Promise # 5 : No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we see how our experiences can benefit others.
“Some of us have attempted suicide. A few of us more than a few times. We had despaired of ever finding peace or hope. We believe that we had no future and that our yesterdays were as hopeless as our today’s.
It was hard to attend our first Depressed Anonymous meeting. We felt horribly alone. We just know that no one in the group has been through what we have been through. But as we listened and watched the other members of the group speak – we saw ourselves in their stories.
Personally I believe that whatever you give out to others is the amount that comes back to us. Our experiences can usually help another. An experience such as depression is so isolating, so predictable in its misery that it is bound to have had an impression upon us that it changed our life. And then when our life is changed for the better – thanks to DA and the fellowship that we have to share it with those still suffering.
Ironically, it appears that the farther we have gone down in mood– and up again in our recovery -the more powerful is this experience. They see the after and hear how it was before we got involved in the fellowship.
The fact that we have recovered so completely is in itself a message of tremendous hope for those who are newcomers to the group.
Isn’t it amazing that those who can do the most for those still suffering are those who have worked themselves out of the pit of isolation and depression.”
Copyright (c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. (Page 12).
One of the comments that we hear frequently at our Depressed Anonymous meetings is that “I am not alone!” Yes, in fact to hear that others have the same experiences as the rest of us in the group is liberation. No longer is it a scary mystery to feel the way that I do.
At a meeting this week one of the newcomers told us how she wakes up every morning with such a heavy and dark cloud hanging over her that it makes it near impossible to want to get out of bed. She then heard how others in the group said they had the same experience. Many of us know that feeling. But it is not impossible to deal with the lethargy and the lack of will that we feel when we attempt to get started on our day. I know the feeling well. It is the force of motivation that gets us out of bed and for us to get started on our day’s activities. The more action the more motivation. Motivation follows action! How do we do it? We just simply do it. We don’t have that argument in our mind to do or not do it. I always lost that argument. Instead I just made up my mind to get out of bed and to start walking. That was my iron commitment to myself. I had to get back on my feet. No excuses. No “maybe later” nonsense thoughts were allowed. No inner arguments. I just did it. And after about 10 minutes of walking and moving the body I thought to myself “hey, I’m glad that I am doing this.” If you feel the way we have described here then you realize that you are not alone! Been there done that! As Nike says “just do it.”
PROMISE # 7 OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS
“As we start our program of recovery we notice that there are persons in the group who are less well off than are we.”
” Newcomers also remind us of ourselves when we stepped into the group for the first time. They struggle to keep back tears and hurt as they speak, possibly for the first time, trusting that they are with people who have been where they are. This is what provides the beginning of hope and healing. People in the group speak their language of hope and possibility. They hear how recovery is possible. They want those tools to use in their own recovery.
… We need to air our hurts, our shame, and let others hear our story. (3)
I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force, a loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me and restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those who are willing to risk leaving the prison of their depression. By my own interest in getting in touch with the Higher Power and getting its direction to “do the next right thing” I find that my own life is gradually becoming more filled with purpose and energy.”
SOURCE: I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER. (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Pages 43-44.