Category Archives: DA Literature

I will keep physically fit. Exercise is my priority now!

MOTIVATION FOLLOWS ACTION.

AFFIRMATION
I promise myself that I will walk today to regain a positive feeling about myself and my world.
Keep physically fit. It is a must for us who are and have been depressed. Walking not only restore harmony to the body, it likewise restores my self-esteem and self confidence. Remember that motivation follows action.
REFLECTION

How can motivation follow action? Isn’t it the other way around, namely that action follows motivation? In a sense the criticism is true, but in another sense, it isn’t quite that accurate. When speaking about the paralysis of depression the individual’s motivation is almost completely nonexistent. That is why it is important for me, a depressed person to force myself to get moving -that’s right, force myself into an activity because even though I say “I will do it when I feel better.” I never usually feel better. So I need to find that point in my day, when I feel better and get out in the air and walk, if nothing else, it tends to distract from my wanting to sad myself.
When I take care of myself physically and begin giving myself p[permission to express my feelings, especially the unpleasant ones, I begin to speak more assertively and begin to like myself.

MEDKITATION

Today, help me sort out what needs to be thrown away and what we need to keep. Help us keep those memories that had love attached to them.

RESOURCES
Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 Step fellowship groups. (2002)Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Pages 150-151.

Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Chapter Six. Pages 33-36.

#6 Promise. Promises of Depressed Anonymous

#6 Promise: The feelings of uselessness and self-pity disappear.

“One of the major areas that changes quickly by our attendance at the group meetings is that we pity ourselves less and less. We begin to be grateful for all that we have and all that we are. We begin to see that once we start getting connected to others like ourselves on a regular basis through our Depressed Anonymous meetings, we are now listened to by others and we are validated. We don’t hear “snap out of it here.”

Suddenly our years of self pity, isolation and desolation have ben cashed in for a currency that buys us a new competency, a new identity, an autonomy and a burgeoning inter relatedness with others just like ourselves.

We now can speak about our experience with depression in the past tense. We can now share how we have the tools of self care whereby we can dig out and begin to construct an edifice of hope that will last the rest of our lives. As long as we continue to use the tools of the program we are bound to feel different.

We know that feeling sorry for ourselves promotes a greater attention to and for the problem, while attention to how our experience can help others promotes not only our own well being but that of others as well.

As we learn how the program works – and this only happens primarily by attending meetings. The solutions and ideas help us all to become more active in the pursuit of our own serenity, as promised by the fellowship.

When we were depressing ourselves, we felt not only useless, but unacceptable to ourselves and to others. It seems that the harder we pushed to fight against depression the sadder we became. When we began to feel differently we also began to believe differently. We learn how to be more helpful and hopeful.

Why do I continue the work of bringing hope to those still suffering? What motivates me to continue to try and help others. What has made the changes in my life where now I want to share what I know and what I feel? Basically,I know that the program of recovery works.

I no longer feel powerless over my symptoms of depression, that I can do nothing about my depression. I have seen that the major solution for my symptoms of depression is in the doing and in the feeling and the expression of my feelings with others in the group. In DA people speak my language. We see how useless it is to waste time looking back over my shoulder to see if the dark shadow of my own inner fears is going to overtake me. I now have attained small amounts of hope and strength as I go from day to day. I am prepared for those moments of despair that can overtake me and cause me to feel paralyzed and out of control.

In the first Step “we admitted that that we were powerless over depression and that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Self-pity is that feeling where we continue to go over and over again of all the hurts that have put us where we are today!

We waste hours and days in our self-wallowing.”

RESOURCE
(C) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous, (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Lpuisville, KY. Pages 13-14.

Promise # 5 of the Promises of Depressed Anonymous.

Promise # 5 : No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we see how our experiences can benefit others.

“Some of us have attempted suicide. A few of us more than a few times. We had despaired of ever finding peace or hope. We believe that we had no future and that our yesterdays were as hopeless as our today’s.

It was hard to attend our first Depressed Anonymous meeting. We felt horribly alone. We just know that no one in the group has been through what we have been through. But as we listened and watched the other members of the group speak – we saw ourselves in their stories.

Personally I believe that whatever you give out to others is the amount that comes back to us. Our experiences can usually help another. An experience such as depression is so isolating, so predictable in its misery that it is bound to have had an impression upon us that it changed our life. And then when our life is changed for the better – thanks to DA and the fellowship that we have to share it with those still suffering.

Ironically, it appears that the farther we have gone down in mood– and up again in our recovery -the more powerful is this experience. They see the after and hear how it was before we got involved in the fellowship.

