I am no longer ashamed to talk about my being depressed; when I talk with other depressed persons I feel better.
” I used to be ashamed of my condition and didn’t talk about it. But nowadays I freely confess I am a depressive , and this has attracted other depressed people to me. Working with them has helped a great deal.”
(2) Bill W., Co-founder of AA.
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
I know that the more I read the literature about the Twelve Steps and daily work my program, the more I am able to help myself grow out of this depression as Bill W., did shortly after he wrote the above piece. So often alcoholism covers up depression so that the original cause of the depression needs to be looked at.
God, please help us through this day and help us work through these memories of shame that keep us depressed. Let us truly believe that we can be free of our shame and live as a free person today.
COPYRIGHT(C) Higher Thoughts for Down days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for Twelve Step fellowship groups. (1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Higher thought for June 24. Pages 126-127.
NOTE: Because I had experienced depression myself, this added a healing assistance to my encounters with clients who were depressed. We could speak and understand each other.
Helen’s before and after–
“Now that I look back and see the way I was and see how I am now, I can’t believe that I ever knew that other person. This person is different altogether. I like the person now very much. I am so thankful to the group. They are just wonderful. They are my family. They are my Depressed Anonymous family. I also have my church family. It is a wonderful feeling to know that there is a Higher Power that can help you through these things. At first, I thought: “I doubt that very much” when everyone is talking about the Higher Power and peace in my life. Then it happened to me. Every few days, the world dumps down on you and beats you down. That’s just life. I always think to myself that there is that extra strength that I didn’t have before. I feel that everything is going to be OK with me. I have that peace now myself.”
Read all of Helen’s story in the Personal Stories in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 148.
“Each group has but one primary purpose, to carry its message to the depressed person who still suffers.”
FIFTH TRADITION OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS
I think this is what keeps me going through out my week, namely, to know that there are people out there that will support me in my moments when I want to sad myself. I am grateful for all the Twelve Step programs of recovery which help me let go of my need to sad myself. I am grateful that someone told me about Depressed Anonymous and now, since I am feeling better, I am carrying the message of hope to others like me.
I have a message of hope to give to others who keep coming back to the Depressed Anonymous meetings. I am convinced that it is the group and their understanding of my depression that makes me feel accepted and understood. I carry the message of hope to all those others out there who want to get better.
Today, we pray that our potential for carrying the message of hope to others who are depressed will be strengthened in us. We want to be a channel of God’s healing power.
Source: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 Step Fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 116-117.
In the mutual aid group, Depressed Anonymous, we make it OK to say “I think I am depressed.”
In Believing is seeing, an effort is made to help persons depressed as well as the friends and families of the depressed to know that there is a group that is there for them. In fact, once people come to the group and experience a meeting focused on the power of the Steps working in the lives of the fellowship, they soon come to believe and know the group members are speaking their language. It’s much like going to a foreign country and finding someone who can speak your language.
“Thank goodness, people can now go and find help –namely, the Depressed Anonymous group. Persons need to be educated about depression and that one is not losing their minds when the symptoms of depression begin to take over their lives. Their own depression experience and the symptoms that comprise it may enable them to seek help faster. They may be relieved to know what it is that is happening to them. I believe that a doctor or nurse practitioner would be more than happy to help de-stigmatize such a common and universal problem as depression or as some have called it in an earlier time, melancholia. In time and with our own advocacy as a mutual aid fellowship we will help make it OK to say “I am depressed.” We hope by that fact to help de-stigmatize this common and natural response to loss. Remember, to admit you’re depressed is the first step in recovery and the first step in getting yourself undepressed.”
Copyright (c)Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 17-18.
The depressed, says Dorothy Rowe, can “give a thousand and one reasons why they should stay depressed. They can think up thousands of painful thoughts about how bad they are and how they don’t deserve the cheer and joy that most of us frequently experience in our daily lives. Some run over and over again in their minds the awful things that they have done, and become used to their continual ruminating over their own sense of worthlessness. They have fallen into the depressed persons morbid need to feel bad. The sadness continues to eat away at the very heart of the person until there is no more hope and the light at the end of the tunnel has been snuffed out. In their hopelessness of ever feeling better, they throw away the only key that unlock the prison, and that is the key called hope. Getting to the hope is at the heart of getting our lives and feelings recognized. We begin to believe that maybe I too can overcome my depression like other members of the group. Not only am I consciously changing the way I think but likewise I am forcing myself to get involved with the other members of the group and making friends. I know that withdrawing from others is one of the first signs that we are depressing ourselves. But it is in the continual contact with others like myself that I can begin to find a way out of my depression.”
