Category Archives: The Promises


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)

(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.

#3 Promise of Depressed Anonymous, continued

* The complete Promises of Depressed Anonymous can be found on page 109 of the Depressed Anonymous Manual. (see Resources).

“When we suppress a negative emotion and refuse to deal with it, consciously or unconsciously, it becomes one of those blocks that form the walls of our personal depression. These unexpressed emotions can fester and boil over so that our energy level is dissipated, scattered. We find ourselves and our will enervated and weakened. We discover that with the internal war raging inside of us we can hardly find the energy to work and/or roll ourselves out of bed a morning. The pain of depression freezes all efforts of mobility.

We discover that our ability to make ourselves do something is now beyond our personal strength and power. We have become helpless. We also discover that we are powerless. Our will power has no control over the depression.

How do we know this particular Promise will come true for me? The only thing that we can rely on is our own experiences. Our experiences tell us that the more we live in the solution of the Promises of Depressed Anonymous the more serenity and peace is ours for the moment.

We have discovered that it is when we begin to live in the solution that our solution focused program begins when we start to reflect consciously on what is happening now at this very moment. I have noticed that it is when I became conscious about what I am feeling – the direct result of my thinking –it is at that moment that I make the conscious decision to bring myself back to the present.”


Copyright(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 7-8. 3/13.
Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

Promise #3 of Depressed Anonymous

The following excerpts are from “The Promises of Depressed Anonymous”
# 3. We do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

Many of us have lived with guilt, shame and regret from our past. Until we got down to business – that is, taken a fearless moral inventory – did we desire that the god of our understanding help us see what we needed to do to forgive ourselves and get on with our lives.

As the Promises state in so simple a manner, this does not mean that “oh well, we made some mistakes, so let’s just forget about everything that happened in the past – after all it’s in the past.”

We can spend a lot of time wallowing in the self-pity that occupies any addiction. We also might regret all the tine we wasted staring at the blank wall, alone and trying to figure out in the circling of our thoughts the whys of our immobility, passivity and pain.

It is in Steps Four and Five where our past regrets are played out and dealt with. Once we have made a list of all our resentments and fears and spoke of them to a trusted friend you can begin to feel a new sense of freedom. It’s as a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders.”

The second half of Promise # 3 will be provided tomorrow.

#2. Promise of Depressed Anonymous Continued. “Happiness is an elusive feeling.”

The following is a continuing excerpt from The Promises #2 of 13.

“A pill might make you feel differently 0but it will never take away the circumstances that brought you down in the first place.
The Promises here tell us that we will find a new freedom of happiness -but first work has to be done.
To be happy doesn’t mean that we are to be entirely free from problems and disquieting moments. Since we are all human we experience the pain of discouragement, remorse, anger and other assorted emotions.
Happiness is an elusive feeling -and for each of us happiness can mean something very different when I say to myself “life doesn’t get any better than this,” then I know that life is indeed good and that all is well with my soul.
What can keep us in the prison of depression is the construction that we place on events and situations that occur in the world.
To be free means to act with a degree of spontaneity. This after all is the opposite of depression.
Events of themselves are not the cause of our depression – similar events are in the lives of many folks but there are some folks that don’t experience depression because of them. So, it must be the way we think about these events and the meaning we place on these situations. Our lives and the way we look at life is composed of past and present events.

Our past life is the way we predict the future. “Since bad things happened to me in the past-bad things are bound to happen to me in the future.” How true this is.
Our prison is composed of blocks of times and situations which at one time were fluid – like a flowing river. But since these events affect our sense of self we caused the river to stop flowing and instead our painful thoughts and feelings – are the blocks that make up the walls of our personal prison. We need to restore the fluidity of our lives. Once when our self has been restored – namely our spontaneity, we will experience freedom and happiness. By having that spiritual experience and by being an active member of Depressed Anonymous is what can restore us to sanity. Happiness comes from finding loving support, and acceptance. ”


(C) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 4-7.

#2. But we are going to know a new happiness. Promises of Depressed Anonymous.

The following is an excerpt from The Promises of Depressed Anonymous. Page 4.

“Once the Steps begin to play an active role in our lives we begin to feel a shift in how we look at ourselves, our relationships and others. There is that small sprout of hope moving through our minds and spirit. We feel that our involvement in our fellowship group of Depressed Anonymous is a definite plus in how we look at life and our recovery. There is a certain tranquility that was never part of our lives before. Our sadness, pushed us down to the ground day after day. The more we dwell upon how bad we felt, the worse we felt, isolating us that much more.

