Does God forbid me to go out into the sunshine so as to overcome my addiction? He obviously doesn’t.
Does God advise me to go out into the sunshine to overcome my addiction? He does.
Does God MAKE me (= moves my two feet) go out into the sunshine so as to quit addiction? No, he doesn’t.
In other words, God asks me to do things. He will not raise a hand and physically punish me. I had to reach the age of 11 to come to terms with that.
God wants my good. He tells me how to reach goodness. He knows that throughout not abiding his advice and even his commands I will be unhappy. It is I who have the physical tools.
Even the 10 Commandments are nothing but words.
Happy June, companions of my heart!
How joyous am I to share my DA recovery here with all of you!! I know that Summer is a time to be a little laid-back, to take it just a little easy. Oh I do so love losing all those layers, the hats, gloves, and all that jazzzzzz….. Yes, Summer is my lovely season, and recovery is my day-by-day diary.
Recovery, that one-day-at-a-time recovery is like a Lady Justice, blind-folded and at the ready for every new day’s work and wonders. And although I may be or feel “blind-folded,” because of this Spiritual Program, the sponsors, the meetings, the Co-Sponsor Step Study groups, all the tools and the brilliant, informative, transformative readings and interchanges, I am not blind-sided. I will repeat that: I am not blind-sided.
For me, the crux is the Steps and sharing my recovery with all of you. I feel/know I am not only not alone, it is not me and my Higher Power but me, HP, and all of you: God as You: the most sincere, authentic, heart-felt, hard-working recovering brothers and sisters ever. With complete earnest I say that I can be glad of my depression because without it, I would never have known this remedy: your kindness, your perception, your care. I would never have traded roads from in-the-dark diminutive, to in-the-light expansive. I am truly blessed. The promises are my anchor and you all are my buoy. Thank you for this exquisite fellowship, your love, your light, your caring. I will be holding your hands in my heart until we meet again.
Doreen from Boston.
The Three Layers of Attachment
“…theologian Mary Reuther and the spiritual director Richard Rohr, echo Pascal’s triple abyss in their analysis of the attachments that undermine our “spirituality.” Both Rohr and Reuther emphasize the psychological and emotional attachments that can devestate our spiritual lives, making their point that “attachment” does not have to be to material things to be spiritually destuctive.
Reuther suggests three layers of attachment that need to be peeled back sequentially, like an onion. First, we need to become detached from material gain, second from self-importance, and third from the urge to dominate others. Only through this process of stripping away these attachments, she writes, can we lay claim to spiritual progress.
Rohr uses a language more familiar to those steeped in twelve Step spirituality. In an article on A.A.’s Third Step he counsels that spirituality involves the “letting go” of three needs, the need to be in control, the need to be effective, and the need to be right. For Alcoholics( as well as the depressed) in early sobriety, the last point may be the most important, for attachment from the need to be right, surrender of the “demand to have the last word.”
“…release flows from the understanding that all absolute attempts to control our own destiny–like all attempts to do anything “absolutely” are ultimately doomed, for inevitably we will come up against something we cannot control. The attempt to control the future and the demand to be in charge of everything in our lives, sentences us to a daily existence obsessed with life numbing worry.”
This article, excerpted from the “Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Journey to Wholemess”. Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham. Bantam Books.1994. NY. Page 172-173.
Published by THE ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET. Volume 10 Issues 3 & 4 SUMMER/FALL 1999.
