Category Archives: Depressed Anonymous Workbook

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

Depressed Anonymous offers a Home Study as an alternative path for recovery:

An alternative path:  The Depressed Anonymous  Home Study Program of Recovery has been offered for those who cannot find a   Depressed Anonymous group in their area. One of the drawbacks to finding a Depressed Anonymous meeting in one’s  community is the nature of the problem in that depression  has our life shut down.  Depression is such that it isolates and  immobilizes. We don’t want to move out of our comfort zone. We’ll take care of our problem when we feel better. But we never feel better and so stay in our isolation. It is only when we feel we have to get help that we move toward a solution for our depression or whatever it is we have.

Depression is not a substance addiction problem, even  though we modeled our program on the 12 spiritual principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. Like so many problems  facing our modern society,  many people have  put the  power of these principles to work  in their own lives, be that of overeating, opioids addiction and a plethora of compulsive behaviors, phobias and  so on.

Depressed Anonymous  formed as a mutual aid group where others,  like ourselves,  have come together, utilizing the 12 Steps of recovery  and have found a way out of their depression.

When people ask us for a group in their area  more times than not we suggest they use the tools that we offer at our site and come together and form their own group.  But for those who cannot do this, for all sorts of reasons,  find  themselves without the help that they are looking for.

This is where the Depressed  Anonymous Home Study comes in to help. With this program, a person can use the Depressed Anonymous Manual and Workbook. They also can be provided with a sponsor to work their program online. The program is conducted via emails between the Home Study participant and the sponsor.  The  12 Steps are examined and applied to one’s own experience with depression by answering the questions provided  by Home Study. From having a positive experience with the Home Study Program of Recovery some of the participants have begun a Depressed Anonymous program in their own community. Before the Home Study Program of Recovery  there were no DA groups in their home community. After the Home Study Program was used , and a thorough study of the Steps was accomplished , a group was set in motion. Sometimes a therapist was obtained who helped the participant work the Steps. Sometimes a member of another 12 Step fellowship  could help  share  how their own involvement with the Steps  provided them a release from their addiction.

To learn more about the Home Study Program we have given you some resources   at our website www.depressedanon.com for your examination

Kim shares her own experiences with the Home Study Program in Volume #1 Fall  Issue of the DA Newsletter.  She tells us about the “before” of working the Steps and the “after” of completing the Home Study an how it freed her from the captivity of depression and isolation. Please read it–be inspired as was I.   Her story is to be found at the NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES on the Home Page Menu list.

Also, a full explanation of the HSP and what it is about,  is explained at the Depressed Anonymous Home Page Menu-See HOME STUDY PROGRAM.

Depressed Anonymous groups also use the HOME STUDY as the basis for the STEP STUDY home group.re are different and creative ways to use this tool for recovery from depression. Also remember that there is available a sponsor to help the participant work through each of the Steps.

NOTE: I f you desire to start a group in your community is  also advisable to have worked all the steps yourself. We  can then share that we have worked through all the Steps and that we have a Sponsor.

A member of a newly formed  Depressed Anonymous group in an international community is now started with the Home Study and will be the first member of the group to go through all the Steps with a Sponsor. Congratulations to her and her group. It is a positive that the questions contained in the Workbook have a unique relationship to one’s own life as the steps are applied to one’s own life situations.

 

You can contact us at depanon@netpenny.net. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our hunches are more right than wrong.

 

We think about the 24 hours ahead when we wake up, and attempt to live the day in honesty and peace. We ask God to  ward off thoughts of self-seeking, dishonesty and false motives.  As Alcoholics  Anonymous says,  with the indecision about something, we then ask God for inspiration and we let go of struggling for an answer. Alcoholics Anonymous says that you will be surprised at how the right answers will come after we have practiced this way of living. It also comes to pass that our hunches are more right than wrong. We also pause throughout the day when we are fearful, puzzled or anxious. We pray  to the Higher Power for which direction to take. I like this suggestion the best when Alcoholics Anonymous says : We constantly remind ourselves that we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “‘Thy will be dome,’ ”  We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.  By coming to the meetings and admitting our addictions, we finally get in touch with those emotions that have all but shut down from an early time in our lives, when to feel hurt too much.  We now have  the chance  to let these feelings get displayed and expressed in the supportive and trusting environment of our newly chosen  family of the Depressed Anonymous group.”

