Category Archives: Ego Deflation

I’m depressed! Where do I go from here?

“Now that I have admitted I am having a difficult time living I want to learn some new avenues that will make my life more enjoyable and much more livable.” Depressed Anonymous Workbook, Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. 2002.
Are the sad feelings of depression causing your life to be lived inside the prison of hopelessness? Have your moods deepened to the extent that you are no longer able to function. By that I mean are you unable to do even the basic things like talking to family or friends, holding onto a job, getting out of bed in the morning, or just to concentrate on any single thought for any length of time. Some of us are unable to sleep when we are depressed. Some of us gain weight because of inactivity and fatty comfort foods. If you say yes to any of the above life changers then you could possibly be suffering from the symptoms of depression.

I know now that at the point that I think my life is at its lowest point…that is when this program of recovery came into my life. I believe with the Psalmist who once stated that we need to commit ourselves to God, trust in him, and that the God of my understanding will act in my behalf.

When we learn to let go+ of those persons, mental images, painful past personal situations and memories the better I am able to let God control my life. I find this letting go a fearsome project but nevertheless I find that I must do it if I want to find hope once again.

“Some of the major ways people help buiild the walls of derpession are to consider themselves worthless, won’t allow themselves to get angry, they can’t forgive themselves or others, and they beleive that life is hard and death is worse. Also, they beleive that since bad things happened to them in the past bad things are bound ti happen to them in the future.”
Depressed Anonymous, Third Edition, Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisvile. KY. 2011. Page 28-38.

And so to answer my question, where do I go from here? I personally suggest that you find a Depressed Anonymous meeting and be part of the conversation. But now with the covid-19 surrounding us, most face to face meetings have paused for safety reasons.

We are now very fortunate to have an online International Depressed Anonymous Skype meeting every day. It is live at 11:30AM CST and at 12:30PM EST. The Depressed Anonymous meeting originates from the USA, and can be accessed by anyone with the Internet.

For more information please go to www.depressedanon.com, click onto Depressed Anonymous HOMEPAGE drop down menu at MEETINGS and it is there you wil find a link to the meeting live.

If there are other questions please contact Depanon@Hotmail.com

For more information about Literature on Depression and the 12 Steps please click onto THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE for online ordering.

The DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS Third Edition is available as well as the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK. Both these can be downloaded as Ebooks from our website.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Periodically I will share pearls of wisdom that I’ve heard or read. I will try to include attributions to the original author/speaker.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
I.
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
II.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I still don’t see it. I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
It isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
III.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there, I still fall in.
It’s habit. It’s my fault. I know where I am.
I get out immediately.
IV.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
V.
I walk down a different street.

© 1977 Portia Nelson

Yours in recovery, Bill R

Always trying to “please others” diminished me!

“I’d rather be imperfect and happy than always trying to be perfect.”  The THIRTEENTH WAY to leave the prison of depression.

The following two  excerpts quoted below  are from   Believing is seeing:15 ways to leave the prison of depression.(2015). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

 

”  One of the areas in my life where I strive to excel is in the area of trying to be perfect.  Somewhere in our early development as children we got the message that if we were perfect we could be more acceptable to others. I gradually began to believe the more I  tried to please other’s that this would bring me happiness. Instead all it brought me was a loss of myself.  The loss of self reduced me to a shallow self without direction  or meaning.” Page 63.

”   Eventually, my depression became a sort of a comfort as it kept me from having to risk an unpredictable life. In other words, this way of living took away all hope. This is what keeps many of us depressed. We hold onto the mistaken belief that since bad things happened to us in the past, bad things will continue to happen to us in  the future.” Page 64.

________________________________________________

SOURCE: Copyright (c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications Louisville.

VISIT THE STORE for more information on other publications offered to the depressed by Depressed Anonymous Publications.

I said to myself, “if I ignore it maybe it(depression)will go away.”

“There was a time when we ignored trouble, hoping it would go away. Or, in fear and in depression, we ran from it, but found it was still with us. Often, full of unreason, bitterness, and blame, we fought back. These mistaken attitudes, powered by alcohol, guaranteed our destruction, unless they were altered.

