THE FIFTH WAY OUT OF THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION: AN EXCERPT
“Remember that an oak tree was once an acorn –recovery begins by taking one step at a time as well as reading DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS literature and regularly participating in the meetings.”
How often do we meet people in the program who want the quick fix, the easy way out, the feeling getter -now! But just as it might have taken years for the person to learn how to get themselves depressed, it will take time and work to start to feel better. I do believe that all good growth in nature is gradual and that if we want the good growth to continue, we need to follow certain steps to make sure this growth will continue. One of the first things that we want to do is to admit, like any thing, person or substance to which we are attached/addicted to, which we cannot free ourselves from the attachment by will power alone. We ask our Higher Power, this power greater than ourselves, to free us. We begin our recovery by meeting with our local Depressed Anonymous group and admit by our presence that we want to change. We are dissatisfied where we are now and decide to work on ourselves so that we will feel better. By our taking one step at a time we can feel a change happening. Many people have been depressed for years-they are in so much pain that they want relief now. The members of the group are taking full responsibility for their feelings, moods and behavior.
If you want some inspiring stories of persons who have freed themselves from the deadly grip of depression and isolation, please read their stories in DEPRESSED ANONYNMOUS, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 110-152.
THE HOME STUDY PROGRAM: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition is combined with another publication The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002). These two separate publications provide an individual with an opportunity to further their recovery on their own, with the possibility of getting a Depressed Anonymous mutual aid group started in their own community. The best help for ourselves is in helping others.
Please VISIT THE STORE to discover a plentiful resource for books dealing with depression and our 12 Step recovery program, Depressed Anonymous.
THE THIRD WAY TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION : AN EXCERPT
“We trust others by sharing our recent episodes of loss/sadness while at the same time sharing our hopes and strengths. We trust our newfound positive beliefs for getting ourselves out of the prison of depression.
Many of us won’t allow ourselves to trust anyone. We are so distrustful of ourselves that we cannot trust ourselves to feel. The painful hollowness of depression is such that we can’t allow it to be felt. It is only among our brothers and sisters in the 12 step group that we can share our hurts and deep pain of being isolated. When we hear other members share their stories of hurt and isolation we know that we are not alone. We gradually begin to trust ourselves to touch our own nerves of pain and hurts. We trust the nurturing and accepting atmosphere of the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous to take part of our hurt and help carry us along. Every time we share a hurt from our own past we remove one more brick out of our prison wall of depression. The more we find that our trust is validated by the continual acceptance from the group, the more energy we muster up for ourselves to continue trusting our deepest thought and feelings to others. No longer do we take refuge in the numbed comfort of our isolating sadness. Now we walk upright and begin making choices on how we want to feel, think an believe. We no longer live our lives in isolation and disconnected from others. Now we join in the mutual fray of battling depression with all our new friends on the broad road of healing.”
SOURCES: Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 15-16.
Copyright(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
VISIT THE STORE for more literature on the subjects of depression and the 12 steps of recovery.
The Second way out of the prison of our depression states that “I accepted that God, the God of my understanding is loving and forgiving. The 12 Step group and our God is the pillar of our strength and healing.
LIVING A HALF-LIFE
In depression the first thing that we must do is to take charge of our lives and incorporate a planned pleasant activity in our lives. If I don’t, I will continue to linger on alone and live a half-life. Nothing beyond my reach can absorb my pain of isolation and feeling worthless.
This is especially true for many of us in mid-life where the dreams we once thought possible remains stillborn. We seem to have lost the time to do something positive with our lives. We feel stuck. I want to get involved with a fellowship of persons who are learning new ways of living with a sense of purpose. We want to live our lives with hope. Step Two of Depressed Anonymous states that “we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” We will “let go and let God.” P.11.
Check the menu here at our site and discover if there is a Depressed Anonymous group in your community.
SOURCE: Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression.(2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
One of the 15 Statements of Belief in Believing is Seeing : 15 ways to leave the prison of depression, tells us in Statement # 9 that ” 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 meeting. One, when we don’t want to go to a meeting and secondly when we want to go to a meeting. From my own personal experience I can share with you that it’s when I go to my meetings that I am always able to come away from it with something positive to think about. I can always say that I feel better after a DA meeting. I know in my heart that when I just want to sit at home by myself and ruminate within my own head all the horrible things that have happened to me, are about to happen to me and are happening to me now, the more I find that I depress myself.
