Category Archives: Depressed Anonymous

To keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity

Maybe and maybe not! We use this slogan many times in our recovery groups, thinking the statement to be true. For example, to keep missing our recovery meetings week after week may result in a possible relapse. I believe this to be true! Insane? It is definitely not helpful when one is trying to find sobriety or a way out of their depression

For the depressed to isolate oneself from family, friends and the world, is to gradually move self into a deepened mood of sadness and ultimately depression. The isolation is not going to defend the individual from depression but is only going to make it worse.

To look at the slogan from another angle is to find that the statement is false. In fact, to keep going to meetings week after week or more often is doing the same thing – expecting different results. By doing the same thing over and over again, in this case, the different results are a strengthened recovery with hopefulness coupled with serenity.

What gives meaning to your life today?

Many depressed people will say: “I don’t know why I am depressed. It just happened suddenly like a black cloud coming down.” They say this because they do not want to look at the terrible events which threatened to destroy the way they saw themselves and their world. These events might not seem very significant to other people, but to the person concerned they are very important. It is not the events which make them important, or frightening, or overwhelming, but the meaning we give to these events.

Dorothy Rowe, in her forward to Hugh Smith’s book Depressed? Here is a way out! she explains that it is the meaning that we give to the event that creates the depression. How true it is for my own life when I attempted to build a wall, a wall that would defend me from my constant worry that had taken me over, spiraling my life downward into a deep, dark pit. It was like a Trojan horse, who had taken my mind captive and left me with no escape. I became physically immobilized trying to defend against this force – while my thoughts continued to cycle around and around, the more powerless I became.

Even though that feared future event never took place – my false belief that it would happen – froze my feelings, thinking and behaviors. I was like a zombie. That is until I heard about a group fellowship called Depressed Anonymous. It motivates its membership to take action. To do something. To move the body into action. To learn and live the Twelve Twelve Step of recovery with others like ourselves.

Gradually, I discovered that the more I discarded my defense of sleeping, isolating and negative thinking and sought the support of others like myself, did I get better. I attended the Depressed Anonymous meetings and made use of their their recovery tools. Now, I attend meetings as often as I can. There is hope…and we do recover.

RESOURCE

(C) Hugh Smith, Depressed? Here is a way out! HarperCollins Publishing, London, 1990.

I depressed myself. I can undepress myself.

My name is Linda and the first time I read Depressed Anonymous, I did not like it and I got angry. The first part of the book about turning our mind and lives over to a Higher Power sounded good. I was ready to do that. Hey! Here it is God. You take it. No more depression! But then came the part about a moral inventory,shortcomings and the big one is that I depress myself.

What is he thinking about? I said to myself as I read the book. I had tried to un-depress myself many times. I put the book down, and went to work.

But as I was walking around at work that night feeling very depressed, bits and pieces of the book kept popping into my head and I started to think of the word “stop” just like the book suggested to do. “I depressed myself. I can un-depress myself I said to myself.”

Look for SUNSPOTS, memories from the past that were happy times and ones which bring back happy feelings from years gone by. I tried, but none came to mind. But I did find that thinking about the book and what it said did make me feel a little bit better. Then a piece of a song popped into my mind. “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all the others will come to you.” “Hey! A SUNSPOT!” I said to myself.

Then I felt a warm glow and then I did feel better – I did it! I made myself feel better. I did un-depress myself! I had mixed feelings. I wanted to feel better, but admitting I depressed myself was not an easy thing to do.

I went back and reread the book, but now with an open mind. I have started to to follow the Twelve Steps and with the help of the Higher Power, I can have a brighter future. I am making and putting in my memory a lot of SUNSPOTS for those times when I am feeling depressed and which I can choose to draw upon when I feel that I need them.
I put up a “stop” sign and bring out a SUNSPOT to carry me through.

Source:

Depressed Anonymous 3rd Edition, © 2011, Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville KY. (Page 114 – Personal Stories #3)

Lois got it right

Lois joins a Depressed Anonymous mutual aid group.

It was December of 1992 that I made that decision. I knew that I was powerless over depression and that my life had become unmanageable. I was willing to do anything that Depressed Anonymous offered. I wanted to get rid of the pain. If Depressed Anonymous had told me that I would get well if I stood on my head three times a day, I would have done it. Daily I read from the book and consciously worked the Twelve Steps. I worked them one at a time from One through Twelve. Working the Steps to me meant posting the Step I was working on and consciously pondering it throughout the day.

Lois, a member of Depressed Anonymous

Source:

Depressed Anonymous 3rd Edition, © 2011, Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville KY. (Pages 110-111)

Depressed Anonymous Workbook, © 2012, Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville KY.


For more information on Depressed Anonymous literature and ordering online, please VISIT THE STORE at The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore.

Do you have a daily strategy for living? Kobe Bryant used the Chess board for his basketball prowess.

I was surprised to learn that the former LA Laker’s (NBA) great was a chess player. I wondered why that would be and then, being a chess player myself, I figured it out. Chess players become strategists by learning the best moves with their chess pieces to “check mate” and close down their opponent. Think about it. If you happen to be a chess player, you know all about strategy, or how a lack of strategy can give the game to your adversary. In chess, our pieces move according to moves predicated on the moves of one’s opponent. Sometimes one has to plan moves ahead to see what measures have to be taken to out maneuver the other player. Chess players have to have a strategy.

