“Our whole outlook and attitude upon life changes.” One of the Promises of Depressed Anonymous.
“To really believe, possibly for the first time in one’s life that I can free myself from the prison of depression and begin to feel better. I know that I need to be proactive in my efforts at self-recovery. But what causes our outlook and attitude to change?
I have to begin to believe that hope and healing is possible. Once we have gone through some painful inner changes, such as dealing with our character defects and our isolating tendencies we se there is a way out. We have to have a positive attitude that will move and motivate us to want to go and get to the next step. Watching someone actually take these steps week after week and watch the feeling of wellness rise up in them can promote a belief that with work and time, their lives do improve. Soon we see that a sense of purpose begins to manifests itself the more time and work we put into our person recovery.
A door opens ever slightly and there appears a potential route to freedom. A way out! I do know that when my hope and faith in recovery rises, my symptoms of depression go down. ”
SOURCE: Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better. 2013. Smith, Hugh. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky. P. 46.
I thought I was losing my mind. Why? Well, when I was depressed, when I tried to read something–anything, I found to my surprise that I couldn’t retain information that I just read. In fact I would have to go back and re-read what I had just read. After awhile it seemed futile trying to read anything and retain it. And here is the catch– this is where I got scared–no, not just a little bit worried–I was shaken. It was as if I lost my short term memory completely. I wondered what was going on in my brain? Was I suffering from some rare neurological disease or what? As it turned out I was also completely washed out. I couldn’t wait to get home after work and go to bed. And another thing is that if I saw someone laughing or having a good time — I hated it! What right did they have enjoying life when all I could feel was the pain of my melancholia. I was helpless and hopeless. I felt out of control plus unable to manage anything for myself that I would consider positive.
Quite a composite of symptoms all telling me that something was not right. But what was the answer? What could all this mean?
So, I decided to move my body and get out everyday and put some miles on my feet. Get some exercise. Get the blood flowing to my brain and wherever else it needed to go. Since these events were something new to me I didn’t really know what I had. I just knew I needed to do something–so, walking seemed my best bet. Over a year’s time it worked its healing and slowly my cognitive abilities returned. I began to feel more in control and a lightness came to me which had slowly evaporated a year previous. What I am trying to share with you here is that when and if these symptoms make up part of your living experience, just know that they won’t last forever.
One of the many treasures of the Depressed Anonymous group is that when I tell my story with all my crazy physical symptoms, and how over time they gradually left me, it is here that members of our fellowship knew they had come to the right place for help. They are no longer alone. And, they have a toolbox of skills, thanks to those who share their stories of recovery and how they too are no longer depressed. My story is their story!
If you believe that you had nothing to do with your depression, then the good implication is that you didn’t cause it. The bad implication is if you didn’t cause it then you could get it again, like the flu or the cold. But since depression isn’t a cold or a flu virus or germ we will try taking responsibility for our depression and its symptoms and go from there. The quickest answer to that is that it may lead me to take full responsibility for anyway that I can to overcome depression –this may mean taking the medication to reduce the negative symptoms, seek talk therapy, and then be part of a beloved community –a self help group where they know us by name. It is here that people like us will take the time to guide us toward the light where we can find safety, security and people like ourselves who will not tell us to “snap out of it.”
It is now the time to ask yourselves how you can best take responsibility for yourself. Formulating a daily plan, an activity, a pleasant activity, a feeling of finally getting control over your life which you felt that you never had. Also, planning one or more pleasant activities everyday into your life is a good way to plan your day instead of your day planning you.
To examine the good and the bad implications of depression as outlined briefly above is just another way to continue clarifying our thoughts on how well we are taking responsibility for our lives.
Copyright(c) Shining a light on the dark night of the soul. DAP Pages 16=-17( Excerpts)