“”There is a well known saying, Contempt prior to investigation will leave one in everlasting ignorance.”
Strong words, everlasting ignorance. Everlasting meaning never ending ignorance. Ignorance meaning not more of and nothing to do with intelligence here. One is left everlastingly in the dark. Contempt has prejudiced the light of awareness. I believe our true Being ness is this light of awareness. Twelve Step recovery suggests a sweeping away of prejudice along with honest thinking and diligently looking within, in order to join the Broad Highway of Belief. I is called the Cornerstone.
Let’s say we use a a spiritual broom as a tool for this sweeping away. N0w let use this broom to clean up and clear away old ideas and beliefs that have been darkening our Source or Higher Power. The Depressed Anonymous Workbook does such a thorough job of uncovering these. Deeply embedded fears/hurts/ anger etc., can be swept into ( or surrendered into) the heart or the light within or the seed planted within each of us. This seed idea of God, when these ideas, beliefs and motives are swept away, then the light can be nurtured to grow and shine so brilliantly in our lives. We are life and no longer dwelling in darkness! However it is suggested in Scripture from Christ Consciousness, that when a house swept clean, it must not allow itself to become “vacant”after this spiritual House is in order. Now in Presence. No past or future occupancy in the mind, saddening oneself again. Find the Miracle of Abiding Presence. We are Life and Life is Now eternally. A quote from Misread Maharaji, “Wisdom is knowing I am nothing. Love is knowing I am everything.
The following are some of the ways that we can cope and deal positively with panic and anxiety.
- Remember that although your feelings and symptoms are very frightening, they are not dangerous or harmful.
- Understand that what you are experiencing is just an exaggeration of your normal bodily reaction to stress.
- Do not fight your feelings or wish them away.The more that you are willing to face them, the less intense they will become.
- Do not add to your panic by thinking about what “might” happen. If you find yourself asking “what if?” Tell yourself “So what.”
- Stay in the present. Notice what is really happening to you as opposed to what you think might happen.
- Label your fear level from zero to ten and watch it go up and down. Notice that it that it does not stay at a very high level for more than a few seconds.
- When you find yourself thinking about the fear, change your “what if” thinking. Focus on and carry out a simple and manageable task, such as counting backward by 3’s or snapping a rubber band on your wrist.
- Notice when you stop adding fearful thoughts to your fear, it begins to face.
- When th fear comes, expect and accept it . Wait and give it time to pass, without running away from it.
- Be proud of yourself for your progress thus far, and think about how good you will feel when you succeed this time.
Reprinted courtesy of the Mental Health Association. Understanding panic disorder.
“It must be repeated again that I consider, injustice, discrimination, material deprivation and painful disappointments as such and as causes of depression and depression-pro ness. What causes depression is the discrepancy between what children–and adults have learned to believe and expect, and the reality they meet. This discrepancy, when uncomprehended, causes chronic lack of self-esteem, or the loss of self-esteem that, writes Birling, has been associated with severe depression. Men and women can bear a remarkable amount of misfortune and grief, as long as they need not see them as a result and proof of their own inferiority.”
Excerpt from Emmy Gut, Productive and Unproductive Depression. Harper, SanFransisco. 1990. p.195. as quoted in THE ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET (1991) SUMMER VOLUME 2:4. p.3
“When we listen we learn, and to learn means to keep listening. Is there anything today that you have learned by listening. Write down what you have heard that specially applies to you today. Write down what you have learned.
Dorothy Rowe wrote the following:
Dangers,perhaps even greater dangers threaten you if you leave your prison of depression for the ordinary world. There you might have to change, and change always involves uncertainty. The good thing about being depressed is that you can make every day be the same. You can be sure of what is going to happen. You can ward off all those people and events that expect a response from you. Your prison life has a regular routine, and like any long-term prisoner, you grow accustomed to the jail’s security nd predictability. The prison of depression may not be comfortable, but at least it is safe. ”
SOURCES; The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky Page 85. Question 11.19.
*Originally appeared in Rowe, D., Depression: The way out of your prison. Page 127.
“I believe that for me to finally integrate the spiritual program of the 12 steps into my personal and relational life is to believe that I can live without depression, drinking, gambling, overeating, and whatever else might take all my attention. I can overcome my “stinking” thinking.