Source: Depressed Anonymous (3rd Edition) 2011. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. page 42.
“How many times have we heard persons say that ‘my depression is such a comfort to me.’ Many depressed people say that this feeling of worthlessness and hollowness is all they have ever known. In fact, they add, ‘since all I’ve ever known I’m too scared to feel something different.’ It appears that their whole identity is based on how they feel, and so they feel they are bad.” (9)
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
I know that I can recover and feel good about myself. Each new day I can choose to think differently about myself. I believe that, with time and while working my Twelve Step program, I can feel better. I will make a list of how I want to feel and then start to experience these brand new feelings of mine. My spiritual program of letting God run my life is beginning to payoff as I can feel a change in myself occurring.
I am taking out one of the main bars of my prison cell. I am no longer considering myself as someone who is bad, worthless, unacceptable to myself and to others. I am finding myself acceptable to me.
Our feelings of hollowness are greatly diminished after and during a meeting where we hear the hopeful stories of those members of the group who are feeling better because of the Depressed Anonymous program of recovery.
-Copyright(c) Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. (1993, 1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. page 112.
A HIGHER THOUGHT FOR TODAY
I will trust myself to risk getting better by way of the Twelve Step program. The first step is to admit that I will beat my depression in a group rather than trying to do it all by myself.
“Many of us can’t allow ourselves to trust anyone. We are so distrustful of ourselves that we can’t trust ourselves to feel. The painful and terrible hollowness of depression is such that we cannot allow it to be felt…When we hear other members share their stories of hurt and isolation we become more at ease within ourselves and we gradually allow/trust ourselves to touch the nerves of the past pain and hurts. ” (9)
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
One of the better ways I have found to get out of the prison of my depression is to trust my story with someone who has experienced the pain and the hurt. To know that I am not alone in my misery is quite a relief. To know that there is someone out there who understands where I am coming from does much for raising self-esteem. I know that it is only when I begin, today, to start taking care of myself that my life will improve and so will my thoughts. I also believe that there is no problem too great to be lessened.
I know that wanting control, wanting things my way, has made my life unmanageable! I want to trust my Higher Power and give my program and my friends who are in it my very best. I trust that I can be as honest with them as I am with my Higher Power.
God, we turn our will and our lives over to you and we know things are getting better because of that surrender.
SOURCE:, Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 Step fellowships. (1993, 1999) Louisville. June 1. Depressed Anonymous Publications.
“During my first night in the hospital, a member informed me of a support group known as DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS. I decided to give it a try. By telling me about this wonderful, miraculous, and very spiritual program, this person had not only worked the Twelfth Step, but has also given me a key, a key which would open many doors for me. Walking through these doors was like admitting defeat. I was playing first base in a ball game in which I would eventually win. If I struck out, I was back on Step One. By playing ball with a positive attitude, I was allowing my Higher Power to walk the Steps to recovery with me. With the help and the positive sense of fellowship that I enjoyed in the group, I began to understand God’s will for me. With the love, support, and true friendship of three faithful members in the group, I began working on my driver’s license when two members of the group took me in for my road test. A new sunnier life had begun for me. The worst was finally over.”
SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous (3rd.Edition) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. “We never talked about our feelings.” Page 112-113.
“We do know that depression, like any other long standing emotion, can and does cause a physiological change in the body. Many scientists also know that positive emotions over time can produce a change in the immunological makeup of our human body and so protect it from illness.”
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
Depression can be eliminated from my life after I take a closer look at my lifestyle. If I want to conquer depression, I have to take a closer look at the way I think, behave and live out my life. Of course, to have a belief in some power greater than myself produces the hopeful vision that, in time, I can begin the healing process. My brokenness and fear of risking change is at the core of my depression. I know that once I begin to get moving in a positive physical and mental way, the healthier I can become.
Someone once said that an emotion is energy in motion. A good description I would say. My ability to maintain an emotional balance depends heavily on my belief that I can change the way I feel. I know with the help of my conscious contact with my Higher Power that I can find the peace that I am searching for.
We know that good things start to happen when we give up our will to the one who wills nothing but our personal good. The power which is greater than the power of our depression is desirous of eradicating its dominion of our lives. Let go now your fear to let go and let God.
Source: Copyright(c)Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 106. Higher Thought for May 25.
Source: Depressed Anonymous (3rd Edition) 2011. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky.