Category Archives: Fellowship

Slow down! Road work ahead!

How often do we see these orange warning signs along our highways? Sometimes it seems that everywhere we go, construction is going on. According to Murphy’s law, they only show up when we are in a hurry to get somewhere else.

In our recovery it is a necessity to read the signs that tell us to slow down. There is road work ahead. As we know or will soon find out recovery is about work, using those tools that are provided for our own healing and serenity.

We slow down, stop and reflect on our lives, examining how certain “triggers” not only slow us down but can “shut us down.” We discover how ruminating on the same negative feelings, produce a mood that continues to stifle us and prevents us from seeing it for what it is, namely a warning for us to make some changes in our behaviors. If we let these moods deepen there is a strong possibility that these negative ruminations can push us deeper into symptoms of depression. Before that happens, starting to use our tools can save us from relapsing or experiencing a recurrence of symptoms and get us back on the road again.

There are many things that can keep us motivated to stay involved in our program of recovery. You can read these for yourself here on our website (depressedanon.com) under the menu, TOOLS FOR RECOVERY. They are welcome tools not only providing help but hope.

You can also reflect on the “slogans” used by those of us in the 12 Step fellowships. I am going to list some of them and hope that you will use these as “mantra’s” or “slogans” for your own recovery and “road work.”

KEEP IT SIMPLE. Don’t complicate your life by over-analyzing or by placing judgments on others thinking or behavior. Don’t double yourself up with doing a hundred different things all at once.

DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING Telling yourself I’ll do it when I feel better never gets it. If you are recovering then go to meetings when you don’t want to or an appointment when you don’t feel like it. If you need to go to work go to work. That is the next right thing. Always be there for yourself and your healing. If you are doing Step work with a sponsor, then do the Step work. Do the next right thing. Put that on your bathroom mirror.

PROGRESS – NOT PERFECTION. Do what you can do and then don’t worry about it. The main thing is not that something you do is perfect –but that you are doing what you can do and doing it to the best of your ability.

CONTROL THE EFFORT-NOT THE OUTCOME. Take responsibility for you all that you do and again do your best. Make the effort. Give it your best shot. “To thine own self first be true.”

BE. HERE. NOW. Be in the present. Yesterday is gone forever. Tomorrow is not here yet. All we have is today. Enjoy the moment. Mindful that there is a God-and it isn’t me!

ONE DAY AT A TIME. We are only given one 24 hour period at a time. Use it well. Keep a journal and list three things that you are grateful for today.

Thank you for doing a little road work for yourself today. I hope that some of what I have written may have motivated you to look deeper into how you can “accept the things that you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

If you would like to read more about depression please go to The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore.

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY

Hugh

I have a plan that is simple with startling results

Originally published September 30, 2018. Some formatting changes.

Years ago I needed help and I was offered a number of plans/solutions which promised me relief for my particular problem. The plans offered me didn’t seem to work. In my desperation I thought I would try a 12 Step program of recovery. The plan was very simple. Not hard to understand. I tried it. I went to my first meeting and was given hope. All the folks there at the meeting were using the same plan. They talked about how this plan changed their lives. That got my attention. It got my attention because their story was my story. The group provide me with the plan’s list of areas in my life that I needed to look at. The plan, as I mentioned before was simple. Not complicated at all.

Have you ever in your life had to put something together and the thing that you put together came with a plan. It was a blueprint like thing that showed you what the end product would look like. when all the proper instructions were carried out. At this first meeting I made a commitment to follow this plan for 24 hours. Only 24 hours. Hey, not a big deal. I could handle that. So, I took the plan home and started to read the instructions, chapter and verse. It was a simple plan.

Now I had this plan. It was a plan for everyday of my life. I thought wow! is this good or what. That is exactly what I needed. I remember saying to myself, “I hope it works.” It works. Over 30 years later I am using the same plan. It never gets old and stale.

Early on I got some tools to go with the instructions on how to use the plan. The first tool showed me how to admit what was fouled up in my life and to also admit how things were terribly out of hand. In our plan there were all sorts of other tools that I needed to use if I was to get back on my feet. I have to confess some of these tools were not easy to use exactly. I mean there were parts of the plan that I needed to look at more closely than I ever had before. This plan came with a great instruction book that I and others call the Big Book. It spells out not only how to use the tools but what happens when we actively embrace them and put them to use in our daily life.

So, now besides the plan, we have the tools to go along with the instructions. So my life began to change. I began to find serenity in my life and I began to realize that there were things that I need to change in my life and then there were things I knew I couldn’t change. You know, like things that happened to me in then past. The instructions showed me a great way to take care of those issues that up to a time haunted me. I now really feel at home in my own skin now.

