Category Archives: Supportive Actions

It takes many threads to make a beautiful tapestry

We don’t accomplish anything in this life alone…and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weaving of individual threads from one to another that create something.

– Sandra Day O’connor

Our mutual aid group, Depressed Anonymous creates beautiful, hopeful and serene members.

“Do not ask what the world needs.”

“Do not ask for what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and do it. For what the world needs is people who are fully alive.”
Howard Thurman

This thought got me thinking. I have asked myself the very question many times over. I always had an answer to the question. For many years, the same answer continued to take me down the same path. It was a gentle path. It was like going to work in the morning. You know, getting on the bus, or driving the car to the same place every day. There it was the same faces, the same tasks. After a days work it was back home again. End of story.
It was a good life. I felt alive doing what needed to be done. And yes, I think I was fully alive. But then at a certain point(I can still feel it) life started to spin out of control. If you have had this experience you definitely know what I am talking about.

Long story short. My life was falling apart. I started isolating from friends and family. All I needed was to get away from the world and try figuring out what ws happening to me. I did not need a world that looked so gray, forbidding and threatening.
I only wanted to live in a world of which I could control. Now, I was moving slowly in a world that gave me no promise of direction. I was a walking zombie.

Then gradually, a light went on in my dull and darkened spirit. I discovered a new and exciting path. It was a new world for me. I was no longer alone. It was my gradual awakening to a new reality. I was no longer alone. I was part of others who are on the same journey. It was a journey of hope. I had a direction. It is called recovery.
My depression was gone. The fog had lifted. I came alive with the help of the group. It is better called a fellowship.I am needed. My experiences of recovering from depression is needed. I am called to give hope. My life’s ultimate concern, my purpose is to walk with others just like myself–once wounded –now wounded healers. I am fully alive.

I believe that the world truly needs me–needs you. What once made me think I was worthless and useless, now I am alive. Depressed Anonymous helped me come alive. Now I have no doubt what makes me fully alive. It’s those others, just like me at a time in my own life, who said, we need you. We need you to help others become fully alive. Now we know what the world needs.

With a gratitude that I am alive.

Hugh, for the fellowship

Do you have a daily strategy for living? Kobe Bryant used the Chess board for his basketball prowess.

I was surprised to learn that the former LA Laker’s (NBA) great was a chess player. I wondered why that would be and then, being a chess player myself, I figured it out. Chess players become strategists by learning the best moves with their chess pieces to “check mate” and close down their opponent. Think about it. If you happen to be a chess player, you know all about strategy, or how a lack of strategy can give the game to your adversary. In chess, our pieces move according to moves predicated on the moves of one’s opponent. Sometimes one has to plan moves ahead to see what measures have to be taken to out maneuver the other player. Chess players have to have a strategy.

Two weeks ago, my grandson and I had a game, we had not played in a few years, and he always beat me in a few moves. (I always opened my game with wrong pieces). This time I opened with a new move and he was surprised. He had thought that he could beat his Papa in a few moves. Problem here is that I learned a new strategy and he was not prepared for my new strategy. Even so he won the game. I was still happy with myself that I put up some good moves myself and lasted longer in the competition.

In my duel with depression I gradually learned a strategy for my own life. I learned to to DO something. My first strategic move was to move my body and found that my mind would follow. Once I moved my body my motivation was strengthened and my thinking became more focused.

My own strategy was strengthened by using the 12 spiritual principles of our Depressed Anonymous program. At the core was my ultimate belief that I was going to recover, come hell or high water. An essential part of my strategy for regaining my life was to get out of bed in the morning and force myself. Move, call a friend. Go to a DA meeting.

For me, my best strategic move that check-mated my opponent, that is the isolation of depression, with its mistaken belief that there was no hope, was to join our fellowship, Depressed Anonymous. Because of the pandemic we have a daily SKYPE program online: Depressed Anonymous, a journey of hope. We are a group of people, who have found a strategy that works in so many great ways. It is to be with good people who are depressed and who now are able to work their way out of depression. We are not alone. We have a program of hope and we have each other. We remain anonymous (only first names are used if desired) and everyone has a chance to speak their mind. No one will tell you to “snap out of it” or “it’s just in your head.”

