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The most difficult type of depression…

To those of us who attend Depressed Anonymous meetings can take heart in the following thought: to know how good it is to openly talk about our own depression experiences with others.
I agree whole heartedly with this belief as most of us who do attend meetings do so because we speak directly to what is going on in our lives. Those who attend the meetings feel free to speak about their struggles and victories without apologies or blame. We are happy to have them as part of our fellowship.

” The most difficult type of depression is to be in contact with is not the most dramatic, but the most indirect. It is when people themselves do not recognize their depression, or seek to solve their conflicts through behavior, such as the excessive use of alcohol, or blame everything and everyone for their misery and unhappiness, to the extent that those around them will find it hard to empathize and difficult to help. By contrast, when people experience depression clearly and directly, and can understand to some degree why they are down, it is much easier to reach out to them. Rollo May in his book Paulus, wrote about the depressive episodes that Paul Tillich experienced. “His depression never made the rest of us depressed because they were open…If we admit our depression openly and freely, those around us get from it an experience of freedom rather than the depression itself.” Pg. 187.

RESOURCE

Flach, E. F: (1995) 3rd ed. The Secret Strength of Depression. Hattherleigh Press. New York

Sunny was one smart dog.

When anyone talks about their pets, dogs, cats, birds, I am all ears. I love dogs and we sure got a good one when we got Sunny. She was barely six weeks old. She was also a Border Collie. We loved her and she loved all our family, especially our Grandchild. He was about 2 years old when he came to live with us.

Sunny took to him immediately.She would curl up with him on the couch, it was almost like she thought he was a little lamb. She also made sure no one approached him without her approval.

Sunny showed us unconditional love. This is why we love them. You can’t buy that type of love anywhere. And during this pandemic I feel that having a dog (insert your family pet here) as a family member is really a source of comfort and healing. They ARE family.

We really need each other during this most trying time in our lives. We tend toward feeling blue, and some of us get depressed because everything that we did normally is not normal now. We are self quarantined whether we like it or not. The feeling alone and isolated is like waves of grief washing over us; not just now and then — but most everyday.

I hope you who are reading this have someone, a pet, a member of the family, a DA fellowship member, anyone who is telling you with their love and presence how happy they are that they can share time with you, via Skype, Zoom, telephone, a letter or an email. Just knowing someone cares about us–means everything these days.

In our Depressed Anonymous fellowship I am blessed to know that I can meet with my friends all that I like. I can meet with them when I am blue and they can call me when the isolation is getting too great for them as well.

Contact us at depressedanon.com and let us know how you are doing today. We’d love to hear from you.

I think I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree

“Trees” by the poet Joyce Kilmer has always been a favorite of mine over the years. At one time I could recite the poem by heart. It ranked near the top of my favorite poem list, only to be topped by Psalm 23, the Bible’s Good Shepherd Psalm.

I always thought that Joyce Kilmer was a woman – wrong – he is a man. Now that was sort of a surprise. Anyway, being a country boy from rural Indiana, trees were part of our lives, and much of our hunting experiences. Squirrels lived in trees. We hunted squirrels. Trees were all sizes and all kinds. Lots of trees. My Grandpa, could name any and all trees that were part of the Southern Indiana forests. Trees were so much of his life as a child and young man. We learned how to tell the kind of a tree just by looking at it’s bark. Yes, beautiful trees.

Now, during this pandemic I knew I could not sit self-quarantined at home 24/7 (not until middle of March did I begin to realize this might go on for a spell. I was right). I decided to write a book. I did write a book and it has kept me busy all these months. I hardly go anywhere, maybe for some groceries or walk around a neighboring park. I have been visiting with friends on one of our 12 Step ZOOM and SKYPE meetings. I kept in contact that way. So, now I am about ready to finish up the book and get it ready for publication. So I didn’t waste my time. I have something to show for it.
But my latest effort has been to take up the pencil and learn how to draw trees. Thank you Joyce Kilmer. Not just stick type trees. Trees that are beautiful and have leafy branches and the limbs are well shaded and all so perfect. My wife bought me some great Walmart $1.98 special colored pencils. I was excited. That is, until I tested out my innate, so I thought, ability to draw. Well, it hasn’t turned out so good. My trees just don’t come alive like the ones shown on the Computer screen.

I’ve learnt a lesson here. Try new things, and if you feel you are not successful – give it up! But seriously, I intend to get back to the trees some other time. I think I will use my camera and take pictures of trees. At least what I end up with are pictures that look like trees. Not stick trees.

One final thought. I at least proved one thing to myself. I don’t have to always be perfect and succeed at everything. Life is like that. We at least know that God has given me another day – another 24 hours – to give thanks for. I don’t have to be a great poet, writer, or artist. But I can be a man of gratitude for all of God’s blessings. In my book, trees point my thoughts heavenward to God who made all creation and is an expression of his love for you and me.

My favorite tree is an Autumn Blaze Maple. What is your favorite tree?

Hugh Smith © 2020

A Therapist’s view of Depressed Anonymous

 

 

“The spiritual program of Depressed Anonymous is its greatest strength. People come together and hear from one another how their higher power is  healing and guiding  their lives. They realize that in being part of the group  they are not alone, and also encourage true healing.  Depressed Anonymous has been a wonderful healing tool in the lives of many depressed persons I’ve worked with. It will always be one of the greatest resources I use in my work. It is true that “it works if you work it.”

Denise List    M.Ed  Louisville, KY

 

Ordering our eBooks hit a glitch. Help!

Two days ago (3/25)  we indicated that we were going to have persons that were interested in downloading eBooks from our Bookstore   that they could down load for free for a three week period of time.  I thought with so much heartache, loss of jobs and the  depression that goes with these losses, that this would be a good time to make as many copies available as possible. Our tech agreed initially, thinking that it would be a good  idea. Then after a bit, he got back to me and said that he wasn’t able to reset our online payment process. Not so easy.   I thought that we could just press a few buttons and we were ready to go.    So,  now we are back to square one.

If anyone   has a suggestion, please let us know.  You can send a message here at our website  depressedanon.com or to us at depanon@netpenny.net. I apologize for this foul-up. There must be a way to make this happen , that would allow someone to download free. Our tech  indicated that we will continue to try other routes. We will think of other ways to meet this challenge. Hoping to hear suggestions from you, the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous,.

Hugh (Admin) for the Fellowship

 

Now that I have admitted to myself and to others that my life is out of control…

 

I’ve admitted that my life is unmanageable because of my depression. My fears and anxiety have taken over my life.  The  admitting for me was the hard part.    I then  made  a decision to walk through the door that led me into my first 12 step meeting. I had to surrender  and  I told myself “OK. Here goes nothing.” Actually, to my surprise, my life has never been the same since then.

I discovered that the reason  I have been depressed so long is not as important as the fact that I admitted that I was depressed.

Once I feel safe to say that I am depressed or  that  I have been depressed most of my life, this is the beginning of freedom for me. The depression mutual – aid groups  are making it Ok to say ” I am depressed.”  Most people now recognize that depression is a way that we have constructed  our world in which we can survive. To admit that we are depressed  is really half the battle. Once I began to take charge  of my life and choose to recover from this emotional sadness, I am able to get my life back.

This is the first step toward recovering from my attachment to sadness: namely, admitting through no fault of my own that I have spent many a year of my life avoiding life. I have closeted myself up in the cocoon of isolation. Now I know that I have work to do and, like others before me, I am finding  a brand new life opening up for me day after day.

MEDITATION

We now know that God knows all about us and our situation. We cannot hide from God as did Adam in the garden of Eden. Adam’s nakedness became his shame before God. Being vulnerable is to be naked  to the threatening gaze of strangers. By sharing the shame of ourselves with others like  our self  we will gradually  and in time, deliver ourselves from the threatening situation. Our dependence on our Higher Power or God as we understand God will get us through today. God can do the same for you!

RESOURCE

(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. KY. February 4th, Page 22. (Your personal comments welcome.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am coming to believe that “what goes around comes around.”

I am coming to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. I look forward to my meetings because it is there that I am accepted and I feel worthwhile.

“Seeing yourself as basically good reduces the need for other people’s approval… but if you see yourself bad then you need everybody’s approval.”

REFLECTION

So often I think of myself as mentally deficient because of the way my sadness keeps me from having a sense of mastery over my life. and withdrawing  into my own little world of ruminating about how bad and worthless I am.

Now, thanks to the Twelve Steps, I am seeing that I am not alone in my sadness. I can, in time and with work, get out of this thing that I myself unknowingly have created over time. The more I “carry the message” of hope and how the Twelve Step program works for me the more I am feeling better  about myself. By helping others I help myself.

I think I would  be less than honest if I said I didn’t need other  person’s approval of me. The problem is in never wanting to hurt other people’s feelings. I’m afraid that I might not have said things just the  way the other party liked to hear them.  I sometimes feel guilty because I  have to disagree with a friend and then beat myself up over it for days later.  Is something wrong with this picture?  I now know that I need my approval of myself first of all.  That is most important and above other’s approval of me.

MEDITATION

It is one of the immutable truths of the universe that the more we give out in love and hope, the more that love and hope come back to us. What we give can come back to us. If we begin to see how we fooled others into seeing ourselves as less than worthy to be alive, then we give the message to others “kick me.”  What goes around comes around.!

RESOURCES:

(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship  groups. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. February 2nd. Page s 20-21. (Please add your own personal comment).