I wasn’t taking care of myself

AFFIRMATION

I am going to choose to do one thing today that I can find pleasant. I will keep a list of things that I do for myself that I can always have at hand something that I like to do.

“You can’t please everybody. I wasn’t taking care of myself, so that  I contributed to my depression but I will live  the best I know how. But I will never deliberately hurt anyone else but I am going  to take care of me too.”

CLARIFICATION OF MY THOUGHT/  A REFLECTION

 

I am discovering over time that I was the one responsible for my sadness.  I have come to accept  the reality and the truth that I am the one who is causing the depression and that I need to learn the different ways to get out of the depression. In the past, I had always been willing to crawl along in life but now I am learning how to stand up for myself and begin to recover my true self and be my best self now that I have all the tools. The tools that I am now using, the Twelve Steps, are freeing me up for  a life with hope instead of despair and dread.

In the past, my life was filled with hurt and pain. In fact, the hurt goes back so far that I can’t even remember why I hurt so much. All I know now is that I want to choose to feel good.  Just like Bill W., a co-founder of A.A., I do have the belief that someday my days of fear, anxiety and dread will be  a thing of the past.

MY MEDITATION FOR TODAY

God of hope and serenity, let us just live  in your peace today. We want to absorb each and all your  messages of hope for our soul and spirit. We are waiting on you. We are listening to your voice so that we might learn the best way to take godly care of ourselves.”

Personal comment

SOURCE: Copyright(c) HIGHER THOUGHTS  FOR DOWN DAYS: 365  daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

 

A KINDLE EDITION OF HIGHER THOUGHTS IS AVAILABLE.

Please VISIT THE STORE  for all available literature.

 

Living in the security of my hope

I am choosing to live in the security of my hope rather than in the fear of life’s possible pain.

“…Haven’t our sadness and thoughts of unworthiness been our last refuge from having to face ourselves, take charge and accept responsibility for our own lives? For many, just knowing that that they might have a choice and be able to choose to feel differently can be a startling revelation.  I can choose to be happy or I can choose to stay feeling miserable.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Life is one that provides me with many areas of choice. I can choose to live with the uncertainty of hope or I can stay mired in the despair of having to always have everything predictable. The latter is the hell of my depression.

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SOURCE:    Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

The secret of life is that there is no secret. Sartre

This morning, before the rising of the sun, I was up and asking God to bless me for this next 24 hour period of my life. All I had left from yesterday was my memories of it. And the memories were good. My family and assorted friends came together for my wife’s brother’s birthday party. It was a lot of fun and lots of old memories from earlier times surfaced. From the youngest, a five year old grandchild to a 94 year old aunt. Anyway, I thanked God for family and friends. Today, I have memories of that time yesterday. But I live here now, in the space of these next few hours left in this day.

I have learned that yesterday is gone forever and tomorrow is not here yet. How true that is. Just try and live today.One day at a time. If I have a worry today about something coming up  tomorrow, I just keep informing myself, that I will have to  worry about that later. Later never comes. That’s the beauty of this strategy… later is interpreted as “push it off ” till another time in the day. It’s really a matter of making a choice at this point–worry or try and let it go. So,right now, I am going to enjoy the sun rising  over the horizon. I am also trying  to be mindful of what is right in front of me. Mindfulness is a very important habit to carry with us these  24 hours.  Be mindful of what is happening around us. Be mindful of the person with whom  you may be having a conversation. In other words, be present with your whole person to the person who is with you. When I look out now, with the sun beginning to cast its warm crimson glow in the East, I think God that I have shelter, food on the table, and a family that I love and care about. Morning is a gratitude time for me as I think about my ministry with the beautiful aged persons in a nursing home, the people  I may be able to  visit in the hospital today.

I also thank God for my sobriety, my spiritual recovery program of Depressed Anonymous, and the fact that I am mindful of  trying to be  honest with myself and others, that I am open about who I am. I  am willing to share with others how it is that I have the tools now  to stay out of the prison of depression. I love to tell the story of how it was when I was depressed and now how it is that I am part of a fellowship that uses a daily program of healing and serenity. (See Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed., DAP. Louisville). You can also go to our site menu and find important and helpful literature there for your life.

