THE MIRACLE OF THE GROUP

“By our continual shutting ourselves up in the little world of our own mind, we gradually sink more and more into despair and feel that no one can understand how we think and feel. The biggest freedom that we can gain from confessing to someone else is that we no longer have to have it all together and be perfect.  We can begin to  admit  it when we are petty, selfish and self-centered. We can then admit that we want to have restored a sense of peace by getting free  from  all worry and fear from the past and by turning those over to the  Higher Power. We can then discover that forgiving ourselves and being forgiven by God are one in the same thing. The group will see to it that the more you admit your own fears about yourself and the future, the less terror the present will hold for you.”

“My dear friends, it is this spiritual experience, to feel that God is with you, and that this joy is the joy that will restore your youth and renew your spirit.  We no longer have to be the way we are -we can choose to feel and be different. Others are doing  it-so can you!”

Depression feeds on hurt, pain and self-doubt. When we are depressed we have a need to bash ourselves for our misguided errors and sinfulness. The Fifth Step  if done genuinely and prayerfully, will in time help restore our sense of freedom and belief that we are truly forgiven.  It is in the miracle of the group and its acceptance, love and nurture that helps the depressed person feel secure without recourse to depression.”

THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK, examining Step Five, asks the following question at 5.21:  List what action you will have to take if you want to respect yourself again? Remember, it’s our past need to tell ourselves how bad and unacceptable that we are that keeps us depressed. This is a “wrong” if there ever  was one.

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HOME STUDY KIT

SOURCES:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 64 (Book One of the Home Study Kit).

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002). Depressed  Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 52. (Book Two of the Home Study Kit).

VISIT THE STORE   at this site for ordering online.

 

Tom had a problem.

“Tom asked why we needed Step Four in our recovery which states that “we made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”  He said that he was depressed and didn’t need anything else to make him feel worse – like dredging up things that he might have done in the past. Why, Tom wondered, should he resurrect old ghosts?  Anyway, when we spoke about a moral inventory it reminded him of religion with its “do’s and  “don’ts ” with special emphasis on the “don’ts.”  Tom said he came into Depressed Anonymous to learn about what was making him depressed and that he didn’t need anything else to make him feel guilty or sadder.

Some people think that for a person to dredge up old hurts and wrongs will make them that much more depressed. I guess it depends on what type of stuff we put on our inventory. The following list will help  our sadness persist: our perfectionism, our need to control our fears, guilt, shame or resentments, dishonesty, selfishness, passivity, anger, indecisiveness,  fear of change or finally the inability to live with uncertainty. When we begin to ask God for help in removing these areas from our live, this asking for help  will not make us more depressed – it will in fact make us more hopeful. In Step Three we said we make a decision. This means just that and not just a promise as it says in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book.  When we begin to surrender our will and our life to the Higher Power and are willing to expose our  effects to others in the group, it is then that our life may be able to take on a peace coupled with new purpose. This really is an essential and necessary step that has to be taken if we want to leave our prison  of depression behind.”  SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 53.

In our Depressed Anonymous Workbook, which coordinates each of the Twelve Steps, with its questions and answers coordinated with the individual Twelve  Step commentaries in the Depressed Anonymous big book, we can  discover who we are and  how we became the way we are.

Here we can deepen our awareness of what makes us who we are by continuing our search by means of those questions put forward in our Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Because of the essential nature of the inventory procedure as outlined in our personal recovery program, an individual will see  that their own openness to the process will provide  them with a wealth of hope and serenity.

Working the 4th Step is like coming home a different  route.  It is a path that is filled with signposts that point us in a  different direction than where we are used to going. And for many of us this is in a different direction than where we are used to going. And for many of us this is the first time that we are really intent upon taking a good hard look at who we are. This taking inventory of ourselves has much to do with our loving ourselves and making ourselves open to a new path and feeling different.” The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  The 4th Step, Page 24.

–For more information on this Group/Home Study Kit and how to order it, please VISIT THE STORE.  Both Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, comprise our Study Kit. One can order all literature online.

MORE TOMORROW ABOUT THE 4TH STEP.

Childhood messages -how are they working for you today?

In the  Depressed Anonymous Workbook, we are asked a very important question included in STEP FIVE.

AT 5.1 the question is asked:  As a child did you get a message that if you were good and did everything that you were supposed to do that you would end up happy and everything would go your way?  (The Workbook then asks you to write out your response.) For all of us, who are experiencing depression, this is a very important question. I myself have often wondered how the messages of childhood are working for us now that we are adults.

STEP FIVE is about intimacy and the sharing of one’s  innermost self with its secrets to that other human being. This is something that we hate that we would much rather snuggle back into our little corner and keep all knotted up in the addiction to our misery. In STEP FOUR we learned about getting it straight within ourselves so that we looked into every nook and cranny inside ourselves that kept us from being honest with ourselves, our God and all the other human beings that we have shared our story with.

For that personal experience of our lives, as we see it, can be obtained by spending time with the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. You will be amazed  by the feelings that come up and present themselves as we work through our lives using the Twelve Steps as a roadmap of life.

 

STEPPING UP TO HOPE

In Depressed Anonymous I have heard members of the group say what works for them is not to fight depression but instead do the dead man’s float — just let go and feel the sadness –don’t run away from it with lots of activity and doing — this can lead to mania — instead, admit our sadness, our despondency and face the feeling.
Don’t fight it and push it down but DISCUSS it –talk about it and see it for what it is. Since depression is a dependency issue it is only when we begin to surrender to the Higher Power or God as we understand him that we make it possible to recover from this experience. We choose to live, feel and think differently.
THE ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET
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This approach to depression really works, as the many testimonies in our “Big Book” Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition illustrate. Yes, we know that running away from any difficulty or problem just digs the hole of our sadness deeper. Once we give up our shame or guilt for being depressed–basically our feelings powerless and being isolated –and start to share our story with others, we find our sense of mastery begins to return as our feelings of uselessness begin to evaporate. How often do members of the group, after coming to the group for some weeks, begin to look different–that is, they seem calmer and their faces become softer. The hardness disappears.
Hugh

TREAT YOURSELF KINDLY TODAY!

AFFIRMATION

I will try to learn how to relax today.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t push yourself too hard. Relax. Enjoy yourself.

REFLECTION

One of the signs that I see when I gradually leave my depression is that I am beginning to be kind to myself.  I am seeing to it that my diet is more nutritional, that I get myself to the dentist or doctor for a regular checkup and I  begin  to  take stock of my life and the direction that it is taking. (See Depressed Anonymous Workbook /Step Four for a detailed analysis of this process). Many times in the context of the self-help group we are able to support each other with our ideas of how we can take better care of ourselves.

When I was  sadding  myself, I was always to tired to do anything for myself. I could never muster up the energy to do that something special that might lift my spirit or take my mind off my problems.  To relax was anathema to me because I  was always judging myself by the amount  of stuff I could produce. Now, in the program, I gradually let go from my clutched hand  all control and let the Higher Power run my life. Take some deep breaths, take a walk and think in images of those favorite places which always brightened your life.

MEDITATION

God, you will not be displeased with us because we might be enjoying ourselves. You know of all the things that we need today is to see some funny movie, or to be with a friend who might make us laugh.

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