Tag Archives: awareness

A VICTIM IN MY OWN MIND

-A personal story of a Depressed Anonymous member

Depression was something that I grew up with.  I really had no idea that I had it until my senior year in college. It started with my parents divorce  and ended with me totally losing control over everything in  my life. I couldn’t decide what career I wanted, but hated every job I could think of. I couldn’t decide what city or state to live in, so I kept moving, hoping that the next place I lived in would make me happy. Eventually, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to die or live.   I cried at the drop of a hat, but still found enough rage inside to push the people I loved as far away from me as possible.

I knew that I needed help. I have been to counselors on three other times in my life, but nothing seemed to work or last.  This time, I have been in counseling about two months. I was sick and tired of being like this. I wanted a life and I wanted to be happy.  Every week, someone would notice a change in me, but I still felt the same. Then one day while watching TV (thinking thoughts at 100 mph), it occurred to me that I was making myself miserable.

I had always known  that I was hard on myself. I reamed my self every time something bad happened. “Why can’t I find someone to love me? “Why isn’t God looking out after me?” But for some reason, when I realized that I was doing this to myself, it made me realize that maybe all I would have to so is stop doing it! All of a sudden it made sense.

If I tell myself negative thoughts, I feel negative. If I tell myself nothing, I feel nothing.  So if I tell myself positive thoughts, eventually I have to feel positive.

Of course. I ‘m still testing it out, but I feel better and for the first time in 14 years, I have hope.  So I remind myself of something positive every day. and that’s what I’m going to do until I don’t have to remind myself anymore because I’ll know.

I’m slowly finding out that my life is not as horrible as I’ve made it out to be. I used to tell myself that since it happened before, it will happen again–and that simply is not true.  Yes, my past was horrible and it’s no wonder I ended up with depression. I want out of it and the only person to get me out is me. There is no magic wand to transport you to the life you want. Everyone knows what they wish their life could be  — so do it!  Make the changes you have to make, trust in God and always remember that good things come to those who wait. I’ve waited over half my life. I don’t have to be a victim of my past or of my mind anymore. I’m more than ready for the good things!  With love and hope. ”

SOURCE : (Copyright) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd Edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville  Pages 120-121/Personal Stories # 9.

A Most Effective Strategy

AFFIRMATION

I will be a better person today than the person I was yesterday.

“The first step to change is to see  it is as possible in our scheme of things. The next step is to accept and cope with the anger and frustration that change bring ..coping with anxiety involves accepting it into awareness and permitting its full expression.  This may not lead to a comfortable stare in the short run, but in the long turn it is a most effective strategy.(6)

  CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I believe that all growth is gradual and that each day I have only twenty-four hours in which to live out my life.  In these twenty four hours I can get a lot  accomplished in my efforts to surrender my need to be dependent upon my depression. My depression will no longer be an excuse that keeps me from starting my recovery program.

I know from personal experience that my life is very different from the way that it was before I turned my life over to my Higher Power. (Step 2 of Depressed Anonymous)  Now I can live with the belief that this power is going to walk with me. I can now be assured that life is going to get better for me. It is better already.  Since this program of Depressed Anonymous is spiritual, I know that my healing of my depression is accomplished by my desire to let God, as I understand him, direct my life. (Step 3 of Depressed Anonymous).

The program  of the Twelve Steps has no pat answers  and it will not allow you to be comfortable where you are–in fact it will cause you to want to move out of the prison of your depression and into the light of daily efforts to change.

MEDITATION

God, we are aware that this day and this day alone we are going to trust in you and we will commit  ourselves to you so  that we might commit ourselves to a positive change in our attitudes.

SOURCE: Copyright: HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS. Depressed Anonymous Publications  Louisville  Page 90. May 3rd.

HOW DOES A PERSON CHANGE? ARE YOU A BLAMER?

