I am able to beat loneliness by repeatedly being with other people in recovery or by doing the Home Study* program with my sponsor.

A HIGHER THOUGHT FOR YOUR DAY

AFFIRMATION

“I’m sure many sufferer’s could find a lot of comfort and support by coming into a group as I’ve done, to help beat the terrible loneliness which is felt by many and who find lasting friendship with lovely people.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

In the group, I established myself and got some positive feednback from others who watched me grow and have seen the genuine changes I make personally. I am gradually throwing off my personal way with sadness. The real support comes when I begin to learn that members of the group have the same problem that I have. That helps me trust others with the story of my life. These people are the ones who want to hear my story of how depression cost me my life.  Now, my life is freeing me from my need to sad myself.

I feel more able to attach myself to the group now that I know that they are struggling with the same depression that I struggle with. I no longer have to fight this battle on my own.

MEDITATION AND BEING MINDFUL OF A HIGHER POWER

God, you are our rock and our refuge, on you I place my trust. We know and  believe, easier now than before, that God has something good in store for me today. (Personal comment).

SOURCE:  Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  April 26. Pages 84-85.

*HOME STUDY PROGRAM, is an individual approach to a STEP study  program when no  Depressed Anonymous group program is available in one’s community. The participant is helped in working the steps by utilizing the help of a sponsor. The sponsor leads the individual through all the steps using the Depressed Anonymous Manual, 3rd edition as well as coordinating this work with the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. By means of emails the sponsor and participant communicate with each other on  a regular basis.

For more information in how to set up this HOME STUDY program please click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore. Or contact us at depanon@netpenny.net for how you can be part of this individualized study.

The Home Study material  can be ordered online.

 

I have found persons who understand me and my problems.

#FOUR/ BELIEVING IS SEEING: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression.  (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
”  No longer am I alone in my depression. I can now see that it is up to me to form new friendships with others in the fellowship of the Depressed Anonymous Group. I have found persons who understand me  and my problems. I also learn coping skills and new positive behaviors from my fellow group members. ”

Below are listed some of  the advantages of belonging  to the Depressed Anonymous fellowship.

  • Receive acceptance  and support from the fellowship.
  • The fellowship of DA places no judgments  on those who join the group.
  • No longer isolated and alone.
  • No “snap out of it” comments from persons who have not experienced depression.
  • Learn how to gradually remove depression from our lives by utilizing the tools provided by the fellowship.
  • Gain new friends who actually “do know”  how we feel.
  • Learn  skills in taking full responsibility for their feelings, thoughts and behaviors.
  • Learning how to be with others in a mutual aid group while simultaneously  developing our interpersonal and social skills.
  • By being part of the group, with persons like oneself, have an overwhelming BELIEF that since they are all getting better, they tell themselves “so can I.”
  • Depression symptoms grow best in  isolation and the withdrawal from others. Healthy encounters with others like ourselves and by using the spiritual principles of the 12 steps, we begin to feel better and gain   hope for ourselves.

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Ray’s  personal testimony, #20. The Power of Depressed Anonymous  is found in DEPRESSED  ANONYMOUS, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. pgs.133-134.

           “So what is the power of Depressed Anonymous?  For me, it’s just like attending the first meeting. I was a little scared and apprehensive at first, but then I found the Depressed Anonymous meeting was a place to go where there were other depressed persons just like me. They could relate to and understand what I was going through. They didn’t judge me or think of me as crazy. I WAS ACCEPTED.

Ray tells us how “the most important power of Depressed Anonymous is hope.”

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The fellowship makes available a HOME SELF STUDY KIT comprised of the Depressed Anonymous Manual and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook.  Both of these books can be purchased together.  For those who might desire some further support for issues in their recovery  that may arise from the Self Study KIT can contact us at depanon@netpenny.net.

For many, a Depressed Anonymous  group may not be available in your community and so the reason for the Home Study Kit. Depressed persons who feel isolated and with no group available can  profit  from this Home Study and gain insights into their own depression symptoms plus learn  how to deal with them.

I refuse to run from what I feel.

AFFIRMATION

I will be in touch with my feelings throughout the day. I refuse to run from what I feel.

