Your “ultimate concern” in life gives your life meaning and a purpose.

I think the idea of an “ultimate concern” for one’s life is critical and can gives a lazer-like focus to one’s choices. I believe that it is in our relationships and diverse human encounters along the trajectory of our lives that can either produce meaning to our decision making or cause us to make unwise choices. My life had only one concern, and that concern was in making sure that I had the next “fix” assuring me that each day I would stumble onto that elixer, that potion, which took away my ability to say “no” to those areas of my life which not only kept me paralyzed but powerless.

All this came about while I was in my mid-forties, and my life took on a sudden and radical change, a result of a lack of having any ultimate concern in my life. It was like my life was without a “mission statement” so to speak, no ultimate goal or objective etched in my thinking, to guide me in my life and decision making. There was no one at the tiller; I was adrift in a turbulent sea. I had lost sight of my North Star. All the while, darkness enveloped me and the storms of life threw me overboard. I was like Jonah swallowed up in the belly of the whale.

Seeking help and finding the help of a group of men and women (Depressed Anonymous) all focused on their own “ultimate concern” of helping others, they continue to find their own way out of the their own prison of helplessness.

Like all members of the fellowship, using the 12 spiritual principles of the twelve steps, we found our way out of hopelessness. We finally found hope and a purpose for living. Our 12 step spirituality keeps me undepressed today and I am thriving one day at a time. That’s all I am given. Today. I have a gift to share with others and that gift keeps on giving through others like me whose life today has a new meaning and purpose.

“You will not grow if you sit in a beautiful garden, but you will grow if you are sick, if you are in pain, if your experience loss, and if you do not put your head in the sand, but take the pain as a gift to you with a very, very specific purpose.”
Elizabeth Kuebler-Ross(Author of On Death And Dying:Stages of dying discussed. 1960.)

I grant that my own depression experience was the worst pain in my life.
I have taken that pain from my own life, I have accepted it and now I can see that for these past thirty years, and from my own experience and recovery, continues every day to be my gift to others. For that reason it has provided me with a very specific purpose, namely, to tell my story how there is hope and that you do recover!

Resource
Copyrigth(c) Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville KY.

Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw wrote the quote many years ago and that still holds true for most of today. This is especially evident when we begin participating in our 12 step fellowship group. The whole program consists of growth and self revelation. It provides us with a path for opening up ourselves to the world around us. And talk about change; that is what it is all about. We change the way we think, the way we feel as well as the way we believe about things. Our program is all about change. And for us who may have spent their whole lives depressed, this is a good place to be. We make the change from despair to hope, from isolation to being with new friends, and learning how hope is within our grasp when no hope seemed attainable.

Those of us who choose to change, and to continue to change, discover that by making some big changes in our own lives we now are alive with hope, alive with purpose and sharing the Steps (those twelve spiritual principles) that will lead others out of the prison of depression, becoming changed human beings.

It was only when I challenged a mistaken belief of mine that I would never get out of feeling sad and worthless. I made the plunge (change) and not only became motivated to change, but that I did change. I changed my thinking about being able to change what I thought was impossible and made it a possibility that I would change.

Again it is this wonderful group of people at a Depressed Anonymous meeting that gave me the courage to WANT to change.

RESOURCE

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY 40241.

A light at the end of the tunnel.

“Now that I have admitted that I am powerless over my depression and that I don’t do myself any good blaming myself with those daily reminders of how bad and unacceptable I am. I now an conscious.
(1) CONSCIOUSNESS. I am conscious of my need to discover what there is about myself that I do not find acceptable, good and wholesome. (2) PREPARATION. I am aware how I have depressed myself by the faulty beliefs that I have held about myself over past years. I now know that part of the way I feel is due to the way I automatically talk to myself through out the day. I now realize that my feelings about myself are very negative and emotion laden. (3) ACTION. i intend today to replace all negative statements that I make about myself, like waving a red flag before my eyes every time I call myself “stupid” or put myself down mentally. I will use affirmations such as the following:
I will build a new life for myself. I am strong today. I have the courage to go through the experience. I will no longer blame myself or others for my depression. I do not have to wait for someone to make me feel better, as I can do this myself if I choose to do so. (4) SUSTAIN. I am very hopeful that I can feel better just for today. I am going to tolerate my imperfections while at the same time refusing to feel sorry for myself. I am going to make myself accountable for how I feel, not blame it on someone or others.”

RESOURCES
Copyright(C) Believing is seeing: 15 Ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Pages 54-55.

Copyright(C) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY 40241.

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

Copyright (C) Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION. (2011). DAP. Louisville, KY 40241.

Copyright(C) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2013) SECOND EDITION. DAP. Louisville, KY. 40241.

NOTE These publications can be ordered online at www.depressedanon.com. These books can be purchased together or individually.
The DA Workbook and the DA Manual, THIRD EDITION, are available as Ebooks and are downloadable.
If you order with the intent of setting up a Depressed Anonymous support group, having all five publications will be a source of support library for the fellowship.

