Thanks to members of a family, a mother and daughter attending a Depressed Anonymous meeting for the first time, were given tools helping them understand their father and mother’s husband who was isolating and depressed. It was at this meeting with me after the meeting, that they discovered that the parent and daughter were both experiencing some of the same feelings as was their loved one.
It was At this juncture of our discussion together that we knew at that point that family members needed to learn more about depression.
It was there that the initial program of Dep-Anon had its origin. They saw how their loved one was isolating and resistant to any or all of our solutions or efforts to budge them into recovery. The more we cajoled them the more this made matters worse.
Little did we realize that by continuing on this path of negative emotions directed toward our loved one that this would push the depressed family member further away from us. Our efforts continued to be self defeating.
We learned a very important message: We needed to back off, take care of ourselves, learn as much as we could about depression and leave our loved one alone. We also discovered that we needed a group much like Al-Anon in nature. We figured some out and that was we had to take care of ourselves and let the depressed take care of themselves. We truly were powerless to change them. We had to learn a new way. We found it important that we ourselves use the same program of recovery as our family member uses at their Depressed Anonymous group. We call it Dep-Anon. Yes, we had now found a way for ourselves to use the same spiritual principles which the Al-Anon family uses as they start taking care of themselves and let go of trying to regulate and control a family member’s drinking. We began to understand that we must try to change ourselves first, before we try and change someone else. We must fix ourselves and learn exactly how and what depression can do and does do to our family member.
All of us, who do have a family member as part of the fabric of our lives, can now look to Dep-Anon, a 12 Step family group, formed to not only help ourselves but also for us to participate as a member of a larger group of family members, who now together are learning ways to care for themselves.
Is our mind’s gearshift mostly set in “park”? Is our mind set in “loaf” with no destination in sight?
When my mind finally stopped racing and my foot got off the accelerator, I ended up in “park.” It was at that time that I felt helpless and without a map to help find my way out of that deep hole that I had dug for myself. All I could do was to surf the web. And that was pretty much where I spent my time. Nowhere to go but everywhere. No destination in particular that was driving my interest.
I would sit, and sit some more. My mind was like a “drunken monkey.” I knew that I had to move. I had to find a way to help myself or have someone help me. And then I read from my HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS the following words:
” I hate to think it, much less to say it, but I need to make a radical change in the way I lead my life. I have come to the point in my life where I might need to make a big decision as to whether I stay where I am (in park) or move to something else…and I will be better for the change. I need to take the Fourth Step Inventory. I need to make a fearless and moral inventory. I know that the more I escape into the seclusion of my inner world and focus on me, how bad I think I am, the more sad I become.
I am discovering how I can now feel better and that my program is a spiritual one. My recovery continues to grow the more I take stock of my strengths and I see the world as a place of healing instead of a place of fear.”
It’s time to put your life in drive. Know life is just ahead. The Depressed Anonymous meeting is about to start! Please come in and join us.
SOURCE: (c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.
(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky.
NOTE: To order online, click onto The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore and find material that can be of help to you.
I make a decision today to read one of the newsletters listed at the Newsletter Archives on this website (www.depressedanon.com.) or the BLOGS from the past week.
“Psychiatrists regard a person’s statement, ‘I can’t make a decision’ as a symptom of an illness, when really it is a reasonable effective defense…if you are trying to shut out all the matters which you find uncontrollable, threatening and confusing, you cannot give those matters the careful scrutiny they need if you are to make a decision about them. They create such turmoil in our mind that you decided that it is best to not decide. You can say ‘I am depressed. I cannot make my decision.’ Spending the day with the blanket over your head is as much a result of a decision as is going out and facing the world.
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
Most times when I am depressed, I don’t want to think about changing anything. Everything is hopeless and useless anyway so why try and use all that mental energy to sort it all out. This is the type of thinking that continues the fuzziness and the confusion. It is a refuge from having to do something. about where I am today.
But when I decide that I’ve had enough, I get my dander up and declare to myself, and really to the world around me, that I am going to play my cards differently. This is a good place to begin working on the Fourth Step, that “I will make a fearless and moral inventory of myself.”
God help us change what needs to be changed today and let us know what it is and what is OK with us as well. Help us sort out the fog and fuzziness of our mind so that your guidance will create in us a desire to help ourselves.”
SOURCES: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. February 7th.
Depressed Anonymous , 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.
I’ll do it when I feel better. (2018) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
“In Depressed Anonymous, we are exposed constantly to the tough message that we have to give up our self-pity and sadness if we want to be happy. We have to think in terms of what is possible with God in our lives. Sometimes people come to Depressed Anonymous and don’t want to talk about God and the Twelve Steps, and can’t understand what this has to do with how bad they feel. If after a number of meetings they still don’t want to work the Twelve Steps, we recommend other groups to them. Depressed Anonymous is a spiritual program and it is allowing the Higher Power into our lives that eventually delivers us from the habit of feeling sad and depressed. We in Depressed Anonymous are committed to working the Twelve Steps and listening to each other share how God, as we understand God, has worked in our lives….
Jim, a member of Depressed Anonymous admitted that he had seriously thought of taking his own life as he had lost all hope of removing this sadness which, like a cancer, was taking his life by inches. It was only when he had nothing to lose that he made a decision to turn his mind and his will over to the care of God as he understood God. It was at this point that that the God of his understanding or the Higher Power was allowed to work in Jim’s life. God doesn’t act like gangbusters and force its way into our lives -God has to be invited. Once again there is an invitation from us and we admit our dependence on God instead of on our own addiction. It is then that our feelings begin to come alive and the flow of God’s love makes its way into our lives. We begin to to find that we are feeling better and that something good as we trust, possibly for the first time, this God who will give us our heart’s desire. “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things that we can and the wisdom to know the difference. ” Trust God to be God, and let this power help you, as it has helped millions of other men an women before you.”
