Our relationship with others will improve. Now isn’t that a good thing?

 

Why shouldn’t our relationships with other people improve?  After we have begun to put into place our daily program of recovery, through prayer and meditation we now are expectant and hopeful. We reflect upon each step, and we complete a piece of the structure that in time will be the new me. I think that one of the more critical areas to mend in our lives is the thinking part of ourselves. So, from the start we need to promote to those persons depressed to get involved in as much physical activity as possible, for example, walk, express personal feelings to others, go to meetings, talk with each other on the phone with supportive people. In other words, get connected as much as possible. Most importantly we discover at our group meetings that there are many persons, much like ourselves and at the same level of recovery. We know we are not alone.

”’Once the newcomers hear the before and after of our lives it will make it easier for them to believe us when they experience our own enthusiasm and cheerfulness. ”

SOURCES:  Copyright (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  KY.

Copyright (c)   I’ll do  it when I feel better. (2017)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisvile. KY .

The gift that just keeps on giving!

 

“These Twelve Step;s work for those who work the program and who try to live one day at a time.  Many times we have been so scared of being rejected once more that we have withdrawn deeper into  the anguish of our shame and hurt. We need to to air our hurts, our shame, and let others hear our story.  There is something healing  about hearing ourselves speak to others about  our own journey in life and the many emotional potholes that we have fallen into from time to time. We have felt our lives were jinxed. But now we can begin to feel hopeful when other members of the group shake their their heads in knowing approval of what we are saying when we tell our story. Most have been where we are now. And the more we make an effort to come to meetings regularly, the more we will find members of  the group telling us how they are seeing a change in the way we act, talk  and look.  We will accept the group’s comments as being true and honestly expressed. These people speak our language and they all have been where  we are now. You gradually begin to see yourself as healer instead of victim the more you work the program and get excited about the possibility of helping others. When you start reaching out to others in the group, it is at that point thay you are carrying the message of hope to others. You have a future with Depressed Anonymous. ”

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 105.

The last Step of the Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous says it best for those of us who  now want to be that “gift that keeps on giving.” and become bearers of HOPE.

STEP TWELVE of   the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS FELLOWSHIP

“Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we  tried to carry this message to the depressed,  and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Admitting that we are in pain is the start of freedom!

  THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS.

PROMISE #1. We believe that once we have diligently and with rigorous personal honesty managed to complete the first nine steps of our program – good things can begin to happen in our life. It is after we have made amends to those whom we had harmed, swept the porch in front of our own house, and go to step ten and complete the remainder of the steps, we will be amazed at the peace that is become a part of our life.

The pain that we experience now – and working our program step-by-step is indeed slight – compared to the pain that may continue if we don’t bite the bullet and look at the issues that have trapped us these many years.

Working the 12 steps is like the person who heads toward  the light at the end of the tunnel. The closer one gets to the light – the more one discovers a way out. The light in this case is symbolized by the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous. The expression of light, health and recovery of its members helps each of us to stay focused on recovery. Work is to be done if we are to find not only the light  – but a life free from the symptoms of depression.

Change is painful.  The first step is for the beginning of the end of our pain.  By admitting that we are in pain is that which paradoxically begins a release of our pain. This is the paradox of letting go and holding on as we learn from step three. What we hold onto holds on to us. What we seek – seeks us.

It is difficult for any of us to admit that our lives are out of control.

People sometimes speak of their depression as a comfort. I can identify with that, because if they were to change for anything else, they might end up with something far worse than what they have now. They feel that they might end up the hole in the doughnut. This pain of depression begins to dissolve as a result of doing something we’ve never done before – or rather doing something about our lives that we have not done before. It happens to be true that the more we get in touch with and remove our resentments, fear, guilt, and self-pity from our lives, the lighter we feel emotionally. The less need we have   to rely on defense mechanisms which shielded our fragile egos from pain,  hurt or remorse, the freer we become.

I do believe that the pain of our depression originates from inside ourselves. We construct present-day reality based on past life experiences. The past is a predictor of the future.  As it says in Depressed Anonymous, many of us held the absolute belief that “since bad things have happened to us in the past, bad things will happen to us in the future. In other words – we have made up her mind – nothing will ever change. And of course this belief is what promotes and keeps our depression  alive.”

The opposite of depression is spontaneity and vitality. When we are depressed we move about as in a fog.  we are stuck.  Since we desire everything to remain the same, that is, predictable, we in no way believe that life can be different. If we intend to stay suck, we make the decision, choose to stay in the rut of being  lifeless, hapless and helpless.

