Category Archives: 12 Step Meeting

#6 Promise. Promises of Depressed Anonymous

#6 Promise: The feelings of uselessness and self-pity disappear.

“One of the major areas that changes quickly by our attendance at the group meetings is that we pity ourselves less and less. We begin to be grateful for all that we have and all that we are. We begin to see that once we start getting connected to others like ourselves on a regular basis through our Depressed Anonymous meetings, we are now listened to by others and we are validated. We don’t hear “snap out of it here.”

Suddenly our years of self pity, isolation and desolation have ben cashed in for a currency that buys us a new competency, a new identity, an autonomy and a burgeoning inter relatedness with others just like ourselves.

We now can speak about our experience with depression in the past tense. We can now share how we have the tools of self care whereby we can dig out and begin to construct an edifice of hope that will last the rest of our lives. As long as we continue to use the tools of the program we are bound to feel different.

We know that feeling sorry for ourselves promotes a greater attention to and for the problem, while attention to how our experience can help others promotes not only our own well being but that of others as well.

As we learn how the program works – and this only happens primarily by attending meetings. The solutions and ideas help us all to become more active in the pursuit of our own serenity, as promised by the fellowship.

When we were depressing ourselves, we felt not only useless, but unacceptable to ourselves and to others. It seems that the harder we pushed to fight against depression the sadder we became. When we began to feel differently we also began to believe differently. We learn how to be more helpful and hopeful.

Why do I continue the work of bringing hope to those still suffering? What motivates me to continue to try and help others. What has made the changes in my life where now I want to share what I know and what I feel? Basically,I know that the program of recovery works.

I no longer feel powerless over my symptoms of depression, that I can do nothing about my depression. I have seen that the major solution for my symptoms of depression is in the doing and in the feeling and the expression of my feelings with others in the group. In DA people speak my language. We see how useless it is to waste time looking back over my shoulder to see if the dark shadow of my own inner fears is going to overtake me. I now have attained small amounts of hope and strength as I go from day to day. I am prepared for those moments of despair that can overtake me and cause me to feel paralyzed and out of control.

In the first Step “we admitted that that we were powerless over depression and that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Self-pity is that feeling where we continue to go over and over again of all the hurts that have put us where we are today!

We waste hours and days in our self-wallowing.”

RESOURCE
(C) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous, (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Lpuisville, KY. Pages 13-14.

Promise # 5 of the Promises of Depressed Anonymous.

Promise # 5 : No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we see how our experiences can benefit others.

“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 other 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 us. Our experiences can usually help another. An experience such as depression is so isolating, so predictable in its misery that it is bound to have had an impression upon us that it changed our life. And then when our life is changed for the better – thanks to DA and the fellowship that we have to share it 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 is this experience. They see the after and hear how it was before we got 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 depression.”

Copyright (c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. (Page 12).

The Covid-19 and its effect on a pre-existing clinical depression

Since we believe that depression just doesn’t come out of the blue, but stems from our relationship to the environment, our past and present relationships and NEGATIVE ruminations and self-talk.

For instance, the pandemic is a good place to start to untangle some of those underlying conditions which keep popping up in our daily lives. The covid-19 continues to create havoc, fear and anxiety in ourselves and communities. The more isolated we are from our normal life activities the more time we spend on all the negativity that continues to envelope us.

Anxiety and fear, both of which are some of those feelings and moods which may have contributed to our depression in the first place. Feelings can change from one to the other while moods are longer lasting with an ability to spiral down deeper in our psyche, resulting in an emotional lockdown. We can couple this with a fear that our life is spinning out of control, as our mind continues latching onto the worse possible scenario for our future, throwing more fuel on the fire, believing that life will always be this way for ourselves. We continue to live in total hopelessness.

And then the pandemic. Here we are, away from all the normal activities that once provided us with some temporary distraction from our fears and anxieties. It’s not as if we didn’t continue to feel the pain of living a life of isolation, holed up in the darkness of our own paralyzing moods, day after day, but now that we are cut off physically from friendships, co-workers, close friends or family members, our isolating pushes our negative moods further down. All this comes with a strong possibility that the virus may have claimed the life of a family member or grandparent or close friend or co-worker.

My own feelings, are the same basically of everyone else. Here we are, gradually realizing that this is now the “new normal” for each of us. We come to realize that we need to step back, and look at where we are today – and face our fears and anxieties. The question arises as what do I do now? Let me share with you my own experiences as my own life is turned upside down.

