Last night at a Depressed Anonymous meeting, a member shared how she felt that our members do a great service to those still depressed by sharing their story of recovery from depression. It was then pointed out that Ralph, a member of Depressed Anonymous for 23 years now, had his own story of recovery published in the first edition of Depressed Anonymous(1998). The title of his story appeared under the title Depressed Anonymous is Ralph’s Guardian Angel. The story is a real tribute to that person’s faith who to this day continues to use the Twelve Steps as a way to stay out of depression. His story and the many others in the Depressed Anonymous book, now in its 3rd edition, continue to inspire us and give us hope. We too can have the same experience as Ralph. In fact, it was suggested at the meeting last night that Ralph write and give an account for how his life has been since the time that he penned that account (1992) of his own personal recovery from depression.
In Ralph’s personal account t of his recovery experience he tells us ” that the group has been my guardian angel who was speaking to me all the time. I learned that there was hope for me after all. There is a new rebirth in me spiritually, emotionally and physically. I believe that I can go on with my life without all the fears that I bottled up inside me. As long as I have faith in my Higher Power and the Depressed Anonymous group, there will be no mountain that I cannot climb. I am forever grateful.”
(Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Personal Stories section. Story #7 on pages 117-118.)
I might add that Ralph has been the staying force in our community for facilitating a Depressed Anonymous meeting, ensuring that the group has a place to meet, and just keeping the door open for anyone who wants to find hope and fellowship which is the kind of hope that Ralph found when he entered that door of the fellowship for the first time. (I remember well. I was there./ Editor)
I can tell you that it is in the telling of the story that gives us hope–always. That is why at our Twelve Step meetings we have speakers who share their story of recovery for those not acquainted with the hope, healing and serenity that our recovery journey provides, one day at a time. Also, by having so many personal stories in our manual we know how important it is to show that what we believe actually works. The ” proof is in the pudding” as the old saying goes. At the beginning of every meeting, the leader for that meeting shares with the group the way their life was before they found and put the power of the Twelve Steps into their lives, and now, how their life is today.
The more we come together and share our stories, that is our struggles with depression, the more we find the solutions just as did Ralph who found the Depressed Anonymous fellowship to serve as his guardian angel. And from the meeting last night I see that Ralph’s guardian angel is still very much on the job. I am grateful.
Sources: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
Believing is seeing:15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.