The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk got it right!!

 

“It’s an addiction if you find yourself continually bashing yourself for past mistakes and /or failures.  It is this constant rumination that puts us in the negative spiral which leads to more isolation, withdrawal and psychic pain. The familiar feeling of sadness and the continual inner hollowness that make our life so miserable becomes our security.”

But, where do we go from here?  I myself  got caught up in the spiraling downward descent into the darkness and hell of depression. I felt  trapped and helpless.

My spiraling upward came when I felt the hope in the  stories of those like myself, who no longer felt hopeless and helpless.  I became proactive in my own recovery and survival. Some had already attempted to commit suicide.  Once I discovered others just like myself, I was  fascinated by the fact that others were really telling my story as well. There were differences in some of the details, but basically  their stories rang true with my own. It was from that moment on that I was hooked.

Was the group my own Higher Power? Who was the God  that was greater than myself?   How did I contact this Power?  It was listening to others that I came to believe that there is someone, somebody that I could believe in, to free  me  from my prison of  depression.

It was just like the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina who believed that humans could fly.  They had their ups and downs, (no pun intended) but their faith in what they were doing got them in the air and off the ground.

The way to get up and get moving toward recovery is to get moving and start working the Steps, one by one.  You too will begin to live in hope one day at a time.   You will now have a flight plan that will take you where you want to go.

Hugh

The second Step of the Twelve Steps  promotes the belief  that we “came to believe that a  Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed. ,Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville. KY. Page 40.

For more information on the Steps and Depression click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore for your own flight plan!  It’s a journey you will never regret.

 

” For the first time in 14 years I have hope…”

”  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.”

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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.

Louisville.

Information for additional literature on Depression and the 12 Steps of recovery is available at   VISIT THE STORE. (See Menu)

I needed to lay all my cards out on the table…

Affirmation

First I need to forgive myself for not being perfect. I want to accept the fact that I am human and fallible.

” Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” Step Nine of Depressed Anonymous

Clarification of thought

When I made up my mind to attend my first Twelve Step meeting that was the beginning of making amends to myself and to others.  It was this taking the step and coming to a meeting that I made my statement that I needed help and that I might change the way that I lived my life.  I need to  lay all my cards on the table and get straight with anyone from my past who I feel that I hurt by my continual withdrawal  from living a full life.  I need to make amends to those who I passively watched when I would have been a support or a partner.  For the readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of Step Nine.

This really means that I will take an active role in changing my life. Amends doesn’t mean that we just shift the furniture around the room of our life. I might have to rip out the plumbing, knock out a wall, that is, face a major overhaul on the way I look at myself.

Meditation

Our  God will help us locate the truth about whom we need to make amends; that is, how God  wishes us to be changed and whom we need to have forgiveness from so that we will be God’s  worthy vessels to carry  hope to others still suffering from  the despair of their sadness.”

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Source: (c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step Fellowship groups. Louisville. Page 166.

Other sources of interest:

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

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

    Believing is seeing (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

I THINK THAT I AM DEPRESSED!

In the mutual aid group, Depressed Anonymous, we make it OK to say “I think I am depressed.”

In Believing is seeing, an effort is made to help  persons depressed as well as the  friends and families of the depressed to know that there is a group that is there for them. In fact, once people come to the group and experience a meeting focused on the power of the Steps working in the lives of the fellowship, they soon come to  believe and know the group members are speaking their language. It’s much like going to a foreign country and finding someone who can speak your language.

“Thank goodness, people can now go  and find help –namely, the Depressed Anonymous group.  Persons need to be educated about depression and that one is  not losing their minds when the symptoms of depression begin to take over their lives.  Their own depression experience and the symptoms that comprise it may enable them to seek help faster. They may be relieved to know what it is that is happening to them. I believe that a doctor or nurse practitioner would be more than happy to help de-stigmatize such a common and universal problem as depression or as some have called it in an earlier time, melancholia. In time and with our own advocacy as a mutual aid fellowship we will help make it OK to say “I am depressed.” We hope by that fact to help de-stigmatize this common and natural response to loss. Remember, to admit you’re depressed is the first step in recovery and the first step in getting yourself undepressed.”

Copyright (c)Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 17-18.

PAYING IT FORWARD

The motion picture (1999) , PAYING IT FORWARD is about the recipient  of a good deed who pays it forward to some other than the original benefactor. Our very own program of recovery, Depressed Anonymous makes  the same commitment to those who are depressed. I have found it to be a truth that the more I offer others what I have experienced in my own recovery the more I strengthen my serenity and peace.

When I shared with a local Depressed Anonymous group how my own recovery from depression has been a gift from my Higher Power — members of the fellowship just about fell off their seats. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? A gift? Well, yes, it certainly has turned out to be that way.  Ever since the first group was founded in 1985 I have been sharing with those others still suffering from depression.  I share that  by practicing the Steps in my own life I have found serenity and hope. I am no longer  alone. I have the tools to stay in recovery and to be  in contact with others just like myself  who are making or have made their way out of the prison of their own depression. It is by paying it forward to others which  has made it possible for me to keep focused on my own recovery and to practice what I preach.

Paradoxically it has been my own brokenness, anxiety and fear, which  led me to a power greater than myself.  I think that God, our Higher Power, inspires us to go and set free, the key, to help others know and believe that there is a way out of their depression. And when the depressed “get it” they too want to  begin to pay It forward to others who still suffer. So, pass it on. It is possibly one of the best gifts you can give to another!

The Twelfth Step of Depressed Anonymous states that: “Having had a spiritual experience as a result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.”

Source: Depressed Anonymous (2011) 3rd Edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Pages 104-109.

CAME TO BELIEVE THAT A POWER GREATER THAN MYSELF COULD RESTORE ME TO SANITY!

This is the Second Step of the Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous.

A negative way to say this is what power in your life is making you feel completely hopeless and helpless?  For your own review, please list the people, places, situations, things that have exerted the greatest power over you and your life in the past.  The places, persons, and situations can have a positive or negative power over you and your life.

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.

“We have less concern about self and gain interest in others.” PROMISE #7 of Depressed Anonymous.

This is a Promise that I can vouch for. When I first became a member of the AA fellowship, a 12 Step Program of recovery, that my entire life was turned upside down. I learned how AA  is a spiritual program where I came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. The first thing I did to bring sanity into my life was to go to as many meetings a week as I could, read every bit of literature as I could which pertained  to using the 12 Steps to gain sobriety and sanity.

It was later in 1985 that I developed a program for depression using the same 12 Steps of recovery. I called our organization Depressed Anonymous and have been helping others like myself  to know and believe that we are not alone.  I talk, e-mail, write and now blog about my own experiences with depression with the view of helping others out of the prison of their depression.

As it says in I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER, “It is almost a truism to say about those of us who want this program, are not now focused on self but on the will of God for our lives. I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force, a loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me and restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those who are willing to risk leaving the prison of their depression. By my own interest in getting in touch with the Higher Power and getting its direction to “do the next right thing” I find that my own life is gradually becoming more filled with purpose and energy.

There is a saying that to gain energy you must give energy. I found this to be true for my own life.

The spiritual writer Joel Goldsmith stated that: “There is an invisible bond between all of us. We are not on earth  to get from one another, but to share those spiritual treasures which are of God. Our interest in each other is, in truth, purely spiritual.  Our purpose in life is the unfolding of the spirit within..”