It’s our addictive thinking, our compulsive way of processing negative information, which means that we habitually store the negative and dump the positive inflow of information and that gets us wanting to fall back into the old habit of staying isolated and avoiding others. We might fool ourselves and say that people have nothing to offer me so that 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.
I can only do what God wants me to do and I find out what this is by spending time alone with my God in meditation. Whatever we do, we need to know that our isolation and our withdrawing from friends and family, is an environment by which our depression can grow strong. Depression dies in the light of discussion.
Copyright (c)Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
Copyright (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications, L0uisville.
Copyright (c)Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step Fellowship groups. ( 1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
VISIT THE STORE FOR MORE LITERATURE.
” I had always known that I was hard on myself. I reamed myself every time something bad happened. “Why can’t I find someone to love me?” “Why isn’t God looking after me?” But for some reason, when I realized that I was doing this to myself, it made me realize that maybe all that I would have to do is to 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’ll 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, It’s not that hard to find something positive about myself or my life now. So I remind myself of something positive every day and that’s what I am going to do until I don’t have to remind myself anymore because I’ll know.”
To read more by this member of Depressed Anonymous see #9, A VICTIM IN MY OWN MIND in the Personal Stories contained in Depressed Anonymous, pages 120-121.
Also, it’s good to remember as pointed out in the 1st Statement of Belief in Believing is Seeing, that “I accept and believe that however hopeless everything appears right now, I will make a decision to recover from depression. I am not helpless. I will make a choice to get better.”
SOURCES: (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
(c)Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications.
Information for additional literature on Depression and the 12 Steps of recovery is available at VISIT THE STORE. (See Menu)
“But we are not yet community creatures. We are impelled to relate with each other for our survival. But we do not yet relate with the inclusivity, realism, self-awareness, vulnerability, commitment, openness, freedom, equality, and love of genuine community. It is clearly no longer enough to be simply social animals, babbling together at cocktail pareties and brawling with each other in business and over boundaries. It is our task — our essential, central, crucial task — to transform ourselves from mere social creatures into community creatures. It is the only way that human evolution will be able to proceeed. ”
M.Scott Peck: The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace. (1987) TOUCHSTONE.
The above quote presents fleshes out the realities of making community. Also, the critical need we have as social beings to help build those forms of communities where people not only just happen to live proximate to each other but instead see each other as brother and sister. The question then arises how to transform ourselves into a community as Peck proposes?
Alcoholics Anonymous and all 12 step mutual aid groups present us with a model of recovery and the dynamic experiences of community by each persons effort to transform themselves. These 12 step groups have given us a model on how to build community 1) by first beginning the process of transforming that individual and 2) by embedding themselves as part of a caring and healing community. By sharing our vulnerabilities and committing ourselves to the transformation of our live through the dynamic force of a caring community (12 step group) and each of our lives is renewed and changed.
In the mutuality of a caring group of people we can add ourselves as one who truly has been part of building a community where trust, healing and respect take place.
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
Our feelings expressed and positively received by the group allow us then to focus on the way we think about ourselves, and make it possible for us to parent ourselves instead of continually seeking out the lost unavailable parent in the guise of multiple sexual relationships, alcohol, gambling, and any of the many other compulsions that are used to fill the void in our lives.
Practicing the program enables us to be used by the Higher Power to do the most good that we can and which our Higher Power wants us to do.”
In the Depressed Anonymous Workbook(2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville., in the section relating to Step number 11, (Page 80) read the following statement and respond with your own answers to questions about what you are doing now that you were not doing before you came into the Depressed Anonymous group?
“I can’t do anything to remove my compulsive behavior until I choose to “live without it.” It is truly living in the will and mind of God that will help us, one day at a time to stop being so compulsive in our rigid and automated thinking about people and things so that we do not let our dated emotions and thoughts predict what the outcome of our perceptions ought to be.” (See Page 95 in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
For best results in working out a gradual release from the darkness of the depression is to use the WORKBOOK and 3rd edition of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS together. We call this the HOME STUDY KIT. Please VISIT THE STORE here at our website (www.depressedanon.com) for more information about the literature that is now available.
