“I thought my depression and sadness was normal.”

TERRI’S  STORY

When I first came to Depressed Anonymous, I was so depressed I didn’t even want to get out of bed in the morning.

I hated the world and I didn’t want to deal with it and just going  out in  public was  a major ordeal,  even the  grocery  seemed  like an overwhelming task.  Ultimately, I lost my job due to my inability to function  at work. I prayed that God would let me die.

I felt I carried this tremendous load of emotional pain around in my chest all the time.  I wanted to put it down. I wanted to get rid of it but I didn’t  know how. I thought God had forsaken me because I violated a  sacred  code without knowing it and I believed I could never feel the sunlight of the spirit on my face again. That belief forged a bitterness and resentment toward God that grew day by day. I could not believe life would ever be good again or that I could be happy.

I felt emotionally dead. I have had depression for years, although I didn’t know that’s what it was. Being an alcoholic and an active  member of  Alcoholics Anonymous, I thought my depression and sadness was  normal.

I hit bottom last year in the Spring, after 8 years in recovery, when I started to have “flashbacks” of sexual  abuse from childhood. I didn’t understand how God could have allowed this to happen since it happened so long ago. Why did it have to come out now? All my life I had this feeling that I had a deep dark secret: but I couldn’t remember what it was. I lived in constant fear that people would find out my terrible “secret” was out now. Gradually I realized that the big black secret was out now. I had not died. The world had not stopped.

As I began working on the abuse issues in therapy, the piece s of my life began to fit together in a way they never could have before, as I had never dealt with this catastrophic event. In Hugh’s book, Depressed? Here is a way out he talks about how  people find their time of depression to be one of the great gifts of God in their life. The first time I read this I thought it was the craziest thing  I had ever heard, yet during this time  of depression I have learned and I have grown. I have come to understand myself  and my God in a way I never could before,

It’s been nearly a year now. Life is starting to come together for me again, one day at a time by the grace of God and the fellowship of this program. From the  very first time I walked through the doors of DA, I knew I was in  the right place.  Having been an active member of AA for so many years, I was already a firm believer in the 12 Steps. I did what you people told me to do, even when I didn’t  believe it would help. I attended meetings. I worked the Steps with my sponsor. I used the phone list and talked to people about my pain and my day to day problems. I read Hugh’s  book (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition(2011) DAP. Louisville) and followed the suggestions given in it.

God, through DA, God  literally carried me through the darkest time in my life and he did not let me die, despite  my best efforts to.  I have truly experienced the “miracle of the group.”   I promise you that it works. I have heard it said that sometimes God’s greatest miracles are unanswered prayers and I believe it, after all I am one.

TERRI B

Sources:  Copyright(c) The Antidepressant Tablet. Volume 4  Number 3 Spring 1993..

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

HIDE.RUN.ISOLATE. WHEN I WAS DEPRESSED, THESE THREE WORDS DESCRIBED PERFECTLY MY ACTING OUT BEHAVIOR!

HIDE. RUN. ISOLATE. WHEN I WAS DEPRESSED THESE THREE WORDS DESCRIBED MY ACTING OUT BEHAVIOR  PERFECTLY.   

The Depressed Anonymous Big Book states that:

“Once I admit that I am addicted to depressing myself then I can begin to walk through the door of the prison that binds me. I I must realize the fact that my depression will only get worse unless I put a stop to all the thinking, and acting out behavior that keeps me perpetually locked into my sadness.” (DA88).

——————————–

Here again we see the responsibility issue cropping up again. This is so important for us who want to hide and run when  we feel a life that has to be faced again and again. As  we read in Alcoholics Anonymous and as quoted in Depressed Anonymous:

“Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us…

Yes, there is a long  period of reconstruction ahead. We must take the lead.  A remorseful mumbling that we are sorry won’t fill the bill…” (DA88)

Do you the reader, do this when you are feeling sad and alone? Do you try and get  alone by yourself  so that you can try and figure out what is happening inside of yourself? I did.  For myself, I just kept going around in the circling of my thoughts. The constant circling (ruminating ) and isolating behavior gradually had me spiraling into the darkness of my unending melancholia.

I finally realized I couldn’t think myself of this total physical, psychological immobility. What could I do? See page 73 in the Depressed Anonymous Workbook.

The most important person to be honest with is …me!

“If I were asked what in my opinion was the most important factor in being successful in this program besides following the Twelve Steps, I would say Honesty. And the most important person to be honest with is yourself.” Big Book of AA as quoted in our DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK, 12th STEP (p.86)

Remember this saying and repeat it often during your day today.

 TO THINE OWN SELF FIRST BE TRUE!

THE MYSTIC EXPERIENCE OF BILL W., CO-FOUNDER OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS.

Granted that this site is not about alcoholism but about depression. But let’s face it, many of those addicted to alcohol are also depressed. I think many depressed try and medicate the pain with alcohol and then end up with two conditions that they need help with. We call this a co-morbid addictive illness.
A few days ago I wrote about the “spiritual awakening” that gave Bill the jump start that he had to have in order to quit his drinking. For Bill it came down to either lose (surrender) his life to this mystic power or to the disease of alcoholism. After this special illumination of the hospital room and to his mind, he knew he could not continue his drinking.
Bill describes his thoughts about this epiphany in the following light:
I was the recipient of a tremendous mystic experience or “illumination” and at first it was very natural for me to feel that this experience staked me out as somebody very special.
But as I now look back upon this tremendous event, I can only feel very grateful. It now seems clear that the only special features of my experience were its suddenness and the overwhelming and immediate conviction that it carried.
In all other respects, however, I am sure that my own experience was essentially like that received by any A.A. member who has strenuously practiced our recovery program. Surely, the grace he received is also of God; the only difference is that he becomes aware of his gift more gradually. Source: AS Bill sees it.