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#NINE BELIEF

Excerpts from Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017) DAP. Louisville. pgs 47-50.

“Withdrawing from friends and other social contacts is the first clue that you are slipping back into the isolation and pain of depression. Move toward a friend,  get a sponsor, and go to a 12 Step meeting. Ask your Higher Power for that  nudge that can guide you into the appropriate path.”

“I know in my heart that when I just sit at home by myself, isolating and ruminating within my head about all the terrible things that have happened to me, or are about to happen, that is when I depress  myself even more. Get connected!”

It’s our addictive thinking, our compulsive way of processing infor- mation, which describes how we habitually store the negative but continue to dump the positive information which continually  24/7 flows into our brain. These negative thoughts and feelings persist in keeping  us falling back into the old habit of staying isolated and avoiding others. We might fool ourselves and say that people have nothing to offer me and that is why I distance myself from everyone. Part of my nature when depressed is to avoid and distance myself from whatever I feel is threatening, like a child afraid of the dark.

We know that depression grows stronger when   isolating ourselves from others.

Dorothy Rowe,  tells us in her award winning book, DEPRESSION: THE WAY OUT OF YOUR PRISON, that

“Seeing yourself as  a basically  good person reduces the need  for other people’s approval. If you see yourself as good, you  can set up a select group of people whose approval you desire and can be indifferent to the opinion of the multitude. But if you see yourself as basically bad then you need everybody’s approval….”

David Karp,   in  SPEAKING OF SADNESS  shares the following thought

” that depression is an illness of isolation, a dis-ease of disconnection. As with much of social life, and consequently with much compelling sociological analysis, it is irony that captures the complexity of things. The irony to be explained in Chapter 2 is that depressed persons greatly desire connection  while they are simultaneously deprived of the ability to realize it. Much of depression’s pain arises out of the recognition that what might make one feel better –human connection–seems impossible in the midst of a paralyzing episode of depression. It is rather like dying from thirst while looking at a glass of water just beyond one’s reach.”

For those who have no Depressed Anonymous mutual aid group to connect with in their own local community, our  Publisher, Depressed Anonymous Publications has made available the HOME SELF STUDY KIT. The HOME  SELF STUDY KIT program of recovery includes both the  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook.  These  two excellent guides provide us with a path out of depression.   By  answering the stimulating  questions  as provided by the WORKBOOK, one also is able to discover the nature of depression while learning how to apply the 12 spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous to their own lives.

No longer do we have to be alone or feel disconnected in our depression. We provide the necessary resources to help an individual be connected with a community worldwide  who know what it means to be depressed. You don’t have to be alone any longer!

To see what literature is available from our Publisher,   visit the STORE here at our website  www.depressedanon.com. You can now order online.

Symptoms of inner peace

Be on the alert for symptoms of inner peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now,  been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

 

          Some signs and symptoms of inner peace:

A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.

An unmistakable  ability to enjoy each moment.

A loss of interest in judging other people.

A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

A lost interest in conflict.

A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)

Frequent, overwhelming  episodes of appreciation.

Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

Frequent attacks of smiling.

An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

An increased susceptibility  to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

—Anonymous

Let’s get real. The “snap out of it” advice doesn’t get it!

Let’s get real!  How often do we hear people who’ve   never been depressed  tell people depressed to just “snap out” of their depression? Answer? Too many times.

In our Manual,   Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition  we read  “I don’t believe you can snap out of your depression, or suddenly   and dramatically get your life turned around by going to one Depressed Anonymous meeting, or reading the  12 steps  five times an hour. It just doesn’t happen that way, especially if you have lived with  your depression for any length of time. Even though we  emphasize  that  depression is not a disease, we do want you to know that depression over a long period of time can cause physical problems and upset the metabolism of the human organism. More and more, doctors see how  positive feelings, attitudes and emotions can help cancer patients maintain a remission and stay free of a recurring cancer condition. Unpleasant emotions such as fear, anger, resentment, tension and depression all work against recovery.

I would call the sadness  that  has  been with us for as long as we can remember,  a learned way to respond to certain negative stimuli. What you will be doing when you come to a Depressed Anonymous meetings is to get involved in your own healing. You will find other men and women who are struggling with the same pain as you are. You will discover that the first step in coming to grips with depression that won’t  quit is for you to surrender it,  quit fighting it.  Let the God, as you understand God  take over your life and help let it restore you to sanity, peace and understanding of the way in which you can find the path  out of your depression and pain. Depressed Anonymous works if you begin the work of the spiritual program that we’re going to outline in this book.  Depression is a moral problem and as such there needs to be a moral solution,  one part of which is to admit that we are responsible for ourselves and that we can’t blame it on genes, psychological predispositions or one’s spouse or some other situation.  We are going to take charge. We choose to un-depress ourselves. Today! One day at a time!

