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“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

Depression, depression. What an oppression.

Depression, depression
What an oppression

And how can this be explained?

My pills are to my rescue
My basic needs are fully met
One is convinced that I am in paradise
A woman, married happily with wonderful parents,
children, lovely family, and all.

But what a waste of time!
I hear! Why aren’t you happy?
You are more fortunate than others!
What are you missing? I’m told!
What am I missing, really w=hat?
Since what I need is very little
Just love and peace for all of us.

It’s tortuous to witness pain
and around people’s suffering
It does not help me, knowing that
others are less fortunate than I’m.

One might think that I am just lazy.
And difficulty getting off my bed —
is simply crazy…

Why do I feel so miserable, helpless?
Depression, depression —
What my oppression?

I can’t bypass the homeless
and poor, like many others do
on streets each day.

I’m told to close my eyes and ignore.
I am scared by vehicles sirens,
by bitter odors, children screaming,
by peoples fighting, their rudeness.

How do I support that pain?
I want to help myself feel happiness again.

God knows, I ‘m desperately trying to play
the game of happiness, I can’t own.

A temporary relief is achieved
A sip of freedom so sweet, but
not for long, it quickly leaves.

The witch-depressions’s back again
to haunt me more, to torture me again.

“Be brave, collect yourself”
I hear others.
But that’s so hard for them to get.
That happiness cannot be forced.
That only unable to eat and
sleep when sadness suffocates one’s soul…

Depression, depression,
What an oppression.'”
—————————————-
Submitted by Irene S., a member of the Depressed Anonymous International Fellowship

With permission.

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.)