Tag Archives: ruminating

Did I create my own prison of depression?

You know,  that’s a  great question for us who have been , or who are presently depressed.  My own reflections about my own experience with depression wasn’t a question that I  asked myself. Actually, that came later in my recovery.  I  really didn’t care who or what  created it – all I knew was I had to get rid of it.  In fact, the experience was much like Noah’s  in the belly of the whale.  I was just walking along one day minding my own business, and suddenly bam! physically feeling swallowed  up by some  invisible  creature who  was devouring me. And that was that. From that  moment on, the feeling continued to overwhelm  me for the next year and half.

Because I had no label to pin on this “whatever it was,”  and I thought nothing important to talk to  anyone  about, but only that the  feeling of helplessness had me locked down.  Oh, I still went to work, trudged through Graduate studies and continued my relationship with others, never revealing my interior mysterious  sense of isolation and despair.

My only distraction was to get up early every morning( biggest challenge of the day) and walk for miles, round and round,  thankful I was still able to function.

Long story short, during this period,  I gradually felt   small lift’s in my spirit but they never lasted. So I continued walking until I managed to walk out of the fog. I was feeling hopeful again,  able to face life with hope. Finally feeling fully freed from the  hopelessness that had isolated me from my world, disconnecting  me from everything, everybody, even myself. That was then.

Now reaching back into the past, looking at my life before ”  whatever it was” that had me,  I began  discovering that I’d unconsciously constructed my own prison and confinement. My ruminating on fearful scenarios of losing my job, not able to handle     negative life issues and constant  frightful thinking plus the  continuous feeling deep painful moods, all grinding my body, mind and spirit into the ground. The feeling, best described this  is  like  someone scraping  their  fingernails on  a blackboard all day  without end.  If you are old enough to remember this particular feeling, (or even a blackboard)  then you know it was that painful knife-like  feeling thrust through your stomach that echoed throughout your whole body. Well, that was the way I felt all the time, particularly in the morning each day.  I wanted never to get up. Here is where motivation  follows action . Move the body and the mind will follow.

When I speak of the pain that threw me to the ground and ended the familiar  life that I knew,  the members of the Depressed Anonymous group know exactly what I am talking about. Depression is physically  painful.  Usually when I tell someone I was depressed, they normally  don’t understand, unless of course, they have been depressed themselves.

In my case, I unconsciously  caused and created  my depression, and allowed the symptoms to grind me down until I took steps to feel differently.  The steps that I took   was to attend the “miracle of the Depressed Anonymous group ” where  I could share my own experiences, strength and hope, make the 12 Steps a daily part of my life, and to share this message of hope with all who feel the same way as I did.

Believing in a Higher Power greater than myself  continues to keep me sane and living one day at a time. It works. It can work for you as well.

For more information contact us @

Depanon@netpenny.net and read  what we are about @ depressedanon.com.

Resources:

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publicatiuons. Louisville, KY 40241.

Home Study Program of Recovery  (See DA literature here at The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore).

 

Rumination and Sunspots

 

“Jim, 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 is when we are depressed it is that our whole life seems to go  into a deep pit and an eighty foot hole and with an eight foot ladder.

One good way to escape from the prison is to get with a group of people who by joining together each other’s  section of the ladder will eventually get to the top and out of this deep dark hole that we call depression. Think upon these small SUNSPOTS through out 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, and try to recreate that activity in your imagination as often as you can. At first, all you might be able to do is  to just  make a mental decision to do it even though at the time you don’t feel any particular pleasant emotion. Keep at it and with continual 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 and 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 DEPRES SED ANONYMOUS we call this THE LAW OF THE THREES.”   One negative thought is immediately replaced by three pleasant thoughts and/ or memories.” Pages 47-48. Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

In the  Personal stories section of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS (Page 114), a member of the fellowship tells us  how SUNSPOTS helped her face the work of freeing herself from the shackles of depression.

“Look for SUNSPOTS,   memories from the past that were happy times and ones which bring back happy feelings from years gone by. I tried, but none came to mind. But I did find that thinking about the book and what it said did make me feel a little bit better. The piece of a song popped into my mind, “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all the others will be added to you. ” “Hey! A SUNSPOT” I   said to myself.

Then I felt a warm glow and then I did feel better–I did it! I made myself feel better. I can undepress myself! I had mixed feelings. I want to feel better, but admitting I depressed myself was not an easy thing t do.

I went back and reread the book, but now with an open mind. I have started to follow the Twelve Steps and with the help of the Higher Power, I can have a brighter future. I am making and putting in my memory a lot of  SUNSPOTS for those times when I am feeling depressed and when I can choose to draw upon when I feel that I need them.

I put up a “stop” sign for all negative thoughts and bring out a SUNSPOT to carry me through.”

-Anonymous. A member of the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship.

NOTE: If you are presently registered as a member of the  ONLINE HOME STUDY program,  please go to your DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK (Question # 3.7) on page 16 of the WORKBOOK and answer the question for this subject of SUNSPOTS.

“Pretend that you are putting together  a photo album of the happiest moments  of the  most pleasant events of  your  life. Imagine they are still photos and that  you place them  in their  chronological order. When you feel  depressed you will then look through  the album  –one by one – and  you will  have a pleasant feeling take over your mind and heart. Now,  list eight pictures and the subjects that they represent.”

By working on this project, it can not only slow down the process of rumination (as discussed in yesterday’s BLOG). but it will also can distract you from that spiraling negativity that keeps you depressed and obsessing.

May your day be filled with SUNSPOTS

Hugh

Hide. Run. Isolate. When I Was Depressed, These Three Words Described Perfectly My Acting Out Behavior!

HIDE. RUN. ISOLATE. WHEN I WAS DEPRESSED THESE THREE WORDS DESCRIBED MY ACTING OUT BEHAVIOR  PERFECTLY.   

The Depressed Anonymous Big Book states that:

“Once I admit that I am addicted to depressing myself then I can begin to walk through the door of the prison that binds me. I I must realize the fact that my depression will only get worse unless I put a stop to all the thinking, and acting out behavior that keeps me perpetually locked into my sadness.” (DA88).

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Here again we see the responsibility issue cropping up again. This is so important for us who want to hide and run when  we feel a life that has to be faced again and again. As  we read in Alcoholics Anonymous and as quoted in Depressed Anonymous:

“Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us…

Yes, there is a long  period of reconstruction ahead. We must take the lead.  A remorseful mumbling that we are sorry won’t fill the bill…” (DA88)

Do you the reader, do this when you are feeling sad and alone? Do you try and get  alone by yourself  so that you can try and figure out what is happening inside of yourself? I did.  For myself, I just kept going around in the circling of my thoughts. The constant circling (ruminating ) and isolating behavior gradually had me spiraling into the darkness of my unending melancholia.

I finally realized I couldn’t think myself of this total physical, psychological immobility. What could I do? See page 73 in the Depressed Anonymous Workbook.