SOURCE:   Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.  Page 101/Step 11.

NOTE: Even though most of us who join the Depressed Anonymous group, do not suffer from alcohol addiction,  Depressed Anonymous is  modeled after the 12  spiritual principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. We have based our  program of recovery on  the 12 steps of recovery and using them on a daily basis. The 12 Steps are now universally used as the basis for a myriad of recovery tools  for those who are trying to free themselves from addictive behaviors and attachments.

 

VISIT THE STORE at the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS  BOOKSTORE. at www.depressedanon.com. One can order online.

“They said that I was ‘damaged beyond recovery.'”

Kim, The author of this comment, speaks  about those  therapists who said  that she was ‘damaged beyond recovery.’ Even though   experiencing  a myriad  of therapeutic interventions, various psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists, her depression just kept on coming. There seemed to be no escape.  Included with all these were a number of popular every 12 Step groups from  which she sought help.

In the following paragraphs,  with excerpts from  the  Depressed Anonymous Newsletter Volume .#1, Fall Issue, 2017,  she shares   her own  experiences . (See Newsletter Archives for full account). She shares with us her  life  Before and her  life After   participating in the Depressed Anonymous HOME STUDY PROGRAM OF RECOVERY.

What my  life was before Depressed Anonymous

While all my program friends had gotten full recovery, the Promises of Recovery had not materialized for me. I would stay depressed forever. This destroyed me. I quit the program and started to take antidepressants, but even that didn’t work: The depressions got  more intense and more frequent. I didn’t want to live anymore. One day I found the Depressed Anonymous site on the Internet, but there was no meeting in Europe.  There was a book though. So I made a deal with God; I could go through the Twelve Steps one last time. And after that I could jump  in front of a train. It was now or never. So I bought the book, and the workbook, and I asked Hugh to become my email  sponsor. That was three years ago.

What my life is like now.

I never expected this, but I have been free from depression for a whole year now.  The next depression will kill me, so it is very importantr to stay out of it. Every Sunday I sit behind my computer and answer questions from   the Workbook. I send them to my email sponsor, who reads them, gives me feedback and stimulates me to keep going.  I discover important things about myself…

In  Depressed Anonymous, I discovered my conclusion was wrong. I do belong to the  group. Indeed, I have always been part of the group. People with odd parents are part of society as well and so are depressed people and people that did rally stupid things. There is nothing to hide. I am human, no more, no less…

I made a deal with my Higher Power, one more time I would take the Steps. I am so happy that I did.

Submitted by Kim, a member of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship.

PS.  Kim has started an online Depressed  Anonymous for SKYPE users at Depanon@hotmail.com.  She is also translating Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition into her home  language.

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Kim has  just completed (1/30/2019)  her work on the HOME STUDY PROGRAM OF RECOVERY,  with the assistance of her email Sponsor.    By her  continued commitment and  study of the Depressed Anonymous (Big Book) with the Depressed Anonymous Workbook, she not only knows herself at a deeper level but also lives out the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps with hope and vigor. One day at a time.

If you would you like to work the Twelve  Steps of Depressed Anonymous, using the Home Study Program of Recovery  and to find  how to have  an email Sponsor, as did Kim,  please write to me, Hugh  at depanon@netpenny.net., and discover how you too can work the Twelve Steps , with a program designed for you — plus  the unique  goals you have chosen for your own recovery from depression.

