Category Archives: Service

Service in Recovery

Today I’m truly grateful to be able to do service in my 12 step fellowships. Especially in DA, which has done so much for me. But I didn’t always feel that way about service! At first, I was very scared to make a commitment to chair a meeting. How could I, someone suffering from depression, someone unable to function successfully in daily life, someone who didn’t know if I could get out of bed or not on a particular day, how could I possible make a commitment to chair a meeting? Well, the group supported me and said “we’ll be here if you can’t make it. Just let us know! And we applaud you for being willing!” So I agreed. I also faced technology challenges. At the time the DA meetings were using Skype and I didn’t know how to use that platform (or any online meeting platform, for that matter).  So on a day and a time when a meeting was not going on, I logged on and pretended to chair a meeting. I went for a practice run to learn the technology. I asked someone for help, and they helped me. I faced my fears and I showed up for the first meeting that I volunteered to chair. I stumbled. But the meeting went on, and no one died! I made a mistake and it was okay.

I had feelings of anxiety, but I walked away with an inkling of a sense of purpose. So I kept chairing, and that sense of purpose increased. I started going to business meetings, and they needed people to do service there too. So I volunteered. As I continued, I felt more useful and my confidence grew.

The point I’m trying to make is that doing service has greatly helped my recovery! I learn lessons here in DA that I’m applying to other areas of my life. I’m growing. That is one of my goals – to stay green and growing. Doing service gives me that opportunity. And the icing on the cake is that doing service allows us to help DA as a whole and ensure that DA will be there for others who need it, just like I needed it and still need it.

In closing, the Responsibility Statement, revised for DA:

“I am responsible – when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of DA always to be there, and for that: I am responsible.”

I wish my family had a depression support group

If you are reading this blog today, and are a family member who is depressed and wishes they had a family that understood how the disease of depression has taken over our whole life, then this Dep-Anon 12 Step recovery group is for your family.

Starting this Monday, August 22, at 2PM EDT and 1PM CST our first Dep-Anon meeting will LAUNCH with its own group program of recovery. The Dep-Anon manual will be used for all our meetings, either on ZOOM or at face to face meetings.You can read more about the Dep-Anon manual on our website at depresedanon.com.
JOINING THE MEETING<

To JOIN the meeting, please use MEETING ID: 846 6885 1123 and the password is: serenity (lowercase).
You can also use the link to enter the meeting by emailing us at depanon@netpenny.net. This link can be used at all recurring meetings.

Over the years i have heard this statement, “I wish my family had a depression support group tp go to,” voiced more times than I can count. Since depression is a family illness, each of us who are or have been depressed, know the importance of a family supporting their depressed significant other. But that is not always the case. Because of a lack of understanding of the illness of depression -the focus of the family is mostly focused on attempting to cure, heal, or change their depressed loved one.

Now, we know, from personal experiences, that the focus needs to be where it belongs–on the person(s) who need to be changed. That would be the family members. Recently, Dep-Anon, a 12 Step recovery program for families and friends of the depressed has been developed. There is nothing new to our approach as we are modeled on the successful Al-Anon program of recovery. Their focus too, is not on their alcoholic family member but is focused on their own need to understand the nature and disease of alcoholism. They learn as families, helping other families, how alcoholism affects not only the alcoholic, but affects the whole family system. It’s a family disease. By putting into use, for their own personal lives, growth and health using the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Dep-Anon, has but one purpose, to help families of the depressed. Here too, the family uses the 12 spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous–a program geared for family to family support and encouragement. These families gather together, supporting each other, encouraging and sharing their own successes and ways that work for them. They continue to learn about the serious nature of depression. Instead of being critical and frustrated trying to get the depressed to do what we want them to do, for example, trying to get them out of bed, or telling them to get a job, or to “snap out of it.” Family members, many times discover that their methods of helping don’t help, but instead, push the depressed further into isolation.

Dep-Anon can be a key for a family to give the best support that they can to their loved one. This is examen, in a group setting with other family members, learning and discussing with each other what depression is, what it feels like (to the depressed person) and how it effects their total thinking, feeling, and behavior. The Dep-Anon family group will help family learn what depression is and what it is not. We learn how to keep the focus on ourselves, our own self-care, and living in the solution of positive ways to take care of ourselves. Again, we focus on ourselves. In a very real way, it is in taking care of our selves and being provided with a solution focused understanding of what depression is, that we will provide our loved one a positive family environment, where there is respect and which gradually creates harmony and healing among all its members.

What is created here is a symbiotic relationship between the depressed member and the family. What one does positively in helping themselves in recovery (Depressed Anonymous fellowship) will have a positive effect on the other. (families supporting other families).


Remember, Dep-Anon ZOOM meeting Monday at 2PM EDT and 1PM CST.
MEETING ID: 846 6885 1123 Password: serenity (lower case-no Capitals).

Dep-Anon, a 12 Step, online ZOOM meeting, for family and friends of the depressed is now available.

