way I have learned to think about myself and my life? I am not in the blame game and so I am now willing to face the enemy and start the changing process.

MEDITATION

Faith can move mountains. (See: Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression)  Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door shall be opened for you. I believe this. What  do you believe?

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SOURCE: Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for Twelve step fellowship groups.

A POWER GREATER THAN OURSELVES: OUR GO TO PERSON.

A POWER GREATER THAN OURSELVES: OUR GO TO PERSON

The more time that I spend in daily prayer and meditation the closer I feel to this Power greater than myself. Now, let’s be honest, it isn’t everyday that I feel this or think this way, but for most days I feel energized by my time in quiet listening. It was when I first joined a Twelve Step recovery program that I I knew that I was truly home. I had always been looking for a home where I could feel acceptance, nurturing and fellowship. It was at my first meeting, 32 years ago, that in all my brokenness, guilt and shame, that I felt I had made it home. It was here that I could reveal who I was, who I thought I was and get a plan for my life, just one 24 hour period at a time. My own feelings of being totally accepted in this new fellowship created in me the belief, without  doubt, that  sanity would be restored to me. How did I know this? What made me a believer? Simply the fact that the members of the group had pretty much the same story as my own. But for all of this, what stood out was the basic belief among all of the members, that there is a Power, and it is greater than me. And that this Power, whom we understand as God, is my GO TO person every day of my life. And the two things this group taught me early on,  is that THERE IS A GOD, AND IT IS NOT ME!

If today you are feeling alone, lost and frightened, please join me here everyday, as I speak about spirituality and the Power greater than myself,  and what it has to do with my recovery, and how it impacts  on our search for  that serenity that we are all seeking. Remember what you seek, seeks you!

MY DAILY PLAN? DO I NEED ONE?

Well, I don’t know about you, but  I construct a daily plan.  My day is broken down into three parts: the morning, during the day and before going to bed. One of the major reasons for the daily plan is to prevent me from relapsing into my addictive behavior and thinking. In the morning prayer and meditation time I try to read, reflect upon my “spiritual” program of recovery and prepare myself for the day. I pray the Third Step prayer to our God, as we understand our God to be: “God, I offer myself to you –to build with me and to do with me as you will. Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do thy will. Take away my difficulties, that my transcendence over them may bear witness to those I would help of your Power, your love and your way of life. May I do your will always.”  I always read and reflect upon a higher thought from the Depressed Anonymous daily meditation book, Higher Thoughts for Down  Days. I carry this thought with me throughout the day and then before bedtime, reflect upon the day and see how I have maintained my serenity during the day. I replace all negative thoughts with three SUNSPOTS, as we call them in our program. These three thoughts are positive reflections to counter the negative thought which have a tendency to accelerate the “stinkin’  thinking” and throw us into pit of despair.

Then at the end of the day, I thank God for how he continues to use my experiences of hope to help others who seem trapped in  their isolation and sadness.  I am equipped with a definite plan for use throughout my day and using the tools that I have attained with my Depressed Anonymous program. The old saying is true: If you don’t plan your day, it will plan you.” And I know all about the dead end that happens when I let my day plan me:  the hole which I am digging just gets deeper. To establish a daily plan and maintain it is a day which is filled with hope.