Helen shares her story about finding help–when she needed it most.
” I finally knew after two year or more of sleepless nights that someone had to help me. I found a card saying Depressed Center, in the back of the phone book. It has a phone number and that was all. I talked to a 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 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 an attitude that I have to get well. I had 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.”
If you are curious about how the mutual aid group changed Helen’s life you’ll need to read her full account in the Personal Stories section of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, pages 169-172.
She also has something powerful to say about pleasing people and how she needed to get her priorities straight and begin taking care of herself.
Sources: Seeing is believing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017). Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.
I’ll do it when I feel better.(2018) Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY
A HIGHER THOUGHT FOR YOUR DAY
“I’m sure many sufferer’s could find a lot of comfort and support by coming into a group as I’ve done, to help beat the terrible loneliness which is felt by many and who find lasting friendship with lovely people.”
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
In the group, I established myself and got some positive feednback from others who watched me grow and have seen the genuine changes I make personally. I am gradually throwing off my personal way with sadness. The real support comes when I begin to learn that members of the group have the same problem that I have. That helps me trust others with the story of my life. These people are the ones who want to hear my story of how depression cost me my life. Now, my life is freeing me from my need to sad myself.
I feel more able to attach myself to the group now that I know that they are struggling with the same depression that I struggle with. I no longer have to fight this battle on my own.
MEDITATION AND BEING MINDFUL OF A HIGHER POWER
God, you are our rock and our refuge, on you I place my trust. We know and believe, easier now than before, that God has something good in store for me today. (Personal comment).
SOURCE: Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. April 26. Pages 84-85.
*HOME STUDY PROGRAM, is an individual approach to a STEP study program when no Depressed Anonymous group program is available in one’s community. The participant is helped in working the steps by utilizing the help of a sponsor. The sponsor leads the individual through all the steps using the Depressed Anonymous Manual, 3rd edition as well as coordinating this work with the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. By means of emails the sponsor and participant communicate with each other on a regular basis.
For more information in how to set up this HOME STUDY program please click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore. Or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for how you can be part of this individualized study.
The Home Study material can be ordered online.
An Easter bunny who kept coming back!
This year is very different. We have moved to another part of town and so we can’t know if our friendly bunny got to our backyard this past Easter Sunday. I do wonder though. I can just imagine him sitting in the grass along our back yard fence. I can at least think that he might have missed us as we miss him. For a moment, I wish I would have gone back to the old home place to see for myself if he actually arrived last Sunday morning. To have shown up two years in a row, just like the last two Easter mornings. The first appearance was just too weird. And then again, right on time, right day, he shows up. I mean, a bunny, showing up, out of the blue, at Easter. This on the one day when bunnies show up. They come in all sizes and shapes. They come mainly made of chocolate. And most of us have had them delivered, when we were children, in a basket with every form of chocolate and candy available.
I got to thinking: Was he disappointed, possibly troubled, as was I, by the thought that he could have possibly missed us? Did he wonder “where are the excited children hunting for eggs and chocolates?”
Sometimes it happens this way. We hope that a beautiful encounter we have experienced will happen again, just the way it has happened before. On Easter Sunday I was wondering “What if” the bunny did show up today and I missed him? This recurring thought could have made me feel sad because I don’t know for sure that he wasn’t there. But I did learn an important lesson from my bunny friend. I learnt that I need to be grateful for any and all enriching and exciting encounters that come my way, sometimes in mysterious ways, but mostly in ordinary circumstances.
The moral of the story, for me, is that if something pleasant and mysterious happened to you once–it most probably can happen to you again. And who knows, that Easter bunny could possibly show up at my new home. And, it doesn’t have to be on Easter! I think he misses me too.
HOPE IS CONTAGIOUS!
A great benefit of belonging to a fellowship is the power of hope. “If he or she can do it, then so can I.” This is a common belief for those who begin reading a book called Depressed Anonymous. This book, by the way, is written by folks who have felt hopeless and helpless. The many accounts and personal stories in the book fill one with hope and courage. The pages of this book help serve as a manual for those of us who want to embark on this personal journey of hope and recovery from depression. Now this book and all of the other books published by DAP are specifically geared to those of us who want to leave the prison of depression and are written by persons who were depressed — and who got better. What is better than to hear that the program works. Hearing how other people use the Twelve Steps and have them always available, is much like tools in your toolbox. The tools are there to help build a structure for one’s own life making it an adventure of hope–not a prison from which we felt we could not escape.
In Depression: The way out of your depression. Dr. Dorothy Rowe.1996 (2nd Ed)., tell us that “Hope can exist only in a state of uncertainty. That certainty means total certainty. That security means to be without hope. The prison of depression is built with the bricks of total certainty.
Certainty. Security. No hope.
To hope means to run the risk of disappointment.
To be insecure means not to be in control.
Stay in control. Be depressed.
To be uncertain means to be unsure of the future.
Predict the future with certainty. Stay depressed.
Hope can only exist where there is uncertainty. Absolute certainty means complete hopelessness. If you want to live fully we must have freedom, love and hope. So life must be an uncertain business. That is what makes it worthwhile.”
So, when we gradually believe that in each life some rain must fall, and pain can come, we begin to live life with hope. That’s the way it is. We can gradually believe, like thousands of other pilgrims on this path of recovery, that having a spiritual program such as the Steps, hope is possible, hope is doable and our lives can take on new meaning and have purpose.