I just want to write a few thoughts this morning about the “before” and “after” experiences of group members battles with depression. Before there was a Depressed Anonymous group for me to attend, where I could address my problems, I joined another 12 step program of recovery. It was at this meeting that I heard and saw people who shared their stories how it was “before” they got into recovery and the “after” now that they are living the recovery program.
The difference was like night and day. I could listen all day to a lecture on depression, alcoholism, overeating or any other addiction and not be as moved as I am when I hear the actual person telling their story of how life is now by actively participating in their own recovery. To hear the changes that have taken place in those many people whose lives had spiraled down into the darkness of isolation and hopelessness is a phenomenal experience in itself.
Most of the books which serve as the basic text of 12 step groups such as Depressed Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, to name a few, all include many “before” and “after” stories of those who have suffered the loss of their self only to find that with the help of the spiritual principles of the Steps were they able eventually to share how their lives had changed dramatically. Their stories are simple, direct and filled with powerful accounts of human beings who once were lost in the chaos of addiction, but now have been freed, living with hope and serenity.
Depressed Anonymous’ basic text has its own “before” and “after ” stories as well. All the stories, the “before” and “after” accounts, give credit to the program of recovery which has changed the thinking and lives of thousands of persons throughout the world. I see these stories manifesting the miracle of the Higher Power, at work in those persons who made a decision to choose to walk that different pathway out of their addictions. They then tell those others “still suffering from depression” about the power they have received.
“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.” Step Twelve of Depressed Anonymous.”
Depressed Anonymous, recommends its basic text, Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition for the many inspiring accounts of those persons who came to a meeting, like myself, heard what others had experienced and decided that to see how it worked for them.
Also another excellent publication with many “before” and “after” stories is A MEDLEY OF DEPRSSION STORIES, by the founder of two Depressed Anonymous groups in North Carolina, Debra Sanford. Her work is available at Amazon.com.
Depressed Anonymous Publications also has books available at depressedanon.com. VISIT THE STORE