Make a commitment today, stick to a plan of action, and  grow through  each of the STEPS with your own email sponsor –at your own speed –especially when there are no Depressed Anonymous groups in your locale. See the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore to find out more  about the HOME STUDY  KIT.

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.

 

 

 

Some depressions are followed by thriving. We honor the strength of those who achieve recovery. It is possible!

 

“One obstacle to a more affirmative national conversation is that depression has lacked a unifying public symbol  that could   bring it  out  of the  dark, and Livestrong(c) bracelets did for cancer or the rainbow flag did for LGBT. When most people think of depression, their first associations are to unfortunate images, such as a dark cloud, the color black, or a noose. One reason why depression stigma lives is that depression has a serious bumper stick problem.

But this is essentially an issue of failed marketing and messaging. It should be possible to develop a unifying symbol, and it is presented in a compelling way, many might rally. Conservatively, thirteen million US adults are currently in an episode of depression, more than twice that number have had depression in the past. When we add  caregivers , millions more are indirectly affected by the quality and the quantity  of our national dialogue about  depression.  Have no illusions.  Even with a strong  public education  campaign, stereotypes that have been decades in the making will  resist change.  Still with  so much to gain, it is high  time that we  try.

But in my view, finding more humane ways to discuss the predicament  of depressed people is not just good marketing, it’s also good science. The mood science perspective tells us that depression, deep or shallow, is a natural product of the mood system. However a person gets there, facing deep depression is a supremely difficult trial. Rather than weakness or defectiveness, we should acknowledge that getting through depression requires considerable strength. Rather than assuming permanent debility, we should recognize that some depressions are followed by thriving. Writing these words fourteen years after my episode, I recognize that I am not broken. Getting beyond the disease model will require us to honor the strengths of formerly depressed people, to see their potential for rebirth after depression and the ways that, once reborn, they can help others build enduring recoveries from depression. It is possible.” Copyright(c) Rottenberg,  Jonathon. The Evolutionary Origins of  the  Depression Epidemic. (2014) Basic Books.  New York,  Pages  198-200.

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Hugh’s comments

This work of Jonathon Rottenberg is one that everyone need to read. Not only does  it provide us with a insight into “mood science”  it also is a positive statement on the depressed person’s strengths.  And then it promotes the fact that once a depressed person recovers they will go on and help others rebuild their lives.

If you are fortunate to be a member of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship you will  understand this statement completely: helping others rebuld their lives completely. In fact this is where our Twelve Step program challenges the person recovered “having  had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps. we tried to carry this message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.”

SOURCE:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.  (Personal Stories).

Our Big Book has more than 30 personal stories of how  these stories of the recovered members of Depressed Anonymous  have had their lives rebuilt and now are thriving and strengthened and reaching out to others depressed. It is possible.

Sharing your story is to save your life!

 

Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has at least one book inside of them that needs to be written.  In her award winning book, Depression: The way out of your prison, Dr. Dorothy Rowe tells us how getting our story told can be  life- changing, and for some life-saving. Below are  her thoughts on the importance of sharing one’s story with that person who is willing to listen.

Help comes in two ways -from yourself and from other people. But help cannot come from other people unless you are prepared to find it and accept it. You have to find the people to confide in and you have to overcome your habit of keeping things to yourself. Perhaps you are ready to confide in someone, but there is no one available. Your family will not listen, and your doctor prefers to write you a prescription rather than give you his listening attention.

So you need to find someone who will listen. Someone outside the family and, possibly, outside work, is usually best—someone who has no vested interest in keeping you as you are or who has no reason to feel guilty about what you might disclose. It need not necessarily be just one person. On your journey out of your prison of depression you will meet many different gurus, people who throw light on your darkness. A nurse might listen to your fears about your health and the drugs you take, and may find the words to calm your fears. A friend may share with you the burden of family responsibilities. A pastor  or priest might listen and acknowledge your religious doubts and fears and impart the courage and trust which enables you to deal with these. Of course, not everyone you hope to confide in will respond in a  helpful way. ..”

