Depressed or unhappy?

 

Depressed Anonymous bases its healing and recovery on the  premise that once depressed persons admit they are out of control, even to the extent of attempting suicide, they come to believe that a power greater than themselves can restore them to sanity, while at the same time, making a decision to turn their minds and wills over  to the care of God, as they understand God,

The God, as we under stand God, is what appeals to more and  more persons as we admit our helplessness over our compulsive, depressive thoughts, actions, or behaviors. We feel we have lost all control over everything including our thinking. The depressed person is aware that their unpleasant thinking is a cyclical and spiraling process where there is never a respite.  This obsession,   driven by one’s one feelings of guilt, shame and worthlessness is the fuel that that continues our own isolation.  This experience is not so much a psychopathology as it is a  way for the human spirit to comfort itself. The depression  is more of a disease of isolation and being disconnected than  a biological disorder.

The Twelve Step program helps people to become God conscious. It is in working the  program while making no excuses for the spiritual nature of our recovery. We can begin to attribute our new found sense of hope and peace to the Higher Power. For the active member of Depressed Anonymous, there begins to glimmer in the distance the bright light of hope.

By recognizing how it feels to be depressed, more people will have the help and guidance that will get them through their depression. Lives  will be saved as well. Besides reading the Twelve Steps at each meeting, the group learns on a firsthand basis about the “miracle of the group.” It is in the sharing and getting connected with the other members of the group where one’s recovery begins.

RESOURCES:

(c)  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Pages 162-163.

(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

Please click onto The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore for more information on Depression, spirituality and recovery.

There is hope for you now.

AFFIRMATION

“One of the most important things to remember in  the midst of depression  is that it won’t last forever, that there is hope for you to begin to feel better. We won’t tell you to SNAP OUT OF IT (who have never experienced depression) like other folks,  because we are not turning something on and off like a water faucet. Just as it took years to get where you are now, it   takes  time to get better and air out your sad thoughts as well.” D. Rowe

I know that in our program of recovery we try and live one  day at a time. This is not easy for someone who usually wants to know the outcome for something that might happen ten years from now,  not to mention the need to try and make right something not done properly ten years from our past.  When I work my program I want to work on myself, finding serenity in knowing that in time and with patient work I can begin to feel better. There are just too many success stories of how people get better  when they work their Twelve Step recovery program.

Forever is a word that hardly is heard in a Depressed Anonymous meeting. I intend to try and live just for today. I accept that I am depressed but that I do have a choice to find my way out of this sadness. I also believe  that it is irrational to think that this sadness can last forever. The more I change the way I think and behave the more positive will my attitude be about my recovery.

MEDITATION

Our Higher Power, or our God as we understand God, is guiding and leading us toward a life free from sadness. We intend to place more of our trust in its hands. (Personal comments).

RESOURCES

(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily  thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step Fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.  (May 21, page 103.)

Note. To discover more literature about depression and recovery  please click onto The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at  VISIT THE STORE.  All literature can be ordered online.

When the student is ready the teacher arrives.

 

My shame of not being in control of  my life has paradoxically placed me in more of a state of powerlessness,  feeling hopeless and helpless.

“…that’s the way it is with depression –over the years you get comfortable with being miserable, which doesn’t mean you like it,  but that you’re just too afraid to risk feeling different.

Now that I have admitted I am having a difficult time living, I wanting  to learn some new avenues that will make my life more enjoyable and   more livable.

I know now that at this point that I think my life is at its lowest point  – that is when  this program of recovery came into my life. I believe with the Psalmist  that who said  that we need to commit ourselves to God, trust in God, and that the God of my understanding will act in my behalf.

When I learn to let   go of all those persons, mental images, past hurtful situations and memories, the better I am able  to let God control my life. I find this “letting go” a fearsome project. I nevertheless  find that I must do it– if I want to find hope .

Some of the major ways people help build the walls  of their depression are to consider themselves worthless. They won’t allow themselves to get angry.  They can’t forgive themselves or others, and they believe that life is hard and death is worse. Also, they  believe that since bad things happened to them in the past bad things are bound to happen to them in the future.”

Resources:

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

(C)) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.  Page 7.

See the Home Study project for more information  for working with another for one’s recovery.

Stepping out of hopelessness.

