Category Archives: The Promises

#13/13. THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS

AN EXCERPT FROM THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS as presented in the book “I’ll do it when I feel better.” Pages 28-51. Depressed Anonymous Publications.

PROMISE #13. “Are these extravagant Promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. These Promises will always materialize if we work for them.”

The word here that catches my attention, now that we have reached the end of the Promises, is the word “work.” The word “work” is what strikes me as the most important. And we go back to where we started, namely, if we are painstaking in this phrase of our development – things will change. I think that this is what it is all about. If we continue to grow we will see that indeed, before we are halfway through, some very amazing things begin to happen. ” WE CAN PROMISE YOU THAT!

Check out the previous 12/13 Promises posted here.
REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. Can you share when and how you became to believe that it was important to have to “work” to get out of the prison of your depression?

2. How much do you attribute to God for your ongoing recovery and your own work?

3. Please describe some amazing things that have occurred in your everyday life since being an active member of Depressed Anonymous and working the 12 Steps of recovery.

IT WORKS IF YOU WORK IT! THAT IS A PROMISE.
WWW.DEPRESSEDANON.COM
EMAIL US : DEPANON@NETPENNY.NET

We would suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. (#12 Promise).

AN EXCERPT FROM THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS
PROMISE #12

“We would suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”
This belief is at the core of our recovery. It is precisely at this moment in our lives that we realize that somebody, someone greater than myself is guiding me. This someone is not forcing us but is guiding us through our darkness. It is lighting our path so we neither stumble or regress into our old ways of thinking and behaving. It is with this in mind that we continually redirect our attention to have that desire to do its will.

Before we discovered the program of Depressed Anonymous we were convinced that the only chance that we had to get better was to wait while the medications kicked in and then everything would be alright. But now we are certain that our ability to get well is surely based on how much we develop the belief that we can choose how we feel and think. Indeed we are now convinced that we can either sad ourselves or choose not to sad ourselves.

The community and common bonds of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship produce a feeling that just as other members of the group are recovering so can I.

We must be willing to let go of all our thoughts that tell us that we will never get well. These are the same thoughts that have imprisoned us over the years.

We now listen to the God of our understanding and proceed with the belief which we hold about the world on the outside of us and determined and governed by the world that is lived within us.

We are in a brand new way, on a new path, and find ourselves committed to a new and fresh belief that something powerful is starting to bloom inside of us. A peace that surpasses all understanding is beginning to be born when we learn to relax and wait and listen for that still small voice.

RESOURCE
(C) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2002, 2013) 2nd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Page 50-51.
(C) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous, (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

We intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. (#11. Promise of Depressed Anonymous.

AN EXCERPT FROM THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS

11/13. We intuitively know how t handle situations which used to baffle us.

“As my mind began to heal and my thought became more lucid it became apparent that something inside me was changing. Depression, when you begin to examine the various symptoms up close, and deal with them, the experience becomes less threatening. Depression is a collection of behaviors that are brought into play to defend us against things that are too painful to face. Also, depression results when a love object is lost through death or is abandoned. We have become so one with our lost love, that we mourn the death of part of us. The love object and ourselves has become one. I believe we use the word co-dependence today.

At first I was frightened by my various symptoms of depression – true, they were baffling as I was not able to get out of bed, unable to concentrate or manage a complex thought.

But now my ability to handle situations in meaningful ways are due to my frequent attendance at meetings, daily times for prayer and meditation and a feeling that my life has purpose and meaning. My ultimate concern is to live life in peace and serenity. The more I am physically active, that is, going to group meetings, online or face to face, even when I don’t feel like it — working in my workbook, reading my 12 Step literature – these behaviors are where my freedom begins. And yes, I do feel lousy at times but I also know that nothing can stand in my way to make choices in my own behalf. Previous to my involvement with the group I had no idea that my depression was not so powerful as to prevent me from even thinking that I could choose to feel differently.

The group meeting is where trust and openness is promised among the members of the fellowship. My defenses gradually lessen at every meeting.

I find myself speaking about myself. I now believe that with my new found openness that no one will discredit or abandon me. I now feel secure in this new fellowship of persons who are just like me. I can live in hope -not despair.

In her personal testimony Starr tells us that “As a person that has suffered depression since childhood
I can say that until you start to open up, share your hurts and feelings, listen to members of the group, watching them as they grow from the support of the group, you will not be able to get out of the prison of your depression.”

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY (Personal Stories, page 129-130)
(c)I’ll do it when I feel better. (2009) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.

Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. (Promise # 10 of Depressed Anonymous)

EXCERPT FROM THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS

Losses may produce a variety of very intense and painful feelings. Pain can cripple the best of us. Why fear people and economic insecurity. It says in Steps 4,5, 6, 7,8,9 we have examined our lives
piece by piece, ending up with a good conscience, while feeling neither guilt or shame for things of our past.
Bill, in his personal testimony in the DA book relates how “you don’t get better overnight, but you do get much better. I was down in the muck as far as you would go . I had to go and open the door for the first time because there was no other place to go. I had already used up all the hiding places in my life. I still have many problems like everyone else, but when I need sleep very badly I turn this problem over to the Higher Power and go to sleep. I can always pick life up the next morning. Somehow it all gets done. Every few days the world dumps on you and beats you down.. That’s just life.” (Personal Story from Depressed Anonymous, page 171.)

I believe this man definitely “got it ” when he began attending the group, spending some quiet time everyday and learning that people like himself were able to get together to form a new environment where there exists healing and hope.

Granted this group cannot find you a job or take away fear of people – but it will provide you with a map where you can discover a way out of one’s prison of depression. How do you learn that?

Kim, a member of Depressed Anonymous in her persona story tells us that “the moment that I read that I had a choice to stay in depression I undoubtedly knew that I could make the choice to get out of my depression. Bingo! It wasn’t an illness. This did not have control over me. And another tool I use frequently through the DA manual is that thoughts produce feelings, feelings produce moods and moods produce behavior.” (A Personal Story from Depressed Anonymous , page 159.)

In the tradition of the major religions, there exists the three poisons of greed, anger and delusion.

” You can let your thoughts come into your mind, just don’t invite them to stay for tea.”

“In the Bible it states “Fear not, for I am with you. Let not your heart be troubled.” Jesus

“The knowledge of emptiness gives birth to compassion.” Milarepa

Resources

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
(c) I’ll do it when I feel better, 2nd edition (2009) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.

These two works can be ordered online from The Depressed Anonymous Publications Workbook www.depressedanon.com.

#9. THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS

PROMISE # 9. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER PEOPLE IMPROVE

Why wouldn’t our relationship with other people improve. After we have begun to put into place our daily program for recovery, namely through prayer and meditation we now are expectant and hopeful. We reflect upon each step, and we complete a piece of the structure that in time will be the new me.

I think that one of the more critical areas to mend in our lives is the thinking part of our selves. Depression appears to start with the way our minds react and perceive events outside of ourselves. So, from the start we need to promote to those persons depressed to get involved in as much physical activity as possible, namely, walk, express to others, go to meetings, talk on the phone with supportive people – in other words, get connected as much as possible. The point where we hope to enter in the life of the depressed is at the point of hope – be it at different stages of recovery.

Most importantly we discover at our group meetings that there are many persons, much like ourselves and at the same level of recovery.

One of the immutable truths, according to Dr. Dorothy Rowe, who wrote the award winning book, Depression: The Way out of Your Prison is “that other people are such that I must fear, envy or hate them.” If we believe that we are bad and valueless then it follows that we must fear other people because they can find out how bad we are and so reject us. When we fear anyone for long enough we come to hate that person, and when we fear someone we don’t get close enough to that person to see their own difficulties. We think that they are having an easier time than we are, and so envy them. You will believe that everyone around you is on easy street. It is only when we ere able to look honestly into our souls that we will begin to see that it is how we feel about others that has an influence on our feelings today.

“Once newcomers hear the before and after of our lives it will make it easier for them to believe us when they experience our own enthusiasm and cheerfulness. Depressed Anonymous. Page 124

“We also believe that what you think is what you become.”

We can learn something not only about alcoholism but depression when Bill W., stated ” He can settle for mediocrity and self-satisfaction even though this may indeed prove to be a precarious perch. Or he(she) can choose to go on growing in greatness of spirit and action.”

In Depressed Anonymous (Page 125), we learn one of the best ways to grow out of our sadness is
” to start acting the healer instead of being the passive victim. We are under the care of no one except our God.”

I believe that our involvement with other people like ourselves in the group gradually broadens our perspective in the area of hope. We learn to utilize new found tools that help us live with hope as well as enable us to learn that we have to be active in our own recovery. In retrospect we know that it is in our making amends to those we have harmed by our depression that make our lives more open around us. Even if those to whom we make amends don’t accept our amends the main thing is that we have made them, We are doing the amends for ourselves. Whether or not the other accepts our amends is none of our business and out of our control.”

RESOURCE

(c) I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER.” ( 2009, 2020, 2ND EDITION). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 28-53.

#8/13. THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS.

PROMISE #8. OUR WHOLE ATTITUDE AND OUTLOOK ON LIFE CHANGES.

“To really believe, possibly for the first time in one’s life that I too can recover and that I too can begin to feel better. I know that I need to be proactive in my efforts at self-discovery. What causes our outlook and attitude to change?