Because of my involvement in a mutual aid group, Depressed Anonymous, I am able to leave some of the pain of my isolation, join with all those others like myself who together are giving each other hope. All of us can share – not just our own pain of isolation – but ways to deal with and encourage each other with the successes we have experienced in facing our own fears and anxiety now and in the past.

As we try to navigate this “new normal” as best we can, we discover together how we are helping each other, day after day find a real lifeline – even though a virtual one. I am making this path work for myself, actively participating with the rest of the group, finding that my anxieties have diminished. By being in the now and being part of this mutually support group I am finding that there is a way out. I no longer am going to stay isolated.

“There is hope…and we do recover.” Please join us on SKYPE AND ZOOM – there are meetings on SKYPE every day at 11:30PM CST / 12:30PM EST and ZOOM four times a week (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. See Home page menu for DA meetings for more information). This is located at our website depressedanon.com.

Finally, one of our resources is the Depressed Anonymous Workbook that we use at our meetings, helping us to uncover some of our “underlying conditions” that existed prior to the present pandemic.

Presently our contacts with family and friends are stretched thin. Everything that makes us a human being, those live social encounters that provided us with joy, comfort and hope. We all have lost that shoulder to shoulder feeling and the hugs and smiles that gave us hope. Now the new normal is social distancing six feet apart. People older-stay home. Wear mask. I agree with all those solutions to staying safe.

It is here at our virtual online Depressed Anonymous meetings where we share and strengthen our resolve, uncovering those areas of our lives (thinking, feelings, moods, behaviors) that prohibit our personal growth and happiness. Now we are replacing our hopelessness and helplessness with hope and help everyday online.

The Depressed Anonymous fellowship is a potent provider of self-discovery as we move from one Step to the other at our meetings using the Workbook format. It is here in this virtual environment where we not only can take the time to listen to others in the group about their own issues, but listening as well to their many responses to how hope and healing have given them a new freedom, a new self-confidence while being provided a self-discovery tool, the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. This tool, with the Depressed Anonymous manual is used at every meeting.

If you are interested in a HOME STUDY PROGRAM OF RECOVERY you can learn more about this process of recovery from our website.

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook and Depressed Anonymous manual are also both available online as eBOOKS from Depressed Anonymous Publications.

YOUR HOPE IS OUR HOPE!

Hugh for the fellowship

Mood Rings

A number of years ago, a marketer of mood rings was making the claim that you could discover your mood by checking the color of the stone in the setting of the ring. Black was for a depressed mood, a blue for a “blue” mood, and green for a normal or happy mood. Well, I bought one and checked out my mood. Bingo! My mood ring indicated that I was in a happy mood, which I was. Hey, “this is great” I told myself. One half hour later I excitedly checked my mood ring again. “What” I exclaimed, “how can that be” as my ring had NOW changed to black. And that is the way it went for the rest of day. Green, black, blue and then blue again. I told myself I was still happy, nothing had changed there. Long story short – it was just another gimmick. So much for “fake” science. I knew that the diagnosis of my own mood was much more accurate and so I got help. But still, when the saddening symptoms of depression began to get worse, such as being unable to get out of bed, lacking any motivation to do what needs to be done, like going to work and keeping my important appointments. It is these daily responsibilities that began to slide. And then what seemed like just a short time I found myself immobilized and in a mental and physical lockdown.

If this is happening to you – we can help or at least point you in the right direction.

Welcome to our Depressed Anonymous meetings. We don’t depend on mood rings, but we do use the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps. These are at the core of our own recovery. By work, time, prayer, going to meetings and reading Depressed Anonymous literature we do recover and we do find our way out of depression. I can only tell you my own experience with depression and what tools I used to move out of isolation and begin doing the things that all of us in the program do to get well and back on track.

Here are some of my recommendations on getting started today, and finding that caring fellowship of men and women dedicated to helping themselves and others, and accompanying them on a path that leads out of depression, sadness and futility. The first Step is to admit that I need help and that my life is unmanageable. “I can’t go it alone anymore. I need support coupled with a belief that I can get better. Give me the tools and I will get to work!”