The new happiness actually happens. We become living hope that in Depressed Anonymous a promise made is a promise delivered. There is no doubt in our minds that there is a Higher Power guiding us through each day of our lives. And to have this power, greater than ourselves, as stated in Step Two telling us that we “came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” No longer do we have to beat ourselves up because we aren’t perfect as others in our lives tried to make us believe. Many of our lives were made miserable by all the expectations that others had for us growing up.

As it says in our Depressed Anonymous manual that we won’t change until we have some assurance that when we do change we will be completely happy. They want to have someone promise them that if they decide to change they will have no more problems and will be happy.

Dorothy Rowe tells us that ” this request is based on two assumptions, namely; 1) They who haven’t got my problems has no problems at all (therefore when my present problems disappear I shall have no problems); 2) Happiness is total certainty (therefore unless I know exactly what is going to happen I cannot be happy).”

To be happy we must seek out and live as God wills. We make a decision.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++More on The Promises #2 tomorrow.+++++++++++++++++++


(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous,(2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.
(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition(2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY Page 110.
(c) Dorothy Rowe.(1991) Fount Paperbacks Foreword. Great Britain. In Forward to Second Edition of Depressed? Here is a way out! which was published in 1991 by Fount Paperbacks, a division of Harper Collins Publishing Group, Ltd., located in London, England.

Do we believe nothing will ever change? A response from The Promises of Depressed Anonymous. #1

Excerpts from The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.


” I do believe that the pain of our depression originates from inside ourselves. We construct present day reality based on life experiences. The past is the predictor of the future. As it says in Depressed Anonymous, many of us hold the absolute belief that “since bad things happened to us in the past bad things will happen to us in the future. ” In other words – we have made up our minds – nothing will ever change. And of course this belief is what promotes and keeps our depression alive.”

The opposite of depression is spontaneity and vitality. When we are depressed we move about as in a fog. We are stuck. Since we desire everything to remain the same, that is, predictable, we in no way believe that life can be different for us. If we intend to stay stuck, we make the decision, choose to stay in the rut of being lifeless, hapless and hopeless.

As we change old beliefs into new ones we believe that things can change as things begin to change. We will begin to experience hope, light and joy.”

“… life doesn’t have to be lived alone in agony or misery.” (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011)Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 41.)
Tomorrow our commentary on the Promises continues for Promise #1.

Copyright(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 1-3. The 1st Promise of a total of 13 Promises.

How can I recover from depression?

The following is an excerpt from the Promises as presented in The Promises of Depressed Anonymous: Planting a seedbed of Hope. (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

# 1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through.

“Working the Twelve Steps is like the person who heads toward the light at the end of the tunnel. The closer one gets to the light – the more one discovers the way out.
The light in this case is symbolized by the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous. The expression of light, health and recovery of its members helps each of us to stay focused on recovery. Work has to be done if we are to find not only the light – but a life free from the symptoms of depression. Change is painful! The 1st step is really the beginning of the end of our pain. By admitting that we are in pain is that which paradoxically begins the release of our pain. This is the paradox of letting go and holding on as we learned from Step Three. What we hold onto holds onto us. What we seek- seeks us.
It is difficult for any of us to admit that our lives are out of control.
People sometimes speak of their depression as a comfort. I can identify with that, because if they were top feel anything else, they might end up in the hole of the doughnut.
The pain of depression begins to dissolve as a result of doing something we have never done before.
It happens to be true that the more we get in touch with and remove our resentments, fear, guilt and self-pity from our lives, the lighter we feel emotionally. The less need we have to rely on our defense mechanisms which shielded our fragile egos from pain, hurt or remorse, the freer we become.”


COPYRIGHT(C) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pgs. 1-2.
COPYRIGHT (C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition(2011. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Page 109.

The opposite of depression is spontaneity and vitality

The opposite of depression is spontaneity and vitality.

When we are  depressed we move about as in a fog. We are stuck. Since we desire everything to remain the same and predictable, we are unable to believe that life is or can be different. As we change old beliefs into new ones we believe that things can  change as things begin to change. We will begin to experience hope, light and joy.

