As a child did you get a message that if you were good and did everything that you were supposed to do that you would end up happy and everything would go your way? Write out your response.

If you were using the material from the Home Study Program of Recovery you would be continuing the process of answering questions that pertains to your own experiences with depression.

This  is the first of a total of 25 questions dealing with your  own  life situations and your depression. These Q&A items all contain reflections from the Depressed Manual  where you can refer for a deeper meaning of question #1 and an expansion of the item’s message. 

Each of the 12 Steps are constructed in the same way in the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Each Step has questions and asks for the participant’s responses. These responses are normally written out in another tablet for ongoing review.

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, for the Step Five section lists the Step: “Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” This is followed by a short paragraph which states a problem that many of us struggle with in our daily lives.

“So many times it is our perfectionism that makes life so difficult and we never seem able to meet the challenge of our own unrealistic goals and ambitions. We never can do it well enough.”  Following this paragraph is a parentheses with a page  number  (68) pointing to a paragraph  in the Manual which speaks to a   depressed person who is  dealing with perfectionism.

Here is the reference about perfectionism  from the Depressed Anonymous Manual on page 68.

“So many times, it is our perfectionism that makes life so difficult and we never seem able to meet the challenge of our own unrealistic goals and ambitions. We never can do it quite well enough. We need to be able to trust that we can make mistakes. In my past, it was not permissible to do that. It is this continual search for ways to be perfect that drives us back to sadness and the misery of our addiction to sadness. We believe that we will never have a respite from the pain of our lonliness, and that the hell of our existence can only be relieved by numbing our sensitive feelings.

We do this by withdrawing from others. We often need to admit to God and others that we love to play the martyr role and have others tell us what a “saint” we are for all the awful things that we have to put up with for so many years. This is what we want to hear. At least someone knows the hell we’ve been through. As a martyr we are wanting to be rewarded for our goodness. Once we gve up this idea we know not only in our head but also in our heart, that this totally accepting Higher Power to whom we surrender, is always ready to accept us as we are – not as we think we should be.” Depressed Anonymous Manual. (68)



I am committed  to replacing every negative thought about myself with a positive and recreating thought.”


I always wondered how can I possibly bring peace to others when I feel so low and down in the mouth? It is my wish to help others who are still suffering and living without the  hope for ever feeling better. It is by doing what I have to do everyday plus living today for all it’s worth, that I will be able to stay in the now and try to change my moods as they start their usual spiraling downward  I believe that ‘Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of the Steps we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs. Thus, I can help others.

Happiness is a side product of my letting go of  myself and thinking of some larger effort or goal in my life. It is in setting a goal to work on myself just for today so that I can get in contact with my Higher Power, or the God of my understanding.

We ask God to point out to us where our areas of self-will lie so that we can start to work on these areas. They can and do block us from using all of our talents in the furthering  of our goal to reach out to those others still suffering from depression.


Today is my day to live out what I believe and to continue to  use my daily Higher Thoughts for Down Days to not only recreate hope in myself but in the lives of others.
(C) Higher Thoughts for down days

“Humbly asked God to remove my shortcomings.” Step Seven of Depressed Anonymous

In our program of recovery, looking at our lives and making an inventory of our good points and our shortcomings is a process of staying healthy, mentally, physically, emotionally  and spiritually. 

One of my shortcomings is putting things off that needed to be dealt with at  a time a correction needed to be made. It’s like the sailor who realizes the direction he is taking now, will put him off course unless he makes a navigational correction.  The ramifications of waiting for a better time, a more convenient time, all can end up with disastrous consequences. Let me explain what I mean.

Years ago, I had my first experience with depression. It was a most painful experience.  You all know what I am speaking about.  I didn’t understand what  was happening to me as my mind turned to cotton, energy level  was zero  and  I was unable to get out of bed.  I didn’t have a clue what I had. I couldn’t even give it a label. In this situation there was no blinking light telling me of an impending problem. There was no warning. 

My point here, briefly, is that if I had taken care of some of my personal problems, shortcomings, some from my childhood and some from my earlier adult days,  I might have prevented my life from going off the tracks.

