Tom had a problem.

“Tom asked why we needed Step Four in our recovery which states that “we made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”  He said that he was depressed and didn’t need anything else to make him feel worse – like dredging up things that he might have done in the past. Why, Tom wondered, should he resurrect old ghosts?  Anyway, when we spoke about a moral inventory it reminded him of religion with its “do’s and  “don’ts ” with special emphasis on the “don’ts.”  Tom said he came into Depressed Anonymous to learn about what was making him depressed and that he didn’t need anything else to make him feel guilty or sadder.

Some people think that for a person to dredge up old hurts and wrongs will make them that much more depressed. I guess it depends on what type of stuff we put on our inventory. The following list will help  our sadness persist: our perfectionism, our need to control our fears, guilt, shame or resentments, dishonesty, selfishness, passivity, anger, indecisiveness,  fear of change or finally the inability to live with uncertainty. When we begin to ask God for help in removing these areas from our live, this asking for help  will not make us more depressed – it will in fact make us more hopeful. In Step Three we said we make a decision. This means just that and not just a promise as it says in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book.  When we begin to surrender our will and our life to the Higher Power and are willing to expose our  effects to others in the group, it is then that our life may be able to take on a peace coupled with new purpose. This really is an essential and necessary step that has to be taken if we want to leave our prison  of depression behind.”  SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 53.

In our Depressed Anonymous Workbook, which coordinates each of the Twelve Steps, with its questions and answers coordinated with the individual Twelve  Step commentaries in the Depressed Anonymous big book, we can  discover who we are and  how we became the way we are.

Here we can deepen our awareness of what makes us who we are by continuing our search by means of those questions put forward in our Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Because of the essential nature of the inventory procedure as outlined in our personal recovery program, an individual will see  that their own openness to the process will provide  them with a wealth of hope and serenity.

Working the 4th Step is like coming home a different  route.  It is a path that is filled with signposts that point us in a  different direction than where we are used to going. And for many of us this is in a different direction than where we are used to going. And for many of us this is the first time that we are really intent upon taking a good hard look at who we are. This taking inventory of ourselves has much to do with our loving ourselves and making ourselves open to a new path and feeling different.” The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  The 4th Step, Page 24.

–For more information on this Group/Home Study Kit and how to order it, please VISIT THE STORE.  Both Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, comprise our Study Kit. One can order all literature online.

MORE TOMORROW ABOUT THE 4TH STEP.

I am investing in myself

“I am making my recovery my highest priority. I may have been on all the antidepressant medications and I may have seen all the best counselors, psychiatrists and doctors, but now finally, I am going to a room full of depressed people  who understand  me. These people  I discover are investing in themselves. What will I find there? I will find some of the most caring people on the face of the earth. Some of the group will have been coming for months. They say they are having more good days than bad and its getting better.   The more meetings they attend the better they feel and the more support they receive. They are feeling empowered. It’s the miracle  of the group.  Instead of living with a compulsion to  repeat old negative and life negating thoughts and feelings, we now have a compulsion to live with hope plus a desire for a brand new way of  living. We are now about to change  the way we live and not just the way  we talk to ourselves. We are going to get a new life. ”

 

SOURCE: I’ll  do it when I feel better. (2013). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.Page 59

What gives purpose to my life today?

To  properly answer that question is to look deep inside of myself and reflect upon what brought me to where I am today. I want to take time this day to reflect on what issues are still mine today that were part of my life, let’s say, some  thirty years ago.  What happened those many years ago that has turned me into an evangelist for hope and serenity today? I know what it is that has motivated me to be who I am today. We all know that the past is the prelude to the future.

Reconstruction, revamping and recovery are a daily part of my life today. I am  continually making contact with the God of my understanding and asking guidance and direction.  When I am not completely able to make that decision which will better my relationship with my God and others,  I take a deep breath and wait. What am I waiting for you might ask. I am waiting for a prompt, a hunch, a possible direction that might lead me further  down the path for my own recovery plus   to be  a source of help for those “still suffering” from depression. If you know something works, you normally keep doing it. You see and feel the benefits of the direction your life is  taking. You begin to feel peace (integrity) and hope as you follow the roadmap which lays out for you   a step by step journey producing sobriety, sanity and serenity. We are all a “work in progress” as the saying goes. We all feel this inner urge to move ahead  after being immobilized so long by fear, shame and physically immobilized. I speak for myself here.

My new and improved reconstruction process is ongoing. My revamping has been painful at times. I admit that. Change is never easy, especially when it has to do with personal beliefs and attitudes that we always have held  about ourselves. But after using my program of recovery of the Twelve Steps, and clarifying my thinking about who I am and who I need to become,  a completely new vista for living   opened up to  me  that  multitude of possibilities  of which  I never could have imagined.

What gives purpose to my life today? My life has purpose today because I felt a need to share a simple program of reconstruction, recovery for anyone suffering from something over  which they felt they had no control. Telling my story and sharing my belief of hope to those who lost all hope and who believed life had to always be lived in misery and despair gives great meaning to my life. We put hope where once there was no hope; help where there was no help.

Here I am, today, continuing to keeping hope in my own  heart as I continue to give hope to your heart. Now if that doesn’t give meaning/purpose to one’s life I don’t know what could. What are your thoughts on this?

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

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) DAP. Louisville.

Depressed Once-Not Twice (2000) : A spiritual autobiography of the journey out of depression. DAP,. Louisville.

Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations. Louisville

NOTE: Please Visit the Store for more literature.