Category Archives: 12 Step Meeting

RAY’S TESTIMONY ABOUT THE POWER OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS

” What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?  Well,  first let me say that when I started attending Depressed Anonymous meetings, I went for a couple of months and then stopped.  I stopped going because my depression was so bad that I didn’t want to leave my apartment. I didn’t want to be around or talk to anyone. I just didn’t want to do anything except to crawl in a hole somewhere and isolate myself from everything. Then after about six weeks of isolation, I called the residential treatment facility where I had been a client to see if I had received any mail there and one of the members of the Depressed Anonymous  group where I attend answered the phone. I spent a few minutes talking to her and there was something in her voice that told me that for some reason, it was important for me to be at the meeting. I attended the next Depressed Anonymous meeting. After the meeting was over, I suddenly realized the importance and power of Depressed Anonymous.”

SOURCE:Ray, in his personal testimony on pages 133-134 in  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

TO FAIL TO PLAN IS TO PLAN TO FAIL. THINK OUTSIDE OF YOUR BOX!

THINK OUTSIDE YOUR BOX!

When I sat at home depressing myself weekend after weekend and making myself feel worse by isolating myself from my environment, I decided to make a change. I decided to move off of square one and do something — plan an activity. Plan an activity for those two days ahead ( the weekend) when I could already pretty much predict my activities for that time period. I just knew I would end up staring at the wall or counting the holes in the ceiling tile above my head. So what could I do? I did remember that someone at a Depressed Anonymous meeting told us what she did to overcome this deadening and unhealthy isolation. On Friday evening (hey today is Friday –wow! What coincidence) she started to fill in the hourly time slots for Saturday with an activity or activities that she committed herself to for that day. For example, on the 7AM hourly slot she wrote in that she would have her coffee and read a portion of her DA Literature–Higher Thoughts for Down days was a good place to start (as it offers a daily meditation for each day of the year). At 8AM she commits to taking a walk outside for 1/2 hour. At 8:30 AM she commits to go to the grocery shopping an then  to the mall to window shop and then sit and enjoy of coffee at the food court.  At 11AM she will come home and call a member of her depression mutual aid group  or a friend. By this time it’s 12 Noon, and she and her significant other will share a lunch together, and If one lives alone then a meal will be prepared at this time.

I think you see the importance of planning something for every hour increment during your day. By the time Saturday evening approaches you will have done a great number of activities, fulfilled your scheduled activities for that day and  you will feel that you were too busy to spend time isolating and  thinking  negative and unproductive  thoughts.

Plan the next day as well as  for Sunday. Do the same planning procedure for each hour of Sunday and commit yourself to the plan. STICK TO THE PLAN! How about writing in going to a movie, even if you go by yourself. But go! Maybe visit a friend in the Nursing home –or a resident whom the staff  knows  could use a friendly visitor for what may be a very lonesome day.

Don’t allow yourself to say “We’ll not this weekend but maybe next weekend I’ll try this planning thing.” Nope, that won’t get it. It’s a trap. You and I know we have to MAKE A DECISION. With pencil in hand (tonight) we have to sit down and write down  an hourly plan for our weekend.

Have a great and productive weekend! I know you can if you plan it!

“PROCRASTINATION IS REALLY SLOTH IN FIVE SYLLABLES.”

AFFIRMATION

‘I will do it now and not wait til I feel better.”

Procrastination is really sloth in five syllables.”

“The ones who get better are the ones who work their program, go to meetings, have a sponsor and have a faith that this program of recovery will work for them as it has for thousands of others who have suffered with depression. I used to tell myself that I would start serious work on myself when I had more time, felt a little more cheerful or whatever. I know that these are all good examples of sloth or procrastination. I think depressed people have to fight against this more than others because at the very core of depression is a desire to not make a decision but to stay parked in neutral. To move out of depression takes an act of will because I will never feel better til I get into action.

I want to get well. I do want to feel better. I know that to begin to feel better, I will have to get into motion..

MEDITATION

We are going to commit ourselves to you, God. We are going to trust in you, and we have the faith that you will act boldly in our lives today! ”

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

RESOURCES: 1. (c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. (1993, 1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages129-130.

