Promise #12 states that “We would suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”
I believe that this Promise 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 prescribed drugs kicked in and then everything would be all right. 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. We have a choice.
The community and 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 thoughts that tell us 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 that what we hold about the world on the outside of us is 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 fresh belief that something powerful is starting to blossom within me. A peace that surpasses all understanding is beginning to be born in us when we learn to relax, wait and listen for that still small voice.”
SOURCES: (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous: Planting a seedbed of Hope. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 25.
Promise # 3 of 13 continued: “We do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” The following is a continuation from the previous statement concerning Promise # 3.
“When we suppress a negative emotion and refuse to deal with it, either consciously or unconsciously, it becomes one of those blocks that form the walls of our personal prison. These unexpressed emotions can fester and boil over so that our energy level is dissipated, scattered. We find ourselves enervated and weakened. We discover that with the internal war raging inside of us we can hardly find the energy to get to work and roll ourselves out of bed a morning. We no longer have the freeing feeling of spontaneity in our lives.
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 this depression.
But how do we know that this particular Promise will come true for me? What 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 will be ours. We have discovered that it is when we begin to live in the solution and not focus on our problems that will lead us past the fear of what might happen to the serenity of the present moment. We no longer wait with trepidation for the other shoe to drop. 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 about what I am feeling now is the direct result of my thinking which enable me to make the conscious decisions to bring myself back to the present.”
SOURCES: (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 35-36.
(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville
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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 wasted time wallowing in the self-pity that occupies any addiction. We also might regret all the time we wasted staring at the blank wall, alone and trying to figure out in the circling of our thoughts the why of our immobility, passivity and pain.”
More of Promise #4 To tomorrow —
Sources: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
Promise # 11 of the Promises of Depressed Anonymous shows us that with work and a commitment to oneself that I will leave the prison of my depression.
Starr tells us in her personal story in Depressed Anonymous that it was when she opens up and shares her story with others in the group that she feels relief. It was here that she learns how to handle situations that at one time baffled her. We all have learned that whether we share in a face – to – face group or online, our ability to trust others begins to grow. We begin to feel empowered. We now know almost intuitively that trust of others can lead to trust in ourselves. We tell ourselves If others can grow and get well so can I. We also find ourselves doing less and less of the self-bashing that we once did. Now we find that we can be free of the prison that we have constructed,.Our negative feelings about ourselves get gradually replaced by feelings of positive regard. We find that the guilt and shame that once shadowed our every move now begin to be diminished. How is this? It happens because someone like ourselves has shown us that we too can live without depression. We have become believers in what can be done with hope, work and time.
SOURCE: I ‘LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
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.
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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.