Category Archives: Belief

A BETTER GIFT

“Sometimes it comes to our mind that we have prayed a long time.and still it seems that we do not have what we ask for. But we should not be too depressed on this account, for I am sure, accorning to our Lord’s meaning, that either we are waiting for a better occasion, or more grace, or a better gift.”
Julian of Norwich

The Bright Light of Hope

If we have worked the 12 Steps on a daily basis, we now realize the value of surrender and the power that releases in us, just by making a decision in Step Three to “turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understand God” is the beginning of reconnection with life and ourselves. It is in the group that the depressed person begins trusting their members where they have admitted that their lives are unmanageable, and that they have made a conscious decision to turn their lives over to God, or the Higher Power. The Twelve Step program helps people to become God conscious. It is in working the program while making no excuses for the spiritual nature of our recovery, we can begin to attribute our new-found sense of hope and peace to the Higher Power. For the active member of Depressed Anonymous there begins to glimmer in the distance, the bright light of hope.

Submitted by Janet M.

When you’re depressed all you’re interested in is survival – Dorothy Rowe

 

THE ORIGINS of MISTRUST

I want to share with you how Dr. Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist, provides examples how our lack of trust can originate in early childhood. Patterns of isolating behavior and negative thinking, grow strong in a home environment where the child is not loved and nurtured.

Dr. Fitzgibbobs, tells us “that the seedbed of mistrust resides in childhood. Many times this lack of trust, of others and ourselves and the world around us, may have begun with the loss of a parent, sister, brother, or a close friend. A serious illness in a parent, sibling or oneself can be the cause of depression. Many times mistrust comes about because of an alcoholic parent so that a child never knows if a drunken loved one is coming home, or in an angry drunken stupor. Anger and rejection by caregivers and/or peers can also have an effect on the ability to trust. Parental divorce or separation can have an effect on a child. Also a cold distant, and unloving parent can have a negative effect on a child. Add to this, a legacy of mistrust and fear in the family will negatively influence a child. Finally, poverty may also be a cause of mistrust”

Brenda, (not her real name ) shares with us some of her own story:

” I have often reflected on how a lack of trust in myself and in others, had a crippling effect on my early childhood development. It was only until I began examining my own childhood, later in life, that I discovered reasons for my mistrust of others. I accomplished these discoveries by getting in touch with those early negative feelings that constantly bombarded my everyday thinking. Most of these early feelings remained unconscious and hidden, until I started to examine my childhood relationships, especially with those significant others who were my caregivers. ”

By utilizing the Depressed Anonymous Workbook with its’ 12 STEP COMMENTARY, and questions, directed toward one’s early life experiences, special attention was centered on those caregivers and significant others in one’s family, who, charged with caregiving, to provide the child with the love that a child deserves. For many children, who grew up in a home environment, filled with anger, parental arguing, and violence, made it impossible for a child to defend themselves against such abuse, including mental, sexual, and physical abuse. Some children create fantasy worlds, some with imaginary friends, with whom they can confide in and feel secure in a home environment where chaos reigns.

In our Depressed Anonymous fellowship, we can begin to open up to group members, giving us that opportunity to share and trust,\

others, who are like ourselves. We happily discovered that we are now no longer alone. Most of us come to our program of recovery, looking to find help, and that welcome relief from the daily crippling burden of depression, which has forced us to isolate from others, believing that we are not good enough.

Earlier, Dr, Fitzgibbons has listed some of the major causes of our childhood depression, and we can resonate with them within our hearts and minds. And in your moments of personal quiet and reflection, celebrate who you are and not who others say you are.

So get a notebook, and begin to write down your answers to those questions in the DA Workbook, which hold meaning for your own personal life and recovery, to which you can relate. Share your DA Workbook with your therapist, sponsor or friends in Depressed Anonymous at the ZOOM meetings online, and/or face to face meetings.

So now, not only will you be a survivor, you will no longer be a victim of those circumstances, which made you believe that you were worthless, unlovable and unacceptable. Progress, not perfection.

By completing my Fourth Step inventory, it became possible to uncover those areas of my early life which made trusting an impossibility. As mentioned earlier, and later into my early adult life, it was my own spiraling downward, into the darkness of depression, the only thing that I could think of was my survival. I was desperate to stop the descent into the darkness and physical pain. I knew that I must get active, preventing my paralyzing desire to take comfort in sleep and shut out the world.

My life is very different now. I continue to take inverntory of my life on a daily basis and I finally believe in myself and the Higher Power that has helped me believe that I have a purpose and a meaning for my life. I also believe in a power that is greater than myself and who continually leads me, everyday, on this wonderful journey of hope! Progress and not perfection.

TRUST IS A FEELING OF BEING SAFE IN RELATIONSHIPS AND IN LIFE.

HUGH S., FOR THE FELLOWSHIP

The Recovery Waltz

When I find myself drifting back into the pit (which is where I am at the moment) I need to go back to the beginning of recovery. Steps 1, 2, 3 and repeat. One, two, three like the waltz. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The first 3 steps can be summed up as follows:

  1. I can’t.
  2. He can.
  3. Trust Him.

A great many things, including my depression, are beyond my direct control. I don’t control the outcome – that is in God’s hands. I am responsible for the legwork. I need to do the work of recovery. I want to do the work of recovery. I don’t want to drift closer to the pit because if I don’t stop the backslide it will be that much harder to get out of it.

  1. I admit that I am powerless over depression. When I am on autopilot my life becomes unmanageable.
  2. I believe that a Higher Power exists and they can restore me to sanity. I have to work on my feelings of being unworthy of being saved.
  3. I turn my life over to the care of my Higher Power. This is not one and done. I’m human and I will take my will back. That is only a problem if I don’t surrender once again. To surrender is to win.

Practice the recovery waltz. Become so accustomed to it that it becomes a good habit. You are worthy of love and healing, but you must do the work of the steps to feel that love and healing. I wish you well.

Yours in recovery, Bill R

Foundation For Life: Self-Examination, Prayer, Meditation

“We discover that we receive guidance for our lives to just about the extent that we stop making demands upon God,to give to us on order, and on our terms.

In praying, we ask simply that throughout the day, that God place in us the best understanding of His will that we be given for that day, and that we be given the grace which to carry it out.

There is a direct linkage among self-evaluation, meditation and prayer. Taken separately these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven they result in an unshakable foundation in life.”

(c) As Bill sees it, page 33. Hope, service, fellowship March 1, 2014.


How to find hope and let it blossom

“Hope can only exist in a state of uncertainty.
That certainty means total certainty. That certainty means to be without hope.
The prison of depression is built with the bricks of total certainty.

Certainty. Security. No Hope.
To hope means to run the risk of disappointment.
Avoid disappointment. Stay depressed.
To be insecure means not to be in control.
Stay in control. Be depressed.
To be uncertain means to be unsure of the future.
Predict the future with certainty. Stay depressed.

Hope can exist only when there is uncertainty. Absolute certainty means complete hopelessness. If we want to live fully we must have freedom, love and hope. So life must be an uncertain business. This is what makes it worthwhile.”

Copyright(c) Dorothy Rowe. Depression: The way out of your prison. NY. Kegan Paul. 1996.


“Hope is to seek things and have the expectation that what we desire will come true. In the matter of depression, Dr. Rowe warns us that when we predict that we will always bw the way we are, is to predict a life of certainty, but one without hope. In the way that we construct our world we begin to live with some uncertainty and with this uncertainty we are going to little bit by little bit, accept some pain, hurt and disappointment in our life. This is not bad, but it is not always pleasant.

