IF MY LIFE IS JOYFUL, THEN WHY DO I CONTINUE TO GO TO DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS MEETINGS?

Today, as promised yesterday (7/22) in our BLOG, we shared how Lois declared that she  “no longer experiences those black, bleak, hopeless periods”. She says that “her life is joyful.”

If her life is so joyful  Lois needs to explain why she continues to go to Depressed Anonymous meetings five years later. The Twelfth Step of this program: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry the message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.”  ” I am so grateful to Depressed Anonymous that I want it to be there for those who are still suffering.”

See pages 110-111 for a full account of Lois’ testimony in THE PERSONAL STORIES section of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Also read the remaining thirty stories of the other members of Depressed Anonymous who found serenity and joy using the Twelve Step program of recovery.

Like Lois, there are many of us who today continue to carry the message of hope to those still suffering from depression. Like myself, they all want to share with others that there is hope — there is a day coming that a light may shine and give them a way out of the darkness of their depression. This website and BLOG is just one way that I am taking the message of HOPE to others. Just yesterday a Depressed Anonymous group leader tells of how she is sharing her story OF HOPE to a man who intends to take his life, Another man in the group who worked his way out of despair using the Twelve Steps of recovery is also sharing his own story of despair and hopelessness with the man. That is what Lois is doing–bringing hope to others even though her whole life took a dramatic change.  Even though she is no longer imprisoned in depression she still sees it her mission to continue telling people her story. I told my story tonight at one of our local Depressed Anonymous meetings. At each meeting that I attend,  gradually, as Lois puts it, I  unscramble a part of the mess that brought me to my knees in the first place.

PAYING IT FORWARD

The motion picture (1999) , PAYING IT FORWARD is about the recipient  of a good deed who pays it forward to some other than the original benefactor. Our very own program of recovery, Depressed Anonymous makes  the same commitment to those who are depressed. I have found it to be a truth that the more I offer others what I have experienced in my own recovery the more I strengthen my serenity and peace.

When I shared with a local Depressed Anonymous group how my own recovery from depression has been a gift from my Higher Power — members of the fellowship just about fell off their seats. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? A gift? Well, yes, it certainly has turned out to be that way.  Ever since the first group was founded in 1985 I have been sharing with those others still suffering from depression.  I share that  by practicing the Steps in my own life I have found serenity and hope. I am no longer  alone. I have the tools to stay in recovery and to be  in contact with others just like myself  who are making or have made their way out of the prison of their own depression. It is by paying it forward to others which  has made it possible for me to keep focused on my own recovery and to practice what I preach.

Paradoxically it has been my own brokenness, anxiety and fear, which  led me to a power greater than myself.  I think that God, our Higher Power, inspires us to go and set free, the key, to help others know and believe that there is a way out of their depression. And when the depressed “get it” they too want to  begin to pay It forward to others who still suffer. So, pass it on. It is possibly one of the best gifts you can give to another!

The Twelfth Step of Depressed Anonymous states that: “Having had a spiritual experience as a result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.”

Source: Depressed Anonymous (2011) 3rd Edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Pages 104-109.