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Attend Depressed Anonymous meeting. They happen every day of the week and sometimes twice a day, dependent whether it is a ZOOM DA meeting or a SKYPE DA meeting. Meeting times and locations can be found here on our website @ www.depressedanon.com.
  2. Attend a virtual (because of the Pandemic) Depressed Anonymous meeting, and click onto the site to gain entrance to the meeting. You will be welcomed by a member of the DA fellowship. If you do attend a meeting you can either pass or share your first name. But remember, you can ask questions, and participate as much as you are comfortable with. It is also important to listen to the members of the group and see if this meeting discussion talks about any issues that may be your issues.
  3. Some group members will post their phone numbers/emails at the meeting so that you might contact them if you would have questions about the group. Every Monday at the Skype meeting there is a Newcomers group meeting. This is a meeting that is very helpful to the new member. This can be a very good venue where some of your questions/concerns may find answers. The website also provides a wealth of literature available for purchase online plus special subject material at the Home Page menu. If you would like a person to help you with questions that you have about depression, they will be happy to share with you their story.

Hugh for the Fellowship
Finally, please trust your own feelings, not the Mood ring. ūüôā

Is This All There Is?

How many times have I heard clients share with me how the dreams of their youth have disappeared like the early morning mist. Now that they are part of the swelling “baby boomer” generation, life has become their unexpected challenge. But not only the “baby boomers” but others in society, much younger who feel disconnected and alone in the American society. With “social media” as the assumed connection bringing folks together, the face to face relationships have withered. to that end that loneliness is the new normal, and not the exception. Because there are no “super heroes ” in our daily lives, we have to create these bogus creatures who are neither real flesh and blood “super heroes.” These figments of our cultural imaginations captivate our minds so that we continue to look for someone to save us so that we can live out our lives, forever happy.

Some tell us that this is the “age of melancholy” where society lives with unrealized dreams and plans. Not everyone is reaching the promised top of the mountain filled with milk and honey. An alarm has been sounded. Suicides increasing. Children bullied who feel they are without hope and help. Their feelings of hopelessness, their isolating sadness, keeps them from searching out someone, somewhere to help them.

Children bullied must have advocates. But who and where are these advocates for these children? I believe that all of us are aware now how critical it is to get the word out and that parents and all others need to know the signs of a child or adult who is thinking of suicide. And if your child tells you he/she is being bullied – drop everything – and tell someone! This can be that moment that will change everything for your child or loved one.

With these horrific situations facing us, we can build a bridge, sometimes by ourselves initially, but gradually others can join with us and be part of these small communities finding purpose and meaning for their own lives. We can invite others to join us in our pursuit of healing and hope.

DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS INTERNATIONAL SKYPE AND ZOOM MEETINGS

 

GET CONNECTED! YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ALONE!!!!!!

ZOOM CONTACTS  USA AND AUSTRALIA

SUNDAYS  4-5 PM  EST ID 872  0287 9868  Password 248336

TUESDAY  3-4PM  EST 505 027 064    Password 294776

CONTACT: rebeccairene8@gmail.com

+ SANTA CLARA, CA  SKYPE MEETINGS (3 meeting dates available)

CONTACT  : Kevin.god loves you@gmail.com

_____________________________________________

ZOOM IN AUSTRALIA   DEPRESSION ANONYMOUS

Go to Facebook and type in Depressed Anonymous.

MONDAYS 6:30-7:30 AEST

MEETING ID 966 940 7803

PASSWORD 497 871

_______________________________________________

INTERNATIONAL      DA     SKYPE MEETINGS 

Meetings everyday of the week  @

12:30 PM EST ( NEW YORK TIME )  11:30 PM  CST  (CHICAGO TIME)

HTTPS://JOIN.SKYPE.COM

A call will be sent out to those  joining Depressed  Anonymous  5  minutes before meeting.  Click onto the JOIN  CALL button. And  there you  are.

 

 

 

I don’t have to be alone

…I had the conviction that a person depressed could find the same strength and serenity as did those who, sick and tired of being sick and tired, had found when they stumbled into their first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. It (Depressed Anonymous) began as a pilot project at the university where depressed people gathered as a mutual aid group. I discovered that people of all ages, beliefs, and occupations could gradually get out of the prison of depression if they were part of a support group, especially if the group followed the suggested Twelve Steps of the group now known as Depressed Anonymous. I saw that a Twelve Step program centered specifically around the subject of depression could help people escape isolation and the painful sense of hopelessness. They would no longer feel alone.

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous., 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Page 22.

