Category Archives: Courage

I will keep physically fit. Exercise is my priority now!

MOTIVATION FOLLOWS ACTION.

AFFIRMATION
I promise myself that I will walk today to regain a positive feeling about myself and my world.
Keep physically fit. It is a must for us who are and have been depressed. Walking not only restore harmony to the body, it likewise restores my self-esteem and self confidence. Remember that motivation follows action.
REFLECTION

How can motivation follow action? Isn’t it the other way around, namely that action follows motivation? In a sense the criticism is true, but in another sense, it isn’t quite that accurate. When speaking about the paralysis of depression the individual’s motivation is almost completely nonexistent. That is why it is important for me, a depressed person to force myself to get moving -that’s right, force myself into an activity because even though I say “I will do it when I feel better.” I never usually feel better. So I need to find that point in my day, when I feel better and get out in the air and walk, if nothing else, it tends to distract from my wanting to sad myself.
When I take care of myself physically and begin giving myself p[permission to express my feelings, especially the unpleasant ones, I begin to speak more assertively and begin to like myself.

MEDKITATION

Today, help me sort out what needs to be thrown away and what we need to keep. Help us keep those memories that had love attached to them.

RESOURCES
Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 Step fellowship groups. (2002)Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Pages 150-151.

Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Chapter Six. Pages 33-36.

Powerless does not mean No Power

People get hung up on the word powerless.

powerless –

  1. devoid of strength or resources
  2. lacking the authority or capacity to act

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/powerless

Personally I don’t believe that I have NO POWER. Instead I have less power than the average healthy person. There are things that I can do to help manage my disease. OK, so I know I don’t have all control (100% control) and I believe that it’s not a case of having no control (0% control), so I’m somewhere in the middle – between 1% and 99% control over my depression. Wherever I fall on that spectrum I am compelled by my Higher Power to act. My Higher Power has given me the authority and capacity to act and attempt to influence and manage my disease of depression. I may wish and yearn for 99% control over my disease of depression but wherever I am I must act. I need to get out of my familiar zone (I don’t call it a comfort zone as it is NOT comfortable), and take action.

That action could be as miniscule as bringing the dirty dishes to the sink (washing may take another burst of commitment and action), or it could be as major as cleaning out and organizing the garage. I have it within my power to take my dog for a 20 minute walk. I may not have it in me today to go on a 45 minute walk, but I can do the 20 minutes and work towards improving my mood. Progress, not perfection.

If the love of your life was sick and in bed, wouldn’t you feed them? Wouldn’t you bring them tissues? Show yourself the same compassion and commitment! You are worthy of action and of love. Love is not a feeling, it is a choice and an action. Have the courage to choose to love yourself and put that choice into action. You are worth it!

Yours in recovery, Bill R

Change is risky!

“Change is risky and some folks don’t want to live with risk – they want life to be completely predictable. But with predictability, you pay the price of hopelessness. Hope can exist only when there is uncertainty. You never want anything to change. You want it to be completely under your control.”

I certainly agree with the belief that change is risky. I know how change effects our daily lives and daily routine. We are creatures of habit and move along in our life like a train on railroad tracks. There is never any veering off these tracks as doing so will create a disaster. We need to know what exactly is to happen if we change gears and try something new. Uncomfortableness is the outcome for this approach to life. But surprisingly, this is the way we like it. We want everything to be nailed down so to speak, where we are in total control. Control seems to be a definite issue for many of us.

“People won’t change until they have some assurance that when they do change they will be completely happy. They want to have someone promise them that if they decide to change, they will have no more problems and will be happy. Dorothy Rowe says “This request is based on two assumptions,namely: 1. Anyone who hasn’t got my problems has no problems at all (therefore, when my present problems disappear I shall have no problems); 2. Happiness is total certainty (therefore, unless I know exactly what is going to happen, I cannot be happy).” Again, the issue of control raises its ugly head. Source: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Page 74.

When depressing ourselves we tend to want to isolate and avoid all those environments, people, places and things that make me feel uncomfortable and where I want to run away.

“Just the feeling that we want to withdraw from everyone is a warning signal that we need to get to a meeting, talk to a friend and get moving. It is our effort to face the risk of living with the unpredictable that will free us from saddening ourselves. Depressed Anonymous is not the place to have people feel sorry for you. Depressed Anonymous is a spiritual program where you will find people like yourself, honestly, openly and willingly dealing with their character defects and gradually admitting that they will have to change their lives and lifestyle if they are going to be whole and a honest human being. The decision is yours. You make the choice! The Twelve Steps and your own personal story can now be shared with others and can help them on their own life journey.” Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Page 108.

