Category Archives: Choice

I Will Change The Way I Think About Myself – Just For This Day!

AFFIRMATION

I can change  the way I think about myself –just for this day.

“The Twelve Steps spirituality works well for those who have been depressed most of their lives because it asks them to admit that they are powerless over their depression and that their lives have become unmanageable.  With this admission that their lives are out of control they now can begin to rebuild their lives as they begin to work each of the Twelve Steps.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I admit that since I have begun working the Twelve Steps –starting with Step One— that “We admitted we were powerless over depression –that our lives had become unmanageable” that I have begin to feel differently about myself. I have discovered  in my group and by reading Depressed Anonymous that I can no longer be alone in my depression.  I feel lifted out of my sadness whenever I hear others talk about their depression and the hope that they have  now because of their belief that they  are getting better.  To admit that we are depressed is over half the  battle.

I admit that I am out of control. I also admit it’s alright to admit the fact that I am powerless because now my Higher Power can start to work in me and free  from those  things that imprison me in depression.

MEDITAITION

We know that  our choice is to get better.  We also know that  now that we admit are not God that our Higher Power can begin its hopeful work in us. With God all things are possible!

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Copyright (c) HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR  DOWN DAYS: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for !2 Step Fellowship Groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications  Louisville. Page 104.

“I WANTED TO GET WELL SO BADLY. I THINK PEOPLE DO HAVE TO WANT TO CHANGE…”

Yes, people do have to want to change as Helen attests so succinctly in her PERSONAL STORY in DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS (3rd edition). And yes, people do have to want it so badly that they will go to any lengths to find help. Let’s continue to read Helen’s words and how by being an active member of the Depressed Anonymous 12 Step Fellowship group she found  where she was no longer alone.  She says “Then I finally knew after two years 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 had a phone number and that was all. I talked to the 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 that 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 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 thoughts. I began to feel better and I continued to see my counselor. I started in Depressed Anonymous some weeks later.” Page 146.

You know, sometimes it takes just that  one person, with their own liberating story of being  freed from the isolation and pain of depression that we feel that there is hope for me. If it worked for Helen, it surely can work for me as well.

If you would like to read Helen’s working free of depression,  see the full account in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd Edition. (2011) Depressed  Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

I CHOOSE TO THINK ABOUT THOSE GOOD THINGS THAT I SEE IN MYSELF.

AFFIRMATION

I am making a choice now to like myself and focus in  on only the good things that I see in myself. I am imagining happy situations from my past and putting myself in the happy picture so that now I can feel happy.

“Proving yourself to be a man or woman can be a positive activity of learning, exploring and discovering who you are, or it can be the meager, self-destroying activity of trying to hide what is experienced  as essential worthlessness.” (4)

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

When I attempt to avoid my feelings and to dig in deeper to what I am experiencing in the here and now, I pass up a golden opportunity for growing and for being more human.  It is only in the here and now that I live and breathe. When I try to avoid what I am feeling and continue my frenzied feeding on all the bad things that I accuse myself of, I find that my feelings of sadness get even worse.

Now, today, I am taking the risk of being responsible for my own recovery. I know that it is difficult to change my way of thinking negative thoughts. If I change it often, in time I will cling not to the awful things I say about myself but I will hang onto the positive statements I am now making about myself.

I need today to engage in activity of the positive type. I want to start a daily exercise program.  I want to write down a list of five positive qualities that I would like to have and then imagine myself possessing these qualities. (By this same time tomorrow on May 20,  we will have our five positive qualities written down and we will reflect on what we have written down. We will have more discussion on choices and feelings tomorrow here at this BLOG).

MEDITATION

God, come to our assistance and help us discover your way out of this darkness. We trust that you will there  for sure  right at this moment. We will have courage!

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. May 19. Page 102.  (See website VISIT THE STORE  for more DA literature.)

I HAVE CHOICES

Depressed Anonymous bases its healing and recovery on the premise that once depressed persons admit that they are out of control, even for some to the point of having attempted suicide, they then come to believe that a Power greater than themselves can restore them to sanity, while  at the same time making a decision to turn their minds over to the care of God, as they understand God.

The important thing is not so much whether depression is or is not an illness or a mental disorder, but that people have to take responsibility for themselves and their feelings.  So many people think that since they are patients of a doctor, they must just sit back and wait for the medicine to kick in.  The doctor will be doing these people a great favor to ask them what has been going on in their families, their work, or with those whom they love.  The depressed consumer of medical and mental health services might then get it that maybe they have a choice on whether they stay depressed or not.  The consumer might also begin to work on themselves, knowing that everything they can do to take care of themselves will gradually eliminate the symptoms that we call depression.

