Category Archives: Mutual Aid

A BETTER GIFT

“Sometimes it comes to our mind that we have prayed a long time.and still it seems that we do not have what we ask for. But we should not be too depressed on this account, for I am sure, accorning to our Lord’s meaning, that either we are waiting for a better occasion, or more grace, or a better gift.”
Julian of Norwich

The Real Deal

One of my favorite TV shows is the Antique Roadshow. Every piece of furniture, painting, pottery, etc., brought to the show, has its own unique history. Each piece is appraised as to its present value by professional art dealers. That is the basis of the show, to help people discover how much that old letter, old painting or anything else that they bring to the show. seeking its worth. They can discover if their painting is an original, the real deal, or just a copy, or even a forgery. It is rare that an original masterpiece is ever discovered. Even so, there are times when a very valuable piece is discovered. People who come to show their articles, know that they can at least find out if they have something of value.

In ancient Rome, there were many sculptors, who sculpted pieces of artistic beauty. At times, when a sculptor’s chisel took too much granite off his work of art, he would cover his mistake with wax. So, if an artist wanted to sell his piece of art, it had to be noted that the piece was sincere, that is, without wax. No covering up mistakes.

So when I say that I am sincere, I am telling you that I am telling the truth. I am telling you that there is no coverup in what I am saying. (sine cera in Latin = without wax). In other words, it’s the real deal.

In our recovery program, Depressed Anonymous, we thrive by being sincere. We learn that it is when we admitted that we were powerless over depression and that our lives had become unmanageable, that we began to thrive and freed ourselves from the prison of depression.

Please come and join us in this Depressed Anonymous Fellowship. It is here where we can share our past mistakes and shortcomings – and our strengths – no more wax jobs – and find peace abd strength with folks just like ourselves.

DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS
Our website at DEPRESSEDANON.COM, will provide you with all necessary information, directing you to our online daily ZOOM meetings. We offer two meetings a day. You are always welcome!

HUGH S., for the DA Fellowship

So, I admit that I am depressed? Now what do I do?

“The first thing that I would do, would be to check out our Depressed Anonymous website @depresedanon.com. It is Here that you will be able to participate every day, with people just like yourself, who are seeking hope, and healing. This mutually supportive fellowship will lead you out of the prison of your depression and open your life up to hope, healing, and lasting friendships.

Even though we have a need to be by ourselves, and stay apart from human contact, we also have a need to be in contact with others. For to be in contact with others means that we will have to take some risks to make some choices. But when I am depressed and alone. I don’t have to make as many choices or take any action except to keep isolating myself and staying apart.”

Copyright (C) Depressed Anonymous Publications. (2002) Louisville, KY

My mind has a mind of its own

One of our family’s favorite camping areas, is a small park that provides many positive experiences for those who love the outdoors. In fact, just the name of the park, brings to mind the days of the past. The park’s name, Buffalo Trace, let us know that thousands of buffalo roamed through this area, years ago, following a beaten path, that led to the open plains of the Dakotas. Even today, there is a physical trace of the path that once saw the presence of these large and majestic animals, crossing the continent of the United States.

Just like the physical trace of those many buffalo, moving along their annual travels, our human brain also creates familiar mind paths. All living beings are creatures of habit.

For example, because of a construction detour, I was forced to take a different route home from work. Guess what happens? My mind’s GPS is confused, everything looks different. Our mental map has changed. This new route to get home, has now been turned into a labyrinth, making a familiar way to return home, now becomes a major problem.

I like to think of our mind as the executor of various tasks, mental, emotional and physical, motivating us to accomplish the need at hand. But, if the human mind, continues to bombard us with those negative thoughts telling us how worthless and hopeless we are, over time, it becomes a veritable impossibility to make a change. Our continued negative thinking, has created a pattern of thinking about ourselves, which holds no hope for change. It is like our mind has created a neurological rut, where the mind has no choice but to stay the course. That is, to stay in the rut, to stay depressed, as there is no way out.

For any of us, to even think of changing one’s mind and behavior, can in itself, be frightening. The motivation and energy needed to change is no longer available. To change our hopeless thinking has reduced us to feel like a robot, losing our autonomy and all formerly meaningful relationships. A false belief has been created in our mind that there is no way out. We begin spiraling downward into that abyss of darkness and annihilation.

What we are describing here is a metaphor for all addictions, be that of a mind altering drug or a process addiction where the mind follows a thinking pattern, which fills our mind with painful thoughts, that we are hopeless, unacceptable to ourselves and others. We are initially unaware that this negative and self-bashing addictive form of thinking and feeling, is potentially a life threatening trap. This mind of our own, which now has become our misguided fellow traveler, tells us there is no hope and that we are powerless! We take this as a truth. We now feel like the hole in the doughnut. Empty, alone, and living as a prisoner of one’s own mind.

So, our mind does have a mind of its own, and when it veers off the path of sanity, of honesty and a willingness to want to change, we discover sadly that we have been led to a place where thriving is not a personal option. The good news for us is that my mind can choose a road that provides freedom and restoration. In time, and with help, I have come to the absolute truth, that our minds do have a mind of their own. I am grateful that I have made the right choice–a choice that says, “I Came to believe that a power, (an eternal MIND) greater than ourselves, that could restore us to sanity.”

“Hope is the oxygen for the soul.”

Hugh S., for the fellowship.

