I will make a daily inventory of all my strengths.

 

BELIEVING IS SEEING:   15  WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION.  # Eleven.

 

I will make a daily inventory of all my positive strengths. I tended to magnify the worst in everything in my life and make mountains out of molehills. I will focus on my stars and not my scars.

 

“One of the  problems of being depressed is that every circumstance and situation is filled with potential hurt and disappointment. The depressed  person has a tendency to think in patterns of despair, hurt, and disappointment. It appears to be a proven fact that  the more a person keeps their fears and anxious  thoughts  to themselves, this can cause the mountain to grow larger. But by sharing these  fears  and thoughts with  others, either by writing them out, as in a daily journal, or group discussion (like on SKYPE and ZOOM) we soon discover that our fears are not as big as we thought. The expression of fear  many times decreased  the size of their fear.  Now that we are accepting ourselves we can begin to see that we possess the  strength and persistence to tackle whatever obstacle lies ahead.

One of the features that stands out in our lives when depressed  is  we see everything in dark colors. Nothing looks  hopeful. There does not appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel – except that it might be an oncoming freight train. We feel that we do not have a friend in  the world. We feel that we’ll never feel good again. The list goes on and on.

What may be of some help is to take out pen and pencil and begin writing down your good points that you feel are your strengths. We have already done this,  but it still remains an excellent exercise no matter how often you do it.

What do you remember as strengths before being aware  that you are depressed?  Going to  Depressed Anonymous meetings has the potential to restore your sense of proportion about  your strong points. At the meetings your friends in the fellowship will  begin to tell  you are showing improvement the more you are participating in  the meetings. To listen to those who themselves are working the program and who share their lives week after week, you begin to realize that you too can begin to feel differently. Today can be a new start and  yes, you do have it within yourself to be that person who is reversing old negative patterns of thinking and replacing them  with thoughts of hope and optimism.   You now believe that there is hope for yourself.  Right  now your strength seems to be that of maintaining a habitual  way of thinking thoughts of hope.  By the fact that you are reading this, takes the strength to want to feel good and continue to maintain a positive recovery. Begin now and reflect on your strengths. Believe that you  have a way to maintain a personal persistence and desire to continue with gratitude for this new feeling of hope.”

NOTE: Take your pen and/or  pencil and begin writing your thoughts down in response to the questions posed in the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK.  Depressed Anonymous Publications.

RESOURCES:

Copyright(c)  Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2020) Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Pages 57-59.

Copyright(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

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

These basic books of the  Depressed Anonymous Fellowship can be ordered online.

See: www.depressed anon.con.

LITERATURE AVAILABLE.

To receive  a mailing of Depressed Anonymous literature, send a Self addressed stamped envelope to : DAP, Box 465 , Pewee Valley, Kentucky. 40056. 

The material can be used as “handouts”  at your local Depressed Anonymous meetings.

 

 

“I am no longer alone in my depression.”

 

 

“No longer am I alone in my depression. I can now see that it is up to me to form new friendships with others in the fellowship of the  Depressed Anonymous group. I have found persons who understand me and my problems. I also learn coping skills and new positive behaviors  from my fellow group members.”

One of the best things about belonging to a Depressed Anonymous group is that a person will find support and acceptance here. Frequently those persons who begin to work the 12 step program begin to realize that instead of waiting to stay isolated and sad that it’s  the acceptance they receive in the Depressed Anonymous group that keeps them coming back to the meetings. Another reason people keep coming back to the group is that members of the group place no conditions on you or judgments when you join the group.

They love you and accept you just the way you are. That’s pretty neat I’d say. ..”

Source: Copyright(c)  Believing is Seeing:  15  Ways to leave  the prison  of  depression.  (2017) Depressed Anonymous  Publications.  Louisville.KY.Page 20.  #4.

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

Click on Tools of Recovery from the website menu and there find assorted ways to help overcome depression. One may also click onto the  Newsletter Archives for past issues of the Depressed Anonymous Newsletters.