One doesn’t tell people at DA that they’ll have to go to meetings for the rest of their lives. But if you really feel that you have learned something about depression, and how to overcome it – one way to continue recognizing the “red flags” in one’s own life, is to give away how it is nowthat you are beating the urge to sad and isolate oneself.
This really seems to be the secret of most good mental health efforts, whether for groups or individuals-namely, give others help and out of all of your own experiences. This will help you from relapsing.”
Hugh S., for the fellowship
(c) The Antidepressant Tablet Volume 4, Number 3, Spring 1993. Louisville, KY. Page 5.
“Being depressed is a state of great security.Jackie said (client of D.Rowe) , ‘I get very quiet. I don’t want to know anyone. Very angry. I get very hurtful, not intentional hurt, but that’s the only way I can get through to people, so they don’t get any closer. If I hurt them, they’ll stay away and therefore I can be on my own in this depression, and hide behind the mask and just solely by hurting people, being quiet, feeling angry inside and putting the barrier up, that’s how I can keep people away, which I feel helps me in the state of depression.I need to feel safe within the blackness. A fear of being with people. Being really frightened of everything and anybody around you. It’s just so painful. You feel drained of everything. Hiding behind the mask is putting yourself away from the outside world. The world you were frightened of stepping into, but people still seeing you with that smile, the joking, the laughing, and that is where the mask comes on. Behind the mask, I am suffering hurt and pain, rejection, helplessness, but behind the mask and shutting myself within four walls, I feel secure, because none of the outside world can come in unless I let them hurt me.
Because depression gives a feeling of security, the depressed person can feel very much in control. (We are always capable of being two contrary things at once. Depression is always a state of complete helplessness and complete control,) A depressed person can take great pride in being in control.”
SOURCE: BEYOND FEAR. Dr. Dorothy Rowe, Fontana, London, 1987, pp. 307-308.
Published in The Antidepressant Tablet(c) Issue: Volume 4, Number 3 SPRING 1993. Louisville, Ky.
“Being addicted to the outcome I came to realize after deep examination of my character defects that I am still being addicted to the outcome of situations in my life. Which means I am trying with all my might to control the outcome. I don’t want to accept what God has planned for my outcome in certain situations. I want to steer the situation and control iT into my absolute vision of what I want and needed it to be. My addiction here is the projected outcome of the situation. My character defect is control. Control is a very hard character defect to change and one that I strongly believe needs God’s help to see it clearly and be granted the willingness to change it. Most humans want and deeply desire control of something in their life, so much so, that they would do anything to sway the matter, thus control things deeply to obtain their desired outcome. But there is another serious character defect in this equation. Far more important to examine than our desired outcome to the point of being controlling. This is an amazing spiritual arrogance that we know better, than the highest power knows, what is the right and proper outcome for us. But there is another serious character defect in this equation. Far more important to examine than our desired outcome to the point of being controlling. This is an amazing spiritual arrogance that we know better than the highest power knows what is the right and proper outcome for us. We are essentially saying we don’t believe your outcome, God. We don’t believe you could possibly be as good and perfect as are our chosen outcomes. This is a serious mistrusting of God.
The next thing we must look at is acceptance. Because once we are able to let go of the strongly desired outcome, which we are addicted to, we must stop and allow ourselves to accept whatever God has lined up for the outcome. This is sometimes difficult. It takes a good close walk with our higher power every single day, which is exactly what develops the needed trust in God. Once we begin to move into a place where we accept that our higher power loves us and wants good things for us, it then becomes easier to let go and let God in all the outcomes. This is where the step 3 prayer, taken every day, is so helpful with acceptance of God’s will in our life, instead of our own will and dominating the outcome that we insist upon. We can’t possibly know more than God, so who are we to think that we know exactly what the outcome should be to the situation days from now. How arrogant to think that we know everything. Letting go and letting God and acceptance, are the keys to the overcoming of the defects of control and arrogance.”
Debra C. NC
Copyright(c) Debra Sanford. A Medley of Depression Stories. #35. Pages91-92.(First Edition) 2017. ISBN 978-197 4499601. This book can be purchased at Amazon.com.
1. Appraise yourself: Identify strengths and problem areas.
– Check out the Depressed Anonymous Workbook for a 12 Step self-study of one’s strengths and problem areas.
2. Try changing in small ways. Keeping it simple and manageable.
3. Emphasize your positive skills, talents and strengths. A sponsor will be most helpful in leading you to discover your hidden strengths. When we are depressed and in lockdown, it is hard to see the light. In the beginning, you will let the Da fellowship group serve as the key to unlock your potential.