Please join with us at our daily program of recovery at: depressdanon.com. You will be happy that you made the right choice!

Depression is a process addiction

Depression is a process addiction, just as alcoholism is a substance addiction.

A process addiction is when a person is addicted to a particular behavior. When we speak about one addiction, like the process addiction of depression, we can include them all. We are learning that the Twelve Step program of recovery can be used to overcome negative thinking and compulsive/addictive behavior for the person who sincerely wants to get emotionally, physically and spiritually healthy.

Our Depressed Anonymous fellowship is based on a hope that no matter how bad we feel, no matter how isolated we are, or how painful we feel, we do recover.

We discover that all our negative thinking, feeling and behaviors will no longer keep us captive, isolated and in the prison of our depression. We gradually begin to change the way we think and feel, learning how to motivate ourselves, using the Spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps, and begin to get active in our own recovery. Motivation follows action!

The main positive effect of making the Steps an integral part of our daily Lives is that people can come together and find the support of their Depressed Anonymous fellowship. They in turn will find the emotional nurturing acceptance of their group and learn the social skills that can help them gradually enter life again; with hope and a heightened spirit. Once people realize that they are not alone and that they hope that they too will feel better. The beauty of a self-help group is that a person feels acceptance from the group. No one is there to tell them to “snap out of it” or that depression is all in your mind.

Finally, we see our closed system of depression, with its negative addictive thinking, feelings of despair, coupled with those behaviors which keep us afraid and anxious, gradually are being dismantled. We discover that we have choices. We don’t have to stay isolated. Our positive thinking begins to show us a way out of a system that has had us bullied into submission. Our minds are now processing hope and possibilities for a new life of freedom.

Hugh S., for the fellowship

Summertime and the living is ………

Happy June, companions of my heart!

How joyous am I to share my DA recovery here with all of you!!  I know that Summer is a time to be a little laid-back, to take it just a little easy.  Oh I do so love losing all those layers, the hats, gloves, and all that jazzzzzz…..  Yes, Summer is my lovely season, and recovery is my day-by-day diary.

Recovery, that one-day-at-a-time recovery is like a Lady Justice, blind-folded and at the ready for every new day’s work and wonders.   And although I may be or feel “blind-folded,”  because of this Spiritual Program, the sponsors, the meetings, the Co-Sponsor Step Study groups, all the tools and the brilliant, informative, transformative readings and interchanges, I am not blind-sided.  I will repeat that:  I am not blind-sided.

For me, the crux is the Steps and sharing my recovery with all of you.  I feel/know I am not only not alone, it is not me and my Higher Power  but me, HP, and all of you:    God as You: the most sincere, authentic, heart-felt, hard-working recovering brothers and sisters ever.  With complete earnest I say that I can be glad of my depression because without it, I would never have known this remedy:  your kindness, your perception, your  care.  I would never have traded roads from in-the-dark  diminutive,  to in-the-light expansive.  I am truly blessed.  The promises are my anchor and you all are my buoy.  Thank you for this exquisite fellowship, your love, your light, your caring. I will be holding your hands in my heart until we meet again.

Doreen from Boston.

Are you driving with your brakes on?

I have been known to drive with my brakes on at times. It sure slows things down. Anyway, here is a thought from Anthony De Mallo who shares some positive thoughts on how to navigate through the tough times in our lives.

When you get rid of your fear of failure, your tension about succeeding… you can be yourself. Relax. You’ll no longer be driving with your brakes on.
Anthony De Mallo

When we are depressed, we isolate, we abandon ourselves to what others think about us, who we should be, a life that is lived as someone that we are not. If you can’t be free of what others want you to be, you’ll spend time with the brakes on, afraid to make courageous choice to change!

Depressed Anonymous, is a 12 Step fellowship where we learn how to relax, see ourselves as we really are, restored, and ready for a new adventure, as we thrive and continually prize our newly restored self.

Hugh S., for the fellowship

A special vision

We might …discover that depression has its own angel, a guiding spirit, whose job it is to carry the soul away to its remote places where it finds unique insight and enjoys a special vision.
– Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

I can relate to “A special vision” as it fits so well into my experience with depression. I realized that I could only find that unique insight and special vision, which Moore spoke about, in the remote place where prayer and meditation became the front and center of my seeking.

My guiding spirit, my angel, accompanied me as I journeyed in and out of the pit of depression. And, as my times of prayer and meditation lengthened, these provided me with a holy energy to serve others, who like myself, are seeking that remote place, where God’s vision for their lives will begin to be lived out, one day at a time.

Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step Three of Depressed Anonymous

Hugh S

Mental Health Strategies for Coping With Anxiety and Panic

The following are some of the ways that we can cope and deal positively with panic and anxiety.

  1. Remember that although your feelings and symptoms are very frightening, they are not dangerous or harmful.
  2. Understand that what you are experiencing is just an exaggeration of your normal bodily reaction to stress.
  3. Do not fight your feelings or wish them away.The more that you are willing to face them, the less intense they will become.
  4. Do not add to your panic by thinking about what “might” happen. If you find yourself asking “what if?” Tell yourself “So what.”
  5. Stay in the present. Notice what is really happening to you as opposed to what you think might happen.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Notice when you stop adding fearful thoughts to your fear, it begins to face.
  9. When th fear comes, expect and accept it . Wait and give it time to pass, without running away from it.
  10. 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.

Change always involves uncertainty

“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.