Category Archives: Blame

#METOO. Shouting out our anger and rage

THIS SOUNDS RIGHT

Dorothy Smith has shown how women are forced into a secondhand understanding of the world. Women are trained to invalidate their own experiences, understanding, and feelings and to look to men to tell them how to view themselves. Ideas, concepts, images, and vocabularies that women use to think about their experiences have been formulated from the male point of view by universities, churches, and other social institutions.

In Women and Madness Phyllis Chesler  describes  women’s experiences as psychiatric patients. Very few of the women she interviewed appears to have a mental disturbance. Most were unhappy and responding to the oppression in their lives. Seeking help, Chelser  pointed out, is not valued in our society, and women seemed to be punished “for their own good” by the institution for exhibiting such weakness.

Jean Baker Miller looked at the relations between dominant and subordinate groups. She isolated certain characteristics of subordinate groups as typical of any irrationally unequal power  relations based on ascribed status such  as race religion or sex. Those in  a relationship of subordination need to survive, above anything else. Direct response to destructive treatment must be avoided, as it may be met with rejection, punishment, or even death. Women who step out of line Miller noted, can suffer a combination of social ostracism, economic hardship, and psychological isolation. They may even be diagnosed as having a personality disorder if they do not conform to the male-defined norm for a woman.

If conflict cannot be expressed openly, it is turned inward and the ground is fertile for depression. Once depression is identified, the victim is blamed for her illness, and she accepts this responsibility until she is helped to examine her own self-defeating patterns, to see how she allows  herself to be victimized.”

SOURCE:  Melva Steen, Ph.D, RN. Historical Perspectives on Women and mental illness and preventing of depression in women using a feminist perspective. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 12:359-374, 1991.

Appeared in THE ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET in the Spring  edition  (v.5, #3: 8-9).1994. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The following is an excerpt from the Basic Text for the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous world wide.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition , 2011,2008, 1998. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 82.

“Maybe I need to make amends to my children for  making a clean house the number one priority the number one priority and never allowing them to give expression to their feelings. Or maybe I was the good daughter or son who never told anyone how I really felt because I was afraid of how my parents would react. Now we might be dredging up all the old feelings of anger and resentment that we have submerged under a mask of  kindness ands sweetness over the years. We need to voice our anger for having to act like someone we aren’t. I can think of many women who in therapy begin to get in touch with the times when as little girls, they were conditioned to think that good little girls didn’t get angry, and so they stuffed and sat upon all these powerful and unpleasant emotions. Feelings that are not expressed can accumulate in our bodies and can’t get out until we share them and express them. These stuffed feelings get lodged in our bodies and immobilize us until we feel completely wrung out!

Some have heard all their lives that you shouldn’t get angry as mother won’t love you anymore. This makes it quite difficult suddenly to shout out our rage and anger at a world that has made women in general feel less than second-class citizens. ”

 

Valuing yourself is risky business

MY PERSONAL  AFFFIRMATION FOR TODAY

I choose again to read my 12 Step Manual (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition) on a daily basis and from it find the courage to make decisions that promote my well being and my joy.

“There  are two problems about deciding things for myself. First, it means that you can’t blame anyone else when things turn out badly. (But you can take credit when things turn out well). Second, other people can get very angry with you for not doing what they want. Valuing your self is a risky business. What risk is preferable?  The risk of making your own decisions or the risk of not valuing yourself? ”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
I  see myself as part of the solution to recovering from my attachment to sadness. I was a sadness addict. Now I am attached to the joy of risking myself so that I can live. That is what I value most now — the desire to live with uncertainty  and be unafraid.

I blame when I no longer want to look inside of myself. I feel that when I admit my former need to sad myself, I no longer blame anyone, but instead, I am putting my energies into sharing how I feel with others.

MEDITATION

God, we trust in you. We commit ourselves to you. We know that you are ready to act in our behalf the more we commit ourselves to you and your will. Give us the courage to keep in contact with you daily. Our time with you is our daily bread. (Personal comments)

Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of  12 Step fellowship groups.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Depressed Anonymous refuses to blame anyone for their depression

I couldn’t believe a recent review of our Big Book Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, claiming the book blames people who are depressed. What nonsense.   The book states explicitly that we are NOT in the BLAME GAME. What we are saying is that once we discover the origins of our depression experience we can begin to take responsibility for this devastating experience. Many folks do think that, somehow depression just  comes out of the blue and one doesn’t have an idea how they became depressed.   I felt  the same way. It was only until I began to look at my life through the lens of others, in the Depressed Anonymous group, who just like me, were looking for a way out of their hell of pain. They quickly learned that it was not their fault that they  are depressed (like hey, who wants to live in hell every hour, day, year?).

