All posts by Bill R

What is God’s will anyway?

Trying to discern what God’s will can be vexing. Where does my will end and God’s will begins?

Many people would say pray to determine what God’s will is. I firmly believe that God answers all prayers, the problem that we have is that the answer is sometimes No. God answers prayers with:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Wait

God will answer No to those requests that don’t conform to His will. By praying those prayers that are answered Yes you will be conforming to God’s will. What prayers are answered Yes to?

I read a book a while back that was very helpful: Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To, by Anthony DeStefano. He posits that God always answers Yes to the following prayers:

  1. God, show me that you exist
  2. God, put people in my path so I can be an instrument of your love and peace
  3. God, outdo me in generosity
  4. God, get me through this suffering
  5. God, forgive me
  6. God, give me peace
  7. God, give me courage
  8. God, give me wisdom
  9. God, bring good out of this bad situation
  10. God, lead me to my destiny

You don’t have to believe this completely. Believe it just enough to put this into practice. Prayer takes time and effort, but it is worthy of that time and effort. Good luck!

Yours in recovery, Bill R

Happy Independence Day

I live in the United States and today we celebrate our freedom. We are all captives of something or someone. Some of us are captives to addiction: drugs, alcohol, or some behavior. Many of us here have been captives of anxiety and depression. Many people are trapped in consumerism.

There is however a way out. Apply spiritual disciplines to your life, you will be surprised by the results. We are all trying to find our way to the God of our understanding. Some of us go down the side roads of addiction and depression, but you don’t have to continue down that route. Get in communion with the God of your understanding.

If you’ve been burned by past interactions with religion – theory and doctrine, or by people who misinterpreted God’s message I have a suggestion for you. Explore the mystical sects of the religion of your youth. Islam has the Sufi’s, if you’re Christian read the works of Thomas Merton, or Saint John of the Cross. The mystics all talk about experiencing the presence of God in your life. Explore.

You have a choice: you can either be a host to God, or a hostage to self. Choose to be free!

Journeys of Hope Depressed Anonymous meeting moving to Zoom

The Journeys of Hope Depressed Anonymous meeting is moving to Zoom given some technical challenges we’ve been encountering. Effective Monday 5 July 2021 both the daily meeting and the evening meetings are moving to Zoom. For more information please see the page: Online Depressed Anonymous Meetings for further information.

DA Virtual Conference 2021 recordings available

The conference ran successfully! The five sessions were recorded, but I have not yet received one of the recordings. I have posted the ones I have available and I will post the missing one when I receive it.

There is a link found under the Tools for Recovery menu item that reads Depressed Anonymous Conference Recordings.

Enjoy.

Yours in recovery, Bill R.

Pick up the bow

We are all flawed. That’s not an indictment, merely a fact.

Food for thought: the word sin is not about eternal damnation. The origin of the word is either Hebrew or Aramaic (the language Jesus spoke) and it comes from archery meaning ‘to miss the mark’ – to not hit the bullseye.

We all fall short of God’s ideal. Pick up the bow and shoot another arrow. Try to get closer to the mark. We don’t need to be perfect, we merely need to strive to do better.

New additional meeting – Wednesday 7:30pm ET

NOTICE: Whenever a blog post mentions an online meeting be sure to consult the page Online Depressed Anonymous Meetings for the most up to date and correct information. If the blog post is more than a few days old there is a chance it could be incorrect.

Same link as the daily 12:30pm ET and Tuesday 7:30pm ET meeting – https://join.skype.com/pKMshxPoV9nb

YouTube Playlist on Depression

Given the deadly nature of depression and how some people can’t or won’t participate in recovery here is a link to a playlist on YouTube. The playlist includes: short films, TED Talks, documentaries, college lecture, out there alternative treatment options. No endorsement real or implied.

Depressed Anonymous believes that the 12 Steps are the most effective way of managing your disease of depression. As a fellowship we don’t believe and agree on any single cause of depression. Also as a fellowship we have no opinions on other treatment options: it is up to the individual, with input from their doctor, to come up with a plan for managing their depression. Depressed Anonymous does believe that a portion of our depression is self-created, and by following the 12 Steps you can stop doing those things that add to your depression.

For whatever reason recovery and the 12 Steps rub some people the wrong way. Perhaps it’s because we use the word God – we do not require a belief in any religious theology or doctrine. We merely believe there exists a Higher Power (and it could be the group) that can help us manage the disease of depression.

Here is the link to the playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-6rJNUx6cXCxacWbyHOcQLJCmW55U0gd

Non-recovery Resources for Depression

TRADITION FIVE – Each group has but one primary purpose- to carry its message to the depressed person who still suffers.

Depressed Anonymous believes that the 12 Steps are the most effective way of managing your disease of depression. As a fellowship we don’t believe and agree on any single cause of depression. Also as a fellowship we have no opinions on other treatment options: it is up to the individual, with input from their doctor, to come up with a plan for managing their depression. Depressed Anonymous does believe that a portion of our depression is self-created, and by following the 12 Steps you can stop doing those things that add to your depression.

