Today, we would like to initiate a series on the Promises of Depressed Anonymous. We will consider some thoughts about the First Promise of Depressed Anonymous. The following piece illustrates some important areas for you, the reader, to consider.
” Working the 12 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 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 our 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.”
– To be continued
SOURCES: Copyright (c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
Copyright (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications,. Louisville.
Copyright (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
For more information on literature available, visit the store.
Why wouldn’t our relationships with other people improve? After we have begun to put into place our daily program of recovery, 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 ourselves. Depression appears to start with the way our minds react to 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 personal feelings to others, go to meetings, talk on the phone with supportive people, in other words, get connected as much as possible. Most importantly we discover at our group meetings that there are many persons, much like ourselves and at the same level of recovery. We know we are not alone.
One of the immutable truths, according to Dorothy Rowe, who wrote the mental health 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.
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.”
SOURCE: Copyright (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. (Pages 46-47).
This is another one of the Promises that helps promote our purpose in life as well as gives our life meaning.
“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 older 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 you. Our experience can usually help someone else. As the experience of depression is so isolating, so predictable in its misery that it is bound to have made such impression upon us that it changed our life and the way we think about our life. And then when our life is changed for the better –thanks to the fellowship of DA, this precious gift of hope needs to be 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 can this experience be.
New members of our fellowship see the “after” of our lives lived in recovery and so they themselves get 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 began sharing their story of hope and personal empowerment.”
Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 39-40. PROMISE # 5.
The 3rd Promise of Depressed Anonymous
WE DO NOT REGRET THE PAST NOR WISH TO SHUT THE DOOR ON IT
How do we know that this particular Promise will come true for us? The only thing that we can rely on is our own experiences. Our experience tells 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 leads us past the fear of what might happen to the serenity of the present moment. Our freedom begins when we start to reflect consciously on what is happening now at this very moment. I have noticed that it is when I become conscious 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 this moment that I make the conscious decision to bring myself back to the present.”
SOURCE: Copyright(c) The Promises (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY Page 8.
“Our happiness is now dependent on how we look at ourselves, our world and the understanding that we have of our God. I now know that when I first came into the fellowship, I felt like a stranger in a foreign country. My thoughts and feelings were all confused as I began the journey into myself with a deepening desire to discover the engine that drives my sadness. The battle raged inside of me–a battle that was fought in the shadow of past events and relationships. It was a personal triumph for me to finally see that there was a way out of this despair and emotional atrophy. I feel that my life got better by my doing something. I now follow a practical plan as outlined by our suggested 12 step program of recovery. I make sure that everyday that I get into action and do something. I used to think that the “good humor fairy” would tap me on the shoulder and I would be well. This is exactly the opposite of what our program of recovery promotes. Our position is that you have to roll up your sleeves and get to work.”
Quote Source: The Depressed Anonymous Publication: I’ll do it when I feel better.” (2013) #2 OF 13 of Promises of Depressed Anonymous WE REALIZE A NEW WAY TO LIVE. Page 13.
“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.