Category Archives: Purpose

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.


” 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.)
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.

You Can Do This!

Fighting and managing depression can seem like a daunting task. I know as I feel overwhelmed at times. You don’t need to stay stuck in depression. You can take action. Any action is better than inaction and isolation. Get out of yourself and do service for others. The others can be others with depression, or they can just be the downtrodden in need of support. The women in World War II rose to the challenge and went to work (Rosie the Rivetter pictured here). You can rise to the challenge of doing something to help with your depression.

Easy does it, but do it!
– Slogan heard in AA meeting

If you’ve read any of Tony Robbins work he recommends taking massive action. Being in the depths of depression what does massive action look like? Here are some things that when you are in the depths of depression that are massive actions:

  • Have a sleep regimen. Go to bed at the same time, and get up at the same time every day. I’m not expecting you to be an early riser, but have a routine.
  • Making your bed every time you get up from bed.
  • Personal hygiene. Take a shower. Shave (wherever appropriate).
  • Brush and floss your teeth.
  • Wash, fold, and put away your laundry.
  • Clean the bathroom.
  • Wash the dishes (machine washed is fine) and put them away.
  • Get dressed. My recommendation is to the level of business casual. You will feel like you have more of a purpose.
  • Get outside and take a 20 minute walk.

Put these little regimens into your life. Why did I use the word regimen?

regimen: a manner of living intended to preserve or restore health

No one likes regimen. You are doing it for a purpose. You are attempting to restore health and sanity into your life. As you begin to do these things your depression will lighten, albeit very slightly. The slightly lighter mood will enable you to do even more massive actions. These future more massive actions will have an even greater impact on your depression.

What will those more massive actions look like? I don’t know, that depends upon you. Take the little actions of regimen. You can do those little things. Your depression will lessen even if it’s a mere one tenth of one percent. Accept the challenge, you can do it!

Then you can do even greater things that will have a greater positive impact on your depression.

Yours in recovery, Bill R

Making decisions

Doubt invariably rears it’s ugly head when suddenly we realize that we are lost. This has happened to me when I was driving across a mile long bridge and I needed to turn around and go back. But there is no place to turn around. What can I do? All I can do is to keep driving. I have to accept the consequences. I knew the first five minutes on the bridge that something didn’t feel right. I realized that this large metropolis, with a myriad of its bridges, that I had chosen the wrong bridge.

I believe that making the wrong decisions in our lives is part of why we end up in the wrong place. We are lost. We tell ourselves that we “shoulda” or “woulda” or “coulda” done it differently.

Or for the alcoholic, berating himself for taking that one drink too many. Or the addict shooting up–just one more time. And one more time. And one more time. But if you are fortunate like me, I didn’t spin the wheel one more time and hope that I might get the rush and win the prize. Not this time.

If this is where you are in life right now–on the bridge, and realize that you are lost, please take a good look at why you feel lost. And if you want to find your way, out of the darkness of depression, you’ve come to the right place.

Learn more about Depressed Anonymous, a 12 Step program of recovery, and if you are depressed, we can help you.

Hugh, for the fellowship

I will make a daily inventory of all my strengths

Believing Is Seeing: 15 Ways To Leave The Prison Of Depression – Eleven

I will make a daily inventory of all my positive strengths. I tended to magnify the worst in everything in my life and make mountains out of molehills. I will focus on my stars and not my scars.

“One of the problems of being depressed is that every circumstance and situation is filled with potential hurt and disappointment. The depressed person has a tendency to think in patterns of despair, hurt, and disappointment. It appears to be a proven fact that the more a person keeps their fears and anxious thoughts to themselves, this can cause the mountain to grow larger. But by sharing these fears and thoughts with others, either by writing them out, as in a daily journal, or group discussion (like on SKYPE and ZOOM) we soon discover that our fears are not as big as we thought. The expression of fear many times decreased the size of their fear. Now that we are accepting ourselves we can begin to see that we possess the strength and persistence to tackle whatever obstacle lies ahead.

One of the features that stands out in our lives when depressed is we see everything in dark colors. Nothing looks hopeful. There does not appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel – except that it might be an oncoming freight train. We feel that we do not have a friend in the world. We feel that we’ll never feel good again. The list goes on and on.

What may be of some help is to take out pen and pencil and begin writing down your good points that you feel are your strengths. We have already done this, but it still remains an excellent exercise no matter how often you do it.

What do you remember as strengths before being aware that you are depressed? Going to Depressed Anonymous meetings has the potential to restore your sense of proportion about your strong points. At the meetings your friends in the fellowship will begin to tell you are showing improvement the more you are participating in the meetings. To listen to those who themselves are working the program and who share their lives week after week, you begin to realize that you too can begin to feel differently. Today can be a new start and yes, you do have it within yourself to be that person who is reversing old negative patterns of thinking and replacing them with thoughts of hope and optimism. You now believe that there is hope for yourself. Right now your strength seems to be that of maintaining a habitual way of thinking thoughts of hope. By the fact that you are reading this, takes the strength to want to feel good and continue to maintain a positive recovery. Begin now and reflect on your strengths. Believe that you have a way to maintain a personal persistence and desire to continue with gratitude for this new feeling of hope.”