Startling results? Well, for sure. And part of the reason for these startling results is besides having a plan–having new tools to use-I was plopped right in the middle of a group of men and women that were using the same plan as I was. Like, we are all on the same page, literally. I was in a fellowship of folks who were telling each other their stories about how the instructions and tools brought them some really fantastic experiences changes in their lives. The first time I set foot in this group, I was promised that certain things were going to happen to me. You know what? They were right. They said that once I had the instructions under my belt, I would want to go and tell others my story. I would want to go and let those still suffering from whatever addiction was killing them, that they could live with the hope that their lives would change, as did mine. By following our plan, using our tools of recovery, and being a part of our fellowship (a 12 Step group) you “will be amazed before you are halfway through”. (the instructions) Again, that’s a Promise!

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. © 2011, Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

Contact: depanon@netpenny.net for more info.

Depressed Anonymous is and has been my salvation

I attend Depressed Anonymous meetings quite regularly. I have found that I can attend the meetings regularly.(Depressed Anonymous Meetings are on SKYPE everyday and ZOOM offers meetings online four times a week ) I get the support of the members who I have found to have about the same kind of problems as I have-maybe not as bad as mine. But I guess each of us feels that our problems are worse than anyone else. I know mine are. But with the regular meetings and my friends support, I find that I am able to manage pretty well from week to week. I have more faith in myself since I work the Twelve Steps the best that I can and trust the Higher Power (God Almighty) with all my heart. I pray to the fullest extent that I will continue to have faith in myself and others. I have become a more whole being than I have ever been. I work a lot. I volunteer a lot and have a far better outlook on life that I have ever had. I attribute all of these good things to Depressed Anonymous.

…I cannot begin to explain sufficiently the support the meetings can give one who is depressed. Depressed Anonymous has been and is my salvation. I know the Twelve Step program is the only way to go to get one on the right track and it takes the meetings to keep you there. They are a “Godsend” for me and I know for a lot of others who are depressed.

I thank Depressed Anonymous and my Higher Power for a life worth living.

– Frances

Copyright © Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. (Personal Stories, page 116)

All literature can be ordered online at The Depressed Anonymous Bookstore.
Click onto VISIT THE STORE at our website www.depressedanon.com

“There is Hope—and we Do recover.” DA “ZOOM” MEETING

There is hope…and we do recover!
This is the name of the ZOOM group now operating with three DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS ONLINE
groups per week. What could be better than that.

I personally find the name of this mutual-aid 12 step group to be a “right on” description of what happens during it’s live online meetings. Those who come aboard soon learn that this is not only a safe place to share their “story” but is a place to discover others stories of how they are leaving the prison of their depression. And if you are one of those, like me who are looking to find hope and a plan to make it happen for your own life, you are in the right place.

Now in group meetings you won’t find people giving you a counterfeit hope, a hope that is not based on reality, but on their own personal experience. Those who are frequent group members of Depressed Anonymous, and who want to have a social contract with others on a personal basis, find that they have found a home with others like themselves. No strangers here. No counterfeit promises of sudden healing. You will be provided with a plan that has stood the test of time, for those who continue to be recipients of its power and enduring hope.

You will learn the strength of living life, not with grandiose sugar plum fairies dancing in your head, but with the hard work (yes, it takes work, time and prayer) of coming to meetings, reading the Depressed Anonymous literature, plus doing something. Yes, do something!

Start with the smallest thing, by clicking onto a DA meeting online or at Skype, and just listening in to the discussions of its members, new and old. No one has to talk. My own experience is this: those who come to their first meeting–yes, their first meeting will probably hear others share stories that are similar to their own.

Start small at first in things that need to be done for your own recovery. Move the body and the mind will follow. Get out of bed at a certain time every day. Water a plant that needs watering. Sweep the kitchen floor. Be creative. Commit to at least six meetings a week online. Skype is available everyday on line. Zoom is on three or four times a week.
And please, when that little voice inside your head says “I’ll do it when I feel better”
ignore it and do what needs to be done now. Do it now. Not tomorrow. Yesterday is gone. All we have is NOW!

My vision is for all of us who were depressed or are depressed today, is to find the plan and the place where they can and do find hope and a great fellowship we call Depressed Anonymous.

Remember these powerful words–write them down. There is HOPE …and we Do Recover.
CONTACT: REBECCAIRENE8@GMAIL.COM
(c) Hugh S

I will make a daily inventory of all my strengths

Believing Is Seeing: 15 Ways To Leave The Prison Of Depression – Eleven

I will make a daily inventory of all my positive strengths. I tended to magnify the worst in everything in my life and make mountains out of molehills. I will focus on my stars and not my scars.

