I believe that misery is an option.

“If surrender of our wills to the ‘care of God’ is of the essence of the spiritual life, for anyone who truly desires to free themselves from a chronic and compulsive behavior such as depression, then the Twelve Steps can be your stepping stones to the path of a hope filled life.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I used to hear the word “surrender” as it made me feel like I was in the hands and under the total domination of another.  It was like I had no control whatsoever as to what I was to do or what I was to be. I was blind to the fact that in reality I had already surrendered my life to my sadness so that whenever I wanted to hide, or isolate myself, I just saddened myself and  so didn’t have to feel anything. I am surrendering to the God of my understanding;  slowly my life is filling with light and hope and this is what I really want for myself. I am finding that the ‘care of God’ is much better than anything I could ever  wished for.  My life is one filled with hope rather than being hopeless.

The spiritual life for me is filled with the excitement of knowing that  this God of mine, as I understand him, is  today wanting to lead me further into the light of his healing power. My spiritual life is filled  now with a close and personal relationship with a God who loves and guides me on a minute-to-minute basis.

MEDITATION

We are going to get as close to God today as we choose to get.

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SOURCE:  Copyright (c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 257-258. December 29.

 

 

 

 

” We are not the people with the magic pills and the easy formula for success.”

The following instruction, How Depressed Anonymous Works, is read at every Depressed Anonymous meeting.

” You are about to witness the miracle of the group. You are joining a group of people who are on a journey of hope and who mutually care for each other. You will hear how hope, light and energy have been regained by those who were hopeless and in a  black hole and tired of living.

By our involvement in the group we are feeling that there is hope – there is a chance for me too – I can get better. But we are not the people with the magic pills and the easy formula for success. We believe that to get  out of depression takes time and work.”

And so at each and every Depressed Anonymous meeting the group listens as we hear what it will take to escape from the prison of depression.

Also at every meeting of the fellowship we hear how by using the spiritual tools, our Twelve Steps, we can gradually find the path that will and can lead us out into the light of freedom.”

SOURCES:  Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

The following  books listed below indicate the “toolbox” by  which  one can find the path that leads  out of depression.

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

Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

VISIT THE STORE for more information on available literature.

 

I am more than my addiction!

“…Because addicted individuals generally  possess such strong feelings of shame, embarrassment and self-loathing, it is extremely curative when they learn that they can be viewed by others in a positive manner.

…Shame, a more profound feeling all alcoholics and addicts (saddicts)  struggle with implies “I feel bad because of what I am.”  Addiction from this view implies that group therapy must enhance the self understanding and the acceptance that one is worthwhile despite their strong feelings of self loathing and self-hatred.  (The Depressed Anonymous Fellowship Group. ED)   ….before a person can  be healed, they have to know they can heal another. …It is this opportunity to learn that one has the ability to help another in being a healer which supports the use of  group psychotherapy. In  fact, this is the very same principle which AA  (DA) applies within the Twelfth Step of its Twelve Step program for recovery. The alcoholic and the addict (saddict)  maintains their own sobriety by helping another alcoholic get sober.” Source excerpts: Group Psychotherapy with Addicted Populations.  , (1988)  Flores, Phillip J., The Haworth Press. NY

Likewise, the person depressed has a better chance of  overcoming depression when they hear someone else,  with the same situation, feeling better and overcoming their depression.

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

AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS

1)  I walk down the street..

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost…I am hopeless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever for me to find a way out.

2) I walk down the  same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend that I don’t see it.

I fall in  again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

But  it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I saw it there.

I still fall in.. it’s a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault. I get out immediately.

4) I walk down  the same street

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.

Copyright(c)  Portia Nelson 1981.

_________________________________________________________

COMMENT

Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Tapering off of booze, smoking, overeating etc., negative thinking, suicidal thinking, I hoped  it would finally  help me end my strong attachment/addiction to any one of  these life threatening behaviors. Wrong. I kept  going down the same street and falling  in the same hole. The Twelve Steps is what gave me the courage to go around the hole and begin to  travel down a different road. The road I followed and still follow after 30 years is the great fellowship of Depressed Anonymous. You can read the stories of those who started walking down that  “other street” —  that broad highway of recovery that we call Depressed Anonymous.

Read their personal stories in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

“WHEN YOU’RE DEPRESSED, ALL YOU’RE INTERESTED IN IS SURVIVAL.”

