I need a manual on how to live life!

The other day I noticed that one of my head lights was out. I thought why spend good money and have a mechanic fix this thing? I will just find a manual that fits the make and year of my car and do it myself. So that is what I did. It worked perfectly and I saved my self some grief from a mechanic’s bill.

Before this situation I was visiting my mechanic about a problem that I knew I could not fix and so I went into the garage and found him under the hood peering intently into the car’s engine. At the same time, he was reading carefully from a manual, spread out over the engine illustrating the engine parts with pictures and text. I thought, wow! just like my wife when she is cooking up a new dish. Her new dish was illustrated with pictures and text, giving step by step directions for giving her latest creation new life. Many times at a 12 Step group meeting how many times that I felt I needed a manual on how to live life successfully. When you are born, your Mom didn’t get a manual from the doctor telling her how her new creation was to live his/her life.

Fast forward to adolescence and young adulthood or even as an older adult in retirement. In the midst of living out our life there may come a time when we are baffled, surprised about a personal condition that we find we have no control. In our mind we try and figure out what is wrong with us. What is happening to us. And for the sake of an example, which I personally know best–been there done that–I painfully discovered I was depressed and getting myself deeper into the dark pit as I continued to ruminate uselessly on what I had and how to escape this terrible pain. The more I ruminated and worried the more I isolated myself. I wanted to know if I was losing my mind, had a brain cancer or some new and incurable disease.

Because I already was a member of another12 Step program of recovery, it was obvious, that the Big Book of their fellowship, outlined step by step the nature of our illness and gave a detailed program of recovery on how to live with the interminable effects and symptoms of my illness. The manual worked whereas before I was powerless to get anything to work for me that could change my life.

And then Depressed Anonymous was founded and I soon discovered there was a manual for this illness that was working for other persons depressed so why couldn’t it work for me. It was depression that seemed to have me by the throat with its innumerable symptoms. Just as those who put out cook books with hundreds of recipes, I found the perfect recipe, or detailed instructions, on how to leave the prison of my depression. And the best part of this Manual, Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, was that there was a group discussion meeting that talked about these helpful and healing instructions. If you were experiencing depression these steps would work for any one else as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not want you, the reader, to think we are minimizing the “life threatening “ issues that go with the depression experience by using the mechanic and cook book analogies. But if I had not had access to this Manual with its detailed information on how to get well and to feel better ( by the way–all our material is written by people like me–depressed and in recovery), I probably would have struggled longer and who knows what would have become of me.

Our recipe for wellness can be located at The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore. Also go to the Website Menu (depressedanon.com) and check out our HOME STUDY PROGRAM. Anyone can use this Manual, Depressed Anonymous and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook together if a Depressed Anonymous group is not in one’s area.

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