Setting a force in motion.

 

“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  who 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 more filled with  purpose and energy.

There is a saying that to gain energy you must give energy. I have found this to be true for my own life.

What appears to deplete our energy is when our thoughts implode and collide with each other as they are kept focused on the problem. Actually, a person who is depressed is much like a community which is divided and at war with itself.

If you nurture yourself, you will find that just as in the natural world, the growth will be good and  the growth will be gradual. There are no quick fixes in life –only slow solutions.

We have a competency, an identity, an autonomy and an interrelatedness to everything alive around us. We are truly a part of every living community on the planet and in the entire universe. We are all one – and the more we see ourselves as part and parcel of this universe, we discover that we are a part of creating a wonderful garden of diversity and plurality where everyone feels a part.

We realize again that by my willingness to live in the will of God that I can live in the peace of my own consciousness of being one with all. What I mean by this is that God acts in and through us the more we let go and let God.

We believe that as we can become aware that God dwells in each of us and demonstrates its power in us the more we remain   open to God’s personal presence.

We humans are so grounded in the material and the spatial that it is veritably impossible to be conscious of a Higher Power in and around us. We are so mired in the muck. We can begin to believe that we can tap into this consciousness and let it unfold its plan, its purpose and plot for our life. It will not plan something small and insignificant but will, by small steps, lead us, cause to unfold in our lives that which it has for us to accomplish while we are here on this earth. And I believe the spiritual nature and the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous is what God uses to get us aware and conscious of its love and presence.”

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) The Promises of  Depressed  Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Pages 15-17.

To be depressed or not be depressed. I had a choice!

To be depressed or not be depressed?  That  was my choice.

“I believe that I’ve been a depressed person all of my life. I’ve had a lot of lows but never as low as this past year.  My husband of   years left me and my three children for another woman. I lost my job. Depression  hit me and I couldn’t snap out of it. My life started to spiral down. I was in and out of mental hospitals and on different medications. I was diagnosed as having a chemical imbalance. In my mind, this seemed to tell me that I had a sickness that I had no control over and which only drugs could cure. Then one night, I began to have a horrible reaction to the last drug.  I was rushed to the emergency room and almost died. After that, I refused to take drugs again. Then life really started going down for me. I started sleeping more, stayed in bed mostly, and let the house and the children go. I felt empty inside.  No one or anyone could help me. If I hadn’t thought suicide was the cardinal sin, I would be dead today.  So one night, I lay on the floor crying and praying from my heart. In the past when I prayed, I wanted God to do all the work. While deep down, I still didn’t want to let go of my miserable yet safe ways of life.  And as long as I wouldn’t really let go, God seemed to have no answers for me. This time though, I was at his mercy. Life for me could no longer go on this way. I prayed the most releasing prayer. I offered up my entire self to him. Nothing magical happened after that except the sudden urge  to call my church for Christian  counseling. They referred me to this affordable, warm lady counselor who I had seen in the past. She suggested that I start attending Depressed Anonymous Twelve Step meetings and reading Depressed? Here is a way out!  This was a great effort for me. I was scared and skeptical. Since   that  first night, I’ve been attending weekly Depressed Anonymous meetings. I also attend drug  free therapy, attend church and church activities regularly and continue to pray and walk regularly. I know that my life is richly blessed. I’m also using the Depressed Anonymous literature and listening to people in the Depressed Anonymous meetings where I receive valuable tools which I put to use daily.

The moment that I read that I had a choice to stay in depression, I immediately knew that I could make the choice to get out of my depression. Bingo! It wasn’t an illness. This did not have control over me. And another tool I use frequently through the Depressed Anonymous manual is that “thoughts produce moods, moods  produce feelings and feelings produce behavior. ”

So I began to realize that if I thought about bad or disturbing thoughts, I could stop myself and produce positive thoughts automatically. I had control. This is priceless to me. Staying out of depression takes work on my part, as well as God’s. Thank you Lord above for using people through my church, my therapy and the wonderful members of Depressed Anonymous    who give of themselves  unconditionally. Thank you for answering my prayer.”

