The healing shows on the faces of all those who keep coming back to meetings.”

THE TENTH  WAY to leave the prison of depression. #10 of 15.

I know that with time and work I will get better and out of my depression. I believe that though I might feel helpless, I am not hopeless. I will make a decision to get better today!”

One of  the most heartening phenomenon of our 12 step program for persons depressed is to see how quickly healing becomes apparent to those who keep coming back to meetings. The healing shows on the faces of all those who keep coming back to meetings.They commit themselves to getting better. The work that one has to engage in is a deep desire to quit sadding  themselves. This means that a person depressed really must make a commitment to themselves, that with time and work, they can leave the prison of their own depression.

This statement of belief is so important that it, like the rest of the 15 ways to leave the prison of depression provides hope for those still suffering from depression. Just by coming to the meetings, even when we don’t feel like moving out of our isolation and comfort zone. This is in itself an investment that must be made if we are to reap the dividends of healing which can be ours. The program works by investing your time and energy in it.

Depressed Anonymous provides a step-by-step program of recovery and doesn’t talk in vague generalities about your own depression experience. Actually,  the program offers a map where you can walk out of your past filled with negative thoughts and  behaviors  creating your own new hopeful lifestyle. The Depressed Anonymous mutual aid  group is the  “miracle”  incentive for getting ourselves motivated   and living with hope. The group provides a continued acceptance and support for your life. The purpose of the 12 steps is to free ourselves from the debilitating isolation and pain of our sadness. We realize now that it is by accepting responsibility for our physical, emotional and spiritual care of self that predicts the hope filled long-term effect of a life lived without depression.

First of all, what gains consciousness is to be aware of  one’s  own need to discover what there is about myself that I do not find acceptable, good and  wholesome. Secondly,  preparation. I am aware of how I have depressed myself by the faulty beliefs that I’ve held about myself over the past years. I now know that part of the way I feel is due to the way I have automatically talked to myself throughout the day. I now realize that my feelings about myself have continually been very negative and emotional laden. Now I take action. I intend today to replace all negative statements that I make about myself, they are like waving a red flag  before my eyes. Every time I call myself stupid or put myself down mentally, I will substitute  affirmations such as the following:  I will build a new life for myself. I am strong today. I have the courage to go through this experience. I will no longer blame myself or others for my depression. I do not have to wait for someone to make me feel better, as I can do this myself if I choose to do so. And this will   sustain me and not just for today but every day of my life.  I’m going to tolerate my imperfections while at  the same time refusing to feel sorry for myself.  I am going to make myself accountable for how I feel… and not blame it on someone else.”

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Sources: The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. pages 51-56.

Please VISIT THE STORE where all publications of Depressed Anonymous can be ordered online.

“Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” Step 5 of Depressed Anonymous

“I haven’t done anything wrong, so why do I have to admit anything? And anyway, what does this have to do with my depression?”

In the Depressed Anonymous Workbook these questions there are provided answers for those who are struggling to free themselves from depression. In fact, the more we work through each of the questions posed in the Workbook, we can also go to the Depressed Anonymous Manual, 3rd edition., and find six pages  (pgs. 59-64) of thoughts from members of the fellowship on Step 5.  We discover that the Depressed Anonymous Manual is written by people like you and me. We have been where you are and we came to believe after admitting that we were powerless over our depression and that life was unmanageable we had to make a decision.

In Step 3 we made a decision –that is what life is all about –namely, making decisions. Our decisions are the product of the meaning that we give to those persons, events and circumstances that fill our lives every day.  We make the decisions based on those meanings that we give to those situations and experiences. We are making a decision to day to share part of our dark side with another human being.

In Alcoholics Anonymous it describes the way to make a good 5th Step:

” We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this Step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye.  We can be alone at perfect peace and ease.  Our fear fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our creator. We may have had certain beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience…”

Telling someone else seems to be the key to our freedom: When we decided who is to hear our story, we waste no time. We have a written inventory and we are prepared for a long talk. We explain to our partner what we are about and why we have to do it.” (This is why it is so important to write down in a  separate notebook the answers to all the questions in the Workbook which now bring us to the point of sharing our answers with a person we can trust, such as a clergy person or our sponsor. ED).

Steps 1 and 5 are the two Steps where the word “admitted” is used.  When we hear the word “wrongs” such as in this Step 5 – we may induce in ourselves a feeling of guilt. This is NOT the intention of Step 5 at all.

To be depressed is not to be wrong. We are not accusing ourselves of being bad. We are only pointing out the ways that I need to act, think and behave as a non-depressed person.”

SOURCES:  The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2001) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 49-50.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 59-64.