“The ability to experience one’s  feelings without resisting or running from them, determines  to a large degree whether a person is healthy are not.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I’m going to make a real effort today to do what I  see works for depressed persons like myself. They all say that the longer they are in the program (Depressed Anonymous) , the more feelings they are able to express and the  less the unpleasant feelings of fear dominates their life. I am finding that by  writing my feelings down, the less frightening they seem to be to me. I am now able to deal head on with my feelings.

My addiction was a way of walling off my pain. In time, I became addicted  to the pain and in doing so, I lost myself in the process. I find this experience to be a freeing  one.

My addiction was a way of walling off pain.  Now the pain is more important than what I am running away from.

What I experience in my life determines to a large extent what I predict life to become. My past experiences are predictors of a life not as yet lived. I am wanting to experience the fact that my good days are more frequent now and my bad days occurring not as often.

MEDITATION

God, the more I give up my need to be depressed the more I’m finding that I’m becoming more assertive and truly present to others in my life. I want you to help me feel my feelings and express them today. [ADD YOUR OWN PERSONAL THOUGHTS HERE]

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SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowships. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

We trust our newfound beliefs…

THE THIRD WAY TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION : AN EXCERPT

“We trust others by sharing our recent episodes of loss/sadness while at the same time sharing our hopes and strengths.  We trust our newfound positive beliefs for getting  ourselves out of the prison of depression.

Many of us won’t allow ourselves to trust anyone. We are so distrustful of ourselves that we cannot trust ourselves to feel. The painful hollowness of depression is such that we can’t allow it to be felt.  It is only among our brothers and sisters in the 12 step group that we can share our hurts and deep pain of being isolated. When we hear other members share their stories of hurt and isolation we know that we are not alone. We gradually begin to trust ourselves to touch our own nerves of pain and hurts. We trust the nurturing and accepting atmosphere of the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous to take part of our hurt and help carry us along. Every time we share a hurt from our own past we remove one more brick out of our prison wall of depression. The more we find that our trust is validated by the continual acceptance from the group, the more energy we muster up for ourselves to continue trusting our deepest thought and feelings to others. No longer do we take refuge in the numbed comfort of our isolating sadness. Now we walk upright and begin making choices on how we want to feel, think an believe.  We no longer live our lives in isolation and disconnected from others.  Now we join in the mutual  fray of battling depression with all our new friends on the broad road of healing.”

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SOURCES: Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 15-16.

Copyright(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

VISIT THE STORE for more literature on the subjects of depression and the 12 steps of recovery.

 

Service gladly rendered…

Carrying the message of hope to those still suffering from depression.

“Service gladly rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well accepted with God’s help, the knowledge that at home or in the world outside we are partners in a common effort, the fact that in God’s sight all human beings are important, the proof that love freely given brings a full return, the certainty that we are no longer isolated and alone in self constructed prisons, the surety that we can fit and belong in God’s scheme of things –these are the satisfactions of right living for which no pomp or circumstances, no heap of material possessions, could possibly substitute.” Twelve and Twelve, AA World services. Page 124.

 

Also, in The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) we read

“The part about carrying the message is so important if we are to remain out of the clutches of depression. It is important to keep in touch with the newcomers and others in the program. It is in this carrying the message that reminds us that we once needed help and it was through the unselfishness of the older members of Depressed Anonymous that got us through our depression.” Page 85.

“We soon discover in the program that no compulsion can be controlled by will power alone. It must be surrendered to the Higher Power or to the care of God of our understanding. It alone can remove in time the burden from our backs. This is the spiritual awakening that keeps us free from sadness as we take the message of healing to others in the group who are new to the program. We admit that we make no promises to anyone and that there will be no magic answer and quick solutions to their saddiction.  No, it all takes time and this is the message of the group. Such slogans as: “Take it easy,” “Keep  it simple,” and “Easy does it” are all meant to help you and me to live one day at a time and continue to try and live with serenity. When we practice these steps on a daily basis, starting our day with asking the Higher Power for guidance for the rest of the day we can then be  assured of God’s presence and help in our lives.”

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 106.

 

To thine own self first be true. Honesty is the best policy.

