Category Archives: 12 Step Meeting

Making gratitude my attitude helps keep Robin out of depression.

Through the Depressed Anonymous program of recovery, which utilizes the Twelve Steps, I have been on a journey of transformation from the everyday life of struggle, gloom, and desperation to discovering new freedom and new happiness – something I didn’t know existed. My entire perspective is changing. Other people who I thought were judgmental are now considered as all being a child of God- all created equal. What a provocative pence tool this is! Really! It helps me lift those negative attitudes and places them with affirmations. This is undoubtedly the most valuable technique offered in Depressed Anonymous to acquire an optimistic attitude towards life itself or simply “making gratitude my attitude .” So many of us were only familiar with the sham and the drudgery of life, but even with all the sham and drudgery in the world, it is still a beautiful place to live. We learn to change not the world but how we view the world and all its intricacies.
Using the Twelve Steps allows me to begin the journey of hope and to admit that I am powerless over depression. There is the time when depression overwhelms me so intensely that it nearly cripples me altogether. These emotions of failure, shame, and “feeling less” than, become so uncontrollable that I have to stop and simply admit that I am powerless over them. But now, I genuinely believe that there is a power greater than myself and greater than those emotions.
The Higher Power (whom I call God) is there to help me any time I ask him. And you know what? He rescues me every single time.”

Resources. (The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at this website where all literature can be ordered online.)

COPYRIGHT(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. (2011) Louisville, KY. p.115.

Fun? When was the last time you had some?

In Step Four of our Depressed Anonymous Workbook, we find the statement: “When was the last time you had some fun?” You could also add when was the last time you actually laughed or even had a smile on your face? In one of our early Depressed Anonymous meetings. Bob told the group that the DA meeting was the only place where he could actually find himself laughing.

At our online Depressed Anonymous meetings, we are presently sharing our thoughts and feelings about Step Four. As part of our inventory, there are a number of questions pertaining to our Family of Origin. The following section helps me to take and reflect on my own family of origins and the relationship that I had with all those persons who I shared my life in those early childhood years.

In order to make a good inventory I need to go to my roots and discover how I came to be the person that I am today. AS the saying goes, “WE are our parents.”
When we were small, we “swallowed” our parents, meaning “swallowed” their main personality characteristics. Even today parents, grandparents, a stepparent, or guardian all are now part of our personality -for good or for ill. For myself to escape from my depression I need to discover how I might have received certain messages from my depression I need to discover how I might have received certain messages about myself from those adults who surrounded me as a helpless infant and child. All of us have received messages as children -some helpful and others not so helpful. Some messages directed toward us might have made us feel worthless because we got the message that we could never do anything to please others.

Our Depressed Anonymous manual, with an excerpt from Step Four gives a detailed and traumatic account of one of my experiences as a 10-year-old child. This event had recurring consequences for my young life and into my adult years. We might want to take a deeper look into some of the unpleasant feelings that we have today, traced to their origins in our childhood. I know for a fact that these events, producing guilt and shame, were finally dealt with in therapy as a young adult.

“I still remember being embarrassed when my third-grade teacher told me in front of the whole class That I would never be like my brother who was much smarter than me. I used to feel my face get hot every time I thought about that embarrassing incident. But the more I share my shame of having been exposed to others about something that I had no control over, the freer I became of that fear. The same principle is at work here in the Depressed Anonymous group. We can take our own personal inventory of our weaknesses and fears and trust the group to hear us out and accept our stories of shame and hurt as we accept theirs. We begin to see how and why so many people feel bad because in their earlier years people made them feel they could never measure up to the way others expected them to grow up. By becoming our little child once more, we paradoxically grow up.”

More about our childhood experiences, pleasant and unpleasant in the days to follow. And since it is time for school to start again, it seems that our bodies, sensors that they are, remind us that the Fall weather and school both arrive at the same time of year.

(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, p.29.
(c) Depressed Anonymous, (2011) THIRD EDITION. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, p. 55.

Today’s cleanliness can’t rely on yesterday’s shower

Bill, what the heck are you talking about?

Sometimes when we are depressed it feels like too much effort to take a shower. Sometimes you are just not in the mood. Cleansing yourself is not a chore, it is something you can do that is self-nurturing and you feel better as a result. Sometimes the shock of the water on your skin can feel like it’s too much. Continue on through it, you will eventually feel better.

So too goes recovery. Sometimes going to a meeting can feel like a chore and something you don’t want to do. Trust me, you will feel better as a result.

Diving into step work can be a shock to the system – who wants to take a fearless and moral inventory of themselves? Step work is just that, Work, but it is necessary if you want the deep healing and cleansing that is possible.

Some people say 12 Step programs are brainwashing. I don’t know about you, but my brain needs a good washing.

Recovery is all about achieving a daily reprieve from whatever your addiction is. Today’s sobriety can’t rely on yesterday’s recovery work. Recovery is a spiritual practice that you must practice. Not forever, just for today!

Dive in. Do the work. You are worth it!

Yours in recovery, Bill R

The potential reason why we’re depressed and anxious

There are many potential causes for depression and anxiety. Genetics, chemical imbalance in the brain, trauma, side effects of certain medications, and yet many more. Johann Hari, in his TED Talk This could be why you’re depressed or anxious suggests that many of us have the contributing factors of:

  • A feeling of not belonging
  • Lack of purpose in life

Depressed Anonymous can provide relief for both of those conditions. You belong here if you believe you belong here. As the Third Tradition states: The only requirement for Depressed Anonymous membership is a desire to stop saddening yourself. If you have the desire within you to stop saddening yourself then you can decide that you belong here. By participating in recovery you become part of. Participating could be sharing your story, but participating is also showing up and listening intently to your colleagues as they share their story.

Within Depressed Anonymous you have a purpose! Tradition Five states: Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the depressed person who still suffers. Each one of us can carry the message that a daily reprieve from depression is possible. By applying the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps you can be relieved of the symptoms of depression for today.

Recovery is about progress, not perfection. Dark thoughts will come back to me. I have depression, and that is where my brain goes by default. With recovery I have a choice. I can choose to use the tools and techniques that I have learned here within Depressed Anonymous. Recovery will not magically take depression away for me forever but it is possible to have a daily reprieve from the darkness of depression. The following slogan sums this up for me:

The monkey is off my back, but the circus is still in town.

I don’t have to apply the spiritual principles each and every day, but rather I choose to apply the principles each day. I don’t have to take a shower each day, but I choose to do so, and I feel better as a result.

Yours in recovery, Bill R

Journeys of Hope Depressed Anonymous meeting moving to Zoom

The Journeys of Hope Depressed Anonymous meeting is moving to Zoom given some technical challenges we’ve been encountering. Effective Monday 5 July 2021 both the daily meeting and the evening meetings are moving to Zoom. For more information please see the page: Online Depressed Anonymous Meetings for further information.

A Pressing Concern

My pressing concern over these many years as a practicing mental health therapist is to do more to help family members be part of the conversation with medical and mental health professionals when dealing with a depressed loved one. I continue to help setting up Depressed Anonymous groups, while encouraging Dep-Anon Twelve Step groups for those who have a depressed member in their family.

Dep-Anon, a 12 Step Recovery program for Families and Friends of the Depressed, was published on June the 24th, 2021, by Depressed Anonymous Publications. This 117-page book includes Chapter topics that can promote an understanding of the nature of depression, dismissing those negative beliefs that not only are incorrect, and damaging they continue to cast a stigma upon those who are depressed. These attitudes will do nothing but further isolate the depressed. NOT HELPFUL AT ALL!

The Dep-Anon Family group can be that healthy connection between the depressed and the family. The family members will learn to help the depressed; they must and not the depressed. Each of the book’s 12 Chapters will present useful information on the nature of depression while including a commentary for each of the 12 spiritual principles (Steps) of Dep-Anon. In addition, each Chapter will provide the family groups with discussion questions that will enrich the Dep-Anon fellowship. Finally, the groups will help each other cope with their own emotions and provide an ongoing pathway for their emotional growth and balance.

The depressed loved one has their own fellowship of Depressed Anonymous, which helps them focus on their own recovery, and their family has Dep-Anon, which helps family focus on what needs a focus in their own lives.

The Dep-Anon family group might end up being the best advocate/friend for the depressed, fostering understanding and acceptance instead of the negative beliefs that had once made the situation seem hopeless.

Hugh, for the fellowships

DA Virtual Conference 2021 recordings available

The conference ran successfully! The five sessions were recorded, but I have not yet received one of the recordings. I have posted the ones I have available and I will post the missing one when I receive it.

There is a link found under the Tools for Recovery menu item that reads Depressed Anonymous Conference Recordings.

Enjoy.

Yours in recovery, Bill R.

New additional meeting – Wednesday 7:30pm ET

NOTICE: Whenever a blog post mentions an online meeting be sure to consult the page Online Depressed Anonymous Meetings for the most up to date and correct information. If the blog post is more than a few days old there is a chance it could be incorrect.

Same link as the daily 12:30pm ET and Tuesday 7:30pm ET meeting – https://join.skype.com/pKMshxPoV9nb

To keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity

Maybe and maybe not! We use this slogan many times in our recovery groups, thinking the statement to be true. For example, to keep missing our recovery meetings week after week may result in a possible relapse. I believe this to be true! Insane? It is definitely not helpful when one is trying to find sobriety or a way out of their depression

For the depressed to isolate oneself from family, friends and the world, is to gradually move self into a deepened mood of sadness and ultimately depression. The isolation is not going to defend the individual from depression but is only going to make it worse.

To look at the slogan from another angle is to find that the statement is false. In fact, to keep going to meetings week after week or more often is doing the same thing – expecting different results. By doing the same thing over and over again, in this case, the different results are a strengthened recovery with hopefulness coupled with serenity.

ZOOM EASTER MEETING SUNDAY AT 4-5PM /MOUNTAIN TIME

INTERNATIONAL ZOOM MEETING
12 Step Depressed Anonymous Meeting
HOPE FOR TODAY

zoom ID: 828-7881-3776 9 (No Password is needed).
EASTER SUNDAY – MEETING TIME 4-5PM Mountain time–every Sunday

contacts Randy & Mike @ 720.771.8414 /E-mail @ rev77@live.com

Website for all Depressed Anonymous meetings
www.depressedanon.com