Can you think about and write out all the areas of your life for which you are thankful? Try it. And then tonight before going to bed, reflect on how you still have hope that life can get better. I have found that living life one day at a time—with gratitude —  makes it a whole lot better!

STOP SIGNS AND SUNSPOTS

My name is Linda and the first time I read Depressed Anonymous,   I did not like it and got angry. The first part of the book about turning over our minds and life to a Higher Power sounded good.  I was ready to do that. ” Hey, here it is God! You take it! No more depression.”  But then came the part about a moral inventory, shortcomings, and the big one is that I depress myself.

“What’s he talking about?” I said to myself as I read the book. I had tried to un-depress myself many times. I put the book down, and went to work . But as I was walking around at work that night feeling very depressed, bits  and pieces of the book kept popping into my head and I started to think of the  word “stop” just like the book suggested to do.  “I depressed myself, I can un-depress myself” I said to myself.

Look for “SUNSPOTS”, memories from the past that were happy times and ones which bring back happy feelings from years gone by. I tried, but none came to mind. But I did find that just  by thinking about the book and what it  said made  me feel a little bit better.  Then a piece of a song popped into my mind: “Seek you first the Kingdom  of God and His righteousness , and all the others will be added to you.” “Hey! A SUNSPOT!” I said to myself.

Then I felt a warm glow and then I did feel better –I did it!  I made myself feel better. I can un-depress myself! I had mixed feelings. I wanted to feel better, but admitting I depressed myself was not an easy thing to do.  I went back and reread the book, but now with an open mind. I have started to follow the Twelve Steps and with the help of the Higher Power, I can have a brighter future.  I am making and putting in my memory a lot of SUNSPOTS for those times when I am feeling depressed and which I can choose to draw upon when I feel that I need  them.

I put up a “stop” sign and bring out a SUNSPOT to carry me though.”

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 114. Personal Stories section.

THE SIMPLE ABC’s of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS: THE 12 STEP PROGRAM OF RECOVERY

Yes, learn your ABC’s of Depressed Anonymous and you are on your way to discovering how to live with freedom and with purpose. I learned my ABC’s back in 1982 in another  12 step fellowship. It did take me a little while to get used to them but in due time everything all came together. Once  I got serious about learning my ABC’s things started to happen. I not only found the key that opened a new world of serenity and a fellowship to me,  I also have a daily plan for my life that gives me purpose and serenity to this very day. Just as day follows night I am helping others learn their ABC’s.

First of all, you might be wondering what are the ABC’s of Depressed Anonymous? And how can I learn them? Well, let me tell you about them.

Simply put, the ABC’s stand for three realities which anyone can learn. The first reality is to 1) admit that I have a problem. That is fairly easy to understand. Having a problem is what usually brings a person into our 12 Step fellowship in the first place.  We know something is happening and we know we can’t go on feeling as bad as we do. “We admitted that we were powerless over depression and that our lives had become unmanageable.” There you got it.  You just learned a bit about the A of the ABC’s — to admit. OK, I know that to admit something is out of kilter in our lives is not easy but to also know that the pain  is so great we have to take the bull by the horn and find help. We also know how scary life becomes when we feel we have no control over the way we feel and think. I know. When I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning and had this awful feeling of hollowness in my body which was unbearable I knew then that something serious, possibly deadly serious was going on. Yes,deadly serious.

It was then that I  believed that I had to take action. I had to seek help and find out what was causing my life to take a nose dive or extreme proportions.  For me to feel that I had no control over the way I felt and even to the point that I  could not get myself out of bed in the morning with will power alone, it was then that I knew what I had was serious.  I ” came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” I didn’t know what this Power was that was going to restore me but I had to find out. I sought help and finally got the help I needed. I moved the body and my mind followed. I was forcing myself out of bed a morning and started walking. For awhile I felt I was an incarnation of the movie hero, Forrest Gump. But over time I found the key to my recovery and learned how to use the C of my ABC’s. I learned how to commit myself to this Power that was greater than myself. Actually, it was my decision to commit myself to going to as many 12 Step meetings as  I possibly could. It was there that I learned to live my life. I now had a plan. I had a purpose and I made sure I was about doing the next right thing for my recovery. It has been 30 years since that day when I had to admit that I had  serious problem on my hands. I am still doing my ABC’s every day and helping others learn their ABC’s of recovery. I know the program of recovery takes time and work–but it is worth a life. Your life!

