How true. I will always remember how I felt when I found myself unable to get up in the morning. I knew something was different and something was very wrong. I was scared. I did the only thing that I knew what to do–I got into “fight” mode and forced my unresponsive body to get into motion. For some strange reason I found myself in “survival mode.” I just knew that whatever had me pinned to the floor and motionless I had to do the next right thing. The next right thing was to get out of bed and start walking. I did just that. And from that “survival mode” experience I learned a very important lesson: motivation follows action. In a way I had a faint bit of trust that what I was about to do, would be a factor in my survival;.
As it says in the book I’ll do it when I feel better, that “Trust, always has been a critical element in one’s search for finding one’s true and best self. And with trust comes hope. Hope is the thread which weaves its way throughout the spiritual program of the Twelve Steps.”
“Depression is about lost selves – and the struggle to regain the self. We are in a perpetual lock down! it is indeed a battle with one’s will to survive –that is why Dorothy Rowe calls depression a prison. We build the walls as a defense to keep us safe until we can combat our demons and find which way out is the best.
Over time you and I both have discovered a truth: trust is never an easy proposition. Trust comes with a belief that all things will work out. But another problem is that so much of our lives negative and harmful life experiences have ben carried through life and so conditioned us to predict that no matter what we say or do we will always be living in the prison of despair.”
And finally I discovered the more I walked, the more bricks that had me imprisoned in despair and fear, I was able to remove.
It was then that I had the energy to pick up my Twelve Step “tool box” from the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous, and to this day continue my life of serenity and hope. Now, learning to be in a “trust mode” has given me freedom to live each new day with hope.
SOURCE: Copyright(c) I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETETR.(2015) DAP. LOUISVILLE. PAGES 75, 76-77.
The depressed, says Dorothy Rowe, can “give a thousand and one reasons why they should stay depressed. They can think up thousands of painful thoughts about how bad they are and how they don’t deserve the cheer and joy that most of us frequently experience in our daily lives. Some run over and over again in their minds the awful things that they have done, and become used to their continual ruminating over their own sense of worthlessness. They have fallen into the depressed persons morbid need to feel bad. The sadness continues to eat away at the very heart of the person until there is no more hope and the light at the end of the tunnel has been snuffed out. In their hopelessness of ever feeling better, they throw away the only key that unlock the prison, and that is the key called hope. Getting to the hope is at the heart of getting our lives and feelings recognized. We begin to believe that maybe I too can overcome my depression like other members of the group. Not only am I consciously changing the way I think but likewise I am forcing myself to get involved with the other members of the group and making friends. I know that withdrawing from others is one of the first signs that we are depressing ourselves. But it is in the continual contact with others like myself that I can begin to find a way out of my depression.”
Source: Depressed Anonymous (3rd Edition) 2011. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. page 42.
As one person told Dorothy Rowe: “When I think of all those years I wasted being depressed, I wish I would have listened. I’d wish I’d realized that all I had to do was say that I had enough of being put upon and put down, feeling that there was something wrong with me. I’d like to go up to the hospital and tell everybody: ‘You don’t have to be like this.’ Up there nobody ever told me that. I’d see those people going on and on being miserable. If I’d have seen someone like me now, it would have given me hope.”
SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous. 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications,. Louisville. P.72.
How often do we present this message to those who enter into our world. Our world is one of hope, possessed with the awesome reality that I am different. I have changed. I can use my tool kit of the 12 steps to gradually dismantle and replace the negative features of my life with new directions, new behaviors and continuing to put into action those positive beliefs about who I am. The Depressed Anonymous fellowship helps us meet others who were depressed and who now are living a full life. We are grateful for coming into contact with those who have a story of hope to share. So, if you are feeling miserable and helpless, just know that what you read here will definitely make a difference in your life. We don’t have a magic wand that will take away your pain but we do have a step by step recovery process that can lighten your load and give you courage to live one hour, one 24 hour period at a time. You are no longer alone. No “snap out of it” from our group. You can make your decision today to join us and begin a journey that can lead you eventually to say, “I don’t have to be like this.” I did!