Tag Archives: Clarification of thought

I LIKE BEING A RESPONSIBLE PERSON AND I WILL NO LONGER BLAME OTHERS FOR MY SADNESS.

AFFIRMATION

Responsibility is the name  of the game in recovery and it is here that we need to focus our attention.  As we get into a discussion with other  people who are depressed  – much like ourselves – we see that they talk about feeling better while at the same time acting on  their own behalf. ” (8)

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

To blame someone else for all my problems, and to focus on someone else and not on myself, never  accomplishes anything therapeutic. I believe that as I commit myself to  my program of recovery I begin to feel a shift in the way I think and act.  I know that the only way out of my pain is to get into dealing with my sadness and the way that I sad myself.  I need to begin with Step One  and admit my problem. I need to admit that my life has become unmanageable because of my attachment  to depression.  I must remember not to blame myself for depression  – I just know that right now, today, I want out!  I tell myself I’ve had  it!  I intend to get better.

In order to change my life, I have to begin taking responsibility  for it today.  By setting a goal, just for today, I can plan some success into my life.”

MEDITATION

We know that our Higher Power wants us to live just this one day. God is neither a vengeful God nor is my God a punishing God. My God is there for me and the more I open up and trust God, I trust myself to change and be a better and more serene person.”

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SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications . Louisville, Kentucky  P. 69.

Remove the letters “d”, “e”, and “i” from the word depression and I have “press on”!

AFFIRMATION

“The idea that we have to be responsible for ourselves and that the ways of the world are neither good nor just is too terrifying for you to contemplate. You cannot tolerate such uncertainty. You do not trust yourself, so how can you take responsibility for yourself?”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I  don’t like facing the fact that ultimately I am the one responsible for myself, no one else. It appears to me that I have to take care of myself, depend on my Higher Power for direction, and go from there.  My Higher Power isn’t going to do it all.  I know that I have to do all that I can to restore my life and my feelings.  God is the rudder to my boat and I have to put my oars into the water if I am going to get moving in the right direction.

I am attempting, day by day, to tolerate the unpredictability  of my life and gradually learn new ways to cope with uncertainty. While I am depressing myself, I want everything to be perfect and under my control. I know now that I will be  happier when I learn how to tolerate a pleasant mood without telling myself that it will not last. (I also know about this last one from personal experience when I started taking care of myself).

MEDITATION

We believe that the closer that we come to God, as we understand God, the closer our God draws to us.  We believe that whatever we want changed in our life this can best be accomplished by approaching the God of our understanding and letting his power greater than ourselves steer us across the stormy sea.

PRESS ON!

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).

What Happens If I Decide To Change? Will I Feel Better? I Have To Know For Sure Before I Change!

TO LIVE IS TO CHANGE

(March 12, 2015)

To live is to change. I choose to live with uncertainty today so that I can live with hope today.  I choose to monitor all the negative and unpleasant things I say to myself today.

“TRUSTING MEANS ACCEPTING UNCERTAINTY, AND THAT IS NOT ONE THING THAT YOU ARE PREPARED TO  DO.” (3)

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

How often do I hear others who were once depressed say that it is only when they become vulnerable –that is, trusted others, that their lives took a turn for the better.  So often, because of my need to completely control past, present and future, I can give my trust to no one else, including God.  I must live my life with total certainty which the certain sad feeling of depression assures me, that what always  has been (sadness) always will be.

To believe that my depression will never lift is to possess  an irrational belief like saying the sun will never shine again because the sky has been overcast for days. It is living with certainty that gets me so depressed.

MEDITATON

God, we want to begin today to trust you with our lives. We hear others who work the Twelve-Step program claim   a new feeling of hope for their lives when they begin to live with trust in their Higher Power. We accept your plan for us today. We surrender our will to you now –we’ve only got our depression to lose. ”

Again we can’t promise anything about what will happen if you decide to change.  I just can talk about my own experiences with depression. The only thing I knew was that I had to do something–I had to take responsibility for my life–I didn’t know for sure that my walking everyday and forcing myself out of bed a morning would make a difference in my mood. I didn’t know for sure that the Twelve Step Promises would work for me. I just knew that I was vulnerable and was willing to live with that uncertainty that possibly the sun would shine again for me. I just believed that if I moved the body–the mind would follow behind (which it did) and soon my own uncertainty about me ever feeling different than my everyday sadness–changed into hope as I did feel different. The fog of my depression did lift. I was almost caught up in one of those six immutable beliefs that Dr. Rowe speaks about, namely, “since bad things happened to me in the past, bad things will happen to me in the future.”  The certainty of this belief will definitely hinder us from taking responsibility for our lives.

Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. 1993, 1999. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. 40217. (p. 53))

My Life Was A Sinkhole!

MY LIFE WAS A SINKHOLE!

If you know anything about a sinkhole you  know one thing–you know that everything is gobbled up which sits on the sinkhole spot.  I mean, houses, cars, buildings, streets, etc.  And if you throw anything else down the hole it too gets gobbled up.   Just recently, at the Corvette car museum in Bowling Green,  Kentucky, a number of their vintage  cars ended up at the bottom of a sinkhole–ironically,  it  occurred in their showroom.  There was no way anyone was going to drive these vintage cars out of there.

In our Big Book, Depressed Anonymous as quoted in our recent publication  ” I’ll do it when I feel better,” it states that

The overeater, gambler, smoker, sexual addict are all driven by their compulsions. The emptiness of our lives is like a hole  that  continuously  needs to be filled with some compulsive and addictive behavior.  By letting go of our excessive tightfisted hold on our life, which paradoxically it causes us to lose hold; we start to face reality for the first time without the crippling crutch of our compulsion. We let go of our compulsion to repeat –the ritual of addictions.

…Gradually over time, and due to being able to say no to the impulse to smoke, or sad oneself, you feel stronger and so the pained  withdrawal becomes less intense.  The same applies to the addiction of  depression in that at first it’s difficult to stop completely the compulsive repeating of sad thoughts, but with time and working our Twelve Steps, and by our active involvement with DA we have the strength to say no to these sad thoughts and begin to choose hope and serenity.”

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I use the analogy of a sinkhole because it truly expresses what happened when I was depressing myself. I couldn’t stop these incessant flow of thoughts that continued to gobble up my serenity,my peace and/or the desire to do anything positive for myself.  All I could do was to sit in a room, look at the four walls and reflect on how hopeless I felt. As my pain intensified ( like a total body toothache) I found myself getting  more isolated from life: meaning  family, spouse, friends, groups, you name it.

How did I get out of the sinkhole? The first thing I had to admit was that I was IN A SINKHOLE. If this is where you find yourself today, you might want to go back to the Menu of this Website and read all the stuff there that tells about the” what” of Depressed Anonymous. And if you want to begin your own personal home study program for a further clarification of thought, you can get the Depressed Anonymous Manual and the Depressed  Anonymous Workbook.  I believe you’ll be happy you did. You’ll get some answers. It happens to be written by folks like you and me. That’s the good part.

Source: I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER, (2013) Smith, Hugh. Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville, Ky  40217.(p.60).

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

BELIEVING IS SEEING

  BELIEVING IS SEEING

AFFIRMATION

I will use a notebook or my Depressed Workbook Home Study program  to chart my course, list how each day goes, so that I can repeat the feelings or thoughts that have allowed me to feel I am becoming responsible for my activities.

“”…there is one great advantage about seeing yourself as helpless and in the power of others.  You don’t have to be responsible for yourself.  Other people make all the decisions and when things turn out badly, you can blame other people. And things always turn out badly. You know this.  That’s why you always expect the worse.”  (3)

REFLECTION/ CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Truly, I know  this is where the great serenity lies, being responsible for myself.  If all I did was sit around and say poor me, and woe is me, I am not only making life tough on myself but I am making life miserable for those around  me. This is why I, as a writer and therapist, and one who has been depressed, knows that it is only when I get moving, even though I felt like death that I began to get better.   No one will make me feel better. (See: I’ll do it when I feel better) I will now make myself feel better. Make up your mind to do what needs to be done…TODAY!  I want to enjoy this world. I am tired of the pain of feeling worthless. I don’t want to blame anyone for my problems because no one is making me live in the problem. I will live in the  solution from now on.  The solution for me is working the Twelve Step program.

