Category Archives: Depressed Anonymous

#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.

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.

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

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.

A key that opened many doors

The following is an excerpt of a testimony of how a person hospitalized for depression found and used the key for her recovery.

“During my first night in the hospital, a member of Depressed Anonymous informed me of a support group known as Depressed Anonymous. I decided to give it a try. By telling me about the wonderful, miraculous and very spiritual program, this person had not only worked the Twelfth Step, but had given me a key, a key which would open many doors for me. Walking through these doors was like admitting defeat. I was playing first base in a ball game in which I would eventually win. If I struck out, I was back on Step One. By playing ball with a positive attitude, I was allowing my Higher Power to walk the Steps to recovery with me. With the help and the positive sense of fellowship that I enjoyed in the group. I began to understand God’s will for me. With the love, support and true friendship of three faithful members in the group, I began working on my driver’s license, which had been another step toward independence for me. Within a year, I earned my license when two members of the group took me in for my road test. A new sunnier life had begun for me. The worst was finally over.”

– Excerpted from: “We never talked about our feelings,” in a personal story by Lena

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, © 2011 Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville, KY. Page 112.

I have a plan that is simple with startling results

Originally published September 30, 2018. Some formatting changes.

Years ago I needed help and I was offered a number of plans/solutions which promised me relief for my particular problem. The plans offered me didn’t seem to work. In my desperation I thought I would try a 12 Step program of recovery. The plan was very simple. Not hard to understand. I tried it. I went to my first meeting and was given hope. All the folks there at the meeting were using the same plan. They talked about how this plan changed their lives. That got my attention. It got my attention because their story was my story. The group provide me with the plan’s list of areas in my life that I needed to look at. The plan, as I mentioned before was simple. Not complicated at all.

Have you ever in your life had to put something together and the thing that you put together came with a plan. It was a blueprint like thing that showed you what the end product would look like. when all the proper instructions were carried out. At this first meeting I made a commitment to follow this plan for 24 hours. Only 24 hours. Hey, not a big deal. I could handle that. So, I took the plan home and started to read the instructions, chapter and verse. It was a simple plan.

Now I had this plan. It was a plan for everyday of my life. I thought wow! is this good or what. That is exactly what I needed. I remember saying to myself, “I hope it works.” It works. Over 30 years later I am using the same plan. It never gets old and stale.

Early on I got some tools to go with the instructions on how to use the plan. The first tool showed me how to admit what was fouled up in my life and to also admit how things were terribly out of hand. In our plan there were all sorts of other tools that I needed to use if I was to get back on my feet. I have to confess some of these tools were not easy to use exactly. I mean there were parts of the plan that I needed to look at more closely than I ever had before. This plan came with a great instruction book that I and others call the Big Book. It spells out not only how to use the tools but what happens when we actively embrace them and put them to use in our daily life.

So, now besides the plan, we have the tools to go along with the instructions. So my life began to change. I began to find serenity in my life and I began to realize that there were things that I need to change in my life and then there were things I knew I couldn’t change. You know, like things that happened to me in then past. The instructions showed me a great way to take care of those issues that up to a time haunted me. I now really feel at home in my own skin now.

Startling results? Well, for sure. And part of the reason for these startling results is besides having a plan–having new tools to use-I was plopped right in the middle of a group of men and women that were using the same plan as I was. Like, we are all on the same page, literally. I was in a fellowship of folks who were telling each other their stories about how the instructions and tools brought them some really fantastic experiences changes in their lives. The first time I set foot in this group, I was promised that certain things were going to happen to me. You know what? They were right. They said that once I had the instructions under my belt, I would want to go and tell others my story. I would want to go and let those still suffering from whatever addiction was killing them, that they could live with the hope that their lives would change, as did mine. By following our plan, using our tools of recovery, and being a part of our fellowship (a 12 Step group) you “will be amazed before you are halfway through”. (the instructions) Again, that’s a Promise!

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. © 2011, Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

Contact: depanon@netpenny.net for more info.

An old saying

Note: originally published December 23, 2015

There is an old saying that goes like this: “When my ship came in, I was at the airport!” How true. How many opportunities in my life have I passed up because I kept telling myself, “I’ll do it when I feel better.” Just recently I wrote about this in my book I’ll do it when I feel better because that was my personal mantra when I was depressed. I would rather sit and do nothing. I just wanted to try and think my way out of the unending thoughts that kept me imprisoned. I sat in the prison of my own making. I was chasing hopeless thoughts around in my mind.

I always wanted to escape the pain – but not just now. The work that I knew which was involved was too much for me to even consider. I had no energy to speak of. Getting out of bed in the morning took a superhuman efforts and somehow, magically, I mistakenly thought I was going to be OK. I kept doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is insane.

But finally, when my ship came in, I was standing on the pier waiting for it, and I knew that I had to climb aboard. How did this event come about? Well, it came about when I knew I could wait no longer for help to come to me. I had to make a decision to go after it. No matter how big or how small, any ship would do. I had to get on board. Then it happened. I had to make a choice – stay in my misery which was predictable and unending or to go and find something, somebody that could help me live a life which was truly unpredictable and that I could live my life in peace and hope. The name of that ship is not the “good ship lollipop” but the ship is a vessel of hope called The Depressed Anonymous Fellowship. The sailors on this ship are tried and true, having endured all sorts of trials and perils of life, who have found this vessel of hope to be seaworthy and a life support. All we need to do is admit that we have to get aboard this ship. Will you like to join us on this voyage we call life? Would you like to find yourself on calm seas? If so, a ship is coming for you. Get aboard and live.

See our book, Depressed Anonymous – it’s my and your passport to safety and serenity.

Order it today. VISIT THE STORE here at our site and learn more about what we in this Fellowship have to offer those who feel there is no hope. And adrift. Grab an oar!


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

Lack of power, that was our dilemma!

In our “Big Book” Depressed Anonymous, we learned that not having the power to escape from depression was our main problem.

What gives many of us the power to overcome depression is to have some new purpose or find new meaning for our lives. In my own life I found that the best way to keep those low moods and depressive symptoms at arm’s length is to write. One day I stumbled across this great solution for my own wellness and rehabilitation – among many. Most times in the past when I felt discouraged and in a funk mood, I would seek out my pillow and rest. Too many times my escape from the mental and physical fatigue would be to hit the sack.

I gave up that moment which in time became my power to get on with that moment which gave meaning to me like no other.