If you want to learn the ABC’s of Depressed Anonymous, it would do you well to get  to a meeting or get the  BIg  Book, DEPRESED ANONYMOUS, 3rd Edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications.  ( By the way, this book was written by a group of depressed persons who learned their ABC.s and wanted to show others a plan that worked for them.  They found HOPE. Their Personal Stories are in the book).

FOLLOW YOUR BLISS!

In the  Personal Stories section of Depressed Anonymous (3rd Edition), an anonymous writer shares with us how when she began to follow her blisshappy memories from her past life–something started to happen. In the program of Depressed Anonymous we call them SUNSPOTS.  Let her tell us in her own words.

” Look for SUNSPOTS, memories from the past that were happy times and ones which bring back happy feelings from years gone by. I tried, but none came to mind.  But I did find that just thinking about the book (Depressed Anonymous)  and what it said, did make me feel a little better. Then a piece of a song popped into my mind “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all the others will be added to you..”  “Hey! A SUNSPOT  I said to myself

Then I felt a warm glow and then I did feel better — I did it! I made myself feel better. I can un-depress myself. I had mixed feelings. I wanted to feel better, but admitting I depressed myself was not an easy thing to do.

I went back and reread the book, but now with an open mind. I have started to follow the Twelve Steps and with the help of the Higher Power, I can have a brighter future. I am making and putting in my memory a lot of SUNSPOTS for those times when I am feeling depressed and which I can choose to draw upon when I feel that I need them.

I put up a “stop” sign and bring out a SUNSPOT to carry me through.” By Anonymous. Page  114. “I depressed myself. I can un-depress myself.”

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NOTE: I have also found that when I create a picture album in my mind  I can always leaf through them, one memory at a time. It is a well known fact that memories carry with them pleasant or unpleasant feelings.  We don’t want to try to forcibly push away those unhappy memories-as that seems to just make them more persistent- but to just let those unhappy pictures float by – like watching a vehicle passing by. And as we move onto those happy memories in our mind’s album  and place our attention on them, we will with time and practice discover that happy memories produce happy and pleasant feelings. Hugh

I will change the way I think about myself –just for this day!

AFFIRMATION

I can change  the way I think about myself –just for this day.

“The Twelve Steps spirituality works well for those who have been depressed most of their lives because it asks them to admit that they are powerless over their depression and that their lives have become unmanageable.  With this admission that their lives are out of control they now can begin to rebuild their lives as they begin to work each of the Twelve Steps.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I admit that since I have begun working the Twelve Steps –starting with Step One— that “We admitted we were powerless over depression –that our lives had become unmanageable” that I have begin to feel differently about myself. I have discovered  in my group and by reading Depressed Anonymous that I can no longer be alone in my depression.  I feel lifted out of my sadness whenever I hear others talk about their depression and the hope that they have  now because of their belief that they  are getting better.  To admit that we are depressed is over half the  battle.

I admit that I am out of control. I also admit it’s alright to admit the fact that I am powerless because now my Higher Power can start to work in me and free  from those  things that imprison me in depression.

MEDITAITION

We know that  our choice is to get better.  We also know that  now that we admit are not God that our Higher Power can begin its hopeful work in us. With God all things are possible!

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Copyright (c) HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR  DOWN DAYS: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for !2 Step Fellowship Groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications  Louisville. Page 104.

TODAY IS ALL I HAVE.

AFFIRMATION

I can live each moment as it comes. I can live only in today. Today is all I have.

