When someone new comes to a Depressed Anonymous meeting they will hear about people in the group working on the 12 Steps. What this means is that since the group of people are into working the 12 Steps they intend to live out what the Steps mean.
The first Step that all of us make when we walked through that door into our first DA meeting was our admission that we were helpless over our depression. We needed help.
We need to admit that at the present time our will power is powerless over this constant sadness and emptiness that we have been carrying around most of our lives. We just need to talk to someone who will understand us and respect us and not tell us to “snap out of” our depression.
Working the 12 Steps means reading all we can about the Steps and how these Steps relate to my own sense of aloneness and sadness. The manual, Depressed Anonymous is specifically designed to help the depressed person learn about each Step is treated with it’s own chapter in the book.
In order to have a change of feelings we have to work the Steps, which means putting them into practice in all our daily affairs. It means that we have to try and live out the message of the Steps one day at a time.
A person needs to take each Step and reflect on how that particular Step speaks to our own life. If a Step that we are studying is unclear as to how it applies to us then we need to bring that up in a group discussion so that other members can share how that Step has been applied to their own lives. Sometimes persons who have been in recovery for a long time have more experiences with the Steps and they can share how this or that Step has helped them. We know that at the DA meetings there are people who are each at different levels of the understanding of the Steps.
Steps Four and Five really have to be faced head-on if our depression is to go away. Step four and five are all about cleaning house. We must square off with ourselves and begin the rooting out processes that will in time free us from our sadness and our “feeling less than” as a depressed person. So often a person depressed is afraid, panic stricken really, in facing some issues that were never their fault in the first place.
It is possible that our anger hasn’t as yet been released over some things that have been done to us as children.
Step Twelve speaks about practicing these principles in all of our affairs – that means exactly what it says – we have to practice these Steps day by day. We have to say I’m sorry as soon as I am aware that I have said or done anything that is out of the way. We again need to study each Step, tear it apart and get every ounce of truth from the Step as it relates to ourselves. We then write down how each of them has a special application for my life. We also have a practice of finding quality time everyday of our lives for making room to listen to our Higher Power, or God as we understand God and how that power is going to operate in our lives today and everyday. It is like we must learn to let go and let God operate in our lives.
For all of us who have had a dependency on depression and sadness, it is hard to let go of the sadness and thinking that somehow gave us an identity to our lives. Depression can serve as a safe defense and haven againt the uinpredictableness in our lives.
Practicing these principles in al our affairs or as we say “walking the talk and working the Steps” means that we have to be ever mindful through our times of prayer and meditation, which is a way to find out what God’s will for us is for my life. Hope appears on the horizon.
Practicing these Steps, for me, means they will promote an ever growing awareness that the Higher Power is leading me according to its will and promise.
(c)Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
Ordering online is possible through this website at www.depressedanon.com.