2.  (c)  I’ll do it when I feel better.” (2013) 2nd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

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

PHYSIOLOGICAL PORTAL GIVES US AN ENTRY POINT INTO THE CLOSED SYSTEM OF DEPRESSION.

Again, today we want to show how by entering any one of the six portals into the closed system of depression and connecting with the other five entry points, can gradually produce positive results.

The physiological  symptoms of depression are  insomnia, decrease in sexual drive, low or non existent  energy level, hard time concentrating, memory problems, tired all the time, weight loss, gain, continually irritable. By trying to understand and employ  other portals of entry, such as getting ourselves motivated, we know that daily exercise of some sort, can in time  help reduce one or the other of the physiological depression symptoms. This portal is connected powerfully with the behavior, thinking, feeling, motivation and spirituality portals.  Starting  to focus on just one of the closed system’s symptoms, will have a positive effect on all the rest of the system. We might even get motivated to go to a 12 Step meeting of persons like ourselves.  For me personally, it was the behavior portal (going to meetings/ refusing to stay isolated ) plus motivating myself to believe In a God of my understanding (spirituality) that began the process of getting a ‘leg up’ on my sadness.  My thinking was also changing. I began to feel and think that there was hope for me too.

As we continue to chip away at each area of depression symptoms, and clarify our thinking,  we  see that an improvement of mood in one area can  effect all the others as well! Til next time, reflect on the physiological symptoms mentioned above and pick one or two symptoms and then choose a positive alternative to replace them. Tomorrow we will want to discuss some of the characteristics of the behavior portal. Hope to see you tomorrow. “God give me ‘the courage to change the things I can…’ “

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE 12 STEP DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PROGRAM OF RECOVERY?

Depressed Anonymous  

1) Educates and informs us about our experience of depression. 2) Nurtures us so that we can begin to share and to trust our unpleasant feelings with others.  3) Accepts us and does not make   judgements  about  our experiences with depression. In other words, we don’t hear “snap out of it” in the group. 4) Teaches coping skills by our frequent meetings and group  membership interaction.  It provides us with a  “toolbox” of new skills we can utilize in our overcoming of sadness. 5) Empowers us to believe that there is truly a way out of our depression. One of the major benefits of our group is you can hear how other persons depressed have made it out of depression. (Read the Personal Stories in Depressed Anonymous).   It is clear that the program works best for those who keep coming back to meetings.

There are multiple benefits that come to those of us  who  are committed to being  active participants in our fellowship of Depressed Anonymous. I should know, I am one of the active participants.

Test Drive This Idea

The car I drive is a manual shift (stick) and has 5 gears. I like the stick shift better than automatic–it seems that I can feel the power of the engine when I go from one gear to the next.
When I bought an older Honda this last month, I made sure it was a shift. I gave it a test drive and the gears shifted smoothly from one gear to the next. I bought the vehicle.
How does this Test drive idea apply to depression? I’m glad you asked. Many times people when they come to a Depressed Anonymous meeting for the first time–it’s similar to test driving a car. They want to check out how many miles the car gets to a liter/gal of gas. Like, they want to know if this group will give them all that it promises . Is there a warranty with the group? Well, as a matter of fact there are. On page 109 in the Depressed Anonymous book the warranty itemizes everything that is yours. You will see them as the Promises of what can happen if you work the recovery program as outlined in our manual. I guess you would call the Depressed Anonymous book our manual. In fact, it has been written by persons who test drove the program and found it helped propel them into a life of healing and a fellowship of those many others who found it did what it promised. It always put them on the road.
When I was setting up Depressed Anonymous, a spiritual program of recovery in a State Prison a number of years back, one of the members of the group told us that he didn’t believe in God. He had been test driving the program and discovered that Step Two, (Gear 2?) “came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.” “Well,” he said his “Higher Power was his Prison DA group.” This is the engine that gave him the most mileage. In fact, after test driving it for weeks it was just what he was looking for–a trust worthy vehicle that would take him to the end of his journey–one day at a time. This group was the only engine with a warranty that was good all day, every day, and was good for the life of the engine. Since everyone in the group were all affected by depression, or the same engine problems they could speak to each other in the same language. No one was alone and isolated. The toolbox was there for each of the group and all of them had engines that were humming because they were all familiar with each of the gears and knew how to keep learning more about how all the gears (steps) were to work together.
Sign up today if you would like to test drive our vehicle of tested quality. We have everything you would like to know about our vehicle. Keep in touch. There is always a “pit crew” standing by to offer help.