We want to take the risk by facing ourselves and fears on a daily basis. Sharing in our Depressed Anonymous group will help us, amid a friendly fellowship, taking a risk and telling others who we are. You will be thankful that you did.

RESOURCE

(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY 40241.
* This important manual of self-discovery can be ordered ONLINE here at our website: The Depressed Anonymous Bookstore @ www.depressedanon.com.

Do we believe nothing will ever change? A response from The Promises of Depressed Anonymous. #1

Excerpts from The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.

++++++ FOLLOW THE DISCUSSION/COMMENTARY ON THE PROMISES EACH DAY +++++++

” I do believe that the pain of our depression originates from inside ourselves. We construct present day reality based on life experiences. The past is the predictor of the future. As it says in Depressed Anonymous, many of us hold the absolute belief that “since bad things happened to us in the past bad things will happen to us in the future. ” In other words – we have made up our minds – nothing will ever change. And of course this belief is what promotes and keeps our depression alive.”

The opposite of depression is spontaneity and vitality. When we are depressed we move about as in a fog. We are stuck. Since we desire everything to remain the same, that is, predictable, we in no way believe that life can be different for us. If we intend to stay stuck, we make the decision, choose to stay in the rut of being lifeless, hapless and hopeless.

As we change old beliefs into new ones we believe that things can change as things begin to change. We will begin to experience hope, light and joy.”

“… life doesn’t have to be lived alone in agony or misery.” (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011)Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 41.)
___________________________________________________________________________
NOTE:
Tomorrow our commentary on the Promises continues for Promise #1.

Copyright(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 1-3. The 1st Promise of a total of 13 Promises.

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

A culture of comfort

Note: originally published March 21, 2016

In the past, my response to a situation that needed my attention I would tell myself “I’ll do it when I feel better.” This was my “old normal” behavior for making excuses for NOT taking care of business in my life.

I believe that for most of us who were or are depressed the “normal” behavior was to just sit in the comfort of doing nothing and letting our lives spin out of control. Now when I mean comfort, I don’t mean without pain, I mean taking NO action when action is seriously needed. And it was only when the situation , that depressing paralysis of will and life activity began to come to a deadening halt, that I had to face myself, make a decision to do something and get my body moving.

I believe that when I unexpectedly found myself drifting down into a sort of a deadly physical inertia, that this discomfort, this slow motion moving and thinking, forced me to come to my senses and stop whatever it was that had me sinking in quicksand up to my chin.

How many times have persons shared with me, as well as sharing in the Depressed Anonymous group, that the comfort of staying stuck in neutral was better than trying to dig themselves out of the stagnation of depression. Depressed persons sometimes have the fear that their unending physical sadness , their mental torment and the comfort of doing nothing is better than trying to change it for fear that they might get something far worse. In fact, many felt that to change would be like turning themselves into the hole in the doughnut. They would be reduced to zero.

Like it says in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, most times we all are looking for an easier and more comfortable way out of whatever has us by the throat. Why not stay in the cocoon of our predictable misery than try to live in the real world which is unpredictable and challenging. Of course, to live this way, takes energy. To live this way takes hope and the belief that I can and I will take the plunge to be proactive in doing all that I can to feel differently. I also have come to the point where I will make a “decision ” to take action today, not tomorrow, but today. Today is all that I have. I have just 24 hours at a time to begin deciding to live differently and find out how this can be accomplished. Where to start.

Just by reading this piece today, you can find the hope and energy to turn your life around like thousands other have done over the years.

Read the following literature and see how it may be of help to you in leaving your own “comfort zone”.

SOURCES:

    • Copyright (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
    • Copyright (c) I’ll do it when I feel better (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Please VISIT THE STORE at this site for information for ordering your own copies of valuable literature on ways to leave behind the misery of your own depression experience.

Courage To Change The Things I Can

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is having fears, facing them, and taking action. I know that I can be overcome with fear. My depression manifests as a deer in the headlights. I am stuck in inaction. The hardest part is getting started.

Break whatever project you are procrastinating on into small manageable pieces. Start attacking and accomplishing those smaller tasks. Some people say to tackle the low hanging fruit – to start off easy. Some people say to tackle the hardest task first – the one that you are dreading the most. If you can handle the hardest task then you should be able to handle the rest.

Does it matter which way you start? The answer is a resounding no. What matters is that you take action, any action. Start, start NOW! It doesn’t matter if you make a mistake by going into action – you will have momentum on your side, and you can accomplish much more.

Choose action. Pick something, anything that is productive and gets you one step closer to your goal.

