First, be true to one’s own self.

Way 13 of the 15 ways to leave the prison of depression.

“I’d rather be imperfect and happy than always trying to be perfect.”

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 others 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. I also had the false belief that the more predictable life is, I felt the less stressed my life would be. But in reality, just the opposite happened. By holding onto life with a tight grip, I needed to make sure that any decision that I made would have to have a predictable outcome.  I could only operate if there were no risks involved in what I planned to do. This kept me gradually pulling away from forming new relationships  and trying new things in my life.

Eventually, my depression became 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 in the past, bad things will continue to happen to us in the future.

This belief keeps us locked up in the prison of depression. We don’t believe anything will change. What a set up for depression. We have a difficult time realizing that we do have a choice in the way we think, feel and behave. We can live a life free of misery by following a recovery program as outlined in the suggested 12 steps of Depressed Anonymous. By coming often to meetings and getting involved with others not only gives us reason to have  days filled with friends and help, it also provides us with a daily program  step-by-step,  for leaving the prison of depression.”

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SOURCE:   COPYRIGHT(C) BELIEVING  IS SEEING: 15 WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON  OF DEPRESSION  (2017) . Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 63-64.

For more information about literature that is available please VISIT THE STORE here at this site.

Tom had a problem.

“Tom asked why we needed Step Four in our recovery which states that “we made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”  He said that he was depressed and didn’t need anything else to make him feel worse – like dredging up things that he might have done in the past. Why, Tom wondered, should he resurrect old ghosts?  Anyway, when we spoke about a moral inventory it reminded him of religion with its “do’s and  “don’ts ” with special emphasis on the “don’ts.”  Tom said he came into Depressed Anonymous to learn about what was making him depressed and that he didn’t need anything else to make him feel guilty or sadder.

Some people think that for a person to dredge up old hurts and wrongs will make them that much more depressed. I guess it depends on what type of stuff we put on our inventory. The following list will help  our sadness persist: our perfectionism, our need to control our fears, guilt, shame or resentments, dishonesty, selfishness, passivity, anger, indecisiveness,  fear of change or finally the inability to live with uncertainty. When we begin to ask God for help in removing these areas from our live, this asking for help  will not make us more depressed – it will in fact make us more hopeful. In Step Three we said we make a decision. This means just that and not just a promise as it says in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book.  When we begin to surrender our will and our life to the Higher Power and are willing to expose our  effects to others in the group, it is then that our life may be able to take on a peace coupled with new purpose. This really is an essential and necessary step that has to be taken if we want to leave our prison  of depression behind.”  SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 53.

In our Depressed Anonymous Workbook, which coordinates each of the Twelve Steps, with its questions and answers coordinated with the individual Twelve  Step commentaries in the Depressed Anonymous big book, we can  discover who we are and  how we became the way we are.

Here we can deepen our awareness of what makes us who we are by continuing our search by means of those questions put forward in our Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Because of the essential nature of the inventory procedure as outlined in our personal recovery program, an individual will see  that their own openness to the process will provide  them with a wealth of hope and serenity.

Working the 4th Step is like coming home a different  route.  It is a path that is filled with signposts that point us in a  different direction than where we are used to going. And for many of us this is in a different direction than where we are used to going. And for many of us this is the first time that we are really intent upon taking a good hard look at who we are. This taking inventory of ourselves has much to do with our loving ourselves and making ourselves open to a new path and feeling different.” The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  The 4th Step, Page 24.

–For more information on this Group/Home Study Kit and how to order it, please VISIT THE STORE.  Both Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, comprise our Study Kit. One can order all literature online.

MORE TOMORROW ABOUT THE 4TH STEP.

Choices: To be or not to be!

For many, just knowing that they might have a choice and be able to choose to feel differently can be a startling revelation.  I can choose to be happy or I can choose to stay miserable.  ” Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) DAP. Louisville.

The following is a story of how one person, deeply depressed told her story of how by letting go she was able to hang on.  And she not only  was able to hang on but she was able to help others and hang on  and live life to the full.