“Being addicted to the outcome I came to realize after deep examination of my character defects that I am still being addicted to the outcome of situations in my life. Which means I am trying with all my might to control the outcome. I don’t want to accept what God has planned for my outcome in certain situations. I want to steer the situation and control iT into my absolute vision of what I want and needed it to be. My addiction here is the projected outcome of the situation. My character defect is control. Control is a very hard character defect to change and one that I strongly believe needs God’s help to see it clearly and be granted the willingness to change it. Most humans want and deeply desire control of something in their life, so much so, that they would do anything to sway the matter, thus control things deeply to obtain their desired outcome. But there is another serious character defect in this equation. Far more important to examine than our desired outcome to the point of being controlling. This is an amazing spiritual arrogance that we know better, than the highest power knows, what is the right and proper outcome for us. But there is another serious character defect in this equation. Far more important to examine than our desired outcome to the point of being controlling. This is an amazing spiritual arrogance that we know better than the highest power knows what is the right and proper outcome for us. We are essentially saying we don’t believe your outcome, God. We don’t believe you could possibly be as good and perfect as are our chosen outcomes. This is a serious mistrusting of God.
The next thing we must look at is acceptance. Because once we are able to let go of the strongly desired outcome, which we are addicted to, we must stop and allow ourselves to accept whatever God has lined up for the outcome. This is sometimes difficult. It takes a good close walk with our higher power every single day, which is exactly what develops the needed trust in God. Once we begin to move into a place where we accept that our higher power loves us and wants good things for us, it then becomes easier to let go and let God in all the outcomes. This is where the step 3 prayer, taken every day, is so helpful with acceptance of God’s will in our life, instead of our own will and dominating the outcome that we insist upon. We can’t possibly know more than God, so who are we to think that we know exactly what the outcome should be to the situation days from now. How arrogant to think that we know everything. Letting go and letting God and acceptance, are the keys to the overcoming of the defects of control and arrogance.”
Debra C. NC
Copyright(c) Debra Sanford. A Medley of Depression Stories. #35. Pages91-92.(First Edition) 2017. ISBN 978-197 4499601. This book can be purchased at Amazon.com.
This blog was submitted by Janet M.
“There is a profound and intriguing statement that says ‘that more will be revealed.’ I believe we each have a personal experience with this call of the wild dynamic, so to speak. I felt as if I were being invited into an investigation, and its results would effortlessly appear, without any help from my mind or outside activities. In other words, beyond a body, mind and physical reality.
With no control on my part, the Higher Power would be the master of this destiny. How exciting! I just had to believe. With addiction, my poor mind was so limited with its awareness.
The same sad movie kept playing. Depressed Anonymous provided some helpful tools, with the Law of Three, Sunspots, to make an ending and an opening. A portal for peace was the liberation that I needed. I thought that I longed for peace of mind, but what was revealed was this peace didn’t belong to mind, but to me as my true nature.
With falsely identifying myself as my felt past experiences, with feeling a victim/failure/etc, or the pain body, or as Eckhart Tolle labels it, I was at a dead end. As Rupert Spira points out, you can’t see the screen if you are staring at the the movie.”
Janet M., a member of the Depressed Anonymous 12 Step fellowship
“MADE A SEARCHING AND FEARLESS MORAL INVENTORY OF OURSELVES.”
“Let’s Just say that you always took path A home from work everyday. You passed the same old signs, the same old buildings, the same old malls–you feel you could almost drive home with your eyes closed. This is of course boring, and also deadening to our thinking processes as we do everything out of habit. The saying is true that we are creatures of habit. But let’s just say, for example, that a detour sign pops up along our old familiar path -we become disoriented – we become confused. We say to ourselves-Where am I? Now where do I go? Good questions.” The inventory will ask questions of you which you may never have asked of yourself.
“But we have figured out that even though my path home is very predicable, it is still a path that is gradually incapacitating my ability to keep a focus on hopeful outcomes.” We need to be awakened out of our routine. The daily grind is putting our mind to sleep.
Let’s take an example taken from the Depressed Anonymous Workbook, which presents us with a metaphor, on how an inventory will become a critical part of our personal recovery. The 4th and 5th Steps in the Depressed Anonymous Workbook, includes questions dealing with our lives, while detailing areas which have been influenced by our everyday feelings of sadness, hopelessness and despair.The inventory questions, prepared in the 4th and 4th Step chapters of the Workbook, (all 12 chapters are in a question and answer format) will provide for us some surprising pieces of positive information about ourselves that will be recovered from examining some of our past life issues. (Don’t forget to share all the good things that you like about yourself.)