A new book, DEP-ANON: A 12 step recovery program for families and Friends of the depressed (2021) is now available. This new book also serves as a manual, used at all meetings, providing family members and friends of the depressed, important information related to the crippling and isolating nature of the depression experience. It also provides family with practical ways for coming together as a strong support group, much like the 12 Step Al-Anon groups, enabling family members to start focusing on them selves –on their own recovery — and not on their depressed significant other. We need to change ourselves first. Trying to change someone else is usually futile.
Dep-Anon will have a positive symbiotic relationship with the depressed family member’s own recovery program, Depressed Anonymous. Not only will the family group become more alert to their own needs and issues, but will be helped spiritually, physically and emotionally as they work together, using the 12 steps. These twelve spiritual principles, mutually strengthen each other as they share their own their own experiences, hope and strengths.

ZOOM MEETING INFORMATION
Note : Please contact us with the zoom Meeting ID:846 6885 1123
password: serenity

>>>>>>>> MONDAY August 22 2PM EST <<<<<<<<<<<

There is a time for holding on and a time for letting go.

There are times when we are barely holding on and times when we have to let go.
The United States is in the beginning of weather changes that have never before been seen by most of us in this country. There are the wildfires that are burning out of control in the Western regions of the country, and flooding that most people have never experienced in their lifetimes. Just recently, in my on State of Kentucky, thirty-eight people lost their lives in an early morning flooding which affected sixteen counties in Eastern Kentucky. The extent and magnitude of this flooding was so huge that older Kentuckians had never witnessed such devastation. Previous to that, Kentucky was blasted by a Tornado 12 miles wide and 200 miles in length. It sped through Kentucky 150 miles an hour. Whole communities were wiped out. Again, another example of the powerful changes in our weather.
Sea levels rising, as ice caps continue melting in both poles. The whole planet and its’ people ( including you and me) are holding on for things to come. Some of us, more than we know, are holding on to their lives. So many losses, so much of what we have valued are gone. With all of that we are still going through the pandemic. We are holding on.
We are finding that the grief and destruction that is ours, as family, community, nation, is beginning to turn our world upide dwon as we know it.
In a positive way, some of us are holding on to what has given us hope with a sense of security. By this I mean, that when we become afraid, depressd and isolated we can still spiral out of the bad mood over all our losses and enter into a new mood of hope and serenity. And how does this happen? For those of us who are depressed, we discovered a program of recovery that works.This is a 12 Step program of rcovery called Depressed Anonymous. It is a program where persons with the same faith and practice of the Steps, come together in a fellowship and mutually support each other, in ours times of loss. We hold onto the promises of DA,where we learn what happens to those of us when we place our trust in a God of our understanding. We not only begin to hold onto the belief that we will get better, we also begin to discover and root out those personality defects which keep us imprisoned and isolated. We felt there is no help in sight. Not true. Members of our recovering fellowship show us how by putting into effect the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps how our lives begin to change for the better.
It is in the “letting go” of the areas of our lives that made life feel hopeless and ourselves worthless. We soon found that the negative ways that we talked to ourselves were counterproductive. Once we began to affirm the good in ourselves, we were able to find ways that gave us new hope.

We came to believe that there was a God of love on our side, who manifested its power, daily working out in our mind and body, the belief that we too are able to find peace and help as we continue to live with meaning and purpose for our life.
Hold onto the belief that the God of your understanding will bring you peace and a new way of living. This new way of living will give you resources, plus a beloved community, supporting each of you on your journey of hope.

Please go to our website at Depressedanon.com and find out more of who we are and what we believe. You will be happy that you did.

With a gratitude,

Hugh S.

Acceptance that “we are partners in a common effort”

How wonderful is the feeling that we do not have to be specially distinguished among our fellows in order to be useful and profoundly happy. Not many of us can be leaders of prominence, nor do we wish to be.

Service gladly rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well accepted, solved with God’s help, the knowledge that at home or in the world outside we are partners in a common effort, that in God’s sight all human beings are important, the proof that love freely given brings a full return, the certainty that we are no longer alone in self-constructed prisons, the surety that we can fit and belong in God’s scheme of things, these are the satisfactions of right living for which no pomp and circumstance, no heap of material possessions could possibly be substitutes.

SOURCES
The Twelve and Twelve/Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Ny, NY.
–Quoted in DEP-ANON: A 12 Step Recovery Program for Families and Friends of the Depressed. DAP. Louisville, KY 40241. Pages 14-15.

If you need anything, let me know

These are the words from a woman who has a dementia. The words always come with a smile. She doesn’t remember my name nor my wife’s name. She just knows that we are someone that she sees often coming to visit. I had initially found it strange that she would say this at the end of every visit–as I was painfully aware that this is not possible now, at this stage of her dementia.

Here is my point. I knew her when she did knew my wife and I. She always ended our visits with this warm offer of help, if “we needed it”. I believe that there are places in her brain, memories, that are triggered when loved ones leave after visiting. She didn’t just start saying this, like it was something brand new. Her whole life was spent helping others -seeing if anyone needed her help. In earlier days, if they did need help, she was there for them.