” I started sleeping more, stayed in bed mostly and let the house and the children go.  I felt empty inside. No one or anything could help me. If I hadn’t thought that suicide was the cardinal sin, I would be dead today. So one night I lay on the floor crying and praying from my heart. In the past when I prayed I wanted God to do all the work, while deep down I  didn’t want to let go of my miserable, yet safe way of life. And as long as I wouldn’t  really let go, God seemed to have no answers for me. This time though, I was at his mercy. Life for me could no longer go on this way. I prayed the most releasing prayer. I offered up my entire self to him. Nothing magical happened after this except the sudden urge to call my Church for Christian counseling. They referred me to this very affordable, warm, lady counselor, who I had seen in the past. She suggested that I start attending Depressed Anonymous,  a Twelve Step meeting. This was a great effort for me. I was SCARED AND SKEPTICAL  Since that first night I’ve been attending weekly Depressed Anonymous meetings and reading Depressed Anonymous literature. I also attend drug free therapy, attend church and church activities and continue to pray and walk regularly.  I know that my life is being richly blessed. I am also using the Depressed Anonymous literature and  listening to the people in the  Depressed Anonymous  meetings where I have received valuable tools which I put to daily use.   The moment that I read that I had a choice to stay in depression, I immediately knew that I could make the choice to get out of my depression.”

And finally, a word from Bill W., the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous who tells us, “When we look back, we realize that the things  which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned.”

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Personal Stories section.

NOTE: Fore more information on a broad variety of subjects dealing with depression and the Twelve Steps click onto the VISIT THE STORE.

 

 

 

NO MATTER HOW FAR DOWN THE SCALE WE HAVE GONE, WE SEE HOW OUR EXPERIENCE CAN BENEFIT OTHERS.

This is another one of the Promises that helps promote our purpose in life as well as gives our life  meaning.

“Some of us have attempted suicide. A few of us more than a few times. We had despaired of ever finding peace or hope.  We believe that we had no future and that our yesterdays were as hopeless as our today’s.  It was hard to attend our first Depressed Anonymous meeting. We felt horribly alone. We just know that no one in the group has been through what we have been through. But as we listened and watched the older members of the group speak we saw ourselves in their stories.

Personally, I believe that whatever you give out to others is the amount that comes back to you. Our experience can usually help someone else. As the  experience of depression is so isolating, so predictable in its misery that it is bound to have made such impression upon us  that it changed our life and the way we think about our life. And then when our life is changed for the better –thanks to the fellowship of DA, this precious gift of hope needs to be with those still suffering. Ironically, it appears that the farther we have gone down in mood and up again in our recovery,  the more powerful can this experience be.

New members of our fellowship see the “after” of our lives lived in recovery and so they themselves get involved in the fellowship. The fact that we have recovered so completely is in itself a message of tremendous hope for those who are newcomers to the group. Isn’t it amazing that those who can do the most for those still suffering are those who have worked themselves out of the pit of isolation and began sharing their story of hope and personal empowerment.”

Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 39-40. PROMISE # 5.

“Our whole outlook and attitude upon Life changes.” Promise # 8 of Depressed Anonymous.

To really believe, possibly for the first time in my life that I can free myself from the prison of depression and begin to feel better. I know that I need to be proactive in my efforts at self-recovery. But what causes our outlook and attitude to change?
I have begun 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 and get to the next step. Watching someone actually take these steps week after week and watch that feeling of wellness rise up in them can provide 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 we put into our personal recovery.
A door opens every slightly, and there appears a way out! I do know that when hope and faith in recovery rises, my symptoms of depression go down.

From: I’ll do it when I feel better. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Page 46.

ISOLATION FROM WORLD AND OTHERS KEEPS ME DEPRESSED

HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS

AFFIRMATION
I have a desire to get connected with everything around me today!

