Category Archives: Depressed Anonymous Workbook

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

There is a direct linkage between self-reflection, meditation and prayer

“There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related an interwoven, the result is an unshakeable foundation for life.” The Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions.

In Step Four of the Depressed Anonymous program of recovery, we read from The Depressed Anonymous Workbook the following encouraging statement:

“By our daily conscious contact with God as we under stand God, I believe that my daily efforts at listening to my Higher Power’s word will help me focus in on where I need to change. I hope that my depression will always be examined the moment I feel down and blue for no apparent reason. If I slow down, take a pencil and write down what I have been thinking of lately, I do believe that my sadness will slowly evaporate – slowly like the early morning fog.

I will cast away my fears, guilt and resentments by getting them down on paper in front of me. On black and white.

Copyright(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2009) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Page 27. STEP FOUR

This Workbook can now be downloaded as an Ebook for $1.00 from the Depressed Anonymous Bookstore at www.depressedanon.com.

Offer lasts until the end of May. After that it will resume its price of $12.00.

How to grow your inner security. (During Covid-19 purchase and download two DA Ebooks – each $1)

“It is by becoming part of the group that you will experience that miracle of the group. You will find that power greater than   yourself is about to restore you to a feeling of serenity and personal hope.” Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Pg. 51.

“As faith grows, so does inner security, The vast underlying fear of nothingness  commences to subside.  We of AA find that our basic antidote  for fear is a spiritual awakening.” Bill W., in As Bill Sees it. Pg. 196.

(Depressed Anonymous is modeled on the 12 Steps of AA.)

Resource

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2001) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

ALERT!!!!

YOU CAN NOW ORDER TWO OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS eBOOKS, EACH  $1.  (Basic text AND  Workbook. ORDER EXPIRES ON MAY 1ST. GO TO THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS   BOOKSTORE AND CHECK OUT OTHER FINE LITERATURE.

My ship was sinking…and then I found a lifeboat. (Three excuses not to get Into the boat.)

I remember this well. I knew that my ship (life) was sinking. I was feeling that I was going under. My feeling was physical and real. I was losing control. There was no hope. And at this time of personal despairing, when I was at my lowest point, a lifeboat showed up. I know this is a metaphor. In reality the boat was a solution that gave me hope. And to my surprise, others had also found this life boat. And as we shared stories with each other about our troubled lives and our feelings of hopelessness, something amazing happened. The solutions appeared. We each grabbed an oar and began rowing to shore.

So, you can stand there on the ship’s deck and feel it sinking or you can get into the lifeboat. We are talking about being compassionate to yourself, because everything else springs from that.

It is not selfish to love yourself.

If you can’t find compassion for yourself, you’ll never be truly generous for yourself, you’ll never find it for anyone else. You won’t know how. You will never be truly generous to anyone while depriving yourself.

The reason we don’t tell anyone they should do this, is that a person won’t do this until they are ready.

MOST PEOPLE WILL NEVER DO THIS.

All we are saying is that when you’re ready here’s the way you can do it. This is definitely not another stick to beat yourself with.

When you’ve suffered enough, you’ll remember that you know how to do it. It doesn’t really matter what you thought or have believed, felt or done before. This is a new day.

“But I I’ve always done it this way.” But I’ve always been this way.” Or “This is just the way I am.”

These are three of the world’s worst excuses. Don’t make excuses. Have a life!

 

SOURCE: (C) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

All DAP books can be ordered online.

To be honest, open and willing to look at ourselves gets us the hope we are looking for!

We notice in Step Seven  (Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings) we don’t tell  God how we want God to remove our shortcomings – we leave that up to God.  This of course takes time just as it took time to develop our shortcomings and our defects of character. Sometimes, we hear some professionals say that people who are depressing themselves shouldn’t spend time taking an inventory of their faults or shortcomings because that is what got them  here in the first place – namely dissecting and bashing ourselves for all the bad things we have done and become. Why would those depressed want to make themselves sadder? The answer to this is that you will not make yourself sadder, you will make yourself healthier as you admit how you have kept yourself locked up in the prison of your depression by any or all of the following: your perfectionism, your anger, anxiety, indecisiveness, feeling always overwhelmed, self-doubts, all or nothing thinking, your passivity and avoidance of getting in touch with your feelings, people pleasing, pessimism toward yourself, lack of feeling competent, loss of identity, feeling unconnected to the world, and finally feeling socially isolated. These are some of the shortcomings that each of us has to look at if we are to live with any amount of freedom.  Some of the above are sure to be part of the depressed person’s life and thinking.”

Quoting  Dorothy Rowe,  tells us that

“People won’t change until they have some assurance that when they do change they will be completely happy. They want to have someone promise them that if they decide to change, they will have no more problems and will be happy.

This request is based on two assumptions, namely: 1) Anyone who hasn’t got my problems has no problems at all (therefore when my present problems disappear I shall have no problems); 2) Happiness is total certainty  (therefore unless I know exactly what is going to happen I cannot be happy).

Change is always difficult. I need to examine in my own life and check out to see if I always expect my actions to produce perfectly happy results or I won’t pursue them.”

Ordering can be done online (depressedanon.com) The two works listed here make up our HOME STUDY RECOVERY KIT. It is a long distance approach for learning more about the power of the  Twelve Steps and how to apply them to oneself.


RESOURCES:  (C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY  Pg. 72.

(C) The  Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2002)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY . Pg. 59.

