“It must be repeated again that I consider, injustice, discrimination, material deprivation and painful disappointments as such and as causes of depression and depression-pro ness. What causes depression is the discrepancy between what children–and adults have learned to believe and expect, and the reality they meet. This discrepancy, when uncomprehended, causes chronic lack of self-esteem, or the loss of self-esteem that, writes Birling, has been associated with severe depression. Men and women can bear a remarkable amount of misfortune and grief, as long as they need not see them as a result and proof of their own inferiority.”
Excerpt from Emmy Gut, Productive and Unproductive Depression. Harper, SanFransisco. 1990. p.195. as quoted in THE ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET (1991) SUMMER VOLUME 2:4. p.3
The following excerpt is from a letter that Helen wrote to the Depressed Anonymous fellowship about her recovery from depression.
Her story is just one of the many stories, relating their recovery from depression, found in the Personal Stories section of Depressed Anonymous Pages 110-152.
“Now that I look back and see the way I was and see now how I am now,
I can’t believe that I ever knew that other person. This person is different altogether. I like this person now very much. I am thankful to the group. They are just wonderful. They are my family. They are my Depressed Anonymous family. I also have my church family. It is a wonderful feeling to know that there is a Higher Power that can take you through these things. At first, I thought, “I doubt that very much” when everyone was talking about the Higher Power and peace in my life. Then it happened to me. Every few days, the world dumps down on you and beats you down. That’s my life. I always think to myself that there is that extra strength that I didn’t have before. I feel that everything is going to be OK with me. I have that peace now myself.”
Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous (1998) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. pp 145-148.
I have found this statement, by James Baldwin to be as true as day is long. I also know from my own experiences. When fear comes upon us like a dark cloud, we are tempted to run. When an obstacle prevents us from reaching a goal, we stop. But when we make that decision to face the problem, good things start to happen.
Today, I am going to choose to face the problem-whatever that might be. I am choosing to use the 12 Steps of Depressed Anonymous to make this happen.
I have asked myself this same question many times in my life. When will I see the light? This question was begging for an answer. I really didn’t expect an immediate answer, something that was miraculously to pop out of the blue. No, I knew that what seemed impossible for me at the time, there must be an answer, somewhere. This was my hope.
I did know of a possible solution. If I was having a bad day, or my life was being lived without a purpose of just plain empty of hope, I’d try and leave the problem behind, by taking a walk, going to a movie, do anything, to keep me from sinking deeper into the quicksand of despair.
I did what I didn’t want to do. I forced myself to go to a 12 Step meeting. I went anyway. It wasn’t all joy and rainbows. I knew in my gut that a “quick fix” wasn’t going to be the answer. I knew that a Higher Power that they talked about wasn’t going to change some furniture around (figuratively speaking) in my mind–the HP was going to knock down my walls of resistance. My mind was in an “under construction” mode. God was doing for me what I could not do for myself. My Higher Power continues tp restore my insane thinking with hope, sanity, and plus a plan for daily living.
At the meeting, I listened to another guy’s story.It sounded like my own. Then, after the meeting, a leader of the group gave me a coin-like token. It was supposed to remind me to live one day at a time. They also gave me a book to read. I still read this book forty years later.
This story is not over. Like today, I want to share how it is now that I have admitted my need for help. I already shared how it was. Now I want to tell you and others, how I have seen hope shine, and how I continue to live in the peace that the God of my understanding has provide for today. And it will happen for you too. That is a promise.
Want more information about the Depressed Anonymous fellowship, go to Depressedanon.com for more information.
“I believe that for me to finally integrate the spiritual program of the 12 steps into my personal and relational life is to believe that I can live without depression, drinking, gambling, overeating, and whatever else might take all my attention. I can overcome my “stinking” thinking.
One doesn’t tell people at DA that they’ll have to go to meetings for the rest of their lives. But if you really feel that you have learned something about depression, and how to overcome it – one way to continue recognizing the “red flags” in one’s own life, is to give away how it is nowthat you are beating the urge to sad and isolate oneself.
This really seems to be the secret of most good mental health efforts, whether for groups or individuals-namely, give others help and out of all of your own experiences. This will help you from relapsing.”
Hugh S., for the fellowship
(c) The Antidepressant Tablet Volume 4, Number 3, Spring 1993. Louisville, KY. Page 5.
Janet M., who is a member of our Depressed Anonymous Fellowship, has submitted this post.