 

One of the greatest feelings  I experienced in confronting my depression was that I began to have hope. I began to believe   what others were saying about the Steps. They were telling me that the plan that they followed everyday of their lives was giving  them a positive feeling that they were going to step out of  the  swamp   of sadness and hopelessness. In fact,  those who spoke these encouraging words already  were  manifesting the strength and power of the 12  Steps in their own lives. I was one of these people.

A question that continued to cross my mind  during my period of pain and isolation was basically “is life worth living.” Many folks depressed still debate this question in their minds. And far too many have provided us their answer that “life is not worth it.”

This has been my mission over these past years to show by example of other’s recovery (plus my own) that with appropriate  faith, work and  the spiritual tools, life can be good again. There is a faith, a strong  indomitable spirit  at the core  of every human being, that hope is available to all who seek it.” What you seek, will seek you.” It’s almost akin to the  belief in Karma–as you give out so will you receive back–in some way, at some time in your own  life   experiences. I don’t know how or why, but I do know that it just works out that way.

When I was first introduced to the 12 Steps, I came to my first meeting, willing to learn what I could to  recover fully from my addiction. I had to have hope that something would work. It would have to work for me. And members of this 12 Step group presented me stories , facts and situations where persons completely down and out, physically, mentally and spiritually found hope in the confusion and despair of their own hopelessness  and became free.

No longer did we feel hopeless of finding a way out of what was killing us.  Yes, “we” found a way out. The plan was before us and the group was behind us as we plodded along , each of us supporting the other til we finally completed our Steps. We  now share how our stepping into hope continues to be the North star for me  these past thirty plus  years for my own life.

Is life worth living?  For many years now   I discovered how a faith, a strong belief in my Higher Power, and a bonded group of men and women have continued to travel the same  path as my own.

If you want more  information  about our group Depressed Anonymous please check out our website at www.depressedanon.com for a   full explanation of  who we are and what we do. You’ll want to step out with us.

=========================================

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

Want to help yourself out of depression? Good. Get a plan.

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? The working out of a plan might not be simple but it does hold a promise once the plan becomes active,something good will most probably happen.   Now if I was still depressed I would have stumbled over the word “probably” and say to myself, see “it won’t work.” I used to think that everything had to be perfect. No more.

Here’s the point: a plan is an active small goal oriented operation in which you take each step one at a time. In our program of recovery you have 12 steps and you don’t move on from one to the other til you have finished working the step before. You give each small goal as much time as you need or as little time as you think you need. We have heard the question “how do you eat an elephant? Answer: “one bite at a time.” By setting  up small attaintable goals, you can gradually get at the root of your problem and move slowly on developing answers to what is bothering you and causing you to feel sad and anxious inside.

Let’s make it clear here that I cannot promise that this is an easy road to take but a plan that once activated (put into practice on a daily basis) and will give you the best chance for ongoing recovery. How may times have I tried a program and I failed. It’s like  buying something that you have to assemble yourself. You know how that goes (or at least familiar with it) because initially you are excited about getting the thing up and running. But you miss some essential step along the way. You either have to go back and reread the instructions, and start over again and pay close attention to the plan’s directions.

Depressed Anonymous has a plan which is like a map indicating the right direction. The beauty with an activated plan, the 12 Steps such as the one that guides our mutual aid groups with a positive result, serenity and hope. Even though you might be in therapy or on meds, you can work this plan  everyday, anytime of the day and find yourself hopeful about something good happening for your life. Now you have a workable plan. You don’t have to wait around til your meds take effect. You can get started right now.

When I had used this plan of Depressed Anonymous, I felt that a Workbook would be a helpful way to guide myself gradually and with others toward serenity and a hopeful life. You also can read the DA book, Depressed Anonymous with its thirty stories written by members of the DA group who have activated a plan, worked the 12 step program into their daily lives and found hope and  happiness. No longer are they feeling helpless. The Workbook provides, by questions, in response to each Step, covering every facet of your life’s major life’s transitions. Also, the personal issues specific to one’s own life situations can be broached.

The Deprssed Anonymous Manual and Workbook both contain commentaries  on each of the plan’s 12 Steps and helps elaborate on depression and how to deal with your own situation and the severity of one’s depression. Every person depressed has an unique depression experience, even though symptoms may be similar to others, it remains that your experiences are totally your own.