You will experience fear, it is to be expected. Have the courage to feel the fear and do it anyway. You may not feel better instantly, but you will feel better eventually.

If you are overcome with fear to the point of inaction don’t worry. Be gentle with yourself. Breathe through your fear and set the task aside for a few moments. Don’t have the attitude of no never, but instead have the attitude of no, not right now. Revisit the task that you put aside. Don’t get trapped in avoidance as you’re merely putting the fearsome task aside for a few moments. Catch your breath, and dive back in.

Be gentle with yourself, but do it!

Yours in recovery, Bill R

I’m having cabin fever during this pandemic self-isolation. How are you doing?

Updated 29 Dec 2020: The US based ZOOM meetings are no longer being held.

Getting a daily rhythm during this time of self-isolation is getting to be a must for me. How about you? After a month of isolating myself this isolation getting old. And, it appears that it isn’t going to be over for a spell. We are all created as human beings to be close to others. We love the fellowship of groups. Ironically, this is what will kill us or make us very sick at the very least. Physical/social distancing is a must now.

I am getting my stride. Athletes talk about getting into their rhythm. I am much aware that I can’t fiddle my time away – getting myself depressed, or just staring out the window, watching TV , streaming on my computer or just sleeping through it.

So, I have developed a schedule. I make sure that I eat every day and at the same time. I use my 12 Step literature for prayer and reflection in the morning. I also do some writing on my online WordPress blog . Because I have gone through self-isolating when I was depressed – I definitely do not let it happen again. In my schedule I go to the park and exercise everyday and at the same time. I spend a part of the afternoon catching up with friends and members of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship. At these times I connect with member s of the large DA fellowship in Iran and other DA members outside US. (Everyone with whom I have contact are going through the same pandemic as we are.)

The Depressed Anonymous fellowship have an International daily DA SKYPE online meeting. I am able to contact and participate in this group in early afternoon. Then there is a new ZOOM online fellowship that has just been formed. You can find times and places at our Depressed Anonymous website. Or on Facebook. Please try and attend these meetings. Great resource for keeping in touch and helping to maintain our recovery – one day at a time. In the late afternoon I follow our Governor’s daily TV meeting(Kentucky) where he keeps us up to date on things that we have to do to keep each other safe and out of harms way. Then evening news and then other news sources. So by night time I am saturated with news – mostly sad news about how there is so much suffering and isolation among all of us who need each other so much.

I am especially grateful for our 12 step fellowship where we can see each other f2f and maintain our sanity and sobriety. Please check out our recent blogs at www.depressedanon.com or FB Depressed Anonymous. Today is the first day where we are offering our eBooks for $1.00 a piece. These are the 3rd edition of Depressed Anonymous and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Both of these eBooks can be downloaded on the computer or printed out on your printer. These are the books which we use at our Online group meetings. If you want these books today, they are yours for downloading. We felt that now is the time to make these books available to as many people as possible. We wanted to make them available on line free – but somehow that was not possible. So we went for $1 buck apiece. I do hope others take advantage of this opportunity – especially most of us who might be hard pressed to come up with any money now when food and shelter is our most critical need. Depressed Anonymous Publications is a very small business operation and all our work is done by volunteers – including me.

My suggestion is to do the same thing everyday, have a schedule for each day and now that the children are home, and with the kids out of school, they will always need some help with their eLearning classes.

Do some fun things for yourself – I personally liked the old Three stooges, Jim Carey’s movies and older comedies keep me laughing. It sure helps lift my mood.

Plan to call at least one older person who is alone. Maybe a neighbor who needs food. My wife and I are now trying to make some strategic decisions in our food purchases and TP. Trying to make do with what we have, sharing what we have with others.

Call your sponsor everyday or a fellow member of our 12 Step fellowship group.

Finally, get into your own rhythm – take it one day at a time-make a schedule and as a family get together and decide how we all can decide how we want to spend our day.

Thank you and may all of us remain safe and secure. This too shall pass. We are all in this together. We are going to get through it. We are going to get through it together.

Love and peace to you all.

Hugh, for the fellowship

Anxious? Please read this.

“Sometimes persons tell us that they get sad for no reason at all. All of a sudden they just feel down and don’t know why. Many times after reflecting upon this sudden rush of sadness, they realize that it has come from somewhere and they might as well take responsibility for it and deal with it. One of the best ways to deal with a feeling, especially the unpleasant ones, is to stay with it, feel it, and see what it is trying to tell you. When we run from it we lose. Granted, this won’t be easy and you might not find the source of the sudden sadness at the first glance, but in time you can feel it, deal with it and then discard it. The more you ruminate about how sad you are and then how bad you are for being so sad, the more you have begun the downward spiral into physically feeling weak and hopeless. This is the time to call a friend or a member of the group. Just say: “Hey, I’m feeling sad and there is no reason why I think I am feeling sad – what do you think?” More times than not, your sad feelings will melt away.