Another strategy is to read our literature – filled with strategies for any of us, on how to gain freedom from our isolating symptoms of depression –

Here is our strategy. Please click onto the website here at www.depresedanon.com. Go to Depressed Anonymous Homepage. There on the menu – last line, you will find menu references to our BLOGS, HOME and a MEETINGS MENU item that tells you where to find our meetings and how to get there. Please click onto the link at this pace and that will take you to our daily Depressed Anonymous meeting: A journey of hope. Here you can join our Online SKYPE group. Join.Skype.COM. Meetings are daily at 11:30 AM CST and 12:30PM EST. Please know that 10 minutes before the meeting starts you will get a green message button on your screen indicating “Join call.”
Click onto that and you are into the meeting.

Welcome. You will have used a strategy that will give you hope and a host of friends. Don’t let depression “check-mate” you.

Hugh, for the for the fellowship

I need to get prepared for a new me today!

I am getting healthier the more I realize that I don’t have to feel the way that I feel. I have the option to feel content and even smile today if I so desire. I will act like I want to smile again even though I don’t feel like smiling.

“If you have made yourself a martyr to your unappreciative family, remember the principle of partial reinforcement and apply it to your family. If you are always at their beck and call trying to meet their every demand, they will not appreciate you, but once they see that they cannot rely on you to to meet their demands, they will appreciate what you do for them.” (Breaking the Bonds, D. Rowe.Fontana, 1991).

REFLECTION
i Know that so often those who are codependent and live all the time in everyone else’s feelings need to remember that the real maturity and happiness lies in being there for me — not for everyone else. I think that reflection points out the fact that I need to reinforce my own worth by going to DA meetings, actively getting involved with my own recovery over anything and everyone else. I am going to begin to be a pleasant person. I will want to learn how to be pleasant to myself.
Now is the time and this is the program where I start to detach from other people’s opinion of myself and start to reflect where I start to detach from those people’s opinions of myself and start to reflect on my own opinion of myself. When I am depressed, I know that I haven’t been able to get angry, not to forgive anyone, much less forgive myself. I feel cheerless. I meet my own demands and continue to work the steps so as to get in touch with what I need to do to reinforce those positive concepts that I am forming about myself. I need to get prepared for a new me today.
“We are now on a different basis: the basis of trusting and relying upon God, our Higher Power. We trust an infinite God rather than our finite selves. Just to the extent that we do as we think he would have us do, and humbly rely on him, does he enable us to match calamity with serenity.” (As Bill sees it.p.265).

MEDITATION
When we gradually work our way to the real self we get closer to the God who made us.

RESOURCE
Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Hugh Smith. Pages 14-15.

A light at the end of the tunnel

Now that I have admitted that I am powerless over my depression and that I don’t do myself any good blaming myself with those daily reminders of how bad and unacceptable I am. I now an conscious.

  1. CONSCIOUSNESS. I am conscious of my need to discover what there is about myself that I do not find acceptable, good and wholesome.
  2. PREPARATION. I am aware how I have depressed myself by the faulty beliefs that I have held about myself over past years. I now know that part of the way I feel is due to the way I automatically talk to myself through out the day. I now realize that my feelings about myself are very negative and emotion laden.
  3. ACTION. i intend today to replace all negative statements that I make about myself, like waving a red flag before my eyes every time I call myself “stupid” or put myself down mentally. I will use affirmations such as the following: ‘I will build a new life for myself. I am strong today. I have the courage to go through the experience. I will no longer blame myself or others for my depression. I do not have to wait for someone to make me feel better, as I can do this myself if I choose to do so.’
  4. SUSTAIN. I am very hopeful that I can feel better just for today. I am going to tolerate my imperfections while at the same time refusing to feel sorry for myself. I am going to make myself accountable for how I feel, not blame it on someone or others.

RESOURCES
Copyright(C) Believing is seeing: 15 Ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Pages 54-55.
Copyright(C) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY 40241.
Copyright (C) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook.(2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.
Copyright (C) Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION. (2011). DAP. Louisville, KY 40241.
Copyright(C) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2013) SECOND EDITION. DAP. Louisville, KY. 40241.

NOTE
These publications can be ordered online at www.depressedanon.com. These books can be purchased together or individually. The DA Workbook and the DA Manual, THIRD EDITION, are available as Ebooks and are downloadable. If you order with the intent of setting up a Depressed Anonymous support group, having all five publications will be a source of support library for the fellowship.