Our website www.depressedanon.com has a home page with menu items where you can check out your own question about the plan and how it works. You might also want to read some past issues of the Newsletter (See archives) and that can be helpful in understanding abut your own experience with depression. One can also review almost 1000 past blogs at the site which will give you a quick look into the nature of depression and the many tools provided for its recovery.

Depression is constructed with many symptoms. Our recovery plan attacks each of the symptoms in one way or the other. Formerly depressed individuals, have written about their success of finding the 12 Step map that took them out of their sadness and aloneness into life in a community of light and peace. In fact, all of our books are written by those of us who are recovered from depression.

Our program and plan is a “we” plan. We come together in groups and as individuals  seeking that path that brings hope and healing. When will you activate your plan?

For more information about Depressed Anonymous literature available, please click onto
THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE.

 

Having a secure base in life.

After ten years of repeated meeting  with the depressed of Depressed Anonymous meetings, it’s clear that the meetings create a secure base for those who in their childhood had neither kindness nor the life-giving warmth and affection of a loving family.

People who keep coming back to Depressed Anonymous continue to grow and become aware of the inner change taking place week after week.They find not only attention to their story, but find that they are loved and cared for at the same time. Possibly for the first time they find that they look forward to each weekly meeting  and become attached to the positive feelings that emerge inside themselves  they continue to share the story of their pain. In time, they share how their week is suddenly being filled with more good days than bad. It also becomes obvious to the participants that childhood behavior and experiences are carried right on into adult life. Trusting is such a hazard for the depressed because every person is different. You can’t trust your environment because it could suddenly shift and you would be without a certainty that you were bad and worthless.

The meetings gradually present to you an opportunity to be someone worthwhile and valued. Your starting and risking information about yourself begins the construction of a new and secure you. The Depressed Anonymous group becomes for possibly the first time in your life, a very secure and stable environment where you can share, trust and grow.”

–Anonymous

Copyright.(C)  Depressed Anonymous. 3rd edition. (2011)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

The prescription for sanity in one’s life.

This idea of choosing sanity  is   what we desire.  Who would ever choose insanity? But, believe it or not,  people choose insanity all the time. You  remember the saying, “doing the same thing over and over again is insanity.” If you are honest with yourself, I think you might   remember a time when you yourself  kept doing something that was assuredly insane. Today, if you   can honestly say that  you  always choose sanity,  then my response to you  is that   is a good thing.  I am happy for you.

In our 12 Step program of recovery we  learn about the   2nd Step, “Came to believe that a power greater than myself can restore  me to sanity.” Now for most of us, like it says in the 12 &12 and 12 Traditions, written by Bill W., co-founder of AA,  sanity “means soundness of mind.”  Now here is the point, when I was in the throes of depression, I was scared and I really did think that I was losing my mind. I could not concentrate. My feelings and emotions were flowing through me like a river overflowing its banks. My thoughts always circled back on themselves, making a tight grip-like  on every thought that flowed from   my mind. I was in a circular round dance – without a partner.  I would   try to think my way  out of my depression. What was happening to me I thought? The more I thought,  the more I got tangled up in my own mental fog.  After the mental wrestling which  went on in my mind, hour after hour and day after day, I begin to wonder if there was any  way out of this  labyrinth. The paths led to places which indicated that there was no exit. I began to believe   there was no way out and so my daily recourse/solution was to sleep. Sleep was the only thing that would deaden the assault on my mind.

Many times my own mind goes back to the time when as a therapist I tried to help others break down their life choices into  small pieces. When I was depressed,  all I could think of was a wall, a huge wall that would show up,  every time I wanted to go  and try to figure out a solution for my problem. And it was here that I would continue the insane banging my head against a wall that would not let me gain entrance. But when I began to break the  symptoms of my depression into smaller parts and take a closer look at where the solutions might lie.  I discovered a way out of my own prison by  this method and   it  gradually provided  hope for me. I  discovered that what I needed  to do was to utilize some of these ” tools ” as a way out of the prison of depression and gave me a gradual  exit out of my prison. Instead of going over and over in my mind on how bad or worthless I was, I began to cut off these self-bashing thoughts with hopeful designs on making a new me. No more was I engaged in that insane circular thinking that provided no solutions, but instead, always sent me right back to square one from where I started. Insanity! It was like a dog chasing its tail.  Doing the  same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Sorry, it doesn’t happen that way when we are with a group of people at a Depressed Anonymous meeting.  We all have experienced the type of thinking that puts us deeper in the lowest mood possible. It is the group experience and the spiritual principles of the Steps that help us to spiral upwards into wholeness and sanity.

