Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has at least one book inside of them that needs to be written. In her award winning book, Depression: The way out of your prison, Dr. Dorothy Rowe tells us how getting our story told can be life- changing, and for some life-saving. Below are her thoughts on the importance of sharing one’s story with that person who is willing to listen.
Help comes in two ways -from yourself and from other people. But help cannot come from other people unless you are prepared to find it and accept it. You have to find the people to confide in and you have to overcome your habit of keeping things to yourself. Perhaps you are ready to confide in someone, but there is no one available. Your family will not listen, and your doctor prefers to write you a prescription rather than give you his listening attention.
So you need to find someone who will listen. Someone outside the family and, possibly, outside work, is usually best—someone who has no vested interest in keeping you as you are or who has no reason to feel guilty about what you might disclose. It need not necessarily be just one person. On your journey out of your prison of depression you will meet many different gurus, people who throw light on your darkness. A nurse might listen to your fears about your health and the drugs you take, and may find the words to calm your fears. A friend may share with you the burden of family responsibilities. A pastor or priest might listen and acknowledge your religious doubts and fears and impart the courage and trust which enables you to deal with these. Of course, not everyone you hope to confide in will respond in a helpful way. ..”
And then Rowe continues to say that “you might like to consult a professional listener of some sort. You may find someone in the Health Service, or you might go to a private therapist. Talking to people who have been depressed and are now coping is tremendously helpful.” Pages 199-200. (Copyright) Depression:The Way out of your prison. (1996) Routledge. 2nd ed. London.
Our Twelve Step program tries to ensure that everyone who attends our program of recovery and who shares their story will be given a sponsor, a listener if you will, who too has experienced the pain and anxiety of depression. They are sponsors because they too have been able to share their stories. They know that powerful freedom that comes when someone really listens to us and our story. People often say to me “Doesn’t listening to all these depressed people get you depressed? ” And I can honestly say that it does not get me depressed. In fact, I know that by listening to someone else’s story, I find many areas which are similar to my own. Besides the fact that I myself experienced the chaos and pain of depression, I know how difficult it is to come out and share one’s own struggle. But it can be done!
If you are looking for someone or others to listen to your story with compassion and without a judgmental attitude, our group Depressed Anonymous is the right place to come. We are all storytellers. We all have been heard. We all continue to tell our story. Not only the personal account of our own depression but also the story of how we have recovered from depression. In our program there is always the “before ” and “after” story that we share. The ” after’ story of all of us is that important account of what we did to recover, how we did it and with whom we did it, made all the difference in the world. Out of the darkness into the light.
You can read the stories in Depressed Anonymous, which contain heart warming stories of how persons young and old, have come to our fellowship, shared their story and who now listen to those new members who share their own story. They want to share that hope, so that others depressed may know that there is a way out and a life to be lived without depression. They are no longer alone!
It takes trust to share our story. Finding the right person or the right group of persons is what we are looking for. There are persons waiting to hear your story. There are those persons who have recovered from depression and who are now sponsoring other people and forming other groups. If there is no group in your area, know that we have a long distance group learning program, called the Home Study Recovery program. This program can be done at home and all it requires is the willingness to work the Steps with a sponsor through emails. All one needs is the Depressed Anonymous manual and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. There are no fees or dues for this Home Study Program. As in all our groups, sponsors can accompany new members as long as they like. In time, attending the DA groups our new member can choose their own sponsor.
Please go to The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at this site and examine the material that is used for this program. Again, in the event that you would yourself want to start a Depressed Anonymous group in your locality, these two books are our main resources used in all groups, here in the USA and internationally. If the purchase of the books is a hardship, contact the DA Publisher and they will make it possible for you to receive the books regardless of payment.
Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed., Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
The Depressed Anonymous Email address is Depanon @Netpenny.net.