Depressed? Looking for a stable and secure environment?

Depressed and feeling alone? This is what many of us have felt when a combination of the many symptoms of depression shackled us physically and put our mind in park.

Some of us felt that there must be a way out of the pain of depression, but as yet were unable to find what might help us. But this feeling changed once I came into the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous, our 12 Step program of recovery. When I was asked if I would like to share with others my own path of recovery I heartily agreed. Here is my story.

I am sharing my story here to give others a chance to read what happens when we land in this circle of friendship with its healing acceptance and support.
After ten years of repeated meetings with the depressed of Depressed Anonymous meetings, it’s clear that that the meetings create a secure base for those who in their childhood had neither kindness nor the life giving warmth and affection of a loving family.
People who keep coming back to Depressed Anonymous continue to grow and become aware of the inner change taking place, week after week, as they find not only attention to their story, but find that they are loved and and cared for at the same time. Possibly for the first time they find that they look forward to each weekly meeting and become attached to the positive feelings that emerge inside themselves as they continue to share the story of their pain. In time they share how their week is suddenly being filled with more good days than bad. It also becomes obvious to the participant that childhood behavior and experiences are carried right on into adult life. Trusting is such a hazard for the depressed, because every person is different. You can’t trust your environment because it could suddenly shift and you would be without a certainty that you were bad and worthless. The meetings gradually present to you an opportunity to be someone worthwhile and valued. Your sharing and risking information about yourself begins the construction of a new and secure you. The DA group becomes for the first time in your life a very secure and stable environment where you can share, trust and grow.
–Anonymous

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Page 162-163. (Personal stories: #25. Depressed Anonymous provides a secure (love and acceptance) base for those who never experienced love nor support growing up.


To read more stories of inspiration (Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Please click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at www.depressedanon.com. Literature can be ordered online. Ebooks are also available.

I’m depressed! Where do I go from here?

“Now that I have admitted I am having a difficult time living I want to learn some new avenues that will make my life more enjoyable and much more livable.” Depressed Anonymous Workbook, Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. 2002.
Are the sad feelings of depression causing your life to be lived inside the prison of hopelessness? Have your moods deepened to the extent that you are no longer able to function. By that I mean are you unable to do even the basic things like talking to family or friends, holding onto a job, getting out of bed in the morning, or just to concentrate on any single thought for any length of time. Some of us are unable to sleep when we are depressed. Some of us gain weight because of inactivity and fatty comfort foods. If you say yes to any of the above life changers then you could possibly be suffering from the symptoms of depression.

I know now that at the point that I think my life is at its lowest point…that is when this program of recovery came into my life. I believe with the Psalmist who once stated that we need to commit ourselves to God, trust in him, and that the God of my understanding will act in my behalf.

When we learn to let go+ of those persons, mental images, painful past personal situations and memories the better I am able to let God control my life. I find this letting go a fearsome project but nevertheless I find that I must do it if I want to find hope once again.

“Some of the major ways people help buiild the walls of derpession are to consider themselves worthless, won’t allow themselves to get angry, they can’t forgive themselves or others, and they beleive that life is hard and death is worse. Also, they beleive that since bad things happened to them in the past bad things are bound ti happen to them in the future.”
Depressed Anonymous, Third Edition, Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisvile. KY. 2011. Page 28-38.

And so to answer my question, where do I go from here? I personally suggest that you find a Depressed Anonymous meeting and be part of the conversation. But now with the covid-19 surrounding us, most face to face meetings have paused for safety reasons.

We are now very fortunate to have an online International Depressed Anonymous Skype meeting every day. It is live at 11:30AM CST and at 12:30PM EST. The Depressed Anonymous meeting originates from the USA, and can be accessed by anyone with the Internet.

For more information please go to www.depressedanon.com, click onto Depressed Anonymous HOMEPAGE drop down menu at MEETINGS and it is there you wil find a link to the meeting live.

If there are other questions please contact Depanon@Hotmail.com

For more information about Literature on Depression and the 12 Steps please click onto THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE for online ordering.

The DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS Third Edition is available as well as the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK. Both these can be downloaded as Ebooks from our website.

I Wanted To Get Well

The following is part of the written testimony of Helen who found a solution to her life problems.

