Over the past 30 years I have talked with thousands of persons depressed, their families and friends, while at the same time attending a myriad of Depressed Anonymous gatherings. All of these experiences have helped teach me some very important lessons. Obviously, my best teacher was my own experience with, depression.
If you who are reading this piece presently, and are depressed, you know as well as I do that you cannot just snap out of this total body, mind and spiritual experience. Since we are of one piece, what happens in our mind influences negatively or positively our whole human person.
More is also needed than positive self-talk –even though it has an important part to play in our ongoing recovery. Our life presents to us a mosaic of various pieces all forming a whole — a lifetime of experiences. Is the mosaic going to picture our life in dark colors and grey shadows or is it going to present colors of oranges and sunny brightness interspersed with some black shadows and greys. For most I would say have a little of both–brightness and shadows.
That leads me to what I wish to share you with here at this tool of recovery, a practice of dealing with ourselves using the positive self talk of learning and incorporating in oneself, positive ways to lift ourselves out of the pit of depression.
Basically, I would to share the titles of the fifteen chapters from Believing is Seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017) Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.Kentucky. Each of the chapters enlarges and broadens the individual concepts stated with a commentary of its own. I recommend that you start first by reading and reflecting upon each of the titles, with its accompanying commentary. By the time you are finished you may begin to select the particular chapters that best can help you apply to your own needs and situation. No two depression experiences are the same.
Let’s get started as we list in numerical order each of the fifteen chapters with their titles.
- We accept and believe that however hopeless everything appears right now, we will recover from our depressison.
- I accepted that God, as the God of my understanding is loving and forgiving. The 12 step group and our God is the pillar of our strength and healing.
- We trust in others by sharing our recent episodes of loss/sadness while at the same time sharing our hopes and strengths, we trust our new found positive beliefs for getting ourselves out of the prison of depression.
- No longer am I alone in my depression. I can now see that it is up to me to form new friendships with others in the fellowship of the depressed Anonymous group. I have found persons who understand me and my problems. I also learn coping skills and new positive behaviors from my fellow group members.
- Remember that an oak tree was once an acorn. Recovery begins by taking one step at a time as well as reading Depressed Anonymous and participating in meetings on a regular basis.
- Keep physically fit! It is a must for us, who have been depressed. My walking not only restores harmony to the body but it restores my self-esteem and self – confidence.
- Today is all that we have. Don’t let dwelling on yesterday’s hurts and fears about tomorrow, rob you of peace today. Contrary to what you might have thought – you are responsible for how you think and feel.
- Please treat yourself kindly! Begin to plan pleasurable activities into your life today.
- Withdrawing from friends and other social contacts is the first clue that you are slipping back into isolation and pain of depression. Move toward a friend. Go to a meeting. Ask your Higher Power for that nudge which will guide you on the appropriate path.
- I know that with work and time, I will get better and move out of my depression. I believe that though I might feel helpless I am not hopeless. I will make a decision to get better.
- I will make a daily inventory of all my positive strengths. I tended to magnify the worst in everything in my life, and make mountains out of mole hills. I will focus on my stars and not on my scars.
- Our Depressed Anonymous program is one of hope and peace. The more active I become in my efforts to think and act positively the more self-esteem and confidence is mine.
- I’d rather be imperfect and happy than always struggling to be perfect and thus miserable.
- I believe that by working the 12 Steps of Depressed Anonymous, the more my Higher Power will release in me the serenity that I seek while not giving up on the hope that I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel!
- Depressed Anonymous believes that we are not to think of ourselves as “depressives” or permanent sufferers of depression. We believe that we can move out of our depression and help others out of their depression. To label ourselves a “depressives” is counterproductive to our own recovery. We will not define ourselves solely by our painful and personal experience with depression.We are not victims. We also believe that once you have worked your way through and out of depression that you will continue to receive our support and appreciation. You can continue your recovery by reaching out to those persns still suffering from their depression.”
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