One of the great lessons that I have learned over the years is listening to those persons who share their stories of hope. They tell the stories of their own recovery sharing with us how they used all the “tools” at their disposal for their own recovery

.(See Tools of Recovery at our website Menu where you will find a list of many of the effective tools for extricating oneself from depression. You will be able to use  ” sane” tools as a means of rejecting the insanity of our own lives and making sense out of how to live a life without depression. A life with hope. It happens.)

Also read the many stories in our Depressed Anonymous “Big Book”   Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY). Personal testimonies section.

More information at the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore.

Order are accepted online.

 

 

 

We do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. PROMISE #3/13.

Many of us have lived with guilt, shame and regret for our past.  Until we got down to business – that is taken a moral inventory – did we desire that the  God of our understanding help us see what we needed to do to forgive our selves and get on with our lives.

As the Promises state in so simple a manner, this does not mean that “oh well  we made some mistakes so let’s just forget about everything that happened in the past.”  We can spend a lot of wasted time wallowing in the self-pity that occupies our addiction. We also might regret all the time we have spent staring  at a blank wall, alone and trying to figure out in the circling of our thought the  “whys” of our immobility, passivity and pain.

It is in Steps Four and Five where our past regrets are played out and dealt  with. Once we have made a list of all our resentments and fears and spoke of them to a trusted friend we can begin to feel a new sense of freedom.

When we suppress a negative emotion an refuse to deal with it, either consciously or unconsciously, it becomes one of those blocks that form the walls of our personal prison. This unexpressed emotions can foster and boil over so that our energy level is dissipated, scattered . We find ourselves and our will weakened. We discover that with the internal war raging  inside of us we,  can hardly find the energy to get to work and /or roll ourselves out of bed a morning. The pain from depression freezes all efforts at mobility.

We discover that our ability to make ourselves do something is now beyond our personal strength and power. We have become helpless. We also discover that we are powerless. Our will power has no control over our feeling depressed,

How do we know that this particular Promise will come true for me? The only thing that we can rely on is our own experience. Our experience tells us that the more we live non the  solution of the Promises of Depressed Anonymous that the  serenity and peace is ours for the moment.

We have discovered that it is when we begin to live in the solution that our solution focused program leads us past the fear of what might happen to the serenity of the present moment. Our freedom begins when we start to reflect consciously on what is happening now at this very moment, I have noticed that it is when I become conscious  about what I am feeling –  the direct result of my thinking –it is at that moment that I make conscious  decisions to bring myself back to the present. ”

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

(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous : Planting a seedbed of hope.(2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.  40241.  # 3/12 Promises.

DEPRESSIVOS ANONIMOS (Spanish edition) PUBLISHED TODAY(MAY 1).

 

Today, Depressed Anonymous Publications has published the First Spanish Edition of DEPRESSIVOS ANONIMOS.   (This Spanish edition   is  the English  edition of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition).

This Spanish edition provides the 12 Step fellowship with a Step by Step program of recovery.

See our website at www.Depressedanon.com for information on ordering online.

DEPRESSIVOS ANONIMOS  can be ordered from Amazon.com and/ or from the Depressed Anonymous website at www. depressedanon.com.

For more information  email at  depanon@netpenny.net.

 

I’m on a personal journey of transformation! Today!

I can do almost anything to feel better and more alive.  All I need to do is believe that I can do it. I want to believe.

“Through the Twelve Step program of recovery, 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.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

This is the real world, the 12 Step program for healing and  gradual abstinence from hiding the pressure that builds from inside and pushes me to want to withdraw and isolate myself.  I am more sure today than  I was yesterday.  The more I work my 12 Step program I  feel better. I also believe that the more I begin  to take charge of  areas of my life, like exercising,  getting a  hobby,  and moving about, the speedier will  be my recovery.

From childhood, I had a scarce 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 this day. We know that you are here – closer to us than the light in our eyes. We again trust you so that we can  live this unpredictable life with hope and trust in you. (Personal comments).

(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days:365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for all members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.