NOTE: If you are tired of looking at the four walls during this time of Covid-19, we have help. If you are depressed and seeking relief, there are a number of places where you can go online for help. Depressed Anonymous now has a meeting everyday from 12:30PM (EST). This group is peer led, which means they have been depressed or using these Steps of recovery today to help maintain hope and healing in their lives today! These are excellent groups to attend to find help and hope. You can join and share your story or you can listen to the stories of others. Either way you will find the power at work in your own life.

There are now five scheduled DA ZOOM groups operating in the US and being made available to the Depressed around the world. These ZOOM groups with the SKYPE groups are ensuring that the message of HOPE continues to spread with it’s powerful message. Please join us if you are looking to free yourself from isolation.

We thank all of those who chair these meetings with such dedication and faithfulness. They are true witnesses to the “miracle of the group(s).”

Hugh

Welcome to the Depressed Anonymous groups in Warsaw, Poland

 

We wish to welcome the Depressed Anonymous groups in Warsaw, Poland. They have been around a long time and now they want to start translating the Basic Text (3rd¬† edition) ¬†and The¬† Workbook into Polish. Great news. Hopefully they will join us on SKYPE or ZOOM. We look forward to your presence here. ¬†Our SKYPE meetings are becoming very international¬† and I know that they will get a warm ¬†welcome here from all of us.¬† We all speak the same language here –hope and healing.

See you soon.

Hugh

 

 

A red thread, a beautiful tapestry, patterns and God’s will.

Some of us, in groups and individually, work the Steps according to the month. What this means is when April 1st (4th month) arrives, we start spending quality time studying our Step #4. This Step states that we “Made a fearless moral and searching inventory of ourselves.” For many of our members, myself included, we use our Depressed Anonymous Workbook in conjunction with our Depressed Anonymous book to discover the patterns of our lives that keep us from being our best selves. The patterns have formed habits and these habits can end up becoming addictions. Could it be that these patterns of our thinking, feeling and behavior keep us imprisoned in our depression? Is it now that we feel we are continually circling around in that morass of hopelessness and helplessness? Like any addiction, we feel there is no way out.

It is here I want to quote from Maria von Trappe (Maria of musical The Sound of Music) who shared this thought:

“It will be very interesting one day to follow the pattern of our life as it is spread out like a beautiful tapestry …. in looking back we can discover how a red thread goes through the pattern of our life: the will of God. ” Quoted in the Publication: Give us this day. Liturgical Press. Collegeville, MN. March 26,

As I examine my life, attempting to discover that red thread, I have found that there actually is a red thread moving through my life tapestry. The red thread is there for me and it is like looking into a rear view mirror showing me where I have been on this life journey. There are these life patterns consistently appearing during the good times and the tough times of our lives. Even a pattern in which I see life as difficult and the world a dangerous place. Many of these negative patterns and fearful thoughts may start in our childhood and gradually become even more pronounced as patterns. But that red thread continues its weaving through our life tapestry into our adult lives. For some the red thread moves forward along with a pattern of pessimism, while providing us at the same time with hope. And as I look over my own past life, I see that my negativity, always following me into most of my relationships. Now as I look at the whole life tapestry as part of my fourth step inventory, stretching as it does from birth to this day, I am able to see patterns which have formed over time, crippling and making feel less than. But even during the painful times I can still see that that red thread, the will of God, has always been there operating in my life, accompanying me on my life journey, invisible, but still there like the silent whisper of the wind, providing me with hope. Now I can see that the red thread hasn’t just formed, it has been there as for long as I can remember. My present belief in a power greater than my depression is gradually setting me free. Today. Everyday.

I know how some Depressed Anonymous groups work this Fourth Step Study on an ongoing basis. For example, there are International Depressed Anonymous Skype Group meetings who come together everyday of the week on the Internet. You can access these group meeting by going to https://join.skype.com and then signing in at 2019depanon@hotmail.com. The leader for the meeting that day will sign you up and you can join the group. Meetings start at 12:30 PM Eastern Standard PM time.

Look back on your life up to today and see if you can recognize how that red thread weaving through your own life, no matter how difficult, how despairing, it is the fact that God has always been there with us and we gradually come to believe that He will always be there with us. And as a member of Depressed Anonymous I want to share with others how that red thread never abandoned me or deserted me, no matter how bad things became. And so when you do your inventory you too will discern that it has always been God’s will that the hope he provides will free you.

Hugh