“Speaking here of mental activity, aka thoughts/ feelings and perception, pay attention to the condition of the content that separates us from our true Being ness. Step work in Depressed Anonymous is very revealing with the inventory of ourselves all throughout the work. Our interiority is nakedly exposed. Absolutely so necessary to uncover. Regarding Step 11, I suggest that to step back now from mind and a seemingly separate false self identity, surrender into the heart to rewind into emptiness. Recognize the true nature of Divine peace, happiness and harmony. The Kingdom of heaven within that Christ Consciousness spoke of. Refocusing the mind from objective experience awareness, simply being aware as awareness itself. Perform an investigation of what is it that is aware of my experience? Being aware of the mind, body and world is a re-mind experiencing so to speak. Then coming into an investigation of “I Am” inventory this identification and bring this awareness into the emptiness. Rest in peace now as the natural true SELF and find perhaps you had simply just fell asleep from the mind’s veiling of Reality. You are this Reality of Beingness, Divine Consciousness itself. Now re-member the SELF back into PRESENCE.”
Janet is a member of the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous, a 12 Step program of Recovery
“Being addicted to the outcome I came to realize after deep examination of my character defects that I am still being addicted to the outcome of situations in my life. Which means I am trying with all my might to control the outcome. I don’t want to accept what God has planned for my outcome in certain situations. I want to steer the situation and control iT into my absolute vision of what I want and needed it to be. My addiction here is the projected outcome of the situation. My character defect is control. Control is a very hard character defect to change and one that I strongly believe needs God’s help to see it clearly and be granted the willingness to change it. Most humans want and deeply desire control of something in their life, so much so, that they would do anything to sway the matter, thus control things deeply to obtain their desired outcome. But there is another serious character defect in this equation. Far more important to examine than our desired outcome to the point of being controlling. This is an amazing spiritual arrogance that we know better, than the highest power knows, what is the right and proper outcome for us. But there is another serious character defect in this equation. Far more important to examine than our desired outcome to the point of being controlling. This is an amazing spiritual arrogance that we know better than the highest power knows what is the right and proper outcome for us. We are essentially saying we don’t believe your outcome, God. We don’t believe you could possibly be as good and perfect as are our chosen outcomes. This is a serious mistrusting of God.
The next thing we must look at is acceptance. Because once we are able to let go of the strongly desired outcome, which we are addicted to, we must stop and allow ourselves to accept whatever God has lined up for the outcome. This is sometimes difficult. It takes a good close walk with our higher power every single day, which is exactly what develops the needed trust in God. Once we begin to move into a place where we accept that our higher power loves us and wants good things for us, it then becomes easier to let go and let God in all the outcomes. This is where the step 3 prayer, taken every day, is so helpful with acceptance of God’s will in our life, instead of our own will and dominating the outcome that we insist upon. We can’t possibly know more than God, so who are we to think that we know exactly what the outcome should be to the situation days from now. How arrogant to think that we know everything. Letting go and letting God and acceptance, are the keys to the overcoming of the defects of control and arrogance.”
Debra C. NC
Copyright(c) Debra Sanford. A Medley of Depression Stories. #35. Pages91-92.(First Edition) 2017. ISBN 978-197 4499601. This book can be purchased at Amazon.com.
This blog was submitted by Janet M.
“There is a profound and intriguing statement that says ‘that more will be revealed.’ I believe we each have a personal experience with this call of the wild dynamic, so to speak. I felt as if I were being invited into an investigation, and its results would effortlessly appear, without any help from my mind or outside activities. In other words, beyond a body, mind and physical reality.
With no control on my part, the Higher Power would be the master of this destiny. How exciting! I just had to believe. With addiction, my poor mind was so limited with its awareness.
The same sad movie kept playing. Depressed Anonymous provided some helpful tools, with the Law of Three, Sunspots, to make an ending and an opening. A portal for peace was the liberation that I needed. I thought that I longed for peace of mind, but what was revealed was this peace didn’t belong to mind, but to me as my true nature.
With falsely identifying myself as my felt past experiences, with feeling a victim/failure/etc, or the pain body, or as Eckhart Tolle labels it, I was at a dead end. As Rupert Spira points out, you can’t see the screen if you are staring at the the movie.”
Janet M., a member of the Depressed Anonymous 12 Step fellowship
DECISION 11: I will let go of envy and allow myself to be sad.
“Actually, envy is only possible when we distance ourselves
from people. Once we get close to other people and discover their point of view, we discover also that all people have their own troubles. Every advantage in life has its own disadvantages. Envying people is a waste of time. And time runs out for all of us. Even if we never wasted time being frightened, angry, envious, lonely and depressed, we still could not fit into a lifetime of all the marvelous things we could do.”
Dorothy reminds us that “the best way to live with sadness is to share it.”
Dorothy Rowe. Breaking the Bonds: Understanding Depression, Finding Freedom. Fontana. London. 1991. Pages 270-271.
(Leaving Loneliness Behind. The Twelve Decisions.)