…But let me warn you — it isn’t easy to do something different from what you have been doing  most of your life. This is especially true when it comes to the way we see ourselves, our world and others. There are no magic pills and no easy answers to bring us immediately out of this inner pain and anguish. It does take time and work.

If you really want to leave behind your painful sadness, the daily tears, and the feelings of worthlessness, then begin now to admit the unmanageable mess of your depression. You have had it with feeling out of control!

That’s the way it is with depression – over the years you get comfortable with feeling miserable, which doesn’t mean you like it, but that you’re just too afraid to risk doing something different. When you want to change and leave your depression behind, the choice that you want to make is immediately dashed to the ground because you  feel there is no hope for you. “I can’t pull myself up by my bootstraps and start to feel better,” you tell yourself. Most the time, we tell ourselves that we will do it when we feel better. (See reference to” I’ll do it when I feel better”   below). Folks, let me tell you something – you will never feel better until  you begin to physically get moving! We all know that we feel better only when we get into gear and get busy – distracting ourselves  from those ever present miserable  thoughts which whisper how bad we are and how hopeless life seems to be.”

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SOURCES: (c)Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pgs. 31-32.

(c) I’ll will do it when I feel better. (2015) Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville.

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

VISIT THE STORE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DEPRESSION AND THE HEALING POWER OF THE 12 STEPS.

ALSO LEARN HOW TO USE THE HOME STUDY KIT FOR YOUR  PERSONAL RECOVERY PLAN OF ACTION!

DEPRESSED? LEARN FROM LOIS HOW TO BECOME A SURVIVOR!

Two days ago,  quoting from her piece in the Personal Stories section of Depressed  Anonymous (pages 111-112) we continue to read what she has to say about being a survivor of depression and not the victim.

Step Three (“Made a decision to turn my life and my will over to the care of God as I unstand God”) required much time, thought, and daily meditation. My Higher Power no longer was a permissive parent whom I begged would give to me what I thought I wanted. All the love, the caring, and the intelligence was there. I just had to accept it for myself. Today, the God of my understanding is different than when I began the journey. As a professional educated woman, spiritually I was in kindergarten. I badgered my counselor for a guide to assist me in taking my Fourth Step inventory. I wrote for months and then quickly moved to Step Five before I could rationalize it all away. The therapist who is responsible for beginning Depressed Anonymous in our area became another human being from our Fifth Step

During my recovery there were times when I would begin to interfere and I would remind myself of what it was like when I was attempting to run the show.  Aloud I would say: “Oh, I turned that one over to you and I trust you. I don’t need to take it back.”

Today I view the situation as “unfolding” and my spiritual journey is unfolding with it. My Higher  Power is in charge.”

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SOURCES:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. (Personal Stories/Pages 111-112).

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

The Home Study Project, includes both  WORKBOOK and the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS can be purchased together. Please VISIT THE STORE on  how to order the HOME STUDY PROJECT  on  our secure line.

Higher Thoughts today and everyday

I start my day with reflections from  Higher Thoughts for Down Days,  providing me with a spiritual and meaningful kick start for the hours to follow. This work, contains a daily Higher Thought affirmation, a meaningful reflection,   and closes with an appropriate short meditation.

Some  Depressed Anonymous groups use this daily Higher Thought for their group meeting  discussion topic.   In my effort to produce a meaningful daily  reflection  book for persons depressed, especially those of us who work  a Twelve Step recovery program,  I found this daily  approach  to be most therapeutic for those of us who are or were depressed and isolated.

Now those of us who like the electronic handheld  Kindle  ereader,  Depressed Anonymous Publications has made available a new KINDLE version of Higher Thoughts for Down Days. Not only are you able to put the meditation for that day on your screen,  you are  able to scroll through and find that particular thought which has meaning for you today.

Higher Thoughts for Down Days starts your day off with a hopeful boost, be it by way of a  hard copy of Higher Thoughts or a KINDLE version.

To learn  more about publications produced by DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS, please VISIT THE STORE at this site. It’s in your hands!

Empowerment comes from being informed

 

Empowerment comes  from being informed and making choices that help us change our lives for the better.  When I came to a Depressed Anonymous meeting I am making a first major step- namely, that I admit my presence at the group meeting that my life is out of control.  My compulsion to depress myself is at the root of my inability to take on the challenge of living life with risk and enthusiasm. But how can I possibly say that I want to depress myself? We are not blaming ourselves  here but are taking responsibility for our own feelings, behavior and thinking. Now that I am conscious of some negative patterns of my own behavior I can get on with learning new strategies for my own healing. With the heartfelt prayer of a monk, I now understand it is by sharing the story of my life – and with the conviction that someone is there to listen, that this can in time help me make it out of my prison of fear and sadness.

I can be empowered by taking the bull by the horn and choosing each new day, one day at a time and start to feel different. I now have the support of the group – support from people who have walked where I am walking.

I am investing in myself. I am making my recovery my highest priority. I may have been on all the antidepressant medications -I  may have seen all the best counselors, psychiatrists and doctors but now finally I am going to a room full of depressed people –  people who understand me and what I am going through!