Blame helps me to never have to look inside myself and ask myself how much of my present state of depression is due to the way I have learned to think about myself and my life? I am not in the blame game and so I am now willing to face the enemy and start the changing process.

MEDITATION

Faith can move mountains. (See: Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression)  Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door shall be opened for you. I believe this. What  do you believe?

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SOURCE: Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for Twelve step fellowship groups.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT AND HOW TO GET STARTED!

We all enjoy taking part in quizzes and surveys. At least I do. It’s pretty much a challenge to see how much we know or don’t know.  By doing the quiz we possibly learn just a little bit more about whatever the subject may be, even though we might not answer all the  questions correctly. In a certain fashion we have clarified a bit of  our thinking about a certain subject.

Clarification of thought is a most difficult process when It comes to a mind swallowed up by depression, is  confused, darkened with fog and just extremely exhausted. Many of us wanted to think our way out of depression, as if our will power could push open that prison door which continued to keep us locked up. Will power is useless initially. What we do need is a fairly straight forward and simple approach to getting at the genesis  of our sadness. Along the way of the clarification process we  find out and discover more of who we are, how we got to be where we are and what to do now that we know what we got and how we got here. For one, I don’t believe that that paralyzing feeling of melancholia just drops out of the sky and hits me on the head and knocks me down. So, I start with where I believe it all gets started.  The pain  is inside of me so I have to start there!

After getting some physical stamina back into my life I began to ask myself some questions–each as it pertains to the 12 Steps of Depressed Anonymous.  I used a process which I called the clarification of thought process. How I was thinking about myself and speaking  to myself needed to be examined to see how much of my thinking got me to where I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning.

Today, if you would like to join with me, I will, pose a few questions about your own experience with depression and then you can evaluate how that affects your life today.

1.  When you feel depressed what do you say to yourself?

2. What action or behavior do you do when you feel this way?

3. Does it promote more isolation or being more connected?

We are using the Depressed Anonymous Workbook to help us work through the questions that will help us all clarify our thinking and thus gradually free us from the mystery of what keeps us in bondage. Continue your program of recovery using the Clarification of thought process and you will find a key that will present to you the ” courage to change what you can.”

Reading, writing and clarification of thought

Clarification of thought

One of the areas of  my life affected by my experience with melancholia was my thinking, or rather lack of ability to think. I remember vividly how I was no longer able to concentrate or focus on any material that I tried to read.  When I did try and focus on a more complex thought such as a couple of paragraphs, it seemed fruitless. The thought was like a vapor, in that it disappeared as rapidly as it came. I was only aware that the fog was beginning to lift when my mood gradually lifted.  It was like the sun coming up in the East, burning off the fog, layer by layer. And that leads me to the next point in my recovery.  With the fog disappearing, and my concentration slowly reappearing, I was able to have a thought and hold on to it.  I noticed that when I read something it managed to stay in my memory.

One of the laws of recovery, which works for me, is the saying, “Move the body and the mind will follow.” I found this to be true. It also confirmed for me  how the mind will work more efficiently when the body is moving. That is why I personally put so much stock in walking or any other physical exercise which has a direct effect on the brain.

I also have learned how reading and writing down one’s reflections helps to clarify one’s thinking. You see in black and white your thoughts–now before you on paper or on the computer screen. In other words they are not flowing out there unattended in cyber space but instead are sitting right there in front of you. That is why in our recovery program of the 12 Steps it is recommended that one begin writing down various issues that have surrounded you in your life. By doing so you can determine how these items have influenced you positively or negatively. And since we are speaking of depression here, this is a process   in which writing down gives us a degree of clarification  as we examine one issue after another. Many times the issues or events are interlinked and hold the key to understanding our thinking and behavior. Reflection or as it says in the Steps that through prayer and meditation (clarification of thought)  we sought to improve our contact with God.

Hopefully, soon, I will post some questions about one’s own recovery and you can answer them at home, in your own time and space. You too can make time, by reading, writing and find for yourself a greater purpose in life  through a continued  clarification of thought.