” You don’t get better overnight, but you do get much better. I was as down in the muck as far as I could go. I had to go and open the door for the first time because there was no other place to go. I had already used up all the hiding places in my life. I still have many problems like anyone else, but when I need sleep very badly, I turn the problem over to my Higher Power and go to sleep. I can always pick up the next morning. Somehow it all gets done. Nothing so bad has happened to me. I have trouble trying to figure out what I am exactly supposed to do. I am sure God points me in the right direction. Sometimes, I miss the message but it will come to me eventually what God wants for me. All you have to do is reach out and get it. But my faith is stronger now in God than it has ever been in my life because I need that companion in my life. It is there for all of us if we just reach out and take it.” (P. 147/Personal Stories)
SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous. 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky 40217.
HOPE IS CONTAGIOUS!
A great benefit of belonging to a fellowship is the power of hope. “If he or she can do it, then so can I.” This is a common belief for those who begin reading a book called Depressed Anonymous. This book, by the way, is written by folks who have felt hopeless and helpless. The many accounts and personal stories in the book fill one with hope and courage. The pages of this book help serve as a manual for those of us who want to embark on this personal journey of hope and recovery from depression. Now this book and all of the other books published by DAP are specifically geared to those of us who want to leave the prison of depression and are written by persons who were depressed — and who got better. What is better than to hear that the program works. Hearing how other people use the Twelve Steps and have them always available, is much like tools in your toolbox. The tools are there to help build a structure for one’s own life making it an adventure of hope–not a prison from which we felt we could not escape.
In Depression: The way out of your depression. Dr. Dorothy Rowe.1996 (2nd Ed)., tell us that “Hope can exist only in a state of uncertainty. That certainty means total certainty. That security means to be without hope. The prison of depression is built with the bricks of total certainty.
Certainty. Security. No hope.
To hope means to run the risk of disappointment.
To be insecure means not to be in control.
Stay in control. Be depressed.
To be uncertain means to be unsure of the future.
Predict the future with certainty. Stay depressed.
Hope can only exist where there is uncertainty. Absolute certainty means complete hopelessness. If you want to live fully we must have freedom, love and hope. So life must be an uncertain business. That is what makes it worthwhile.”
So, when we gradually believe that in each life some rain must fall, and pain can come, we begin to live life with hope. That’s the way it is. We can gradually believe, like thousands of other pilgrims on this path of recovery, that having a spiritual program such as the Steps, hope is possible, hope is doable and our lives can take on new meaning and have purpose.
“Depressed Anonymous has been the ultimate key to a largely successful life for me. Prior to entering the program, I had no money, no driver’s license, and had dropped out of college due to poor grades and a nervous breakdown for which I was hospitalized. I had not then worked Step One because I wasn’t aware that I was powerless over depression, that my life was as disorganized as the mess in my closet.
During my first night in the hospital, a member informed me of a support group known as Depressed Anonymous. I decided to give it a try. By telling me about this wonderful, miraculous, and very spiritual program, this person had not only worked the Twelfth Step (see site Menu for 12 steps), but had also given me a key, a key which would open many doors for me. Walking through these doors was like admitting defeat. I was playing first base in a ball game in which I would eventually win. If I struck out, I was back on Step One. By playing ball with a positive attitude, I was allowing my Higher Power to walk the Steps to recovery with me. With the help and the positive sense of fellowship that I enjoyed in the group, I began to understand God’s will for me. With the love, support, and true fellowship of three faithful members in the group, I began working on my driver’s license, which had been another step toward independence for me. Within a year, I earned my license when two members of the group took me in for my road test. A new sunnier life had begun for me. The worst was finally over.” Lena.
To read the full inspiring account of Lena’s recovery go to Personal Stories in Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION, Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville KY, P.113. If you do not have a Depressed Anonymous group in your area, you can begin your own personal recovery program by clicking onto Visit The Store here at this site and order your own HOME STUDY PROGRAM. This program includes a Step by step Workbook and Manual You definitely will be glad that you did.
The great benefit of making use of our literature here at Depressed Anonymous is that ALL our material is written by those of us who actually have been depressed –been there & done that –and now offer you a tool box filled with our own treasured ways to leave the prison of depression. You can browse through all our literature and find the help and hope you are looking for. You can always give us a call (VoiceMail 502.569.1989) and get some real life help that you may be seeking.
1) Educates and informs us about our experience of depression. 2) Nurtures us so that we can begin to share and to trust our unpleasant feelings with others. 3) Accepts us and does not make judgements about our experiences with depression. In other words, we don’t hear “snap out of it” in the group. 4) Teaches coping skills by our frequent meetings and group membership interaction. It provides us with a “toolbox” of new skills we can utilize in our overcoming of sadness. 5) Empowers us to believe that there is truly a way out of our depression. One of the major benefits of our group is you can hear how other persons depressed have made it out of depression. (Read the Personal Stories in Depressed Anonymous). It is clear that the program works best for those who keep coming back to meetings.
There are multiple benefits that come to those of us who are committed to being active participants in our fellowship of Depressed Anonymous. I should know, I am one of the active participants.
A quote from PERSONAL STORIES in the 3rd edition of the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS book. Page 148.
” I had to get my priorities straight. I put a lot of importance on things that were not important, or what somebody else might say about me. I was afraid to change. I was afraid that I would change into a person that would be selfish and uncaring, but it didn’t happen that way. I just found a different way to go about it. In getting my priorities straight, I discovered that if a person doesn’t accept me the way I am, then that doesn’t matter. I am going to do the best that I can. If someone else can’t handle that, I am awfully sorry about that, but it has to be. I want everyone to approve of me, but I am just not going to do that. I am not going to please everyone. I have got to take care of myself. I was so busy trying to please everyone else that I wasn’t taking care of my own needs. At the time I was doing it, I didn’t realize that I was doing it. Now I won’t deliberately hurt anyone else, but I am going to take care of myself.” –Helen
NOTE: The PERSONAL STORIES include accounts from those persons who found themselves while being active participants in the fellowship of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS. Their accounts of struggle and hope provide the necessary motivation for those still struggling with depression and shows how one can leave their own prison of depression. The DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS program of recovery provides not only a guide for productive and active living–it provides the tools on how to get to where you want to go.