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#NINE BELIEF

Excerpts from Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017) DAP. Louisville. pgs 47-50.

“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 into the appropriate path.”

“I know in my heart that when I just sit at home by myself, isolating and ruminating within my head about all the terrible things that have happened to me, or are about to happen, that is when I depress  myself even more. Get connected!”

It’s our addictive thinking, our compulsive way of processing infor- mation, which describes how we habitually store the negative but continue to dump the positive information which continually  24/7 flows into our brain. These negative thoughts and feelings persist in keeping  us falling back into the old habit of staying isolated and avoiding others. We might fool ourselves and say that people have nothing to offer me and that is why 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.

We know that depression grows stronger when   isolating ourselves from others.

Dorothy Rowe,  tells us in her award winning book, DEPRESSION: THE WAY OUT OF YOUR PRISON, that

“Seeing yourself as  a basically  good person reduces the need  for other people’s approval. If you see yourself as good, you  can set up a select group of people whose approval you desire and can be indifferent to the opinion of the multitude. But if you see yourself as basically bad then you need everybody’s approval….”

David Karp,   in  SPEAKING OF SADNESS  shares the following thought

” that depression is an illness of isolation, a dis-ease of disconnection. As with much of social life, and consequently with much compelling sociological analysis, it is irony that captures the complexity of things. The irony to be explained in Chapter 2 is that depressed persons greatly desire connection  while they are simultaneously deprived of the ability to realize it. Much of depression’s pain arises out of the recognition that what might make one feel better –human connection–seems impossible in the midst of a paralyzing episode of depression. It is rather like dying from thirst while looking at a glass of water just beyond one’s reach.”

For those who have no Depressed Anonymous mutual aid group to connect with in their own local community, our  Publisher, Depressed Anonymous Publications has made available the HOME SELF STUDY KIT. The HOME  SELF STUDY KIT program of recovery includes both the  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook.  These  two excellent guides provide us with a path out of depression.   By  answering the stimulating  questions  as provided by the WORKBOOK, one also is able to discover the nature of depression while learning how to apply the 12 spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous to their own lives.

No longer do we have to be alone or feel disconnected in our depression. We provide the necessary resources to help an individual be connected with a community worldwide  who know what it means to be depressed. You don’t have to be alone any longer!

To see what literature is available from our Publisher,   visit the STORE here at our website  www.depressedanon.com. You can now order online.

THE COMPULSION TO REPEAT

When we have that automatic tendency to repeatedly withdraw into ourselves and away from family and friends, I know that my depressing is about to begin. It is at this moment, and with time and practice, that  this ritual can be stopped. In time we will recognize any move toward isolation just another way to keep ourselves in the prison of depression. This  is a character defect — to become isolated and let life happen to us instead of taking responsibility for our own life today, one day at a time.

So, what do we do? My plan of action is to  have a plan established beforehand — like going through a practice fire drill at work, or at  home. You already know what to do when the thought flashes in your mind to withdraw and isolate. Most thoughts which tend to  isolate us  appear suddenly without much warning. So, the moral of the story is if you don’t want to isolate and continue to spiral down into the pit,  make sure you have a plan of  action to counter this move toward deeper depression.

H.S.

My depression just came out of the blue

A question from the Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Step Eleven. Page  79.

Question: How do you see your depression as a compulsion?  What are the triggers that cause you to spiral downward back into the dark prison of depression?

When you think of depression do you think of it like one big thing or do you see it for the many parts  that make up a depression experience, namely, the way that we think, behave, or feel.  In other words when we make it to be a thing, that is when we reify it  — it holds power over us — like it came out of the blue  –we talk about depression in medical terms such as I just had a bout of depression — like it came from outside of us like an infectious germ or virus.  In reality, our depression is made up of many parts,  such as particular depression oriented  ways of thinking, behaving and feeling.

Question #11.1   Write down the way that you perceive your depression? Can you distinguish the various parts that go to form what we call the depression experience?

Which of the following illustrations can you best relate to?

11.2  A need to be perfect!

11.3   A need to be successful!

11.4   A need never to get angry!

11.5   A  need to have someone in my life before I feel I am somebody!

11.6    Please write down how one or more of the above keeps you down,  despairing and hopeless? Also, write about where these attitudes come from?

Sources:  Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Note: Both these books make up the Home Study Program combo. See Visit the Store for more literature that  is recommended for our 12 step fellowship.

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).

I CHOOSE TO THINK ABOUT THOSE GOOD THINGS THAT I SEE IN MYSELF.

