Faith appears to be good for one’s health.

Joyce  was a client of mine a few years back. She was in her early sixties and just recuperating from   a successful  open heart surgery. She also was very  depressed.  That’s where I come in. I was asked by my clinical supervisor  if I would spend some time with her and see  how I might be of help to her.  I agreed to do what I could do.

In the midst of counseling and listening to Joyce’s  story, I discovered her  strong faith,  which included her personal faith in God which gave her the belief that she was going to get through whatever  that had her  in lockdown.

She wasn’t aware of our Depressed Anonymous group and so I shared my story with her and the fact that I too  was once depressed. I told her how I became a  believer in the spirituality of the Twelve Steps and how my belief in God  delivered me from my symptoms of depression. Now don’t get me wrong -my own story is that it took me over a year to finally  get free of this noose around my neck.  Also, because of my faith in a program and the  recovered  people who lived it out in their daily lives,  I started on the road to recovery.

My faith told me if I would follow some of the simple steps outlined in this recovery program I would get better. My faith got me off of my seat,  out of bed and out my door to begin walking.  I believed  walking might be the key that unlocked my prison of depression. I read  that some Doctors in England were writing out   prescriptions for exercise for their depressed patients. I figured that it worked for them and so why wouldn’t exercise work for me.  After a year of walking everyday I finally walked out of the mental fog, lost the jitters and became free of depression. My faith in a Higher Power and my getting my body moving on a daily basis produced the healing effect that I had hoped for.

Back to Joyce. She and I had ten sessions together and I suggested to her that she start to think about the things that she did before her depression. What provided the satisfaction  and those pleasant events previously in her life. She talked about how she at one time was a cartoonist as well as a lover of writing poetry. So, that is what I suggested — that she involve herself with these pleasant activities again.  She said that she believed that she could do it–even though her mind and body rebelled at moving out of her comfort zone of doing absolutely nothing. The main defense for doing nothing is the oft repeated mantra from all of us when  we are depressed which  is “I’ll do it when I feel better.”

With each new session she would share with me a cartoon or a poem which she had created the previous  week. As she continued doing what she liked, I  noticed more energy in her voice as she shared her feelings about her new  creations.  All the while, she was compliant with her own physical recovery from heart surgery. Her pleasant moods  gave her a feeling of being in control of her life and her future.  She came to believe that a power greater than herself would restore not only her sanity but her health as well. Her faith was renewed in the God of her understanding while restoring  her belief that her  health was going to get better. Not only did  she have a plan to follow but she made the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps her way out of depression. She continues to follow this map to this very day.

The following quote is from a work  titled,  The Secret Strength of Depression written by Frederic Flach, M.D., K.H.S.

Faith appears to be good for one’s overall health. Cardiovascular illnesses are more frequently seen in depressed individuals, in patients with coronary ischemia, depression worsens the outcome, possibly due to alterations in platelet function and changes in autonomic tone. Depression is also associated with a higher mortality rate following acute myocardial infarction; for those patients who survive, the recovery process is often a more complicated  one. Studies suggest that the recovery rate from medical and surgical procedures, from the repair of hip  fractures to coronary bypass surgery, is faster among believers. Moreover, patients undergoing such treatment appear less likely to have serious complications or die.” Page 239.

SOURCES:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. Ky.

Copyright(c)  I’ll do it when I feel better. 2nd  Edition 1986,  2013.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

Copyright)(c)  Believing is seeing:15 Ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.

I have been crippled by saddening myself!

I know that I am going to be alright as long as I let God direct my thoughts today.

“When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I know that at first, when I was depressed, I wondered  how this could apply to me. Then I realized that for so long I tried to live in the solitude and isolation of the comfort of my depression, where everything stood still. The way I lived my life was left unchallenged.  I now realize that at the center of every one’s life must be the spiritual life of each of us and it is the amount of care and time that we give to this center that determines the amount of hope and change that  we bring to our lives.

The more I plan to work my program, I admit that truly my life has been unmanageable since I have been hampered by my saddening myself, I can truly move forward and plan more pleasant and  fun activities into my life.

MEDITATION

We ask you God, the center of our life, to continue to provide for us the necessary courage to know you on a  more personal level so that we might have the daily courage to put our life and plan into your hands. (Personal comments).

SOURCE:  (c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.  Page 122.

VISIT THE STORE and learn more about Higher Thoughts for Down Days, now in a Kindle edition.

HELP IS ONLY A KEYBOARD CLICK AWAY!

For many of you who are scouring our website for a Depressed Anonymous group in your location, you will find that there are none. This is what made this  WordPress BLOG site so necessary for the formation and development of groups around the globe. Truly, we are only a keyboard click away for those who are seeking help with their own depression or the depression of friend or family member. The beauty of this Twelve Step program deals specifically with the human angst of depression by using the spiritual principles of the  Steps. To date, persons representing over  70 national groups, have visited our website resulting in over 14,000 hits since August of 2014. And the best scenario for getting  started on one’s own recovery is, of course, the face to face group. Those persons who have set up groups in their own location, around the world, are most fortunate to have those persons who take up the challenge of getting a group started. But, not all of us are able to do that. Just the thought of starting a group is overwhelming I know. Just getting out of bed is an almost Hurculean effort for those of us depressed. So, what can we do? You can start your own Depressed Anonymous HOME STUDY PROGRAM. This process of using the DA Manual and Workbook together is a format used by some of our groups at their  face to face meetings.

Depressed Anonymous Publications has offered different ways to get our material. A person can download our combo set of our main Depressed Anonymous plus the Depressed Anonymous Workbook off the website bookstore. This makes it possible to print out these two major works immediately on your home  computer printer. This is also the least expensive. Then you can order the DA Manual and Workbook together off of our own website www.depressedanon.com  or at AMAZON.COM. We also have other pieces of literature written by persons like ourselves, who once were depressed and now, thanks to our recovery program and the Steps, one is  no longer shackled by the isolating prison of depression.

SO, once you do click onto our site, check out all the website Menu offerings, where you can get a true picture of who we are, and what we do. You may like to download the many pages of info about our program onto your own computer and print it out  as you prepare to set up your own group in your own community. Help yourself while helping others.

WE ALL HAVE COME TO THE SAME CONCLUSION: IS THERE HELP FOR ME TO RELIEVE THE PAIN OF MY________?(Please, add your own).

For myself, I have found a way out of my pain. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, it’s not complicated. I found a program that is neither hit nor miss.  It is what you choose to make it. It is a steady ascent, if you will, into a life of sanity.The program of recovery lets you start at A and go all the way to  Z. It persistently confronts you with yourself, your own pain and a way to  relieve yourself of that pain–one day at a time. One step at a time. No need to rush. No need to hurry. We are now operating in God’s time.  The Twelve Steps of recovery, based on Spiritual principles, is a map that can lead you out of the wilderness  of doubt, anxiety and fear. I know. Been there. Done that. And, almost immediately following the admission that I need help in the 1st Step, we read in the  2nd Step of Depressed Anonymous, that we “came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could  restore us to sanity.”  As it say in the AA Big Book, God either is, or He isn’t. What was our choice to be?”  This Power is the God of your understanding. That isn’t complicated is it?

In the latest publication of Depressed Anonymous we read in  Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression which  states in the 5th Statement of Belief that we want to “Remember that an oak tree was once an acorn –recovery begins by taking one step at a time and accepting responsibility for moving from depression into peace and serenity.”

For a personal home study program to compliment your group work you can use the Depressed Anonymous Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous Manual. You’ll be glad that you did!