As a new member of Depressed Anonymous, Linda knew that ” she would have to work very hard, because you really have to fight depression – negative thoughts replaced by positive thoughts – action to create motivation. Most of all, I had to surrender to God, quit controlling everything and everyone, including God. Let go and let God. So I started reading the Twelve Steps. At first, I was really rebellious, so much so that I didn’t go back to the group for two weeks. I was too depressed, but inside I knew the Steps had the key to get me out of this prison. They pointed me to my Higher Power, which unashamedly is Jesus Christ . (‘Made a decision to turn my life and will over to the care of God as I understand God’. Ed). Now I attend every meeting, sharing the things I learned and the times I fall (which are still quite a few) into depression.. But it is working, and I could not be writing this right now if it was not for the love and the support of these very special people. As a matter off act, I told them once a week was not enough for me. The leader suggested that I start another one, which is just what I have done. I now attend the meetings twice a week – twice is nice.”
Source: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. (Personal stories #6. I was a compulsive over – eater).). Page 116-117.
Helen shares her story about finding help–when she needed it most.
” I finally knew after two year 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 has a phone number and that was all. I talked to a 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 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 an attitude that I have to get well. I had 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.”
If you are curious about how the mutual aid group changed Helen’s life you’ll need to read her full account in the Personal Stories section of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, pages 169-172.
She also has something powerful to say about pleasing people and how she needed to get her priorities straight and begin taking care of herself.
Sources: Seeing is believing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017). Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.
I’ll do it when I feel better.(2018) Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY
More than 30 years ago I felt that I was a broken human being. We all have heard the old saying that “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.” Looking back over the time I spent dealing with the darkness within, I now can see my recovery time did make me stronger. That recovery forced me to use tools that I had never realized existed and fit for what I needed to raise myself up. These tools gave me strength for survival. The saying was true: move the body and the mind will follow. Instead of my mind and life spiraling further down into the pit of hopelessness I began spiraling upward with hope. In the beginning of my descent into nothingness I believed that the inner war that was going on in my body was going to kill me. I did believe that I was coming apart, unglued and a danger to myself. I was like a nomad in a wasteland where all the guideposts for directions had disappeared. My life had lost all meaning. My mind resisted thinking about hope and the future. I felt that I was in a state of limbo–no moving forward–only backward and down. My personal pain and anxiety kept me tied down in my own desperation.
Many have found my own story to be a positive statement in which almost on a daily basis I am able to share some of my thoughts about this journey which I am on and which you too can be on. Our own story of recovery is really a tool that others can put to use for their own lives,
My depression experience has provided me with a life purpose and given me meaning which I never dreamt would be my own recovery gift for others “still suffering” to use for their own recovery; the repair of their own personal brokenness. My own life and the Twelve Steps has provided a key which helped me unlock the prison of my depression. The Steps provide ample guidance and direction for those of us who continue the spiral upward, living out in our own lives the hope and purpose which have been promised to those of us who desire a life after depression.
Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.
You can read the author’s story in the Depressed Anonymous book, plus 30 more personal accounts of those who have also used the recovery tools for their own freedom from depression.
Click on to The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore for more literature which deals effectively with depression and recovery. Orders can be made online.