So often, those depressed are living out of step with their own expectations or the expectations of others, sometimes stemming back to early childhood.  It would be great if the many people on antidepressant medication would start talking about why they depressed themselves in the first place. The pain might disappear with the medication, but the experience is still part of their lives and memories. Unless one talks about the experience then the depression symptoms will indeed re-appear.”:

SOURCE: Copyright (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd Edition. (2011)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville Ky   Page 168.

A VICTIM IN MY OWN MIND

-A personal story of a Depressed Anonymous member

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 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 in would make me happy. Eventually, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to die or live.   I cried at the drop of a hat, but still found enough rage inside 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 seemed to work or last.  This time, I have been in counseling 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 my self every time something bad happened. “Why can’t I find someone to love me? “Why isn’t God looking out 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 so 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 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.  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.

I’m slowly finding out that my life is not as horrible as I’ve made it out to be. I used to tell myself that since it happened before, it will happen again–and that simply is not true.  Yes, my past was horrible and it’s no wonder I ended up with depression. I want out of it and the only person to get me out is me. There is no magic wand to transport you to the life you want. Everyone knows what they wish their life could be  — so do it!  Make the changes you have to make, trust in God and always remember that good things come to those who wait. I’ve waited over half my life. I don’t have to be a victim of my past or of my mind anymore. I’m more than ready for the good things!  With love and hope. ”

SOURCE : (Copyright) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd Edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville  Pages 120-121/Personal Stories # 9.

A Most Effective Strategy

AFFIRMATION

I will be a better person today than the person I was yesterday.

“The first step to change is to see  it is as possible in our scheme of things. The next step is to accept and cope with the anger and frustration that change bring ..coping with anxiety involves accepting it into awareness and permitting its full expression.  This may not lead to a comfortable stare in the short run, but in the long turn it is a most effective strategy.(6)

  CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I believe that all growth is gradual and that each day I have only twenty-four hours in which to live out my life.  In these twenty four hours I can get a lot  accomplished in my efforts to surrender my need to be dependent upon my depression. My depression will no longer be an excuse that keeps me from starting my recovery program.

I know from personal experience that my life is very different from the way that it was before I turned my life over to my Higher Power. (Step 2 of Depressed Anonymous)  Now I can live with the belief that this power is going to walk with me. I can now be assured that life is going to get better for me. It is better already.  Since this program of Depressed Anonymous is spiritual, I know that my healing of my depression is accomplished by my desire to let God, as I understand him, direct my life. (Step 3 of Depressed Anonymous).

The program  of the Twelve Steps has no pat answers  and it will not allow you to be comfortable where you are–in fact it will cause you to want to move out of the prison of your depression and into the light of daily efforts to change.

MEDITATION

God, we are aware that this day and this day alone we are going to trust in you and we will commit  ourselves to you so  that we might commit ourselves to a positive change in our attitudes.

SOURCE: Copyright: HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS. Depressed Anonymous Publications  Louisville  Page 90. May 3rd.

My Inner Most Thoughts Are Stepping Stones

A HIGHER THOUGHT FOR TODAY

AFFIRMATION

I am going to think of my inner most thoughts as stepping stones to a better and more positive way to live my life.

“In the ancient secret Gnostic Gospels Jesus is reported as saying, ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you  bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is in you, what you do not bring forth  will destroy you.'”(6)

  CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

My sad thoughts which I continually run around in my mind keep me enslaved to inaction and a feeling of being trapped.  I want to let these thoughts  out so that I will be able to look at them and see them for what they are  —  the empty fears that have no power when placed out in the light of day. I believe that the more I express my fears to another, the less powerful they are and the less control they have over my life.

I am going to accept the fact that I have every right to be part of this universe and I am going to do everything in my power to achieve a sense of security and happiness for myself.  The first step  where “We admitted that we were powerless over depression and that our lives had become unmanageable” is what will free me in time from the prison of my depression.

When we get in touch with what we fear, we can get in touch with ourselves. By doing this, we find a way out of the cold and lifeless sadness that we call depression.

MEDITATION

God, please come to us and dwell within us that you might create in us the strength that we need to bring us forth what is within us. This means both those pleasant and  unpleasant thoughts.”

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for 12 Step Fellowship Groups. (1993, 1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 89. May 1.

PROMISE #11 OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS: INTUITIVELY KNOW HOW TO HANDLE SITUATIONS WHICH USED TO BAFFLE US

“As my mind began to heal and my thoughts became more lucid it became apparent that something inside me is changing. Depression, when you begin to examine the various symptoms up close, and deal with them, the experience becomes less threatening. Some say that depression is a collection of behaviors that are brought into play to defend us against things that are too  painful  to to face.  Also, depression results when a love object is lost through death or that one feels abandoned. We have become so at one with our lost love, that we mourn the death of part of us. The love object  and ourselves has become one. I believe we use the word codependence today.

