“…seeing and talking to other people are amongst the most helpful experiences for depressed people generally.”
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
What a novel thought: a depressed person talking to another depressed person. When I tell people I am going to a Depressed Anonymous meeting their first response is “Isn’t that depressing?” “Actually,” I respond, “it isn’t.” I know from my experiences in other 12 Step groups how sharing with persons who have the same problems as my own, is always helpful and therapeutic.
“It takes one to know one” as the saying goes. The reason that meetings with the depressed are not depressing is that all of us speak the same language. All of us come with a HOPE that they can find a way out of the isolation and pain. The depressed person is discovering meetings which are hopeful and solution focused. No “poor me” attitudes here. No ” pity party” going on here.
I find the meetings upbeat and focus on the solution. The solutions are found in the 12 Steps; spiritual principles presenting a Step by Step plan for recovery and freedom from sadness and isolation. At the core of these meetings is a belief in a power greater than ourselves, who is restoring us to sanity. This power, for some, is the group meeting and while for others it is a being called God, the God of our understanding.
How Depressed Anonymous Works.
At each Depressed Anonymous meeting the following message is read to the group by a volunteer:
“You are about to witness the miracle of the group. You are joining a group of people who are on a journey of hope and who mutually care for each other. You will hear how hope, light and energy have been regained by those who were hopeless and in a black hole and tired of living.
By our involvement in the group, we are feeling that there is hope – there is a chance for me too. I can get better. But we are not the people with the magic pills and the easy formulas for success. We believe that to get out of the prison of depression takes time and work.
We all have been wounded in different degrees by the experience of depression. We also know that there is a method to regain control over our lives that is practical and workable. It is successful for all those who want to change their lives. Some of us believed that there was no hope and that suicide was the only way out.
In this natural world, one of the first laws is that all growth is gradual – that belief is the bottom line for all of us who are depressed and who want to get better. The more we attend meetings, the more we will learn and see the various ways to escape from depression. We also learn how important it is not to give up on ourselves.”
(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 156-157.
(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.
(c) Believing is seeing:15 ways to leave the prison of depression. Hugh Smith (2016) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. .
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