The “before” and “after” stories of those who freed themselves from the tyranny of depression.

I just want to write a few thoughts this morning about the “before” and “after” experiences of group members  battles  with depression.  Before there was a Depressed Anonymous group for me to attend, where I could address my problems, I joined another 12 step program of recovery. It was at this meeting that I heard and saw people who shared their stories how it was “before”  they got into recovery and  the  “after”  now that they are living the recovery program.

The difference was like night and day. I could listen all day to a lecture on depression, alcoholism, overeating or any other addiction  and not be as moved as I am when I hear the actual person telling  their story of how life is  now by  actively participating in their own recovery. To hear the changes that have taken place in those many people whose lives had spiraled down into the darkness of isolation and hopelessness is a phenomenal  experience in itself.

Most of the books which serve as the basic text of 12 step groups such as Depressed Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, to name a few, all include many “before” and “after” stories of those who have suffered the loss of their self only to find that with the help of the spiritual principles of the Steps were they able eventually to share how  their lives had changed dramatically.   Their stories are simple, direct and filled with powerful accounts of  human beings who once were lost in the chaos of addiction,  but now have been freed,  living with hope and serenity.

Depressed Anonymous’ basic text  has its own “before” and  “after ” stories as well. All the stories, the “before” and “after” accounts,   give credit to the program of recovery which  has changed the thinking and lives of thousands of persons throughout the world.  I see  these stories manifesting  the miracle of the Higher Power, at work in those persons who made a decision to choose to walk that different pathway out of their addictions.  They then  tell those others “still suffering from depression” about the power  they have received.

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.” Step Twelve of Depressed Anonymous.”

Sources:

Depressed Anonymous, recommends its basic text, Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition for the many inspiring accounts of those persons who came to a meeting, like myself, heard what others had experienced and decided that to see how it worked for them.

Also another excellent publication with many “before” and “after”  stories is A MEDLEY OF DEPRSSION STORIES, by the founder of two Depressed Anonymous groups in North Carolina, Debra Sanford.  Her work is available at Amazon.com.

Depressed Anonymous Publications also has books available at depressedanon.com. VISIT THE STORE

Making “gratitude my attitude” helps keep Robin out of depression.

 

A personal story/ testimony from Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition by Robin.

“Through the Depressed Anonymous program, which utilizes the Twelve Steps, I have been on a  journey of transformation from the familiar life of drudgery and gloom and desperation to discovering a new freedom and a new happiness – something I didn’t know existed. My entire perspective is changing.  Other people who I once thought were   judgmental  are now considered as all being a child of God–all created equal. What a peace provocative tool this is. Really! It helps me lift those negative attitudes and replaces them with affirmations. This is certainly the most  valuable technique offered in Depressed Anonymous to acquire an optimistic attitude towards life itself, or simply “making gratitude my attitude.” So many of us were only familiar with the sham and the drudgery of life, but even with all the sham and drudgery in the word,  it is still a beautiful place to live.  We learn to change not the world, but how we view the world and all its intricacies.”

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

___________________________________________________________________

It is truly a remarkable fact, that  by going to one meeting you may hear someone  share  their own personal story and you think they are talking about you. It is amazing how this works, but not really.  What happens  is that all of us who come to the Depressed Anonymous meeting for the first  time, find that members of this mutual aid group speak the same language … hope and support. It does take one to know one, which is true. I guess the point here is that if we all feel pretty much the same thing when we are depressed, even though my depression experience is unique to me and how it effects my life, that this awareness is a great thing as it helps to produce those many strategies for recovery which can be applied across the board for most of  us in the group. The Twelve Steps are  strategies that in time and  work can   give us a  fresh and healing perspective for  our individual lives.  To read more about the recovery experience   of  others who have used tjourney of transformation

he Twelve StepsVISIT THE STORE and continue to find other literature which can   provide you with hope  plus  a way out of your depression.

Hugh

———————————————————————-

The latest offer by the PUBLISHER is the KINDLE edition of Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily Thoughts and Meditations for Twelve Step individuals. Take a Higher  Thought with you were ever you go!

