Thoughts from the Depressed Anonymous Workbook
The healing comes in the telling of the story, the literally painful ‘re-membering.’ As the story is retold and some of the old feelings which were denied and cut off are gradually remembered and received by a supportive and empathic listener, healing starts to happen. The re-membering of the story, particularly if the trauma has been severe and deeply repressed, can be extremely painful, accompanied in some instances by sleep disturbances, nightmares, anxiety or depression. It is critical to let the individual loosen his or her defense of repression at a pace which feels safe, especially as trust is gradually developed.
What are some of the losses of the adult child? He or she has lost childhood in some real ways. Very often the growing up in a dysfunctional family means loss of trust and love in some cases and even loss of provision for basic survival needs such as food, shelter and physical safety… Sometimes this chronic depression is masked and defended against by compulsive activity and perfectionist kinds of striving. Becoming “tireless” and “limitless caretakers of others defends a person against his or her own neediness and yearning to be cared for.” (See: Adult children of alcoholics. Ministers and Ministries. Rea McDonnell and Richard Callahan,CSC.)
Regarding Self-concept and the Fourth Step ( “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” )
Most of our lives we are involved in relationships of one kind or another. It is these relationships that set us up for being the trusted individual who sees the world either as a safe and secure place to live or we learn to see the world and the people in it as a place to be feared.
Dorothy Rowe, always at her best at helping the depressed develop personal insights asks pertinent questions:
What kind of meaning do you need to find which would enable you to master your experience and to allow you to get on with your life?
What have you learned from your experience of depression which you feel would be helpful to other people?
Are you aware that your own program of recovery using the Steps can be a great source of help to that person who comes into the Depressed Anonymous Program of recovery.
SOURCES: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.