On this New Year’s day, I find that my work for my life today, and only today, is to reflect on a time in my life that I have experienced a feeling of happiness and contentment. If I can’t remember a pleasant situation for the past, I will construct a happy situation and imagine it occurring right now.
“In getting my priorities straight, my depression got better.”
In my relationship to God, I am beginning to realize that it isn’t so much that I don’t believe that I’ll ever feel better, but that I just can’t know for sure. My first priority is to admit that I do have a problem and that with God’s help, I can get through my depression.
As soon as I give up my victim stance and begin to take responsibility for my feelings and my life, I can start to work as if my recovery is really up to me and that I will, in time, succeed in getting out of this deep dark hole that I call depression. My priority is to begin each day with the conviction that the Twelve Steps will be an aid in getting out of my depression.
God, we seek your guidance and your strength for our lives. Whatever we have lost or feel we have lost, please heal the holes in our soles and fill them with your love and peace, in our quiet time today, show us what part of us needs to be healed. Give us that spiritual nudge which gets our life’s priorities straight.
The toolbox of Depressed Anonymous
I think all of us have a toolbox in our lives that we use from time to time. For some of us, our toolbox provides us with a living. The same is true for my own toolbox. I received my toolbox back in 1982 when I joined a 12 step fellowship group of recovery.. The tools that I received at that time I still use. In fact I have added other tools as well. The tools I need the most I use every day. Have you a toolbox? And if your answer is yes, what do you have in your tool box?
In our DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS Big Book, one of our fellowship writes the following account of her use of the toolbox of DA. She states that “it seemed that I was living in another world until one of my parents gave me a phone number of Depressed Anonymous. The Depressed Anonymous meetings, plus reading the Depressed Anonymous literature and manual have all provided me with the tools to live without being depressed. Most important of all, the Twelve Steps mentioned in the book have made me understand that God (my Higher Power) will give me strength to deal with my depression and get on with my life and be happy with myself.
I read the Depressed Anonymous manual, go to counseling, and attend the Depressed Anonymous meetings. The meetings are a must. I need them to survive. The support group’s members help each other by listening, talking, expressing their feelings, and give support on how to cope with depression.
All these new tools have helped me and will continue to do so…”Depressed Anonymous. Page 148, Personal story #29.
I WANT TO CARRY THE MESSAGE OF HOPE TO THOSE OTHERS WHO ARE DEPRESSED.
“I (Dr. Dorothy Rowe) said what I so often said, that the best way depressed people can help themselves is to help one another. Form a group, get to know one another, support one another.”
They also think that all I have to do is just be cheerful and my mood will automatically change. It’s like telling someone to stop their diarrhea as if they have any control over it. My depression took time to develop and so it will take time and work to remove. The people who are the most supportive are those who have been depressed themselves, they won’t tell you to “snap out of it!”
I best support myself when I find other people like myself and try and help them.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. (Personal comments).
SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for 12 Step Fellowship Groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Page 201.
A quote from PERSONAL STORIES in the 3rd edition of the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS book. Page 148.
” I had to get my priorities straight. I put a lot of importance on things that were not important, or what somebody else might say about me. I was afraid to change. I was afraid that I would change into a person that would be selfish and uncaring, but it didn’t happen that way. I just found a different way to go about it. In getting my priorities straight, I discovered that if a person doesn’t accept me the way I am, then that doesn’t matter. I am going to do the best that I can. If someone else can’t handle that, I am awfully sorry about that, but it has to be. I want everyone to approve of me, but I am just not going to do that. I am not going to please everyone. I have got to take care of myself. I was so busy trying to please everyone else that I wasn’t taking care of my own needs. At the time I was doing it, I didn’t realize that I was doing it. Now I won’t deliberately hurt anyone else, but I am going to take care of myself.” –Helen
NOTE: The PERSONAL STORIES include accounts from those persons who found themselves while being active participants in the fellowship of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS. Their accounts of struggle and hope provide the necessary motivation for those still struggling with depression and shows how one can leave their own prison of depression. The DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS program of recovery provides not only a guide for productive and active living–it provides the tools on how to get to where you want to go.