We learned quickly that we are NOT VICTIMS –but survivors. We now have the tools to work our way out of this prison. I am responsible for doing all I can to release the positive energy that is inside me for regaining  my emotional and physical balance. I do this by following the recovery program of Depressed Anonymous, Step by Step. For many this all takes place in the  context of a  non-judgemental  and accepting   group such as DA.  In all my years, I have NEVER heard anyone blame another for their depression. How could they? All of us who have experienced this hell know and believe that if we did not do something, take responsibility and find out how to deal with the symptoms  of our depression (DA shows us how), the whole matter may spiral into a life threatening situation.

Finally, please let me say that the reviewer of our work obviously had not read the book.

Hugh

How do people change?

People change by facing themselves and discovering a process, a step by step process, where we begin to be aware of why we are the way we are. In THE  DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK, a companion volume to DEPRESSED ANONMYMOUS,  3rd edition, (HOME STUDY PROGRAM)  we  will  find  answers on how to change.

We learn that depression distorted us from the truths of life, namely, that life is to be lived with hope and serenity. Nursing along a good habit can in time wean us from old and debilitating  habits of thought and behavior. We want to daily fill our day with the gratitude that we are indeed getting better and that the trust we have is indeed placed in the Higher Power.

In order for us to escape depression we need to begin to be aware of the process of how people change. That process is of a nature a spiral instead of a straight line. In other words, now we are willing to risk feeling differently and we have been gearing up to improve our situation. In other words we are making a very important decision right now about our lives.

 

  1. AWARENESS STAGE: We become conscious that we can’t go on feeling the way we do. Something has to give.
  2. MOTIVATING STAGE: I am going to prepare  myself for needed changes in my thinking, acting and feeling.
  3. DOING STAGE:   I am going to take charge and be responsible for positive changed that have to be made by me if I am to feel differently.
  4. MAINTAINING STAGE: I will continue to seek out and sustain my recovery with people, concepts and my personal working of the 12 Step program for recovery.

Now apply these  four stages which serve as antidotes to our character defects (ideas and habits which continue to make us feel sad). These defects of character cause us to stay imprisoned in our prison of depression.

In the days to follow we will examine  THE FOLLOWING THREE  issues which confront the daily lives of most of us when we are depressed.

(1) BLAMING ourselves and/or others for our problems.

(2) BEING A VICTIM.

(3) ANXIETY AND INNER JITTERINESS.

For those of you who desire a more complete approach to finding what depression is, what it does to our self esteem and ways to overcome our isolation and sadness, persons  depressed  have utilized the HOME STUDY PROGRAM.

THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORBOOK, with its question and answer format,  provides a pathway leading  to the road to serenity and community. You find that others just like yourself started where you are starting and found answers to why we have become depressed in the first place.  By the time you have worked out answers to all the questions posed by the author in the WORKBOOK you may discover your best self. And, isn’t that what we all are looking for?

With the WORKBOOK, there is the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS Big Book, 3rd edition., which is coordinated with each Step in the WORKBOOK and provides a recovery process which will complement one’s own progress in working the program

_____________________________________________________

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

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

VISIT THE STORE, which lists all literature from DAP.,  and order online if you wish, the HOME STUDY PROGRAM.

We believe that no one can love us…

We come to believe that if we do consider ourselves bad and worthless, we just know that no one can really love us or accept us. We just know the more we look at ourselves and our few remaining relationships, that we really aren’t accepted – people just put up with us.

“…There is  one great advantage about seeing yourself as helpless and in the power of others. You don’t have to be responsible for yourself. Other people make all the decisions and when things turn out badly you can blame other people. And things always turn out badly. You know this. That’s why you always expect the worst.” Dorothy Rowe.

Responsibility is the name of the game in recovery and it is here that we need to focus our attention.  As we get into discussion with other people who are depressed, much like ourselves, we see that they talk abut feeling better while at the same time acting on their own behalf. These people who are doing better are also talking about taking charge of their lives and doing things for themselves. In fact, at Depressed Anonymous meetings, the recovery people often delight at how assertive they are becoming now that they have gained a sense of mastery over their lives. They are also committed to their own recovery. People who want to change begin to swallow their pride and ask for help.  They get in touch with their feelings and feel!  This is truth and this is getting in touch with one’s best self. ”

___________________________________________________________________

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 91.

