Welcome to the Depressed Anonymous Newsletter Issue #1
This Newsletter is published by those of us who are committed to sharing our journey of hope as we live out the Twelve Steps of recovery. The Newsletter continues the tradition of an earlier Depressed Anonymous Newsletter, the ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET. Even though our emphasis is the same, offering information on a regular basis about new Depressed Anonymous groups forming, giving hope to the depressed, as well as being an advocate for those who are still suffering from depression. We also have as an essential objective, the “how” of starting a Depressed Anonymous mutual aid group plus sharing the thoughts from the members of our fellowship who are using the Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous in their own lives and recovery, Their personal experiences, hope and strengths will be welcomed as an essential feature of our online newsletter.
How to Start a Depressed Anonymous Meeting
If there is a Depressed Anonymous group operating near where you live, you could go to one of their meetings. But if yours will be the first in your area, you might find it helpful to attend one or two other self-help groups just to see how they operate. Most self-help groups, as well as Depressed Anonymous, have literature about their work which you will find helpful. You can click onto the website at www.depresseedanon.com for a full explanation and information about our Depressed Anonymous group.
Once you have three or four people, who, like you, are struggling with depression and who want to set up a Depressed Anonymous group which will follow the Twelve Step program, you can form, a core group to work out how to contact other people as to where you will meet, and when and how you will all share the work and the responsibility of the group.
To contact other likely members, draw up a notice which states the aims of the group, who the group is for, the time, day, place of meeting, and the name and phone number or email address of the person whom you can contact for more information about the group, and who will arrange to meet and welcome new members.
When you are depressed, it is often very difficult to go into a room full of strangers, so having someone meet you beforehand can be a great help. Send copies of this notice to all those in your community who would know of persons who might be helped by this Twelve Step program of recovery.
For starters it is recommended that Mental Health Centers are always a good place to start as well as local religious communities. Many people believe they are the only ones going through this painful experience that we call depression. When they discover that there is a group of people who feel as you do, this in itself can provide hope. In time and with regular attendance at Depressed Anonymous meetings, they will no longer feel like victims, but will reach out to others.
If surrender of our wills to the “care of God’ is of the essence of the spiritual life, for anyone who truly desires to free himself/ herself from a chronic and compulsive behavior such as depression, then the Twelve Steps can be our stepping stones to a path of a hope-filled life.
Depressed Anonymous, 3rd Edition. (2011) published by Depressed Anonymous Publications
(http://shop.depressedanon.com/) has been the mainstay of our fellowship since 1999, 2009, 2011) when it was first published. The work is easy to read (no psychobabble here) as well as containing the basic ideas outlining our work for members of a Twelve Step fellowship, targeting those of us who were or are presently depressed.
There are Twelve Chapters, each giving a close and critical examination of each Step as it applies specifically to the persons suffering from depression. What makes this book so special is that it is written by people like yourself who actually have faced their own battle with depression and worked their way out of it by working the Twelve Steps and being part of a community fellowship. Besides containing many personal stories of those who have used the Steps and left the prison of their own depression, the book serves as an essential “toolbox” with those tools which serve as keys to leaving depression. A sample group format for meetings is also provided.
Personal Stories : “I Wanted to Get Well So Badly. I Think People Do Have to Want to Change . . .”
Yes, people do have to want to change as Helen attests so succinctly in her Personal Story in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd Edition. (2011). And yes, people do have to want it so badly that they will go to any lengths to find help. Let’s continue to read Helen’s words and how by being an active member of the Depressed Anonymous 12 Step Fellowship group she found where she was no longer alone.
I finally knew after two years 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 had a phone number and that was all. I talked to the 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 that 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 the attitude that I have to get well. I 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. Page 146.
You know, sometimes it takes just that one person, with their own liberating story of being freed from the isolation and pain of depression that we feel that there is hope for me. If it worked for Helen, it surely can work for me as well.
If you would like to read Helen’s working free of depression,
see the full account in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd Edition. (2011)
Available at ** Depressed Anonymous Publications (http://shop.depressedanon.com/)