PROMISE # 7 OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS
“As we start our program of recovery we notice that there are persons in the group who are less well off than are we.”
” Newcomers also remind us of ourselves when we stepped into the group for the first time. They struggle to keep back tears and hurt as they speak, possibly for the first time, trusting that they are with people who have been where they are. This is what provides the beginning of hope and healing. People in the group speak their language of hope and possibility. They hear how recovery is possible. They want those tools to use in their own recovery.
… We need to air our hurts, our shame, and let others hear our story. (3)
I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force, a loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me and restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those who are willing to risk leaving the prison of their depression. By my own interest in getting in touch with the Higher Power and getting its direction to “do the next right thing” I find that my own life is gradually becoming more filled with purpose and energy.”
SOURCE: I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Pages 43-44.
A prescription for sanity in one’s life!
“Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.” This is Step Two of Depressed Anonymous and it provides a program for those of us who want a step by step approach to putting light, hope and sanity in our lives.
If you feel you are losing your sanity, then this is a program for you. DEPRESED ANONYMOUS WORKS FOR ME!
THE MIRACLE OF THE GROUP
Yes, I believe in miracles! I believe in the miracles that I see happening in the lives of those persons depressed who keep coming back to our Depressed Anonymous meetings. As it says in the promises in the Depressed Anonymous book (2013) that these promises will materialize quickly or sometimes slowly, that is a life filled with hope and serenity, and they will happen if we work for them and keep at it.
” … I now have the support from people who have walked where I have walked.” Depressed Anonymous, page 127.
Again, it is so important to find a group of caring persons who keep coming back–keep getting better and who share with the new members, and how by using the 12 Steps of recovery, they gradually leave behind the prison of their depression. Our fellowship continually provides a ” 12 Step toolbox” to its members which they can use in their daily lives to live with hope. More importantly, they will hear how those who have left their symptoms of depression behind now help others who have just started out on the journey. They now have the tools and the key that unlocks their own prison doors.
I WANT TO CARRY THE MESSAGE OF HOPE TO THOSE OTHERS WHO ARE DEPRESSED.
“I (Dr. Dorothy Rowe) said what I so often said, that the best way depressed people can help themselves is to help one another. Form a group, get to know one another, support one another.”
They also think that all I have to do is just be cheerful and my mood will automatically change. It’s like telling someone to stop their diarrhea as if they have any control over it. My depression took time to develop and so it will take time and work to remove. The people who are the most supportive are those who have been depressed themselves, they won’t tell you to “snap out of it!”
I best support myself when I find other people like myself and try and help them.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. (Personal comments).
SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for 12 Step Fellowship Groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Page 201.
“What is the power of Depressed Anonymous? Well, let me say that when I started attending Depressed Anonymous meetings, I went for a couple of months and then stopped. I stopped going because of my depression was so bad that I didn’t want to leave my apartment. I didn’t want to be around to talk with anyone. I didn’t want to do anything but crawl in a hole somewhere and isolate myself from everything. Then after about six weeks of isolation, I called the residential treatment facility where I had been a client to see if I had received any mail there. One of the members of the Depressed Anonymous group where I attended answered the phone. I spent a few minutes talking to her and there was something in her voice that told me that for some reason, it was important for me to be at that meeting. After the meeting was over, I suddenly realized the importance and power of Depressed Anonymous.
So what is the power of Depressed Anonymous? For me, its just like attending the first meeting. I was a little scared and apprehensive at first, but then I found the Depressed Anonymous meeting was a place to go where there were other depressed people just like me. They could relate to and understand what I was going through. They didn’t judge me or think of me as crazy. I was accepted.”
SOURCE: PERSONAL STORIES. A quote from Ray in Depressed Anonymous (2013) 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Page.133. OPOWER
I INTEND TO LIVE IN TODAY!
“As an expert in guilt you cannot live in the present. You are constantly worrying about the past and fearing for the future. As an expert in guilt you cannot enjoy happiness when it comes, for you believe that as night follows day, suffering will follow joy. When good fortune does come your way, you know it will not stay, for you are the guilty ones and you will b punished.” (7)
I have believed for most of my life that since most things never worked out in my life, why should things work out now. I have always had the belief, mostly unconscious, that nothing ever works out for me and that this belief is reinforced by the way I habitually think about my life. I have lived my life so much in the past and in the future that I have forgotten about trying to live for today.
