Category Archives: Egoism

I have a program that works!

AFFIRMATION

I am learning today how to think in more positive terms about myself.

“Once we admit that our depressed thinking is what conditions us to see our world as a hopeless place to live, the more we will try to change the way we think.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

When I was able to admit that I have need of improvement   for some area of my life, things begin to happen. I believe that now I have a program in front of me that can help me to feel better, the more I   use it on a daily basis. As one member of the Twelve Step group, Depressed Anonymous points out, “I had to go and open that door for the first time because there was no other place to go. I had already used up all the hiding places in my life.” Now that we admit we need help, help is on the way.”

It is always difficult to change.  Millions of others are leading lives of peace, sobriety and hope as they place their trust in  their Higher Power and commit themselves to learning how to get better.  They are learning that by having faith in God, themselves and the fellowship of the group, life does indeed get better. I am going to get better, the more I work and live the Twelve Steps.

MEDITATION

O God, we know that our hope in you will make it possible for us to find hope in our lives  every day. That’s a Promise.

RESOURCE

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

(c)Higher Thoughts for down days. DAP. December 4th, Pages 198-199.

Ordering Online is possible from this website @ The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore.

Higher Thoughts (positive)are like vitamins! Have you taken yours today?

 

Affirmation

I am able right now to read and discover how I can undepress my self.

“… It seems that the physiological changes which accompany fear can have profound effects on the body which lead to a breakdown of the immune system, the system which enables us to throw off  obnoxious substances and viruses. Once this  this system ceases to function efficiently we are laid open to the ravages of all kinds of diseases.”

Reflection

It happens frequently that those who come to the office and say that they have had a cold which they haven’t been able to shake off,   are oftentimes under an undue amount of stress and pressure. The effects of continued worry and tension accumulate over time and should bring with it the effects of an impaired autoimmune system.

My body is made up of various systems all intended to work in conjunction and in harmony with each other. One of the many ways I could work against my stress   and overcome depression is to understand how I set myself up for depression. Sadness and depression aren’t caused just by a few irrational thoughts held over time – – if that was the case, then all of us would be depressed all the time. Depression, to be overcome, has to be understood and the best way to understand it is to begin to see that no matter how unclear is its origins, I’m still unable to do something so that I can undepressed myself.

Meditation

“God, put your hand in our hand and give us the gift of understanding those  areas, past and present in our lives which continue to produce those  thoughts  of self-hate and fear.”

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Personal comments

Source: Copyright ( c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve-Step support groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 41. February 24.

What am I feeling?

WHAT AM I FEELING?

                                 Anger? Hostility? Aggression?

Anger: An emotion that says “Something is wrong.” That  it can be expressed to tell others about your personal limits, values, rules, and boundaries. The respectful expression of anger is an important way to educate others about how their behavior affects you. It can result in mutual respect between you and another person.

Hostility: An attitude that contributes to the violation of another person’s rights, values, rules, or boundaries. This attitude can include ruminating or brooding about another person’s real or perceived injustices toward you and ways that you can  “get even” with him/her   and this attitude leads to feelings of powerlessness. It can often lead to aggression our withdrawal as a way to punish others.

Aggression: A behavior, acted on with the intent to harm others, either physically or emotionally for real or imagined  “wrongs” done to you. This behavior always results in disrespect for yourself or the other person. It creates distance between you rather that brings you closer.

                           Learning how to express anger respectfully.

1.  Admit your anger. Accept that you are angry. Shouting “I am not angry!” at the other person only escalates you more. It can be safe and growth producing to acknowledge that you are angry.

2. Take a “timeout” to cool down if you need it.  Learning to deal respectfully and constructively with your anger takes time and practice.

3. Identify the source of your anger (look for your primary feelings). Make sure you perceived what happened correctly. Ask yourself questions like: ” what is my negative self-talk?” “Am I  dealing only with this issue at hand or are there other stressors that have already escalated me before this?” “Am I looking for a reason to blowup?”

4. Separate the energy of your anger (pent up feelings inside you seeking release) from the issue your anger is about (the condition, idea, event, or person you feel angry at).

5. Decide how and when you will express your anger.

6. Talk to the other person involved with your anger. Share your anger and any  primary feelings you can identify in an open, direct, and respectful way.