NOTE: Take your pen and/or pencil and begin writing your thoughts down in response to the questions posed in the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK. Depressed Anonymous Publications.


Copyright © Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2020) Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Pages 57-59.

Copyright © The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

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

These basic books of the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship can be ordered online.


Literature Available

To receive a mailing of Depressed Anonymous literature, send a Self addressed stamped envelope to: DAP, Box 465, Pewee Valley, Kentucky. 40056.

The material can be used as “handouts” at your local Depressed Anonymous meetings.

Get out of “park” and put ‘er in first

Hey, so good of you to come to our BLOG here at Depressed Anonymous website. We try and give encouragement to those of us “who are still suffering from depression.” And let me tell you, we are not alone. Again, we are not alone. We all have work to do. I have work to do – you have work to do. We are in this together.

Have you ever felt like, “what’s the use” or “I just can’t seem to get into gear.” Many days in my life, some more recent. I just feel like I want to stay in “park.” I can’t get in gear. My mind says “let’s get in gear.” My body says, “No, I feel comfortable right where I am at.” So there is the problem. How to put my body in first gear so as to get moving?

I think all of us have heard the saying about making it to a 12 Step meeting. It goes like this: There are two times I should go to my 12 Step meeting. One, when I want to go to a meeting and two, when I don’t want to go to a meeting. That sort of breaks It down in a language that I get. Simple. Basic. No gobblygook nonsense. That’s what I call getting in first gear. We get the car (body) moving. We don’t go to the remote or surf and expect anything that might do us any good. We put another quarter in the “parking meter.”

In the book “I’ll do it when I feel better,” I write about procrastination. I know about it. I lived it. If you want to know anything about procrastination, I’m you’re “go to guy.” Most days I get that little red flag that pops up in the meter. Expired. And when that happens you never have seen me move so fast. Out of park in record time.

This is one of my character defects. I am blatant at it. It might be a hidden anger problem–you know, I really don’t want to go to work today. So my body wants to slip back into “park.” So, where am I going with all this?

Let me tell you this. When I was depressed my life was definitely past “park” and I just gave up. What’s the use. Eventually, coming to my senses, I knew that I needed help. I ended up in a 12 Step group. This move was the best move I have ever made in my life. Really. The fellowship, but most importantly putting the spiritual principals of the 12 Steps got me moving toward health, sanity and a program of self-care that has been my moving force for most of my adult life. For that I am grateful to the God of my understanding or my Higher Power.

Are you depressed. If so, join us. We are online everyday with our fellowship. We are the Depressed Anonymous fellowship. Everyday, I hear and see good people doing good things for those others, like ourselves, now, who have found a “spark plug” if you will in the leadership of all those lives which have been changed. I mean CHANGE. Hear the good news. There is hope. I can hear good news everyday. Set your watch. Go to a SKYPE or ZOOM meeting and hear how others have got moving. They are on it and now they want to help others. If you are out there and wanting to feel differently and live with hope, check us out online.

Fire up that body of yours and your mind will follow right along. For info on our fellowship, please come to this website ( and read and listen and be part of a world where hope starts and resides. Be part of the solution. ZOOM and SKYPE groups are looking forward to meeting you. Don’t wait. We are like you.

Hugh, a recovering procrastinator and member of the DA fellowship.

Simple is as simple does. – Forrest Gump


Even though I don’t feel better right now, I am going to make a mental decision to desire to feel better. I have a choice.

“We need to ask ourselves but one short question: Do I now believe or am I willing to believe that there is a power greater than myself.” As soon as a person can say that he or she does believe or is willing to believe, emphatically assure that person that he or she is on their way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that at this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective structure can be built.


I have found that the program of the Steps is simple to understand. It is a spiritual program one that doesn’t force me to think of God in pre-established ways. I am truly free to allow the God of my understanding to clear from the path of my life the thoughts and various saddictive ways where I have learned how to depress myself.

I know that the world simple means without a fold. The word denotes a reality that you get what you see. Hopefully I can see that my program of recovery is a most simple one to follow and one to practice in all affairs of my life.


We want this God of our understanding to be with us as we face our fears and try to keep my thoughts focused on the here and now, not the pain of yesterday or the fears about tomorrow. (Add your personal comments).


© Higher Thoughts For Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 Step fellowships. (1998) Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY 40241. June 7. Online purchases can be made at The Depressed Anonymous Bookstore, at

Spoon feeding is no use to you. You have to feed yourself. – D. Rowe


I  will build up my self-esteem and self-respect by learning a hobby or skill that will bring me pleasure. “Dorothy Rowe says that “Spoon feeding is no use to you. You have to feed yourself.”


I believe that feeding oneself is really the idea that grabs hold of most people who have a genuine desire to stop  saddening themselves. It appears to me that once I make a commitment to myself to begin to learn how to feel better, I really do begin feeling much better. I imagine that even though my passive depressed behavior had some benefits – like not having to risk changing the  way I lived my life.   I believe that since there is a way out of my depression that I do want to move  into a different way of  living my life. I want to live with hope and I am going to do something about it to make it happen.

