Halloween ( the word Halloween is from an earlier period of time and means hallowed eve. In the Christian Church all Saints were honored the day before–thus, the ” eve” part.) Nowadays, this night is filled with children (and adults) dressed up as various personages, animals and everything in between. All of them had their little baskets and hoping to get them filled with candy, cookies and assorted sweet treats. Judging from all who came to our door last night I would say the evening turned out to be a treat. No tricks!
When I was trying to navigate through the fog of my depression a number of years ago, there were no treats –no special happy moments–nada! The whole landscape of my life was filled with “emotional landmines” and the mind with its delusions and illusions tried to trick me into thinking I would always live in this pit of darkness. But as soon as I began to take responsibility for my feelings and my life, I found answers to my unending trapped feelings. The answers were not of the treat variety, but they gradually removed the bricks/tricks that formed the prison of my depression. No more was I forced to wear the false face of the smiling, happy-go lucky person. No more was I the people pleaser, subservient to all who were part of my daily struggle. No, I now filled my futile days with practical ways which I learned how to leave the sadness behind. I found the way out through the Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous, and my newly discovered support group. No more tricks. No more days begun in a fog and ending in a fog. I Came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. I Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understood God to be.
Everyday I treat myself to doing God’s will and believing that something good will happen for me this day What’s it going to be for you today? Trick or treat?
Source: (C) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
What is a speed bump? A speed bump is simply a slight rise in the pavement to alert car drivers to slow down. Most of the speed bumps can be found in residential areas/ neighborhood streets. In some areas they are marked with yellow stripes .Depending on the necessity for motorists to drastically cut their speed, these bumps are built with more height and force the motorist to come to almost a stop to prevent damage being done to one’s vehicle.
I find the speed bump to be a metaphor for my own experience with symptoms of depression. I do know that as my symptoms grew more in kind and strength I gradually reduced my activities. My mind was filled with obstacles which grew larger and more formidable as time went on. I found myself sitting alone and stalled. I found my personal speedometer registering 10mph instead of the normal 50mph. The more I perceived the speed bump ahead, rising out of the ground like a brick wall, I knew that I couldn’t go any further. I was like the sail boater on the lookout for any breeze to get me moving again.
No matter how hard I tried to get over the bump, I kept telling myself it was a hopeless task. There was no way to get over it. I felt helpless. I kept telling myself that I might as well just stay where I was and so I shut off the engine. It was like I was terrified with fright. I thought of a thousand options but none of them appeared manageable. I just believed my situation was useless.
Well, this metaphor doesn’t end there because I am no longer helpless. In my real world I thought, I’ve got a serious problem here ( symptoms of depression: fatigue, anger, feeling worthless ) all of which I have to deal with. So, I admitted that I was powerless over my depression and that my life was unmanageable. (Step One of Depressed Anonymous). And then “came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” (Step Two of Depressed Anonymous) Then I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of the God as I understand God. (Step Three of Depressed Anonymous).
If your speed bump keeps you from moving in life know that many of us have been there like you. There is a solution, and just begin to believe that you are NOT l alone. It really helps to know that you can join our fellowship and find hope. Been there, done that!
What do you give your power to in your own life today? What can help you to greater sanity?
Various powers have played a critical role in our lives in the past. If you wish, please name and list the people, places, situations, and things that have exerted the greatest power over you and your life in the past. These places, persons, situations and things can have a positive or negative power over you and your life. Please list below.
Depressed anonymous Workbook/ Depressed Anonymous Publications/Page 11/ Step Two.
In tomorrow’s post we will list some of the thoughts about Step 2 and how our beliefs can produce sanity in our lives.
Back in the last century I made a decision that continues to direct my life today and everyday. That decision was that I needed help. I needed to know how to free myself from an addiction to a substance that was gradually killing me. The only place that I knew that might offer me some help would be a local AA group. Frightfully, but expectantly, I walked through the door of my first 12 step meeting. The power that was greater than me–was the group of men and women who were meeting to talk about a solution–namely, to their addiction to alcohol. I felt at home. Well, not totally at home–but I did find acceptance for me and my particular addiction. They presented me with a toolbox–not material tools–but spiritual tools that I use to keep myself free of my desire and craving for alcohol. We call them the 12 steps.
That was in 1982, December 7th. And then three years later I became depressed and I applied the steps to my depression experience, which likewise was killing me. I got out my tool box and began applying the same tools as I had applied to my other addiction and found I again had a solution to my twisted and distorted thinking. It was only after I admitted that I had a problem, and my life was unmanageable, did I find a way out. My Higher Power leads the way, day after day, month after month and year after year. If you want to learn more about how YOU can make a decision, find the tools and keep your attention focused on the solution oriented 12 steps, then you let us know. We want to share with you our story and how it was before in our life and how it is now.
Looking to find that toolbox? We can help. Don’t give up. Look us up and give us a call.
IT ALL STARTS WITH ONE
Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous wrote this about those who found themselves alone with the message of hope appearing in the first Alcoholics Anonymous book , in 1939.
“Someday, we hope that every alcoholic (depressed person) who journeys will find a Fellowship of AA (DA) at his destination…Little clusters of twos and threes and fives of us have sprung up in other communities…Thus we grow. And so can you, though you be but one man (woman) with this book (Depressed Anonymous) in your hand. We believe and hope it contains all you will need to begin.
We know what you are thinking. You are saying to yourself. “I’m jittery and alone. I couldn’t do that.” But you can. You forget that you have just now tapped a source of power much greater than yourself. To duplicate, with such backing, what we have accomplished is only a matter of willingness, patience and labor.” (AA, 1976)
Ane Brun in her song “:ONE” has the following lyrics
“It all starts somewhere/ It all starts with one/ Everything comes from something/It all starts with one…First everything is quiet/A breath of fresh air from lips and tongue/Then the sound makes the world wild/ One, two, three more/ We can do more/ Much more, let’s do more/ Much more, lets say more/We are more”
Yes, I agree with Ane. It all starts with one. Even though you might be just one person and are reading our book Depressed Anonymous for the first time, and just by talking to one other person about help gained from the reading, you now have a 12 step group. You are part of a group. You now have a group which is a power greater than you alone or yourself.
Even though you are alone and feel jittery and anxious just know that by picking up our Depressed Anonymous book and reading the personal stories contained in it, that you will know that you are not alone. You now can take this message of hope and share it with another one. We speak your language!