The impatient patient

 

It was not too long ago when I was an impatient patient. Have you ever been an impatient patient? If you have ever been admitted to the hospital for any length of time, as was I, then you know a little of what I am talking about. This was a few years back when I underwent open heart surgery. It was quite an experience to say the least. I got excellent care. The   staff said I was a very good patient.  Not much I could do to be an annoying patient. I had wires, tubes, and everything else hooked up to my anatomy. I felt that I must have looked like one of those huge electrical grids that we see alongside the road, all with a large chain link fence circling  them.

Because my numbers weren’t right (blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level,  etc.)  the doctor told me that I would have to remain in the hospital another day. I had already spent three weeks, watching an  outside world,  all beginning to look like ne big beautiful garden.  Everything was coming alive.   I was coming alive too, but not fast enough. I did thank God that I was even alive: thanks to a great team of doctors and staff.

But gradually and with a new intensity, I had this strong desire to  to free myself from  whatever kept me from getting free. I know what it was: it was the numbers. Always the numbers. So, the day came, finally, and the doctor tells me that if the numbers were right I could go home. Home! That word spoken by the one who had the power to free me. Yes, I could  go home– tomorrow! (That was like the big sign behind the bartender  which read in big red letters “Free Beer tomorrow!” Tomorrow comes and yes, Free beer tomorrow!). I knew from past experience, that that  “tomorrow”  always came with a conditional “maybe”  tomorrow.

That was it. . . I was suffering from what I felt was a terminal case of “cabin fever.”   “Cabin fever”  can only be cured by  getting out of the cabin. We all know that. So, I asked the doctor how I could go home today (the day was Friday) as there was no use staying the weekend waiting for my numbers to come down. The doctor told me, because I had to have a certain medicine over the next 48 hours to keep my numbers at the right place, I must  give myself some  prescribed shots , and then come back the following Monday for a check on my numbers. Other than that, I was good to be released.

The nurse came in and with a few practice shots– on an orange no less, and then  I was good to go! Halleluja! By this time, most of my tubes and  wires had gradually been removed, one after another.  Another patient told me that this was a good sign when they started removing wires from one’s torso. My mind went to another possible reason, but I won’t go there now.

Home. And all it took was just to give myself two shots a day. No problem.  My numbers finally returned to where numbers need to be for a good recovery and so it all worked out. Thanks to the medical team, first of all, that gave me my life back!

Fast forward to today,  as I look back over  life before my experience with depression.  The sadness, the lethargy, my whole body seemed to want to go into hibernation. Sleep. And more sleep.  And when I could hardly get myself out of bed  in the morning. reality hit me in the face. I had something that I didn’t have a name for. I was immobilized. So, I started walking. Walking. Walking. I knew that I was continually feeling very sad. Sometimes like weeping.

My life before was a life of “hurry” for this and a “hurry ” for that.  I couldn’t stuff enough  of life into my daily schedule.  And then my discovery that I had clogged arteries and need open heart surgery as soon as could be scheduled. But what about my planned vacation, my clients, my books I was working on ?  I couldn’t just sit by and let things slide.

OK. I said. Obviously I was in denial. We are talking about saving my life here and I was worrying about nothing really.  That was  before my numbers helped me face the truth about myself.  The talk with the heart surgeon definitely grabbed my attention. I got it! I needed open heart surgery!  No denial now.

I got it that my life, the “hurry” and the “impatience”  that  had produced the stress, a diet filled with all sorts of food that was bad for me as well as a life without exercise.  I couldn’t relax. I couldn’t slow down.  I was always in a rush–a hurry to get to the next important   thing, a meeting or whatever pushed me into serious health problems.

Today is different. Once back in recovery, both from a physical standpoint as well as from a mental health standpoint, I have learned how to relax, how to spend  time alone  with my God as well as to set small goals which are attainable and healthy for each new day. My prayer time and my meditating on the spiritual principles of the 12 steps,  plus taking time out for my Depressed Anonymous meetings on a regular basis. I also have a regular sponsor who helps me over the times when I am in a “hurry” and shoving too much activity into a life filled with activity. I have the tools to slow down and live. These are  a musty now in my daily life!

My new self with an awareness of staying out  of the “hurry” has helped my being patient with whatever negative situations  life throws at me. I think before I act. I think before I make decisions and do not rush into anything without first “looking both ways” (as I learned in Kindergarten) many  years ago.

And BTW  my numbers are great: 120-130  over 80. Heart rate 70’s.

Check out the TOOLS for Recovery here at this website  www. depressedanon.com

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

 

 

Having the right tools helps me get the job done.

TOOLS FOR RECOVERY FROM DEPRESSION

Whenever I have a job to do I make sure that I have the right  tool. When I want to saw a board I make sure that I am cutting the  right length  We all know the carpenter’s  rule about “measure twice and saw once.” How many times have I made the mistake of not getting the proper length before I sawed.

In life there is a another rule about thinking before you leap. Think about the consequences of one’s actions before you act.  Look at the blueprint before you build. Check your resources before you buy something. It’s all about having the right tools in life before you start to build a life of character and possibilities for yourself. Having the right tools will definitely get you where you want to go.

Now let’s talk a bit about life’s tools and check out  how we are using the tools at our disposal.  I would think that because you have come to our site which deals with depression that you are also looking for the tools that will get you where you want to go. You and I want to have the tools which  will help us remove the pain, the feeling isolated and even angry at where we find ourselves today.

With the right tools, the right thinking and behavior tools, you will be able to construct the new you.  That is a given!  Many others are using these tools and you can read all about them in Depressed Anonymous, published by Depressed Anonymous Publications. There is a whole chapter in this book of persons who tell us who the tools of recovery saved their lives and gave them daily hope.

One of the major areas in our lives that change quickly by  our attendance at the group meetings is that we pity ourselves less and less. We begin to be grateful for all that we have and all that we are. We begin to see that once we start getting connected to others like ourselves on a regular basis, through our Deporessed Anonymous meetings, we now are listened to by others and we are validated.  We don’t hear “snap out of it” at our meetings. Suddenly our years of self-pity, isolation and desolation have been cashed in for a currency that buys us a new competency, a new identity, autonomy and a burgeoning inter relatedness with others. We are connected. We are not alone.

We now can speak about our experience with depression in the past tense. We now can share how we have the tools of self care whereby we can dig out and begin to  construct an edifice of hope that will last the rest of our life. As  long as we continue to use the tools of the program we are  bound to feel differently as well as think differently.”  Source: I’ll  do it when I feel better (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisvile. KY.  The Feelings of Uselessness and Self-Pity Disappear. #6. The Promises of Depressed Anonymous.

 

NOTE: For more information on tools for recovery please go to MENU on Home Page and Click onto the drop down menu item TOOLS OF RECOVERY

Life can be good for a change.

 

I read the Depressed Anonymous manual, go to counseling, and attend the Depressed Anonymous meetings. The meetings are a must. I need them to survive. The support group’s  members help each other by listening, talking, expressing their feelings, and giving support on how to  cope with depression. By letting my Higher Power help me, I am beginning to feel free from depression. I am not so nervous and  tensed up. My Christian inner faith is getting stronger. I am not so stressed out  and I am beginning to get confidence within myself. I still have trouble with sleep pattern and I am getting some motivation back. I have learned how to handle anxiety by taking deep breaths when I am nervous or troubled. This was suggested by my therapist. I also am learning how to stand up for myself.

All these tools have helped me and will continue to do so. They also taught me not to dwell on my past, to live life one day at a time, and to look toward the future, but not live there. It  will take me a long time to deal with depression, but I am glad that these tools are available. Life can be good for a change. Please don’t give up.”

~ANONYMOUS

Anonymous, is  one of the many persons who share their  personal story of recovery  in  the group’s  manual, Depressed Anonymous.

For more of her story and many others please go to The Depressed Anonymous Publications at www.depressedanon.com.

 

“I am no longer alone in my depression.”

 

 

“No longer am I alone in my depression. I can now see that it is up to me to form new friendships with others in the fellowship of the  Depressed Anonymous group. I have found persons who understand me and my problems. I also learn coping skills and new positive behaviors  from my fellow group members.”

One of the best things about belonging to a Depressed Anonymous group is that a person will find support and acceptance here. Frequently those persons who begin to work the 12 step program begin to realize that instead of waiting to stay isolated and sad that it’s  the acceptance they receive in the Depressed Anonymous group that keeps them coming back to the meetings. Another reason people keep coming back to the group is that members of the group place no conditions on you or judgments when you join the group.

They love you and accept you just the way you are. That’s pretty neat I’d say. ..”

Source: Copyright(c)  Believing is Seeing:  15  Ways to leave  the prison  of  depression.  (2017) Depressed Anonymous  Publications.  Louisville.KY.Page 20.  #4.

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

Click on Tools of Recovery from the website menu and there find assorted ways to help overcome depression. One may also click onto the  Newsletter Archives for past issues of the Depressed Anonymous Newsletters.

I accept and value myself today!