The fact that we have recovered so completely is in itself a message of tremendous hope for those who are newcomers to the group.

Isn’t it amazing that those who can do the most for those still suffering are those who have worked themselves out of the pit of isolation and depression.”

Copyright (c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. (Page 12).

Do we believe nothing will ever change? A response from The Promises of Depressed Anonymous. #1

Excerpts from The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.

++++++ FOLLOW THE DISCUSSION/COMMENTARY ON THE PROMISES EACH DAY +++++++

” I do believe that the pain of our depression originates from inside ourselves. We construct present day reality based on life experiences. The past is the predictor of the future. As it says in Depressed Anonymous, many of us hold the absolute belief that “since bad things happened to us in the past bad things will happen to us in the future. ” In other words – we have made up our minds – nothing will ever change. And of course this belief is what promotes and keeps our depression alive.”

The opposite of depression is spontaneity and vitality. When we are depressed we move about as in a fog. We are stuck. Since we desire everything to remain the same, that is, predictable, we in no way believe that life can be different for us. If we intend to stay stuck, we make the decision, choose to stay in the rut of being lifeless, hapless and hopeless.

As we change old beliefs into new ones we believe that things can change as things begin to change. We will begin to experience hope, light and joy.”

“… life doesn’t have to be lived alone in agony or misery.” (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011)Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 41.)
___________________________________________________________________________
NOTE:
Tomorrow our commentary on the Promises continues for Promise #1.

Copyright(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 1-3. The 1st Promise of a total of 13 Promises.

Do I value myself?

“I am convinced that when I am depressing myself, that is, talking to myself and telling myself how bad and unacceptable that I am, I probably come across to others in in the same manner. When I try to please people I seem to be more depressed than before. I want to have other’s approval so much because I don’t really have a self that I can approve. It is only when I begin to value myself that other’s may or may not approve of me. When I begin to look on myself more positively, it will be alright with me, if someone disapproves of me.
The more I value myself, my word, and my future, the more my depression is gradually diminished. ”

Resource

(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. October 20. page 172.

Success should be replaced with the ideal of service. – Albert Einstein

SERVICE
Reflections about service on Step Nine of the Twelve Steps.

One of the better ways to make amends is to commit yourself on a daily basis to helping other members of the Depressed Anonymous group to find peace and serenity. It is when we each begin to take responsibility and control over our lives and quit blaming the weather, other people, ourselves, institutions, or our jobs for our sadness that we begin to feel whole in recovery”.

“Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people around us. Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead. We must take the lead. A remorseful mumbling that we are sorry won’t fill the bill at all. We ought to sit down with the family and frankly analyze the past as we now see it, being very careful not to criticize them. Their defects may be glaring, but the chances are that our own actions are partly responsible. So we clean house with the family, asking each morning that our creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindness and love.”

REFLECTION
How do we plan to be of service to our fellow members today and a Newcomer to our fellowship?

RESOURCE(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd Edition(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Page 88.

Three important questions to ask yourself

WHO AM I?
WHAT DO I WANT?
WHO IS MY GOD?

One excellent way for any of us depressed to discover the answers to these questions is by using the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. There are over 200 questions, with each Step having its own questions. I have realized by using this format, that I needed to look more deeply into who I think I am, what I want and who is my God?

In other words, it is by asking ourselves questions, those of which we might never have thought to ask – especially in times of feeling alone and isolated.

You can also learn more about how Depressed Anonymous uses these Step questions in their group discussions on SKYPE. A question asked and the answer given can many times release positive results. I have this hope for you as well.

See more about this Workbook at https://depressedanon.com/fellowship/depressed-anonymous-literature/#da-workbook. You can use this Workbook for your own personal study as well. It has helped me continue to discover more about what my “ultimate concern” is for my own life.

Hugh

Slow down! Road work ahead!

How often do we see these orange warning signs along our highways? Sometimes it seems that everywhere we go, construction is going on. According to Murphy’s law, they only show up when we are in a hurry to get somewhere else.

In our recovery it is a necessity to read the signs that tell us to slow down. There is road work ahead. As we know or will soon find out recovery is about work, using those tools that are provided for our own healing and serenity.

We slow down, stop and reflect on our lives, examining how certain “triggers” not only slow us down but can “shut us down.” We discover how ruminating on the same negative feelings, produce a mood that continues to stifle us and prevents us from seeing it for what it is, namely a warning for us to make some changes in our behaviors. If we let these moods deepen there is a strong possibility that these negative ruminations can push us deeper into symptoms of depression. Before that happens, starting to use our tools can save us from relapsing or experiencing a recurrence of symptoms and get us back on the road again.