At first I was frightened by my various symptoms of depression.  The symptoms proved to be baffling.  I was not able to get out of bed as well as being unable to concentrate or manage a complex thought. I began to worry that I was losing my mind and I often asked myself if I was going to survive.  But now my ability to handle situations in a meaningful way is due to my frequent attendance at meetings, and by making a daily time of prayer and meditation and a feeling that my life has purpose and meaning. The more I am physically active, that is,  going to meetings even when I don’t feel like it. Working in my Depressed Anonymous Workbook, reading my 12 Step literature.

This behavior is where my freedom begins. And yes, I do feel lousy at times but I know that nothing can stand in my way to make choices in my own behalf. Previous  to my involvement with the group I had no idea that my depression was not so powerful as to prevent me from even thinking that I could choose to feel differently.”

SOURCE: (C) I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER. (1986, 2013) 2nd Edition  DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS LOUISVILLE,  KENTUCKY   Pages 50-51.

This Promise really does work. I know from my own personal experience that once I had begun my recovery and began to deal with those things I refused to face that things lightened up. When I was in the pit of my own melancholia I couldn’t even begin to think that there was a way out — I just didn’t consider  that as a possibility. But the more I read–the more I listened to others who had or were presently climbing out of their own pit of melancholia I felt hopeful  that I too could choose to think differently and so feel different.  With time, work and prayer plus having a sponsor I intuitively knew how to handle situations that at one time confused me. Things in my life became clearer and I began to examine those past patterns of behavior and thinking that put me in the pit.  It was by living out the Twelve Steps and practicing these principles in all of my affairs that eventually gave me the freedom of making the choice to either choose to stay depressed or to choose to live life  and find the path to free me from the bonds of my own depression.

Hugh

WRITING IN MY JOURNAL OR DA WORKBOOK HELPS CLARIFY MY THINKING, FEELINGS, AND BEHAVIORS ONE DAY AT A TIME!

AFFIRMATION

I  see myself better when I write down who I feel I am today.

“The simple act of writing something down is tremendously helpful because to do so we have to bring something clearly to mind. Instead of  having half-formed thoughts and confused emotions crashing and fumbling around inside of us, we crystalize these thoughts and feelings into sentences. Once we put these sentences down on paper we have taken something from inside and put it outside. Now we can look at it, judge it, and master it.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I am making every effort to get in touch with who I am and I am taking the opportunity now to focus on what gets me down and what keeps me up. I am seeing too, that the more I associate with people like myself who are following and working their program, the better I feel.  I intend to journal and keep a diary of my good progress.

I know that the more I stay in my head the greater the confusion. It is only when I begin to see on paper my expressions of hope and confusion that I can begin to change some of my thoughts which I find I am compulsively repeating to myself, day after day.  I now can write down a new positive thought about myself.  I can choose to feel  whatever I choose.”

MEDITATION

Our guiding love, our God as we understand God, is dong for us all that it desires to lavish on us today.  I am hopeful that I can find my new path and grow stronger in learning the various ways to hear our Higher Power’s promptings.

SOURCE: (c) HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS: 365 DAILY THOUGHTS AND MEDITATIONS FOR 12 STEP FELLOWSHIP GROUPS. (1993, 1999) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS, LOUISVILLE. Pages 78-79.

ARE YOU GOING IN CIRCLES? THE ADDICT’S CIRCULAR DANCE

In the work  I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER,  recently published  (2013) by Depressed Anonymous Publications, Chapter Six centers its attention on COMPULSISIONS AND CHOICES; THE ADDICTIVE NATURE OF THE DEPRESSION EXPERIENCE. The following thoughts reflect some of the ideas discussed in  Chapter Six.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

“We all  know that any addictive/compulsive type of behavior gradually removes you from the regular  activities of persons around you, including family, friends and coworkers, until you are established in the narrow confines of pain and isolation. We are always going to be just a little more isolated the more we try to think our addiction through in the circle of our own thoughts.

This is what I have found out about addictive/compulsions is that they are like that of a dog chasing his tail. It’s a circular dance that can never end. The dog can never catch his tail. The addict can never get enough of what they are chasing, be it one substance or the other. The next physical rush  is the next hit, the next drink, the next porno movie/picture.

Once we have admitted that our lives are powerless and unmanageable we begin to get excited about a vision, a vision of the new person that we might become. We also learn that there are other alternative ways and various choices that we can make in our behalf. It is beginning to sink into our minds that we are truly responsive for our choices and personal decisions. Like others in the program of recovery who broke out of the vise grip of their addictions they slowly learned to make decisions that favored sobriety and serenity”. Pgs. 61 – 62.