“Until we have actually been depressed we do not realize that there is a great difference between being depressed and being unhappy. When we are unhappy, no matter what terrible things have happened to us, we still feel in contact with the rest of the world. When other people offer comfort and love we can feel it warm and support us… When we are depressed we feel cut off from the rest of the world.” (7)

REFLECTION

I admit to taking full responsibility for my detachment from my world and also from my very self. It seems that by numbing my grief over those matters lost in my past life, this has caused myself to be depressed. By burying what need to be faced and mourned, I am making a stand to face the depression that I have created over the years. I am going to care for myself and make the effort to hope that this twenty-four period that I call TODAY is one of rebirth and movement toward others.
Many times I wish I was merely unhappy rather than depressed. I can handle being unhappy, depression is a different story./ I am not about to give up on myself as I step out of depression and begin to take responsibility for my recovery TODAY. Because I have “made a decision to turn my life and my will over to the care of God as I understand God” my life is already starting to show the signs of a positive nature.

MEDITATION

My God has given me hope that my depressed days are going to be less and less: I believe that. My faith in God has given me hope.
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Source: (c)Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. (1993, 2014). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Page 210.

WE HAVE ENTERED THE WORLD OF THE SPIRIT

We have entered the world of the spirit

From the AA Big book

“…We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past (Steps 4 & 5) . We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for a lifetime (Step 12) . Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code…Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. “How can I best serve Thee? Thy will (not mine) be done.” These are the thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.

THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK Step 10 Question for personal reflection #10. 12. Page 76.

I WANT TO SHARE MY THOUGHTS ABOUT SOME DOMINANT FEELINGS THAT I AM EXPERIENCING.

I WANT TO SHARE SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT SOME DOMINANT FEELINGS THAT I AM EXPERIENCING TODAY.

OCTOBER 18 Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications (2014) pages 207-208.
AFFIRMATION
Today, I want to write down the dominant feelings and share some thoughts about them with some friend.
“…Whenever we bring something clearly into consciousness and then put it outside ourselves in words or in something we make, we take control of it and thus reduce its power.” (7)

REFLECTION
I am finding that letting out feelings and ideas into the open after having stuffed them for a time is like steam being released from a boiler. The more I release my sadness and my feelings of helplessness and despair, the more I am able to feel a bit lighter in mood. When I see in front of me, on black and white, what I have been thinking, I am able to debate the material that has had me crippled for so long. I am able to rattle the skeleton’s cage and not run away.
When I give away my power I give away a part of myself. And to give away part of myself is to lose hope about my life and my purpose e in life. Purpose, self and power all go together. I have, within my grasp, the power to work myself out of my helplessness the more I put my power to work.

MEDITATION
God, grant me the power to take hold of the power that comes from you and put it to use in controlling the fear that pushes me deep into my sadness. I now have the hope that God is going to deliver me my power, that I am taking hold of it and using it to hope.
PERSONAL COMMENTS.

WAITING IN TRUTH IMPLIES TRUST

Waiting in truth implies trust –a trust in a promise. In the last number of weeks we have been talking about the PROMISES of Depressed Anonymous and how with time, patience, work and trust we can gradually free ourselves from the ravages and pain of depression. Truly it does take one to know one when we are speaking of depression and how that painful and isolating experience is such a debilitating experience. When I was depressed more than a few years ago, I trusted that the Promises of the 12 Steps of AA and now Depressed Anonymous would help me too. It took time and work–something that had its root in my childhood was not going to be healed in a matter of days or weeks. With a firm trust in those people who, in the context of a group fellowship, said it was because of using the 12 steps that gave them hope and discovered a new way of living.

There is an invisible bond between all of us. ( Promise #7 continued. )

“There is an invisible bond between all of us. We are not on this earth to get from one another, but to share those spiritual treasures which are of God. Our interest in each other is, in truth, purely spiritual. Our purpose in life is the unfolding of the spirit within.” Goldsmith.

As Bill W., states in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book:

We let God demonstrate through us, what God can do. We ask God to remove our fear and direct our attention to what God would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear.”

It is almost a truism to say about those of us who want this program, and are not now focused on self but on the will of God for our lives. I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness (over depression), I set in motion a force, a loving force of the creator in my personal life.”

SOURCE: I’ll do it when I feel better. Page 45. Promise #7. “WE HAVE LESS CONCERN ABOUT SELF AND GAIN INTEREST IN OTHERS.”