” Remarkable things happen to us when we are willing to admit defeat and talk about our powerlessness over depression and how our lives had become un-manageable. This first step is the beginning of the flight of steps that takes us up and into our new way of living. At our fellowship of Depressed Anonymous we talk hope, we act hopeful, and we think hope. We learn that our thinking depressed and negative thoughts might have gotten us in the shape that we are in today. What you think is what you become. For us who find sadness our second nature, we at times continue to revert to the comfort of old familiar negative thinking and are in actuality returning to self destructive behavior. Hope is overcome by sadness.”
SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous. Depressed Anonymous Publications.Page 107.
We all have heard the saying, seeing is believing. I prefer the reverse, namely, that believing is seeing. Once the newcomer arrives through the door of a Depressed Anonymous meeting for the first time, they will hear and see recovery in action.
Possibly for the first time the newcomer to the DA group will hear their story voiced by the various members of the group. They will see that they are not alone. They discover how their own sadness gets a positive jolt as they hear hope expressed in the recovery group. It is easier to believe someone when they share the same conditions of isolation, and feeling hopeless that you feel. In fact, in a group of people much like oneself, you begin to see that maybe, just maybe, there is hope for you as well.
SURRENDER AND WIN!
How can this make sense. Surrender and win? Well, in my life and probably in the lives of most of us who live with an addiction(s) we finally discovered this statement to true. Painfully true. I remember repeating to myself that “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” It became like a mantra until one day I was forced to do something about my addiction. It was like my hands went up in the air and the white flag I was carrying declared that the enemy finally had won the battle. I had no place to go. I could only admit that, yes, I was beat. Pushed down and stomped on. By admitting my defeat and surrendering to a belief that it was my last hope of survival. If I was to win it had to be on it’s terms. The ” IT ” here was the First Step of AA which stated that “We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.” Wow! I knew deep down that it was my only chance to survive and leave behind me that awful bondage of my addiction for alcohol. The day that I entered that AA meeting for the first time was the day that I began to wrest free from the scourge of my being imprisoned by alcohol. I learned a lot at that meeting: I learned how it was just in the admission that I had a problem that freedom finally became a reality
Whether addicted to sadness, food, booze, drugs, pain pills, or pornography, sex, _____________(name your own) there is hope for you too. Wherever there exists an addiction, more than not, there exists a mutual aid group of like minded people who were there but now they are here (free).
The paradox of course is when you finally give up and say “I’ve had it ” that there is a group of persons just like you who will say, “Welcome, to the fellowship.”
By surrendering and admitting I was living with a cancer that would eventually kill me, I made a decision to get help–surrender–and win back my life. That day, on December 8th, 1982 I became a winner. I thank God, my Higher Power that I had enough hope left to surrender and find help! I won by surrendering!
I am growing in my faith in myself and believing that today is going to be a better day than was yesterday. That’s a promise!
“Remember that an oak tree once was an acorn, recovery begins by taking one step at a time and accepting responsibility for moving from depression into peace and serenity.”
How often must I learn not to get caught up in the mania of racing thoughts and flights of grandiosity as I flee from the depths of my sadness. I will not run from my sadness but, instead, will focus on the fact that that I have to stake my claim and say, this is it. I am going to get well, starting right now. When I was manic I feel panicky and very jittery, but when I am depressed or feel myself slipping down into the abyss of darkness. I run as fast as I can until I no longer can stop my racing thoughts nor find an end to the obsession of wanting complete perfection in everything that I do.
What this means is that I am going to believe that I am about to be released from a terminal illness. My sadness has dogged me throughout my life. I no longer am willing to give in to this Black Dog of sadness often labeled as “melancholia”. I have tried all the pills to rid myself from the anxiety of my soul until there were no more pills, no more solutions and no more avenues of escape. I could escape the pain from time to time, but not a lifetime of hurtful human experience. I am taking one step at a time — recovery is what my day is about today! The steps are my solution.
God, you call each of us by name. Give us the power to name anything that is blocking us from growing in the wisdom of your will for us today. Lead us in your peace, today.
SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days:365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for Members of 12 step Fellowship Groups. Depressed Anonymous Groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Pgs. 230-231.
Today, we can look at the Motivating Stage –One of the Four. We have talked about the first stage, namely that of just being Aware. And in the context of BLAMING ourselves, others or God, we have made ourselves aware of a character defect where blaming others works against our self. It is in the Aware stage that we realize that “something is really wrong with me” as David Karp points out in his insightful book Speaking of Sadness. I know the feeling. I knew that I couldn’t just stay in bed but had to do something to get rid of that all encompassing fatigue as well as reduce the tremors in my limbs and eliminate that horrible jittery feeling in my gut. This led me to make a decision –to get motivated— hoping against hope that I wasn’t losing my mind. I wasn’t going crazy.
In the Motivating Stage we are using our awareness to show us how our negative thinking and talking to ourselves has helped continue our sadness. It’s like we have a “wake-up” call telling us how all this negative and emotion laden self talk is making us depressed. And now I am making up my mind to change the way I talk to myself as well as motivate myself to follow the spiritual program of recovery–step by step. I also am trying to live in the present. All I have is just this 24 hours. This Motivating Stage prepares me to move to the DOING stage. I will do all it takes to quit the BLAME game and gradually accept responsibility for my life.
MOVE THE BODY AND THE MIND WILL FOLLOW!