Connecting the dots

One of the ways that helps us to overcome, deal with, and leave the prison of our depression is to connect the dots of our lives. What does this mean, exactly? It simply means that by using the 12 Steps of the Depressed Anonymous program of recovery we can gradually and at our own pace build a relationship with our Higher Power ( anything bigger than just me) or as it has it in our program, the God of our understanding. This is what we call “connecting the dots ”  which means our unique  thinking, our feelings, and all the behaviors of our lives.  In time, as  we move along the trajectory of our own recovery–working each of the 12 steps,  we begin to develop a picture of who we are and who  we want to be. We have connected all the dots.

Granted we are not going to get a true picture of ourselves right away. This program does asks something of us. We are going to have to be honest with ourselves and others, We have to be open to the reality that we can find the help and serenity promised in this program,  and  be willing to get on with our work. Yes, work. It takes work. It also takes time, as it  is a step by step process. If you want to leave the hellish feelings of isolation and shame that many of us have felt you will start this program. It will provide you with hope. And you will not be alone. You will have all of us here to support you!

I connected the dots almost 30 years ago now. In fact, I still go to meetings (went last night   ) and still making sure that today, just for today, I am still right on track. So now with my Depressed Anonymous Workbook and Depressed Anonymous Manual I continually keep in touch with my feelings, right behaviors (don’t isolate and beat myself up) and my relationship with God and my neighbor. And most importantly, I try and share a message of HOPE with those who are still suffering from depression. Could that person be you? If it is, you can have a Home Study program that will offer you hope and a real way out of the prison of your own depression. The Home Study Program is great preparation for a face to face group that could be formed in your own community.

SOURCES OF HELP:

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

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2001) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) DAP . Louisville

I’ll do it when I feel Better. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

    Visit the store for more info for other DA literature.

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KEEPING OUR DARK THOUGHTS OUT INTO THE OPEN

” Most of us need the fellowship of the group to keep ourselves honest and in recovery and our dark thoughts out in the open.”

I believe that keeping our dark thoughts in the open  is a must for those of us who are depressed. How often when I was feeling sad and without motivation to just go to my bed and sleep.  I couldn’t continue with  the dark thoughts that kept cycling around in my head. They each would take me right back to  where they started. I always ended up back at hopelessness and despair.

This being open, willing and honest with others  in the group is the beginning of a new adventure. The fellowship provides us with that opportunity to get out in the open those very same dark thoughts that forced us down and into the pit. Were they thoughts of guilt, shame or despair? Where they the hopeless thoughts of killing ourselves? Whatever the dark thoughts, I know from my own experiences in recovery that by bringing them (dark thoughts) into the light — the shame that they once made us feel begins to be diminished. When I tell members of our group that I once tried to kill myself, no one falls out of their chair. No one looks down on me–because, just possibly, there are other members of the group who have had the same experiences as have I.

By coming week after week to the group and feeling that those gathered in the group are in the same boat or have the same experiences, does make it easier for me to  trust them with my story–no matter how dark and shameful.   And as it says in our Depressed Anonymous (3rd edition)  big book, “Remarkable things happen to us when we are willing to admit defeat and talk about our powerlessness over our depression and how our lives had become unmanageable. This first step is the beginning of the flight of steps that takes us up and into our new way of living. At our fellowship of Depressed Anonymous, we talk hope, we act hopeful, and we think hope..” Pages 106-107. Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville.