Tag Archives: A Medley of Depression Stories

It takes one to know one!

And so it goes in life that God often uses those of us with a certain experience to help others who are experiencing that same hurt and pain.” Debra Sanford in her recent publication: A Medley of Depression Stories.

Without a doubt, the statement  “it takes on to know one, ” is right on target. The truth of this   statement is verified by the increasing number of mutual aid groups that  keep cropping up in our communities. The fact remains, that if anybody can understand my situation or my particular  physical or mental condition, it most likely  will be that person  who has  experience the same condition.

During  my experience with depression, I found myself isolated and alone. I also found myself asking questions about what was happening to myself. I was  not coming up with any answers. I was scared!  I was living a lie.  There was a smile on my face  with others, but inside I was also  fearful of being found out.  Without any exterior evidence on my body that I was in  pain, every day turned out to be a momentous challenge for me.

Not until I discovered that all my pain, mental and physical had to do with being depressed, did I start to deal with it.  It was then that I became proactive in my own personal recovery. What did I do?  I started walking five miles a day. The only way I could chase the pain away was to walk.  And walk some more. Every day.

During this time, just getting out of bed was an overwhelming  chore. At this time in my life, I had to have a job to support  myself. Calling in sick  at work wouldn’t get it.  I kept walking. And after months of  exercise, I gradually felt my mood begin to rise.  Of course, because of my familiarity with negative thinking and bashing myself unmercifully, I told myself that  this calm in the storm, would not last. I was right. It didn’t last. Eventually, because I persisted with my walking , I  eventually was able to live  my life   without depression. I could live with peace and hope.

Also, because of Depressed Anonymous and sharing with others in the group, I got stronger, found more tools to stay depression free, and helped others start their own  Depressed Anonymous group. One of our members   pointed out to the new members how  our own “feeling better”  could be attributed to the “miracle of the group.”  It was in the group where  sharing our struggles and experiences   made it possible to have hope and a gradual  from depression.

As Debra C., tells us in her account of persons who tell their stories     (A  Medley of Depression Stories) and experiences,   as being part of the Depressed Anonymous group.  She states a fact  about the members of Depressed Anonymous that “The sheer healing obtained from the group is immeasurable.”  A Medley of Depression Stories. (2017) by Debra  Sanford.  ( ISBN 978-1974499601). Her book can be purchased at Amazon.com/Books. I highly recommend it. Her book is filled with those personal and powerful testimonies of how people joined together for the same  purpose can find the help they need. Why wouldn’t they? We all have come from the same experience and isolation and now find kindred souls in our life who not only speak the same language of hope but continue to offer it to each other.


SOURCES:  (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY

(c)  Debra Sanford A Medley of Depression Stories. (2017)  @      Amazon.com/Books

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.”


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

“Fear Pulled me off My Path.”


The following story ” Fear pulled me off my path.” is reprinted here with the permission of Debra Sanford, the author of A MEDLEY OF DEPRESSION STORIES, pages  62-64. This particular article is one of a total of thirty-five stories featured in the book.

“Fear crushed me lately. I went into such  a dark place I couldn’t see the light. I had truly lost my way, like walking through the house with no electric at night. And having to feel  the furniture to figure out where I was. It was horrible. I cried so  much. I got it in my head that  I had leukemia because, of my severe anemia. All along thinking I was dying of cancer! I was leaving my children and grandkids. There was no hope to be found. In reality nothing had changed. Everything was the same as yesterday. I had a  nice little cottage, plenty of food and bills paid. I had so many friends in my life. But one thing had changed! My thought I was sure I had leukemia because I had the same symptoms. I freaked my self out so bad. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees! Fear is crushing. It drags you unwillingly into a tunnel of darkness. It’s one of the hardest things to come out of by yourself. It changes the playing field in one minute. I found it impossible to hold on to any kind of positive thought that would bring hope. I sobbed on my sofa and began to text my friends my fear dilemma! So many friends called and texted back positive words and even some humor that it made me laugh. There are not enough good things in the world to say about my good friends!! They truly are more valuable than money! About two hours later I began to feel  hope and see the light! They all have been crushed by depression and fear too. So they knew what it would take to pull me out of it. That’s the greatest thing about having friends who have experienced depression. You don’t have to explain it each time to them. They just get it! Fear is a dark monster that bares  no truth. It’s a lie! It hasn’t even come to pass yet, if it ever does. But the hope it steals is measureless!  And it clearly in the mind! The mind begins to run rampant with dark and scary thoughts. It starts to entertain the fear which lies as  it were a solid truth.  Within no time at all the lies  become some kind of reality in our minds, where we actually believe them as they are absolute truths. This is when the pain is at its height! Thus, my sobbing that I was definitely dying from  cancer.  It’s best to avoid fear at all cost. As the initial fear battle begins to distract your mind away from peace, call a friend immediately who is bold and powerful. And let them speak the truth to your mind and heart and loud and clearly! Do what you need to do to escape the “fear forest.”! Because once you allow yourself to entertain those scary thoughts you will be in that dark forest and it’s difficult to get out of it on your own. Call friends immediately for help!”