For whatever reason recovery and the 12 Steps rub some people the wrong way. Perhaps it’s because we use the word God – we do not require a belief in any religious theology or doctrine. We merely believe there exists a Higher Power (and it could be the group) that can help us manage the disease of depression.

In light of the fact that depression is a chronic, progressive, and if untreated, a fatal disease we are sharing these non-recovery resources around depression. This is not an exhaustive list mind you, but it is a start.

AUSTRALIA

Australian Government Department of Health
Mental health and suicide prevention
https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/mental-health-and-suicide-prevention
Some information available but site is mostly dedicated to providing mental health services to those residing in Australia

Beyond Blue
https://BeyondBlue.org.au
A non-government organization (NGO) focused on mental health support in Australia.

Lots of information available about various topics such as: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, postnatal depression, Covid and climate anxiety, and many other topics as well.

Discussion forums are available.
Mental health conditions
    Anxiety
    Depression
    PTSD & Trauma
    Suicidal thoughts and self-harm
Caring for myself and others
    Staying well
    Treatments, health professionals and therapies
    Relationships and family issues
    Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers)
    Long term support over the journey
People like mental
    Young people
    Sexual and gender identity
    Multicultural experiences
    Grief and loss

CANADA

Government of Canada – Mental Health and Wellness
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/topics/mental-health-wellness.html

Canadian Mental Health Association
https://cmha.ca/
A non-government organization (NGO) centered around mental health issues in Canada.
They have a BLOG covering many different topics. Peer support and online classes are available but I believe they are only available to Canadian residents.

IRELAND

Ireland Department of Health
https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation/department-of-health/
Government agency for all health issues including mental health.

Mental Health Ireland
https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie/
A non-government organization (NGO) for mental health issues.

UNITED KINGDOM

United Kingdom NHS mental health services
https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/

Mental Health Foundation
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
A non-government organization (NGO) for mental health issues.
Many articles on different mental health topics. Articles tend to have supporting links available: podcasts, videos, government services, NGO services.

Mind – for better mental health
https://www.mind.org.uk/
A non-government organization (NGO) for mental health issues.

Depression Alliance
https://www.depressionalliance.org/
A non-government organization (NGO) for mental health issues.

UNITED STATES

US – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
https://www.samhsa.gov/
A US federal government agency focused on substance abuse and mental health issues in the US. Links for treament options for substance abuse. A treasure trove of information on mental health and addiction issues. They have 381 publications on mental health, and 430 publications on substance abuse.

National Alliance on Mental Illness
https://www.nami.org/
A non-government organization (NGO) for mental health issues.
They have a helpline, support groups, online discussion groups, publications, video resource library. NAMI also has a number of regional offices distributed throughout the US. The NAMI regional offices provide support groups for a number of issues and tend to be short duration commitments (10 weeks)

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
https://www.dbsalliance.org/
A non-government organization (NGO) for mental health issues.
Information resources: podcasts, videos, brochures, webinars, newsletter, online store. Free online class – Recovery Goal Setting Course – appears to be a workbook and 3 video modules. DBSA also has many local face to face support groups. DBSA also has online support groups.

Awesome article on PsychologyToday.com

A friend of mine in recovery posted a link to an article on depression that should be read by all those who have depression, or have a loved one with depression.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shouldstorm/202012/we-ve-got-depression-all-wrong-it-s-trying-save-us

In it the author, Alison Escalante M.D. discusses how there is current research around depression that posits depression is not a disease per se, but rather a biological adaptive response to adversity and trauma. I will post the first three paragraphs here, but I highly recommend that you read the full article.

Yours in recovery, Bill R

For generations, we have seen depression as an illness, an unnecessary deviation from normal functioning. It’s an idea that makes sense because depression causes suffering and even death. But what if we’ve got it all wrong? What if depression is not an aberration at all, but an important part of our biological defense system?

More and more researchers across specialties are questioning our current definitions of depression. Biological anthropologists have argued that depression is an adaptive response to adversity and not a mental disorder. In October, the British Psychological Society published a new report on depression, stating that “depression is best thought of as an experience, or set of experiences, rather than as a disease.” And neuroscientists are focusing on the role of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in depression. According to the Polyvagal Theory of the ANS, depression is part of a biological defense strategy meant to help us survive.

The common wisdom is that depression starts in the mind with distorted thinking. That leads to “psychosomatic” symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue. Now, models like the Polyvagal Theory suggest that we’ve got it backward. It’s the body that detects danger and initiates a defense strategy meant to help us survive. That biological strategy is called immobilization, and it manifests in the mind and the body with a set of symptoms we call depression.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shouldstorm/202012/we-ve-got-depression-all-wrong-it-s-trying-save-us
Author: Alison Escalante M.D.