“It seems to me that the more we share our story with other members of the Depressed Anonymous group, the more we can hear for the first time our own unique story. It is amazing how, when we speak to others about ourselves and our addictions, we begin to loosen up and release in ourselves a new sense of ourselves — a freedom to express our true selves. It is at these times when we discuss our addiction at the Depressed Anonymous meetings that we get first-hand information and feedback on how others are walking free of their sadness and hollowness.”
Source: Depressed Anonymous (2011) 3rd ed., Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 79.
PS. Also, in The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, on page 68 and at # 8.36 we discover how our depression may have kept us disconnected from others.
PROMISE # 7 OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS
“As we start our program of recovery we notice that there are persons in the group who are less well off than are we.”
” Newcomers also remind us of ourselves when we stepped into the group for the first time. They struggle to keep back tears and hurt as they speak, possibly for the first time, trusting that they are with people who have been where they are. This is what provides the beginning of hope and healing. People in the group speak their language of hope and possibility. They hear how recovery is possible. They want those tools to use in their own recovery.
… We need to air our hurts, our shame, and let others hear our story. (3)
I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force, a loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me and restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those who are willing to risk leaving the prison of their depression. By my own interest in getting in touch with the Higher Power and getting its direction to “do the next right thing” I find that my own life is gradually becoming more filled with purpose and energy.”
SOURCE: I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Pages 43-44.
“Many depressed people will say, ‘I don’t know why I am depressed. It just happened suddenly, like a black cloud coming down.’ They say this because they do not want to look at the terrible events which threatened to destroy the way they saw themselves and their world. These events might not seem very significant to other people, but to the person concerned, they are very important. It is not the events in themselves which made them important, frightening, or overwhelming, but the meaning which we give to these events.” Dorothy Rowe, Ph.D., in the Foreword to the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS book. Page 12.
A prescription for sanity in one’s life!
“Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.” This is Step Two of Depressed Anonymous and it provides a program for those of us who want a step by step approach to putting light, hope and sanity in our lives.
If you feel you are losing your sanity, then this is a program for you. DEPRESED ANONYMOUS WORKS FOR ME!
THE MIRACLE OF THE GROUP
Yes, I believe in miracles! I believe in the miracles that I see happening in the lives of those persons depressed who keep coming back to our Depressed Anonymous meetings. As it says in the promises in the Depressed Anonymous book (2013) that these promises will materialize quickly or sometimes slowly, that is a life filled with hope and serenity, and they will happen if we work for them and keep at it.
” … I now have the support from people who have walked where I have walked.” Depressed Anonymous, page 127.
Again, it is so important to find a group of caring persons who keep coming back–keep getting better and who share with the new members, and how by using the 12 Steps of recovery, they gradually leave behind the prison of their depression. Our fellowship continually provides a ” 12 Step toolbox” to its members which they can use in their daily lives to live with hope. More importantly, they will hear how those who have left their symptoms of depression behind now help others who have just started out on the journey. They now have the tools and the key that unlocks their own prison doors.
I WANT TO CARRY THE MESSAGE OF HOPE TO THOSE OTHERS WHO ARE DEPRESSED.
“I (Dr. Dorothy Rowe) said what I so often said, that the best way depressed people can help themselves is to help one another. Form a group, get to know one another, support one another.”
They also think that all I have to do is just be cheerful and my mood will automatically change. It’s like telling someone to stop their diarrhea as if they have any control over it. My depression took time to develop and so it will take time and work to remove. The people who are the most supportive are those who have been depressed themselves, they won’t tell you to “snap out of it!”
I best support myself when I find other people like myself and try and help them.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. (Personal comments).
SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for 12 Step Fellowship Groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Page 201.
“What is the power of Depressed Anonymous? Well, let me say that when I started attending Depressed Anonymous meetings, I went for a couple of months and then stopped. I stopped going because of my depression was so bad that I didn’t want to leave my apartment. I didn’t want to be around to talk with anyone. I didn’t want to do anything but crawl in a hole somewhere and isolate myself from everything. Then after about six weeks of isolation, I called the residential treatment facility where I had been a client to see if I had received any mail there. One of the members of the Depressed Anonymous group where I attended answered the phone. I spent a few minutes talking to her and there was something in her voice that told me that for some reason, it was important for me to be at that meeting. After the meeting was over, I suddenly realized the importance and power of Depressed Anonymous.
So what is the power of Depressed Anonymous? For me, its just like attending the first meeting. I was a little scared and apprehensive at first, but then I found the Depressed Anonymous meeting was a place to go where there were other depressed people just like me. They could relate to and understand what I was going through. They didn’t judge me or think of me as crazy. I was accepted.”
SOURCE: PERSONAL STORIES. A quote from Ray in Depressed Anonymous (2013) 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Page.133. OPOWER
Getting into action comprises one of the chapters of the Alcoholic Anonymous Big Book. It was last nite that a person in our weekly phone meeting told us a way that she was “getting into action.” She mentioned how saying STOP to herself when certain thoughts spiraled her down into deeper ruminations that this enabled her to change her thoughts into a physical hope filled action.
There is also another positive mantra that I personally like to use is MOTIVATION FOLLOWS ACTION! Get the body moving and the body will follow. And finally I know that to get out of the hole of my depression is in fact to stop digging. How often have I continued to depress myself with all these unpleasant ruminations.
THE PROMISES #6 The feelings of uselessness and self pity disappear.
In the Promises of Depressed Anonymous we see that “One of the major areas in our lives that change 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 now are listened to by others and we are validated. We don’t hear “snap out of it” at our meetings. Suddenly our years of self pity, isolation and desolation have been cashed in for a currency that buys us a new competency, a new identity, autonomy and a burgeoning interrelatedness with others. We know we are not alone.
We now can speak about our experience with depression in the past tense. We can now show 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 as well as think differently.”
SOURCES: Depressed Anonymous (2011) 3rd edition; The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002); I’ll Do it when I feel better (.2013) Page 41.
DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PHONE MEETING EVERY MONDAY AT 8PM (EST) in USA
Use the following phone number to join our phone meeting–
the access number is 8060825#
Please come and join the discussion.
Dave is our moderator.