Category Archives: Depressed Anonymous

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 overanalyzing 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 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.

All it takes is one good person to restore hope – Pope Francis

This statement is so true. All it takes is one good person to restore hope. This is a reality that I personally experience each day of my life. I find these individuals every day – carrying the message of hope to those others who are looking for a way out of their pain and suffering. These good people who lead are sharing their own hope, strength and experience with those who still suffer alone, and without hope. These good people take it upon themselves to communicate to others how they found hope and now want to share their recovery with others. They are using the fellowship of hope by the electronic systems such as ZOOM, SKYPE, FACEBOOK and the many face to face groups outside of the virtual world. These various communication tools enable us to reach around the world bringing fellowship to those seeking hope.

Recently, individuals in Poland decided to set up their own SKYPE meetings. Just recently in America two ZOOM group are operating, with one more about to get up and running. There is also a phone – in meeting operating. in America.

We are here at depressedanon.com (Depressed Anonymous) offering hope to those who come to our website. A Blog is offered a number of times a week. There are those good people who are not members of Depressed Anonymous who use their resources and talents to keep our websites, our ZOOM and SKYPE online programs operating with a myriad of technical skills. All in all, good persons continue to find hope and share what they have with others. so that they too can experience the hope that is real and offered freely to them.

Depressed Anonymous website at depressedanon.com will lead you to the places where you can go and join up with others at a 12 Step Depressed Anonymous meeting.

Like Francis tells us “All it takes is for one good person to restore hope.”

Won’t you be the next “one good person?” Will you join with us on this great journey where we all discover the hope of recovery and personal serenity?

The Fellowship of Depressed Anonymous

Did I create my own prison of depression?

You know,  that’s a  great question for us who have been , or who are presently depressed.  My own reflections about my own experience with depression wasn’t a question that I  asked myself. Actually, that came later in my recovery.  I  really didn’t care who or what  created it – all I knew was I had to get rid of it.  In fact, the experience was much like Noah’s  in the belly of the whale.  I was just walking along one day minding my own business, and suddenly bam! physically feeling swallowed  up by some  invisible  creature who  was devouring me. And that was that. From that  moment on, the feeling continued to overwhelm  me for the next year and half.

Because I had no label to pin on this “whatever it was,”  and I thought nothing important to talk to  anyone  about, but only that the  feeling of helplessness had me locked down.  Oh, I still went to work, trudged through Graduate studies and continued my relationship with others, never revealing my interior mysterious  sense of isolation and despair.

My only distraction was to get up early every morning( biggest challenge of the day) and walk for miles, round and round,  thankful I was still able to function.

Long story short, during this period,  I gradually felt   small lift’s in my spirit but they never lasted. So I continued walking until I managed to walk out of the fog. I was feeling hopeful again,  able to face life with hope. Finally feeling fully freed from the  hopelessness that had isolated me from my world, disconnecting  me from everything, everybody, even myself. That was then.

Now reaching back into the past, looking at my life before ”  whatever it was” that had me,  I began  discovering that I’d unconsciously constructed my own prison and confinement. My ruminating on fearful scenarios of losing my job, not able to handle     negative life issues and constant  frightful thinking plus the  continuous feeling deep painful moods, all grinding my body, mind and spirit into the ground. The feeling, best described this  is  like  someone scraping  their  fingernails on  a blackboard all day  without end.  If you are old enough to remember this particular feeling, (or even a blackboard)  then you know it was that painful knife-like  feeling thrust through your stomach that echoed throughout your whole body. Well, that was the way I felt all the time, particularly in the morning each day.  I wanted never to get up. Here is where motivation  follows action . Move the body and the mind will follow.

When I speak of the pain that threw me to the ground and ended the familiar  life that I knew,  the members of the Depressed Anonymous group know exactly what I am talking about. Depression is physically  painful.  Usually when I tell someone I was depressed, they normally  don’t understand, unless of course, they have been depressed themselves.

In my case, I unconsciously  caused and created  my depression, and allowed the symptoms to grind me down until I took steps to feel differently.  The steps that I took   was to attend the “miracle of the Depressed Anonymous group ” where  I could share my own experiences, strength and hope, make the 12 Steps a daily part of my life, and to share this message of hope with all who feel the same way as I did.

Believing in a Higher Power greater than myself  continues to keep me sane and living one day at a time. It works. It can work for you as well.