“Try to work out which is your habitual response to change which you see as dangerous, so that as you dare to explore you don’t suddenly find yourself running away to the safety of old ways, or resisting the new ideas with old prejudices.( 3)

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I find that when I am depressed I find all the comfort in the predictable and the familiar.  Right now, I am in battle for my life and I am going to stay and work things out. My feelings are agitated and make me feel very uncomfortable, but I know that it is only by feeling them and accepting them (not run away) that I will, and can in time, begin to taste the freedom of a new me beginning to be born.  I believe that by desiring change, this desire will produce a greater motivation in my self to think and feel differently.

This is an important concept when I am depressed. I desire the safety of the familiar and the predictable.

MEDITATION

God, help me to live in the peace and the serenity  of the present moment. And let us be aware of the moment when we begin to depress ourselves.  Alert us to the moment that we can CHOOSE to turn our minds to something more constructive.

SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days(c). (March 17).

I CAN ONLY CHANGE MYSELF.

  Higher Thoughts for Down Days(c) (February 27)

AFFIRMATION

I am gaining, day by day, a new and hopeful attitude about my life and my relationship with others.

“Strangely, I feel as if I have been incredibly lucky. Logically, I don’t believe in luck. I believe that people make their own lives what they are, but still I feel so lucky to have been involved in a group which gave me  the opportunity, and incentive, to start to make changes in my life.  To understand why I am sometimes so angry, (See DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK / Anger workshop. Checklist for Hidden Anger) why I have been so self-critical and self-destructing.  Understanding why you feel as you do open the gates for the even harder struggle of changing what you do.” (7)

REFLECTION

Making changes is part of making a life.  If I choose to stay mired in the deep pit of depression, I can choose that.  I have this as an option.  But, if I want to choose  and risk changing myself, I have the option of working to construct a different way of looking at my world.  Just by changing my attitude about my life and the direction where I want it to go, I can make the hard changes. I want to change my attitude. I will now want to listen to those who have been in recovery for months or years and listen to their hopeful attitudes and how they are felling better now that they are living one day at a time, and no longer fearful that their old nemesis, the sadness, will sneak up and change everything back to the way it was.

I can only change myself. I will always try and keep the focus on how I need to change, not how others around me need to change. (For more accounts of how persons changed their lives in   Depressed Anonymous (Personal stories) , third edition, 2011. DAP. )_

MEDITATION

God, we are always heartened and healed by the group. Please guide us and let us be  led to that healing community of those persons who are struggling to find the security that you promise to those who do your will.” “Fear not, for I am always with you.”

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Lately, I have been reflecting on how each of us is embedded in a unique culture which not only influences our decision making but also personal mores, attitudes about life, ourselves and each other. In the near future I will spend some time here at this BLOG  and share how culture has a dramatic influence  on how we live out our lives  My thoughts will go in the direction of trying to answer the question: Does our culture, way of life, that is our society, promote  a depressive lifestyle, thinking and behavior. I hope that you will follow me here as we  together reflect on this critical question. Join me as we continue this clarification of thought process here at our Depressed Anonymous website.

Please check out Depressed Anonymous Publications @ Visit the store

RIGHT NOW, I FEEL A GLIMMER OF HOPE…

Right now, I feel a glimmer of hope.  I will make this glimmer grow brighter by trusting in my ability to expand my activities today and talk to a friend about the small steps I am taking to feel better today.

“Those of us who cope with life have  put up some barriers, have made some disconnections by maintaining many connections. Those people who become depressed have disconnected themselves completely, and the barriers they  have built are the walls of the prison of depression.”

Depression continues for as long  as I stay disconnected from those around  me. I don’t want to be connected – I might have to change the way I think, feel and act.  This would turn  my comfortable world upside down and then where would I be. I’d be like the sailor on a cloudy night-nary a star by which to chart my course.  Being in contact and connected with others means that I am ready to risk getting someone else a look inside my prison. It means that my new connections will change me to face my old beliefs about myself and my world.  Today, I have the opportunity to choose to trust or to retreat back into my hole of hopelessness. What’s it  ‘gonna’   be?

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EXCERPTS:  HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS.