Issue #3

Welcome to the Depressed Anonymous Newsletter Issue #3

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 objective the “how” of starting a Depressed Anonymous mutual aid group plus sharing the thoughts from the members of the fellowship who are using the Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous in their own lives and recovery. Their personal experience, 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.

Materials from Depressed Anonymous Publications

The following is a list of publications produced and made available by Depressed Anonymous Publications.  A total of 12 Books have been published including e-books. For more information about these books, you visit our website www.depressedanon.com and do online ordering of our literature. The following is a complete listing of available books.

  • Depressed Anonymous
  • The Depressed Anonymous Workbook
  • Higher Thoughts for Down Days:  365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for Members of 12 Step Fellowship Groups
  • Teen Care:  Helping Teens Prize Themselves
  • Seniorwise
  • How to Find Hope
  • Depressed Once-Not twice:  An Autobiographical Spiritual Journey of the
  • Founder of Depressed Anonymous
  • How to Find Hope
  • Shining a Light on the Dark Night of the Soul
  • The Promises of Depressed Anonymous
  • Dep-Anon Family Group Manual
  • I’ll Do It When I Feel Better
  • Believing Is Seeing:  15 Ways to Leave the Prison of Depression

RESOURCE CORNER

Believing Is Seeing:  15 Ways to Leave the Prison of Depression (2015). Hugh Smith.  Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville, Kentucky

Each of the individual ways to leave the prison of depression are given a separate chapter where the reader can learn how to use 15 tried and workable  “ways”  or tools to overcome  their depression experiences. We know that our negative and unpleasant beliefs about ourselves, our feelings and relationships all together may form a formidable challenge to a person trying to escape from the prison of their depression.

The book illustrates how our thoughts about ourselves, especially those most negative, gradually can get pared down to size once we begin to choose to use these 15  successful beliefs listed in  this  book by the founder of Depressed Anonymous.

Besides the positive measures for rebuilding a life outlined in “Believing is Seeing” there are the ten Personal Stories which provide evidence of those others who put these beliefs to use, found help and eventually became free. And there is that most important chapter dealing with the “nuts and bolts” of setting up one’s own Depressed Anonymous Group.

Personal Stories:  “Depressed Anonymous is Ralph’s Guardian Angel.”
I felt that I had to sit down and write you this letter Hugh to let you know how you and the Depressed Anonymous group are helping me through my troubled times.  I was thrown into my deep depression by the notice of our plant closing which I had worked for 24 years. I felt my whole world as I had known it, had folded in on me. I could not visualize my working at another place. I thought of all the negative things about starting over ( my pay would be less, lousiest job, 3rd shift, first to be laid off. etc.) it went on and on.

This was just some of all the living hell that was going through me inside. But then my eyes and ears started to open through the Depressed Anonymous group here in Louisville, Kentucky.  I just knew that god was speaking to me through them. He started letting me know that he hadn’t deserted me or let me down. That my life wasn’t over, but going through
a new phase, a new rebirth. He told me I must first forgive the company I had worked for over 25 years. This was the greatest hurdle of all, but somehow I did it. From that moment I did it, my depression started to lift from my body. Next he said I must have faith in him, that he was going to take care of me and make me happier than I had ever been in my life. So he did just that.

I have a new job which I love and the pay is great! He said to quit bashing myself and to believe in myself, that I can conquer all. But he never did ask me to forgive him, and now I understand why. There was nothing to forgive. My Higher Power knew what he was doing all the time. I believe now that I have become much closer to my god and have a greater amount of faith in him, namely, a faith that he will take care of me till the end of time.

I have come a long way since that first day I walked through those doors and into into all of your open arms. It was good to know that other people had the same feelings that I had experienced. The feeling of loneliness and despair, no way out of the living hell that was going
through me inside. At that time it was like like my heart and my soul and been ripped out of my body. I felt that my own mind was my own worst enemy and its mission was to destroy me. I had many sleepless nights and my mind was forever racing with negative thoughts of gloom and doom. I did not think I would ever function like a normal human being again. I felt my negative thoughts would win the battle and I would forever be condemned to the eternal hell.

But you and the Depressed Anonymous group have proved me all wrong (thank god). You have been my Guardian Angels who were speaking to me all the time. You showed me that there was hope for me after all. There is a new rebirth in me spiritually, emotionally and physically. I believe now I can go on with my life without all the fears that we bottled up inside of me. As long as I have faith in my Higher Power and the Depressed Anonymous group there will be no mountain I cannot climb. I am forever grateful.

-Ralph

If you would like to read Ralph’s working free of depression,
see the full account in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd Edition. (2011)
Available at Depressed Anonymous Publications