As we change old beliefs into new ones we believe that things can change as things begin to change.  We will begin to experience light, hope  and joy.   ”

In every   Depressed Anonymous story (See Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition) one’s personal story of recovery  illustrates how pain has been the admission price for the beginning  of a new life without depression and isolation.

.”The God that we know speaks to us through members of the Depressed Anonymous group. The Higher Power will put a new sense of purpose into  your life once you know how to turn  to it and surrender your pain. The Depressed Anonymous group will lead you safely and gently. The miracle is in the group.”

“The starting point is the admission that so far everything we have tried has not worked…”  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. DAP. Louisville. DA/P.39.

“… Life doesn’t have to be lived alone in agony or misery.” DA/.41.

 

I’m ready for the good things now !

 

I’m slowly finding out the my life is not as horrible  as I’ve made it out to be. I used to tell myself that since it happened before, it will happen again – and that simply is not true. Yes, my  past was horrible and it’s no wonder I ended up with depression. I want out of it and the only person to get me out is me. There is not a magic wand to transport you to the life you want. Everyone knows what they wish their life could be like – so do it!  Make the changes you have to make, trust in God and always remember that good things come to those who wait. I’ve waited over half my life. I don’t have to be a victim of my past or my mind anymore. I’m more than ready for the good things! With love and hope!

SOURCE:    A member of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship. You can find more of her story in the PERSONAL STORIES section of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 120-121.

NOTE: For more literature resources please VISIT THE STORE at our site WWW. DEPRESSEDANON .COM.

Depressed Anonymous had been the ultimate key to a successful life.

Depressed Anonymous had been the ultimate key to a largely successful life for me. Prior to entering the program, I had no money, no driver’s license, and had dropped out of college  due to poor grades and a personal breakdown for which I was hospitalized. I had not then worked Step One because I wasn’t aware that I was powerless over my depression, that my life was disorganized as the mess in my closet.

During the first night in the hospital,  a member informed me of a support group known as Depressed Anonymous. I decided to give it a try. By telling me about this wonderful, miraculous and very spiritual program, this person had not only worked the  Twelfth Step, (Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all our affairs) but has also given me a key which would open many doors for me. Walking through these doors was like admitting defeat. I was playing first base in a  ball game in which I would eventually win. If I struck out, I was back on Step One. By playing ball with a positive attitude, I was allowing my Higher Power to walk the Steps to recovery with me. With the help and positive sense of fellowship that I enjoyed in the group, I began to understand God’s will for me.  With the love, support, and true friendship of three faithful members in the group, I began working on my driver’s license, which had been another step toward my independence  for me. Within a year, I earned my license when two members of the group took me in for a road test. A new sunnier life had begun for me. The worst was finally over.”

Lena, in  PERSONAL STORIES (#2): “We never talked about our feelings. ” Pages 112-113.

SOURCE:  DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville .

I said to myself, “if I ignore it maybe it(depression)will go away.”

“There was a time when we ignored trouble, hoping it would go away. Or, in fear and in depression, we ran from it, but found it was still with us. Often, full of unreason, bitterness, and blame, we fought back. These mistaken attitudes, powered by alcohol, guaranteed our destruction, unless they were altered.

Then came AA (and DA. OA, NA,  Al-Anon etc). Here we learned that trouble was really a fact of life for everybody – a fact that had to be understood and dealt with. Surprisingly, we found that our troubles could, under God’s grace, be converted into unimagined blessings.

“Indeed, that was the essence of A.A. itself: trouble accepted, trouble squarely faced with calm courage, trouble lessened and often transcended. This was the A.A. story, and we became a part of it.  Such demonstrations became our stock in trade for the next sufferer.”

COMMENT: It was with my own experience with depression that I tried to deny that it was anything that could keep me from a life lived with hope and joy. I thought that if I just ignored it, like Bill W., stated so well above, it would just evaporate like the morning midst. Of course this just didn’t happen.

As I commented on this denial factor which is a big part of all addictions, I also came to believe that,  “well, what I am going through will surely pass. It isn’t so bad, really. I can put up with a little discomfort.”  Sorry. It didn’t work that way. And as I pointed out in   I’ll Do It when I feel Better  I said  ” we also learn that our depression is a defense and predictable and for some, depression is even come to be a comfort and as has been said before, at least one knows what they have with depression. And to change and risk removing this numbness is better not to be undertaken  because it’s better to know what one has than to risk getting something worse. Much like the example cited before of the debate within ourselves to go to the dentist for the toothache or just tough  it out and hope for the best.  We call this denial.” Page 17.