When we are depressed, it is not so important as to how we got depressed, but what is important, is how we see ourselves. Do we believe. like Dorothy Rowe, that we will always see ourselves as bad, worthless, unacceptable to ourselves and to others when we are depressed? If this is the way that we want to look at ourselves, then we are sure to believe that we will never change. We hold these beliefs about ourselves as immutable truths, and ever binding. This is the thing about depression – we believe that it will always be this way – namely, being possessed by this painful hollow feeling and deadly emptiness, which we carry around in our bodies, day after day, year after year.”

Copyright(c) Hugh Smith. How to hope and let it blossom. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 1-2. 2004.

“…letting go of all illusion…”

I am writing this prayer I wrote some five years back now for deeper peace and acceptance, during this challenging time I’m experiencing. Sharing this Hope in case I too can 0ffer Strength for others.
Affectionately, Janet M.

Thank you dear Creator of love and joy in action for the fellowship of your presence. Move me, I pray, for the Stillness of this Love. Why I abide there always gathering in your Strength, Peace and Wellbeing as kindling to feel the fire of your Spirit within. As I walk this path today, should I become disturbed return my heart to you. Purify my motives and direct my attention back into Awareness and Unity with your Spirit, which is the hand of Peace. Help me to offer kindness for the many Seeds of Blessings which feed my growing into Trueness of Being. Help me to understand your Passion in laughter, tears, joy and pain, knowing all of your Provision and how Precious that gift is that lies within the Earth of us all. Thank you for my children, family and friends. Bless ua your light, nurturing our hearts and strengthen our vision and relationships. May a seeming separateness burn up into the flames of letting go of all illusions while Liberating the Soul and setting Freedoms flight to soar and all resistance fall away. Gather us together, this day in Body, Mind and Spirit manifesting your Love. Amen.

What you focus on grows

What you focus on grows.
– Stephen Covey

Prior to recovery my focus was directed at what was wrong and why am I experiencing the difficulties in my life. I only dug the hole deeper making it that much harder to get out. If I look for problems I will find them. If I look for sadness and darkness I will find that as well.

The challenge that faces me is that I need to see things in a new way. I need to focus on love and healing. I need to seek out the good in the world because if I look for it I will find it. I strive to point my focus onto recovery and healing. I’m working the program and not working the problem. I’m not doing it in a Pollyanna way – I recognize that I have a disease and I’m not denying I have depression. I choose to focus on recovery and healing.

The true journey of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
– Marcel Proust

I challenge you to change your focus. What you focus on grows. Focus on recovery and healing. You are worth it.

Yours in recovery, Bill R

Depression and Security

“Being depressed is a state of great security.Jackie said (client of D.Rowe) , ‘I get very quiet. I don’t want to know anyone. Very angry. I get very hurtful, not intentional hurt, but that’s the only way I can get through to people, so they don’t get any closer. If I hurt them, they’ll stay away and therefore I can be on my own in this depression, and hide behind the mask and just solely by hurting people, being quiet, feeling angry inside and putting the barrier up, that’s how I can keep people away, which I feel helps me in the state of depression.I need to feel safe within the blackness. A fear of being with people. Being really frightened of everything and anybody around you. It’s just so painful. You feel drained of everything. Hiding behind the mask is putting yourself away from the outside world. The world you were frightened of stepping into, but people still seeing you with that smile, the joking, the laughing, and that is where the mask comes on. Behind the mask, I am suffering hurt and pain, rejection, helplessness, but behind the mask and shutting myself within four walls, I feel secure, because none of the outside world can come in unless I let them hurt me.
Because depression gives a feeling of security, the depressed person can feel very much in control. (We are always capable of being two contrary things at once. Depression is always a state of complete helplessness and complete control,) A depressed person can take great pride in being in control.”

SOURCE: BEYOND FEAR. Dr. Dorothy Rowe, Fontana, London, 1987, pp. 307-308.

Published in The Antidepressant Tablet(c) Issue: Volume 4, Number 3 SPRING 1993. Louisville, Ky.