–KIm

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SOURCE: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. ( Kim’s Personal story included to day!)

I believed depressed people could help depressed people!

I have always believed in the power and the  influence of the group -either serving as a power for good or a power designed for destructive ends. But as for our group Depressed Anonymous, I believe  that it truly builds, enhances and strengthens any one who gets involved with  it on a regular and consistent basis. Those who do interact with our fellowship,  gradually come out of the pit of their depression and start feeling hopeful about their lives. They know  that  they are feeling hope instead of despair. This is actually happening all the time as those involved in the fellowship begin to see personal changes occurring in their lives.

I remember when I first proposed my idea, in 1985,   to the Dean of the Psychology Department at the University where I was earning my Master’s degree, that we ought to try and get depressed people together. I mentioned that Alcoholics Anonymous,  with a few fellow alcoholics, got its beginning  with a peer to peer approach. It takes one to know one, so to speak!  The professor looked at me like I was completely  out of my mind – that  I would suggest that depressed people could even muster up the necessary energy  to  even climb out of bed in the morning,  much less get themselves to a meeting with other depressed individuals like themselves. The idea seemed doomed to failure.

With a begrudging approval from the Dean, we got our peer to peer depression group off the ground. It was a success. Just as one alcoholic helping another alcoholic, so it  was true with the depressed person.  This peer to peer model of recovery worked. In a few months, following the groups formation, we opened our fellowship to the public . On May 30th, 1985,  our brand new mutual aid group, Depressed Anonymous was launched. It is still being launched today, globally.

If you believe  you can find hope, plus have a ticket out of depression by going to Depressed Anonymous meetings, then there will be nothing stopping you. I have found that my Higher Power has released me.  I am carrying a hope to those hurting from a life of isolation and feeling alone. We have a message of hope for them.”

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Believing is seeing:15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 64-67. (The 14th Way out of the prison of depression).

For more information about  the lives of  those  individuals who believed in the group power, please read about them in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. There is a special section in  the book where  thirty members of DA share their personal stories of healing and hope.

For more information about who we are  and what we are about, please VISIT THE STORE. Thank you.

 

“I feel that everything is going to be OK with me—“

The 5th Way, excerpted from BELIEVING IS SEEING: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Remember that an oak tree was once an acorn -recovery begins by taking one step at a time as well as reading DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS literature and regularly participating in the meetings.

How often do we meet people in the program who want the quick fix , the easy way out, the feeling better now! But just as it  might have taken years for the person to learn how to get themselves depressed, it will task time and work to feel better. I do believe that all good growth in nature is gradual and that if we want the good growth to continue, we need to follow certain steps to make sure this growth will continue. One of the first things that we want to do is admit, like any other thing, person or substance to which we are attached we cannot free ourselves from this attachment by will power alone. We ask our Higher Power, this power greater than ourselves to free us. We begin our recovery by meeting with our local Depressed Anonymous group and admit by our presence that we  want to change.  We are dissatisfied where we are now and decide to work on ourselves so that we will feel better. Thus by our taking one step at a time we can actually feel a change happening. Many people who have been depressed for years — they are in so much pain that they want relief now. The members of the group are taking full responsibility for their feelings, moods and behavior.”pgs. 29-32

To live means to participate  in a weekly face to face meeting with other members and  if there is no group available to go to in your community –you can do an at Home study program  with the self-help  HOME  STUDY KIT which includes the DA Manual and the DA Workbook.  One can also access and read the hundreds of Blogs in the Depressed Anonymous archives and Newsletters. .


Here is an excerpt from Helen’s Story, in her own words, as it appears in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, personal stories. Pages 147-148.

“Now that I look back and see the way I was and see how I am now, I can’t believe that I ever knew that other person. The person is different altogether. I like this person very much now. I am so thankful to the group. They are just wonderful. They are my family. They are my Depressed Anonymous family. I also have my church family. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that there is a Higher Power that can help you through these things.  At first, I thought “I  doubt that very much ” when everyone was talking  about the Higher Power and  peace in my life. Then  it happened to me.  Every few days, the world dumps down on you and beats you down. That’s just life. I always think to myself that there is that extra strength that I didn’t have before. I feel that everything is going to be OK with me. I have that peace now myself.”

