Some of us, in groups and individually, work the Steps according to the month. What this means is when April 1st (4th month) arrives, we start spending quality time studying our Step #4. This Step states that we “Made a fearless moral and searching inventory of ourselves.” For many of our members, myself included, we use our Depressed Anonymous Workbook in conjunction with our Depressed Anonymous book to discover the patterns of our lives that keep us from being our best selves. The patterns have formed habits and these habits can end up becoming addictions. Could it be that these patterns of our thinking, feeling and behavior keep us imprisoned in our depression? Is it now that we feel we are continually circling around in that morass of hopelessness and helplessness? Like any addiction, we feel there is no way out.
It is here I want to quote from Maria von Trappe (Maria of musical The Sound of Music) who shared this thought:
“It will be very interesting one day to follow the pattern of our life as it is spread out like a beautiful tapestry …. in looking back we can discover how a red thread goes through the pattern of our life: the will of God. ” Quoted in the Publication: Give us this day. Liturgical Press. Collegeville, MN. March 26,
As I examine my life, attempting to discover that red thread, I have found that there actually is a red thread moving through my life tapestry. The red thread is there for me and it is like looking into a rear view mirror showing me where I have been on this life journey. There are these life patterns consistently appearing during the good times and the tough times of our lives. Even a pattern in which I see life as difficult and the world a dangerous place. Many of these negative patterns and fearful thoughts may start in our childhood and gradually become even more pronounced as patterns. But that red thread continues its weaving through our life tapestry into our adult lives. For some the red thread moves forward along with a pattern of pessimism, while providing us at the same time with hope. And as I look over my own past life, I see that my negativity, always following me into most of my relationships. Now as I look at the whole life tapestry as part of my fourth step inventory, stretching as it does from birth to this day, I am able to see patterns which have formed over time, crippling and making feel less than. But even during the painful times I can still see that that red thread, the will of God, has always been there operating in my life, accompanying me on my life journey, invisible, but still there like the silent whisper of the wind, providing me with hope. Now I can see that the red thread hasn’t just formed, it has been there as for long as I can remember. My present belief in a power greater than my depression is gradually setting me free. Today. Everyday.
I know how some Depressed Anonymous groups work this Fourth Step Study on an ongoing basis. For example, there are International Depressed Anonymous Skype Group meetings who come together everyday of the week on the Internet. You can access these group meeting by going to https://join.skype.com and then signing in at firstname.lastname@example.org. The leader for the meeting that day will sign you up and you can join the group. Meetings start at 12:30 PM Central Standard time and 1:30 Eastern Standard PM time.
Look back on your life up to today and see if you can recognize how that red thread weaving through your own life, no matter how difficult, how despairing, it is the fact that God has always been there with us and we gradually come to believe that He will always be there with us. And as a member of Depressed Anonymous I want to share with others how that red thread never abandoned me or deserted me, no matter how bad things became. And so when you do your inventory you too will discern that it has always been God’s will that the hope he provides will free you.