To examine more literature about depression and using the Twelve Steps in your personal recovery , please taker a look  at VISIT THE STORE here at our website.

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SOURCES:

1) As Bill sees it. Page 110.

2)  I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014)  Depressed  Anonymous Publications.                                  Louisville.

3) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

 

Stepping up to hope.

“I want to get well so badly…”

These words were spoken by Helen, who as an active member of Depressed Anonymous found that she was no longer alone. She tells us that  when a person wants relief from the pain and isolation of their depression that they will go to any lengths to find help.

She writes in the Personal Stories section of Depressed Anonymous the following testimony:

” I finally knew after two years or more of sleepless nights that someone had to help me. I found a card saying “Depressed Anonymous” in the back of the phone book. It had a phone number and that was all. I talked to the man on the other end of the phone. I said to myself, this man is too busy to talk with me, but anyway I made the first appointment myself. I made myself go. I thank God that I did. I thank God that I went for help. It was a whole new beginning for me. I wanted to  get well so badly. I think people do have to want to change. I went in with the attitude that I have to get well. I heard things about counselors that  scared me, but this was just all the old negative feelings that caught up with me and boxed me in.

I got better and started to think differently. I started to get rid of some of my negative thoughts. I began to feel better and I continued to see my counselor. I started in Depressed Anonymous some weeks later.”

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You know, sometimes it takes just that one person with their liberating story of being freed from the isolation and pain of depression that we feel that there is hope for me. If it worked for Helen, it can surely work for me as well.  If you would like to read Helen’s working free of depression see the full account in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011).

Available at Depressed Anonymous Publications.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS

1)  I walk down the street..

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost…I am hopeless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever for me to find a way out.

2) I walk down the  same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend that I don’t see it.

I fall in  again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

But  it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I saw it there.

I still fall in.. it’s a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault. I get out immediately.

4) I walk down  the same street

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.

Copyright(c)  Portia Nelson 1981.

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COMMENT

Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Tapering off of booze, smoking, overeating etc., negative thinking, suicidal thinking, I hoped  it would finally  help me end my strong attachment/addiction to any one of  these life threatening behaviors. Wrong. I kept  going down the same street and falling  in the same hole. The Twelve Steps is what gave me the courage to go around the hole and begin to  travel down a different road. The road I followed and still follow after 30 years is the great fellowship of Depressed Anonymous. You can read the stories of those who started walking down that  “other street” —  that broad highway of recovery that we call Depressed Anonymous.

Read their personal stories in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

RAY’S TESTIMONY ABOUT THE POWER OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS

” What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?  Well,  first let me 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 to 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 attend 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 was over, I suddenly realized the importance and power of Depressed Anonymous.”

SOURCE:Ray, in his personal testimony on pages 133-134 in  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

IF MY LIFE IS JOYFUL, THEN WHY DO I CONTINUE TO GO TO DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS MEETINGS?

Today, as promised yesterday (7/22) in our BLOG, we shared how Lois declared that she  “no longer experiences those black, bleak, hopeless periods”. She says that “her life is joyful.”

If her life is so joyful  Lois needs to explain why she continues to go to Depressed Anonymous meetings five years later. The Twelfth Step of this program: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry the message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.”  ” I am so grateful to Depressed Anonymous that I want it to be there for those who are still suffering.”

See pages 110-111 for a full account of Lois’ testimony in THE PERSONAL STORIES section of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Also read the remaining thirty stories of the other members of Depressed Anonymous who found serenity and joy using the Twelve Step program of recovery.

Like Lois, there are many of us who today continue to carry the message of hope to those still suffering from depression. Like myself, they all want to share with others that there is hope — there is a day coming that a light may shine and give them a way out of the darkness of their depression. This website and BLOG is just one way that I am taking the message of HOPE to others. Just yesterday a Depressed Anonymous group leader tells of how she is sharing her story OF HOPE to a man who intends to take his life, Another man in the group who worked his way out of despair using the Twelve Steps of recovery is also sharing his own story of despair and hopelessness with the man. That is what Lois is doing–bringing hope to others even though her whole life took a dramatic change.  Even though she is no longer imprisoned in depression she still sees it her mission to continue telling people her story. I told my story tonight at one of our local Depressed Anonymous meetings. At each meeting that I attend,  gradually, as Lois puts it, I  unscramble a part of the mess that brought me to my knees in the first place.