Two weeks ago, my grandson and I had a game, we had not played in a few years, and he always beat me in a few moves. (I always opened my game with wrong pieces). This time I opened with a new move and he was surprised. He had thought that he could beat his Papa in a few moves. Problem here is that I learned a new strategy and he was not prepared for my new strategy. Even so he won the game. I was still happy with myself that I put up some good moves myself and lasted longer in the competition.

In my duel with depression I gradually learned a strategy for my own life. I learned to to DO something. My first strategic move was to move my body and found that my mind would follow. Once I moved my body my motivation was strengthened and my thinking became more focused.

My own strategy was strengthened by using the 12 spiritual principles of our Depressed Anonymous program. At the core was my ultimate belief that I was going to recover, come hell or high water. An essential part of my strategy for regaining my life was to get out of bed in the morning and force myself. Move, call a friend. Go to a DA meeting.

For me, my best strategic move that check-mated my opponent, that is the isolation of depression, with its mistaken belief that there was no hope, was to join our fellowship, Depressed Anonymous. Because of the pandemic we have a daily SKYPE program online: Depressed Anonymous, a journey of hope. We are a group of people, who have found a strategy that works in so many great ways. It is to be with good people who are depressed and who now are able to work their way out of depression. We are not alone. We have a program of hope and we have each other. We remain anonymous (only first names are used if desired) and everyone has a chance to speak their mind. No one will tell you to “snap out of it” or “it’s just in your head.”

Another strategy is to read our literature – filled with strategies for any of us, on how to gain freedom from our isolating symptoms of depression –

Here is our strategy. Please click onto the website here at www.depresedanon.com. Go to Depressed Anonymous Homepage. There on the menu – last line, you will find menu references to our BLOGS, HOME and a MEETINGS MENU item that tells you where to find our meetings and how to get there. Please click onto the link at this pace and that will take you to our daily Depressed Anonymous meeting: A journey of hope. Here you can join our Online SKYPE group. Join.Skype.COM. Meetings are daily at 11:30 AM CST and 12:30PM EST. Please know that 10 minutes before the meeting starts you will get a green message button on your screen indicating “Join call.”
Click onto that and you are into the meeting.

Welcome. You will have used a strategy that will give you hope and a host of friends. Don’t let depression “check-mate” you.

Hugh, for the for the fellowship

I need to get prepared for a new me today!

I am getting healthier the more I realize that I don’t have to feel the way that I feel. I have the option to feel content and even smile today if I so desire. I will act like I want to smile again even though I don’t feel like smiling.

“If you have made yourself a martyr to your unappreciative family, remember the principle of partial reinforcement and apply it to your family. If you are always at their beck and call trying to meet their every demand, they will not appreciate you, but once they see that they cannot rely on you to to meet their demands, they will appreciate what you do for them.” (Breaking the Bonds, D. Rowe.Fontana, 1991).

REFLECTION
i Know that so often those who are codependent and live all the time in everyone else’s feelings need to remember that the real maturity and happiness lies in being there for me — not for everyone else. I think that reflection points out the fact that I need to reinforce my own worth by going to DA meetings, actively getting involved with my own recovery over anything and everyone else. I am going to begin to be a pleasant person. I will want to learn how to be pleasant to myself.
Now is the time and this is the program where I start to detach from other people’s opinion of myself and start to reflect where I start to detach from those people’s opinions of myself and start to reflect on my own opinion of myself. When I am depressed, I know that I haven’t been able to get angry, not to forgive anyone, much less forgive myself. I feel cheerless. I meet my own demands and continue to work the steps so as to get in touch with what I need to do to reinforce those positive concepts that I am forming about myself. I need to get prepared for a new me today.
“We are now on a different basis: the basis of trusting and relying upon God, our Higher Power. We trust an infinite God rather than our finite selves. Just to the extent that we do as we think he would have us do, and humbly rely on him, does he enable us to match calamity with serenity.” (As Bill sees it.p.265).

MEDITATION
When we gradually work our way to the real self we get closer to the God who made us.

RESOURCE
Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Hugh Smith. Pages 14-15.

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’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

A victim in my own mind

Depression was something that I grew up with. I really had no idea that I had it until my senior year in college. It started with my parents’ divorce and ended with me totally losing control over everything in my life. I couldn’t decide what career I wanted, but hated every job that I could think of. I couldn’t decide what city or state to live in, so I kept moving, hoping that the next place I lived would make me happy. Eventually, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to live or to die. I cried at the drop of a hat but still found enough rage inside of me to push the people I loved as far away from me as possible.

I knew that I needed help. I have been to counselors on three other times in my life, but nothing ever seemed to work or last. This time, I have been in counseling for about two months. I was sick and tired of being like this. I wanted a life and I wanted to be happy. Every week someone would notice a change in me, but I still felt the same. Then one day while watching TV (thinking thoughts at 100 mph) it occurred to me that I was making myself miserable.

I had always known that I was hard on myself. I reamed myself every time something had happened. “Why can’t I find someone to love me?” “Why isn’t God looking after me?” But for some reason, when I realized that I was doing this to myself, it made me realize that maybe all I would have to do is stop doing it. All of a sudden it all made sense.

If I tell myself negative thoughts, I feel negative. If I tell myself nothing, I feel nothing. So, if I tell myself positive thoughts, eventually I have to feel positive.

Of course I’m still waiting it out, but I feel better and for the first time in 14 years, I have hope. It’s not that hard to find something positive about myself or my life now. So I remind myself of something positive every day and that’s what I’m going to do until I don’t have to remind myself anymore because I’ll know…”

Read The rest of the story tomorrow
A Depressed Anonymous Member.

(Copyright) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 120-121. Personal Stories.