This statement, “if you need anything”, is one of our groups commitment to those who suffer from depression. If you are depressed, we are there to help you. When you knock at our door, online or real, we invite and welcome you into our fellowship. Here you will find helpful ways to deal with and overcome your own depression. You will also find good people who will not judge you because of your depression.

Each of us is on our own recovery journey, some of us just beginning, some further along and some who come back to help others, and sharing all the positive ways that they have improved their own lives. We heard the same supportive words as you are hearing today. So, as my friend tells us, if You need anything, how can we help you? And one thing that we always do provide,is hope! We want you to come to a Depressed Anonymous fellowship meeting today, where you will be able to personally share with us how we can help you. We look forward to meeting you.
Hugh S

Please check out our website here (depressedanon.com) for more information about attending DA meetings online and/or face to face.

As I changed the script, the scenarios of my life got better

“When I was depressed I thought that my sad feelings would keep me forever shut up in the prison and pain of depression. I continued to believe quite falsely, that I would never feel good again. In time though, and by believing in my Higher Power, I forced myself to get active in my own recovery and focus on my strengths and abilities. As I changed the script the scenarios of my life got better!

I will depend on this Power greater than myself to help me through disabling times of depression.I will live only for this day and so I will have the freedom from worry about yesterday and the projected hurts about tomorrow.”

My thoughts about changing the script of my life are the following:
1) Instead of letting my negative thoughts overwhelm me and force me into submission, I now think thoughts of hope.
2) My thinking and behavior are solution focused. I now tell myself and believe that I have the ability tom make favorable decisions in my behalf.
3)I have found the people (Depressed Anonymous fellowship) who live positive lives with their own living script, giving hope to risk living their lives without fear of being abandoned or isolated in that prison of depression. If I believe that I have created my own prison, I also believe that I have a choice to stop putting bricks into a structure that only isolated and paralyzed my abilities and efforts to climb out of the hole of depression.
4)I gain new positive beliefs about myself from other members of the fellowship. Those mistaken believes that I once held about myself are gradually stricken from my personal script, as the scenarios of my life begin to change for the better.
5) Every day I have a fresh start as I continue to thrive while my moods provide me with a startling and new found energy, plus a host of friends who speak a language of hope.
6) Best of all, I can go to a live ZOOM meeting of the fellowship every day, with meetings at night during the week. And finally, you will only be as isolated as you decide. You are not alone.

Hugh S.

For more information, please click onto our website at www.depressedanon.com. We welcome all who want to learn how to keep from saddening themselves.

Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship groups. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Pages 89-90 .

Do persons who are addicted have depression as part of their lives?

Many times I hear a person attending our fellowship, Depressed Anonymous, not only are they now attending another 12 step fellowship, but now believe that their depression is either a part of their addiction, or the cause of their depression.

Whether they are addicted to a substance (alcohol) or to a behavior (depressive thinking), they find that depression is part of their daily life. With depression being part of an addiction, it follows that these powerful feelings of helplessness and hopelessness need ot e addressed.

Co-morbidity is a term used in the treatment of addictions, as with the alcoholic who is depressed, exists as a critical factor in how alcoholism affects their specific addiction. Co-dependency also serves as fertile ground for depression to develop, as it takes over one’s moods, thinking and behavior. Both the depressed and the alcoholic find themselves out of control, unable to live a life free from their addictions. The one feeds on the other. That is why one will find the Depressed Anonymous fellowshiip a necessary and healing partner in one’s healing.

So, can we say, not only should an alcoholic deal with his/her addiction to alcohol, but need to look into their feelings of depression. The one affects the other negatively. In the case of seeking and getting help for their alcohol addiction, and staying sober, both AA and DA provide long term, positive effectS, on one’s feeling isolated and depressed. The more we use the tools of Alcoholics Anonymous and Depressed Anonymous, the more we will find the hope and serenity that comes from the strength and healing,
from both these spiritual programs of recovery.

Many times persons who join us in our Depressed Anonymous 12 Step program, find that our fellowship becomes a logical and necessary component for their individual recovery program.

If a person feels lost in their struggle to free themselves from the prison of depression, they simultaneously are struggling to stay sober, possibly denying their own negative and tortuous thinking causing a spiraling downward into a pit from which they are not able to dig out.

How many persons depressed come into a Depressed Anonymous meeting and find that there is hope for them too. They embrace and make part of their lives, the strength received when they apply the 12 steps to their own lives. If you are already part of a 12 Step Fellowship, and are seeking help for your depression. The fellowship of Depressed Anonymous is here for you.

Hugh S.

COPYRIGHT(C) Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION, 2011. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Lousville, KY.

This book of Depressed Anonymous can be ordered online from the Depressed Anonymous website at Depressedanon.com. Other 12 Step literature is available from this Bookstore.