Remember, by the time you have reached the Promises in in the  Big Book of AA, page four and page 109 in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, you have decided to do something about your life. You not only have been through an exhaustive self-examination of your life but you will also have shared these experiences with some other human being by working Step Five.  You have taken the time and the pain to write down all those areas of your life which   have kept you in the dark –  not only about yourself, but all that your life could be. ”


“All that your  life could be.” A promise is a promise. The reality of good things happening as   we  learn about the Steps,  practicing these spiritual principles in our lives. We can  take our story to a f2f meeting or gather with others like ourselves at the many   online Depressed Anonymous meetings, either with SKYPE or ZOOM.  You will find  support and encouragement at these group meetings.  It  will feel like home.



(Copyright) Hugh Smith.  I’ll do it when I feel better. (2013) Depressed  Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Page 32.

(Copyright) Depressed Anonymous, (2011) 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.

Books can be purchased online @ Visit the DA Bookstore).

The feelings of uselessness and self-pity disappear

One of the major areas that changes quickly by our attendance at the group meetings of Depressed Anonymous 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 atart getting connected to others like ourselves on a regular basis, through our Depressed Anonymous meetings,  we now are listened to by others on a  regular basis. and we are validated. We don’t hear “snap out of it” here.

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, an autonomy and a burgeoning  interrelatedness with others.

We now speak about our experiences with depression in the past tense. We now can share how we have the tools of self care (See Tools for recovery at Homepage Menu  ) 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 experiences can help others  promotes not only our own well being but that of others.

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 begin to feel differently we also began to believe differently. We learn how to become more hopeful and helpful.

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  change in my life where now I want to share what I know and how I feel? Basically, I know that the program of recovery works. I no longer feel powerless over my 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 expressing 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 our shoulders to see if the dark shadow of my own inner fears is going to overtake me again. 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 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 all the hurts that have put us where we are today!

We waste hours and days in our self-wallowing.  With the program of recovery at our fingertips we can now see a way out of our depression.

We are never alone and with the Promises of Depressed Anonymous, we now see that all things are possible for us today and everyday of our lives. You will not only regain a sense of finding yourself useful but Depressed Anonymous will show you how your own battle with depression can give hope to those still suffering.

(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous: Planting a Seedbed of Hope.   (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Promise # 6 of 12 Promises.

I no longer have to endure like a passive victim

Victim or survivor? Which shall it be? How can I be a survivor when I can hardly motivate myself to do anything, just anything positive  to kick start my recovery. What is the first thing that has to happen for me to get on the road to recovery.

For my own life, the motivator was to face the fact that something  physical was happening to me as I was finding myself  in a continual funk. Since we are of one piece, the fatigue that came from just the simple process of thinking began to affect my whole body. I found that my thinking became obsessive and compulsively totally centered on my life’s  losses plus the shame and guilt that accompanied  them. I felt like the guy who is walking around with the sign on his back saying “kick me.” In my mind there was no way out.  I was in lockdown. I was down on my luck and flat on my back.

It was then that I knew I had to make a decision–get up and move or stay down and die. I got back up on my feet and decided to move.  I really had not a clue where I was headed but I knew that doing nothing was not the answer. It was then that I went to a Twelve Step meeting, developed by persons like me, depressed and flat on their backs. But there was  a major difference between them and myself. These folks had a solution. They explained how their own way out was to get connected with those like themselves (depressed), flee their isolation and start using a plan that promised hope and freedom from the prison bars of their own depression.

These folks wrote a book, it is called Depressed Anonymous and presents us with a plan that works.  The plan is filled with hope. And if there is no Depressed Anonymous  in your community you can use the Home Study Kit for your personal guide.   

You will discover that your recovery commitment to yourself has placed you on the recovery road. The Promises of Depressed Anonymous as outlined in our program will bring you to a new place, an horizon where your life appears filled with the light of hope. You will become a survivor. If you want to learn more about who we are and what we can achieve as part of the fellowship,  you will find the tools that will bring a change about in your own life which will bring you in contact with others like ourselves but also will bring hope and serenity. For information that will inspire you and guide you for what works for us, and for you, is to go to  our Homepage at  where you will find a list of articles and info, plus books written by those of us who have been depressed, but now live to help others like ourselves. We’ve been there –done that. Now we live one day at a time with hope and freedom.


(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.