Depressed? Looking for a stable and secure environment?

Depressed and feeling alone? This is what many of us have felt when a combination of the many symptoms of depression shackled us physically and put our mind in park.

Some of us felt that there must be a way out of the pain of depression, but as yet were unable to find what might help us. But this feeling changed once I came into the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous, our 12 Step program of recovery. When I was asked if I would like to share with others my own path of recovery I heartily agreed. Here is my story.

“I am sharing my story here to give others a chance to read what happens when we land in this circle of friendship with its healing acceptance and support.
After ten years of repeated meetings with the depressed of Depressed Anonymous meetings, it’s clear that 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, as they find not only attention to their story, but find that they are loved and 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 as 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 participant 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 sharing and risking information about yourself begins the construction of a new and secure you. The DA group becomes for the first time in your life a very secure and stable environment where you can share, trust and grow.”
–Anonymous

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Page 162-163. (Personal stories: #25. Depressed Anonymous provides a secure (love and acceptance) base for those who never experienced love nor support growing up.

___________________________________________
To read more stories of inspiration (Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Please click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at www.depressedanon.com. Literature can be ordered online. Ebooks are also available.

I am depressed and I am wanting a change

The past is always full of hurt and and unexpressed anger. The future never seems to be without its colossal fears and “what if’s.” Now is the time to accept the fact that I want to change the way I think, act and believe. Right now I am wanting a change and am willing to face the challenge that making changes bring. To do this is called living.

Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups
Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. January 7.

Hugh, for the fellowship

I’m depressed! Where do I go from here?

“Now that I have admitted I am having a difficult time living I want to learn some new avenues that will make my life more enjoyable and much more livable.” Depressed Anonymous Workbook, Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. 2002.
Are the sad feelings of depression causing your life to be lived inside the prison of hopelessness? Have your moods deepened to the extent that you are no longer able to function. By that I mean are you unable to do even the basic things like talking to family or friends, holding onto a job, getting out of bed in the morning, or just to concentrate on any single thought for any length of time. Some of us are unable to sleep when we are depressed. Some of us gain weight because of inactivity and fatty comfort foods. If you say yes to any of the above life changers then you could possibly be suffering from the symptoms of depression.

I know now that at the 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 who once stated that we need to commit ourselves to God, trust in him, and that the God of my understanding will act in my behalf.

When we learn to let go+ of those persons, mental images, painful past personal situations and memories the better I am able to let God control my life. I find this letting go a fearsome project but nevertheless I find that I must do it if I want to find hope once again.

“Some of the major ways people help buiild the walls of derpession are to consider themselves worthless, won’t allow themselves to get angry, they can’t forgive themselves or others, and they beleive that life is hard and death is worse. Also, they beleive that since bad things happened to them in the past bad things are bound ti happen to them in the future.” Depressed Anonymous, Third Edition, Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisvile. KY. 2011. Page 28-38.

And so to answer my question, where do I go from here? I personally suggest that you find a Depressed Anonymous meeting and be part of the conversation. But now with the covid-19 surrounding us, most face to face meetings have paused for safety reasons.

We are now very fortunate to have an online International Depressed Anonymous Skype meeting every day. It is live at 11:30AM CST and at 12:30PM EST. The Depressed Anonymous meeting originates from the USA, and can be accessed by anyone with the Internet.

For more information please go to www.depressedanon.com, click onto Depressed Anonymous HOMEPAGE drop down menu at MEETINGS and it is there you wil find a link to the meeting live.

If there are other questions please contact Depanon@Hotmail.com

For more information about Literature on Depression and the 12 Steps please click onto THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE for online ordering.

The DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS Third Edition is available as well as the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK. Both these can be downloaded as Ebooks from our website.

I Wanted To Get Well

The following is part of the written testimony of Helen who found a solution to her life problems.

The title of her story is: ‘I have to take responsibility for my own life.’ You can read her whole story, one of many personal stories of recovery from depression in Depressed Anonymous, Third Edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.Ky. Pages 145-148.

Helen knew that she needed help after two yeas of sleepless nights. She knew that someone had to help her. She tells us that she found a card at the back of a phone book which read “Depressed Center”. It had a phone number and that was all. I talked to the man on the other end of the phone. She made an appointment with the man and made herself go see him. “I thank God that I did. I thank God that I went for help. She tells us that it was a new beginning for her. I wanted to get well so badly. I do think that people do want to change. I went in with the attitude that I have to get well. I heard things about counselors that scared me, but this was just all the old negative feelings that caught up with me and boxed me in. I got better and started to think differently. I started to get rid of some of my negative thinking. I began to feel better and continued to see my counselor. I started in Depressed Anonymous a few weeks later.”