“If I were asked what in my opinion was the most important factor in being successful in the program besides following the Twelve Steps, I would say  honesty. And the most important person to be honest with is yourself…(Bill W., cofounder of AA )

And now back to our Depressed Anonymous Workbook where we continue to clarify our  thinking about the individual Steps and our relationship to them,. We are presently focusing on Step Eleven. (See: The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville)

   Step  Eleven  states “Sought  through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understand God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry it out.”

The following are some questions that you may like to ask yourselves as you continue walking on the path to freedom. In question 12. 9  We are asked  an answer for the following question:  How  has your honesty with yourself made your life more free and more fulfilled with hopeWrite down the areas of your life where you feel your honesty has paid the richest dividends? How has honesty made your life less needful of pleasing others so that  they will like you more?

  Your response here.

12.10 How does our own honesty help us carry the message to others still hurting?

Your response here.

Stick to the plan!

Stick to the plan!  This is especially relevant for those of us who  try and live one day at a time.  I have found that by doing the same thing everyday, and in the same place everyday, that this in itself will provide the incentive to keep doing   the next right thing.  Doing the next right thing  will be the motivating power to get moving on our own recovery.  For many of us, we have found  that we have an established plan for our recovery in the HOME STUDY PROGRAM. Without a doubt, I have found that once we have felt a strong need to move out of the isolating deadness of depression, we no longer have to wait for something to happen, be that with  a prescribed medication or a twice a month or monthly therapy visit.  What do we do in the meantime with all this pain? What do we do til the medications kick in? Everyone knows that nothing happens over night. But something can happen  when we  do the same thing over and over again, every day,  Once we commit ourselves to the belief that something good can happen, especially with a concrete plan laid out before us, then change can happen. I know. Been there done that.

The Fellowship of Depressed Anonymous has developed an excellent toolkit for those of us who want a daily plan — a way to take our recovery a step at a time. We no longer have to wait to see if something happens, either with a medication or a therapy session. Don’t get me wrong, these are all possible routes to recovery, but why not do something that works in the meantime? There is a way out and the HOME STUDY PROGRAM provides just the right tools to give us insights as to how we got where we are today, namely depressed, and then provides ongoing insights for leaving our depression behind.

The two great resources in our “toolbox” is the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition manual. This is the book written by those of us who were depressed and who wrote out our own reflections for each one of the 12 Steps. This exercise took 12 weeks of discussion by our  newly formed Depressed Anonymous group –no psychobabble here –just people like you and me sharing how the Steps had freed us from the bondage of isolation and despair.

Because not everyone was able to have a Depressed Anonymous fellowship in their community we saw a critical need for this Depressed Anonymous program of recovery to be used by any and all who were committed to leaving the prison of their depression. It was later that we developed The Depressed Anonymous Workbook that is used in conjunction with the DA Manual. So that is how the HOME STUDY kit  was developed. A person, possibly like yourself, can utilize a daily plan of action not only to help understand the nature of the depression process  but it likewise can help you answer questions about your own experiences. The two works, in combination, will enable you to clarify your own thoughts about how you got where you are today and then using the Steps to get where you want to be — depression free. Let’s be honest here, we all know that if we want to get out of the depression isolation it will take work and time.

To find out more about a program that works please visit the store and find out how to order this “toolkit” of recovery. You might also want to check our website to see if there is a group near you.

Stick to the plan! Do the next right thing. Get involved in your own recovery. You can do it. Just do it!

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

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous

Publications Louisville.

We learn to be “nice.”

” Because you are unaware of being angry does not mean that you are not angry. It is the anger you are unaware of which can do the most damage to you and to your relationships with other people, since it does not get expressed, but in inappropriate ways. Freud once likened anger to the smoke in an old fashioned wood burning stove. The normal avenue for discharge of the smoke is up the flue and out of the chimney; if the normal avenue is blocked, the smoke will leak out the stove in unintended ways…around the door, through the grate, etc., choking everyone in the room. If all avenues of escape are blocked, the fire goes out and the stove ceases to function. Likewise, the normal human expression of anger is gross physical movement and /or loud vocalization; watch a red-faced hungry infant sometime. We learn to “be nice,” which  means  (among other things) hiding “bad” feelings. By adulthood, even verbal expression is curtailed, since a civilized person is expected to be “civil.” Thus, expression is stifled, and to protect ourselves from the unbearable burden of continually unexpressed “bad” feelings, we go to the next step and convince ourselves that we are not angry, even when we are.  Such deception is seldom completely successful and the blocked anger “leaks out” in inappropriate ways…”

Source: The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2001) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 33.

