What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?

 

“What is the power of Depressed Anonymous? Well, let me first say that when I started attending Depressed Anonymous meetings, I went for a couple of months and then stopped. I stopped going because my depression was so bad that I didn’t want to leave my apartment. I didn’t want to be around or talk to anyone. I just didn’t want to do anything except crawl in a hole somewhere and isolate myself from everything. Then after about six weeks of isolation, I called the residential treatment facility where I had been a client to see if I had received any mail there and one of the members of the Depressed Anonymous group where I attended answered the phone. I spent a few minutes talking to her and there was something in her voice that told me that for some reason, it was important for me to be at the meeting.  I attended  the next Depressed Anonymous meeting. After the meeting I suddenly realized the importance and power of Depressed Anonymous.

So what is the power of Depressed Anonymous? For me, it’s just like attending that first meeting. I was a little scared and apprehensive at first, but then I found the Depressed Anonymous meeting was a place to go where there were other depressed people just like me. They could relate to and understand what I was going through. They didn’t judge me or think of me as crazy. I was accepted.”

–Ray

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (1998, 2008, 2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky .

“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

 

EMPOWERMENT AND PREVENTION

Being part of a group gives a sense of empowerment

Depression is a horrible experience. I believe that it is truly a defense, as Dorothy Rowe claims. It is more a defense which we have learned how to use, many of us, since our childhood days. It is more a defense than a disease.  Too often persons depressed come to me  and say that their depression really is a comfort because it protects them from something far worse than what they have.  They would hardly call a disease a comfort. I wonder what goes through a person’s mind when they learn that persons much like themselves are gaining strength from persons just like themselves. I talk with  them about Depressed Anonymous. They seem interested. They tell me that they will attempt to make a meeting.  They are hurting so bad that they are willing to learn – to come and see – to experience first hand how being part of a group may give them a sense of empowerment — a sense that they have it within themselves to gain an exit from the prison of their depression.

EMPOWERMENT AND PREVENTION

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Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville Page 112.