I remember Helen very well, as her story is so much like so many of our own stories. She was very sure that by her wanting to get well she was willing to do all it took for her to get well. She had to eliminate her negative thinking and by doing so she began to feel better.

I highly recommend that you read this story as it is an inspiration. Helen illustrates a way out of depression that really works. Her life is a living example of what you do and what you believe is the key to recovery. She shows us that you first have to take the key, put it into the door and turn the key. When you you accomplish this feat, you are on your way! You will recover!


For those of you who want to turn the key in your own life, please check out the HOME STUDY KIT at depressedanon.com website and get started on your own recovery. You can also join a Depressed Anonymous online Skype meeting. Check out Meetings at the DA Homepage menu section for the link that will take you to these meetings. The books which are needed for your recovery can be downloaded as eBOOKS from our online bookstore.

Hugh, for the fellowship

There is hope…and we do recover! Join online Skype meeting today!

Start off the new year 2021 by attending a live 12 Step Depressed Anonymous meeting today. Meetings are everyday–11:30 AM CST and 12:30PM EST.
Discover recovery right here on your device and be part of a network of hope.
Hope to meet you at a meeting today.
Click onto www.depressedanon.com at homepage & go to Menu item MEETINGS – the drop down menu will lead you to the link and online meeting time and place.

You are not alone. Welcome

Hugh for the fellowship.

What is the best way for family members to help their depressed loved one?

Thanks to members of a family, a mother and daughter attending a Depressed Anonymous meeting for the first time, were given tools helping them understand their father and mother’s husband who was isolating and depressed. It was at this meeting with me after the meeting, that they discovered that the parent and daughter were both experiencing some of the same feelings as was their loved one.

It was At this juncture of our discussion together that we knew at that point that family members needed to learn more about depression.

It was there that the initial program of Dep-Anon had its origin. They saw how their loved one was isolating and resistant to any or all of our solutions or efforts to budge them into recovery. The more we cajoled them the more this made matters worse.

Little did we realize that by continuing on this path of negative emotions directed toward our loved one that this would push the depressed family member further away from us. Our efforts continued to be self defeating.

We learned a very important message: We needed to back off, take care of ourselves, learn as much as we could about depression and leave our loved one alone. We also discovered that we needed a group much like Al-Anon in nature. We figured some out and that was we had to take care of ourselves and let the depressed take care of themselves. We truly were powerless to change them. We had to learn a new way. We found it important that we ourselves use the same program of recovery as our family member uses at their Depressed Anonymous group. We call it Dep-Anon. Yes, we had now found a way for ourselves to use the same spiritual principles which the Al-Anon family uses as they start taking care of themselves and let go of trying to regulate and control a family member’s drinking. We began to understand that we must try to change ourselves first, before we try and change someone else. We must fix ourselves and learn exactly how and what depression can do and does do to our family member.

All of us, who do have a family member as part of the fabric of our lives, can now look to Dep-Anon, a 12 Step family group, formed to not only help ourselves but also for us to participate as a member of a larger group of family members, who now together are learning ways to care for themselves.
Hugh

A Lack Of Knowledge Of Depression

One of the major areas of concern by family members was the fact that there was a great lack of understanding of what depression is, and how if effects the depressed person. One of the members of Dep-Anon mentioned that the night before the meeting she and her daughter talked for hours and came to quite an understanding what the daughter was experiencing. Was it the fact that the mother was joining Dep-Anon, and going for help, that motivated her to sit down and try to understand just what the experience of depression is all about?

We came away from the first meeting of Dep-Anon with a fairly good map of what the landscape would look like as we charted a beginning course for the support group for family members and friends of the depressed.

One of the obstacles associated with the recovery of a family member depressed is that the family normally does not have a clue as to the nature of depression and how deadly it can be. Because of their lack of knowledge of the causes and negative outcomes of the depression experience, the whole family is put at a disadvantage, making it imperative that the whole family be on the same page when seeking help–firstly for themselves within the family support group of Dep-Anon. The depressed family member can seek help within it’s own support group, Depressed Anonymous.

Just as the family learns about the disease of alcoholism, in an effort to better understand their loved one, so too the family of the depressed learns about depression. Dep–Anon, can be likened to Al-Anon in the sense that both have support groups in which families together can be source of strength, help and hope for each other.

It has been my pressing concern over these many years as a practicing mental health therapist, to do more to help family members be part of the conversation with the mental and medical health professionals when it comes to dealing with a depressed loved one. Also, it has been an ultimate concern of mine to support setting up Depressed Anonymous groups while at the same time encouraging Dep-Anon twelve step groups for family members with a depressed loved one.

In the next few weeks, Depressed Anonymous Publications, will be sharing information when the Dep-Anon book will be available. Hopefully, sometime by the middle of January, 2021.

Hugh S., for the Fellowship

We seek to prevent depression through education and by creating a supportive and caring community through support groups that successfully keep individuals from relapsing into depression.