I’m slowly finding out the my life is not as horrible as I’ve made it out to be. I used to tell myself that since it happened before, it will happen again – and that simply is not true. Yes, my past was horrible and it’s no wonder I ended up with depression. I want out of it and the only person to get me out is me. There is not a magic wand to transport you to the life you want. Everyone knows what they wish their life could be like – so do it! Make the changes you have to make, trust in God and always remember that good things come to those who wait. I’ve waited over half my life. I don’t have to be a victim of my past or my mind anymore. I’m more than ready for the good things! With love and hope!
SOURCE: A member of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship. You can find more of her story in the PERSONAL STORIES section of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 120-121.
NOTE: For more literature resources please VISIT THE STORE at our site WWW. DEPRESSEDANON .COM.
The following article is one of the items which make up the Depressed Anonymous “toolkit.”
“Jim, as a member of our Depressed Anonymous Fellowship, learned that he needed more “SUNSPOTS” to bask himself in. These “SUNSPOTS” are meditation times where we can focus on all those pleasurable events, people, places or things that can make us feel happy. The trouble with most of us when we are depressed is that our whole life seems to go into a deep pit with its eighty foot hole and an eight foot ladder.
One good way to escape from this prison is to get with a group of people who by joining each other’s section of ladder, will all eventually get to the top and out of this deep dark hole that we call depression. Think upon these small “SUNSPOTS” throughout the day and know that you are gradually coming into the light of a new day. Prepare a list of memories which at one time in your life were the cause of some joy and pleasure: try to recreate that activity in your imagination as often as you can. At first, all you might be able to do is just make a mental decision to do it, though at the time you don’t feel any particular pleasant emotion. Keep at it and with the continued encouragement of the group, you will be able to recapture a little joy and peace. You will begin to have more mastery over your life and the world: this in itself can lower your feelings of sadness. When you have a negative image or thought which produces an unpleasant feeling, replace it immediately with three positive and pleasant thoughts or mental images. In Depressed Anonymous we call this THE LAW OF THE THREES.” One negative thought is immediately replaced by three pleasant thoughts and or memories.
SOURCE: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
COMMENT At times we find that our thoughts become cyclical. As we continue the rumination process we complete the circle where we end up where we started. Many of us see this compulsive thinking behavior as a deciding activity affecting us physically and emotionally. The unending worry, fear, gradually wears us down, much like the grit of the grinding wheel. So, when we STOP our negative thoughts we can cut off the resulting emotional residue which follows and continues to numb and immobilize us.
On this last Thursday of November, the people of the United States celebrate Thanksgiving. This is a national Holiday which reminds us of the many things we as a people can celebrate.
With a deep gratitude, I am also celebrating the many friends with whom I am in contact this day. I am also going to add my gratitude for all the special gifts I have received by being in a 12 step fellowship of recovery. I am also celebrating my freedom from depression and the fact that my own depression experience has helped me help others to free themselves from the deadly grip of sadness.
The prayer that means so much to me is the Serenity Prayer, which is said at the beginning of all our Depressed Anonymous meetings.
“God grant me he serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
SOURCE: (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
In thinking about my experience with depression and the painful isolation that followed, I felt I was being knocked down by some invisible force. The force was so great that I felt I was going to be swallowed up in its vast black hole of nothingness. Indeed, I felt that I was going to end up being a hole in the doughnut. So, what could I do but try and ride it out–much like the surfer on their surfboard, riding precariously on one wave after another. I just knew that I would be forced out to sea as my body gradually began to slide off the only means of survival. I thought that I had no options except to just surrender and go the bottom of the sea.
Well, that’s half of the story. I knew I had to do something. Do anything but lie down and just linger on –immobile and lifeless. So, I picked myself up –got out of bed and started walking.And walk I did. Five miles a day. Almost two weeks later, with miles on my bodily odometer, I began to feel a little lighter – a little more hopeful that somehow I could get back in the game. I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel — and it wasn’t a train. And so it was possible — a person so depressed that I couldn’t force myself out of bed before, but now I know that I could raise myself up and move. I could move, not because I wanted to, but because I had to. I felt hopeful and I felt a gratitude and relief that I was not losing my mind.
The greatest benefit was that it brought me into a program of recovery where in order to remain standing up –raised up if you will, is my living out the 12 Steps of recovery in my daily life. Now all this happened some thirty years ago. Thanks to Depressed Anonymous and participating in the fellowship, I learn not only how to live a life of serenity but I also how I have a gift of sharing my own experiences of depression and offer others a way out of their depression. And today if you are depressed, please follow us in our program of recovery. All you need is a willingness to get better and live with hope. That’s it. A desire to get better. Admit you need hope and help and then get started. Move the body and the mind will follow. Please join us.
SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.