What I have learned is that most of the things that we fear never happen and if they did we would have the resources to deal with them in some effective manner. Steps Four and Five of the Twelve Step program insure that we find a way out of this depression by looking at the way we guilt ourselves and then make amends to those, as appropriate, who we need to make amends to.
God, we ask you to help us to make amends to ourselves as we go through this day. We want you to help us rid myself of the guilt, worry and fear that prevents us from living with any serenity or peace today. We pray that our lives will improve as we make attempts to change the way we feel and think.”
SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for 12 Step fellowship groups. DAP. Louisville, Ky Page 199.
This is a Promise that I can vouch for. When I first became a member of the AA fellowship, a 12 Step Program of recovery, that my entire life was turned upside down. I learned how AA is a spiritual program where I came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. The first thing I did to bring sanity into my life was to go to as many meetings a week as I could, read every bit of literature as I could which pertained to using the 12 Steps to gain sobriety and sanity.
It was later in 1985 that I developed a program for depression using the same 12 Steps of recovery. I called our organization Depressed Anonymous and have been helping others like myself to know and believe that we are not alone. I talk, e-mail, write and now blog about my own experiences with depression with the view of helping others out of the prison of their depression.
As it says in I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER, “It is almost a truism to say about those of us who want this program, are not now focused on self but on the will of God for our lives. I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force, a loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me and restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those who are willing to risk leaving the prison of their depression. By my own interest in getting in touch with the Higher Power and getting its direction to “do the next right thing” I find that my own life is gradually becoming more filled with purpose and energy.
There is a saying that to gain energy you must give energy. I found this to be true for my own life.
The spiritual writer Joel Goldsmith stated that: “There is an invisible bond between all of us. We are not on earth to get from one another, but to share those spiritual treasures which are of God. Our interest in each other is, in truth, purely spiritual. Our purpose in life is the unfolding of the spirit within..”
FEELINGS ARE ENERGY IN MOTION
Many times just writing down what you are feeling will help you get rid of the pain of that particular feeling. Also, when you speak to someone about how you are experiencing an unpleasant feeling, then others can and will be with you through the pain. Many persons who are in recovery keep a feelings journal in which they list the various feelings that they experience from one time to another during their day. It’s wise to try and stay with these unpleasant feelings and sort out where they are coming from and how we caused them. Many times when we describe what we feel, we begin to release in ourselves the “stuckness” that keeps us in a mood of hopelessness.”
SOURCE: Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications Louisville, Ky. Page 90.
Getting into action comprises one of the chapters of the Alcoholic Anonymous Big Book. It was last nite that a person in our weekly phone meeting told us a way that she was “getting into action.” She mentioned how saying STOP to herself when certain thoughts spiraled her down into deeper ruminations that this enabled her to change her thoughts into a physical hope filled action.
There is also another positive mantra that I personally like to use is MOTIVATION FOLLOWS ACTION! Get the body moving and the body will follow. And finally I know that to get out of the hole of my depression is in fact to stop digging. How often have I continued to depress myself with all these unpleasant ruminations.
THE PROMISES #6 The feelings of uselessness and self pity disappear.
In the Promises of Depressed Anonymous we see that “One of the major areas in our lives that change quickly by our attendance at the group meetings is that we pity ourselves less and less. We begin to be grateful for all that we have and all that we are. We begin to see that once we start getting connected to others like ourselves on a regular basis, through our Depressed Anonymous meetings, we now are listened to by others and we are validated. We don’t hear “snap out of it” at our meetings. Suddenly our years of self pity, isolation and desolation have been cashed in for a currency that buys us a new competency, a new identity, autonomy and a burgeoning interrelatedness with others. We know we are not alone.
We now can speak about our experience with depression in the past tense. We can now show how we have the tools of self-care whereby we can dig out and begin to construct an edifice of hope that will last the rest of our lives. As long as we continue to use the tools of the program we are bound to feel different as well as think differently.”
SOURCES: Depressed Anonymous (2011) 3rd edition; The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002); I’ll Do it when I feel better (.2013) Page 41.