Tag Archives: DA sponsorship

What is a sponsor?

SPONSORSHIP IN 12 STEP PROGRAMS OF RECOVERY

A sponsor, when speaking about 12 Step programs of recovery is a mutual and confidential sharing between two members. A sponsor is a person with whom a member can discuss personal problems or questions, and who will share their experience, strength, and hope in working the program. It is strongly recommended that the person you choose as a sponsor has completed a Fourth and Fifth Step.

Is having a sponsor required? No. Although it is strongly recommended.

Sponsorship is not a relationship to be undertaken lightly. It is good to give it some thought before making the commitment. No one is a perfect sponsor, but avoiding sponsorship denies us a valuable experience for growth. Sponsorship is a form of Twelfth Step service and a way of expressing gratitude for what we have gained in the program.

In finding a Sponsor look for one who:

  1. Has what we want.
  2. Lives in the solution.
  3. Walks the walk.
  4. Has a sponsor.
  5. Emphasizes the Steps.
  6. Has more time in recovery that I do.
  7. Frequency of contact.
  8. Has worked more Steps than we have.
  9. Is available for telephone calls and meetings.
  10. Emphasizes spiritual aspect of the program.
  11. Gender is the same as ours.

Sponsorship is not a permanent relationship. It is okay to change sponsors when felt that the relationship no longer meets our needs. Sponsees deserve to know that they are welcome to change Sponsors whenever they want. Sponsors and sponsees make this point clear at the initial onset of the relationship. Terminate any relationship that is endangering your own recovery. If after thoughtful consideration one person decides to end a sponsorship relationship, it is recommended that the situation be approached with honesty and love.

Benefits of Sponsorship

Sponsors can learn too. The newest member can give insights to those who have been in the program for months or years. The exchange between sponsor and sponsee is a form of communication, which will instruct and nourish both persons.

We are all seeking peace of mind. Having and being a sponsor are important steps towards that goal and becoming what our Higher Power wants us to be –loving and serene people comfortable with ourselves and the world.

Interview the potential sponsor

Discuss mutual expectations. If we discuss our mutual expectations at the beginning, the Sponsorship will go more smoothly. Our goal in interviewing a potential sponsor is to determine how well we will work together. It is possible to have more than one sponsor.

RESOURCE:

“SPONSORSHIP” is a publication of Depressed Anonymous Program of Recovery. This brochure is readily available to all members of the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship as well as the Dep-Anon family and friends fellowship.

“Sponsorship” is a publication of the Depressed Anonymous Publications office, based in Louisville, KY.

Sharing your story is to save your life!

 

Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has at least one book inside of them that needs to be written.  In her award winning book, Depression: The way out of your prison, Dr. Dorothy Rowe tells us how getting our story told can be  life- changing, and for some life-saving. Below are  her thoughts on the importance of sharing one’s story with that person who is willing to listen.

Help comes in two ways -from yourself and from other people. But help cannot come from other people unless you are prepared to find it and accept it. You have to find the people to confide in and you have to overcome your habit of keeping things to yourself. Perhaps you are ready to confide in someone, but there is no one available. Your family will not listen, and your doctor prefers to write you a prescription rather than give you his listening attention.

So you need to find someone who will listen. Someone outside the family and, possibly, outside work, is usually best—someone who has no vested interest in keeping you as you are or who has no reason to feel guilty about what you might disclose. It need not necessarily be just one person. On your journey out of your prison of depression you will meet many different gurus, people who throw light on your darkness. A nurse might listen to your fears about your health and the drugs you take, and may find the words to calm your fears. A friend may share with you the burden of family responsibilities. A pastor  or priest might listen and acknowledge your religious doubts and fears and impart the courage and trust which enables you to deal with these. Of course, not everyone you hope to confide in will respond in a  helpful way. ..”

And then Rowe continues to say that “you might like to consult a professional listener of some sort. You may find someone in the Health Service, or you might go to a private therapist. Talking to people who have been depressed and are now coping is tremendously helpful.”   Pages 199-200.  (Copyright)  Depression:The Way out of your prison.  (1996) Routledge. 2nd ed. London.

Our Twelve Step program  tries to ensure that everyone who attends our program of recovery and who shares their story will be given a sponsor, a listener if you will, who too has experienced the pain and anxiety of depression. They are sponsors because they too have been able to share their stories. They know that  powerful freedom that comes when someone really listens to us and our story. People  often say to me “Doesn’t listening to all these depressed people get you depressed? ” And I can honestly say that it does not  get me depressed.  In fact, I know that by listening to someone else’s story, I  find many areas which are  similar to my own. Besides the fact that I myself experienced the chaos and pain of depression,  I know how difficult  it is to come out and share one’s own struggle. But it can be done!

If you are looking for someone or others to listen to your story with compassion and without a judgmental attitude, our group Depressed Anonymous is the right place to come. We are all storytellers. We all have been heard. We all continue to tell our story. Not only the personal account of our  own depression but also the story of how we have recovered from depression. In our program there is always the “before ” and “after” story that we share.  The ” after’  story of all of us is that important account of what we did to recover, how we did it  and with whom we did it,  made all the difference in the world. Out of the darkness into the light.

You  can read the stories in Depressed Anonymous, which contain heart warming  stories of how persons young and old, have come to our fellowship, shared their story and   who now listen to  those new members who share their own story. They want to share that hope, so that others depressed may know that there is a way out and a life to be lived without depression. They are no longer alone!

It takes trust to share our story. Finding the right person or the right group of persons is what we are looking for. There are persons waiting to hear your story. There are    those persons  who have recovered from depression and who are now sponsoring other people and forming other groups. If there is no group in your area, know that we have a long distance group learning program, called the Home Study Recovery program.  This program can be done at home and all it requires is the willingness  to work the Steps with a sponsor through emails.  All one needs is   the Depressed Anonymous manual and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. There are no fees or dues for this Home Study Program.   As in all our groups, sponsors can accompany new members as long as they like. In time, attending the DA groups our new member can choose their own sponsor.

Please go to The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore at this site and examine the material that is used for this program.  Again, in the event that you would yourself want to start a Depressed Anonymous group in your locality, these two books are our main resources used in all groups, here   in the USA and internationally. If the purchase of the books is a hardship, contact the DA Publisher and they will make it possible for you to receive the books regardless of payment.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed., Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

The Depressed Anonymous Email address is Depanon @Netpenny.net.

I need a sponsor to help me follow the “plan” of hope

You may choose someone to help you stick to this plan. This person is called a sponsor and should be someone who has experienced depression themselves. You can also exchange phone numbers with other members of the Depressed Anonymous group. As life gets better for you and the emotional pain gets less and less and you are no longer experiencing isolation and pain, you can use your past experiences in helping the new members of the Depressed Anonymous group see that there is a way out of their prison of depression. The way out of the prison of depression is by connecting with the fellowship and experiencing a “vital spiritual experience.”

A newly developed approach to working the Steps and becoming familiar with the “plan” is to learn more about THE HOME STUDY PROGRAM OF RECOVERY, at the Depressed Anonymous Publications Book store (VISIT THE STORE).

SOURCE: (c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. Hugh Smith (2017. Depressed Anonymous Publications.) Louisville. KY. Page 75.

I am able to beat loneliness by repeatedly being with other people in recovery or by doing the Home Study* program with my sponsor

A HIGHER THOUGHT FOR YOUR DAY

AFFIRMATION

“I’m sure many sufferer’s could find a lot of comfort and support by coming into a group as I’ve done, to help beat the terrible loneliness which is felt by many and who find lasting friendship with lovely people.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

In the group, I established myself and got some positive feednback from others who watched me grow and have seen the genuine changes I make personally. I am gradually throwing off my personal way with sadness. The real support comes when I begin to learn that members of the group have the same problem that I have. That helps me trust others with the story of my life. These people are the ones who want to hear my story of how depression cost me my life.  Now, my life is freeing me from my need to sad myself.

I feel more able to attach myself to the group now that I know that they are struggling with the same depression that I struggle with. I no longer have to fight this battle on my own.

MEDITATION AND BEING MINDFUL OF A HIGHER POWER

God, you are our rock and our refuge, on you I place my trust. We know and  believe, easier now than before, that God has something good in store for me today. (Personal comment).

SOURCE:  Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  April 26. Pages 84-85.

*HOME STUDY PROGRAM, is an individual approach to a STEP study  program when no  Depressed Anonymous group program is available in one’s community. The participant is helped in working the steps by utilizing the help of a sponsor. The sponsor leads the individual through all the steps using the Depressed Anonymous Manual, 3rd edition as well as coordinating this work with the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. By means of emails the sponsor and participant communicate with each other on  a regular basis.

For more information in how to set up this HOME STUDY program please click onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore. Or contact us at depanon@netpenny.net for how you can be part of this individualized study.

The Home Study material  can be ordered online.