Hidden Anger Survey

SWALLOWING MY ANGER

Articles on how anger can affect our lives on a daily basis.

An excerpt from The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (Fourth Step. Question # 4.41.) Page 33.

“Because you are unaware of being angry does not mean that you are not angry. It is the anger you are unaware of which can do the most damage to you and to your relationships with other people, since it does get expressed, but in inppropriate ways. Freud once likened anger to the smoke in an old fashioned wood burning stove. The normal avenue for discharge of the smoke is up the flue and out the chimney; If the normal avenue is blocked, the smoke will leak out the stove in unintended ways…around the door, through the grate, etc., choking everyone in the room. If all avenues of escape are blocked, the fire goes out and the above ceases to function. Likewise, the normal human expression of anger is gross physical movement and /or loud vocalization: watch a red-faced hungry infant sometime. We learn to be “be nice,” which means(among other things) hiding “bad” feelings. By adulthood, even verbal expression is stifled, and to protect ourselves from the unbearable burden of continually unexpressed “bad” feelings, we go to the next step and convince ourselves that we are not angry, even when we are. Such self-deception is seldom completely successful and the blocked anger “leaks out” in inappropriate ways…”

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

I can’t do anything to remove my compulsive behavior until I choose to live without it!

REFLECTION

I know that I have to continue to work on myself and the way that I speak to myself on an ongoing and daily basis. My letting go and let God take over my life doesn’t mean that I’ll just sit back and let God do all the work. No, it means that I will work on myself and leave the outcome up to my Higher Power. I know that my life can be lived differently if I make the effort to choose to become conscious of the thoughts that I let myself ruminate and think about during my day. The more I monitor my thoughts, the more I  am able to filter out the negative thoughts and have them replaced with positive and constructive thoughts.

So often, when I am depressed I continue a thinking style that was learned as a small child. I am not even counscious as to how I would always select the negative attribute about myself to reflect upon, instead of   thinking  positive and hopeful thoughts about myself and my relationships. The more I believe that I have a choice as to how I am to  feel, the more I become conscious of the thoughts that influence the way I feel.

BECOMING MINDFUL

God, let me just for today, dwell on your mercy and kindness that you desire to bestow on us. We pray that our awareness of your love for us will free us from our sadness.

Resources:

(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous  Publications. Louisville, KY  December 14th.

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

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

Put a HIGHER THOUGHT in your life every day. A spiritual vitamin will increase your spiritual metabolism so that you  begin to replace negative thinking with thoughts of hope and serenity.

You may order online from the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at www.depressedanon.com

Putting power into my life

Yesterday’s blog spoke about the “lack of power” in one’s life.  Most persons are looking for getting some power in their lives. Power to get out of bed. The power to feel better. The power to overcome the feeling of powerlessness. The power to break out of our  prison of depression.  The power to find a way to have some peace and happiness in my life.

In the beginning of the book, titled Depressed Anonymous, there  are  articles  written by two different therapists who share their views on how the Twelve Steps have helped their counselees work their way out of depression.  They are sharing how a   program of recovery, with the spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous, modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Steps, are the basis of recovery from depression for the counselee.

As a therapist myself  I have found that the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship is a power that  gradually can pivot the counselee from sadness to hope. The group provides individuals with  new tools, giving power to their search for freedom and serenity.  No longer do they  feel alone and isolated.  We know that a sure-fire way to remain in a state of depression  lockdown is to isolate oneself from loved ones and life in general. By using the “Big Book” of Depressed  Anonymous  in the group  and with a therapist we discover a powerful truth that provides the impetus   for  continuing  on with our search for hope, recovery for  our own mental wellness.

 We begin to live in the present,   believing  that yesterday is gone forever and tomorrow  hasn’t yet arrived. All we have is the now. No one can promise us a tomorrow – so let’s live for today–one day at a time.

 Denise shares how  her client , “spent his time alone and many countless hours thinking of all the disappointments in his life, which continually reinforced his depression. Then he started going to DA and found that through being with other people like himself, he didn’t feel as  alone as he did before.  He started sharing his pain, and found understanding and support. Then I noticed his face began to soften, and he started smiling more. He also found help spiritually from DA, for he started working the Twelve Steps, and as a result, he started trusting God more for his healing. He is one of the many persons I’ve worked with who have found  help and encouragement through  attending Depressed Anonymous.”  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Page 29/ Therapists views on Depressed Anonymous, pages 26-29.

 Denise, as one of the therapists who has shared her views on Depressed Anonymous and who makes good use of the Depressed Anonymous group structure  discovers  how  a group program  can position a counselee into a fellowship with  people who are having the same experiences.  They no longer feel alone and isolated,  knowing  that they are  being provided with a program recommended by their therapist that works. By working with the therapist and the DA fellowship in tandem with each other, they find everyone is on the same page.  Not only does the powerful message that the counselee receives validate his/her recovery   experience with depression, but it will tie  in   with the  counselor’s treatment plan of recovery. It’s a win-win situation all the way!

If a therapist wants to give their clients another source of help, they might think about referring them to a mutual aid group such as Depressed Anonymous. And if the person reading this does have a therapist they would do well to advise their therapist  how much more the therapy experience would be enriched for the counselee.

Not only do we see how depression is becoming a  problem of epidemic proportions in all societies around the world, we believe that we have a positive approach to helping those who are still suffering  from depression.

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

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, 2nd edition (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.

All books can be ordered  online.