In our book, Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression (2014) we learn that there is a path that will lead us out of the prison of depression. We know from experience that once we begin to take this path, walk it, step by step, that we will find ourselves gradually leaving behind our misery. Our sense of personal worthlessness will disappear and the courage to confront our selves will grow stronger with each effort at stepping onto a path with its daily pointing toward hope.
How do I know this to be true? I know it to be true because I myself have walked the path and continue to walk it everyday of my life. I show others how to walk the path and many reach the same point of hope as did I. But let’s be straight about the way we get on this path. First of all, we have to admit that we have a need for this journey of hope. The alternative is potentially deadly. Just by admitting that I was powerless over my depression and that my life had become unmanageable put my feet on the path. I had to choose: take the first step or not take the first step. I took the step forward. The further I moved along the path of hope the further back was the misery that held me in its tight grasp. Now when a difficult situation appears on my path I deal with it effectively and move on. I believe that with my own growing confidence, with a group of persons like myself who want to make the trip with me, will lead out of the twisted thinking that kept me confused and helpless. No more.
If you too want to join me on the path of hope, give us a call (502) 5691989 or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can tell you how you too can have the same positive results in your own life that those of us who chose hope instead of misery.
Promise # 3 of 13 continued: “We do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” The following is a continuation from the previous statement concerning Promise # 3.
“When we suppress a negative emotion and refuse to deal with it, either consciously or unconsciously, it becomes one of those blocks that form the walls of our personal prison. These unexpressed emotions can fester and boil over so that our energy level is dissipated, scattered. We find ourselves enervated and weakened. We discover that with the internal war raging inside of us we can hardly find the energy to get to work and roll ourselves out of bed a morning. We no longer have the freeing feeling of spontaneity in our lives.
We discover that our ability to make ourselves do something is now beyond our personal strength and power. We have become helpless.
We also discover that we are powerless. Our will power has no control over this depression.
But how do we know that this particular Promise will come true for me? What we can rely on is our own experiences. Our experiences tell us that the more we live in the solution of the Promises of Depressed Anonymous the more serenity and peace will be ours. We have discovered that it is when we begin to live in the solution and not focus on our problems that will lead us past the fear of what might happen to the serenity of the present moment. We no longer wait with trepidation for the other shoe to drop. Our freedom begins when we start to reflect consciously on what is happening now at this very moment. I have noticed that it is when I become conscious about what I am feeling now is the direct result of my thinking which enable me to make the conscious decisions to bring myself back to the present.”
SOURCES: (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 35-36.
(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville
VISIT THE STORE for more literature dealing with the Steps and Depression..
1. Attributing the depression to a cause. 2. Attempting to rectify the problem considered responsible for evoking the feeling of depression. 3. Finding social and moral support. 4. Engaging in diverting and distracting recreations. 5. Keeping busy and working. 6. Focusing one’s attention elsewhere than on the depression problems or depressed feelings. 7. Restructuring one’s cognitions so as to minimize the significance of the depressing events. 8. Engaging in self-care and maintenance activities. 9. Visiting one’s emotions. 10. Taking prescribed medication. 11. Finding compensations and boosting feelings of self-esteem/ or self sufficiency through useful, purposeful activity. 12. Taking comfort in one’s religious beliefs.
Source: Rippere, V., and Williams, Ruth. Wounded Healers. NY: John Wiley and sons. Ltd.,1985.
I might add that one of the more therapeutic activities for a person depressed is to join a Depressed Anonymous group where you will find yourself no longer alone and isolated. The group members will speak a language which tells you that they know what you are experiencing. And when you do turn your attention to your personal experience with depression they will provide you with a solution-focused plan of recovery. We call it the Twelve Step program of recovery This plan has been tried and tested for almost a century now, and has been found to be the “real deal.”
Take a look at some of the literature offered by Depressed Anonymous, use it, then become a believer that it works.
Sources: Believing is seeing:15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville
Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville..