It is with a personal sense of awe that I see the empowerment that comes to those persons working the 12 Step program of Depressed Anonymous. The empowerment comes to those who are conscious of the various ways they will have to change if their lives are to grow and change. This is of course not without its risks.
One of the major obstacles that we have to face when we are depressed is to be willing to change the way that we think about ourselves, our world, and our future. We have to dwell on and experience our pleasant as well as the unpleasant feelings in the present. We have to be willing to face the discomfort of living life with a sense of unpredictability. This is not an easy task. It is a task that can be achieved with time, patience and work.
Empowerment comes from being informed and making choices that help us change our lives for the better. When I come to a Depresseed Anonymous meeting I am making the first major step –namely, admitting by my presence at the group meeting that my life is out of control. My compulsion to depress myself is at the root of my inability to take the challenge of living life with risk, hope and enthusiasm. But how can I say that I want to depress myself? We are NOT BLAMING ourselves but are taking resposnsibility for our own feelings, behavior and thinking. Now that I am conscious of some negative patterns of my own thinking and behavior, I can get on with learning new strategies for my own healing. With the heartfelt prayer of a monk, I now understand that it is by sharing the story of my life –and with the conviction that someone is there to listen to me, that this can in time deliver me out of my prison of fear and sadness.
I can be empowered by taking the bull by the horn and choosing each new day, one day at a time, where I can start feeling different. I now have the support of the group –support from people who have walked where I am walking.
I am investing in myself. I am making my recovery my highest priority. I may have been on all the antidepressant medications and I may have seen all the best counselors and psychiatrists and doctors, but now I am coming to a group of depressed persons, men and women–people who will understand me, not judge me, but will support me. I investing in myself and my future. What will I find there? I will find some of the most caring people on the face of the earth. Some of the group members will have been coming for months, and week after week, know that they are gradually feeling different and having more good days than bad. And it’s getting better for them. The more meetings they attend the better they feel and the more support they receive from the fellowship. They are feeling empowered. It’s the miracle of the group. Instead of living with a compulsion to repeat old negative and life negating thinking, we now have a compulsion to live with hope. We now have a desire for a brand new way of thinking. We want to change the way we live — not just the way that we talk to ourselves.
We are seeking out a new way to live.
I now feel that I am getting better in learning how NOT to repeat my old way of thinking and bashing myself mentally with bad feelings. I am learning how dangerous it is for me to isolate and separate myself from others. I now know that healing all takes time and with work and patience I will get better. For most of us, it has taken a few years to get here (depressed) so why not take time today — focusing one day at a time — empowering ourselves, and finding the hope and serenity that others like me are living out today in own lives. Will you join us?
SOURCES: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
Copyright(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
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