I feed myself junk thoughts when I think that there is no hope for me in my life. This is  the stuff that depression is made of. If I want  to get well  and out of the prison that I call depression, I need to begin feeding myself with such hopeful thoughts, that my sadness won’t last forever, whatever I believe and expect to happen, just the way I want it to happen.


We are thankful that we can feed ourselves healthy thoughts and that we can change our diet by discovering what has been junk food in our past life, substituting healthy food (thoughts) for the present.  God will show us a way to live in a healthy and serene way. (Personal  comment).

SOURCE: (C)  Higher Thoughts for down days: 365  daily thoughts and meditations for  members of 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky.  Page 89. May 29.

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Recovery people delight in how they are becoming more assertive


“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. These people who are doing better are also taking responsibility on their own behalf. Those   who are doing better are also talking about taking charge of their lives and doing things for  themselves   instead of constantly trying to please others.  In fact at DA meetings the  recovering people often delight at how assertive they are becoming now that they have gained a sense of recovery  over their lives. They are now committed to their own recovery.  People who want to change begin to swallow their pride and ask for help. They begin to   get in touch with their feelings and feel!  This is truth and this is getting in touch with one’s own best self.”

COPYRIGHT(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY 40241. (Page 91. Step Ten)

Our whole outlook and attitude upon life changes. A sense of purpose transforms us.

To  really believe, possibly for the first time in one’s life that I can free myself from the  prison  of depression and begin to feel better. I know  I’m  needing  to be proactive in my efforts at self recovery. But what causes our outlook and attitude to emerge?

I have to begin to believe that hope and healing is possible. Once we have gone through some painful inner changes, such as dealing with our character defects and our isolating tendencies we see there is a way out. We have to have a positive attitude that will move and motivate us to want to go get to the next step.  Watching someone actually take these steps week after week and watch that feeling of wellness rise up in them and can promote a belief that with work and time, their lives do improve. Soon we see  that a sense of purpose begins to manifest itself the more time and work, into our personal recovery.

A door opens ever slightly, and there appears a potential route to freedom. A way out! I do believe that when my hope and faith and recovery rises, my symptoms of depression go down.”


(C) I’ll do it when I feel  better. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville,  KY. Page 46.

Order online from  The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at our website

How to work the 12 Step program of recovery and put them to use in your everyday life

When someone new comes to a Depressed Anonymous meeting they will hear    about people  in the group working on the 12 Steps. What this means is that since the group of people are into working the 12 Steps  they intend to live out what the Steps mean.

The first Step that all of us make when we walked through that door into our first DA meeting was our admission that we were helpless over our depression. We needed help.

We need to admit that at the present time our will power is powerless over this constant sadness and emptiness that we have been carrying around most of our lives. We just need to talk to someone who will understand us and respect us and not tell us to “snap out of” our depression.

Working the 12 Steps means reading all we can about the Steps and  how these Steps relate to my own sense of aloneness and sadness. The manual, Depressed Anonymous is specifically designed to help the depressed person learn about  each Step  is treated with it’s own chapter in the book.

In order to have a change of feelings we have to work the Steps, which means putting them into practice  in all our daily affairs. It means that we have to try and live out the message of the Steps one day at a time.

A person needs to take each Step and reflect on how that particular Step speaks to our own life. If a Step that we are  studying is unclear as to how it applies to us then  we need to bring that up in a group discussion so that other members can share how that Step has been applied to their own lives. Sometimes persons who have been in recovery for a long time have more experiences with the Steps and they can share how this or that Step has helped them. We know that at the DA meetings there are people  who are each  at different levels of the understanding of the Steps.

Steps Four and Five really have to be faced head-on if our depression is to go away. Step four and five are all about cleaning house. We must square off with ourselves and begin the rooting out   processes that will in time free us from our sadness and our “feeling less than”  as a depressed person. So often a person depressed is afraid, panic stricken really, in facing some issues that were never their fault in the first place.

It is possible that our anger hasn’t as yet been released over some things that have been done to us as children.

Step Twelve speaks about practicing these principles in all of our affairs – that means exactly what it says – we have to practice these Steps day by day. We have  to say I’m sorry as soon as I am aware that I have said or done anything that is out of the way. We again need to study each Step, tear it apart and get every ounce of truth from the Step  as it relates to ourselves. We then write down how each of them has  a special application for my life. We also have a practice of finding quality time everyday of our lives for making room to listen to our Higher Power, or God as we understand God and how that power is going to operate in our lives today and everyday. It is like we must learn  to let go and let God operate in our lives.

For all of us who have had a dependency on depression and sadness, it is hard to let go of the sadness and thinking that somehow gave us an identity to our lives. Depression can serve as a safe defense  and haven againt the uinpredictableness  in our lives.

Practicing these principles in al our affairs or as we say  “walking  the talk and working the Steps”  means that we have to be ever mindful through our times of prayer and meditation, which is a way to find out  what God’s will for us is for my life. Hope appears on the horizon.

Practicing these Steps, for me,  means they will promote an ever growing awareness that the Higher Power is leading me  according to its will and promise.


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

(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.

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