Category Archives: Acceptance

#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.

I Was Accepted

Have you ever went to a meeting where for you it was the first time. It could be a little scary –I know that it was for me.

In our group manual, Depressed Anonymous, I would like to share with you his feelings on going to his first Depressed Anonymous meeting.

Here is what he shares with us in the Personal Stories section of Depressed Anonymous(Page 133).
“So what is the power of Depressed Anonymous? For me, it’s just like attending the first meeting. I was a little scared and apprehensive at first but then I found the Depressed Anonymous meeting was a place to go where there were other depressed people just like me. They could relate to and understand what I was going through. They didn’t judge me or think of me as crazy. I was accepted.”

When he entered through the door of the Depressed Anonymous meeting it opened a new way of living for him. It changed his life. He found hope. He found that he was accepted by total strangers. The miracle of the group was that he was able to feel at home. He was given a recovery program for his everyday life.

The wise Rabbi Nachman shares with us the truth, “All new beginnings require that you unlock a new door.”

And the key which unlocks the door is a belief that just possibly I can get better. Ray tells us how he was somewhat scared, he pushed on, entered into a group where he was not only accepted but one where he found hope and an ever accepting fellowship.

RESOURCE

(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY P.133).

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

A litany for living life on life’s terms

These affirmations can produce in us positive feelings, with a desire to make the most of our day’s activities. Please take a few moments after each affirmation to see how these can best be brought to life.

  • I will live my life today with daily positive affirmations of who I desire to be. Pause.
  • I will live my life in service to others today. Pause.
  • I will live my life today with compassion for others. Pause.
  • I will live my life today in discovering God’s will for me and not my own. Pause.
  • I will live my life today in being empathic with those hurting and isolated. Pause.
  • I will live my life today in being thankful. Pause.
  • I will live my life today in prayerful moments throughout this day. Pause.
  • I will live out my life today by being a friend to those isolated by depression. Pause.
  • I will live out my life today with courage and hope. Pause.
  • I will live out my life today by being generous with my time and talents for our fellowship. Pause.
  • I will live out my life today in the present moment. All I have is today’s 24 hours. Pause
  • I will live out my life today with a quiet and receptive mind to the promptings of my HP. Pause.
  • I will live out my life today on life’s terms. Pause.
  • I will live out my life today in simplicity and truth. Pause.
  • I will live out my life today without a need to control others. Pause.
  • I will live out my life today with the firm belief that God loves me just the way I am. Pause.

What is Acceptance?

What does acceptance look like?

whatisacceptance

Stop complaining about the rain. It is what it is. Your complaints about the rain are not going to make the rain stop. The only thing that the complaining creates is suffering. Suffering for you, and for the people around you. The rain is something that you cannot change. Accept it, or if you need another way of thinking about it: surrender to the reality of the fact that it is raining.

Acceptance is acknowledging that it is in fact raining. It means getting out your umbrella or raincoat and doing what you had planned on doing. If you were going to talk a walk – then take a walk. You’re not made of sugar and you won’t melt away. Go out and meet with friends if that is what you were going to do before. You may not be able to go out and have a picnic on the grass, but you could go out and have a picnic under a pavilion. You may have to give up your plans of bathing in the sun, but there are plenty of other things that you could do that would be productive.

I remember a time – it was summertime and I was 16 years old. Myself and two of my friends were hired to dig out this man’s crawl space so he could put in a full basement. No power tools – pick ax and shovel only. Our work was done for the day and I had to walk the 2 miles home. About 10 minutes into the walk the skies opened up. I don’t know about raining cats and dogs but it was coming down in buckets. At first I started to run. Then I stopped running and accepted the fact that I was going to be soaked. I began to dance and I recreated the scene from Singing In The Rain – including singing. Granted I’m not a good singer, but I had a blast.

Accept whatever rain storm you are in. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to accept that the rain is real. You have a choice. Accept and have serenity or resist and have suffering. Choose wisely.

There is no bad weather, there is only bad clothing.
Canadian proverb

Yours in recovery, Bill R

Serenity Prayer flowchart

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I can not change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

The Serenity Prayer confuses some people. Why wouldn’t it? The prayer begins at the end where they ask God to grant them serenity. There are things that happen prior to that point. Have you determined what is and is not possible to change? Have you prayed for wisdom? I found this infographic online and this is more like the process that I go through.

serenityprayerflowchart

What problem has the fates put in front of me? Can I change the problem? If I can change it, then I will pray for courage to actually change it. If I’m unsure if I can change it, I will ask the God of my understanding for wisdom to discern if it is possible to change it. Only when you determine that it’s not possible to change the problem do you pray to your Higher Power for serenity. The Accept it state is not a static thing. Acceptance ebbs and flows, you have it and then you don’t. You will need to pray to God multiple times to get to a state of complete and utter acceptance.