I Made A Decision

Back in the last century I made a decision that continues to direct my life today and everyday. That decision was that I needed help. I needed to know how to free myself from an addiction to a substance that was gradually killing me. The only place that I knew that might offer me some help would be a local AA group. Frightfully, but expectantly, I walked through the door of my first 12 step meeting. The power that was greater than me–was the group of men and women who were meeting to talk about a solution–namely, to their addiction to alcohol. I felt at home. Well, not totally at home–but I did find acceptance for me and my particular addiction. They presented me with a toolbox–not material tools–but spiritual tools that I use to keep myself free of my desire and craving for alcohol. We call them the 12 steps.
That was in 1982, December 7th. And then three years later I became depressed and I applied the steps to my depression experience, which likewise was killing me. I got out my tool box and began applying the same tools as I had applied to my other addiction and found I again had a solution to my twisted and distorted thinking. It was only after I admitted that I had a problem, and my life was unmanageable, did I find a way out. My Higher Power leads the way, day after day, month after month and year after year. If you want to learn more about how YOU can make a decision, find the tools and keep your attention focused on the solution oriented 12 steps, then you let us know. We want to share with you our story and how it was before in our life and how it is now.
Looking to find that toolbox? We can help. Don’t give up. Look us up and give us a call.

My Comfort Zone

IF YOU WANT SOMETHING THAT YOU NEVER HAD BEFORE, YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING THAT YOU NEVER DID BEFORE.

Well, that pretty much says it all. We all have our comfort zones–that is for sure. About two weeks ago, a friend of mine wanted to know if I would join him in getting out the vote here in the USA. I told him I would. All it entailed was going to certain neighborhoods and knocking on people’s doors and asking them if they were going to vote in the Midterm elections. If they said yes, then I would tell them where the polling place was located. I spent two days of this–knocking on doors and asking them to get out and vote for their candidates. I had never, in my whole life done this before–going and knocking on strangers doors and asking them to vote. (Only time before was when I was a kid and went “trick or treating” on Halloween.) Anyway, the whole point here is that I was very uncomfortable knocking on doors and talking to total strangers. It was way out of my “comfort zone.”
When I was depressed I entered into another type of “comfort zone” namely an isolation zone–where all I wanted to do was just do nothing. Just absolutely nothing. Except sleep. My comfort zone was like I was living in a glass house–I could see everything around me but I had no interest in or connection to what happened outside my walls. I had no desire to get involved with former activities that provided me with a sense of purpose or happiness. My mantra was “I’ll do it when I feel better.” Finally I made up my mind, crawled out of my comfort zone and walked through the doors of my first 12 Step meeting. This was a very un-comfortable move for me as I forced myself to go and get help for what could possibly kill me.
Reader, just know that if you want help for yourself or a loved one–knock on our door–come on in– know that if you are depressed, or a friend is depressed, we have the tools to help you find your way out of your prison of depression. You’ll be taking a step into a new way of living.

What is Dep-Anon Family Group?

DEP-ANON FAMILY GROUP

Support Group for family and friends of the depressed.

Scores of books have been written on the subject of depression. If you are like most of us, we have all run after and read the latest work on depression looking for clues to see just what is wrong with our loved ones and what it is that they face and struggle with.
DEP-ANON is a support group for family and friends of the depressed. This program is very much like AL-ANON where family members gather to help each other learn how to detach and cope with alcoholism. In the same way DEP-ANON is an effort of family and friends to gather together and learn how to live with and cope with their depressed loved one.
At a planning session for DEP-ANON, family members were asked to list all the feelings that they experience while living with a depressed loved one. From the discussion we were surprised to find out some amazing facts. 1) That the feelings family members were experiencing were very similar to those which their depressed loved ones were experiencing, and 2) these feelings were also having an equally destructive effect in the lives of family members. DEP-ANON FAMILY GROUP (1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville, KY.USA.
______________________________________________________
More on this important subject tomorrow. Please let us know if this topic is of interest to you. We might be able to help you set up a Family Group in your locale or just use the material for your own guidance.