In order for us to escape from depression we need to be aware of the process of how people change. That process for change is of the nature of a spiral instead of a straight line. In other words, now that we are willing to risk feeling differently we have been gearing up to improve our situation. In other words we are making a very important decision right now about our lives.
As we illustrated yesterday there is a process of how a person chooses to change. First comes an Awareness stage. Then comes the Motivating stage. A Doing stage is then put into motion, and finally we have the Maintaining stage where a person continues to do all that is necessary to sustain and be responsible for positive changes.
In the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK, it asks the participant to apply all of these four stages as antidotes to those character defects which may keep us imprisoned in our prison of depression. Today we want to examine the character defect of BLAMING. Now let’s put to use our formula of the four stages. Today, I am going to share just one of the four stages with the example of BLAMING. For me, being aware meant that not only was I aware of what I was doing to cause me to heap blame after blame on myself but much later I discovered through Step Four of Depressed Anonymous the many good things that I had going for myself. I learnt that working the Steps is a gradual process developed for changing myself.
(1) AWARE. Now that I have admitted I am powerless over my depression and that it serves no purpose to blame myself for my depression and bashing myself with daily reminders of how bad and unacceptable I am. Now I am: (1) AWARE of my need to discover what there is about myself that I do find acceptable and wholesome?
Tomorrow, we apply the Motivating stage to our BLAMING. Then this will be followed by a segment on the Doing stage. Finally, the Maintaining stage will be considered. I hope to meet with you again tomorrow.
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My thoughts: I share my own thoughts here. When my whole body became physically incapacitated and I could hardly get out of bed of a morning. My whole insides felt hollow and a strong, vague feeling that something was totally wrong inside of me. I felt full of “jitters” and anxiety. I was totally clueless as to what monster had me in its clutches. I had to admit that I needed help. I was powerless. I was not only AWARE I was scared. Know what I mean? If you do, please comment. So how do you change? Can you admit what is possibly keeping you depressed? Hugh

HOW DOES A PERSON CHANGE? THINK ABOUT IT AS A FOUR STAGE PROCESS.

In order for us to escape depression we need to begin to be aware of the process of how people change. That process for change is of the nature of a spiral instead of a straight line. In other words, now that we are willing to risk feeling differently we have been gearing up to improve our situation. In other words we are making a very important decision right now about our lives.
1. AWARENESS STAGE: We become conscious that we can’t go on feeling the way that we do. Something has to give.
2. MOTIVATING STAGE: I am going to prepare myself for needed change in my thinking, acting and feeling.
3. DOING STAGE: I am going to take charge and be responsible for positive changes that have to be made by me if I am to feel differently.
4. MAINTAINING STAGE: I will continue to seek out and sustain my recovery with people, concepts and my personal working of the 12 step program for recovery.
Now apply these four stages which serve as antidotes to our character defects and which cause us to stay imprisoned in our prison of depression…The first is the character defect of BLAMING.
(1) AWARE. Now that I have admitted that I am powerless over my depression and that it serves no purpose to blame myself for my depression an d bashing myself with daily reminders how bad and unacceptable I am. And now I am: (1) AWARE of my need to discover what there is about myself that I do find acceptable, good and wholesome.

(2) I am MOTIVATING myself now that I am aware how I have depressed myself by the faulty beliefs that I have held about myself over the past years. I now know that part of the way I feel is due to the way I automatically talk to myself throughout the day. Without ever being conscious of it I now realize that my feelings about myself are very negative and emotion laden.

(3) DOING. I intend today to replace all negative statements that I make in my head and replace them with positive statements –positive affirmations. I am going to alert myself –like a red flag waving –every time I call myself stupid or put myself down mentally. I will use affirmations such as “I will build a new life.” “I am strong.” “I have courage to go through this experience.” “I no longer blame myself or others for my sadness.” “I do not have to wait for someone to make me feel differently.” “I can do it myself.”

(4) MAINTAINING. I am very hopeful that I can feel differently just today, for this 24 hour period. I am going to tolerate my imperfectness while at the same time refusing to feel sorry for myself. I am going to make myself accountable for how I feel –not blame it on another, the weather, parents or whatever.
SOURCE: The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (Pgs. 41-43)- Depressed Anonymous Publications – Louisville
Continued tomorrow: BEING A VICTIM

“Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Isn’t this the way it is? It usually takes an awareness of something bigger than just me that propels us into life armed with a sense of purpose. This something bigger could be getting involved in a political campaign, working in a food kitchen serving the poor, helping migrants find a job, learn a language of their newly adopted homeland.
The experience of depression gradually whittled down my world and any interests that I considered worth my time. Then as I continued to spiral down into the dark abyss of inactivity and aloneness, I felt a great need to find something that would break my fall and so it all began–the search, the seeking the power that would help me get up and get going again. For me, (this is about me right now), I made a decision to find some power that was greater than the power of my need to sad myself. I found the power that was greater than myself–it was a group of persons journeying with a hope and a faith that manifested serenity and purpose in their words and deeds. My world began to get large again, it started to swell with possibility and hopefulness. It was sanity personified. It was a belief, coupled with a witness of those others who had achieved a continued saneness in their dealings with their world and most importantly within their selves. Now I am a witness to the truth of that power which I discovered or that which discovered me. You, the reader are now part of my world and I, for a bit of time, am part of your world. I am grateful.