4. Take what others say at face value- Free yourself from the burden of figuring out others motives.
5. Choose role models you respect. It’s possible that your presence at a DA meeting will discover others who are making the 12 Steps recovery program work for them, finding serenity an hope.
6. Stop activities you don’t like or have an aptitude for. Examples: People pleasing, isolating oneself from friends and family, catastrophic thinking, having negative thoughts about self, not trusting others.
7. Accepting yourself without judgment. Use the “SUNSPOTS” or the “Rule of Threes” to discipline oneself to use what works for you and leave the negatives behind. (See Pages 47-48 in DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS. 3rd EDITION. Depressed Anonymous Publications. 2011.)
Please read the story of Margie, a charter member of Depressed Anonymous, as she shares her story. Personal Stories section.#31. Page 131. Depressed Anonymous.
8. Talk to your friends. This is an avenue that leads you to finding who you are. The DA fellowship, which meets every day.(Check out Website for meeting information). Here in this group, your friends will share how their Journey of Hope gave them a most valuable gift–namely, a choice to work their way out of depression or to continue to live a life of misery and hopelessness.
9. Choose one particular task and do it. Just one task. One small baby step. Keep it simple. Stay in the now–one day at a time. Walk and get out into nature. Walk around the block. Use the TOOLS of Recovery. (See Homepage at depressedanon.com and click onto TOOLS of Recovery menu. You will find an array of ways to begin your own life journey, with a commitment for your own personal wellness and fitness.)
10. Take charge of your life and set goals. Make decisions. Take some risks. Reach out to others for help!
Depression thrives and grows strong in isolation where the depressed individual can spend time ruminating over past defects and self-alleged wrongdoing. The very worthlessness can grow in this darkened environment. But if the solitary confinement is to end, the depressed person has the right and the responsibility to examine the various ways to fight back the isolation, immersing oneself in a supportive and healing environment. If there is no environment where they feel safe and secure, one will have to buildup their courage and get one. You cannot think yourself out of depression. You hold the key that will unlock your prison of depression. We recommend that you start using it now.
(C) Copyright. Shining a light on the dark night of the soul.: A personal experience for healing the darkness of depression. (1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
(c) Depressed Anonymous (2011) 3rd Edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 47-48.
(c) The Depressed Antonymous Workbook.(2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
Please visit the DA literature store for more information.
DECISION 11: I will let go of envy and allow myself to be sad.
“Actually, envy is only possible when we distance ourselves
from people. Once we get close to other people and discover their point of view, we discover also that all people have their own troubles. Every advantage in life has its own disadvantages. Envying people is a waste of time. And time runs out for all of us. Even if we never wasted time being frightened, angry, envious, lonely and depressed, we still could not fit into a lifetime of all the marvelous things we could do.”
Dorothy reminds us that “the best way to live with sadness is to share it.”
Dorothy Rowe. Breaking the Bonds: Understanding Depression, Finding Freedom. Fontana. London. 1991. Pages 270-271.
(Leaving Loneliness Behind. The Twelve Decisions.)
DECISION 10: Receiving a gift.
“IF you determine that the gift does come with the unstated message of obligation you then have three choices;
1. You can accept the gift as you always have, and not feel guilt, anger and obligation.
2. You can state the unstated message to the giver and say that you cannot accept such a gift. To do this you must completely abandoned your belief that you must never upset anyone ever and have developed some competence in dealing with upset people.
3. You can accept the gift as if it is a free gift, ignore the obligation, feel happy and enjoy the gift. To do this you must have given up being an expert in being good and have developed a competence in doing things which are not wholly admirable but are immensely enjoyable.
If you determine that the gift does come as a free gift, given out of love and concern, then yugo must receive it with the same generosity with which it was given. Let yourself feel joy, not guilt. Don’t say “Oh, you shouldn’t have.’ Say ‘It’s wonderful. I love it, and give the giver a hug and a kiss. All we want when we give a fee gift is to see the other person’s happiness.
Sometimes what gets in the way when we want to enjoy a gift is our envy.”
Dorothy Rowe, Breaking the Bonds. Understanding Depression, Finding freedom. Fontana. London. 1991. Pages 209-210.
Dorothy Rowe is The author of BREAKING THE BONDS of the Twelve Decisions, contained in the chapter, LEAVING LONELINESS BEHIND, Pages 238-279.