“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.

What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?

What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?


“Well,  first let me say that when I first started attending Depressed Anonymous, I went for s couple of months and then stopped. I stopped going because my depression was so bad that I didn’t  want to leave my apartment. I didn’t want to be around or talk to anyone. I just didn’t want to do anything except crawl in a hole somewhere and isolate myself from everything. Then after about six weeks of isolation, I called the residential treatment center where I had been a client to see if I had received any mail there and one of the members of the DA group where I attend answered the phone. I spent a few minutes talking to her and there was something in her voice that told me  that for some reason, it was important for me to be at the meeting. I attended the next Depreseed Anonymous meeting. After the meeting was over, I suddenly realized the importance  and power of Depressed Anonymous.

So what is the power of Depressed Anonymous? For me, it is just like attending that first meeting. I was a little scared and apprehensive at first, but then I found the Depressed Anonymous meeting was a place to go where there were other depressed people just like me. They could relate to and understand what I was going thr0ugh. They didn’t judge me or think of me as crazy. I was accepted.

Another power of Depressed Anonymous is the miracle fo the group and what each person brings to the group. I have seen our fellowship get stronger and grow. I have developed many friendships that I can depend on for support and understanding. I have watched some  of the newcomers that have kept coming back grow and improve. Even something as simple as a smile when there was none before.  The miracle of the group empowers and energizes me.

The most important power of Depresseed Anonynous is hope. Hope that we will not be locked into the prison of depression forever and that there is a way out for each of us. A hope that our Higher Power will work the miracle through us and that we will find our own happiness. I have hope that our heart and minds will know love and peace like we have never known or felt before.  The power of Depressed  Anonymous works for me.  I hope and pray that it works for you. Keep coming back!

SOURCE:  Copyright(c)  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY . Pages 134,135.  Ray’s personal story of recovery.

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If there is no Depressed Anonymous group where you live–don’t let that stop you from joining our fellowship. Get started today and use the HOME STUDY KIT (SEE STORE)  where you can begin your own recovery using the tools that members in a “face to face” group use at their meetings.  The HOME STUDY  version provides you with a Depressed Anonynmous WORKBOOK plus a Depresssed Anonymous  MANUAl. These two works will provide you with an amazing process in which you can grow and learn more about depression and its effect upon your own  life.  It can also  provide you with an access to our web blog where you can read article after article on the “how” to leave the prison of depression. You are always welcome to involve yourself with any and all comments that you would like to send to the site in response to what you see and read here.

We welcome you.

Home Study Kit

“We’ve got work to do.”

 

When my grandson  was  3 years old  and older he would always say “papa, we ‘ve got work to do. ”  When he would see me with a hammer in my hand or a can of paint and ready to work on some repair project around our house,   without fail he would always be willing to pitch  in and do his part. As a little guy he always seemed so much older than what he was because of his strong desire to help his papa. He is 19 today and now he is doing his own  work. But not surprising is his continued willingness to help me when he can. Now that I am in recovery, thanks to our Depressed Anonymous program of recovery  and  after these many  years,   I am still free from depression.  I attribute that  this freedom is due to what I did learn  when I was depressed and continue using these tools on  every basis. I have found  that it does take some work to get through the darkest periods of the depression. It also takes a supportive group of men and women who know what we know,  and feel what we have felt when depressed.

Every meeting that we attend, and every step that we take on the road of our recovery, we find the fog lifts, the desire  to live again returns. Not all at once–but in short spurts – the fog lifts and we feel the hope churning in our hearts and minds.  And at every Depressed Anonymous meeting we hear the following words read from HOW DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKS.

“You are about to witness the miracle of the group. You are joining a group of people who are on a journey of hope and who mutually care for each other. You will hear how hope, light and energy have been regained by those who were hopeless and in a  black hole and tired of living.

By your involvement in the group we are feeling that there is hope – there is a chance for me too – I can get better. But we are not the people with the magic wand and the  easy formula for success. We believe  that to get out of the prison of depression takes time and work.

And so at each and every Depressed  Anonymous meeting the group listens as we hear  what it will take to escape  from the prison of depression. ”

Also, at every meeting of the fellowship we hear how by using the spiritual tools, our Twelve Steps, we can gradually find the path that will that can lead us out into the light of freedom. We come to believe that a power greater than ourselves  can restore us to sanity. And then we make a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God as we understand God.”

SOURCE:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page  67.

PLEASE VISIT THE STORE for more info on depression and ways to free ourselves from the agony of sadness.

Go to Groups on Menu to see if there is a DA group in your State or LOCATED  outside the USA.

 

 

 

SKYPE us today! We have a common home and so let’s be neighbors!