-Debra, NC

“Fear is crushing. It drags you unwillingly into a tunnel of darkness.”

Came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity

“This new belief in a Higher Power is not the creation of any organized religion but instead is the Power that creates the  universe.  Our surrender and trust in it frees it to work its way in our lives. That is the paradox of the Twelve Steps – the more we depend on the Higher Power instead of our addictions, the freeer we in reality become.

This new belief will in time give us the power to think about risking life without having to be dead sure of what the next moment will bring. It appears that when we are depressed, we are so sure that since everything in the past has been bad so should everything be in the future. You just expect everything to turn ut badly. So, the tomorrows never look very good to us. We need therefore to live in the now and it is when we surrender to the Higher Power that we finally begin to feel a safety we never felt before.”

SOURCE:   Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pg. 43.

Comment:  This is the Second Step of the Twelve Steps, the  spiritual principles that guide the lives of those  of  us who are in recovery. The Steps are the guides that   promote our personal peace and hope.  They are like a ladder that lead us  to   a higher level of living,  while at the same time leading  us to others just like ourselves.

I know that for some who come into our program of recovery feel a bit squeamish about turning their lives over to some Higher Power.  In Step Three, the Higher Power is defined as the God of our understanding–who we understand God to be. No matter what one’s religious beliefs might be or not be, we have this Power who we can turn to and to whom we can surrender our daily lives.  We just know that we can’t defeat our problem alone but need the  help of God, a Higher Power.  The Depressed Anonymous fellowship is there to help us in our journey out of our depression.  Their own lives and healing is in itself a power which can inspires us to continue on our journey as we work through the Steps and continue to hope. And by listening to the stories of others who are on the same path as our own and finding healing in their stories,   we  can tell ourselves that there must “be hope for me as well.”

An excellent work titled A MEDLEY OF DEPRESSION STORIES, by Debra Sanford, published in 2017, ( ISBN 978-1974499601)  will provide a wealth of hope for you as you accompany them in their personal stories out of the darkness of their own depression. They show us how the God of their understanding and the fellowship of DA all come together to give them back their lives of hope and happiness.

Also, you can read  inspirational stories of recovery in Depressed Anonymous, in the Personal Stories section of the book.  Both books would be great gifts to those of your family or friends who are looking for help.


Author pens new book, “A Medley of Depression Stories.”

The following are excerpts  from a recent article, from the Edenton, North Carolina Newspaper,  written  by Staff writer  Rebecca Bunch.  Portions of the article have been edited and paraphrased.

“Author Debra Sanford has accurately captured the struggles behind depression in a deeper  way in her new book, “A Medley of Depression Stories.” The book most ably points out with stories the personal observations on the mental health issues that plague members but also shares the stories of others in their own words.

In the Introduction to the book, Sanford describes  it  as  a Medley  of  powerful  short stories from  different perspectives  and  experiences — meant to help  the  depressed person –  relate and to  understand that they are  not alone.

The author has the hope that the reader will be able to relate to the stories from others.  Debra hopes that you will find your wellness here.

But, according to one entry in the book by someone identified only as “Anonymous” the Depressed Anonymous meeting is promised as a ” safe place to fall.”

The meetings are  described as an accepting place with friends who truly understand what you are talking about, a place where you don’t have to be ashamed to have a mental illness or to be depressed.

Meetings of Depressed Anonymous are scheduled every week in Edenton, NC., as well as in Elizabeth city.These meetings are there to offer support and comfort to those who need not to feel alone or as they live out their day to day lives.

 Copies of Sanford’s book are available at  Amazon.com.

You can reach the author at www.depressedanon.com/edentonnc. You can also contact Debra at (252) 333.8855.”

She will be happy to hear from you.


A short review of A Medley of Depression Stories by Hugh Smith,  Depressed Anonymous member.

First off, I met Debra and  members of the newly formed DA groups from Edenton and Elizabeth NC., about three years ago. It was a wonderful experience for me to meet face to face with a very enthusiastic and dynamic bunch of people. Yes, they were there to support each other and discover the ways the 12 Steps would lead them out of depression.

Debra’s work has stories, 35 of them written by Debra and some who struggled with the pain and isolation of depression.  I could pick out a few titles of these short stories but as I look over and read the stories I must admit that they all definitely strike home. I am inspired and given hope that  I  can get  help.

Everyone who reads these stories will find parts of themselves in each of the accounts. I find myself in so many of them myself.  If you are looking to find hope, and a way out of depression which has imprisoned all of us, then you have found here a  key that will free you.

If you are a member of a local DA group looking for topics to give hope, especially to Newcomers, then I advocate that this book and its stories be selected to be read at all the meetings.

I am proud to have the opportunity to know Debra personally and to see how her love of others is the reason for it being written. And with Debra, we all can say “my story is not over yet.” At every DA meeting another hopeful page has been added to our own story !

Hope is the door that leads into tomorrow!