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 what I feel. Basically, I know that the program of recovery works. I no longer feel powerless over my depression. In DA group meetings members speak my language. We see how useless it is to waste time looking back over our shoulder to see if the dark shadow of my own inner fears is 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 of our lives being out of control that we began to take control of our lives.”
It was an interesting fact that in the very beginning of my recovery that I received a very important message… that if I was to get well I had to motivate myself to do something. I had to get in motion. That sounds simple enough doesn’t it? I must stop the isolating of myself and get to work on ways that would gradually lead myself out of despair and hopelessness, and deadly inactivity.
The first thing that I began to do each and everyday was to start walking. I just knew that the inner war that was waged with every step that I took was the message that “walking would not do me any good” would almost completely scuttle my best intentions to complete my walks. The odd thing about it was that, almost without fail, if I could just continue on and walk at least for 15 minutes and ignore the messages “that I was too tired to walk this morning” my body began to get into a rhythm. I would feel content to finish my walks. And ironically, there is not a day that goes by, when I start my walk that I don’t feel the lethergy and resistance to continue my walking. Then as always, after about 10-15 minutes into my walking, I feel a rush, an energy spurt, to continue walking. Other walkers have told me that they have the same experience. It must have something to do with the human body, with all its members working together and harmonically working in sync with each other.
I just add the above note to let others know that your body will repel the healthy attempt to move out of its isolation. It’s the force of one’s motivation powered by action that will in time help us all do one of the more beneficial exercises that our body can undertake, namely to walk.
(C) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Page 42.
“I’d rather be imperfect and happy than always trying to be perfect.” The THIRTEENTH WAY to leave the prison of depression.
The following two excerpts quoted below are from Believing is seeing:15 ways to leave the prison of depression.(2015). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
” One of the areas in my life where I strive to excel is in the area of trying to be perfect. Somewhere in our early development as children we got the message that if we were perfect we could be more acceptable to others. I gradually began to believe the more I tried to please other’s that this would bring me happiness. Instead all it brought me was a loss of myself. The loss of self reduced me to a shallow self without direction or meaning.” Page 63.
” Eventually, my depression became a sort of a comfort as it kept me from having to risk an unpredictable life. In other words, this way of living took away all hope. This is what keeps many of us depressed. We hold onto the mistaken belief that since bad things happened to us in the past, bad things will continue to happen to us in the future.” Page 64.
SOURCE: Copyright (c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications Louisville.
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I just returned from a combined (Edenton and Elizabeth City, North Carolina) Depressed Anonymous fellowship workshop which I was asked to give. It was an all day workshop, with morning open to the public and then the afternoon sessions committed to the two groups speaking to each other about their own personal experiences with the Twelve Steps and how their lives have changed since being part of these two groups.
These groups both were formed right before Christmas 2014. Both groups now have a strong presence in their communities because those in recovery now want to “carry this message to those who are still suffering from depression.” This is the bottom line for all of us who have found hope and healing in practicing and putting the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps into our daily lives. Hope is what we are sharing. You don’t have your life parked in neutral.
“THE MOST COMMON FORM OF DESPAIR IS NOT BEING WHO YOU ARE! ” — Soren Kierkegaard
” Depressed Anonymous is a spiritual program where you will find people like yourself, honestly, openly and willingly dealing with their character defects (staying isolated) and gradually admitting that they have to change their lives and lifestyle, if they are going to be a whole and honest human being. The decision is yours. You make the choice! The Twelve Steps and your own personal story can now be shared with others and can help them in their own life’s journey. Give the hope that you have now with those who have lost hope. Build it (mutual aid) and they will come! ”
Source: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 108-109.
I witnessed the “miracle of the group” again this past Saturday in Edenton, North Carolina when the participants of both fellowship groups came together and shared their stories of how they moved into drive and out of neutral. I thank all you beautiful people in North Carolina as you continue to work your program of recovery! You are becoming who you really are and whom God means for you to be!