 Not too long ago my car engine light started blinking. My engine was out of oil.  I called for help. The main motivation for my seeking help is noticing  the red light on my instrument panel blinking on and off.    If  I didn’t add oil NOW I will  have a cracked engine block. I turned off the road, bought a few quarts of oil.  I  added oil,  contacted a mechanic and got the car in the shop.  That took care of the problem-at least for now.  Now I check the oil level in my engine every time I fill up with gas.

That brings me to my taking stock, an inventory as the Steps suggest that we do. . I began to look at the emotional life that I was leading, filled with shame  and a hopelessness and dread that would not go away. I needed  to get off the road  and call for help. I knew that if I didn’t get help my life was going to continue to spiral downward–into what darkness and depths I was afraid to imagine. I was isolated and helpless.

Later I founded a group called Depressed Anonymous .  It is a beacon of hope  for   me and  an  oasis of hope. It continually  gives me a workable plan for survival. No longer did I stay a victim, but by my  using the 12 Steps I discovered that my depression didn’t just come out of the blue but instead that my own shortcomings  and denial of the seriousness of my problems  were the problems.


Even though we have used a metaphor here, running out of oil and depression, there is so much truth that we can take from this comparison.

I now have a solution for these shorrtcomings that used to keep me off the recovery path. Now I have the guidance and the hope of the Steps.  I have been shown how taking charge of my life, being responsible for the way I feel and behave at the same time  staying connected with members of the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship.  God has answerd my prayers. Members of the  group have supported  me on the right course.  And by my daily reading of Depressed Anonymous literature and the meetings I attend weekly,  I have a present life filled with hope…and peace.

If there is a flashing light in your life, know that there are persons out there who will get you back on the road. That is a Promise.

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

Ruminating about ruminating is like a dog chasing its tail.

How can I “fix” my incessant need to ruminate? How can I   get out of this vicious cycle and put my mind on a  different track. This is a small matter when you are changing the track on you CD player. You just click onto the next track and start playing. Not so easy with the human mind and the compulsive nature of ruminating.

Clinicians now have certain practical remedies for their patients who ruminate obsessively  about a life situation. Their mind gets stuck on a single thought, idea or even a past life event. They go round and round without ever reaching a conclusion pro or con about the situation that they are cycling about. It’s much like the  definition of “worry” which compares it to sitting in a  rockling chair –you’re moving but you aren’t going anywhere.

Many times feeling guilty and ruminating round and round  about one’s guilty action, thought or behavior  has the same effect without ever resolving it in one way or the other. Just thinking about a problem without  taking action on changing it, goes nowhere.  The one thing that ruminating can do is to gradually help dig your depression hole deeper.

In my own case, this whole process of ruminating on a particular life issue, gradually spiraled me downward into a hole where I was unable to dig myself out.  I was in this hole for more than a year and it was only until I made a decision to motivate myself  into action did I begin  to see daylight. From that one experience of meeting depression face to face did I learn a great lesson, namely that if I wanted to quit chasing  my thoughts which led me to nowhere, then I must stop the chasing. Simple. Stop the chase. 

Well, I might have learned that to begin to replace the chase with hopeful thoughts, hopeful people and people who knew a great way to leave the chase. The whole idea was to chase after ways  to break up the chain of despairing thoughts and my own inaction.  First of all, I had to protect myself from being vulnerable to every catastrophic thought that flew  randomly  into my head, I had to move out of my isolation and get with a support group who all, as one were spiraling upward and on past their hole digging and into the light of day.

If you stay alone, you will feel alone. And if you feel alone you will hop into that old familiar rocking chair and continue to rock  yourself into nowhere. I know. Been there. Done that!

Chase with hope. Chase and start to spiral upwards  thinking hopeful outcomes for your own life. Listen to the members of the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship and learn new ways, new ideas, and have the new found beliefs that make your life filled with possibilities you never dreamed of.

And when my feelings turn downward, that is my clue,  for me to call a friend in the Fellowship, get back to my daily routine of exercise and prayerful meditation, and most importantly get to a meeting.  In this crazy depressed world of ours, here is a place where sanity, serenity and hope can be found. Trust me.


Read the book that is  giving hope to those who reach out for that one of a kind book Depressed Anonymous that will not only inspire you but provide you with a daily plan on ways to make your life so much better. And if you need a hopeful thought   on a daily basis  read   (c) Higher Thoughts for Down  Days.  Both  are available online.

I want to change!