We have mentioned how working the 4th Step Recovery Program is like coming home a different route. We will take the detour (inventory) which will help us get back on the right path. That is why, our inventory work, puts us on a different path for living. We are fitted with a new hope. We will quickly learn how doing or not doing what we always used to do, is NOT working.
By using the Depressed Anonymous Workbook, with its 12 Step questions, accompanied with our personal answers, can provide us, with a gradual process of self-understanding, self-awareness, and emotional healing. These positive thoughts and feelings about ourselves, continue to manifest as a direct result from our personal answers to Workbook questions and our hard work on ourselves. We find that we are able to live with hope the more we commit ourselves to our recovery work. Our mind continues to put a “spotlight” on these negative concerns which keep us from a life lived with hope and peace. In time, the fog in our brain will gradually be lifted. We will begin to see ourselves and future in a positive light.
Path B, points us in a different direction from where we were used to going. And for many of us, this is the first time that we are intent upon taking a good and hard look at who we are. Taking an inventory, looking at the negatives as well as all the strengths that are ours, helps us to give a gratitude for all the good areas of our life that are beginning to awaken in us and continue to take root. These awakenings are the new and fresh beliefs about ourselves and our inner world that is gradually being created.
In the 4th Step of recovery, we are ready to “make a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves.” The inventory method will help us, as we take take a little time each day, reflecting on how we think about ourselves, while discovering reasons why our “mistaken beliefs” about ourselves, has gotten us to the place where we are today. This motivates us to get into action. We make a decision to change the way we live out our daily lives. We want to be fearless in uncovering any and all rocks, that have blocked our path in the past. We will begin to take action and we will possess a new courage, taking care of business.
We must look the beast in the face. I pray that the “God of your understanding” will lead you to where the light of love shines bright and where the darkness is swallowed by hope and love of self.
Hugh S., for the fellowship
For more information on the Workbook, and other literature which can be helpful, please check out the Webpage (Depressedanon.com) at the DA Literature Store
Copyright(c) Depressed Annoynous Workbook Depressed Anonymous Publications. (2002) Louisvllle, KY. Pages 22-24.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
Hopelessness is common in depression. Many members identify with thoughts like “life is bleak and things will never change,” “I’ve lost the ability to enjoy life – I just endure it,” or “What’s the point anyhow?” Underneath all of these thoughts is the lack of hope. Hope is the principle behind Step 2. So how does a member work Step 2 and regain hope? Let’s break it down!
Came to believe – This little phrase tells us that we don’t have to have hope when we come in the program. Instead, it is something that we develop over time! When we come to meetings and hear the stories of how others who suffered like us have found a way out of their depression, we start to think “Maybe, just maybe, there is hope for me too!” We don’t need hope to make a beginning. All we need is to be open to the possibility of hope.
Power greater than ourselves – This program gives us the freedom to identify our own Power greater than ourselves, or our own Higher Power. We don’t even have to use the word “God.” We can choose a term that suits us, such as Creative Intelligence or Spirit of the Universe. We can use the group as our Higher Power, or God as we understand Him/Her. The main idea here that we agree upon is that there is some Power greater than us in this universe.
Restore us to sanity – One definition of sanity is “soundness of mind.” When I am in the grips of depression, I am not very sound of mind. My thinking is distorted so that I view life through a dark depressive lens. I amplify the negative and don’t see any positive. This distorted view of the world is not rational. Furthermore, I cannot see the irrationality of it when I am in the midst of depression. What I need is some power greater than myself – some force for Good – to help restore me to sanity.
So putting the pieces together, if I am open to the possibility that there might be something out there that can help me get better, then I am on my way! When I came into the program I listened to the stories of the members of Depressed Anonymous; I heard how they suffered like I did and how they gradually began to experience recovery. I started out with the group as a Power greater than myself that could help restore me to sanity. Today, my Higher Power is something more. At first, I was skeptical. Later, I slowly opened up to the possibility that maybe this could work for me. Today, I KNOW that there is a Power Greater than myself that restores me to sanity on a daily basis. Today, I know hope is alive and real! I Came, I Came to, and I Came to Believe in Hope.