Then came AA (and DA. OA, NA,  Al-Anon etc). Here we learned that trouble was really a fact of life for everybody – a fact that had to be understood and dealt with. Surprisingly, we found that our troubles could, under God’s grace, be converted into unimagined blessings.

“Indeed, that was the essence of A.A. itself: trouble accepted, trouble squarely faced with calm courage, trouble lessened and often transcended. This was the A.A. story, and we became a part of it.  Such demonstrations became our stock in trade for the next sufferer.”

COMMENT: It was with my own experience with depression that I tried to deny that it was anything that could keep me from a life lived with hope and joy. I thought that if I just ignored it, like Bill W., stated so well above, it would just evaporate like the morning midst. Of course this just didn’t happen.

As I commented on this denial factor which is a big part of all addictions, I also came to believe that,  “well, what I am going through will surely pass. It isn’t so bad, really. I can put up with a little discomfort.”  Sorry. It didn’t work that way. And as I pointed out in   I’ll Do It when I feel Better  I said  ” we also learn that our depression is a defense and predictable and for some, depression is even come to be a comfort and as has been said before, at least one knows what they have with depression. And to change and risk removing this numbness is better not to be undertaken  because it’s better to know what one has than to risk getting something worse. Much like the example cited before of the debate within ourselves to go to the dentist for the toothache or just tough  it out and hope for the best.  We call this denial.” Page 17.

To examine more literature about depression and using the Twelve Steps in your personal recovery , please taker a look  at VISIT THE STORE here at our website.

______________________________________

SOURCES:

1) As Bill sees it. Page 110.

2)  I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014)  Depressed  Anonymous Publications.                                  Louisville.

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

 

It’s the miracle of the group where I can start loving myself!

I have hope that I can accept myself today and just let fly all the old messages from the old tapes of childhood.

“You desperately wanted people to love you, but you became wary of giving your love to others.  You reasoned that the less you loved another person the less it would hurt when the inevitable rejection came.” Dorothy Rowe

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I have been holed up for so long in my own little world of feeling hurt and rejection that to attempt to love someone else like the greatest challenge of my life.  I desire so badly to be loved by someone else that this lack of another’s love makes my isolation from others so hurtful.

After having witnessed the miracle of the group in DA, where depressed persons come together with their feelings of being hurt and rejected, I find that other’s love and nurture challenge me to hope once again,. I can share with the group the fact that I haven’t measured up, that I am angry and that I just want to lay down and die.

I am open enough now to let the light of love from others , who like myself, realize that I am not alone and that  I am beginning to feel better already now that I no longer need to be perfect.

This means to be willing to affiliate and give of myself for someone else’s good. In the program I am starting to love-myself.

MEDITATION

We are going to make a mental decision right now to let God, as we understand God, guide us and instruct us on how best to love ourselves .”

____________________________

Source: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. March 3rd. Page 47.

ANGER: 12 DO’S AND DONT’S

  1. Do speak up when an issue is important to you. It is a mistake to stay silent if the cost is to feel better, resentful or unhappy. We de-self ourselves when we fail to make a stand on issues that matter to us.
  2. Don’t strike when  the iron is hot.  Sometimes it’s better to seek a temporary distance from the problem and  think it through more clearly.
  3. Do take time out to think about the problem and to clarify your position. What is it about this that makes  me so angry? Who is responsible for what? What specifically do I want to change?
  4. Don’t use below the belt tactics: These include blaming, diagnosing, ridiculing, preaching,  interrogating.
  5. Do speak in “I language.”  Learn to say “I want…I need…I feel… I fear. The I statement says something about the self without criticizing   or blaming the other.
  6. Don’t make vague requests. Let people know specifically what you want.
  7. Do try to appreciate the fact that people are different.  Different perspectives and ways of reacting do not necessarily mean that one person is “right” and the other “wrong.”
  8. Don’t tell another person what she or he thinks or feels or should think  or should think or feel.
  9. Do recognize that each person is responsible for his or her own behavior.
  10. Don’t participate in intellectual arguments that go nowhere.
  11. Do try to avoid speaking through a third party.
  12. Don’t expect change to come about from hit and run confrontations.