What is the reasons one’s outlook changes? I have to begin to believe that hope and healing is possible. Once we have gone through some painful inner changes, such as dealing with our character defects and isolating tendencies in ourselves we see indeed there is a way out. We have to have a positive attitude that will move us and motivate us to want to go and get to the next step. Watching someone actually take these steps week after week and watch that feeling of wellness rise up in them can promote in each of us a belief that with work and time gradually our lives definitely do improve. Soon we see that a sense of purpose will begin to manifest itself the more time and work that we put into our personal recovery. We have to do this work everyday. The more we work at this reality of getting well –the less irritable and lonesome we will be. A door opens ever slightly, and there appears a potential route to freedom. But what is most noticeable here is that when my hope and faith in recovery for my personal life rises, my symptoms of depression go down in inverse proportions.

When we find acceptance from members of our fellowship at Depressed Anonymous we get that boost that says “you’re ‘gonna be alright!” And we mean it. This is the beginning of opening wioder the door that leads to hope and a change in our negative attitudes. THAT’S A PROMISE.

RFESOURCE

(C) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Page 18.

#7. THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS.

PROMISE #7 WE WILL LOSE INTEREST IN SELFISH THINGS AND GAIN INTEREST IN OUR FELLOWS. SELF-SEEKING WILL SLIP AWAY.

“As we start our program of recovery we notice that there are persons in the group who are less well off as we are.

Newcomers can 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 comfort. They hear how recovery is possible.
“…We need to air our hurts, our shame, and let others hear our story.” (Depressed Anonymous. Page 122).
It is almost a truism to say about those of us who want this program are now focused – not on self, but on the will of God for their lives.

I personally believe that once I have made the First Step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force – the loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me – restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those to whom they are willing to risk leaving behind 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 away. I have found this to be true for my own life.What appears to delete our energy is when our thoughts implode and collide with each other as they are kept focused on the problem. Actually, a person who is depressed is much like a community which is divided and at war with itself.

If you nurture yourself, you will find that just as in the natural world, the growth will be good and the growth will be gradual. There are no quick fixes in life – only slow solutions for the most part.
We all have a competence, an identity, an autonomy and an interrelatedness to everything alive around us. We are truly a part of every living community on the planet and in the entire universe. We are all one – and the more we see ourselves as part of the universe then nothing can prevent us from feeling that we have every right to be here. We belong.

I know that as I prepare my daily life with prayer and meditation that my self-seeking will disappear. I will more often choose to become involved in this universe and be part of creating a wonderful garden of diversity and plurality where everyone feels a part.We again realize that by my willingness to live in the will of God that I can live in the peace of my own consciousness of being one with all. What I mean by this is that God acts in and through us the more we “let go and let God.”

The more you and I wait on God’s still small voice in our times of quiet, that much more will God begin to move into its plan and prepare for you and guide you to execute its will; where you live. God has a plan for each of us – and the power of its will can free us from ourselves, our worse fears and into the solution of freedom.

Joel Goldsmith who is a spiritual writer contends that the more we “gain this consciousness of God’s presence you have the whole secret of success in every walk of life.

He also said that there ” is an invisible bond between all of us. We are not on this 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.” Page 146.

As Bill W., states in the AA Big Book, “we let God demonstrate through us, what God can do. We ask God to remove our fear and direct our attention to what God would have us be. At once we commence to outgrow fear.”

We believe that as we can become aware that God dwells in each of us and demonstrates its power in us the more we remain open to God’s personal presence.
We humans are so grounded in the material and spatial world that it is veritably impossible to be conscious of a Higher Power in and around us. We are so mired in the muck. We can begin to believe that we can tap into this consciousness and let it unfold its plan, its purpose and plot for our life.
It will not plan something small and insignificant but will, by small steps, lead us, cause us to unfold in our lives what it has for us to accomplish while we are here on this earth. And I believe the spiritual nature and the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous is what God uses to get us aware and conscious of its love and presence.
RESOURCE
(C) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pges16-18.
(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 122.

#6 Promise. Promises of Depressed Anonymous

#6 Promise: The feelings of uselessness and self-pity disappear.

“One of the major areas that changes 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 are now listened to by others and we are validated. We don’t hear “snap out of it here.”

Suddenly our years of self pity, isolation and desolation have ben cashed in for a currency that buys us a new competency, a new identity, an autonomy and a burgeoning inter relatedness with others just like ourselves.

We now can speak about our experience with depression in the past tense. We can now share 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.

We know that feeling sorry for ourselves promotes a greater attention to and for the problem, while attention to how our experience can help others promotes not only our own well being but that of others as well.