For more information contact us @

Depanon@netpenny.net and read  what we are about @ depressedanon.com.

Resources:

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publicatiuons. Louisville, KY 40241.

Home Study Program of Recovery  (See DA literature here at The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore).

 

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

“Dreams of dying but yet managing to come back to life…”

 

” I am a thirty-four year old single female who has been suffering from depression for a long time. Most of my depression was brought on by feelings of insecurity, such  as not being able to express my inner feelings of insecurity, such as not being able to express my inner feelings, being controlled by a dominating adult, loneliness, stress, workaholic, anxiety attacks (related to work  and everyday pressures of living), too much sleep, nervousness, lack of motivation, being tired all the time, sadness, weight gain, digestive problems, a feeling of being trapped, self consciousness, not trusting myself, dreams of dying but yet managing to come back to life, withdrawal from family, or loss of interest in meeting with the opposite sex.

It seemed that I was living in another world until my parents gave me a phone number of Depressed Anonymous. The Depressed Anonymous meetings, plus reading the Depressed Anonymous manual have provided me with the tools to live without being  depressed. Most important  of all, the Twelve Steps mentioned in the book have made me understand that God (my Higher Power)  will give me the strength to deal with my depression and get on with my life and be happy with myself.

The book with its Twelve Steps has taught me that I am not the only one who is suffering from depression. It has taught me to believe more in my Higher Power and to let it handle my depression.

All these new tools have helped me and will continue to do so. They also taught me not to dwell on my past, but to live life one day at a time, and to look toward the future, but not live there. It will take me  a  long time to deal with depression, but I am glad that these tools are available. Life can be good for a change. Please don’t give up.”

– Anonymous

COMMENT  

Even though this anonymous writer was suffering from innumerable problems and life situations, she found   solutions  in the form of meetings, specifically geared to the depressed. By reading the Depressed Anonymous literature she is daily gaining a new motivation  to use the tools that  are promoting positive solutions to her  seemingly insoluble and negative realities. 

The tools mentioned in her story,   showing  that   by using a piece by piece  approach   to dealing with her problems, these have  brought her back to life.    We know there is always hope –please don’t give up!

Hugh

NOTE : For more stories of HOPE please click onto THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE.  The Depressed Anonymous  literature  is available by ONLINE ordering.

Resources:

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed., (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.  Personal stories : # 29.  I am no longer alone. Pages 148-149

+ International Online Skype Depressed Anonymous Meeting (See Homepage Menu (depressedanon.com )for Link. Meetings Thursdays and Sundays. Format is same as a f2f DA meeting.)

+ See Homepage (depressedanon. com)  drop down Menu for TOOLS OF RECOVERY.

I want to start a Depressed Anonymous group in my community? How do I do that?

 

This month (12/2018)  we have had four requests to start a Depressed Anonymous group in their particular locations. Three were requests from individuals living in the US and one was from a person from Canada.

Our first inclination would to advise them to  go to our Newsletter Archives at  our Home Page Menu and read the  issues  from #1- through and including the  Newsletter for 2018.   Each of the Newsletters has a section  about our program of recovery as well as other important information about overcoming depression.  Each is titled “How to Start A Depressed  Anonymous group.”

Since all of our Groups worldwide  use the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition Manual, it serves  as an excellent guide for each of the newly formed Depressed Anonymous group membership and part  of their ongoing program of recovery. There is a chapter in this Manual  for the Leader  of the Group  with an example  suggested for leading a Depressed Anonymous Group.  Also, included in the Manual is a chapter on  How to Start a group.

Like most  12 Step programs of recovery they each have their own way of conducting meetings.   The 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions of Depressed Anonymous are read at every meeting.  Also included in every meeting  is the reading of The Statement of Concerns plus How Depressed Anonymous Works.

Most 12 Step groups also have their own “Big Book” which is what the  Alcoholics Anonymous program is referred to.   In a sense,  this is the bible for the fellowship and most members know it by heart chapter and verse.  If you want to start a Depressed Anonymous group in your community it is a given that you will want to have a copy of this important book, authored by the early members of the fellowship. In fact, we think it essential to have copies of this book available at each and all  meetings. If you are going to be a founder of a local DA group we  hope you  read this book before you set up your own group meeting.  After 30 years working with Depressed Anonymous and helping to set up groups around the world, we have found ourselves   continually reflecting on various passages which guide us in our  own daily  recovery.