“One of the problems of being depressed is that every circumstance and situation is filled with potential hurt and disappointment. The depressed person has a tendency to think in patterns of despair, hurt, and disappointment. It appears to be a proven fact that the more a person keeps their fears and anxious thoughts to themselves, this can cause the mountain to grow larger. But by sharing these fears and thoughts with others, either by writing them out, as in a daily journal, or group discussion (like on SKYPE and ZOOM) we soon discover that our fears are not as big as we thought. The expression of fear many times decreased the size of their fear. Now that we are accepting ourselves we can begin to see that we possess the strength and persistence to tackle whatever obstacle lies ahead.

One of the features that stands out in our lives when depressed is we see everything in dark colors. Nothing looks hopeful. There does not appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel – except that it might be an oncoming freight train. We feel that we do not have a friend in the world. We feel that we’ll never feel good again. The list goes on and on.

What may be of some help is to take out pen and pencil and begin writing down your good points that you feel are your strengths. We have already done this, but it still remains an excellent exercise no matter how often you do it.

What do you remember as strengths before being aware that you are depressed? Going to Depressed Anonymous meetings has the potential to restore your sense of proportion about your strong points. At the meetings your friends in the fellowship will begin to tell you are showing improvement the more you are participating in the meetings. To listen to those who themselves are working the program and who share their lives week after week, you begin to realize that you too can begin to feel differently. Today can be a new start and yes, you do have it within yourself to be that person who is reversing old negative patterns of thinking and replacing them with thoughts of hope and optimism. You now believe that there is hope for yourself. Right now your strength seems to be that of maintaining a habitual way of thinking thoughts of hope. By the fact that you are reading this, takes the strength to want to feel good and continue to maintain a positive recovery. Begin now and reflect on your strengths. Believe that you have a way to maintain a personal persistence and desire to continue with gratitude for this new feeling of hope.”

NOTE: Take your pen and/or pencil and begin writing your thoughts down in response to the questions posed in the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK. Depressed Anonymous Publications.

Resources

Copyright © Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2020) Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Pages 57-59.

Copyright © The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

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

These basic books of the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship can be ordered online.

See: www.depressedanon.com

Literature Available

To receive a mailing of Depressed Anonymous literature, send a Self addressed stamped envelope to: DAP, Box 465, Pewee Valley, Kentucky. 40056.

The material can be used as “handouts” at your local Depressed Anonymous meetings.

Today I met some good people doing good things

Today was another good day for me.  I was inspired.  I happened to find a group of people, like me, who were sharing feelings   about depression and how it is affecting their lives.. And if you are depressed, so many of us are, you might want to check into this discussion group–all centered on the Twelve Steps and recovery. We can’t do ourselves any good  by living our lives in isolation away from others. Our DNA makes us seek others. We are  social creatures.

A strange thing happens,  when we are depressed. We want to isolate. Our energy level is nil. Our hope is no longer an option. Everything looks bleak and hopeless. We gradually end up missing in action.  Our thinking, feelings, motivation, psychosocial life and behaviors each and everyone   becomes  a symptom  of our sadness. Together they become a syndrome.  Many symptoms  together form  a cyclical  interconnectedness, which being of a negative nature, can cause our whole being  to spiral  downward and  stay helpless.

This group today,  Depressed Anonymous were sharing positives as well as negatives about their individual lives. And by doing so, found  others like themselves who were  feeling animated and energized by sharing parts of their life story with others. It’s a freeing moment. This is what makes it work.  Members of this  fellowship found  themselves a home. It’s  secure and stable home base,  giving each of  us courage to   tell our stories, These good people are doing good things for themselves and the fellow members of this peer led group.

If you are wondering where to find this group, the same one that I attended today, sign in at https://join.skype.com at 12:30 pm CST and or 1:30 EST. A member of the fellowship will invite you in to be part of the group. This group meets everyday of the week. No fees or dues. All one needs is that desire to stop saddening themselves. Simple enough! There is also a ZOOM meeting every Sunday   4-5 EST and Tuesdays at 3-4pm EST.

If you have questions you can contact us by email at depanon@netpenny.net. I hope that you will be a good person doing good things for those who are still suffering from depression. We need each other. We are no longer alone.

 

Hugh

 

Spoon feeding is no use to you. You have to feed yourself. – D. Rowe

AFFIRMATION

I  will build up my self-esteem and self-respect by learning a hobby or skill that will bring me pleasure. “Dorothy Rowe says that “Spoon feeding is no use to you. You have to feed yourself.”

