Tag Archives: 12 spiritualprinciplesof Depressed Anonymous

The total surprise of living.

 

I’ve finally found how to live.  I guess you could say it was pretty much a round -about- way.   Surprisingly, it all came about with my face to face struggle with the dark forces of depression.  Included in these  waves of darkness appeared  the demons of shame, guilt, fear and isolation.  All these foes of serenity and happiness entered through the  door of my life and settled in. I was imprisoned.  It took all my energies to mobilize my will to even get out of bed in the morning.

I reached down deep into my soul and made a commitment to myself and to my wanting to live.  I discovered a “power greater than myself” in a belief that told me that I could free myself from this strong attachment to sadness and despair. I moved my body. I began to force myself to get up and walk. Almost like Jesus telling the man paralyzed from birth to get up, take up his mat and walk.  And that is what I did. I got out of bed and started walking.

Later I realized that I had put a goal into my life. I had a purpose. It wasn’t some grandiose plan to free myself from the demons of fear–it was  a simple action that put meaning in my life. I lived every day  with a purpose to survive whatever had me by the throat.

“I came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore  me to sanity.” That was Step Two of the Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous. That was the moment I made a decision to trust that the God of my understanding would give me back my life. This is indeed what happened.

As it states in our  Manual, ” We found God does not make too hard terms with those who speak seek its guidance. To us, the realm of the spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive, and never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek it. It is open, we believe to all men and women.

We believe that to be conscious is to have been able first of all to listen to someone or something that expresses God’s desire to free us from the misery as soon as  we are willing to turn our minds and our wills over to it.  Somewhere  along the way, we were convinced that that the only safe way to  make this life bearable and predictable was to  continually sadden ourselves, withdraw into our little shell and make sure that our own small world was completely under our control. It was a perfect little world, this world of ours. It was dark, gloomy and painful, but at least we knew what we had. It is this predictableness that makes life inescapably  hell for all of us, even though we’d rather have this than the total surprise of living.”

Scott Peck, in his best selling book, The Road Less Traveled makes the statement in the first sentence of his book  “That life is unpredictable.”  Yes, life is definitely unpredictable. That is what can make it an adventure of discovery instead of  completely removing all spontaneity  and joy because of our being imprisoned in that small, painful, and ongoing total isolation of depression.

Break free! Push on!  In time you too will live and enjoy the daily adventure of living life.  Be surprised by the daily joys of living life!

SOURCES: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Pg. 97.

Please VISIT THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS  BOOKSTORE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

 

The “before” and “after” stories of those who freed themselves from the tyranny of depression

I just want to write a few thoughts this morning about the “before” and “after” experiences of group members  battles  with depression.  Before there was a Depressed Anonymous group for me to attend, where I could address my problems, I joined another 12 step program of recovery. It was at this meeting that I heard and saw people who shared their stories how it was “before”  they got into recovery and  the  “after”  now that they are living the recovery program.

The difference was like night and day. I could listen all day to a lecture on depression, alcoholism, overeating or any other addiction  and not be as moved as I am when I hear the actual person telling  their story of how life is  now by  actively participating in their own recovery. To hear the changes that have taken place in those many people whose lives had spiraled down into the darkness of isolation and hopelessness is a phenomenal  experience in itself.

Most of the books which serve as the basic text of 12 step groups such as Depressed Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, to name a few, all include many “before” and “after” stories of those who have suffered the loss of their self only to find that with the help of the spiritual principles of the Steps were they able eventually to share how  their lives had changed dramatically.   Their stories are simple, direct and filled with powerful accounts of  human beings who once were lost in the chaos of addiction,  but now have been freed,  living with hope and serenity.

Depressed Anonymous’ basic text  has its own “before” and  “after ” stories as well. All the stories, the “before” and “after” accounts,   give credit to the program of recovery which  has changed the thinking and lives of thousands of persons throughout the world.  I see  these stories manifesting  the miracle of the Higher Power, at work in those persons who made a decision to choose to walk that different pathway out of their addictions.  They then  tell those others “still suffering from depression” about the power  they have received.

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.” Step Twelve of Depressed Anonymous.”

Sources:

Depressed Anonymous, recommends its basic text, Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition for the many inspiring accounts of those persons who came to a meeting, like myself, heard what others had experienced and decided that to see how it worked for them.

Also another excellent publication with many “before” and “after”  stories is A MEDLEY OF DEPRSSION STORIES, by the founder of two Depressed Anonymous groups in North Carolina, Debra Sanford.  Her work is available at Amazon.com.

Depressed Anonymous Publications also has books available at depressedanon.com. VISIT THE STORE

Our feelings come about due to how we think of things.

Happiness is an elusive feeling – and for each of us happiness can mean something very different. When I say to myself “life doesn’t get any better than this,” then I know that life is indeed good and that all is well with my soul.

What can keep us in the prison of depression is a construction that we place on events and situations that occur in our world.

To be free means  to act with a degree of spontaneity. This after all, is the opposite of depression. Events of themselves are not the cause for depression – similar events are in the lives of many folks  but there are some folks that don’t experience depression because of them. So, it must be the way we think about these events and the meanings that we place on the situation. Our lives and the way we look at life is composed of past and present events. Our past life is a way we predict the future. “Since bad things have happened to me in the past – bad things are bound to happen to me in the future.” How true this is.  Our  prison is composed of blocks of times and situations which at one time were fluid – like a river moving. Since these events affect our sense of self – we caused the river to stop flowing – and instead our painful thoughts and feelings – are the blocks that make up the walls of our personal prison. We need to restore the fluidity the of our lives. Once when our self has been restored – namely our spontaneity,  we will experience freedom and happiness. By having that spiritual experience and being an active member of  the fellowship  of Depressed Anonymous is what can restore us to sanity. Happiness comes from finding loving support, and acceptance.”

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SOURCES:  (C)   The Promises. (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville.

(C)The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, 2nd edition. (2002)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Pray, but keep your oars in the water.

I love this Russian saying. How true it is that if we keep rowing,  keep  praying and believing that God can and will provide his peace for us, we will in time discover that this is not just wishful thinking but reality. The more we take care of ourselves, admit that we need help,  ask this power greater than ourselves to lead us out of our darkness,  the God of our understanding will take us where we want to go.” Move the body and the mind will follow ” is especially true when it comes to our self enforced isolation. To get well we have to move, we have to put our oars in the water and row if we ever want to reach the shores of peace and serenity.

We believe that we already have the map laid out for us in the 12 spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous that can  take us  to  a land of hope and fellowship. And if we feel we have run aground on the shores of ruin and desolation we now know we can go where others just like us have gone and find a new life.

“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves  could restore us to sanity.”

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

VISIT THE STORE for more helpful information on depression and the 12 steps.