Tag Archives: red flags

Unsocial Distancing

NOTICE: Whenever a blog post mentions an online meeting be sure to consult the page Online Depressed Anonymous Meetings for the most up to date and correct information. If the blog post is more than a few days old there is a chance it could be incorrect.

The pandemic is over for most of us as are the mandatory “lockdowns” and “wearing of masks” protocols.

Social distancing has always been part of my daily life when I was depressed. The “lockdowns’ just continued to push me further down onto the pit. Now that we are free to move around and do all those normal things that were familiar to us in pre-pandemic times my normal thing was unsocial distancing. I spent my time isolating myself from family and friends. If a family member tried to get hold of me, I would not answer the phone. I could put on a fake smile at work, but all was back to my unsocial distancing as soon as I got home from work.

In order to have hope, I make sure I attend a virtual Depressed Anonymous meeting. I make sure I step up and share my lack of hope and frustration with my fellowship group. In time, I am finding with group support, that my unsocial distancing is gradually lessening.

Now I have a “red flag” come up in my mind when I want to go home and sleep, hide and not answer the phone. The old mantra “I’ll do it when I feel better,” is ignored. I talk and share in the group and/or with my sponsor those unsocial thoughts pushing me to withdraw and isolate, behind the invisible prison bars of fear and anxiety. Go ahead–get social!

Now is the time to build a bridge –form new friendships –find hope. It’s as close as the keyboard in front of you.

Go to our website www.depressedanon.com, click on the menu MEETINGS and click on Virtual 12 Step Depressed Anonymous Meeting “Journey of Hope” at Skype://join.skype.com/ a link will be provided for you to enter a meeting. )

Hugh

Widening the chinks in the armor of our denial.

When I was depressed, I gradually found myself  imprisoned behind the bars of hopelessness and helplessness.  My physical self, emotional self, thinking self and spiritual self all slowly retreated into the isolating darkness of  despair.

My whole life became consumed with  self bashing, guilt, shame and  self-pity.  I felt all alone. I didn’t want to be with anyone or do anything that would nudge me into some unwelcome activity.  And yes, others told me to walk, to say a prayer, do something fun, snap out of my doldrums and get back onto life’s playing field. Oh yea, all of this was said to be in my best interest. And the problem was that those who gave me all this wonderful advice were missing one important item, namely,  they didn’t have a clue how depression, the crippling illness that it is,  was shutting down my very willingness to live. For many it can be  life threatening.

In the darkness, the cycling  menacing  thoughts continued their hourly, minute by minute destruction of my identity and what I had found to be  meaningful for my life. The key to a meaningful and purposeful existence was lost –I was lost. It was like I had just abandoned myself to a self imposed prison sentence.

My first indication was a gradual weakening of a willingness to live with hope and spontaneity. I became joyless. The more I opened up my mind and took a closer look at what  I was thinking about,  I found that losing hold of the key to hope and what was happening to me, it wasn’t  long before  my continued introspection was  accompanied by  feelings of despair and pain. This experience became so cunning, baffling and powerful, that it was totally impossible for me to free myself from its complete domination of my living free.

And now let me tell you about finding the key that opened the door to a new horizon filled with a path that was filled with signs leading to a fellowship of persons like myself who were on the same path.

And so here is what I finally had to do to reverse the  plummeting into the hell of nothingness and annihilation. I no longer felt that the pieces of the puzzle about depression had control of my life. The more I took an active role in my recovery, like walking everyday and renewing my physical being, finding a fellowship of men and women who are using the 12 steps of recovery, I began to get my life back. By embedding myself and my mind and body  in this healthy fellowship, I was gradually able to enter through and repair the  chinks in my armor  and continue discovering how the process of my  own thinking and inactive physical life  gradually paralyzed me psychologically and  physically. I  had been  frozen with fear which enlarged  my isolation and helplessness.

Now that I understood how  the trajectory of the initial feelings of sadness,  completed my shutdown,  I understand how depression works its number on our bodies, mind and spirit, and I now know how to overcome and  gain a new  control of my life. I am free and alert always to those “red flags” which tell me  there is a landmine on the road ahead and so I dismantle it and continue on.  A landmine may be as simple as telling myself that I cannot get the energy to go to a Depressed Anonymous meeting, or talk to my sponsor when a thought of fear overtakes and begins to isolate me. I might also cut down on sharing my story with others and  provide another human being that there truly is a way out of depression. Been there and done that. Who knows more about depression than those of us who have been there and freed  from its  personal ravages of the human spirit. I also learn so much from people who like myself are always sharing the how of their recovery. I can also go to the Depressed Anonymous website www.depressedanon.com.,  where I can find story after story, one blog after another, giving us hope and strength. We tell ourselves “that If he or she can do our program of the 12 Steps of recovery so can I.”  Our 12 Step program of recovery is a simple one and by using the spiritual principles  that it offers, plus the fellowship, we can’t lose.

A “red flag” for many of us depressed is to begin to isolate ourselves from our family, friends and familiar activities.  Get involved! If there is no Depressed Anonymous group in your community you still can work and use the Depressed Anonymous HOME STUDY PROGRAM. The KIT uses two of the groups (written by those who have made the program their way out of depression) books: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook.(2001)  These two works give the reader a sense of  hope and renewal. These books are coordinated with each other and if we want to understand the nature of depression and the tools that we use to overcome it, then you’ll find the HOME STUDY KIT  will work for you.

The HOME STUDY KIT can be ordered  online. Visit the STORE where you will find  other works  which will be helpful for your recovery.