 

When I am “powerless” I feel out of control.

 

During my depression   I was “powerless“.  I no longer had the ability to bounce back from my ongoing ruminations about how bad I felt. The more that I tried to figure out why I was feeling so bad and horrible,  the intensity  deepened. The more that my thoughts circled around in my head the more despair I felt.  I felt hopeless. All I was able to do was lay down and sleep, hoping against hope that my anxiety and fear would disappear. But no, they only intensified my despair. I knew that I had to do something. I had to get my body in motion. I had to talk to someone. I had to DO something besides sit at home and think, think and think some more.

I gradually discovered that my  thoughts produce feelings, feelings produce moods and my  moods produce behaviors. In my case. the behavior was to do nothing, The one thing that I did do, was to begin to isolate from family and friends. This deepened my anxiety and frustration. I knew about talking with someone and so I contacted a friend who was in another 12 Step fellowship. We call these friends sponsors. And so it was in talking with a sponsor that I gradually dug myself out of the hole that I was in. I quit digging.

Today, at the present we have some persons who have decided to do something about their depression and pain–they have begun to participate in our HOME STUDY PROGRAM of recovery. This program is a one to one relationship with a sponsor. All one has to do is sign up  and contact us here at depressedanon.com. There are no fees or dues just a willingness to learn all they can about depression and their  own depression experience,   while  utilizing both  the Depressed Anonymous Manual and the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Both can be found by clicking onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore here at this website.

For more information as to how this Home Study works, please read more at Newsletters, the Antidepressant Tablet. You can read how Kim found us on her computer and is now engaged  in getting herself free of the shackles of depression.

She is longer powerless.

************************************************

+++For more information please contact me at  depanon@netpenny.net.

“I thought my depression and sadness was normal.”

TERRI’S  STORY

When I first came to Depressed Anonymous, I was so depressed I didn’t even want to get out of bed in the morning.

I hated the world and I didn’t want to deal with it and just going  out in  public was  a major ordeal,  even the  grocery  seemed  like an overwhelming task.  Ultimately, I lost my job due to my inability to function  at work. I prayed that God would let me die.

I felt I carried this tremendous load of emotional pain around in my chest all the time.  I wanted to put it down. I wanted to get rid of it but I didn’t  know how. I thought God had forsaken me because I violated a  sacred  code without knowing it and I believed I could never feel the sunlight of the spirit on my face again. That belief forged a bitterness and resentment toward God that grew day by day. I could not believe life would ever be good again or that I could be happy.

I felt emotionally dead. I have had depression for years, although I didn’t know that’s what it was. Being an alcoholic and an active  member of  Alcoholics Anonymous, I thought my depression and sadness was  normal.

I hit bottom last year in the Spring, after 8 years in recovery, when I started to have “flashbacks” of sexual  abuse from childhood. I didn’t understand how God could have allowed this to happen since it happened so long ago. Why did it have to come out now? All my life I had this feeling that I had a deep dark secret: but I couldn’t remember what it was. I lived in constant fear that people would find out my terrible “secret” was out now. Gradually I realized that the big black secret was out now. I had not died. The world had not stopped.

As I began working on the abuse issues in therapy, the piece s of my life began to fit together in a way they never could have before, as I had never dealt with this catastrophic event. In Hugh’s book, Depressed? Here is a way out he talks about how  people find their time of depression to be one of the great gifts of God in their life. The first time I read this I thought it was the craziest thing  I had ever heard, yet during this time  of depression I have learned and I have grown. I have come to understand myself  and my God in a way I never could before,

It’s been nearly a year now. Life is starting to come together for me again, one day at a time by the grace of God and the fellowship of this program. From the  very first time I walked through the doors of DA, I knew I was in  the right place.  Having been an active member of AA for so many years, I was already a firm believer in the 12 Steps. I did what you people told me to do, even when I didn’t  believe it would help. I attended meetings. I worked the Steps with my sponsor. I used the phone list and talked to people about my pain and my day to day problems. I read Hugh’s  book (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition(2011) DAP. Louisville) and followed the suggestions given in it.

God, through DA, God  literally carried me through the darkest time in my life and he did not let me die, despite  my best efforts to.  I have truly experienced the “miracle of the group.”   I promise you that it works. I have heard it said that sometimes God’s greatest miracles are unanswered prayers and I believe it, after all I am one.

TERRI B

Sources:  Copyright(c) The Antidepressant Tablet. Volume 4  Number 3 Spring 1993..

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