I want to tell you how it is to recover from depression and I refuse to sugarcoat the truth.

After experiencing, for the first time in my life, the traumatizing effects of depression, I learned some very important lessons. I would like to share a few of these lessons with you today.

First of all, I learned in a very short while the devastating effects  produced  by a sadness which sucked me down into a bottomless pit. ..a mental  quicksand.  I didn’t see it coming. All of a sudden it was there.  It ambushed me. My view of life gradually turned grey. It was if someone turned off the color. The more I attempted to figure out what was going on in my body, the more lost I became. I was lost in a desert environment without signposts as to where I was or where I was going. Besides feeling the loss of direction out of this mess, I also felt my mind was  cotton. Describing this as being in a thick mental fog would give a clearer description of what I was feeling.

Secondly, this taught me another very important lesson. It taught me that I had to take charge of what I was feeling and thinking and be responsible for whatever I had to do to free myself from the clutches of this mind numbing  imprisonment. To get right to the point I had to get to work! I had to get moving. I had to get out of bed and find a place to recharge my mental batteries. Of course it wasn’t only my mind that was seemingly frozen with this cottony fog, but my whole body  was now immobilized and incapacitated. This is why I had to move. In the time frame in which I became depressed the word depressed meant nothing to me. I had heard that so and so was depressed–well, I thought, nothing serious here. Later I heard that this person  killed themselves. I never really put together how dangerous it is to do nothing when depressed. For all of us it is good to remember that depression can be a life threatening illness if not addressed. Yes, many persons depressed will never even mention the word “depressed”  because of the stigma attached.   You will never see a cast, a broken arm or them using  a cane telling us  what is going on in their mental  suffering from the agony of mental torture.

My third point is the following: find a group where you can go and tell your story. Yes, let it all spill out. At first it might seem like you are just whining, complaining, but in reality you will  be sharing your life so that in the end you will be saving it. Because most of us living isolated  lives anyway, and most of us  unfamiliar with sharing face to face with anyone else, joining a group will most probably not be easy. Sharing a situation with others which we  feel stigmatize by  is definitely a challenge. So is our depression!

It is the “miracle of the group” where I found my own strength and the courage to  tell others–those just like myself–how I felt. It was in the context of the group where I began my work in recovering from depression. I WAS NOT ALONE!  It was my first attempt to save my life from what I felt was a hopeless life situation. I had lost all hope. I found hope with others just like myself as we climbed out of the pit of depression.  We all felt that we were in an eighty foot hole with the tools to free ourselves from the darkness and fear. We each took our small eight foot ladders, joined them together and found the way up and out of our misery.  It took time and it took work. Work is the operative  word here. If you want to really learn from this experience that you are suffering with, namely the misery and the feeling alone and frightened, then please face the hard fact–you will have to work at recovery. It is possible. I did it and so have hundreds of others. People around the world are suffering from the misery and isolation of depression. We have the “tools” to do the work of  feeling better…now, and each new day of our lives.  And if we don’t have a mutual aid group like Depressed Anonymous in our locality get online and find someone who can help. Get started today.  Force yourself to take up the phone, hit the keys and say help me. I want some hope that I can get better better too.

We want to help. Get in contact with Depressed Anonymous and ask to talk with someone. We are all volunteers and  we are all survivors from depression. Leave a message here and we will get back with you. You too will find a source of strength in the message we  will share with you.

Hugh,

for the Fellowship  of the  12 Step program of Recovery Depressed Anonymous.

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