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Some of my own feelings about anger have to do when anger is stifled or swallowed. I do know that a result of stifling my anger is the build up of resentments. If we want to really deal with our anger then we must be willing to express our feelings,  even though they might make us feel very uncomfortable. All I am saying is that  NOT to express feelings and stifle them will create more emotional pain and more damage for our lives. So, to my mind, the best way to get the anger out is to get oneself to a Depressed Anonymous meeting where we can get the help we need  and share those feelings that cause us so much grief.

Re-membering.

Thoughts from the Depressed Anonymous Workbook

The healing comes in the telling of the story, the literally painful ‘re-membering.’  As the story is retold and some of the old feelings which were denied and cut off are gradually remembered  and received by a supportive and empathic listener, healing starts to happen. The re-membering of the story, particularly if the trauma has been severe and deeply repressed, can be extremely painful, accompanied in some instances by sleep disturbances, nightmares, anxiety or depression. It is critical to let the individual loosen his or her defense of repression at a pace which feels safe, especially as trust is gradually developed.

What are some of the losses of the adult child? He or she has lost childhood in some real ways. Very often the growing up in a dysfunctional family means loss of trust and love in some cases and even loss of provision for basic survival needs such as food, shelter and physical safety… Sometimes this chronic depression is masked and defended against by compulsive activity and perfectionist kinds of striving. Becoming “tireless” and “limitless caretakers of others defends a person against his or her own neediness and yearning to be cared for.” (See: Adult children of alcoholics. Ministers and Ministries. Rea McDonnell and Richard Callahan,CSC.)

Regarding Self-concept and the Fourth Step  (  “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” )

Most of our lives we are involved in relationships of one kind or another. It is these relationships that set us up for being the trusted individual who sees the world either as a safe and secure place to live or we learn to see the world and the people in it as a place to be feared.

Dorothy  Rowe, always at her best at helping the depressed develop personal insights asks pertinent questions:

What kind of meaning do you need to find which would enable you to master your experience and to allow you to get on with your life?

What have you learned from your experience of depression which you feel would be helpful to other people?

Are you aware that your own program of recovery using the Steps can be a great source of help to that person who comes into the Depressed Anonymous Program of recovery.

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

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

People have the seeds of their own revival within them…

” What I learned from my  own depression  and recovery and try to practice when working with clients is that people  have the seeds of their own revival within them.  I want to ask the right questions so that people can hear what they say, recognize what  changes they want to make, and how they can choose to make them. Specific time limits are set, and I prefer to focus initially on people making changes  in their behavior, rather than mood.  I explain that although the depressed mood colors the whole world, it has not been shown to be  causally   related to improvement, where  as  behavior has.

When clients know that there are specific and tangible things they can do, they often begin to experience an immediate uprising. A specific time limit is often  motivating.  People begin to see themselves making positive changes in their behavior, and can begin to change attitudes about themselves.  They begin to see themselves controlling aspects of their environment, and as this happens, helplessness and hopelessness begin to dissipate and self-esteem levels rise  proportionally. People see themselves to be improving as a result of their own efforts.  Nothing can be more rewarding to a depressed person.

SOURCE: Wounded Healers. Pgs. 86-87.

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I think what the author states here   is so true.  Once a person depressed begins to see themselves making  some positive changes in themselves,  their own sense of helplessness and hopelessness is  diminished.  I see this all the time when those persons who continue to return to the mutual aid group Depressed Anonymous  week after week. They are given a “toolbox” by which they choose various areas of their life to work on. They have a Depressed Anonymous Workbook, with a Step by Step format that can open up answers to questions that they have about their own sense of personhood and their depression experience. They also have a member of the fellowship to walk with them week after week between meetings, sometimes called a sponsor or coach. And with help from the program persons depressed now have courage to begin this journey of hope. Our program of recovery can and does increase one’s sense of empowerment.