“Only by sharing my pain can I hope to reduce its size.”

Empowerment and prevention are two realities that give us the push and the power for talking day after day with persons still suffering from depression. I know that some who hear about us will go with an expectant faith that they will find hope and peace in this group(Depressed Anonymous).  This hope in itself may keep them from sliding down the slippery slope of depression. Life is too short and the pain so devastating.  Only by sharing my pain can I ever hope to reduce its size.

Today I can experience hope. I will believe I can live this day with pleasant thoughts. I will do one activity that will give me hope and light for today.

Today I will believe that I can live this entire day “hopeful” and that I can return to the above activities anytime and as many times as I need,  just for today.”  

SOURCE: I will do it when I feel better. (2016) . Louisville.  Page 70.  Quoting from  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011)Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 136.

 

1440

1440 is the number of minutes allotted to us everyday. Every 24 hour period, one day’s worth, we are given 1440 minutes to use however we like. We can divide up the minutes so that we can work so many minutes, feed ourselves. go to a movie, exercise  or do whatever we like to do. It doesn’t seem like 1440 minutes is a lot of time but by the time we reach the age of 65 we will have been allotted 34,164, 000 minutes to do with as we choose.  That’s a lot of time to do some good.

Let’s go back to what we have today. For myself, I only have 120 minutes left in my day. And as I write this BLOG to you I realize that I am very grateful for the minutes left for me this 24 hour period. Many minutes today were spent celebrating the Birthdays of my 6 year old Grandchild and my 11 year old Grandchild. It seemed only yesterday when Leah was born. And now she is 11 years young. And Eli is six. What a age of wonderment and joy.His minutes seemed to last for ages as he expectantly waited for this, his special day, enjoying his special minutes with family and Grandparents.

I hope that your minutes found you hopeful  today. I know from my own experience that when I started on  my road to recovery my minutes always dragged on and on and seemed like hours. I felt this time warp most severely when I was in my deepest depression… the pain was forever. Everyday I had to remove the pain and I accomplished  this by sleeping. It was only when I awoke that the minutes made every one of my efforts feel  like I was in slow motion or swimming in a large vat of molasses. My  mind, my body, myself was slowly drowning and I watched myself, like a curious bystander,  powerless to give me any help.

Now with thirty years of 15 million plus recovery  minutes under my belt, living 1440 minutes a day, I am grateful that I can keep my focus on those “still suffering from depression”, and let them know that they  too have today, still have time to do what they need to do and to live with hope.

.  _____________________________________________________________

Source: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011).  DAP. Louisville.

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2001) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Where do you plan to live today?

Today is all that we have. Don’t let dwelling on yesterday’s hurts and fears or about tomorrow, rob you of peace today. Contrary to what you might have thought — you are responsible for how you think and feel..”

Many of us in the program, no matter what our compulsion happens to be, prefer living in the past and/ or the next day.  We have a difficult time living through each day–it’s too risky to have to feel the pain of  the moment. But we know that the pain of the present needs to be felt if we are to reduce the lifelong misery which is ours unless we face the enemy and deal with it.  It is a promise of the program that we hand over and let God deal with us in God’s time and in God’s own way.  We know that God, with our assistance and work, our life can be straightened out. Like the old Russian saying.   “Pray, but keep rowing to shore”

Now that we have learnt how to take care of ourselves and our recovery, we now believe that we are responsible for finding our way out of depression. We can blame our sadness on our genes, hormones or a chemical imbalance. All this finger pointing can’t prevent us from having to take full responsibility for finding and using that map which points the way out of the darkness of depression. Since we have been involved in the 12 Step program of recovery we continue to learn the “how” of working our way out of sadness in the context of the fellowship of the group.

The best way to live today is to be fully conscious of the present moment and create that strong desire to be part of it.  Let’s not live in yesterday –the rent can kill you.

How often do I spend  time in tomorrow and so miss the joy of today?  I think one of the more serious occupations (aren’t  they all serious?) of the depressed is just to sit and think, and think some more about how bad life is and what awful people they are. The self-bashing makes one’s ability to change even more difficult, as continued depressive ruminations promote a great sense of unworthiness and confusion.  We feel  that we have no control over what happens in our life. Actually we are not so sure that we should care.  Everything seems hopeless. Living in yesterday is to pay some high price rent –and when you’re done paying the rent, you still have nothing to show for it.

I have to live in the here and now –I can’t run and hide in the unknown  of tomorrow  or disappear into the gloomy fog of yesterday.”

Where do you plan to live today?

Sources: Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 37-39.

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

The secret of life is that there is no secret. Sartre

This morning, before the rising of the sun, I was up and asking God to bless me for this next 24 hour period of my life. All I had left from yesterday was my memories of it. And the memories were good. My family and assorted friends came together for my wife’s brother’s birthday party. It was a lot of fun and lots of old memories from earlier times surfaced. From the youngest, a five year old grandchild to a 94 year old aunt. Anyway, I thanked God for family and friends. Today, I have memories of that time yesterday. But I live here now, in the space of these next few hours left in this day.

I have learned that yesterday is gone forever and tomorrow is not here yet. How true that is. Just try and live today.One day at a time. If I have a worry today about something coming up  tomorrow, I just keep informing myself, that I will have to  worry about that later. Later never comes. That’s the beauty of this strategy… later is interpreted as “push it off ” till another time in the day. It’s really a matter of making a choice at this point–worry or try and let it go. So,right now, I am going to enjoy the sun rising  over the horizon. I am also trying  to be mindful of what is right in front of me. Mindfulness is a very important habit to carry with us these  24 hours.  Be mindful of what is happening around us. Be mindful of the person with whom  you may be having a conversation. In other words, be present with your whole person to the person who is with you. When I look out now, with the sun beginning to cast its warm crimson glow in the East, I think God that I have shelter, food on the table, and a family that I love and care about. Morning is a gratitude time for me as I think about my ministry with the beautiful aged persons in a nursing home, the people  I may be able to  visit in the hospital today.

I also thank God for my sobriety, my spiritual recovery program of Depressed Anonymous, and the fact that I am mindful of  trying to be  honest with myself and others, that I am open about who I am. I  am willing to share with others how it is that I have the tools now  to stay out of the prison of depression. I love to tell the story of how it was when I was depressed and now how it is that I am part of a fellowship that uses a daily program of healing and serenity. (See Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed., DAP. Louisville). You can also go to our site menu and find important and helpful literature there for your life.

Can you think about and write out all the areas of your life for which you are thankful? Try it. And then tonight before going to bed, reflect on how you still have hope that life can get better. I have found that living life one day at a time—with gratitude —  makes it a whole lot better!

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.

___________

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

TODAY IS ALL I HAVE.

AFFIRMATION

I can live each moment as it comes. I can live only in today. Today is all I have.

“Try to work out which is your habitual response to change which you see as dangerous, so that as you dare to explore you don’t suddenly find yourself running away to the safety of old ways, or resisting the new ideas with old prejudices.( 3)

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I find that when I am depressed I find all the comfort in the predictable and the familiar.  Right now, I am in battle for my life and I am going to stay and work things out. My feelings are agitated and make me feel very uncomfortable, but I know that it is only by feeling them and accepting them (not run away) that I will, and can in time, begin to taste the freedom of a new me beginning to be born.  I believe that by desiring change, this desire will produce a greater motivation in my self to think and feel differently.

This is an important concept when I am depressed. I desire the safety of the familiar and the predictable.

MEDITATION

God, help me to live in the peace and the serenity  of the present moment. And let us be aware of the moment when we begin to depress ourselves.  Alert us to the moment that we can CHOOSE to turn our minds to something more constructive.

SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days(c). (March 17).

ISOLATION FROM WORLD AND OTHERS KEEPS ME DEPRESSED

HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS

AFFIRMATION
I have a desire to get connected with everything around me today!

“Until we have actually been depressed we do not realize that there is a great difference between being depressed and being unhappy. When we are unhappy, no matter what terrible things have happened to us, we still feel in contact with the rest of the world. When other people offer comfort and love we can feel it warm and support us… When we are depressed we feel cut off from the rest of the world.” (7)

REFLECTION

I admit to taking full responsibility for my detachment from my world and also from my very self. It seems that by numbing my grief over those matters lost in my past life, this has caused myself to be depressed. By burying what need to be faced and mourned, I am making a stand to face the depression that I have created over the years. I am going to care for myself and make the effort to hope that this twenty-four period that I call TODAY is one of rebirth and movement toward others.
Many times I wish I was merely unhappy rather than depressed. I can handle being unhappy, depression is a different story./ I am not about to give up on myself as I step out of depression and begin to take responsibility for my recovery TODAY. Because I have “made a decision to turn my life and my will over to the care of God as I understand God” my life is already starting to show the signs of a positive nature.

MEDITATION

My God has given me hope that my depressed days are going to be less and less: I believe that. My faith in God has given me hope.
————-
Source: (c)Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. (1993, 2014). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Page 210.