And then Rowe continues to say that “you might like to consult a professional listener of some sort. You may find someone in the Health Service, or you might go to a private therapist. Talking to people who have been depressed and are now coping is tremendously helpful.”   Pages 199-200.  (Copyright)  Depression:The Way out of your prison.  (1996) Routledge. 2nd ed. London.

Our Twelve Step program  tries to ensure that everyone who attends our program of recovery and who shares their story will be given a sponsor, a listener if you will, who too has experienced the pain and anxiety of depression. They are sponsors because they too have been able to share their stories. They know that  powerful freedom that comes when someone really listens to us and our story. People  often say to me “Doesn’t listening to all these depressed people get you depressed? ” And I can honestly say that it does not  get me depressed.  In fact, I know that by listening to someone else’s story, I  find many areas which are  similar to my own. Besides the fact that I myself experienced the chaos and pain of depression,  I know how difficult  it is to come out and share one’s own struggle. But it can be done!

If you are looking for someone or others to listen to your story with compassion and without a judgmental attitude, our group Depressed Anonymous is the right place to come. We are all storytellers. We all have been heard. We all continue to tell our story. Not only the personal account of our  own depression but also the story of how we have recovered from depression. In our program there is always the “before ” and “after” story that we share.  The ” after’  story of all of us is that important account of what we did to recover, how we did it  and with whom we did it,  made all the difference in the world. Out of the darkness into the light.

You  can read the stories in Depressed Anonymous, which contain heart warming  stories of how persons young and old, have come to our fellowship, shared their story and   who now listen to  those new members who share their own story. They want to share that hope, so that others depressed may know that there is a way out and a life to be lived without depression. They are no longer alone!

It takes trust to share our story. Finding the right person or the right group of persons is what we are looking for. There are persons waiting to hear your story. There are    those persons  who have recovered from depression and who are now sponsoring other people and forming other groups. If there is no group in your area, know that we have a long distance group learning program, called the Home Study Recovery program.  This program can be done at home and all it requires is the willingness  to work the Steps with a sponsor through emails.  All one needs is   the Depressed Anonymous manual and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. There are no fees or dues for this Home Study Program.   As in all our groups, sponsors can accompany new members as long as they like. In time, attending the DA groups our new member can choose their own sponsor.

Please go to The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at this site and examine the material that is used for this program.  Again, in the event that you would yourself want to start a Depressed Anonymous group in your locality, these two books are our main resources used in all groups, here   in the USA and internationally. If the purchase of the books is a hardship, contact the DA Publisher and they will make it possible for you to receive the books regardless of payment.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed., Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

The Depressed Anonymous Email address is Depanon @Netpenny.net.

I now have the key that unlocks my prison of depression

In the Promises of Depressed Anonymous, we know that they will materialize  if we work for them. What kind of work do we need to do?

In the Depressed Anonymous Publication,  I’ll do it when I feel better we find that there are a number of healing routes which will  lead us out of the prison of our isolation and despair.

First we read our Depressed Anonymous Manual. and apply what we have read in  each  Step and  utilize the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. And of course, we go to as many meetings as possible and apply the 12 step spiritual principles of recovery to our daily life. Also, we get a sponsor, which is a person who is familiar with the Steps and who applies these spiritual principles in their own life. The sponsor and you will meet as often as agreed and he/she will help guide you along the road to recovery. In time and with work you will feel the release and freedom provided by having had a “true spiritual awakening” which can keep you in God’s will. This happens to be God’s plan, so always remember to stick to the plan. Good things begin to happen to us when we live in God’s will. And that’s a PROMISE!

SOURCES: (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2017)  DAP  . Hugh Smith. Louisville. KY. Page 53.

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

(c) Depressed Anonymous Workbook.  (2001) DAP. Louisville. KY

To order ONLINE please go to VISIT THE STORE.

“Help is on the way!”

 

Learning some creative ways   to deal with depression, based on one’s  own personal experiences utilizing the   power of the Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous.  Our program is modeled after  the recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Many times a person depressed will look for help from our website,  hoping that we have something that will give them relief and present for them  a positive solution.  We  do our best to help them with our solution focused approach to overcoming depression. Most are thankful to know that we are here and have developed various avenues for one’s own  recovery from depression.

To understand who we are and what we do, we always advise that the seeker read each   of the items listed on our website menu. We also  point them to past issues of our published  Newsletters in the Newsletter Archives.

Our readers are treated to timely posts at our website  center (www.depressedanon.cm) which include those topics which are most helpful to a person depressed as well as for one’s family members and friends.

Recently, we initiated an ongoing program of recovery for those persons who would like to start their own Depressed Anonymous group This program is one in which our DA members (SPONSORS) work collaboratively with those who choose this HOME STUDY PROGRAM OF RECOVERY.  The program enables the person desirous of learning more about depression and their own unique experiences,  to  communicate with their sponsor  by email. The participant   answers  questions from the Depressed Anonymous Workbook and reading  from the Basic text of Depressed Anonymous.    Each of the Twelve Steps is    reflected upon as it relates  to one’s life past and present. The participant’s responses are then emailed to the sponsor and a return mail by the sponsor  answers   those questions which the participant may have during the  course study of  their ongoing Home Study  Program. The best part of the Home Study is that you can go at your own pace and  get feedback from someone who has lived the program in their daily life!

If you choose to start a group that is entirely up to you and there is no obligation to initiate a group in your locality.

So there you have it. You may discover  things about yourself that you never know existed. And  whatever questions you might have about the origins of your own experience may come to light during this program. The best answers are there in your own life experiences and your taking the time to reflect upon them by using the DA WORKBOOK and the DA BASIC TEXT.

A participant will need the two books  mentioned above for the program of Home Study and these are used in the group program.  You can purchase both books as a unit   from the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore as well as purchase the books as eBooks from the Depressed Anonymous  Publications Bookstore onsite at www.depressedanon.com.

If for whatever reason you are financially  unable to purchase these  books, please send me  an email (depanon@netpenny.net)   and we will contact you privately about the matter.  Our main concern is to get these positive materials in the hands of those who want a way out of the prison of depression.

For an explanation of the HOMNE STUDY PROGRAM in more detail please click onto the Website Menu and click onto the drop down menu labeled HOME STUDY PROGRAM.

 

 

Looking fear in the face!

AFFIRMATION

I am no longer alone in my suffering depression. I believe that by getting more active in my recovery that my life will begin to brighten up.

“We of AA and Depressed Anonymous find that our basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening.” Bill W.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I know after becoming actively involved with the 12 step program, that one of the best ways to overcome the handicap  of depression is to start by working on my faith – a faith that I will and can get better. I know that it is mainly staring my sadness in the face that I will be clear of it. I also know that my depression which has been part of my life for so long can be dismantled if I so choose. Surprised? So often  I hear others stories say that they have been depressed all their lives–until- let me repeat – until they hear others stories as to how with work, time and belief in a power greater than themselves that they did and are feeling better now. I need to trust that once I have made my conscious decision to turn my life and will over to the care of God as I understand him, that my life will indeed begin to change.

We know that fear is truly a poison in some ways and in others it is a gift. We need to fear only that which will keep us locked in the prison of depression. Sometimes our fears are of what tomorrow might bring or it might be the fears of the past. One of the better antidotes to fear is trying to live, just for today, Today is all I have.,

MEDITATION

God, we believe that there is no greater power than you . We have already admitted that our depression has made us feel hopeless. Now we are ready to let you get to work on our lives,  take over and lead us where we know we will be   in a safe healing place.”

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous  Publications. Louisville. Pages 95-96.