If you have SKYPE please feel free to contact me at this address.  I have talked with persons around the world who are members of Depressed Anonymous and find it a great tool to keep in contact with the membership. SKYPE also helps build understanding among all peoples how we are connected by a common bond. We have a “common home” and all live in the same household, and planet earth is our home!

Let’s be neighbors and share how we are dealing with what is our common problem, depression. A recent World Health Organization tells us that Depression is a common illness for all members of this our common home. When one of us suffers —we truly all suffer. The issue doesn’t stop there–because we have found a Higher Power who can deliver us from what ails us the most and causes us to isolate and suffer alone. For many of us the Depressed Anonymous mutual aid group is the support and Power that keeps us focused on recovery.  For most of we believe that the God of our understanding will and does deliver us from depression– which for many is life threatening. All of us who participate share in the Power and in the Miracle of the Group. We are never alone as we have each other, whether from Iran, Texas (usa), Siberia, Holland, Australia, Germany, Poland, just to name a few of our neighbors. All these neighbors I have made friends through SKYPE.

I would love to hear from all of you who are reading this today and let’s become neighbors with a common interest and talk solutions.

Thank you,

Hugh.smith75    by skype

Recovery? How can I make it happen for me?

“By recognizing how it feels to be depressed, more people will have the help and guidance that will get them through their depression. Lives will be saved as well. Besides reading the Twelve Steps at each meeting, the group learns  on a firsthand basis about the ”  miracle of the group.”  It is in the sharing and getting connected with the other members of the group where one’s recovery begins.”

I have also learned how those persons who aren’t  able to get to a group meeting that they can start learning  how to leave the prison of depression by using the HOME STUDY KIT. This program of recovery is basically a do it yourself  program where one can go through all the Steps, one by one, using  the Depressed Anonymous manual and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook.   Both of these books combined make a great way to begin one’s own recovery and then hopefully others will want to join you with their own recovery efforts.

HOME STUDY KIT information is located at www.depressedanon.com.

Empowerment comes from being informed

 

Empowerment comes  from being informed and making choices that help us change our lives for the better.  When I came to a Depressed Anonymous meeting I am making a first major step- namely, that I admit 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 on the challenge of living life with risk and enthusiasm. But how can I possibly say that I want to depress myself? We are not blaming ourselves  here but are taking responsibility for our own feelings, behavior and thinking. Now that I am conscious of some negative patterns of my own behavior I can get on with learning new strategies for my own healing. With the heartfelt prayer of a monk, I now understand it is by sharing the story of my life – and with the conviction that someone is there to listen, that this can in time help me make it 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 and start to feel 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 -I  may have seen all the best counselors, psychiatrists and doctors but now finally I am going to a room full of depressed people –  people who understand me and what I am going through!

These people I discover are investing in themselves. What will I find there? I will find some of the most caring people on the face of the earth. Some of the group will have been coming for months, and they say that they are having more good days than bad and it’s getting better. The more meetings they attend the better they feel and the more support they receive. They are feeling empowered. It’s the miracle of the group. Instead of living with a compulsion to repeat old negative and life negating thoughts and feelings we now have a compulsion to live with hope plus a desire for a brand new way of living — and not just the way that  we  once talked to ourselves.

We are going to get a new life. And here is how.

I now feel that that I am getting better learning how not to repeat my old way of thinking, feeling and believing and isolating myself when I fear –whatever. I now know that with work and patience I will get better. For most of us, it has taken us a few years to get here (depressed) so why not take the plunge today and work toward getting better–one day at a time – one meeting at a time —  and using the “tools” of the program.

It has only been when I began to examine the way I talked to myself (negatively) and how I gradually isolated myself from a life lived in serenity and hope,  that I realized I could change this pattern of diminishing myself . Others were doing it and so why couldn’t I? And so can you!

Hugh

SOURCE: (c)I’ll do it when I feel better.(2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

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

                     PLEASE VISIT THE STORE FOR MORE USEFUL AND INFORMATION.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE YOUR LIFE PARKED IN NEUTRAL!

I just returned from a combined (Edenton and Elizabeth City, North Carolina) Depressed Anonymous fellowship  workshop which I was asked to give. It was an all day workshop, with morning open to the public and then the  afternoon sessions committed to the two groups speaking to each other about their own personal experiences with the Twelve Steps and how their lives have changed since being part of these two groups.

These groups both were formed right before Christmas 2014. Both groups now have a strong presence in their communities because those in recovery now want  to “carry this message to those  who are still suffering from depression.” This is the bottom line for all of us who have found hope and healing in practicing and putting the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps  into our daily lives. Hope is what we are sharing. You don’t have your life parked in neutral.