 

“Every decision that we make alters the world of meaning which we have created. Deciding to eat Wheat Puffs instead of Corn Flakes  for breakfast may not be a major change, but abandoning  thinking  ‘ I am bad and unacceptable’ and replacing it with ‘I accept and value myself’ is.  Every decision you have made since you decided that you were bad and valueless was based on that decision. Now, all these conclusions need reviewing and changing. ” Dorothy Rowe, Breaking the Bonds. Fontana. 1991.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Making  a decision is the first step in getting free and being liberated from my depression. From this step follows the  many other steps that are to be taken that will allow me to begin to see how the thoughts I think,  definitely affect the way I feel. My next step is to review the different ways in which I can value myself.  My first new response to my own negative thinking about myself is to believe that today I will  begin my exit from the prison of  my own negativity and pessimism.

My struggle to wrest myself free from depression means that I am to make some initial steps in my own health. I want to believe that it is the fact  that I want to value myself and my life that I will no longer allow myself to wallow in self-pity, but decide to start to make an effort to take mastery again over the way I feel and think.

MINDFULLNESS/SELF REFELCTION

We will let go of our ignorance about how this universe is operated. I let the God of my understanding take charge. I continue to dip my oars into the water of life and risk letting   God be the rudder master.

I want to make a plan today, to decide how I can do one thing differently so that I might value who I am as a human being. I will write down how I will dip  my oars in the water in the next 24 hours and change what I need to change. 

(Check out The Depressed Anonymous Workbook at   THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS  BOOKSTORE for that excellent tool for self reflection and personal recovery.)

 

A therapist speaks out about Depressed Anonymous

“One of the greatest resources I’ve used in working with many depressed persons has been Depressed Anonymous. The transformation it causes in an individual’s life is truly miraculous. This stems from it being primarily a spiritual program of healing and recovery.  It encourages a person to seek a personal relationship with God, whoever they understand God to be. In doing this, it helps a person to look inside for healing, rather than in a pill or some quick “cure.” Many persons who suffer with  depression look on God as being one who judges them harshly. This thinking usually leads  to much anger towards God, which results in more negative thinking. I know this from my own experiences with depression, and the angry relationship with God I had during those times. This is where Depressed Anonymous offers hope by getting a person connected to a group who also suffers with depression, and are working the Twelve Steps. In doing this, it helps a person come to a realization that it will only be through a power greater than themselves that they will find sanity in their life.  Depressed people cannot do this alone because of the compulsion to ruminate endlessly over negative thoughts. It is only through coming together with a group of people like Depressed  Anonymous that they are able to break the cycle of negative thinking. ”

To read more of what therapists have to say about Depressed Anonymous please read  their thoughts in  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. KY.  Page 67-68.  ( The therapist who wrote the above is Ms. Denise List, doing therapy in Louisville, KY.)

As a therapist myself, I have found, as  Denise herself found, that our own struggles with the isolating and painful reality that we call depression, made a difference in our relationship with clients. To have a mutual aid group such as Depressed Anonymous  to which we could  refer them had  special and positive outcomes.

Our manual contains a veritable host of testimonies from persons from all walks of life who found Depressed Anonymous to be the “real deal.”  It is  here where they found acceptance tools for recovery and most importantly a safe place to share their story.

Please VISIT the STORE here at our site.  And if you are a therapist reading this now, it would serve your clients well for you to suggest  that they pick up  this book and begin to see and find hope for themselves.

SHAME AND GUILT. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.

I remember with a great amount of clarity a situation that   shaped my entire life. The event happened more than 5 decades ago. The shaming event happened in the third grade. The teacher asked me a question which I couldn’t answer correctly. She asked me twice and the more that I tried to think what answer she wanted the more flustered I became. For years, I could feel the heat in my face. I know my face must have  been beet red. There I was standing alone in the middle of the seated classmates and feeling lost. And then she said those words that are imprinted on what seems like every synapse and cell in my brain.

“You will never be like your brother.” ( He happened  to be two years ahead of me in school. He was really smart). And then she compared me to my uncle who happened  to be a Bible scholar whom she knew.  By that time my face felt like it was burning up. And it wasn’t til decades later that I no longer felt the fiery warmth on my face as I thought about standing there, alone, in front of the class.  The feelings of heat welled up from inside of me as I even thought about that event those  years later. I was shamed. Shamed clear through. Every part of me felt absolutely worthless and alone. Shame produced in me the feeling that I was a MISTAKE. Not that I made a simple English  grammar mistake –but that I was a mistake. This shame gradually withered away the more I shared with others  my experience.

Put simply:   Guilt is when you do something that is bad and you know it, and then you feel bad about what you did or didn’t do.

So feeling you are a mistake –feeling all alone,  unacceptable to self and others, creates a person who tends to hide, isolate and feel no purpose for their lives.  In my case, it was after getting into a 12 step program of recovery that others were having the same feelings about themselves as I was.  It was here in the context of forming a trusting relationship with those like myself, that I slowly clawed my way out of my own little painful world, into a world where I was accepted for who I was. My story, was  accepted and I  was given the tools to live a life filled now with hope, serenity and purpose.