“We do know that depression, like any other long standing emotion, can and does cause a physiological change in the body. Many scientists also know that positive emotions over time can produce a change in the immunological makeup of our human body and so protect it from illness.”
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
Depression can be eliminated from my life after I take a closer look at my lifestyle. If I want to conquer depression, I have to take a closer look at the way I think, behave and live out my life. Of course, to have a belief in some power greater than myself produces the hopeful vision that, in time, I can begin the healing process. My brokenness and fear of risking change is at the core of my depression. I know that once I begin to get moving in a positive physical and mental way, the healthier I can become.
Someone once said that an emotion is energy in motion. A good description I would say. My ability to maintain an emotional balance depends heavily on my belief that I can change the way I feel. I know with the help of my conscious contact with my Higher Power that I can find the peace that I am searching for.
We know that good things start to happen when we give up our will to the one who wills nothing but our personal good. The power which is greater than the power of our depression is desirous of eradicating its dominion of our lives. Let go now your fear to let go and let God.
Source: Copyright(c)Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 106. Higher Thought for May 25.
Source: Depressed Anonymous (3rd Edition) 2011. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky.
I will forgive myself for my past faults, mistakes and live just for today and try not to be afraid.
“Even without using not forgiving as a way of controlling people, taking other people’s thoughtless slights and bad temper personally and vowing never to forgive them soon leads to loneliness….If you see forgiving as something you ought not do, then when you do something wrong, you must not forgive yourself.” (7)
CLARIFICATION IOF THOUGHT
Today, I am becoming more aware of how I cannot control life because life is so broad and expansive. The area that I do control is quite small when compared to all areas of my life. To live means to let life happen and life is spontaneous. The more we try to control our relationships, our friends and what happens to us we short circuit any serendipitous intervention into our life today by our Higher Power.
The best place for me to experience life and the stories of others like myself is at Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings, Al-Anon meetings, Dep-Anon Family Group meetings, Depressed Anonymous meetings and the many other Twelve Step program meetings.
One of those absolute truths that live in every cell of our bodies when we are depressed is that I can never forgive myself – nor anyone else for that matter. It is this absolute truth that we hold about ourselves that continually imprisons us in our depression.
Just for today, we are going to really attempt to forgive ourselves for what happened to us yesterday and act as if today, the first day and only day of our lives, that I will be a new me. We are beginning life all over today. God, let your peace fill us now, and forever.”
Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky Page 99.
A HIGHER THOUGHT FOR TODAY
I am able to beat loneliness by repeatedly being with other people in recovery.
“I’m sure many sufferer’s could find a lot of comfort and support by coming into a group as I have done, to help beat the terrible loneliness which is felt by many of us and who find lasting friendship with lovely people.”
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
In the group, I established myself and I got some positive feedback from others who watched me grow and who have seen the genuine changes I make personally. I am gradually throwing off my personal war with sadness. The real support comes when I begin to learn that members of the group have the same problems that I have. That helps me trust others with the story of my life. These people are the ones who want to hear my story of how depression almost cost me my life. Now, my life is freeing me from my need to sad myself.
I feel I am able to attach myself to the group now that I know that they are struggling with the same depression that I struggle with. I no longer have to fight this battle on my own.
God, you are our rock and our refuge, on you I place all my trust. We know and believe, easier now than before, that God has something good in store for us today.”
SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for 12 Step Fellowship Groups. (1993, 1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville Pages 84-85.
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.”
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.
I will have the peace I desire as I continue to pray to do God’s will.
“Being in God’s will is the beginning of peace and the beginning of the end of your depression with its hollowness and jitters.” (8)
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
Most people don’t understand this who have not been in the program very long. What it means is that I must attempt to work and live this spiritual program. I need to let myself be guided by God’s hand in my life and so become open and ready to fiollow his guidance.
The beginning of wisdom is to hear the voice of God. It is imperative that I take an active role in getting better. I often say that God is the rudder of my boat and I have to put my oars in the water if I am going to get to the shore. I believe that one of the best ways for me to start to feel better is to take each step (Depressed Anonymous, Third Edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications) and try to do what it suggests. Keeping a journal lets me know what I am feeling for each day. I have come to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. I wonder sometimes if this hollow feeling inside myself isn’t more of a longing and hunger for a spiritual food that nothing in my life now can and ever will provide.
