All posts by Depressed Anonymous


One of the great lessons of life, at least for myself, was the fact that the more I got up out of bed, put on my walking shoes.  ignored the mental dialogue of how it was impossible to move,  that I began to move physically through a fog that seemed impenetrable. It only  seemed impenetrable  as long as I stayed  in the comfortable cocoon of my bed.  Once I forced myself out of bed, got walking, it was five or ten minutes  later that my mind message center informed my body,   “wow, so glad I am doing this.” Surprise? Initially, yes,  I was surprised.   I wondered why was it so hard to do this simple thing like getting up and taking a walk. Well, because once I had slid, spiraled down into the dark abyss of my melancholia, I found that my will power no longer had the authority, force to make my body do what I wanted it to do.  I was in a sense immobilized totally by the continued rumination of my mind that continued to produce powerful feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. I felt there was no escape from my thoughts of futility no matter what avenues of escape my mind  offered to me.

Then, I had a choice. Fight or flight. Face my present  deteriorating situation or just continue to pull the sheet over my head and continue to run from what was chasing me. The “what” of what was chasing me was guilt, shame, and fear. The fear of “what if” this were to happen or   “what if” that were to happen. I then made a decision a night before I went to bed. That decision was to fight whatever it was that had me by the throat.  I was scared. I chose to act in my own behalf and do something physical–anything to get my body moving. To do anything to get myself to roll out of bed. And then I discovered an important truth: Motivation follows action. Move the body and the mind will follow.

Here is a portion of my testimony in Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015). DAP. Louisville.

“When I was going through my depression I forced myself every morning to go to a shopping mall and walk miles every morning. The jittery feeling was still there, but I kept at it and gradually I began to feel less jittery and less hopeless about my life ever being like it was. Another benefit – a big one- is that I didn’t lose my job.

The personal belief of  mine that MOTIVATION FOLLOWS ACTION is especially designed for those persons who are  depressed and who feel they don’t have any mastery over their lives. They also have no interest in former pleasant activities.

It is only when we get physically active and move out of our sad ruminations, which like a closed loop, keep circling painfully through our minds. The thoughts  cause us to spiral down and continue our lifeless plummeting out of control into the frozen immobility which engulfs us….and so I learned the important lesson: Move the body and the mind will follow.” Page 35. Believing is Seeing (2015).


How to start a  Depressed Anonymous Mutual-Help group.

“Think “Mutual-Help” from the start.  Find a few others who share your interest in starting (not simply joining) a self-help group. To do this, first distribute some flyers or letters that specifically cite your interest in hearing from those who would be interested in “joining with others to help start” such a group. Consider including your first name and phone number. Xerox copies and post them at places you feel most appropriate, example., people whom you think would know others like yourself. You can also have a notice published in your local newspaper or church bulletin.  When, hopefully, you receive a response, discuss with the caller what the interests are, share your vision of what you like to see the group do, and finally ask if they would be willing to share the work with you for a specific period of time (e.g., a few months or so) to try to get the group off the ground…Once a couple of people have said yes, you have a “core group” or “steering committee”  — and you won’t have to do it alone.

It is much easier to start a group if the work is shared…if you don’t involve others in leadership and work from the very beginning you won’t get them later.  As one self-help group leader put it, “if you serve people breakfast in bed, they’ll never learn to cook for themselves.”  Lastly, consider obtaining the help of any professionals who may be sensitive to your needs and willing to assist you in your  efforts. They may be helpful in various ways, from providing needed referrals and information to locating resources and providing suggestions. Remember, everyone in the group is a leader.”

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 81-82.

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


This is another one of the Promises that helps promote our purpose in life as well as gives our life  meaning.

“Some of us have attempted suicide. A few of us more than a few times. We had despaired of ever finding peace or hope.  We believe that we had no future and that our yesterdays were as hopeless as our today’s.  It was hard to attend our first Depressed Anonymous meeting. We felt horribly alone. We just know that no one in the group has been through what we have been through. But as we listened and watched the older members of the group speak we saw ourselves in their stories.

Personally, I believe that whatever you give out to others is the amount that comes back to you. Our experience can usually help someone else. As the  experience of depression is so isolating, so predictable in its misery that it is bound to have made such impression upon us  that it changed our life and the way we think about our life. And then when our life is changed for the better –thanks to the fellowship of DA, this precious gift of hope needs to be with those still suffering. Ironically, it appears that the farther we have gone down in mood and up again in our recovery,  the more powerful can this experience be.

New members of our fellowship see the “after” of our lives lived in recovery and so they themselves get involved in the fellowship. The fact that we have recovered so completely is in itself a message of tremendous hope for those who are newcomers to the group. Isn’t it amazing that those who can do the most for those still suffering are those who have worked themselves out of the pit of isolation and began sharing their story of hope and personal empowerment.”

Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 39-40. PROMISE # 5.


Why do I continue the work of bringing hope to those still suffering?  What motivates me to continue to try and help others?  What has made the change in my life where now I  want to share what I know and how I feel? Basically, I know that the program  of recovery works. I no longer feel powerless over my depression.  In Depressed Anonymous  group meetings members speak my language. We see how useless it is to waste time to  look back over our shoulder to see if the dark shadow of my own inner fears are going to overtake me. I now have attained small amounts of hope and strength as I go from day to day. I am prepared for those moments of despair that at times overtake me and cause me to feel paralyzed and out of control.

In the First Step “we admitted we were powerless over depression and that our lives had become unmanageable.” It is a paradox that it is in the admission that our lives are out of control that we begin to take control of our lives.”

Source: I’ll do it when I feel better. Depressed Anonymous Publications.(2013) Louisville. Pages 42-43. Promise # 6.The feelings of uselessness and self-pity disappear.



I will not be afraid of the shadows in my life and my personality, but I will face them and look at them and find serenity.

“They knew what to do about those black abysses that yawned to swallow me when I felt depressed or nervous. There was a concrete program, designed to secure the greatest possible inner security for us long time escapists.  The feeling of impending disaster that had haunted me for years began  to dissolve as I put into practice more and more of the Twelve Steps. It worked. ” (1)


I am now having more periods of serenity and quiet as I begin to work the Steps of my program and trust more in my Higher Power. I know that my God is there right now waiting to help me through this time of sadness  and disease.  I believe that my help is coming from a  power greater than myself. I know that it is never to my advantage to run away from my problems or hide from the fact that I need to construct a new way to look at myself.

When you are depressed you are not even aware of the fact that you are unconsciously making an effort to escape from your sadness as this running away that we do is so subtle and so chronic.  Now that I know that I am responsible for setting myself free from my depression the more I am going to face my fear, anxiety and loneliness. I no longer intend to escape my responsibility  for myself, my serenity and happiness. Only I can make myself happy.


Our fears began to dissolve once we begin the process of believing in this power greater than ourselves. We no longer put our trust  in the sadness that appeared to us to be like a God in that it was all powerful and all important. It ruled every moment of the day. It also comforted us with its predictability.  We are, today, choosing a God who loves us and will lead us into the promised land of hope and security.