COPYRIGHT(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed. Depressed Anonymous Publications Louisville, KY.
“Every decision that we make alters the world of meaning which we have created. Deciding to eat Puff Wheat instead of Cornflakes for breakfast may not be a major change, but abandoning ‘I am bad and unacceptable‘ and replacing it with ‘I accept and value myself‘ is. Every decision you have made since you decided that you were bad and valueless was based on the decision. Now, all these conclusions need reviewing and changing. ” Dorothy Rowe.
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
Making a decision is the first step in getting free and being liberated from my depression. From this step follows the many other steps that are to be taken that will allow me to begin to see how the thoughts I think definitely do affect the way I feel. The next step is to review the different ways in which I can value myself. My first new response to my own negative thinking about myself is to believe that I will today begin my exit from the prison of my own negativity and pessimism.
My struggle to wrest myself free from depression means that I am to make some initial steps in my own health. I want to believe that it is the fact that I want to value myself and my life that I will no longer allow myself to sit and wallow in self-pity but will start to make an effort to take mastery over the way I feel and think.
We will let go of our ignorance about how this universe is operated. I let the God of my understanding take charge as I continue to dip my oars into the water of life and let God be the rudder master,”
SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. September 3rd. Page 155.
“Every decision that we make alters the world of meaning which we have created. Deciding to eat Wheat Puffs instead of Corn Flakes for breakfast may not be a major change, but abandoning thinking ‘ I am bad and unacceptable’ and replacing it with ‘I accept and value myself’ is. Every decision you have made since you decided that you were bad and valueless was based on that decision. Now, all these conclusions need reviewing and changing. ” Dorothy Rowe, Breaking the Bonds. Fontana. 1991.
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
Making a decision is the first step in getting free and being liberated from my depression. From this step follows the many other steps that are to be taken that will allow me to begin to see how the thoughts I think, definitely affect the way I feel. My next step is to review the different ways in which I can value myself. My first new response to my own negative thinking about myself is to believe that today I will begin my exit from the prison of my own negativity and pessimism.
My struggle to wrest myself free from depression means that I am to make some initial steps in my own health. I want to believe that it is the fact that I want to value myself and my life that I will no longer allow myself to wallow in self-pity, but decide to start to make an effort to take mastery again over the way I feel and think.
We will let go of our ignorance about how this universe is operated. I let the God of my understanding take charge. I continue to dip my oars into the water of life and risk letting God be the rudder master.
I want to make a plan today, to decide how I can do one thing differently so that I might value who I am as a human being. I will write down how I will dip my oars in the water in the next 24 hours and change what I need to change.
(Check out The Depressed Anonymous Workbook at THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE for that excellent tool for self reflection and personal recovery.)
Life is unpredictable. Every living organism operates with a certain amount of unpredictability and uncertainty. The uncertainty of life creates in us a desire for predictability. If we did not believe in the possibility of change, we would all be hopelessly lost and forever bored. Hope would be lost. Potential far a better life would never exist. When there is hope, change is possible. The experience of depression is much the same. Depression is so predictable and unchanging that we lose hope for the pain of our isolation ever coming to an end.”
Introduction to Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Publications. Louisville.
This introduction introduces the journey of the author and founder of Depressed Anonymous. He based this important program of recovery on the 12 steps of AA. In the introduction, there is a short autobiography of the founders’ life during his depression experience and the how life was after his complete recovery.
Quoted from Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 19-23.
A personal story/ testimony from Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition by Robin.
“Through the Depressed Anonymous program, which utilizes the Twelve Steps, I have been on a journey of transformation from the familiar life of drudgery and gloom and desperation to discovering a new freedom and a new happiness – something I didn’t know existed. My entire perspective is changing. Other people who I once thought were judgmental are now considered as all being a child of God–all created equal. What a peace provocative tool this is. Really! It helps me lift those negative attitudes and replaces them with affirmations. This is certainly the most valuable technique offered in Depressed Anonymous to acquire an optimistic attitude towards life itself, or simply “making gratitude my attitude.” So many of us were only familiar with the sham and the drudgery of life, but even with all the sham and drudgery in the word, it is still a beautiful place to live. We learn to change not the world, but how we view the world and all its intricacies.”
Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
It is truly a remarkable fact, that by going to one meeting you may hear someone share their own personal story and you think they are talking about you. It is amazing how this works, but not really. What happens is that all of us who come to the Depressed Anonymous meeting for the first time, find that members of this mutual aid group speak the same language … hope and support. It does take one to know one, which is true. I guess the point here is that if we all feel pretty much the same thing when we are depressed, even though my depression experience is unique to me and how it effects my life, that this awareness is a great thing as it helps to produce those many strategies for recovery which can be applied across the board for most of us in the group. The Twelve Steps are strategies that in time and work can give us a fresh and healing perspective for our individual lives. To read more about the recovery experience of others who have used tjourney of transformation
he Twelve Steps, VISIT THE STORE and continue to find other literature which can provide you with hope plus a way out of your depression.
The latest offer by the PUBLISHER is the KINDLE edition of Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily Thoughts and Meditations for Twelve Step individuals. Take a Higher Thought with you were ever you go!
“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.
THE SERENITY PRAYER
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time,
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to your will,
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with you in the next. Amen.