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SOURCES:  Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression.  Depressed Anonymous  Publications. (2017) Louisville.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (1998, 2008, 2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  HOME STUDY KIT

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. HOME STUDY KIT

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All the books listed here can be purchased online.

For more info please VISIT THE STORE.

Unpleasant emotions, such as fear, anger, resentments and tension work against recovery.

 

”  I don’t believe that you can  snap out of your depression, or suddenly and dramatically get your life turned around by going to one Depressed Anonymous meeting, or reading the 12 Steps five times hour. It just doesn’t happen that way, especially if you have lived with your depression for any length of time.  Even though we emphasize that your depression is not a disease, we do want you to know that a depression over a long time could cause physical problems and upset the metabolism of the human organism… unpleasant emotions such as fear, anger, resentment, tension and depression work against recovery.

Source: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 31.

We trust our newfound beliefs…

THE THIRD WAY TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION : AN EXCERPT

“We trust others by sharing our recent episodes of loss/sadness while at the same time sharing our hopes and strengths.  We trust our newfound positive beliefs for getting  ourselves out of the prison of depression.

Many of us won’t allow ourselves to trust anyone. We are so distrustful of ourselves that we cannot trust ourselves to feel. The painful hollowness of depression is such that we can’t allow it to be felt.  It is only among our brothers and sisters in the 12 step group that we can share our hurts and deep pain of being isolated. When we hear other members share their stories of hurt and isolation we know that we are not alone. We gradually begin to trust ourselves to touch our own nerves of pain and hurts. We trust the nurturing and accepting atmosphere of the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous to take part of our hurt and help carry us along. Every time we share a hurt from our own past we remove one more brick out of our prison wall of depression. The more we find that our trust is validated by the continual acceptance from the group, the more energy we muster up for ourselves to continue trusting our deepest thought and feelings to others. No longer do we take refuge in the numbed comfort of our isolating sadness. Now we walk upright and begin making choices on how we want to feel, think an believe.  We no longer live our lives in isolation and disconnected from others.  Now we join in the mutual  fray of battling depression with all our new friends on the broad road of healing.”

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SOURCES: Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 15-16.

Copyright(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

VISIT THE STORE for more literature on the subjects of depression and the 12 steps of recovery.

 

HAVING HAD A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING AS A RESULT OF THESE STEPS, WE TRIED TO CARRY THIS MESSAGE…

” 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 of our affairs  THE TWELFTH STEP OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS

The only requirement for membership in Depressed Anonymous is a sincere desire to quit sadding ourselves today.  Just for this twenty-four hour period. We want to try for this short period of time to let go of our sadness. But since we are saddicts, we need to know that we can’t just snap out of our sadness in minutes or even days.  To get to feeling better takes time because our learning to sadden ourselves goes back  over months, possibly years and one doesn’t just snap out of feeling bad in a few days when the whole way of living has taken years to develop. As was brought out in another Step, it’s not so much our addiction that we need to focus on as our whole life  – which we now admit is un-manageable. By practicing the principles of the Twelve Steps, we now know that we need to make  an inventory of our whole life. We can leave no rock unturned if we want to live with serenity and hope.  Our sadness, like any other addiction, is merely a symptom of some deeper compulsion that manifests itself in our need to seek comfort and safety in sadness. But this is the nature of our addictive behavior and thinking.  Our thinking has been compulsive. Every time someone hurts our feelings, and said something that wasn’t pleasant, we withdrew into the dark hole of our depression.  We shut down our feelings by numbing ourselves against future hurts.  Depressed Anonymous wants you and me to try for one day at a time not to withdraw compulsively into sadness when we come up against a stressful situation.”

—–Read more about the Twelfth Step in the DA  Manual, 3rd edition, (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville  Ky. Page 104.