Good stress and bad stress

 

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

“There is good stress and bad stress. Good stress challenges us to live each day with enthusiasm and hope as we go  about our daily routine.  Bad stress  is that which causes us to worry, be concerned about  things which we have no control over and generally  causes us to feel tired.  By following our 12 step program  of recovery, we discover that our life can have hope and purpose.

We believe that the God of our understanding makes it possible for us to gradually eradicate our need to worry  and distress ourselves. I am like the addict who continually needs to medicate their feelings of helplessness and hopelessness by saddening  myself when things look bleak and out of control. With the help of my Higher Power, I believe I can begin to feel better as I take the proper means to take care of my physical health.”

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pg. 159. August 8th.

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The following is an example of a member of Depressed Anonymous turning  their bad stress  into good stress:

At first I was frightened by my various symptoms of depression. The symptoms proved to be baffling. I was not able to get out of bed of a morning as well as being unable to concentrate or manage a complex thought.  I began to worry that I was losing my mind and I often asked myself if I was going to survive.  But now my ability to handle situations in a meaningful way is due to my frequent attendance at meetings, and by making a daily time for prayer and meditation and a feeling that my life has purpose and meaning. The more I am physically active, i.e., going to meetings even when I don’t feel like it. Working in my Depressed Anonymous Workbook, reading my 12 step literature.

This is where my freedom begins.  And yes, I do feel lousy at times but I also know that nothing can stand in my way to make choices in my own behalf. Previous to my involvement with the group I had no idea that my depression was not so powerful as to prevent me from even thinking that I could choose to feel differently.”

SOURCE: I’ll do it when I feel better. (2016) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 50-51.

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Depressed Anonymous. Pollyanna or the real deal ?

Is Depressed Anonymous the real deal or is it just too good to be true. Are we much like the novel character Pollyanna, over optimistic about everything or are we the realists who take life on lives terms and then deal with it the best way that we can. For all of us who are program people we know the answer to that question.

The best way to deal with any problem or life situation  is to face it squarely and deal with it.  Feelings and all have to be felt, looked at and then dealt with. Take it from me and the  many others who come into our program depressed and who discover that we are not the” pie in the sky “people,  the people with the magic potions or the magic wand wafted over  our heads. But, we are the solution focused folks who will help you build a program that will last a lifetime, giving hope, with a fellowship of hopeful people with whom one can always be in contact with.

One of the areas of life that the depressed has not much experience with is to be like  little  Pollyanna of Porter’s  novels.  Most times the gloom that settles in our minds and heart are those feelings of despair and darkness which we are unable to shake off. It’s that feeling of hopelessness, the feeling of being completely helpless as we gradually make our whole existence one of inner pain  and anxiousness. We can’t sleep–or we sleep too much. We eat too little or we overeat.   Our life is lived out in what feels like a prison cell. It’s a prison without bars, granted, but we cannot  leave it just because we will to.  Will power is initially useless. I know, I tried that route. The Depressed Anonymous fellowship is one of the means which provide  us with a key–a way to leave this prison of isolation.

And then here comes this group called Depressed Anonymous.  Why go to a  group of people who are depressed and listen to stories  about their sense of futility and oppression? That would be depressing! That is, unless they are using in their lives the 12 spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous. This is the  blueprint which build one step at a time the rest of the structure  that, like the Alcoholic, overeater, all build a structure that can  last a life time. Once they are onboard and begin using Steps for their own personal recovery to build a new life of hope, no adversity can force them to go back to their old and addictive behaviors.

The depression experience is what brings them into our fellowship and it is here that hope is gradually restored. But please, we don ‘t have the easy answers or  magic pills, or the magic wand to make our pain go away.  What we do is provide a plan, a blueprint if you will, a daily dose of hope with a lively  fellowship, sponsors and literature.

There is no sugar coating here. No whitewashing the pain of an individual depression experience. But just like the alcoholic who makes a commitment to keep from alcohol one day at a time, we too have the same program. We come in and decide that yes, I have a problem,  and yes  I will do all in my power,  plus with the ever present  God of my understanding,  change what needs to be changed in my life, one  day at a time.  This is the real deal. And so won’t you join us in this program of recovery and make the effort to discover how you too can live a life of hope and happiness.

Hugh

 

 

I HAVE BASED MY LIFE ON WHAT OTHER’S THINK.

AFFIRMNATION

I will affirm myself by getting in touch with my feelings and expressing them.

” To know how to behave you have to rely on  other people’s opinions, and so you live under the tyrannies of ‘they.’  What will they think?  is the thing that accompanies every action and determines ever decision.”

REFLECTION

I am so accustomed to living my life on the basis of others feelings, thoughts, and decisions about myself that in the end I feel de-selfed.   I feel empty and horribly alone; I feel saddened over the loss of my identity as a person.

