One of many questions that arise in a person’s mind as they make that first courageous step into the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous is “How soon and how quick can I be free from the pain and isolation that has imprisoned me for so long?”
This question can only be answered by time and frequent and active participation in the fellowship of the group. It is by reading the text of the Depressed Anonymous manual and attempting to put these principles into effect into one’s daily life. Also, one can begin to feel some improvement in their lives as they slowly gain a belief, a faith if you will, that they too can get better- – with time, patience and sharing they will begin to accept themselves for who they are and try and change what they don’t like in themselves. By the fact that one comes to a meeting is in itself half of the battle in overcoming the depression. It is this interminable isolation that keeps the disease of depression at its height and intensity. It is only when a person can come to a meeting, begin to trust the group and so share some of the pain that has been bottled up for as many years as one can remember.
The program has been built by those who have experienced depression and know about the need to get connected and to be part of others like themselves. This is where the hope begins-when we see and hear others like ourselves sharing their past pain and how sharing how today it is all dif ferent because of their willingness, their openness and their honesty about themselves that has forced open the prison door that has till this time kept them imprisoned in their own fears and phobias.
The program is a very simple one -but this doesn’t mean that it is easy. All change is painful and if we are to grow we have to change. We have to get resolved some of those old issues that keep pop ping up in our lives and that want our attention but we cram them back in place and don’t want to look at them. The 12 Steps of Depressed Anonymous will help promote your own personal discovery of what it means to force oneself from the despair and self-hatred that normally comes with depression.
If you are new to our fellowship and this is the first that you are reading about a group whose sole purpose is to help ourselves and others escape the prison of depression you might be surprised to learn that we neither discuss medicine nor religion at any of our meetings. But really this makes sense as religion is about certain prescriptions and dogma that various religious bodies demand of their adherents -whereas spirituality is about one’s concept of a God of their understanding – not of someone else’s
understanding of who god is supposed to be for them selves and for everyone else.
The first step in getting past our depression is to first get into the door of a Depressed Anonymous meeting -take a seat – keep our ears open and know that we will not be pressured to say a word. Usually they only ask for the first name and leave it at that. Since we want to keep our anonymity we only use our first names at the meetings. There is a phone list for those who would like to keep in touch with fellow members between meetings. At each group meeting a passage is read from our big book or any other book that specifically deals with the spirit of the 12 Steps. Afterr all, we believe that the depression experience is much more than simply a brain disorder or a problem with misbehaving neurotransmitters