There are many things that can keep us motivated to stay involved in our program of recovery. You can read these for yourself here on our website (depressedanon.com) under the menu, TOOLS FOR RECOVERY. They are welcome tools not only providing help but hope.

You can also reflect on the “slogans” used by those of us in the 12 Step fellowships. I am going to list some of them and hope that you will use these as “mantra’s” or “slogans” for your own recovery and “road work.”

KEEP IT SIMPLE. Don’t complicate your life by over-analyzing or by placing judgments on others thinking or behavior. Don’t double yourself up with doing a hundred different things all at once.

DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING Telling yourself I’ll do it when I feel better never gets it. If you are recovering then go to meetings when you don’t want to or an appointment when you don’t feel like it. If you need to go to work go to work. That is the next right thing. Always be there for yourself and your healing. If you are doing Step work with a sponsor, then do the Step work. Do the next right thing. Put that on your bathroom mirror.

PROGRESS – NOT PERFECTION. Do what you can do and then don’t worry about it. The main thing is not that something you do is perfect –but that you are doing what you can do and doing it to the best of your ability.

CONTROL THE EFFORT-NOT THE OUTCOME. Take responsibility for you all that you do and again do your best. Make the effort. Give it your best shot. “To thine own self first be true.”

BE. HERE. NOW. Be in the present. Yesterday is gone forever. Tomorrow is not here yet. All we have is today. Enjoy the moment. Mindful that there is a God-and it isn’t me!

ONE DAY AT A TIME. We are only given one 24 hour period at a time. Use it well. Keep a journal and list three things that you are grateful for today.

Thank you for doing a little road work for yourself today. I hope that some of what I have written may have motivated you to look deeper into how you can “accept the things that you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

If you would like to read more about depression please go to The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore.

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY

Hugh

I would rather one should walk with me rather than merely telling me

The author Edgar Guest got it right. He would rather have someone walk with him rather than merely telling him. How true this is for our own lives. An example: I went to a large store whose layout I was unfamiliar. I asked a clerk how to find an item. “Oh yea, ” she responded — “I think it’s in aisle 57.” I was in aisle three so I walked to aisle 57. I looked everywhere – I spent some time up and down the aisle — no luck it wasn’t in aisle 57.
I went and asked another clerk. She told me that my item was in another aisle. She asked me to follow her and we walked back to aisle 57. There was my item. I thanked the clerk for helping me and I told her that I wasn’t familiar with the store layout. “No problem.”

In our program of recovery we always want to make ourselves available to those who have questions about the program, who need more information about the Steps and just another person to talk with between meetings. I get that. Those who volunteer to help those who need our assistance sometimes become a sponsor of others, or partner together in the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. We look forward to sharing our own experiences with others, especially our “newbies.” Our help can be so valuable as we share our own story and how I too have come to my first meeting and found someone willing to help walk with me through the Steps.

At our Depressed Anonymous online meetings, the chair person shares how anyone wanting to have someone to talk with between meetings, can find the names and phone numbers on the screen for handy reference. I highly recommend this.

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook is a positive tool where a new member and a group member can share and walk this path together. For some it has completely changed their lives…including the friend and the sponsor. You will be glad you did.

Hugh

Life is starting to come together

As I began working on the abuse issues in therapy, the pieces of my life began to fit together in a way they could never have before, as I had never dealt with this catastrophic event. In the book Depressed? Here is a way out! (now Depressed Anonymous) the author talks about how people find their time of depression to be one of the great gifts of their life. The first time I read this, I thought it was the craziest thing I have ever heard. Yet, during this time of depression, I have learned and have I grown. I have come to understand myself and my God in a way I never could before.

It has been nearly a year now. Life is starting to come together for me again, one day at a time by the grace of God and the fellowship of this program. For the very first time I walked through the doors of Depressed Anonymous, I knew that I was in the right place. Having been an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous for so many years, I worked the Steps with my sponsor. I was already a firm believer of the Twelve Steps. I attended meetings: I worked the Steps with my sponsor. I used the Depressed Anonymous phone list and talked to those people about my pain and my day to day problems. I read the book and followed the instructions given in it.

When God, through Depressed Anonymous, the program and the fellowship literally carried me through the darkest time in my life and he did not let me die. I have fully experienced the “miracle of the group.” I have heard it said that sometimes God’s greatest miracles are unanswered prayers. I believe it. After all I am one.
– ANONYMOUS
Resource
(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. pgs. 119-120.