One of the areas of my life, when I was depressed, was to begin looking for that personal and secure base providing me with hope and resources for a complete recovery. My first attempt at finding this refuge and secure base was preceded by a search for answers. Why was mind always distracted? Why couldn’t I remember anything? I would read a paragraph and within no time I couldn’t remember a word of what I had just read. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I was always tired and just wanted to sleep. Coming home after working all day I would hit the sack. My mind was like in a dense fog. I felt like I was driving a car at night with my headlights on off. I was lucky just to be able to get to work. For me it was do or die. No job -no Master’s degree. My job paid for my education. It was that simple.
What can I do? What is wrong with me? I have never in my life felt so filled with anxiousness. Constant jitters. I even began feeling tremors in my hands. That is when I got worried. I didn’t have a doctor to consult. Since I lived back in the “stone age” there was no Internet. So, here is what I did. I forced myself out of bed every morning and I started to walk. I went to a mall located where I lived and walked. I mean I walked miles around that store. Early morning walkers, like myself, were allowed to walk before the store opened. I can relate to Forrest Gump in the movies. It was boring but I did manage to do it for over a year. And then it happened.
A feeling of lightness came over me. Wow! I almost wanted to shout with joy. That horrible jitteriness stopped for a moment. I felt a cheerfulness that I thought would never come back. My mind was clear. Momentarily I began reflecting that something good had just happened. And then the words, flashing across my mental screen, began spelling out the words, It won’t last!”
And just as quick as the words flashed in my mind, with it’s lifting mood, it too disappeared. I retuned downcast to my walking. And then slowly everything started to feel different for me. My mind cleared, my mood spiraled upwards and I began to feel like my old self–now, a renewed guy with a deep gratitude that all my walking paid off. I gradually began to see everything coming back into place. Whatever it was (it was only later that I could put a label on my experience and call it what it was, depression.)
Eventually, I designed a pilot project at my university using the 12 spiritual principles of Alcoholics Anonymous to determine if those depressed persons gathered in the program would respond to the power of the Steps. The Steps continue to help the alcoholic to recover from alcoholism. Now we learned that the 12 Step discussion groups, would also help others make progress, like our depressed participants in the study, as their moods lightened over the 10 week pilot discussion period. Today, the group that we call Depressed Anonymous is spreading worldwide and its Big Book (Depressed Anonymous) is now translated into Spanish, Dutch, Russian, Farsi and English.
If you are looking for a secure base, that is a group, where everyone speaks your language of depression, and where you can be accepted and introduced to a program of recovery that promises healing and a brand new start in life.
(C) Depressed Anonymous 3rd ed., (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Louisville. KY.
You can check out our literature at The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at www.depressedanon.com. You may also order books online.