We pray that God will show us the way out of our depression by living and following the program that has healed other people who have been addicted to a behavior or a substance and which continued to bring them down instead of up.
SOUIRCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for Twelve Step Fellowship Groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 71.
“Responsibility is the name of the game in recovery and it is here that we need to focus our attention. As we get into a discussion with other people who are depressed – much like ourselves – we see that they talk about feeling better while at the same time acting on their own behalf. ” (8)
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
To blame someone else for all my problems, and to focus on someone else and not on myself, never accomplishes anything therapeutic. I believe that as I commit myself to my program of recovery I begin to feel a shift in the way I think and act. I know that the only way out of my pain is to get into dealing with my sadness and the way that I sad myself. I need to begin with Step One and admit my problem. I need to admit that my life has become unmanageable because of my attachment to depression. I must remember not to blame myself for depression – I just know that right now, today, I want out! I tell myself I’ve had it! I intend to get better.
In order to change my life, I have to begin taking responsibility for it today. By setting a goal, just for today, I can plan some success into my life.”
We know that our Higher Power wants us to live just this one day. God is neither a vengeful God nor is my God a punishing God. My God is there for me and the more I open up and trust God, I trust myself to change and be a better and more serene person.”
SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications . Louisville, Kentucky P. 69.
I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force –the loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me — restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those to whom are ready to risk leaving behind the prison of their depression. By my own interest in getting in touch with the Higher Power and getting its direction to “do the next right thing” I find that my own life is gradually becoming more filled with purpose and energy.”
SOURCE: Copyright(c) THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS: Planting a seedbed of hope. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky. P.15.
I like the statement to “do the next right thing.” For me that was a motivator for the times that I wanted to just give up. These were the powers that continued to give me the nudge to keep on doing all those things that could help in my recovery from depression. What, for me was “the next right thing?” For one, it was to continue working the 12 steps in my own life–one step after another. I also found another person to walk with me in my journey of recovery. I also read everything that I could find on my addictions. No “rock was left unturned” that could help me accomplish doing what I knew would keep me on my feet and moving forward with hope. I attended faithfully my 12 step group, read most if not all of their literature and continued to follow the promptings of my God. I heard other members of the group telling how they knew the Promises were working in their lives, sometimes quickly and with most, over time. But they worked. Life began to be better for us as we moved from one step to the next. We discovered that we had less concern about ourselves and gained interest in others. We want to scream it from the housetops –don’t give up! We too felt hopeless and that our lives were unmanageable. Looking back we saw that a change had taken place once we had established a daily plan for our serenity. We followed the direction of our Higher Power as we continued to “:do the next right thing.” The next right thing for me today is to tell you — there is hope for you too. That’s a PROMISE!
“I remember Fred on his first visit to Depressed Anonymous. He said that he had been depressed all his life. The group listened to Fred, and of course for the most part Fred said he didn’t have the foggiest notion what all this talk of God had to do with his sadness and how it was supposed to help him,. But it was the pain of Fred’s depression that brought him back time after time to the meetings and he started not only to feel better, but he began to look better. Then as he heard about the Twelve Steps, he saw that he could trust this Higher Power, and that maybe the depression that had been such a lifetime companion was not for him anymore. Fred took the plunge, came to believe that a Power greater than himself could restore him to sanity — and it did just that. Fred said he didn’t need his depression any more, got busy making amends to family, friends and co-workers for being such a negative person, and began to take inventory where he needed to Spring clean his house. In time, Fred began to reach out to others in the group and he began to understand how he had become like many others in the group – a saddict. Depression for many was an addiction to sadness. The only way out of Fred’s addiction was to let go of it, admit his life was unmanageable and start to work on himself and his character defects. Fred still keeps coming back to the meetings to share his story with others on the how of his recovery. He talks about the way it was before Depressed Anonymous, and the way it is now since he has been working the steps and handed his life over to the Higher Power.”
Source: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. (pgs.96-97).