The healing shows on the faces of all those who keep coming back to meetings.”

THE TENTH  WAY to leave the prison of depression. #10 of 15.

I know that with time and work I will get better and out of my depression. I believe that though I might feel helpless, I am not hopeless. I will make a decision to get better today!”

One of  the most heartening phenomenon of our 12 step program for persons depressed is to see how quickly healing becomes apparent to those who keep coming back to meetings. The healing shows on the faces of all those who keep coming back to meetings.They commit themselves to getting better. The work that one has to engage in is a deep desire to quit sadding  themselves. This means that a person depressed really must make a commitment to themselves, that with time and work, they can leave the prison of their own depression.

This statement of belief is so important that it, like the rest of the 15 ways to leave the prison of depression provides hope for those still suffering from depression. Just by coming to the meetings, even when we don’t feel like moving out of our isolation and comfort zone. This is in itself an investment that must be made if we are to reap the dividends of healing which can be ours. The program works by investing your time and energy in it.

Depressed Anonymous provides a step-by-step program of recovery and doesn’t talk in vague generalities about your own depression experience. Actually,  the program offers a map where you can walk out of your past filled with negative thoughts and  behaviors  creating your own new hopeful lifestyle. The Depressed Anonymous mutual aid  group is the  “miracle”  incentive for getting ourselves motivated   and living with hope. The group provides a continued acceptance and support for your life. The purpose of the 12 steps is to free ourselves from the debilitating isolation and pain of our sadness. We realize now that it is by accepting responsibility for our physical, emotional and spiritual care of self that predicts the hope filled long-term effect of a life lived without depression.

First of all, what gains consciousness is to be aware of  one’s  own need to discover what there is about myself that I do not find acceptable, good and  wholesome. Secondly,  preparation. I am aware of how I have depressed myself by the faulty beliefs that I’ve held about myself over the past years. I now know that part of the way I feel is due to the way I have automatically talked to myself throughout the day. I now realize that my feelings about myself have continually been very negative and emotional laden. Now I take action. I intend today to replace all negative statements that I make about myself, they are like waving a red flag  before my eyes. Every time I call myself stupid or put myself down mentally, I will substitute  affirmations such as the following:  I will build a new life for myself. I am strong today. I have the courage to go through this experience. I will no longer blame myself or others for my depression. I do not have to wait for someone to make me feel better, as I can do this myself if I choose to do so. And this will   sustain me and not just for today but every day of my life.  I’m going to tolerate my imperfections while at  the same time refusing to feel sorry for myself.  I am going to make myself accountable for how I feel… and not blame it on someone else.”

————————————————————

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

Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. pages 51-56.

Please VISIT THE STORE where all publications of Depressed Anonymous can be ordered online.

Withdrawal from friends is the first clue…

  Withdrawing from friends  and other social contacts is the first clue that you’re 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 knowledge that can guide you onto the appropriate path. 

There are two times that we need to go to a 12 step meeting. 1) One, when we don’t want to go to a meeting and 2) secondly when we do want to go to a meeting.  From my personal experiences I can share with you that is when I go to my meeting that I’m able to come away from it with something positive to think about. I can honestly say that I feel better after a Depressed Anonymous meeting. I know in my heart that when I just want to sit at home by myself, isolating and ruminating within my head about all the horrible things that have happened to me, or are about to happen to me, that is when I depressed myself even more. Get connected!

CHOICE,  NOT CHANCE  DETERMINES DESTINY!

It’s our addictive thinking, our compulsive way of processing negative information, which describes how we habitually store the negative but continue to dump the positive information which 24/7 continually flows into our brain. These negative thoughts of feeling  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 me, like a child afraid of the dark.

I can only do what God wants me to do and I discover what this is by spending time alone with my God and meditation. Whatever we do, we need to know that our isolation and our withdrawing from friends and family, is an environment where depression grows strong.  Depression dies in the light of discussion.