“We can’t blame it on our genes, hormones or a chemical imbalance.”

AFFIRMATION

I am taking full responsibility for myself and I am making a commitment to my own health and healing.

“Now that we have learned that we have to take care of ourselves and our recovery that we begin to look at the way we think and feel.  Even though we don’t want to blame ourselves for having been depressed most of our lives, we know now that we are responsible for finding a way out of this depression. We can’t blame it on our genes, hormones or a chemical imbalance.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I am aware for the first time since I have been working my program that my thinking is cyclical in that my negative thoughts constantly keep going around and around in circles. I have found that I need to stop the negative self-destructive thinking that has dogged me most of my life. I am able to break the cycle of hurt and my own self-inflicted pain and come to my senses. I do have some good things going for me and I plan to use these good character traits as building blocks for a future filled with hope.

I am learning to take good care of myself. I am more interested in my own self-care than  I am of what others around me want or need.  I am not being selfish as much as I am being concerned about my own growth and development. In the Third Step we declare that  “we made a decision to turn  our wills and our minds over to the care  of God as we understand God.  To be in the care of someone means that they are concerned about us and are burdened with a concern for us.

MEDITATION

“Restore our fortunes, O God, like the torrents in the southern desert that those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves. ” Psalm  126.

SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowships. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Myth #1: Depression Floats In Like A Dark Cloud Over Which We Have No Control!

An excerpt from Depressed Anonymous (3rd edition)

“The depression is so  bad at times that we feel no one would ever understand how we feel unless of course they have been there.  We just have about given up on God, church, family and friends as allies on our behalf.  We  feel resentments and anger toward people for not feeling more sympathetic toward our never ending sadness.  We feel that people aren’t kind and don’t treat us with the same respect that they do other people such as a diabetic, insomniac or arthritic person. Most people don’t want anything to do with us because they get tired of our moaning, groaning and pessimistic way of looking at life.  Why shouldn’t they? Life is tough  enough without having to be subjected to another’s gloom and doom. But this is the place where we recognize the difference between ourselves and others, and of course we think our lot is always the worst of all. The self-pity never brings us into any personal sense of peace, but has just the opposite effect in that it helps perpetuate the myth that depression floats in like a dark cloud over which we have no control. We need to tell our spouse, family and friends that we want to start again and begin to take charge of our lives and start to chip away at our sadness. We won’t blame our need to sadden ourselves on what my wife/husband did or did not do for us, or what a friend said or didn’t say. We finally have to take the bull by the horns much like the recovering alcoholic overeater, gambler or smoker, and admit that it is “I”  that has the problem, and that it no longer does any good to blame others for my problem. Once I admit that I am addicted to depressing myself, then I can begin to walk through the door of the prison that binds me. I must realize the fact that  my depression  will only get worse unless I put a stop to all the ill-thinking, feeling and acting out behavior that keeps me perpetually locked into my sadness.”

—————————————————————–

SOURCE: DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS (3rd edition). 2011. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 86.

BELIEVING IS SEEING

  BELIEVING IS SEEING

AFFIRMATION

I will use a notebook or my Depressed Workbook Home Study program  to chart my course, list how each day goes, so that I can repeat the feelings or thoughts that have allowed me to feel I am becoming responsible for my activities.

“”…there is one great advantage about seeing yourself as helpless and in the power of others.  You don’t have to be responsible for yourself.  Other people make all the decisions and when things turn out badly, you can blame other people. And things always turn out badly. You know this.  That’s why you always expect the worse.”  (3)

REFLECTION/ CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Truly, I know  this is where the great serenity lies, being responsible for myself.  If all I did was sit around and say poor me, and woe is me, I am not only making life tough on myself but I am making life miserable for those around  me. This is why I, as a writer and therapist, and one who has been depressed, knows that it is only when I get moving, even though I felt like death that I began to get better.   No one will make me feel better. (See: I’ll do it when I feel better) I will now make myself feel better. Make up your mind to do what needs to be done…TODAY!  I want to enjoy this world. I am tired of the pain of feeling worthless. I don’t want to blame anyone for my problems because no one is making me live in the problem. I will live in the  solution from now on.  The solution for me is working the Twelve Step program.

Blame helps me to never have to look inside myself and ask myself how much of my present state of depression is due to the way I have learned to think about myself and my life? I am not in the blame game and so I am now willing to face the enemy and start the changing process.

MEDITATION

Faith can move mountains. (See: Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression)  Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door shall be opened for you. I believe this. What  do you believe?

———————————————

SOURCE: Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for Twelve step fellowship groups.