A therapist speaks out about Depressed Anonymous

“One of the greatest resources I’ve used in working with many depressed persons has been Depressed Anonymous. The transformation it causes in an individual’s life is truly miraculous. This stems from it being primarily a spiritual program of healing and recovery.  It encourages a person to seek a personal relationship with God, whoever they understand God to be. In doing this, it helps a person to look inside for healing, rather than in a pill or some quick “cure.” Many persons who suffer with  depression look on God as being one who judges them harshly. This thinking usually leads  to much anger towards God, which results in more negative thinking. I know this from my own experiences with depression, and the angry relationship with God I had during those times. This is where Depressed Anonymous offers hope by getting a person connected to a group who also suffers with depression, and are working the Twelve Steps. In doing this, it helps a person come to a realization that it will only be through a power greater than themselves that they will find sanity in their life.  Depressed people cannot do this alone because of the compulsion to ruminate endlessly over negative thoughts. It is only through coming together with a group of people like Depressed  Anonymous that they are able to break the cycle of negative thinking. ”

To read more of what therapists have to say about Depressed Anonymous please read  their thoughts in  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. KY.  Page 67-68.  ( The therapist who wrote the above is Ms. Denise List, doing therapy in Louisville, KY.)

As a therapist myself, I have found, as  Denise herself found, that our own struggles with the isolating and painful reality that we call depression, made a difference in our relationship with clients. To have a mutual aid group such as Depressed Anonymous  to which we could  refer them had  special and positive outcomes.

Our manual contains a veritable host of testimonies from persons from all walks of life who found Depressed Anonymous to be the “real deal.”  It is  here where they found acceptance tools for recovery and most importantly a safe place to share their story.

Please VISIT the STORE here at our site.  And if you are a therapist reading this now, it would serve your clients well for you to suggest  that they pick up  this book and begin to see and find hope for themselves.

“I realized that I was addicted to the self.”

” As a person that has suffered depression since childhood, I can say that until you start to open up, share your hurts and feelings, listen to the members of the group, watch them as they grow from the support of the group, you will not be able to get out of the prison of your depression. I have been going to Depressed Anonymous for four years and only until recently have I realized that I was addicted to the self.  Only then did I start to take a good look at myself and start to ask God for his help and truly mean it. I am learning to trust in God  and do His will and not mine. I feel better about myself. I can tell you it is a lot easier to be depressed than it is to work on yourself and admit to yourself that there is a problem. It is God’s will for us to live each day to the fullest because of our time on earth is limited. Live each day, not yesterday or tomorrow. Share with the group and your friends and you will be surprised who will be glad to listen  if you would give them a chance. Accept the fact that all of us at Depressed Anonymous are here to listen to you and not make judgments  on you or give advice. Even if you don’t want to share, come to the meetings because you can always get something out of them. Eventually, you will want to share and the group will listen.

In conclusion, trust in your Higher Power – God as you understand God. Support groups are the  way out of our addictions. We may have given  up on God, but God hasn’t  given up on us. Start your day out by asking God: God I pray for the knowledge of your will and the power to carry it out. ”

-Starr writing about her experience with depression and the healing support that she receives in the Depressed Anonymous 12 Step mutual aid group.

Read Starr’s whole story in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. (Personal Stories section/Pages 129-130 ).

It’s time to Bloom!

It’s definitely Spring.  Here in Kentucky, USA,  everything is suddenly turning green. The tulips, the daffodils, jonquils and the trees are all budding.

Spring can only start in my mind and today I want to be a beautiful flower. I will visualize myself growing tall and bright and filled with God’s most beautiful colors. Go out and smell the roses. Don’t get stuck in the prison of your grey  colored depression.

“One of the reasons I am depressed is because I have made this an absolute belief of mine, namely., “Since bad things happened to me in the past and only bad things will happen to me in the future.” Dorothy Rowe

 

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Now that I am working on myself and admitting that I have work to do, beginning  some house cleaning on myself, I am beginning to hope and see a light at  the end of the tunnel. I also believe that I will begin to feel better the more I attend my Depressed Anonymous meetings and /or work my Home Study Program of Depressed Anonymous. I also will be attentive to how other people in the 12 Step program are  working out their healing, one day, one hour at a time..

The future is now. The future is where I live right now. The future now is the yesterday tomorrow. I am making my future now.

I no longer believe that only bad things will happen to me in the future, because now I hear how people who once were ready to give up on life now speak of how they have found a hope in the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous and are getting better, one day at as time.

MEDITATION

God, please help us live up to our belief that each day we will get better as we live only in today and not in the fears and anxious moments of a tomorrow that may never come.”

Personal comments please.

________________________________________________

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for members of Twelve Step Fellowships. (1993, 1999). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. March 21. Page 58.

The road less traveled

So to trust oneself can bring to one’s life a new dimension of hope that there might be a possibility for a positive change. But we need to take the road less traveled — not the road that is worn and rutted with the traveled path of hopeless journeys and adventures. The road less traveled is the one that joins with fellow travelers who are filled with hope and purpose.

Rowe says that by listening to our inner voice and so trusting that quiet inner voice is the beginning of getting hope for your self and serves as the key out of depression. Bill W., says that as time passes and we begin  to “get” the program of recovery that we are better suited now to follow those intuitive hunches which come with our renewed trust in self and the god  of our understanding.”

