Many depressed people will say: “I don’t know why I am depressed. It just happened suddenly like a black cloud coming down.” They say this because they do not want to look at the terrible events which threatened to destroy the way they saw themselves and their world. These events might not seem very significant to other people, but to the person concerned they are very important. It is not the events which make them important, or frightening, or overwhelming, but the meaning we give to these events.
Dorothy Rowe, in her forward to Hugh Smith’s book Depressed? Here is a way out! she explains that it is the meaning that we give to the event that creates the depression. How true it is for my own life when I attempted to build a wall, a wall that would defend me from my constant worry that had taken me over, spiraling my life downward into a deep, dark pit. It was like a Trojan horse, who had taken my mind captive and left me with no escape. I became physically immobilized trying to defend against this force – while my thoughts continued to cycle around and around, the more powerless I became.
Even though that feared future event never took place – my false belief that it would happen – froze my feelings, thinking and behaviors. I was like a zombie. That is until I heard about a group fellowship called Depressed Anonymous. It motivates its membership to take action. To do something. To move the body into action. To learn and live the Twelve Twelve Step of recovery with others like ourselves.
Gradually, I discovered that the more I discarded my defense of sleeping, isolating and negative thinking and sought the support of others like myself, did I get better. I attended the Depressed Anonymous meetings and made use of their their recovery tools. Now, I attend meetings as often as I can. There is hope…and we do recover.
(C) Hugh Smith, Depressed? Here is a way out! HarperCollins Publishing, London, 1990.