As we learn how the program works – and this only happens primarily by attending meetings. The solutions and ideas help us all to become more active in the pursuit of our own serenity, as promised by the fellowship.

When we were depressing ourselves, we felt not only useless, but unacceptable to ourselves and to others. It seems that the harder we pushed to fight against depression the sadder we became. When we began to feel differently we also began to believe differently. We learn how to be more helpful and hopeful.

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 changes 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 symptoms of depression, that I can do nothing about my depression. I have seen that the major solution for my symptoms of depression is in the doing and in the feeling and the expression of my feelings with others in the group. In DA people speak my language. We see how useless it is to waste time looking back over my 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 can overtake me and cause me to feel paralyzed and out of control.

In the first Step “we admitted that that we were powerless over depression and that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Self-pity is that feeling where we continue to go over and over again of all the hurts that have put us where we are today!

We waste hours and days in our self-wallowing.”

RESOURCE
(C) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous, (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Lpuisville, KY. Pages 13-14.

Promise # 5 of the Promises of Depressed Anonymous.

Promise # 5 : No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we see how our experiences can benefit others.

“Some of us have attempted suicide. A few of us more than a few times. We had despaired of ever finding peace or hope. We believe that we had no future and that our yesterdays were as hopeless as our today’s.

It was hard to attend our first Depressed Anonymous meeting. We felt horribly alone. We just know that no one in the group has been through what we have been through. But as we listened and watched the other members of the group speak – we saw ourselves in their stories.

Personally I believe that whatever you give out to others is the amount that comes back to us. Our experiences can usually help another. An experience such as depression is so isolating, so predictable in its misery that it is bound to have had an impression upon us that it changed our life. And then when our life is changed for the better – thanks to DA and the fellowship that we have to share it with those still suffering.

Ironically, it appears that the farther we have gone down in mood– and up again in our recovery -the more powerful is this experience. They see the after and hear how it was before we got involved in the fellowship.

The fact that we have recovered so completely is in itself a message of tremendous hope for those who are newcomers to the group.

Isn’t it amazing that those who can do the most for those still suffering are those who have worked themselves out of the pit of isolation and depression.”

Copyright (c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. (Page 12).

#4. THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS

Promise # 4: We comprehend the word serenity and know peace.

Agitation, anxiety and jitteriness were all part of my life as I muddle my way through – day after day, one foot in front of the other. Serenity was not a part of my life.

As with any attachment to negative behavior, serenity and peace were the farthest thing from my life. The new beliefs and thoughts which I heard at Depressed Anonymous meetings started to help me change the way I thought about myself, my world and my future.
I believe that it takes work, time and prayer with meditation to achieve the peace and serenity that we are talking about here.

Peace of mind is the result of:
1) A clear conscience
2) Living in the present
3) Gratitude everyday
4) The belief that the God of my understanding will get me through the problems of my life.
5) Forgiveness of myself and making amends to all persons I have harmed.
6) Hope
7) Doing God’s will- Neither grasping but instead “letting go.”

I also believe that my own serenity is constantly being assaulted during the day by all sorts of problems and situations that cry out for my immediate care and attention.

I am firmly convinced that in order to continue my semblance of peace and serenity I will have to structure a daily quiet time into my life. This is an essential part of the prescription for getting well and staying well.

Also, I believe that when I am quiet, God will give to me all that is mine to have. My will and my life have to be attuned to God’s presence and love. We will know that in order for God to make itself present to us and to demonstrate its love we have to be still, be quiet and listen with a purity of heart. This is an important part of the formula where we will find success.

It is a belief of mine that God does speak to those who remain quiet and have a desire to listen.
Peace is defined as a “quality or state of mind of being serene, calm and tranquil.”
The quality or state of being serene all takes time and I might add work and discipline. What possibly might have taken years to accomplish, remember we have built a fortress with our defensive thoughts and behavior to reject any force that is deemed harmful on our path. We always sought the prison of isolation over the risk of doing something different.

I believe that the Big Book of AA says it best: ” When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new employer, being all powerful, he provided what we needed, if we kept close to him and performed his work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of his presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We’re reborn.” (Alcoholics Anonymous. Page 63.)

The particular section following Step Two which declares that we “came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” (Depressed Anonymous.Pages 39-45). This is an important part of our getting re-centered and renewed as we let the power flow into our lives.

“…We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. We feel that we are on the Broad Highway walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.” (Alcoholics Anonymous.Page 39).

“Both you and the new man must walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress. If you persist –remarkable things will happen. When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned. Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances, Alcoholics Anonymous. Page 100)

RESOURCES
(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 39-45.
(C) Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. New York City, 1955. Pages 39,63,100.