A comment. Most of the worn and rutted paths that are a big part of our sadness and isolation is due to the way we ruminate and fixate  about the way are life is spinning out of control. We  continuously try to think our way out of box which has us imprisoned in those rutted paths, dead ends.  This negative thinking is familiar–it’s like the train that travels on rails that are shiny with years of continual use.

Now, with our Twelve Step program of recovery our minds are taking the path that leads to peace and serenity.  We  have a way out of our isolation and pain.

Are you willing to take the road less traveled? Let us help you do just that. We can chart out a path for you that works and works for as long as you stay on the path. That’s a promise.

______________________

SOURCES: I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER.(2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 78. (Chapter on TRUST).

You begin to see yourself as healer instead of victim…

These Twelve Steps work for those who work the program and who try to live one day at a time. Many times we have been so scared of being rejected once more that we have withdrawn deeper into the anguish of our shame and hurt. We need to air our hurts, our shame, and let others hear our story. There is something healing about hearing ourselves speak to others about our own journey in life and the many emotional potholes that we have fallen into from time to time. We have felt our lives were jinxed. But now we can begin to feel hopeful when other members of the group  shake their heads in knowing approval of what we are saying when we tell our story.  Most have  been where we are now. And the more we make an effort to come to meetings regularly, the more we will find members of the group telling us how they are seeing a change in the way we act, talk, and look. We will accept the group’s comments as being true and honestly expressed. These people speak our language and they all have been where we are now. You gradually begin to see yourself as healer instead of victim the more you work the program and get excited about the possibility of helping others. When you start reaching out to others in the group, it is at that point that you are carrying the message of hope to others. You have a future with Depressed Anonymous.”

___________________________________________

SOURCES: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 105.

Copyright(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

NOTE:  These two works comprise the Home Study Kit which can be purchased TOGETHER  at VISIT THE STORE.

Misery is an option.

I can make it as long as I know that my life is supposed to have some ups and downs.

“You might now be feeling better for the first time in your life as you continue to make a conscious effort to take responsibility for your sadness.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

One of the hopeful sights to see at a Twelve Step meeting is that the people who work their program and who are serious about leaving their depression behind,  start to not only look more content with themselves, their world and their future, but they also seem to be enjoying life once again.

Teresa told me that her Doctor never once said she was depressed after her physical exam and it wasn’t until she got involved in therapy with me did she learn that what she had been feeling for months before was depression. She was relived to  know that she wasn’t losing her mind but only that she was experiencing the excruciating sadness that we all create when we get depressed.

She will feel better when she learns that it’s her life and the way she chooses to interpret what happens to her is also her choice. Misery is an option and if she want to go for that she may, but if she wants to live with some unpredictability  in her life, then she needs to get ready for some bumps in the road –but also she needs to be prepared to smile, laugh and know that her life can be filled with hope.

MEDITATION

God, please give us the wisdom to know that you want us to enjoy this life while we are here. We want to enjoy it, so let us seek to want to be in your will. We can make it.

SOURCE:  Copyright (c) Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. January 27. Pages 20-21.

I believe that misery is an option.

“If surrender of our wills to the ‘care of God’ is of the essence of the spiritual life, for anyone who truly desires to free themselves from a chronic and compulsive behavior such as depression, then the Twelve Steps can be your stepping stones to the path of a hope filled life.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I used to hear the word “surrender” as it made me feel like I was in the hands and under the total domination of another.  It was like I had no control whatsoever as to what I was to do or what I was to be. I was blind to the fact that in reality I had already surrendered my life to my sadness so that whenever I wanted to hide, or isolate myself, I just saddened myself and  so didn’t have to feel anything. I am surrendering to the God of my understanding;  slowly my life is filling with light and hope and this is what I really want for myself. I am finding that the ‘care of God’ is much better than anything I could ever  wished for.  My life is one filled with hope rather than being hopeless.

The spiritual life for me is filled with the excitement of knowing that  this God of mine, as I understand him, is  today wanting to lead me further into the light of his healing power. My spiritual life is filled  now with a close and personal relationship with a God who loves and guides me on a minute-to-minute basis.

MEDITATION

We are going to get as close to God today as we choose to get.

———————————————————-

SOURCE:  Copyright (c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 257-258. December 29.

 

 

 

 

” We are not the people with the magic pills and the easy formula for success.”

The following instruction, 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 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 and can lead us out into the light of freedom.”

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

The following  books listed below indicate the “toolbox” by  which  one can find the path that leads  out of depression.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

VISIT THE STORE for more information on available literature.