How true. I will always remember how I felt when I found myself unable to get up in  the morning. I knew something was different and something was very wrong. I was scared.  I did the only thing that I knew what to do–I got into “fight” mode and forced my unresponsive  body to get into motion. For some strange reason  I found myself in  “survival mode.” I just knew that whatever had me pinned to the floor and motionless I had to do the next right thing. The next right thing was to get out of bed and start walking. I did just that. And from that “survival mode” experience I learned a very important lesson: motivation follows action. In a way I had a faint bit of trust that what I was about to do, would be a factor in my survival;.

As it says in the book I’ll do it when I feel better, that “Trust, always has been a critical element in one’s search for finding one’s true and best self. And with trust comes hope. Hope is the thread which weaves its way throughout the spiritual program of the Twelve Steps.”

    LOST SELVES

Depression is about lost selves – and the struggle to regain the self. We are in a perpetual lock down! it is indeed a battle with one’s will to survive –that is why Dorothy Rowe calls depression a prison. We build the walls as a defense to keep us safe until we can combat our demons and find which way out is the best.

Over time you and I both have discovered  a truth: trust is never an easy proposition. Trust comes with a belief that all things will work out. But another problem is that so much of our lives negative and harmful life experiences have ben carried through life and so conditioned us to predict that no matter what we say or do we will always be living in the prison of despair.”

And finally I discovered the more I walked, the more bricks that had me imprisoned in despair and fear, I was able to remove.

It was then that I had the energy to pick up my Twelve Step “tool box”  from the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous, and to this day continue my life of serenity and hope. Now, learning to be in a “trust mode” has given me freedom to live each new day with hope.

SOURCE: Copyright(c) I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETETR.(2015) DAP. LOUISVILLE.  PAGES 75, 76-77.

STOP SIGNS AND SUNSPOTS

My name is Linda and the first time I read Depressed Anonymous,   I did not like it and got angry. The first part of the book about turning over our minds and life to a Higher Power sounded good.  I was ready to do that. ” Hey, here it is God! You take it! No more depression.”  But then came the part about a moral inventory, shortcomings, and the big one is that I depress myself.

“What’s he talking about?” I said to myself as I read the book. I had tried to un-depress myself many times. I put the book down, and went to work . But as I was walking around at work that night feeling very depressed, bits  and pieces of the book kept popping into my head and I started to think of the  word “stop” just like the book suggested to do.  “I depressed myself, I can un-depress myself” I said to myself.

Look for “SUNSPOTS”, memories from the past that were happy times and ones which bring back happy feelings from years gone by. I tried, but none came to mind. But I did find that just  by thinking about the book and what it  said made  me feel a little bit better.  Then a piece of a song popped into my mind: “Seek you first the Kingdom  of God and His righteousness , and all the others will be added to you.” “Hey! A SUNSPOT!” I said to myself.

Then I felt a warm glow and then I did feel better –I did it!  I made myself feel better. I can un-depress myself! I had mixed feelings. I wanted to feel better, but admitting I depressed myself was not an easy thing to do.  I went back and reread the book, but now with an open mind. I have started to follow the Twelve Steps and with the help of the Higher Power, I can have a brighter future.  I am making and putting in my memory a lot of SUNSPOTS for those times when I am feeling depressed and which I can choose to draw upon when I feel that I need  them.

I put up a “stop” sign and bring out a SUNSPOT to carry me though.”

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 114. Personal Stories section.

LONG TIME ESCAPISTS

AFFIRMATION

I will not be afraid of the shadows in my life and my personality, but I will face them and look at them and find serenity.

“They knew what to do about those black abysses that yawned to swallow me when I felt depressed or nervous. There was a concrete program, designed to secure the greatest possible inner security for us long time escapists.  The feeling of impending disaster that had haunted me for years began  to dissolve as I put into practice more and more of the Twelve Steps. It worked. ” (1)

 CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I am now having more periods of serenity and quiet as I begin to work the Steps of my program and trust more in my Higher Power. I know that my God is there right now waiting to help me through this time of sadness  and disease.  I believe that my help is coming from a  power greater than myself. I know that it is never to my advantage to run away from my problems or hide from the fact that I need to construct a new way to look at myself.

When you are depressed you are not even aware of the fact that you are unconsciously making an effort to escape from your sadness as this running away that we do is so subtle and so chronic.  Now that I know that I am responsible for setting myself free from my depression the more I am going to face my fear, anxiety and loneliness. I no longer intend to escape my responsibility  for myself, my serenity and happiness. Only I can make myself happy.