Now, I am hopeful as I see that one of the best ways to defeat my sense of nothingness is to seek out the presence of this force bigger  than myself and be willing today –just for today, to let it work its power in my life. My identity as a person is going to grow slowly and spiritually.

When depressed, it’s hard to make up my mind. Just knowing that this is part of my depression makes it less painful as I  make a mental decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand him.

MEDITATION

Our God is consciousness and is knowledgeable of everything in  the universe. Our God is at the center of our lives, replacing the sadness around which our world  revolves. The more  conscious we are of God working in our minds and thoughts, the more we are going to feel like some one we can love.”

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“MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!  Again, we are back to the conviction that the God of my understanding will guide me down the path that best suits me and my recovery. How many times have I reflected upon comments made at  Depressed Anonymous meetings by members who speak freely about God’s work in their lives. It is amazing how often the thought pops into my mind how frequently  people speak about God’s power operating in their lives. The comments made by members originate in their own “spiritual awakening”  resultant of living out the Steps in their own lives. Anyway, it’s heartening for me to know and believe that God will work in one’s life if one trusts this power greater than oneself.

—  SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for 12 Step Fellowship Groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky 402i7. Page 49.

FRED DIDN’T HAVE THE FOGGIEST NOTION OF WHAT GOD HAD TO DO WITH HIS SADNESS.

“I remember Fred on his first visit to Depressed Anonymous. He said that he had been depressed all his life. The group listened to Fred, and of course for the most part Fred said he didn’t have the foggiest notion what all this talk of God had to do with his sadness and how it was supposed to help him,. But it was the pain of Fred’s depression that brought him back time after time to the meetings and he started not only to feel better, but he began to look better.  Then as he heard about the Twelve Steps, he saw that he could trust this Higher Power, and that maybe the depression that had been such a lifetime companion was not for him anymore. Fred took the plunge, came to believe that a Power greater than himself could restore him to sanity — and it did just that.  Fred said he didn’t need his depression any more, got busy making amends to family, friends and co-workers for being such a negative person, and began to take inventory where he needed to Spring clean his house. In time, Fred began to reach  out to others in the group and he began to understand how he had  become like many others in the group – a saddict.   Depression for many was an addiction to sadness. The only way out of Fred’s addiction was to let go of it, admit his life was unmanageable and start to work on himself and his character defects. Fred still keeps coming back to the meetings to share his story with others on the how of his recovery. He talks about the way it was before Depressed Anonymous, and the way  it is now since he has been working the steps and handed his life over to the Higher Power.”

Source: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. (pgs.96-97).

I can relate to Fred in such  a personal way when I too came into the Twelve Step program of recovery. I belonged to a Church that professed certain dogmas and doctrines –not some vague, impersonal Higher Power that the group say they espoused.. I came back week after week to the meetings, and when  I  gradually weaned myself  from all my negative thoughts about the Twelve Step program,  I finally “got it” as they say. I,  too, after all these thirty years as a member of Depressed Anonymous have the deepest confidence that the “God of my understanding” has everything to do with my own  recovery from depression. And by the way, I still belong to my Church with its dogma’s and doctrines, while having a “spiritual awakening ” along the way, thanks to the spirituality of Depressed Anonymous. Now the God of my understanding is my Higher Power.  Please go to our website here at the Menu if you are interested in finding hope and information  on the way out of your own sadness. Please join us on this journey! You’ll be glad you did.

“MADE A DECISION TO TURN MY LIFE AND MY WILL OVER TO THE CARE OF GOD AS I UNDERSTAND HIM.

AFFIRMATION

I admitted that I was powerless over depression -that my life had become unmanageable. I now choose freedom instead of security and place my trust and hope in God’s guidance and direction. Help me trust in you, O God.

REFLECTION

I know as I immerse myself in the program, the more I seek the security of not having to feel pain -not having to forgive and never getting angry, I will indeed have security, the security of the high walls of a prison. I will always be able to predict how I feel. It will never change. I was always told that by being good and trying to be as perfect as I could, I would be happy.  Somehow this doesn’t work. I have worked at being good, always doing my best, but I still ended up in the prison of depression. What went wrong?  For today I will choose to be someone different. I will call a friend and/or I will take a walk. I will begin to  work on myself, trusting that my God or Higher Power will begin to help me find a path out of this prison that I have constructed. Today. I will trust myself to trust the God of my understanding.

MEDITATION

We need today, to allow ourselves the opportunity to take responsibility for the way we think and feel. It is our responsibility to finally yield to God, to trust the God as we understand him and let him enter into our life. (Personal comments). Steps 1, 3.