Dorothy Rowe in  her award-winning book Depression: the way out of your prison, has an excellent section on isolation and depression. Let me quote it for you and then you can the draw your own conclusions

” Thus none of us can escape needing other people so that we can exist and not fear annihilation. But you who get depressed have decided to express your need for other people in ways which make it hard for you to live.

    Take the first form of existence – wanting to be part of a group and fearing isolation. If you see yourself as basically a good person and therefore with  something to offer other people, you have no fear of joining groups, of being part of the family, as much as you suffer loss, you know you’re able to find new friends and to help other people. But if you see yourself as basically a bad person, then the threat of expulsion from your group is expected and feared. Since  you do not value yourself, you cannot see people as wanting you to join them, either as a friend our helper. If disaster wrenched you away from your family you cannot see yourself surviving, and so no matter how much you come to hate your family you cannot let them go. They are your reference point of existence, and you fear that if you lose them, you will disappear…

     Seeing yourself as basically good reduces the need for other people’s approval. If you see yourself as basically 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…”   Dorothy Rowe. Depression: the way out of your prison. 1983. Harper Collins, London, UK. Page 111.

Source:  Copyright ( c)  Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2002) D AP. Louisville. Kentucky. 40216. Pages 47-50.

Our basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening!

 

 

Antidote: “A remedy to counteract a poison.” This is the definition as given by Webster’s dictionary. Fear is truly a poison in some ways and in others it is a gift. We need to fear only that which will keep us locked in the prison of depression. Sometimes our fears are of what tomorrow might bring or might be the fears from the past. One of the better antidotes to fear is trying to live, just for today. Today is all I have.

So often I hear others say that they have been depressed all their lives until – let me repeat- until they hear other stories as to how with work, time and belief in a power greater than  themselves that they did and are feeling better now.  I need to trust that once I have made my conscious decision to turn my life and will over to the care of God as I understand him, that my life will indeed begin to change.

“I am no longer alone in my suffering depression. I believe that by getting more active in my recovery that my life will begin to brighten up.”

“We of (AA) and  Depressed Anonymous find that our basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening.” Bill W.

 

SOURCES:

Copyright (c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed  Anonymous Publications. Louisville. May  10. Page 95.

Copyright (c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015 ) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Copyright (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

 

I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“I believe that by working the 12 Steps of Depressed Anonymous, the more my Higher Power can release in me the serenity that I seek.  While not giving up hope – I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”  The FOURTEENTH WAY out of the prison of depression.

The following is an excerpt from Believing is  seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

 

“As long as I have a belief that somehow, someway, I will begin to feel differently and I can believe that Depressed Anonymous was developed to bring the ‘sufferer’s  of depression together. By this gathering of like-minded folks, it resulted in individuals being empowered to find a support which slowly leads them out of the hole.  I have always believed in the power and the uinfluence of the group — either serving as a power for good or a power designed for destructive ends. But as for our group Depressed Anonynmous, I know that it truly builds, enhances and strengthens anyone who gets involved with it on a regular and consistent basis.  Those who do interact with our fellowship eventually come out of the pit of their depression and start feeling hopeful about their lives.  They are feeling hope instead of despair. This is actually happening all the time as those involved in the fellowship begin to see personal changes occurring in their lives.”   Pages 65-66.

“I will focus daily on my stars and not my scars.”

The ELEVENTH WAY to leave the prison of depression: An  excerpt from  Believing is seeing: 15 Ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. (2015) Louisville.

“I will make a daily inventory of all my positive strengths.  I tended to magnify the worst in everything in my life and make mountains out of molehills. I will focus on my stars and not my scars.”