The title of her story is: ‘I have to take responsibility for my own life.’ You can read her whole story, one of many personal stories of recovery from depression in Depressed Anonymous, Third Edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.Ky. Pages 145-148.

Helen knew that she needed help after two yeas of sleepless nights. She knew that someone had to help her. She tells us that she found a card at the back of a phone book which read “Depressed Center”. It had a phone number and that was all. I talked to the man on the other end of the phone. She made an appointment with the man and made herself go see him. “I thank God that I did. I thank God that I went for help. She tells us that it was a new beginning for her. I wanted to get well so badly. I do think that people do want to change. I went in with the attitude that I have to get well. I heard things about counselors that scared me, but this was just all the old negative feelings that caught up with me and boxed me in. I got better and started to think differently. I started to get rid of some of my negative thinking. I began to feel better and continued to see my counselor. I started in Depressed Anonymous a few weeks later.”

I remember Helen very well, as her story is so much like so many of our own stories. She was very sure that by her wanting to get well she was willing to do all it took for her to get well. She had to eliminate her negative thinking and by doing so she began to feel better.

I highly recommend that you read this story as it is an inspiration. Helen illustrates a way out of depression that really works. Her life is a living example of what you do and what you believe is the key to recovery. She shows us that you first have to take the key, put it into the door and turn the key. When you you accomplish this feat, you are on your way! You will recover!


For those of you who want to turn the key in your own life, please check out the HOME STUDY KIT at depressedanon.com website and get started on your own recovery. You can also join a Depressed Anonymous online Skype meeting. Check out Meetings at the DA Homepage menu section for the link that will take you to these meetings. The books which are needed for your recovery can be downloaded as eBOOKS from our online bookstore.

Hugh, for the fellowship

There is hope…and we do recover! Join online Skype meeting today!

Start off the new year 2021 by attending a live 12 Step Depressed Anonymous meeting today. Meetings are everyday–11:30 AM CST and 12:30PM EST.
Discover recovery right here on your device and be part of a network of hope.
Hope to meet you at a meeting today.
Click onto www.depressedanon.com at homepage & go to Menu item MEETINGS – the drop down menu will lead you to the link and online meeting time and place.

You are not alone. Welcome

Hugh for the fellowship.

Connect, Connect, Connect

The message is clear: Get connected!

Of the many discussions that center on the subject of depression, there appears to be a paucity of references to depression and its relationship to society.

“No man is an island”, says the poet John Donne. We live in a society where we find ourselves saturated with every form of electronic communication systems and are able to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world. In a certain paradoxical way we are at the same time appearing to be moving toward greater isolation and human disconnection (the present pandemic has made the situation 100 times worse).The paradox of our times is that the more we are able to communicate with each other, it seems the more isolated we have become from each other. The number of people depressed is of epidemic proportions and how can this be, we may ask, as there are now so many of us who are connected via the Internet, email, and social online groups as well as other sophisticated forms of communications.

This brings me to the point of the essay, namely, that if our world needs anything, it needs a world where people can get connected, network, form real communities where people know us and truly care about us. We all want a real live community – a face to face community where we can share, we can cry and we can laugh and where we can actually touch each other. Even though these modern ways of communicating are tremendous helps in moving past our isolation and into the real world they cannot end there.

A prisoner once mentioned that he considered depression not as a chemical imbalance but rather more of a “living imbalance.”
Resource

Personal Comment:
This essay was written in 2013 and as it was true then it is true now, in spades. Ironically, the present pandemic (Covid-19) has isolated us in so many ways and from so many family and friends (to include greater than 250,000 deaths in the USA) we all are using electronic means to keep alive and in touch with our 12 Step fellowship groups as well as family and friends.

This pandemic is wreaking havoc on every member of our societies, here and worldwide. This out of control virus is also wreaking its deadly grip upon those in our communities who are already burdened with their own mental health issues. Most of us need someone to share how bad we feel and how blue this ongoing isolation has deepened a hopeless mood in ourselves and others.

But there is hope – and we will recover. This is going to be my mantra as I try and live each day at a time. I only have 24 hrs and I will try and keep my hope alive in the present. My prayer is that you do the same.

Hugh

Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better.(2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications.Louisville, KY. pgs.62-63.