“THE MOST COMMON FORM OF DESPAIR IS NOT BEING WHO YOU ARE! ”  —  Soren Kierkegaard

”  Depressed Anonymous is a spiritual  program where you will find people like yourself, honestly, openly and willingly dealing  with their character defects (staying isolated) and gradually admitting that they have to change their lives and lifestyle, if they are going to be a whole and honest human being.  The decision is yours. You make the choice!  The Twelve Steps and your own personal story can now be shared with others and can help them in their own life’s journey. Give the hope that you have now with those who have lost hope. Build it  (mutual aid) and they will come! ”

Source: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 108-109.

I witnessed the “miracle  of the group” again this past Saturday in Edenton, North Carolina when the participants of both fellowship groups came together and shared their stories of how they moved into drive and  out of neutral. I thank  all you beautiful people in North Carolina as you continue to work your program of recovery! You are becoming who you really are and whom God means for you to be!

“HOPE IS A HARD HABIT TO BREAK”

Brad Cohen, the main character in the powerfully moving film FRONT OF THE CLASS, makes this  statement about his own efforts to change his life.

The following instructions, HOW DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKS, is read at every Depressed Anonymous meeting.

“You are about to witness the miracle of the group. You are joining a group of people who are on a journey of hope and who mutually care for each other. You will hear how hope, light and energy have been regained by those who were hopeless and in a black hole and tired of living.

By our involvement in the group we are feeling that there is hope –there is a chance for me too–I can get better. But we are not the people with the magic pills and the easy formula for success. We believe that to get out of the prison of our depression takes time and work.

And so at every   Depressed Anonymous meeting the group listens as we hear what it will take to escape from the prison of depression.

Also at every meeting of the fellowship we hear how by using the spiritual tools, our Twelve Steps, we can gradually find the path that will and can lead us out into the light of freedom. We come to believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity…”

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SOURCE: (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2011) Hugh Smith. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 65.

I DON’T NEED TO BE PERFECT.

AFFIRMATION

I have hope that I can accept myself today and just let fly by all the old messages from old tapes of childhood.

“You desperately wanted people to love you, but you became very wary of giving your love to others. You reasoned that the less you loved another person the less it would hurt when the inevitable rejection came.” (3 )

REFLECTION

I have been holed up for so long in my own little world of feeling hurt and rejection that to attempt to love someone else seems like the greatest challenge of my life. I desire so badly to be loved by someone else that this lack of another’s love makes my isolation from others so hurtful.

After having witnessed the miracle of the group in Depressed Anonymous, where depressed people come with their feelings of hurt and being rejected, I find that other’s love and nurture challenge me to hope once again.  I can share with the group the fact that I haven’t measured up, that I am angry and that I just want to lay down and die.

I am open enough now to let the light of love from others, who like myself, realize that I am not alone and that I am beginning to feel better already now that I no longer need to be perfect.  This means to be willing to affiliate and give of myself for someone else’s good. In the program I am starting to love –myself.

MEDITATION

We are going to make a mental decision right now to let God, as we understand him, guide us and instruct us on how best to love ourselves. ”

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Source: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for 12 step fellowship groups.  (1993,1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. (p.47).

Please Visit the Store for more information about literature  specifically geared to the subject of depression and the utilization of the 12 Steps  for recovery.

For a further clarification of thought, do yourself a favor and read the Depressed Anonymous manual and the Depressed Anonymous Workbook.

“Joining a self-help group will be one of the most valuable things you can do.”

AFFIRMATION

I thank God for the group and the belief that I have every right to be here..

“Free and truthful discussions only possible between people who see each other  as equal members of the human race.   Joining a self-help group will be one of the most valuable things you can do.  You will meet a group of people who know 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.”

REFLECTION

I have learned that there is a miracle of the group that takes place when persons with the same needs and experiences of isolation get together.  They discuss with each other how their lives were before they entered their particular Twelve Step group, and how they are now, now  that they have a positive program which gives direction to their lives.

In the Fellowship I find that I can be as honest as I like. No one will look down on me for saying how I need to change the way I perceive my world, my life and my thoughts.

MEDITATION

The spirit of God is in each of us as we become more conscious of the fact that that its spirit wants to be the leading light of our life. Our Twelve Step program help us see that when we consciously desire that God work in our lives, it is possible for us to admit that we are powerless over our depression. When  we start to work the program, we start to find some peace.

See Step 1

In the Fellowship I find that I can be as honest as I lioke.  No opne will look dopwnm on  me for saying jow I need to change the way I perfceivemy world, my life and  my thoughts.

MEDITATION

The spirit of God is in each of us as we beecom,e more conscious of the fact that its spirit wants ot be the leasding light of our lifge.  OOur Tswelve Step ropgram helps us see that when we consciously desirte that God work in our livesd, it ism [possioble for us to admit that we are powerless over our depression. When we start to work the program, we start to find some peace.”  See Step 1.