I hope this helps.

Yours in recovery, Bill R

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake.

Unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world, as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

© Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Ed., page 417

That passage really speaks to me. After reading it I feel centered.

Life is 1% what the world hands you and 99% how you react to it. I’m not trying to minimize the pain and trauma that people go through, but I know that I can create suffering by not accepting the reality of the present moment.

When my daughter died I thought I was being stoic and heroic by going back to work immediately. I was not accepting on a deep and profound level the reality of my situation. I swallowed my emotions. I picked up an addictive behavior and ran from my feelings as opposed to having the courage to feel my emotions. I really didn’t grieve my daughter until 15 years later in a group therapy session.

Whatever pain you’re going through accept the fact that is where you are at the moment. I don’t mean give up and not find a way out through and past the pain. Stop asking yourself and God “WHY did this happen to me?“. For me the WHY is a way that I create suffering for myself.

I’ve had to learn to accept whatever situation I am currently in. Now is not the time for knowing why. When I die I’m sure my Higher Power will tell me why certain things happened to me and for me. Acceptance is the answer to my problems today. Problems morph into situations. Situations are things that need to be dealt with maturely, serenely and soberly. I hope that you can find acceptance with whatever is troubling you today.

Yours in recovery, Bill R

Am I a people pleaser?

Am I a people pleaser? What would happen if we didn’t please them? Let’s take a look in our Depressed Anonymous Workbook and see what it suggests as an answer.

Has depression distorted us from the truth of life, namely, that life is to be lived with hope and serenity. Nursing along a good habit can in time wean us from old and debilitating habits of thought and behavior. We want to daily fill our day with the gratitude that we are indeed getting better and that the trust we have is indeed placed in the Higher Power.

In order for us to escape depression we need to begin to be aware of the process of how people change. That process for change is of the nature of a spiral instead of a straight line. In other words, now that we are willing to risk feeling differently we have been gearing up to improve our situation. In other words, we are making a very important decision right now about our lives.

Tomorrow we will see how changes are made, and a process that will make this happen. In time we will discover that making any decision in our lives , is doing something that we have never done before, like breaking our habit of trying to please people. There is always a risk. It feels very uncomfortable changing a behavior that we have always done before. But, there is a way to change. The support that you need is to be found here in the Depressed Anonymous online groups, the Home Study Program, and F2F meetings.

Choose support – not isolation, especially now when we all need someone to talk with, helping us get through these tough times. You will be happy that you did. Find help, love and acceptance. YOU ARE NEVER ALONE.

– Hugh

Resource

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, © Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville KY. (Page 41. Fourth Step Question 4.51.)

You can download this Workbook for $1.00 at https://www.depressedanon.com. (Visit the Store). The Basic Text is also $1.00. Get moving forward in hope and serenity – and fellowship worldwide.

Isolation and Covid-19. WE OFFER ZOOM & SKYPE -CHECK OUR PAST BLOGS HERE FOR MORE INFO!

In our basic text, Depressed Anonymous, one of the words that show up most frequently are the words, Isolation, trust and surrender. It is not surprising that the word isolation is at the top of the list. Isolation is one of those behaviors that can keep us in depression, alone, and deepening a mood of feeling hopeless.

With the corona virus causing death, terror among all people of the earth, it has also forced us to quarantine ourselves from everyone else. Our isolation, in this case, can save our life and keep us from getting infected and suffer a painful death.

Let’s say I am depressed already and isolating because of my need to withdraw from , family and friends and suffer with my pain alone. What do I do now? Who and what can help me? I am feeling desperate. I used to go to the market, the park and at least get out of my apartment. I could feel part of the world and the life around me. At least I had the knowledge that I could go out and be with others, without having to talk or even say hello. Now I feel like I’m all alone on a deserted island.

If you are depressed and reading this now, you can find help online at the Depressed Anonymous website www.depressedanon.com. We have a daily International Online Depressed Anonymous SKYPE meeting at 12:30 pm (CST) and at 1:30 PM ( EST) . We also have four ZOOM meetings, One on Sunday (today) at 4-5PM EST and again on Tuesday at 3-4pm. We hope that you can take advantage of these peer led 12 step meetings. I recommend them to you. Please come and join our fellowship. We are people with hope.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

For the fellowship.

After 14 years, I have hope!

I had always known that I was hard on myself. I reamed myself out every time something bad 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 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’ll have to feel positive.

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

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