The pessimist complains about the wind;
The optimist expects it to change;
The realist adjusts the sails.
– William Arthur Ward
When I attend a Depressed Anonymous meeting, whether virtual or face-to-face, I know that I will learn more about adjusting my sails. My life is always undergoing an adjustment. Now, that’s not a bad thing, that’s just how this program of recovery works. The “power that is greater than myself” is the wind in my sails. The first three steps of Depressed Anonymous describe how we get in touch with this power that continues to keep me afloat, staying on course.
My life continues to have some “zigging and zagging” adjustments, some minor and some needing more attention, and I make it through the day. I want to mention that there are many trusty mates on board with me, all having tested sea legs, continuing to help me, anytime and any day, sail through rough waters.
Now, with adjusted sails, I head for port, a metaphor for serenity and hope.
Dep-Anon Family Group
When family members of a depressed loved one were asked to prioritize, describe, and list which feelings they experienced most often and most intensely, the following are those which they documented:
- Feeling overwhelmed and burdened by a family member’s depression. 2) Feeling restricted around the depressed, feeling of something similar to the expression of “walking on eggshells.” 3) Feelings of helplessness 4) Anxiety about the situation and not knowing what to do about the feelings they were experiencing 5) Feeling emotionally drained 6)Feeling inadequate faced with a love one’s immobility and lack of motivation 7) Feeling anger and frustration at the depressed 8) Being an enabler 9) Feeling that one was living an unproductive life as one was stymied by the depressed unproductive depression 10) Having feelings of irrationality and impatience 11) Feeling inadequate 12) Unhappy 13) Feeling betrayed in retirement by spouse’s late-life depression 14) Indecisive 15) Lack of confidence in oneself.
With the publishing and production of the 3rd edition of Depressed Anonymous the loved ones of the depressed will not only have a book written by the depressed, a fount of valuable information about the way the depressed live out their lives, but now with the DEP-ANON FAMILY GROUP GUIDE will have their own guide with its suggested ways on how to relate to the depressed family members or friend. This DEP-ANON guide will, chapter by chapter outline a process whereby family members can understand depression and the various ways to cope with those who suffer from it.
DEP-ANON is also about how family members and friends of the depressed can find help and support. I believe now is a good time in the history of our Twelve Step fellowship to spend time refining and detailing strategies for helping family members and friends of the depressed. In fact, the name chosen for this companion to Depressed Anonymous is DEP-ANON. The name and philosophy is much like AL-ANON, the support group for family and friends of the alcoholic.
DEP-ANON places its focus on creating a relationship with the depressed that is not only supportive, but also creates an environment where the whole family can find healing. Also, we want to spend some time speaking about how we can help our depressed family member find the necessary support so that any future relapse can be prevented. There are a number of routes that can be taken to ensure that this happens and we will discuss them in the following pages . We hope that what you read here will not only be a help to you, but will help your loved one recover and stay out of the prison of depression.”
SOURCE: Copyright(c) Dep-Anon Family Group Manual. Pages 1-3
NOTE: .Comments about the DEP-ANON recovery program will continue in future blogs at depressedanon.com.
“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
” We treasure the Serenity Prayer because it brings a new light to us that can dissipate our oldtime and nearly fatal habit of fooling ourselves.
In the radiance of this prayer we see that defeat, rightly accepted, need not be a disaster. We now know that we do not have to run away, nor ought we again try to overcome adversity by still another bulldozing power drive that can only push up obstacles before us faster than they can be taken down.”
I think that Bill W., sure got it right on this one. He tells us that defeat, rightly accepted, need not be a disaster. Well, initially when I felt totally defeated, I did not accept it. How could I? My life was falling apart and the pain so great that I did want to run away. Hide. Disappear. Anything but face what I knew I had to face. But eventually when I did face up to my defeat, my defeat didn’t turn out to be a disaster. Bill got it right. With time, work,and the 12 step fellowship my life started to straighten out. Now, these many years later, I see how God made it possible to use my own defeat to help others overcome theirs. In other words, my Higher Power gave me the necessary courage to change the things I could. One day at a time.
Today, I celebrate a personal victory. Today, on Veterans Day (USA) 29 years ago I overcame my addiction to cigarettes. I was smoking two packs everyday. Then on the night of the 11th of November, 1985, I had a frightening dream. I dreamt that if I was to continue smoking it would not be long till I developed tongue cancer. Was the message from a Higher Power? Was it my fear come to fruition in that relaxed frame of mind which sounded a warning? Whatever it was and whoever it came from I really didn’t care–all I know is that day I needed to make a decision to quit smoking. By 7pm that evening the decision was made. And from that day forward my life went on without a smoke. I am grateful for the dream that paradoxically, woke me up. Was the dream a manifestation of the “Power greater than myself” that spoke to me in my sleep. How could a dream do what I could not do for myself? Believe me, I tried for years to quit–without any lasting results. I think what occurred that night in my dream enabled me to have a “spiritual awakening“, where my Higher Power did something for me that I was not able to do. Smoking two packs of cigarettes a day is definitely insane. God saved me from myself and for that I am most grateful. I think what got the ball rolling many times before my powerful dream was the fact that I admitted that I was helpless over my addiction. Three years before this event I had made a decision to join a 12 step fellowship recovery group and learned the importance of believing in a power greater than myself. I was ready to follow the prompt of this power 29 years ago.