AFFIRMATION

I am making a choice now to like myself and focus in  on only the good things that I see in myself. I am imagining happy situations from my past and putting myself in the happy picture so that now I can feel happy.

“Proving yourself to be a man or woman can be a positive activity of learning, exploring and discovering who you are, or it can be the meager, self-destroying activity of trying to hide what is experienced  as essential worthlessness.” (4)

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

When I attempt to avoid my feelings and to dig in deeper to what I am experiencing in the here and now, I pass up a golden opportunity for growing and for being more human.  It is only in the here and now that I live and breathe. When I try to avoid what I am feeling and continue my frenzied feeding on all the bad things that I accuse myself of, I find that my feelings of sadness get even worse.

Now, today, I am taking the risk of being responsible for my own recovery. I know that it is difficult to change my way of thinking negative thoughts. If I change it often, in time I will cling not to the awful things I say about myself but I will hang onto the positive statements I am now making about myself.

I need today to engage in activity of the positive type. I want to start a daily exercise program.  I want to write down a list of five positive qualities that I would like to have and then imagine myself possessing these qualities. (By this same time tomorrow on May 20,  we will have our five positive qualities written down and we will reflect on what we have written down. We will have more discussion on choices and feelings tomorrow here at this BLOG).

MEDITATION

God, come to our assistance and help us discover your way out of this darkness. We trust that you will there  for sure  right at this moment. We will have courage!

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. May 19. Page 102.  (See website VISIT THE STORE  for more DA literature.)

A NEW SET OF RULES

A NEW SET OF RULES

REFLECTION

“The more I think thoughts of how inadequate I am, the more I want to isolate myself from others. I believe that this will protect me from having to fear that awful pain of rejection that I have been so familiar with throughout my life. The more I isolate and withdraw, the more I am setting myself up for defeat. I will face my fears now and not flee .

I know that the more I get an accurate understanding of myself and my compulsion to withdraw, the more I put into my own power the ability to overcome my spontaneous thoughts to hide, withdraw and isolate myself from others. I listen now to these old tapes for a brief moment, turn them off, and begin to play my new directions on how to begin to live with courage and trust. I want to make new friends. I am beginning to live life with a new set of rules.”

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God, help us to find our way out of these old tapes in our head which keep playing the same old shameful and mournful hymn of how unworthy we are of other’s friendship or support. God help us know that you are our help and our God in life.”

SOURCE: Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for twelve step fellowships.  Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville, Ky  40217.  February 12 (pg. 33.

Visit the store for more information about Depressed Anonymous literature.

CHIPPEWA FALLS, WISCONSIN + NEW DA GROUP STARTS 10/28/14

CHIPPEWA FALLS, WISCONSIN / NEW DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS GROUP OPENS OCTOBER 28TH.

LOCATION: NOTRE DAME PARISH LIFE CENTER( multi-purpose room) NORTH SIDE ENTRANCE  ON 22 S. PRAIRIE STREET.

TIME:  6PM TO 7PM / MEETS:  Tuesdays

CONTACT:   715.723.1052  ( Collene ) OR 715.861.3472

MORE INFO @ E-MAIL depressedanonymous1chippewafalls@aol.com

CALL: 502.569.1989 CENTRAL OFFICE IN USA

Depression is like being in quicksand!

AFFIRMATION

I know that nothing is so hard for me that I cannot endure it.

“Depression is an attempt to shore up the splintering, brittle timbers, an attempt to catch on  to something solid as you fall into the abyss.

Once you have shored up some brittle structure or have placed your feet  on a fragment of rock, you dare not move lest what little safety you have crumble.” (3)

I was afraid to change anything in my life because I thought that this feeling of fear that I have most of the time would devour me and I would lose my mind. I am always terrified that I will lose my mind. I will not lose my mind and go crazy when I am feeling all alone. My safety lies in the fact that I no longer want to sad myself.  I want to get better, and I do this best when I let go of my  fear of change, or my anger, and start to look at myself. By facing my fears, I can be free and happy. I do feel that I am feeling a new hope grow inside of me as I gain more courage in facing my sadness.

So often my mind came up with all sorts of terrible images. There is the image of the swamp, and I am walking knee deep in it. There is the image of the prison and I am sitting in isolation and complete darkness.  There is the image of being surrounded by glass walls. I see everything around me, but no one ever sees or hears me and I do not hear them. This is and has been the abyss of my depression.

MEDITATION

We are trying to live just for today. We want to live only in  these 24 hours today.

SOURCE; Higher Thoughts for down days. Page 192. September 26.