Tag Archives: SUNSPOTS

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

Put SUNSPOTS in your life today and everyday!

 

THE   EIGHT WAY.

Excerpts from BELIEVING IS SEEING: 15 WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION.  (See resources)

Please treat yourself  kindly! Begin to plan pleasurable activities into your life today!”

“I think one of the two things which depressed persons feel  is lacking is in not having mastery over the way they feel and believe. Secondly, they seem to have lost a desire to perform a pleasant activity which might attach their interest. One of the things I recommend for people depressed is to find one  pleasant activity that  they once enjoyed before being immobilized  by their present depression. I think it is a good learning  experience to believe that my depression won’t last forever and that someday I can feel better. In other words, I can still try and do that one thing that was a pleasant activity before I got depressed. We feel that we “have no reason to treat ourselves kindly” because we can’t find anything hopeful or of interest in our lives at the moment. We also feel that because we are so bad we don’t deserve anything good.

Also, as for planning pleasurable activities, you might want to start to  listen for the way that you talk to yourself. Try to speak kind words to  yourself as if you were talking  to a guest in your home. Talk out loud if you like–hear yourself say kind things to yourself. For once, say something  good  about  yourself instead of listening to all those old negative tapes that always made you feel you’d be better off dead. Or else someone else. You get the idea.

When you start listing your strengths as part of your Fourth Step Inventory, list all the good things that you like about yourself. (See the Depressed Anonymous Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous manual, 3rd edition., both books comprise the Home Self Study Program of Recovery).

With every negative statement about  yourself don’t allow yourself another statement about yourself until you are able to replace it with three positive statements.  We call these your SUNSPOTS.  I mean let’s be fair and balance this thing out! I know that you might feel a bit uncomfortable about prizing yourself, byut give it a try anyway.”

Also, plan some activities for the next day and write them  on your calendar. This is especially important for the weekend days   when there are so many hours that we may find hard to fill.  Some of us have made  plans  for each of the hours of the day.  We must force ourselves to get active.  Our life may depend on it!

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NOTE: Another resource for personal reflection is the work titled  I’ll do it when I feel better which presents some basic personal behaviors which can lead us out of our personal prison.

RESOURCES: COPYRIGHT(c)  BELIEVING IS SEEING:   15 WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION. Hugh Smith (2017) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.  pgs.43, 44,45,46.

COPYRIGHT(C)  I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER. Hugh Smith  (2016) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.

HOME SELF STUDY KIT 

COPYRIGHT(c) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, 3rd edition.   (2011) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.

COPYRIGHT(c) THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOLUS WORKBOOK. (2011) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE.

NOTE: To order online please   VISIT THE STORE. There you find other excellent resources on the subject of depression and recovery.

“Sunspots” and the LAW OF THE THREES. .

The following  article is one of the items which make up the Depressed Anonymous “toolkit.”

“Jim, as a member of our Depressed Anonymous Fellowship, 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 when we are depressed is that our whole life seems  to go into a deep pit with  its eighty foot hole  and an eight foot ladder.

One good way to escape from this prison is to get with a group of people who by joining each other’s section of ladder, will all eventually get to the top and out of this deep dark hole that we call depression. Think upon these small  “SUNSPOTS” throughout 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:  try to recreate that activity in your imagination as often as you can. At first, all you might be able to do is just make a mental decision to do it,  though at the time you don’t feel any particular pleasant emotion.  Keep at it and with the continued 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: 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 Depressed Anonymous we call this THE LAW OF THE THREES.” One negative thought is immediately replaced by three pleasant thoughts and or memories.

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

COMMENT  At times we find that our thoughts become cyclical.  As we continue the rumination process we  complete the circle where we end up where we started. Many of us see this  compulsive thinking  behavior as a deciding activity affecting us physically and emotionally.  The unending worry, fear, gradually wears  us down, much  like the grit of the grinding wheel. So, when we STOP our negative thoughts we can  cut off the resulting emotional residue which follows and continues to numb and  immobilize   us.

