Tag Archives: prison of depression

Change always involves uncertainty.

 

 

“I know that a number of people who are first introduced to the Twelve Step program of recovery wonder what their sadness has to do with  the spiritual program of Twelve Steps that originated for alcoholics. I might be depressed but I am surely not a drunk. Sometimes you will hear a new member of the group say that they never committed any wrongs against anyone, so why  do they need to make amends.  (See Step Ten). For many persons, the loss of a love, the death of a spouse, the end of a lifetime career  can produce a spiraling sense of despair in  in people  whose whole lives have centered on someone else’s feelings rather than their own. Their lives are lived for someone else rather being lived for their own self. When that other person is lost, they feel lost and abandoned. This is precisely  the point– the need to make amends for erroneously thinking that someone else can satisfy all their wants and desires. In making amends, we begin to take responsibility for our thoughts  and feelings, and when these have hurt others we need to do something about them.”

SOURCE: Page 86. Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011)Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

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On page 71 of The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2001) Depressed Anonymous Publications, we discover further positive insights about living our lives with spontaneity and hope.

Dorothy Rowe in her Award Winning book, Depression: The way out of your prison, tells us the following:

Dangers, perhaps even greater dangers, threaten you if you leave your prison of depression for the ordinary world. There you might have to change, and change always involves uncertainty. The good thing about being depressed is that you can make everyday the same. You can be sure of what is going to happen. You can ward off all those people and events that expect a response from you. Your prison life has a regular routine, and like any long term prisoner,  you grow  accustomed to the jail’s security and predictability. The prison of depression may not be comfortable, but it is at least safe.”  Page 127.

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NOTE TO THE READER

One of the most valuable ways to deal with the pain and isolation of one’s depression experience is to utilize our latest tools in freeing ourselves from the prison of depression.

Our Publisher (DAP) has provided those who wish to learn more about themselves a HOME STUDY KIT where a person can begin  sorting out what makes them tick. The two works, include both the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition Manual and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook.

These two works have been written and organized by those of us who know what depression feels like and the potential risk to life that it presents.  We’ve been there.

In one of our first Depressed Anonymous  meetings, the group who were members of the Fellowship became  part of writing the commentary on the  12 Steps which resulted in our manual Depressed Anonymous. All these were persons working their way out of depression and who shared their story in the personal story section of  the DA Manual. There are 31 testimonies total.  In other words, our material is one of the very few that are written by persons depressed and who have  freed themselves from the shackles of the depression prison.

If you want to begin your own personal recovery from depression the HOME STUDY KIT combo is what you are looking for.  And possibly you and a friend, a therapist, pastor, family member may like to work with you  as you move on and through the depression experience.

You can put your online  order in today at our literature STORE.  You will also be able to communicate online at our website www.depressedanon.com and FIND HELP with our  BLOG provided by WordPress.com.

 

 

…Change Always Involves Uncertainty

 

   Dorothy Rowe wrote:

“Dangers, perhaps even greater dangers, threaten you if you if you leave your prison of depression for the ordinary world. There you might have to change, and change always involves uncertainty. The good thing about being depressed is that you can make every day be the same. You can be sure of what is going to happen. You can ward off all those people and events that expect a response from  you. Your prison life has a regular routine, and like any long term prisoner, you grow accustomed to the jail security and predictability. The prison of depression may not be comfortable, but at least it is safe.”

In Depressed Anonymous we read that:

“We believe that to be conscious is to have been able first of all to listen to someone or something that expresses God’s desire to free us from our misery as soon as we are willing to turn  our minds and our wills over to it. Somewhere along the way, we were convinced that the only safe way to make this life bearable and predictable was to continually sadden ourselves, withdraw into our little shell  (prison) and make sure that our own small world was completely under our control. It was a perfect little world, this world of ours. It was dark, gloomy and painful, but at least we knew what we had. It is this predictableness that makes life inescapably hell for all of us, even though we’d rather have this than the total surprise of living.”

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COMMENT:  One of the things about this life is that it is hard to predict. We call this the  surprise of living. And for us to really get into living we have to face the fact that it is unpredictable. We must give up trying to control other people in our lives.

I have found that the spirit of mutuality which permeates all mutual aid groups, such as our own Depressed Anonymous fellowship, promotes that feeling of security which enables us to live with all sorts of unpredictability. We look forward to living our life,  with whatever comes. “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Step Two of Depressed Anonymous.

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SOURCES: #11.19  in The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Page 84.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 97. Step Eleven.

NOTE: These two books, The Depressed Anonymous Workbook and Depressed  Anonymous,3rd edition, can be purchased together as the HOME STUDY KIT. Please VISIT THE STORE on how to order.

Friends are wonderful people

Dorothy Rowe in her book  Depression: The way out of  your prison tells us that friends are wonderful people.