SOURCE: An article by Harriet  Goldhor Lerner PhD.  Staff Psychologist at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka Kansas.

DEPRESSION IS ABOUT LOST SELVES. DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS IS ABOUT THE DISCOVERY OF THE REAL SELF!

“Without the defense of depression the human race would not have survived. By shutting ourselves in this prison we keep out all the dangers and uncertainties that otherwise would overwhelm us.  By making every day in the prison  the same as the next, we deal only with the bare minimum  of issues that we can manage to deal with, and we make sure that nothing new gets in to frighten  and stress us.  By concentrating on just ourselves we do not have to face what is happening to others. Locked in our prison we can avoid acknowledging that the inescapable disasters that the human  race is prone to — death and loss and the tragedies that nature or our own  cruelties and stupidities bring upon us. In depression we can give ourselves a breathing space before we confront all this again, or we can keep ourselves safely locked away forever.`” (14)

Depression is about lost selves — and the struggle to regain the self. We are in a perpetual lock down! It is indeed a battle with one’s self to survive – that is why Dorothy Rowe calls depression a prison. We build the walls as a defense to keep us safe till we can combat our  demons and find which  way out is the best for us. ”

I found all this to be so true in my own life until I admitted that something was very much wrong with what was happening inside of me. I was always tired, anxious and feeling painfully hallowed out inside of me. I truly was imprisoned by my own fears and shame.  In time and with work I forced my prison door open as now I had a key–a key that allowed me to see that I didn’t have to stay here. The pain was so great that the only temporary relief was for me to be proactive and get moving. I walked. I walked some more. Everyday I walked.  I began to feel like Forrest Gump. And actually, for me, walking was the key that helped me to  walk out of the fog. Once my energy level came back, I came into the Fellowship of the Twelve Steps and there began to work on the things that brought me down in the first place. My experience from feeling lost to discovering my real self was all made possible through the working of the spiritual program that we call the Twelve Steps.

—SOURCE: I’ll do it when I feel better.  2013. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville,. Kentucky   40217. (p.76)

WHO IS IN CHARGE HERE, ANYWAY?

“The faith of my Sunday school days was gone, and the  “god of my understanding” was far off.  (But not so far as it turned out).  It stretched me to even imagine ” a power, a strength, and I became unwilling to take this route. I wasn’t ready to take on God yet.

However, God was ready to take me on, for in my ignorance I’d done about all AA  (We could add DA here. Editor) asks — I had become willing. And this is how he did it. In some casual reading about seeds, this statement caught my attention: ” Science can construct a seed identical to a natural seed in every detail but one –science’s seed will not germinate.”  The words seemed to leap from the page. They demanded answers. What is the missing ingredient in the man made seeds?  Is it some dimension I don’t know about?  Is it in everything? Even people?  And then the big question. Who is in charge here, anyway?

Backed into a corner finally, by a logic greater than my ego, I conceded. Too many miracles, too much confidence, and too much evidence of a power greater than myself all around me left me defenseless. and in awe. I surrendered. And the power wasted no time in reinforcing my belief with these words from the Big Book: “We found that as soon we were able to lay aside prejudice and  express even a willingness to believe in a power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God…

He is always there if I but look, feel and want him to be; my conscious contact is dependent upon my being willing.

My personal  thought about this passage is that it took a complete deflation of my ego before I said “I give up.” My life was in ruins and I had nowhere to go. No one had an answer–not even my church fellowship. (That came back in spades later). But who was able to help–it was that Twelve Step group  who said that they believed in this Power  that was truly greater than the booze, depression, gambling–insert your own addiction here–and you know what, they were right. That was more than 30 years ago.  The seed that was planted by these Steps has now produced in my life that is lived one day at a time.

SOURCE: The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, Depressed Anonymous Publications. (Question 11.11 in STEP ELEVEN SECTION. Louisville, KY  40217.