Our feelings are like messengers. They come to tell us something important. They can tell us , as was the case with our ancestors of primitive times, that either it was time to run or to stand and fight. Flight or fight. Today, in these modern times, we don’t have to run or even fight when the unpleasant feelings rise up inside of us. The only activity that most of us engage in when faced with an unpleasant thought/feeling is to put our mind in overdrive, stomping on the accelerator, and shooting adrenaline into our blood stream. Even though there is no lion nipping at our heels we begin to flee those feelings of fright and find our selves swimming in a sea of fear and anxiety. Our palms begin to feel clammy, our forehead breaks out in beads of sweat and our heart rate is going trough the roof.

The more we “listen into” these frenzied feelings the more frenzied and frazzled we become physically. Now, totally worn out with all this adrenaline pumped through our arteries, and all physical systems on high alert, we become exhausted. After all this, my drug of choice was to hit the bed and sleep it off. Some folks medicate themselves with alcohol or other mind altering drugs.

Our other stance is to stay and fight the lion. No lion? We fight in our mind whatever it might be that is ready to devour us and spit us out. We might be sitting at our desk at work and this negative ruminating will be having the same effect on our body as it did with the native faced with fighting a lion. It was the lion or himself that had to win this fight.

So, for us, as we continue to put emotional energy into the negativity of the thought that affects our moods, we find ourselves spiraling downward into that depressed mood and isolation. Instead we need to listen to the feeling, face the feeling, and tell ourselves that the feeling is uncomfortable, but not life threatening. This becomes sort of a mantra at the time of our panicky thoughts where by gradually and slowly repeating this phrase over and over again to ourselves, our breathing gets slower, our heart rate slides back to normal and the sweating stops. No running and no fighting. No foot on the accelerator resulting in no more adrenaline pumping through our arteries.

This technique of talking ourselves down when our body and reasoning is about to be taken over by unpleasant emotions, really works.

RESOURCES

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY. Pg.91.

(c) Claire Weekes, Hope and Help for your Nerves. (1969) Berkley. NY.

NOTE: All Depressed Anonymous publications can be ordered online from the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore. At https://depressedanon.com

With the compulsion to sad ourselves…

In our “Big Book” Depressed Anonymous the statement is made:

” With our compulsion to sad ourselves, much like the alcoholic’s urge to medicate his or herself with alcohol, we need daily to turn our will over to God and ask for the  Higher Power’s (God) guidance, eventually it is the conscious contact with the loving God that sets us free from the need to sad ourselves.”

11.1 Question: How do you see your depression as a compulsion? What are the triggers that cause you to spiral downward back into the dark pit of depression?

When you think of depression do you  think of it like one big thing or do you see it for the many parts that make up a depression experience, namely, the way that we think, behave or feel. In other words, when we make it to be a thing, that is when we reify it – it holds power over us – like it came out of the blue – we talk about depression in medical terms such as I just had a bout of depression -like it came from outside of us like an infectious germ or virus. In reality, our depression is made up of many parts, such as particular depressiogenic ways of thinking, behaving and feeling.

11.1. Write the way that you perceive your depression? Can you distinguish the various parts ( thinking; feeling; behaving;  physiological; motivational; spiritual ) that go to form what we call the depression experience?  Which of the above parts continue to cause you the most anxiety/fear?

Which of the following Illustrations can you best relate to.

11.2. A need to be perfect!

11.3. A need to be successful!

11.4. A need to please others always!

11.5. A need to never get angry!

11.6. A need to have someone in my life before I feel I am somebody!

11.7. Please write down how one or more of the above items keeps you down, despairing and hopeless? Also, write about where these attitudes come from?

Please respond to the statement:

I can’t do anything to remove my compulsive behavior until I choose to live without it. It is truly living in the will and mind of God that will help us, one day at a time to stop being so compulsive in our rigid and automated thinking about people and things so that we do not let our dated emotions and thoughts predict what the outcome of our perceptions ought to be.”

The Home Study Program is an excellent tool for self reflection and a meaningful way to discover what needs to be changed in our lives.  The Question  and answers provided by the participant provides freedom from the issues (dated emotions) that continue to cripple us.

RESOURCES

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed., (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. pp79-80.

These and other helpful publications  can be ordered online from the Depressed Anonymous Publications  Bookstore at our website www.depressedanon.com.