Was finding this phone number a coincidence?

 

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.”

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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

PROMISE # 2: We realize a new way to live.

“After having made a clean breast of things we begin to live with a clean conscience. We have made amends, made it right with our God, others and ourselves.

How does one acquire freedom? Freedom is based on detachment. Detachment means to no longer cling to persons, places, things or behavior that cripples or demeans itself or others.

In  our struggle with depression, we had felt that we had lost all freedom and happiness. We now know that we have the key to our prison in our hands and as we move through each of the steps a new fact was discovered, that we don’t have to remain frozen in time with our depression.  We know that now we can celebrate a release from all the old fears, resentments and images that we held of ourselves over these many years.

Our happiness is now dependent on how we look at ourselves, our world and the understanding that we have of our God. I know for a fact that when I first came into the fellowship, I felt like a stranger in a foreign country. My thoughts and feelings were all confused as I began the journey into myself with a deepening desire to discover the engine that drives my sadness.  The battle raged inside of me – a battle that was fought in the shadow of past events – relationships. It was a personal triumph for me to finally see that there was a way out of this despair and emotional atrophy.  I now follow a practical plan as outlined by our suggested 12 Step program.  I make sure that every day that I get into action and do something.  I used to think that if I wait long enough the good humor fairy would tap me on the shoulder and I would be well. This is exactly the opposite of what our program of recovery promotes. Our position is that you have to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

A pill might make you feel differently-but it will never take away the circumstances that brought you down in the first place. The Promises here tell us that we will find a new freedom of happiness – but first, work has to be done. Our lives and the way we look at life are composed of past and present events.”

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SOURCES:     Copyright(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications.

Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better(2015). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 33-34.

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 109.

“We find ourselves enervated and weakened…” But hope is Promised!

Promise # 3 of 13  continued: “We do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.”   The following is a continuation from the previous statement concerning Promise # 3.

“When we suppress a negative emotion and refuse to deal with it, either consciously or unconsciously, it becomes one of those blocks that form  the walls of our personal prison. These unexpressed emotions can fester and boil over so that our energy level is dissipated, scattered. We find ourselves enervated and weakened. We discover that with the internal war raging inside of us we can hardly find the energy to get to work and roll ourselves out of bed a morning.  We no longer have the freeing feeling of spontaneity in our lives.

We discover that our ability to make ourselves do something is now beyond our personal strength and power. We have become helpless.

We also discover that we are powerless. Our will power has no control  over this depression.

But how do we know that this particular Promise will come true for me?  What we can rely on is our own experiences.  Our experiences tell us that the more we live in the solution of the Promises of Depressed Anonymous the more serenity and peace will be ours. We have discovered that it is when we begin to live in the solution and not focus on our problems that will lead us past the fear of what might happen to the serenity of the present moment.  We no longer wait  with trepidation for the other shoe to drop. Our freedom begins when we start to reflect consciously on what is happening now at this very moment. I have noticed that it is when I become conscious about what I am feeling now is the direct result of my  thinking which enable me to make  the conscious decisions to bring myself back to the present.”

SOURCES: (c)  I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 35-36.

(c)  Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville

 VISIT THE STORE for more literature dealing with the Steps and Depression..

DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PROMISE # 4: We do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!

This does not mean that “oh well” we made some mistakes so let’s just forget about everything that happened in the past –after all it’s in the past.

We can spend a lot of wasted time wallowing in the self-pity that occupies any addiction. We also might regret all the time we wasted staring at the blank wall, alone and trying to figure out in the circling of our thoughts the why of our immobility, passivity  and pain.”

More of Promise #4  To  tomorrow —

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

     I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER.  (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Our relationship with other people improve: Promise # 9 of the Promises of Depressed Anonymous

Why wouldn’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.  Depression appears to start with the way our minds react to and perceive events outside of ourselves.  So, from the start we need to promote to those persons depressed to get involved in as much physical activity as possible, namely., walk, express personal feelings to others, go to meetings, talk 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.

One of the immutable truths, according to Dorothy Rowe, who wrote the mental health award winning book, Depression: The way out of your prison. is “that other people are such that I must fear, envy or hate them. ”  If we believe that we are bad and valueless then it follows that we must  fear other people because they can find out how bad we are and so reject us.

Once 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.”

SOURCE: Copyright (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. (Pages 46-47).

“DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING.”

I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force –the loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me — restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those to whom are ready to risk leaving behind the prison of their depression. By my own interest in getting in touch with the Higher Power and getting its direction to “do the next right thing”  I find that my own life is gradually becoming more filled with purpose and energy.”

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) THE PROMISES  OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS: Planting a seedbed of hope. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky. P.15.

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I like the statement to “do the next right thing.” For me that was a motivator for the times that I wanted to just give up. These were the powers that continued to give me the nudge to keep on doing all those things that could help in my recovery from depression. What, for me was “the next right thing?” For one, it was to continue working the 12 steps in my own life–one step after another. I also found another person to walk with me in my journey of recovery. I also read everything that I could find on my addictions. No “rock was left unturned”  that could help me accomplish doing what I knew would keep me on my feet and  moving forward with hope. I attended faithfully my 12 step group, read most if not all of their literature and continued to follow the promptings of my God. I heard other members of the group telling how they knew the Promises were working in their lives, sometimes quickly and with most,  over time. But they worked.  Life began to be better for us as we moved from one step to the next. We discovered that we had less concern about ourselves and gained interest in others. We want to scream it from the housetops –don’t give up!  We too felt hopeless and that our lives were unmanageable. Looking back we saw that a change had taken place  once we had established a daily plan for our serenity. We followed the direction of our Higher Power as we continued to “:do the next right thing.”  The next right thing for me today is to tell you — there is hope for you too.  That’s a PROMISE!

Hugh