You can order  Depressed Anonymous Online plus other books written by those of us who WERE depressed.  The sale of books provides us with revenue to share hope with others who are in  need our support.  Please click onto The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at depressedanon.com for more information.

We want to hear from you and are looking forward to another group meeting the needs of those “Still suffering from depression.”

 

Please email us at depanon@netpenny.net.  Locate us at www.depressedanon.com.

 

 

 

Was finding this phone number a coincidence?

 

Helen shares her story about finding help–when she needed it most.

”   I finally knew after two year or more of sleepless nights that someone had to help me.   I found a card saying Depressed  Center, in the back  of the phone book. It has a phone number and that was all. I talked to a man on the other end of the phone.  I said to myself this man is too  busy to talk with me, but anyway I made the first appointment myself. I made myself go. I thank God I did. I thank God that I went for help. It was a whole new beginning for me. I wanted to get well so badly. I think people do have to want to change. I went in with an attitude that I have to get well. I had 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 thoughts. I began to feel better and I continued to see my counselor. I started in Depressed Anonymous  some weeks later.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If you are curious about how the mutual aid group changed Helen’s life you’ll need to read her full account in the Personal Stories section of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition,  pages 169-172.

She also has something powerful to say about pleasing people and how  she needed to get her priorities straight and begin taking care of herself.

Sources:   Seeing is believing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017). Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

 I’ll do it when I feel better.(2018) Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY

FREE BEER TOMORROW!

 

How many times have we voiced the  words  “I’m gonna do this” or “I’m gonna do that?”  One  of my favorites is  “I’ll do it when I feel better.” The problem with this statement is that I never feel better.  The problem with all these statements of what we are  going to do are  filled  with   conditions.   Or when I say I’m’ gonna do something , I always find some excuse not to do it.

We  like to put off what we need most. I know that I really need to see a dentist, but I keep putting it off. I mean, who likes pain? Or I know that I need to talk to my sponsor, but I’d much rather just stay in bed and sleep off my sadness. My pillow is my counselor. I know I’m gonna go to a Depressed Anonymous meeting, as I promised my friend, but not tonight.  I’ll tell him I’ll  be there tomorrow, .

The problem here is that “one of these days ” is never today.  We don’t want to live and be responsible for what happens to us today. We want to dwell in a past that we can never get back or the tomorrow which hasn’t come yet.  It’s like the guy who goes into the local pub and he sees  a huge sign on the wall with large red letters, ” FREE BEER TOMORROW!”  “Wow” he thought to himself, “I’ll be back tomorrow .”

Sure enough, here he comes. He goes up to the bartender, points to the sign, and says “I’ll take one of those free beers.”    The bartender smiles and tells him,  “come back tomorrow. ” “But today is tomorrow”  the guy tells the bartender. ” The bartender, puts his  hands on the bar, slowly and emphatically telling  the guy, “That’s tomorrow. Today is not tomorrow!”  The  bartender  gives out with a laugh. The guy walks out of the bar and could be heard repeating  “I get it, I get it.”

I will take care of what needs to be taken care of today–today is all I have.

Today is not tomorrow. Get it?

(c) Hugh(2018)

Thanks to Depressed Anonymous, I am a healer instead of being a victim.

 

“These Twelve Steps work for those who work the program and who try to live one day at a time.  Many times  we have been so scared of being rejected once more and that we have withdrawn deeper into the anguish of our shame and hurt.  We need to air our hurts, our shame, and let others hear our story. There is something healing about hearing ourselves speak to others about our  own journey in life an the many emotional potholes that we have fallen into from time to time. We have felt that our lives were jinxed! But now we can begin  to feel hopeful when other members of the group shake their heads in knowing approval of what we are saying when  we tell our story. Most have been where we are now. And the more we make an effort  to come  to  meetings regularly,  the more  we will find members of the group telling us how they  see a change in the way we talk, act and look.   We will accept the group’s comments as being true and honestly expressed. These people speak our  language  and they  al l   have been where we  are now.  You  gradually begin to see yourself as healer instead of victim the  more  you  work  this program and  get  excited  about  the  possibility  of  helping  others. When you start reaching out to others in the group, it is  at  that  point  that  you  are  carrying the  message of  hope  to  others.  You have  a future with  Depressed Anonymous.”

COPYRIGHT (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 105.