MEDITATION

Our fears began to dissolve once we begin the process of believing in this power greater than ourselves. We no longer put our trust  in the sadness that appeared to us to be like a God in that it was all powerful and all important. It ruled every moment of the day. It also comforted us with its predictability.  We are, today, choosing a God who loves us and will lead us into the promised land of hope and security.

SOURCE:  HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS: 365 DAILY THOUGHTS AND MEDITATIONS FOR 12 STEP FELLOWSHIP GROUPS. DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE. JULY 14.

FOLLOW YOUR BLISS!

In the  Personal Stories section of Depressed Anonymous (3rd Edition), an anonymous writer shares with us how when she began to follow her blisshappy memories from her past life–something started to happen. In the program of Depressed Anonymous we call them SUNSPOTS.  Let her tell us in her own words.

” Look for SUNSPOTS, memories from the past that were happy times and ones which bring back happy feelings from years gone by. I tried, but none came to mind.  But I did find that just thinking about the book (Depressed Anonymous)  and what it said, did make me feel a little better. Then a piece of a song popped into my mind “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all the others will be added to you..”  “Hey! A SUNSPOT  I said to myself

Then I felt a warm glow and then I did feel better — I did it! I made myself feel better. I can un-depress myself. I had mixed feelings. I wanted to feel better, but admitting I depressed myself was not an easy thing to do.

I went back and reread the book, but now with an open mind. I have started to follow the Twelve Steps and with the help of the Higher Power, I can have a brighter future. I am making and putting in my memory a lot of SUNSPOTS for those times when I am feeling depressed and which I can choose to draw upon when I feel that I need them.

I put up a “stop” sign and bring out a SUNSPOT to carry me through.” By Anonymous. Page  114. “I depressed myself. I can un-depress myself.”

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NOTE: I have also found that when I create a picture album in my mind  I can always leaf through them, one memory at a time. It is a well known fact that memories carry with them pleasant or unpleasant feelings.  We don’t want to try to forcibly push away those unhappy memories-as that seems to just make them more persistent- but to just let those unhappy pictures float by – like watching a vehicle passing by. And as we move onto those happy memories in our mind’s album  and place our attention on them, we will with time and practice discover that happy memories produce happy and pleasant feelings. Hugh

DRINKING AND DEPRESSION DON’T MIX!

The following account is to be found in the PERSONAL STORIES section of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, 3rd Edition (2011). Pages 124-125. DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. Louisville, KY.

It wasn’t until 1993 that I joined Alcoholics Anonymous and got into therapy, which has been amazingly helpful. I’m growing and dealing with the death of my Mother and with alcohol. My hobbies, like gardening and my writing give me joy and are therapeutic.  I’ve been working the Twelve Steps with an open mind that every day things will get better. If a problem does occur the Higher Power will give me the answer and the strength to deal with it, and not to run away or shut it away like before.

Depression is something that’s so overwhelming. For me, it’s like crawling from beneath the earth and facing the light with fear that no one would understand how I feel. When in depression, isolation would follow as my only friend, but actually, it was my own worst enemy. I should have been opening up to someone. Instead I shut myself off from the world.

Through therapy, a belief in my self, and encouragement, facing each day doesn’t seem  as difficult.

Working my Twelve Steps of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS and reading  HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS gives me reassurance that we are not alone. I now appreciate what I do have when I work through the program.

Through prayer and appreciation, I realize that there’s more to life than alcohol and that I kissed a chunk of my life away because of it.

Now I’m gaining much more through life than ever. Being sober, I see my life as a gift and not as a heavy burden.

by Rheatha

WE ADMITTED THAT WE WERE POWERLESS OVER DEPRESSION AND THAT OUR LIVES HAD BECOME UNMANAGEABLE.

To admit that there is a problem is the first step which can move us into recovery. The First Step of the Twelve Steps begins with the word WE. This is a WE program–a program about us as a group of hurting people. Since we have tried to tackle our problems alone and in the confines of our own mind we soon discovered that for most of us this was not enough. We still were saddled with a life destroying and  unmanageable situation. There must be a solution we thought. Yes, there is a solution. For many of us who have traveled this path of recovery, living out the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps and being part of the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous we have found peace and a new way of living,