“When I keep my focus on the solution and not on the problem, my attitude seems to lighten up! “Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.”

This expression is one of the many Promises made to those of us who want to follow and live out the 12 Steps of Recovery in our daily lives. By doing so we are able to change the  way we think, feel and act everyday of our lives. How is this possible you might ask? Well, for starters, you are given a dynamic action plan for  your guide all the time, 24/7. That in itself is something that I had been looking for when I found myself locked down, in a corner, emotionally,  spiritually  and  psychologically.  I was in a hole and I knew I had to stop digging.

“My depression was my constant companion. There was no change. It was like a shadow that went anywhere and everywhere I went.  It was then that  I decided that I’d rather have security and hope as my daily companions. I’ve decided that I can choose between being depressed and being serene. Misery is an option. I know that since I have been in denial about my depression continually weighing me down for years, I am making a decision that  I believe my faith in my abilities can cause me to feel differently about myself. My new life is trying to live without depression. The more I succumb to wanting to isolate myself and hunker down with my depression, the sicker I get.  I know that I will find a new beginning by ridding myself of any fear that is oppressing me now, today. The only thing that can make me insecure is to slip back into that awful feeling of sadness and with the  belief that I will never feel better. Now I also  feel secure  being back in contact with God, as I understand God, my Higher Power. My new faith in my Higher Power makes me fearless.”

A solution for me is to be part of a fellowship of men and women who are looking to have that same    hope as did  I   more than 30 years ago. The solution came to me in  a prepackaged format, Depressed Anonymous, a book which outlined how to live this new life, while simultaneously putting me on a  path of hope.    Not only have I stayed on this path these many years but I have given to others how they can have the same experiences as I have.

I continue to share my gift with you, which  is the “gift of my depression experience. Without this experience,  my life would never have turned into the powerful reality  that it is today.  In fact, I am doing right now what I have been doing most of my adult life–sharing with  hurting depressed people how there is hope and serenity.

The biggest gift is to know there are many Depressed Anonymous groups around the world who are willing to share with  you their own stories of  being set free from the chains of depression.  We are a community of hope. Will you join us?

Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.

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


+ Please go to Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore to discover helpful and inspirational books which may be ordered online.

I will go to any lengths to learn the various ways…

“Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over depression.”

I will go to any length to learn the various  ways to escape from my addiction to sadness.”


I believe that I am well equipped to do all in my power to free myself from sadness. In fact, I know that  the more I begin to really feel and not run away from my sadness or my anxiety, that my self-esteem begins to rise and I begin to feel better and more hopeful.  I am noticing that the more faithfully that  I follow my program, the more my days are getting better and filled with hope.  My bad days are diminishing. I am having more good days than bad days. I am doing all in my power, today,  to take all the avenues open to me for my own recovery. (See Tools for Recovery/Main Menu))

My victory over depression is not an end in itself. I am beginning to believe that I am no longer a slave of this interminable feeling of hopelessness. The more I feel I have mastery over the feelings of hopelessness the more I have hope.


God of our understanding help us to discover all the ways that we can be a suitable instrument for helping our fellow sufferers of depression begin to feel better.

COPYRIGHT  (C) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for members of 12 Step Fellowship groups.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. July 6th.

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

Don’t Let Life Get You Down.

+ People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

+ If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

+If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.  Succeed anyway.

+ If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.. Be honest and frank anyway.

+What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.

+If you find serenity, and happiness, there may be jealousy. Be happy anyway.

+The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Be happy anyway.

+Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give the world the best you’ve  got anyway.

+You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Copyright (c) Mother Teresa


That Vital Spiritual experience helps us become conscious of God’s light within each of us.

” If we have worked the Twelve Steps on a daily basis, I do believe we   now realize the value of surrender and the power that releases in us. Just by making a decision at Step Three “to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand God” is the beginning of reconnection with life and with our selves. Now, we are conscious how our own isolation paradoxically  isolated family, friends, loved ones from us.  The more our friends tried to help us the more we went deeper into the darkness. Our darkness and their inability to comfort us in turn pushed them deeper into their own feelings of helplessness and isolation. Many times the desire to help the depressed pushes the helper deeper into the isolation of the depressed –mirroring the reality of the depressed person.”



(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. (Appendix B: The Vital Spiritual experience.).