REFLECTION

I believe that feeding oneself is really the idea that grabs hold of most people who have a genuine desire to stop  saddening themselves. It appears to me that once I make a commitment to myself to begin to learn how to feel better, I really do begin feeling much better. I imagine that even though my passive depressed behavior had some benefits – like not having to risk changing the  way I lived my life.   I believe that since there is a way out of my depression that I do want to move  into a different way of  living my life. I want to live with hope and I am going to do something about it to make it happen.

I feed myself junk thoughts when I think that there is no hope for me in my life. This is  the stuff that depression is made of. If I want  to get well  and out of the prison that I call depression, I need to begin feeding myself with such hopeful thoughts, that my sadness won’t last forever, whatever I believe and expect to happen, just the way I want it to happen.

MEDITATION

We are thankful that we can feed ourselves healthy thoughts and that we can change our diet by discovering what has been junk food in our past life, substituting healthy food (thoughts) for the present.  God will show us a way to live in a healthy and serene way. (Personal  comment).

SOURCE: (C)  Higher Thoughts for down days: 365  daily thoughts and meditations for  members of 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky.  Page 89. May 29.

Visit the Store  to order this book online.

Recovery people delight in how they are becoming more assertive

 

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

COPYRIGHT(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY 40241. (Page 91. Step Ten)

Depression gradually dies in the light of day….

The best way to live TODAY is to be fully conscious of the present moment and create that strong desire to be part of it. Let’s not live in yesterday -the rent can kill you.

How often do I spend time in tomorrow and so miss the joy of today? I think one of the more serious occupations (aren’t they all serious?) of the depressed is just to sit and think , and think some more about how bad life is and what awful people they are. The self-bashing makes one’s ability to change even more difficult, as  continued depressive ruminations promote a great sense of unworthiness and confusion. We feel that we have no control over what happens in our life. Actually, we are not so sure   that we should care.  Everything seems hopeless. Living in yesterday is to pay some high price rent – and when you are done paying the rent, you still have nothing to show for it.

I want to be responsible  though I feel it’s difficult to face the fact that one of the ways of getting out of my prison is to stay and feel the pain of my sadness. I have to live in the here and now – I can’t run and hide in the unknown of tomorrow or disappear into the gloomy fog of yesterday. We begin to get mentally healthy when we take it upon ourselves to admit 1) I have a problem, and 2) secondly, I need to change the way I think about myself and my world.  Again, no one need to blame us for that that we got ourselves depressed – but once we know and believe that we are depressed – we learn that we need to take full responsibility for our recovery.  And one of the best ways to break our dependency on our sadness is to share and admit our depression to members of our Depressed Anonymous group. We know how depression flourishes and grows in the privacy and solitude of our minds.

Depression gradually dies in the light of open sharing and frank discussion. We are only as weak as the secrets we keep and strong as the secrets we share.”

Copyright(c)  Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2020) Hugh Smith.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pgs. 39-40.

All it takes is one good person to restore hope – Pope Francis

This statement is so true. All it takes is one good person to restore hope. This is a reality that I personally experience each day of my life. I find these individuals every day – carrying the message of hope to those others who are looking for a way out of their pain and suffering. These good people who lead are sharing their own hope, strength and experience with those who still suffer alone, and without hope. These good people take it upon themselves to communicate to others how they found hope and now want to share their recovery with others. They are using the fellowship of hope by the electronic systems such as ZOOM, SKYPE, FACEBOOK and the many face to face groups outside of the virtual world. These various communication tools enable us to reach around the world bringing fellowship to those seeking hope.

Recently, individuals in Poland decided to set up their own SKYPE meetings. Just recently in America two ZOOM group are operating, with one more about to get up and running. There is also a phone – in meeting operating. in America.

We are here at depressedanon.com (Depressed Anonymous) offering hope to those who come to our website. A Blog is offered a number of times a week. There are those good people who are not members of Depressed Anonymous who use their resources and talents to keep our websites, our ZOOM and SKYPE online programs operating with a myriad of technical skills. All in all, good persons continue to find hope and share what they have with others. so that they too can experience the hope that is real and offered freely to them.

Depressed Anonymous website at depressedanon.com will lead you to the places where you can go and join up with others at a 12 Step Depressed Anonymous meeting.

Like Francis tells us “All it takes is for one good person to restore hope.”

Won’t you be the next “one good person?” Will you join with us on this great journey where we all discover the hope of recovery and personal serenity?

The Fellowship of Depressed Anonymous