All posts by hopeservicefellowship

A victim in my own eyes

Continued from July 10th’s blog


” I am finding out that my life is not as horrible as I’ve made it out to be. I used to tell myself that since it happened before, it will happen again– and that simply is not true.  Yes, my past was horrible and it’s no wonder I ended up with depression.  I want out of it and the only person to get me out is me.  There is not a magic wand to transport you to  the life you want. Everyone knows what they wish their life could be like –so do it! Make the changes you have to make, trust in God and always remember that good things come to those who wait. I’ve waited  over half my life. I don’t have to be a victim of my past or of my mind anymore. I’m more than ready for the good things! With love and hope!

Signed: A Depressed Anonymous member writing in:



VISIT THE STORE for much more literature on the  12 steps as tools to overcome one’s depression. Order online or snail mail.

“…but I feel better and for the first time in 14 years, I have hope.”


Depression was something I grew up with. I really had no idea that I had it until my Senior year in college.  It started with my parent’s divorce and ended with me totally losing control over everything in my life. I couldn’t decide what career I wanted, but hated every job I could think of. I couldn’t decide what city or state to live in, so I kept moving, hoping that the next place I lived in  would make me happy. Eventually, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to live or to die.  I cried at the  drop of a hat, but still found enough rage inside to push the people I loved as far away from me as possible.

I knew that I needed help. I had been to counselors on three other times in my life, but nothing ever seemed to work or last. This time, I have been in counseling for about two months. I was sick and tired of being like this. I wanted a life and I wanted to be happy. Every week, someone would notice a change in me, but I still felt the same. Then one day while watching TV (thinking thoughts at 100 mph), it occurred to me that I was making myself miserable.

I had always known that I was hard on myself. I reamed myself every time something bad happened. “Why can’t I find someone to love me“? “Why isn’t God looking after me?”  But for some reason, when I realized that I was doing this to myself, it made me realize that maybe all I would have to do is to stop doing it. All of  a sudden, it made sense. ”

To be concluded tomorrow.__________________________________________

Quoted from PERSONAL STORIES in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 120 -121.


” If I tell myself negative thoughts,  I feel negative. If I tell myself nothing, I feel nothing. So if I tell myself positive thoughts, eventually I’ll have to feel positive.

Of course, I’m still testing it out, but I feel better and for the first time in 14 years, I have hope.  It’s not that hard to find something positive about myself or my life now. So I remind myself of  something positive every day and that’s what I’m going to do until I don’t have to remind myself anymore because I’ll know.”




We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our creator

“We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness.  Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith  means courage.  All men/women of faith have courage. They trust their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let him demonstrate through us , what He can do. We ask him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At. once, we commence to outgrow fear.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, page 68.


A Higher Thoughts for Down Days- June 30th.


I am beginning to see that looking closely at my early life does, in fact, help me discover the reasons for some of my sadness today. With time and persistence I am going to live with even more hope and serenity.

“Then, too, damaging emotional conflict persists below the level of consciousness, very deep, sometimes quite forgotten. Therefore, we should try hard to recall and review the past events which originally induced these conflicts and which continue to give our emotions violent twists, thus discoloring our personalities and altering our lives for the worse.”  Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, in  As Bill Sees It.


It is always a good idea to look at our lives and see how we have changed one way or the other over the years.  Sometimes I hope to write down as much as I can remember every year of my life. I will start today and if there is a parent or some significant other that can  help explain missing portions of my early life , then this will be a great asset in getting to know myself.  The more missing pieces that I can put together, including the oft-repeated phrases told to me as I was young, these can be an immense help in discovering who I am and why I am the way I am today.

I know all about conflict as this is often the genesis of my depression in that I have two conflicting wishes warring with each other. The greatest conflict is in myself and the way I see myself and the way I would like to see myself.


God, help us find our lost memories from childhood. Let them surface gently when they can do the most good for us..

SOURCE:  Higher Thoughts for Down Days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowships. (1993, 1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. A Higher Thought for June 30. Page 130.

VISIT THE STORE and order online Higher Thoughts which is now   available on KINDLE. For information on other Depressed Anonymous  Publications please Visit the Store.

Coming Attractions!

How often do we  hear about “coming attractions” when we go to our local theater? There are always movies that are advertised to be shown in the future. They usually depict short clips from some of the movies  that will be coming  soon.

Now, today, as we go  about our day, our mind reviews some of the coming attractions that we will bump into this day. Have you ever noticed that the human mind, with its fears and apprehensions, usually attracts all those things that we fear might actually  happen to us. Let me give  an example of how “coming attractions” works in the brain. It’s very much like Murphy’s law which tells us that if you think something bad is going to happen–it usually does. It is a strange phenomenon but it actually works out that what we fear many times actually occurs. It’s almost like the negative fear attracts the very thing that we fear. Let’s say we are thinking about a person who is a big pain and suddenly there they are -right in front of us. How does this happen? Is  there some mysterious magnetic force in the universe that  makes this fear become a reality? Or another example: I go to a room filled with strangers and I think, “nobody will want to talk with me.” And almost magically we find ourselves standing in a corner watching everyone else interacting with others.  We just knew that this would happen. This is one of those “coming attractions” to which  our mind alerted us. And then again, how about this situation. You are at the grocery or market and you  see someone you’d just as well not want  to see . So you go down another aisle in the store and head for the check out lane. Lo and behold, guess  who pulls up their cart right behind you. Yep, you guessed it. It’s one of those “coming attractions” that our mind makes happen. Negativity attracts negative events. Negativity thoughts  attracts more negative thinking.

