Dorothy Rowe sums it up splendidly in her work, The Way out of your prison, where she states how we have to learn to take care of ourselves. It takes time and work. And this applies to learning ways to work our selves out of the pit, the prison of depression. She promotes the solution that joining a self-help group like Depressed Anonymous is a way to do this. This of course entails work and a persistence in keeping one’s hand to the plow and focused on our own recovery.
She states that ” …joining a self-help group will be one of the most valuable things you can do. You will meet a group of people who knows what it is to be depressed. You don’t have to explain it to them, or apologize, or pretend that you are happy when you are not. In a self-help group, you give and receive friendship, and in sharing the responsibility for the group, you build up your confidence and self-respect.
….you can get help, provided you are prepared to go out and find it and to work with what you are offered.
Spoon feeding is no use to you. You have to feed yourself.”
Comment: To work on any aspect of one’s own life it does take work as Dr. Rowe suggests. In our own recovery program of Depressed Anonymous we are provided a “toolbox” where we can step by step learn and use the various tools of the fellowship to overcome our isolation and pain. All this can be accomplished in the context of the group as well as in the literature provided by the group. By our working the Twelve Step program of recovery, designed specifically for those of us depressed, we can and do leave the prison of our depression. One can read the many personal stories of those who have used the Steps and are free of the bondage of sadness in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.
This is a Promise that I can vouch for. When I first became a member of the AA fellowship, a 12 Step Program of recovery, that my entire life was turned upside down. I learned how AA is a spiritual program where I came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. The first thing I did to bring sanity into my life was to go to as many meetings a week as I could, read every bit of literature as I could which pertained to using the 12 Steps to gain sobriety and sanity.
It was later in 1985 that I developed a program for depression using the same 12 Steps of recovery. I called our organization Depressed Anonymous and have been helping others like myself to know and believe that we are not alone. I talk, e-mail, write and now blog about my own experiences with depression with the view of helping others out of the prison of their depression.
As it says in I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER, “It is almost a truism to say about those of us who want this program, are not now focused on self but on the will of God for our lives. I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force, a loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me and restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those who are willing to risk leaving the prison of their depression. By my own interest in getting in touch with the Higher Power and getting its direction to “do the next right thing” I find that my own life is gradually becoming more filled with purpose and energy.
There is a saying that to gain energy you must give energy. I found this to be true for my own life.
The spiritual writer Joel Goldsmith stated that: “There is an invisible bond between all of us. We are not on earth to get from one another, but to share those spiritual treasures which are of God. Our interest in each other is, in truth, purely spiritual. Our purpose in life is the unfolding of the spirit within..”