That is great assurance when we wonder if God is with us. Obviously, God is. And why is it obvious? Because, everywhere we look, we see th work of God’s creation. Someone once commented that there is more of God’s creative life under our feet than what surrounds us above ground. In a clod of dirt, there are billions of life forms engaged and interconnected with each other –much like any loving community.
“Good bye” is a common expression when we leave someone’s company.
Actually, the original saying was “God be with you.” WE can always appreciate that departure gift.
From my standpoint, and from my own experience, I have found the Higher Power, or God as we understand God,, manifesting itself in our group recovery program of Depressed Anonymous. I call it the “Miracle of the Group.” Most time, I find that there is more talk of God, and God’s presence in one’s life, than you could imagine.
Many times, I have heard members of our fellowship speak of how there was a “before” and “after” in their lives as they began their recovery from depression. Once they came to believe that a power greater than themselves could restore them to sanity, life began to change. Again, and not surprisingly, we personally find that “there is no spot that God is not.” The freeing spirituality of the Twelve spiritual principles of recovery, the Steps, shows how God loves us just the way we are. Even though we may feel broken and alone, when we come through the door of recovery, we gradually feel a special presence of God, surrounding us each, with it’s love, acceptance and guidance. That love and sharing creates a mutually supportive community, above and below ground.
COPYRIGHT(c) Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION (2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
For more information on ordering our literature online, please see The Depressed Anonymous Bookstore at Depressedanon.com
How wonderful is the feeling that we do not have to be specially distinguished among our fellows in order to be useful and profoundly happy. Not many of us can be leaders of prominence, nor do we wish to be.
Service gladly rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well accepted, solved with God’s help, the knowledge that at home or in the world outside we are partners in a common effort, that in God’s sight all human beings are important, the proof that love freely given brings a full return, the certainty that we are no longer alone in self-constructed prisons, the surety that we can fit and belong in God’s scheme of things, these are the satisfactions of right living for which no pomp and circumstance, no heap of material possessions could possibly be substitutes.
The Twelve and Twelve/Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Ny, NY.
–Quoted in DEP-ANON: A 12 Step Recovery Program for Families and Friends of the Depressed. DAP. Louisville, KY 40241. Pages 14-15.
“It was December of 1992 that I made that decision. I know that I was powerless over depression and that my life had become unmanageable. I was willing g to do anything that Depressed Anonymous offered. I wanted to get rid of the pain. If Depressed Anonymous had told me that I would get well if I stood on my head three times a day, I would have done it. Daily, I read from the book and consciously worked the Twelve Steps. I worked them one Step at a time, from Step One through Step Twelve. Working the Steps to me meant posting the Step I was working on and consciously pondering it throughout the day.”
Our friend and member of our fellowship, Lois, continues to share with us her story and her experiences as a member of Depressed Anonymous.
“I no longer experience those black, bleak, and hopeless periods. My life is joyful. Then why do I continue to go to Depressed Anonymous meetings five years later? The Twelfth Step of this program “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to the depressed, and to practice these principle in all of our affairs.” I am so grateful to Depressed Anonymous that I want to be there for those who are still suffering.
The final situation that brought me to my knees and to Depressed Anonymous has not improved. In fact, it appears to be deteriorating. Our book tells us(in the section which discusses Step Six) that many would no longer express themselves if they could be sure there wouldn’t be any more pain. No one can be promised a bed of roses without pain.
Today I view the situation as ‘unfolding’ and my spiritual journey is unfolding with it. My Higher Power is in charge.”
Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous (2011) 3RD EDITION. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY Pages 110-111. Personal Stories.
All Depressed Anonymous publications can be ordered online. Check our our Depressed Anonymous Bookstore at Depressedanon.com.