Tag Archives: “tools” of recovewry

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.

 

 

 

 

I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel

“I believe that by working the 12 Steps of Depressed Anonymous, the more my Higher Power can release in me the serenity that I seek. While not giving up hope — I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Fourteenth Statement of Belief.

This is the 14th of 15 Statements of Belief as laid out in our recent work , BELIEVING IS SEEING. 15 Ways to leave the prison of depression (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.   KY

As long as I have the belief that somehow, sometime, I will begin to feel differently and by not giving up on that hope, I can begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

The reason Depressed Anonymous  was started in the first place is to bring  those suffering from depression together  so that an individual could be empowered to find the support that would lead each of them, with each other out of the pit of depression.

This 14th Statement of Belief produces a peace and serenity which assures me that together with the fellowship I will win and have victory over my depression. I am no longer alone!

The Higher Power, or God as we understand him, is at the core of our gaining success over our depression. It  is precisely here at this juncture that my belief is to carry the day. Carpe diem! Seize the moment.

I do have to go to meetings, read from the Big Book of Depressed Anonymous , talk to other members in the fellowship and set a time for daily prayer and meditation in my life . I also have to exercise and eat right. I have to remember that motivation follows action. Move the body and the mind will follow.

I have always believed in the power and influence of groups–either serving as a power for good or a power for destructive ends. But as for our group that we call Depressed Anonymous I see that it  builds up and enhances anyone who  gets involved with it.  Those who interact with the fellowship eventually come out of the pit of their depression and start  feeling  different. This is actually happening all of the time with those who work and live out the Steps in their daily life. (Read their personal stories in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville.)

I remember when I first proposed back in 1984 to a psychologist friend, and Dean of the University Psychology Department,  that we ought to   get depressed people together with each other. I was given a look that I was completely out of  my mind  to suggest that depressed people could even get motivated enough to roll out of bed in the morning, much less try and go to a meeting with other sad and depressed people.  With the Dean’s reluctant blessing we set up a pilot program for the depressed at the university. Because of the success of the people involved,  it became our impetus to  form the first Depressed Anonymous group which now has roots and groups around the world.

But just as many of us who were depressed got there by trying to juggle too many situations and circumstances that happened to be personally overwhelming I have found that  by listening to  the  stories of others in the group and sharing my own story my life has hope and meaning.

If you know that you will really find hope and a possible way out of depression by going to a Depressed Anonymous meeting,   there is nothing to stop you but your own fear of the uncertain.

My Higher Power has with time, work and using the “tools” of our recovery program,  released me from my depression. That recovery has continued now in my life for over 30 years.  Now I am trying to carry this message of hope to those who are still hurting. You don’t have to hurt any longer. If you are looking for help you   may find it with us.  We hope you join us!

Hugh