7. Make  “I” statements. Take responsibility for your own feelings. Resist the temptation to blame someone else for  “making you” feel angry.

8. Listen closely to the others point of view. Recognize and accept that their view may be quite different from yours. Remember that they have a right to their perspective and feelings.

9. Get in touch with your expectations and your intentions in sharing your anger. The purpose is not to “win” the argument (or discussion) or to make the other person agree with you or your point of view. Rather, it is an opportunity to give  both of you a time to express feelings.  Also,  explore alternatives such as compromising. Or you can “Agree to disagree” and table the discussion until another time.”

Source: The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 34 to 35.

Please VIST THE STORE  for more information on the Depressed Anonymous Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous Manual, both of which comprise the HOME STUDY KIT which can be purchased online.

PROMISE # 2: We realize a new way to live.

“After having made a clean breast of things we begin to live with a clean conscience. We have made amends, made it right with our God, others and ourselves.

How does one acquire freedom? Freedom is based on detachment. Detachment means to no longer cling to persons, places, things or behavior that cripples or demeans itself or others.

In  our struggle with depression, we had felt that we had lost all freedom and happiness. We now know that we have the key to our prison in our hands and as we move through each of the steps a new fact was discovered, that we don’t have to remain frozen in time with our depression.  We know that now we can celebrate a release from all the old fears, resentments and images that we held of ourselves over these many years.

Our happiness is now dependent on how we look at ourselves, our world and the understanding that we have of our God. I know for a fact that when I first came into the fellowship, I felt like a stranger in a foreign country. My thoughts and feelings were all confused as I began the journey into myself with a deepening desire to discover the engine that drives my sadness.  The battle raged inside of me – a battle that was fought in the shadow of past events – relationships. It was a personal triumph for me to finally see that there was a way out of this despair and emotional atrophy.  I now follow a practical plan as outlined by our suggested 12 Step program.  I make sure that every day that I get into action and do something.  I used to think that if I wait long enough the good humor fairy would tap me on the shoulder and I would be well. This is exactly the opposite of what our program of recovery promotes. Our position is that you have to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

A pill might make you feel differently-but it will never take away the circumstances that brought you down in the first place. The Promises here tell us that we will find a new freedom of happiness – but first, work has to be done. Our lives and the way we look at life are composed of past and present events.”

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SOURCES:     Copyright(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications.

Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better(2015). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 33-34.

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 109.

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.

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.

DEPRESSION: Only the concern of the lone sufferer or is it a harbinger of a societal (community) problem?

Remember the canary in the coal mine? The canary, carried by miners into the mine was the first one to smell potential disaster, alerting miners to get out of that mine. Today, with so much emphasis on medical treatments, David Karp, a sociologist, in “Speaking of Sadness” comments in his chapter Sociology, Spirituality and Suffering that “once individuals realize that medical treatment is unlikely to fix their problems, their thinking moves away from the medical language of cure toward the spiritual language of transformation.” He also tells us that “…(T)he Iroquois Indians, for example, believed that when any single person suffered, it reflected the suffering of nature, of the whole world, in fact.” The reality is that all life is interconnected with other living organisms. We see this illustrated best when a culture becomes narcissistic and centered primarily on the individual. Karp maintains that “the social disconnection generated by an ethic of individualism is an important element in the proliferation of affective disorders in America.”
While I believe that medications can alleviate the pain of some of those who are depressed and seek clinical help, the meds in themselves cannot remove whatever caused the pain, or the initial hurt. But the depression itself will allow us to take a deeper look at how we live out our lives. And for this reason that is why I am an advocate for mutual-aid groups where persons can come together, form community/fellowships and follow a procedure for healing ourselves while assisting in the healing of other members of the community.
The first step of Depressed Anonymous states that “We admitted…” and in Steps three, eight, ten, eleven, twelve again the word “we” is used. If anyone wants to find a community and a spiritual antidote to individualism, the 12 step fellowships provide a solution focused recovery program. I am an advocate for 12 step programs based on helping each other out of isolation into a fellowship of hope and healing. No longer is it just about me, me alone, but about something bigger than just me .It is a “we” program.
We are all connected!