One of the problems of being depressed is that every circumstance and situation is filled with potential hurt and disappointment.  The depressed person has a tendency to think in patterns of despair, hurt and disappointment. It appears to be a proven fact that the more a person keeps the fears and anxious thoughts to themselves, this can cause the mountain to  grow larger. But by sharing these fears and thoughts with others, either by writing them out, as in a daily journal, or group  discussion, we soon discover that our fears are  not as big as we thought. The expression of fear many times  decreases the size of the fear. Now that we are accepting ourselves we can begin to see that we possess strength and a persistence to tackle whatever obstacle lies ahead.”

ACTION PLAN: Take your pen and /or pencil and begin writing your  thoughts  down in response to the questions posed in THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK. You can find questions that not only help you discover what your strengths are but also how to put these strengths to use in your own personal recovery.

SOURCES:   (c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 57-58.

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

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

For information on ordering publications please VISIT THE STORE here at our site. You’ll be happy that you have found someone who writes about their own journey and struggles with depression.

 

I will make a decision to get better today!

” I know that with time and work that I will get better and out of my depression. I believe that though I might feel helpless, I am not hopeless. I will make a decision to get better today. ” The TENTH WAY to leave the prison of depression.

“One of the most heartening phenomenon of our 12 Step program for a person depressed is to see how quickly healing becomes apparent in those who keep coming back to meetings. The healing shows on the faces of all those who keep coming back to meetings. The healing definitely shows on the faces of all those who also commit themselves to getting better. The work that one has to engage in is the deep desire to quit sadding themselves. This means that a person depressed  really must make a commitment to themselves, so that with time and work they can leave the prison of their depression.”

______________________________________________________________

SOURCE:  (C) BELIEVING IS SEEING:15 WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION,(2015) HUGH SMITH. DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE. Page 51.

(C) THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK. (2002) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.

GET CONNECTED! CHOICE NOT CHANCE DETERMINES DESTINTY!

The NINTH WAY out of the prison of depression.

The following is an excerpt from the book, Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Smith, Hugh. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

“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 onto the appropriate path.

There are two times that we need to go to a 12 Step meeting, 1) One, when we don’t want to attend a 12 Step meeting and 2) secondly when we  do want to go to a meeting. From my personal experience I can share with you that it’s when I go to my meeting that I am able to come away from it with something positive to think about. I can honestly say that I feel better after a Depressed Anonymous meeting. I know in my heart that when I just want to sit at home by myself, isolating and ruminating within my head about all the horrible things that have happened to me, or are about to happen to me, that is when I depress myself even more. Get connected. ”

It’s not complicated.

Depression gradually dies in the light of…

The following is an  excerpt from the Depressed Anonymous Publication,  Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. 

The SEVENTH WAY  on how to leave the prison of depression.

Today is all that we have. Don’t let dwelling on yesterday’s hurts and fears about tomorrow, rob you of peace today. Contrary to what you might have thought -you are responsible for how you think and feel. I want to be responsible for my depression even though I feel it’s difficult to face the fact that one of the ways of getting out of my depression is to stay and feel the pain of my sadness. I have to live in the here and the now – I can’t run and hide in the unknown of tomorrow or disappear into the gloomy fog of yesterday. We begin to get mentally healthy when we take it upon  ourselves to admit 1) I have a problem, 2) secondly, I need to change the  way I think about myself and my world. Again, no one need blame us for the fact that we got ourselves depressed -but once we know and believe that we are depressed – we learn that we need to take full responsibility for our recovery. One of the best ways to break our dependency on our sadness is to share/admit our depression to members of our Depressed Anonymous groups.  We know how depression flourishes and grows strong in the privacy  and solitude of our minds. Depression gradually dies in the light of open sharing and frank discussion. We are only as weak as the secrets we keep.”

SOURCES:  Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression.(2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 36-41.

   HOME STUDY PROGRAM: (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) DAP. Louisville.  Plus (c)  The Depressed Anonymous Workbook.(2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Please VISIT THE STORE for more helpful information  on ways  to leave the prison of depression