Tommie tells us in Depressed Anonymous(c) 3rd edition, how she honestly thought “she had nothing to live for. As a mother of five beautiful sons, a wife,and a mother to be of quads, I wasn’t sure that I was a member of the human race. I couldn’t eat, sleep, and cried for no reason. I wanted to be alone. It even got to the point that I didn’t know who I was. I was a physical body without a life.”
I’ve been going to Depressed Anonymous now for about five months. The program and my new found friends have been a miracle of God. So many people have a big misconception about our meetings. They think we all sit around, tell our stories and cry on each other’s shoulders. Well there is a news flash for them – we learn that each and every one of us has experienced some degree of depression in our lives. We find out how to laugh, to comfort each other and sincerely understand what each one is going through because we all have been here one time or the other. I also learn that there is always hope. Since coming to Depressed Anonymous, I have learned to grieve for my lost children and how to live with my depression. I still have good and bad days. …My life is not perfect, but now with the love of my God, my family, my friends and my husband, life is now worth living. But, the most important thing is that there is life after depression.”
SOURCE: Copyright (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 132-133. Personal Stories section of the book.
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I will make a moral and fearless inventory of my life and devote myself to the truth about myself so that I might be able to admit my powerlessness over my past so that I might love myself today.
“Accepting yourself can mean resolving the grief left over from earlier years. Say you have lost somebody – or even something – and you were not able to show your grief, perhaps not even to admit it to yourself. There is nothing brave or wise in denying grief, in pretending that that you feel no pain or anger or sorrow.”
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
So often I have heard of the various stages of grief. For me to begin to work my way out of grief, I must go through these various stages of grieving. There is no fast way to grieve and it is an essential part of letting go of that which I have lost. One of the initial stages of grief is the shock of the loss of a love object and the need I have to believe that it will reappear again soon.
I have to get in touch with those who left me years earlier in my life and I never knew how to grieve their passing or even that I needed to grieve. I have many years of blocked up energy in my body as in the form of unresolved grief, anger, sadness and a general unease about myself. Somehow all these feelings from the past are like seeds that are trying to bear good fruit. If left to themselves and never able to yield their fruit they fester inside me and continually keep me agitated, depressed and afraid.
God, lead us with the pillar of fire at night and the cloud by day as we move into the Promised land where we with those who have surrendered their wills to you, continue to recover and live with the belief that you will not desert us. You are my food, the manna for my journey through these lean times.
SOURCES: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 19.
Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. (See Step 4).
“To thine own self be true.” is an old axiom that has much merit for those of us who work the spiritual program of the Twelve Steps. Often in therapy I ask people to list as many strengths as they can, and for some this is a difficult task when they are depressed and the world appears to be a grey and fearsome dark place. But this is a n inventory that we must make– we must begin to look at our strengths and stop wallowing in the self-pity which denies the new directions and progress occurring in our lives through the life of our depression, namely that we can’t seem to see the gracious goodness in ourselves that has been placed there for all time by the Higher Power. This in itself is the attitude that keeps alive our depression, sadness and self-deprecating attitudes. We need to look at our assets and list our strengths as we gather together time after time in our Depressed Anonymous group or our individual working ( HOME STUDY PROGRAM) of the Twelve Step program in our lives. We need to remove as quickly as possible all the old excuses and reasons that we cling to which keep us depressed and out of healthful recovery. Let’s be objective about ourselves and admit that just as we possibly have caused ourselves to be depressed, we likewise can un-depress ourselves in the same way.”
SOURCE: DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, (3rd Edition, 2011).. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky 40217. (p. 56)
Only when I had taken a complete inventory of my own life (Step Four) did I realize that certain ways of personal thinking, feeling and behaviors gradually spiraled me physically into the painful pit of my own personally manufactured melancholia. (Some depression experiences can also be the result of physical illness/diseases. That is why it is best to talk to a medical professional before we diagnose ourselves. ) Now here is the part that people can’t quite understand –that we caused ourselves to be depressed. How could that be? Why would I want to cause myself so much pain? Good question. The real issue here is that I discovered over time that because of emotional issues that were mine, mostly unpleasant to reflect upon, such as guilt, shame producing isolation from family, friends and the world, plus the grief over lost employment and relationships. And then, because of this continued mental and emotional beating myself up it all came crashing down as no longer could I think of anything but disaster, grief and gloom. I became paralyzed emotionally, physically and spiritually and mentally. My body responded by not responding so that in time it was a battle just to get out of bed. So, there you have it. I caused all this by the way I thought about myself. In Step Four I was able to take each issue by itself and then to see how I might restore myself before my experience with depression. I learned how to un-depress myself. Remember, most of the things that come “out of the blue” are the rain, snow and lightening. And now that I know where my melancholia originated and why, I am un-depressed today.