Hugh

STOP SIGNS AND SUNSPOTS

My name is Linda and the first time I read Depressed Anonymous,   I did not like it and got angry. The first part of the book about turning over our minds and life to a Higher Power sounded good.  I was ready to do that. ” Hey, here it is God! You take it! No more depression.”  But then came the part about a moral inventory, shortcomings, and the big one is that I depress myself.

“What’s he talking about?” I said to myself as I read the book. I had tried to un-depress myself many times. I put the book down, and went to work . But as I was walking around at work that night feeling very depressed, bits  and pieces of the book kept popping into my head and I started to think of the  word “stop” just like the book suggested to do.  “I depressed myself, I can un-depress myself” I said to myself.

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 just  by thinking about the book and what it  said made  me feel a little bit better.  Then a 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 un-depress myself! I had mixed feelings. I wanted to feel better, but admitting I depressed myself was not an easy thing to 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 which I can choose to draw upon when I feel that I need  them.

I put up a “stop” sign and bring out a SUNSPOT to carry me though.”

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 114. Personal Stories section.

Follow Your Bliss!

In the  Personal Stories section of Depressed Anonymous (3rd Edition), an anonymous writer shares with us how when she began to follow her blisshappy memories from her past life–something started to happen. In the program of Depressed Anonymous we call them SUNSPOTS.  Let her tell us in her own words.

” 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 just thinking about the book (Depressed Anonymous)  and what it said, did make me feel a little better. Then a 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 un-depress myself. I had mixed feelings. I wanted to feel better, but admitting I depressed myself was not an easy thing to 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 which I can choose to draw upon when I feel that I need them.

I put up a “stop” sign and bring out a SUNSPOT to carry me through.” By Anonymous. Page  114. “I depressed myself. I can un-depress myself.”

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NOTE: I have also found that when I create a picture album in my mind  I can always leaf through them, one memory at a time. It is a well known fact that memories carry with them pleasant or unpleasant feelings.  We don’t want to try to forcibly push away those unhappy memories-as that seems to just make them more persistent- but to just let those unhappy pictures float by – like watching a vehicle passing by. And as we move onto those happy memories in our mind’s album  and place our attention on them, we will with time and practice discover that happy memories produce happy and pleasant feelings. Hugh

Listen To How You Talk To Yourself – Do You Like What You Hear?

AFFIRMATION

I will let go of the negative thoughts about myself as soon as I am conscious that I am experiencing them.

“…try to live one day at a time.. We know from experience that our sobriety , our disappearance from sadness is due to letting go, admitting our powerlessness  (Step 1) and coming to believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity (Step 2).

REFLECTION

I know that I have to continue to work on myself and the way that I speak to myself on an ongoing and daily basis. My letting go and letting  God take over my life doesn’t mean that  I’ll just sit back and let it do all the work, no, it means that I will work on myself and leave the outcome up to my Higher Power. I know that my life can be lived differently if I just make an effort to choose to be conscious of the thoughts  that I let myself ruminate and think  about during the day. The more I monitor my thoughts, the more I am able to filter out the negative thoughts and have them replaced with positive and constructive thoughts. We call them SUNSPOTS (Depressed Anonymous).

So often when I am depressed I continue a thinking style that was learned as a small child. I am not even conscious as to how I would  always select the negative attributes about myself to reflect upon instead of attempting to think positive and hopeful thoughts about myself and relationships. The more I believe that I have a choice as to how I am to feel, the more I become conscious of the thoughts that influence the way I feel.

Going to a mutual aid group, which focuses on depression, enables us to share with others how we talk to ourselves and what we tell ourselves, day after day. Do we like what we hear when we share with others our continued negative thinking? I would think not.

MEDITATION FOR TODAY

God, let us just for today, dwell on your mercy and kindness. Your are not the harsh judge of my childhood. You are the God who loves us just the way we are. God is like the Mother who continues to love the child of her womb.

SOURCE: HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS(C) December 14.