“I always regret that I do not devote more time to my friends –write them longer letters more frequently, visit them more often, invite them here more often  — but in  my mental map of my world my friends stand like giant statues of themselves.  My friends are the people with whom I have a continuous conversation.  There may be long gaps between exchanges, since many of them live in Australia or America, but the conversation is never interrupted or concluded.

To turn an acquaintance into a friend you have to give that person time and attention. If you have no friends it is because  you are so wrapped up in yourself that you do not give other people your time and attention. One part of not giving time and attention  to other people is fearing that if you do they will reject you.  The other part is feeling that other people are boring and you have better things to do than talk to them.  But if you want to find your way out of the prison of  depression, you need friends.  ”  Pages 201-202.

Sheldon Kopp said, “Who can love me if no one knows me.”

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Really to have friends and to connect authentically with others is to tell our story. To do so initiates a contact with another at a  deeper and visceral level. This is the “miracle of the Depressed Anonymous group.” And when we are depressed doesn’t it make sense that we find it less difficult to share with someone like ourselves than to that person who is clueless about what it feels like to be depressed.  When we  share our stories, we find our stories mirror groups of people who, because of their own sadness and feeling worthless–in other words, being vulnerable,  will be the cement that binds us together as  friends. We are no longer alone and adrift in this sea of humanity. And as persons get to know me they will in turn be able to love me and know me as a friend. It is a fact  that our friendships grow and blossom the longer we stay involved  with the  fellowship.

Want to have a friend?  —  then be a friend.

For more information read how friends are made in   Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2002) Depresed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Hugh

We are what we repeatedly do. – Aristotle

“It is our own real, lived experience which leads us into the prison of depression. It is not a gene, or own hormones, or our dysfunctional and illogical thinking, our lack of faith, or our complexes and inadequacies which have brought depression  upon us, it is what happened to us  and, most importantly, what we have made of what has happened to us: it is the conclusions  we draw from our experiences.

That sort  of conclusions which lead us, finally, into the prison of depression was not drawn illogically or fantastically, or crazily, but were the correct conclusions to draw,  given the information we had at the time.

If, when you were a child, all the adults whom you loved and trusted were telling you that you were bad and that if you  didn’t mend your ways terrible things would happen to you, you wisely and correctly drew the conclusions that you were bad and had to work hard to be good. If, when you were a child, all the people you loved and trusted left you or disappointed or betrayed you, you wisely drew the conclusion that you must be wary of other people and that you should never love anyone completely ever again.  You were not to know that if we grow up believing  that we are intrinsically bad, and that other people are dangerous, we shall become increasingly isolated, the joy will disappear  from our life, and that we shall fall into despair….” SOURCE: Dorothy Rowe. The Depression Handbook. Collins. London.

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I believe that in my own case what Dr. Rowe points out is so true. Our childhood experiences are so important because they set us up for how we think about ourselves as we mature. I remember vividly when I was in the 3rd grade, a teacher shamed me in  front of the whole class because I couldn’t get something right. She told me that I  would never  be like my brother whom was brilliant or my uncle who was also brilliant. For many years after when I thought about that moment in the 3rd grade I could still feel my face getting hot with shame. The worst part is that what she said that day I believed. As I grew into middle age it became important to me that what she said had no bearing on me really, as I was not my brother or my uncle. And that that was OK.

My Comfort Zone

IF YOU WANT SOMETHING THAT YOU NEVER HAD BEFORE, YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING THAT YOU NEVER DID BEFORE.

Well, that pretty much says it all. We all have our comfort zones–that is for sure. About two weeks ago, a friend of mine wanted to know if I would join him in getting out the vote here in the USA. I told him I would. All it entailed was going to certain neighborhoods and knocking on people’s doors and asking them if they were going to vote in the Midterm elections. If they said yes, then I would tell them where the polling place was located. I spent two days of this–knocking on doors and asking them to get out and vote for their candidates. I had never, in my whole life done this before–going and knocking on strangers doors and asking them to vote. (Only time before was when I was a kid and went “trick or treating” on Halloween.) Anyway, the whole point here is that I was very uncomfortable knocking on doors and talking to total strangers. It was way out of my “comfort zone.”
When I was depressed I entered into another type of “comfort zone” namely an isolation zone–where all I wanted to do was just do nothing. Just absolutely nothing. Except sleep. My comfort zone was like I was living in a glass house–I could see everything around me but I had no interest in or connection to what happened outside my walls. I had no desire to get involved with former activities that provided me with a sense of purpose or happiness. My mantra was “I’ll do it when I feel better.” Finally I made up my mind, crawled out of my comfort zone and walked through the doors of my first 12 Step meeting. This was a very un-comfortable move for me as I forced myself to go and get help for what could possibly kill me.
Reader, just know that if you want help for yourself or a loved one–knock on our door–come on in– know that if you are depressed, or a friend is depressed, we have the tools to help you find your way out of your prison of depression. You’ll be taking a step into a new way of living.