I can relate to Fred in such a personal way when I too came into the Twelve Step program of recovery. I belonged to a Church that professed certain dogmas and doctrines –not some vague, impersonal Higher Power that the group say they espoused.. I came back week after week to the meetings, and when I gradually weaned myself from all my negative thoughts about the Twelve Step program, I finally “got it” as they say. I, too, after all these thirty years as a member of Depressed Anonymous have the deepest confidence that the “God of my understanding” has everything to do with my own recovery from depression. And by the way, I still belong to my Church with its dogma’s and doctrines, while having a “spiritual awakening ” along the way, thanks to the spirituality of Depressed Anonymous. Now the God of my understanding is my Higher Power. Please go to our website here at the Menu if you are interested in finding hope and information on the way out of your own sadness. Please join us on this journey! You’ll be glad you did.
“To thine own self be true.” is an old axiom that has much merit for those of us who work the spiritual program of the Twelve Steps. Often in therapy I ask people to list as many strengths as they can, and for some this is a difficult task when they are depressed and the world appears to be a grey and fearsome dark place. But this is a n inventory that we must make– we must begin to look at our strengths and stop wallowing in the self-pity which denies the new directions and progress occurring in our lives through the life of our depression, namely that we can’t seem to see the gracious goodness in ourselves that has been placed there for all time by the Higher Power. This in itself is the attitude that keeps alive our depression, sadness and self-deprecating attitudes. We need to look at our assets and list our strengths as we gather together time after time in our Depressed Anonymous group or our individual working ( HOME STUDY PROGRAM) of the Twelve Step program in our lives. We need to remove as quickly as possible all the old excuses and reasons that we cling to which keep us depressed and out of healthful recovery. Let’s be objective about ourselves and admit that just as we possibly have caused ourselves to be depressed, we likewise can un-depress ourselves in the same way.”
SOURCE: DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, (3rd Edition, 2011).. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky 40217. (p. 56)
Only when I had taken a complete inventory of my own life (Step Four) did I realize that certain ways of personal thinking, feeling and behaviors gradually spiraled me physically into the painful pit of my own personally manufactured melancholia. (Some depression experiences can also be the result of physical illness/diseases. That is why it is best to talk to a medical professional before we diagnose ourselves. ) Now here is the part that people can’t quite understand –that we caused ourselves to be depressed. How could that be? Why would I want to cause myself so much pain? Good question. The real issue here is that I discovered over time that because of emotional issues that were mine, mostly unpleasant to reflect upon, such as guilt, shame producing isolation from family, friends and the world, plus the grief over lost employment and relationships. And then, because of this continued mental and emotional beating myself up it all came crashing down as no longer could I think of anything but disaster, grief and gloom. I became paralyzed emotionally, physically and spiritually and mentally. My body responded by not responding so that in time it was a battle just to get out of bed. So, there you have it. I caused all this by the way I thought about myself. In Step Four I was able to take each issue by itself and then to see how I might restore myself before my experience with depression. I learned how to un-depress myself. Remember, most of the things that come “out of the blue” are the rain, snow and lightening. And now that I know where my melancholia originated and why, I am un-depressed today.
I will try to learn how to relax today.
“Be kind to yourself. Don’t push yourself too hard. Relax. Enjoy yourself.
One of the signs that I see when I gradually leave my depression is that I am beginning to be kind to myself. I am seeing to it that my diet is more nutritional, that I get myself to the dentist or doctor for a regular checkup and I begin to take stock of my life and the direction that it is taking. (See Depressed Anonymous Workbook /Step Four for a detailed analysis of this process). Many times in the context of the self-help group we are able to support each other with our ideas of how we can take better care of ourselves.
When I was sadding myself, I was always to tired to do anything for myself. I could never muster up the energy to do that something special that might lift my spirit or take my mind off my problems. To relax was anathema to me because I was always judging myself by the amount of stuff I could produce. Now, in the program, I gradually let go from my clutched hand all control and let the Higher Power run my life. Take some deep breaths, take a walk and think in images of those favorite places which always brightened your life.
God, you will not be displeased with us because we might be enjoying ourselves. You know of all the things that we need today is to see some funny movie, or to be with a friend who might make us laugh.
For more information on taking care of yourself, Visit the Store at this site.