These people I discover are investing in themselves. What will I find there? I will find some of the most caring people on the face of the earth. Some of the group will have been coming for months, and they say that they are having more good days than bad and it’s getting better. The more meetings they attend the better they feel and the more support they receive. They are feeling empowered. It’s the miracle of the group. Instead of living with a compulsion to repeat old negative and life negating thoughts and feelings we now have a compulsion to live with hope plus a desire for a brand new way of living — and not just the way that  we  once talked to ourselves.

We are going to get a new life. And here is how.

I now feel that that I am getting better learning how not to repeat my old way of thinking, feeling and believing and isolating myself when I fear –whatever. I now know that with work and patience I will get better. For most of us, it has taken us a few years to get here (depressed) so why not take the plunge today and work toward getting better–one day at a time – one meeting at a time —  and using the “tools” of the program.

It has only been when I began to examine the way I talked to myself (negatively) and how I gradually isolated myself from a life lived in serenity and hope,  that I realized I could change this pattern of diminishing myself . Others were doing it and so why couldn’t I? And so can you!

Hugh

SOURCE: (c)I’ll do it when I feel better.(2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

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

                     PLEASE VISIT THE STORE FOR MORE USEFUL AND INFORMATION.

Depressed Anonymous is a light to guide me!

Dear All

I have ben very busy lately, out living light, and I wanted  you all to know that just being on this list and reading the shares and the “big book” (Depressed Anonymous) has helped me tremendously to not fall into depression in blind denial as was my custom. Two things are helping me most…

do the next right thing

motivation follows action

Thank you so much for being here!

Also for the first time I can handle flashbacks from PTSD more easily because I am not depressed. I even had more repressed memory come up…I was depressed for about a day and a half and then got sick of it, and got up and went back to my daily life…it is  a miracle!  Thank you, thank you, thank you…I believe I am on the path that leads to depression being something I used to struggle with so mightily. I don’t think I’m cured, just that Depressed Anonymous is a light to guide me, to keep me on the path to wellness.”

Trish

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To read more stories  how members of the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship have found serenity and a pathway out of the prison of their own depression, see the personal stories in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Please VISIT THE STORE to find more literature which can help broaden your own vistas of how the Twelve Steps frees us from depression.

 

 

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through.

Today, we would like to initiate a series on the Promises of Depressed Anonymous. We will consider some thoughts  about the First Promise of Depressed Anonymous.  The following piece illustrates  some important areas for you, the reader,  to consider.

” Working the 12 Steps is like the person who heads toward the light at the end of the tunnel.  The closer one gets to the light  –the more one discovers the way out.

The light in this case is symbolized by the Fellowship of Depressed Anonymous. The expression of light, health and recovery of its members helps each of us to stay focused on recovery. Work has to be done if we are to find  not only the light  — but a life free from the symptoms of depression. Change is painful.   The first step is really the beginning of the end of our pain.  By admitting that we are in pain is that which paradoxically begins the release of our pain.  This is the paradox of letting go and holding on as we learned from our Step Three. What we hold onto holds onto us.  What we seek –seeks us.

It is difficult for any of us to admit that our lives are out of control.”

–  To be continued

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SOURCES: Copyright (c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Copyright (c) I’ll do  it when I feel better. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications,. Louisville.

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

       For more information on literature available, visit the store.

VICTIM? NO! SURVIVOR? YES!

AFFIRMATION

I want to believe that my God, as I understand Him, will continually make a path for me through life.  I want today to listen to its leading.

“Our patterns are more successful than the fortune – telling arts since we expect our patterns to prove true, and expecting this, we usually find that they do. Edmund Carpenter once wrote, ‘We say, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it, ‘  but the phrase should be, ‘If I hadn’t believed it with all my heart, I wouldn’t have seen it.”

REFLECTION

I usually expected bad things to happen to me because bad things usually did happen to me, as Dorothy Rowe points out in her six immutable beliefs that make up the prison of our depression. I used to believe that God punished me for all the bad things I did in my life and for my being the bad person that I believe that I am. But now, I am changing my belief  about my depression and that I am only  a passive victim.

It’s as if they believe that my depression is like a rotted tooth, a thing, that can be extracted  I am slowly believing that it is important what I believe about myself and how I have a responsibility to extract myself from my own lifestyle of sadness. I do know this, that if I continue to think the way I have over the last couple of years, I will stay stuck in the deep pit of depression.

I am now believing with all my heart that I will get better with the help of my own resources and through the help of others and the Twelve Step programs.

MEDITATION

God, you can make all things new but you never infringe your  will upon any of us. But the more  peace  that we receive from turning our will over to yours, the more I can predict that my future will be more according to your design.

SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. (1993, 1999).  Louisville, Ky 40217.(pgs. 35-36). February 16.

Please Visit the Store for more information on available 12 step literature.