“Working the 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 Promises. DAP, Page 1.
How true this is. But like any journey, it involves preparation, looking at maps and following the right roads to get to one’s destination. It was only when my life was filled with the darkness of despair, and I could no longer see the light of hope, did I force myself to surrender to that Power greater than myself. That Power was the fellowship of a 12 Step group. It was there that I found kindred spirits who were traveling the same road as I was. We were fellow travelers following a road with markers pointing out the way to sobriety, serenity and a dynamic and loving fellowship.
Do you want to follow our road? If so, please let us know. For more information on how to get on this road, go to our website at www.depressedanon.com. Hope to meet you there.
“…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,” Bill W., co-founder of AA.
How often have I felt the healing presence of God in the midst of a 12 Step group meeting. I have heard others comment on how God is speaking to them through other members of the group. Because WE are all part of the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous and united in our firm belief of a power greater than ourselves WE made a decision to turn our wills and lives over to the care of God as WE understood God to be. WE trust in the Promise that because we live the way of the Steps that WE will find the serenity that comes to those who believe in these Promises.
When we join a Depressed Anonymous group we soon realize that members of the group speak the same language as do we. This is the language of hope and a belief that I can get better. I hear this at every meeting from those who actually live out the Promises of the Steps.
The Depressed Anonymous group provides us with a “toolbox” if you will of those actions that help us stay on a path that can provide a peace of mind for our daily living. In fact, as soon as we begin to involve ourselves in the fellowship we discover “peace of mind.”
In our work” I’ll do it when I feel better” we see what can result from our own peace of mind.
“1) A clear conscience; 2) Living in the present; 3) Gratitude every day; 4) Belief that the God of my understanding will get me through the problems of my life; 5) Forgiveness of myself and amends to all persons I have harmed; 6) Hope; 7) Doing God’s will means letting go.
I am firmly convinced that in order to continue any semblance of peace and serenity I will have to structure a daily quiet period into my life. This is an essential part of the prescription for getting well and staying well.” Page 37 in I’ll Do It when I feel better.”
The Promises of Depressed Anonymous
1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development we will be amazed before we are halfway through.
Change is painful. The first 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. (We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity). What we hold onto holds onto us. What we seek — seeks us.
This pain of depression begins to dissolve as a result of doing something we have never done before or rather doing something about our lives that we have not 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.
Source: I’ll do it when I feel better (2013, 2nd edition.) Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville Ky. Page 31.
We will begin a series of posts dealing with the Promises of the Twelve Steps. I have summarized these Promises into thirteen subject titles in our work “I’ll do it when I feel better.” “I’ll do it when I feel better” was published in 2013 and has two chapters that deal specifically with The Promises of the Steps. I hope you stay tuned and follow along as we share some of our own thoughts on these important Promises.