Can there be a reverse side of this “coming attractions” business of the mind?  I believe so. It is just as true that our mind attracts whatever we put into it. If we fear this or that,  make a mountain out of a molehill, but then reflect and see it for what it is, and reduce it to its appropriate size, we will not get stuck in the cycling negative thinking  of how bad it is or might appear to us at the time.

In Step Three  of Depressed Anonymous we  read that “we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”   This is one of my favorite “coming attractions” that has proved time and time again to be so true. Over time and with practice,  I no longer waste my time thinking about what is going to happen to me in the future  with its promised catastrophic end. So now my positive thinking abounds in a positive outlook for my life. I just know that whatever comes to me today I can handle. I just know that the Promises of Depressed Anonymous are as true today as when they wewre first written back in 1935. I also believe that all I have is today–just this 24 hour period. That is all God gives me. One day at a time. And whatever the “coming attractions” are  for me today–God and myself can handle them. I am going to have a great day  today! How about your day?

For more about the “coming attractions ” for your life,  read what will happen for those of us who choose the  way that leads out of depression. In the program of recovery we call them the “PROMISES.”

“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development , we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new happiness.  We will not regret the  past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word “serenity” and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how  our experience can help others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will  lose interest in  selfish things and  gain interest in our fellows. Self  seeking will slip away.  Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. The fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize  if we work for them. ”

SOURCE:   Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 109.

The Promises (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications .Louisville.

Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.


Get the body moving and the mind will follow!

Sue, tells us how working at a local Zoo got her out of the house and focused on a new volunteer position at the zoo. She found that she loved it. It gave her a purpose and a self dignity that her depressed lifestyle had taken from her. The following is her own account of what this volunteer position brought into her life.

Action does precede motivation and I began working at a local zoo. It is a beautiful place (and safe from muggers too). I began talking with people and learned about classed there to become a docent (a volunteer teacher). I enrolled and graduated. This gave me a new purpose in life. I get great joy from working there doing outreaches to schools, nursing homes and hospitals. I have made friends with both animals and humans. There isn’t a day that I go  there to talk that I don’t get thanked by someone, a visitor, or employee (or sometimes an animal).

My family hasn’t changed ( although my mother commented on the change in my face), but I have. In this the Serenity  Prayer really helps.  I know that I can’t change them but I have new friends and a real support system so this doesn’t matter so much now.

Whoever you are, you who are reading this. Believe! The first Three Steps are the most important. Walking or other exercise is important. Staying with it is also important. Going to the meetings and participating is important, but above all else, faith is important. Faith will truly move mountains.”

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 142-145. Personal Stories: Sues story: Faith does move mountains.


A bird watcher I am not-normally.

Well, we have become quite the observer recently of what a bird does as it is about to give birth. It waits. It waits some more. It has already fashioned a nice home for the new and soon expected occupants. .

From my front porch I am able to see my Robin friend come and go, morning noon and evening as it prepares to  watch the little ones as they pop their heads out of the small eggs. This is what mother bird, myself, and my family are waiting for. When is the big day going to happen?

Everyday as I go out and sit in the fresh morning air I see mother Robin sitting patiently on the egg(s) as  I presume there will be more than one baby Robin. I see her sitting on her eggs  at dinner time, and after supper. I remain as focused on my new friend as my Robin friend is focused on taking care of those who are to come.

To date, no babies. I’ll keep you informed.

Having a positive  focus is the  solution for so many of our life difficulties.  But for those of us who are or have been depressed, our focus centers  mainly around the hellish experience which we call melancholia or depression. Our attention centers on how bad we are, or how bad our life is or how bad life  is treating us. And since our focus is on these feelings of helplessness, morning, noon and night, so much so, that we are spending sleepless hours every night restless and agitated.

Now I am like the Robin about to give birth. I am waiting for someone, something to give me a hope  that I can give birth  somehow to a life lived with serenity and hope. I ask myself, where can I find that place in my life where hope abounds? How do I turn my hopelessness into a way out of my depression. For me personally, I think it is about focus and keeping one’s eye on the prize as they say. My focus for these past 30 years has been on a power greater than myself. I have learned that I can leave this prison of depression with work, time and a PLAN. The plan is to do the   same positive thing everyday.  Each 24 hours  is all  we  have. I use every morning reading my 12 Step readings and literature from my Depressed Anonymous fellowship. And during the day I say my Serenity prayer, which continues to keep me focused on doing the next right thing for keeping my serenity and hope alive. My focus now  is to share my personal rebirth (recovery) with all those in my life today who are looking for help,  plus that positive  focus that can carry them through every day of their life no matter what comes or what circumstance they will have to face.

You can read about these folks in  the Depressed Anonymous literature–VISIT THE BOOKSTORE.

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

Go to a Depressed Anonymous meeting in your community.

PS.I continue to visit my Robin friend in great anticipation.

“I gave up my negative thoughts one at a time.”

“It has been a year now since I gave up on those negative thoughts that I had over my lifetime.  I gave them up one at a time. It wasn’t like I dumped them all at once. It was like the people needed to show me a new life  and that I can be happy again. In the beginning, I thought the old familiar tapes that begun playing again . The old tapes saying that I was “stupid” began to play. But then I would attend Depressed Anonymous  meetings every week  and I would   go and find that I could use things that other people said at the meetings which would help me. That it was one place where you could go and be fully accepted for whatever you had to say, and someone else there said that they knew exactly what I was feeling.”

“For the depressed person, giving up old ways of thinking and acting is much like giving up any other addiction. At first letting go of the old behavior makes us feel uncomfortable. The old behavior wants to cling to our spirit like swamp mud hangs on to knee-high boots. ”

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

VISIT THE STORE for more literature pertaining to the Steps of DA and depression.