(c) The Dep-Anon Family Guide (2000). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY.   ( This important work will soon be reprinted and published at the end of 2019.)

Running out of gas?



Running out of gas  is a scary proposition, especially when you know  the   nearest town and gas station  is fifty miles away. Your  mind starts cranking up some o f the most dire scenarios  one can  imagine .   Running out of gas has not been a problem for me in recent years.  I have learned that it’s best to keep an eye on one’s  gas gauge.  That usually takes care of any problems of being stranded on the highway.

For me, being depressed is like running out of gas.  Even though I was   going about my life as usual, I began noticing my energy level (physical gauge) was reading close to empty. This didn’t cause much concern at first and I kept plodding along. I didn’t give the thoughts too much attention.

Suddenly, yes,  it was suddenly  like some huge hand reached into my head, turned the mental ignition switch off, with my life  spiraling down into  a bottomless pit. I was out of gas, emotionally, spiritually and motivationally  paralyzed.  My battery was dead and my tank was empty. What to do?


” The important thing to remember about depression is that you are not a victim. You have bought into the belief that you can’t change how you feel. You need to believe that once you change the way you think then that in itself can begin to produce a change in the way you feel.”

It’s been more than 30 years since I spiraled into the bottomless pit.   I continue to live, one day at a time,  with the strength that daily replenishes me with hope and confidence. That strength I call my Higher Power, or my God as I understand God. (Step Two).

My battery is charged by those others in the Fellowship of Depressed Anonymous who as  my companions on this broad highway of recovery, who speak the language of hope.  Each time that I read and reflect on the thoughts in the big book of Depressed Anonymous (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition) and stay in touch with a weekly meeting and my sponsor, I find my strength and resolve renewed.

If you are visiting this website for the first time or the hundredth time,  know and believe that you too  CAN  rise up and resist all  those hopeless and helpless thoughts  trying  to crowd out these new feelings of hope and resolve.


(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (1998, 2008, 2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.

(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2001)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

For more information about ordering material online please click onto VISIT THE STORE at THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE.



Magic wands and silver bullets are not available here.


“…seeing and talking to other people are amongst the most helpful experiences for depressed people generally.”


What a novel thought: a  depressed person talking  to another depressed person.    When I tell people I am going to a Depressed Anonymous meeting their first response is   “Isn’t that depressing?” “Actually,”  I respond, “it isn’t.”  I know from my    experiences in other 12 Step groups how sharing with persons who have the same problems as  my own,   is always helpful and therapeutic.

“It takes one to know one”  as the saying goes. The reason that meetings with the depressed are not depressing is that all of us speak the same language. All of us come with a  HOPE that they  can find a way out of the  isolation and pain. The depressed person  is discovering  meetings which are hopeful and solution focused. No “poor me” attitudes here.  No ” pity party”   going on here.

I find the meetings upbeat and focus on the solution. The solutions are found in the 12 Steps;  spiritual principles presenting a Step by Step plan  for recovery and freedom from sadness and isolation. At the core of these meetings is a belief in a power greater than ourselves, who is restoring us to sanity. This power, for some, is the group meeting and while for others it is a being  called  God, the God of our understanding.

How Depressed Anonymous Works.

At each Depressed Anonymous meeting the following message  is read to the group  by a volunteer:

“You are about to witness the miracle of the group. You are joining a group of people who are on a journey of hope and who mutually care for each other.  You will hear how hope, light and energy have been regained by those who were hopeless and in a black hole and tired of living.

By our involvement in the group, we are feeling that there is hope – there is a chance for me too. I can get better. But we are not the people with the magic pills and the easy formulas for success. We believe that to get out of the prison  of depression takes time and work.

We all  have been wounded in different degrees by the experience of depression. We also know that there is a method to regain control over our lives that is practical and workable.  It is successful for all those who want to change their lives. Some of us believed that there was no hope and that suicide was the only way out.

In this natural world, one of the first laws is that all growth is gradual – that belief is the bottom line for all of us who are depressed and who want to get better. The more we attend meetings, the more we will learn and see the various ways to escape from depression. We also learn  how important it is not to give up on ourselves.”



(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 156-157.

(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

(c) Believing is seeing:15 ways to  leave the prison of depression.  Hugh Smith (2016) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. .

Please VISIT THE STORE @THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE   if you would like to order online any of the books  listed here.