” The sanity of the Twelve Step program is what will eventually help you change how you look at yourself and your experience of depression. The program shows that just because you have always felt miserable is no reason to remain miserable for the rest of your life. The sanity of placing your trust in a Power greater than yourself opens up great possibilities for your personal happiness and success. If you have felt that you have to be in total control of every situation in your life, then coming to believe in a power greater than yourself might be a frightening experience. What would happen if suddenly you couldn’t control your unhappy situation with the comfort of sadness or self-pity? Haven’t our sadness and thoughts of unworthiness been our last refuge from having to face ourselves, take charge and accept responsibility for our own lives?
The escape into feelings of worthlessness and resignation over my depressing feelings is no longer an acceptable way for me to delay the hard choice of being responsible for me. This statement is not made to make you feel guilty but only to help you see that, with time and by working the Twelve Steps on a daily basis and having the ongoing fellowship and support of the Depressed Anonymous group, you can begin to choose a way out!”
SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 42-43.
An excerpt from Depressed Anonymous (3rd edition)
“The depression is so bad at times that we feel no one would ever understand how we feel unless of course they have been there. We just have about given up on God, church, family and friends as allies on our behalf. We feel resentments and anger toward people for not feeling more sympathetic toward our never ending sadness. We feel that people aren’t kind and don’t treat us with the same respect that they do other people such as a diabetic, insomniac or arthritic person. Most people don’t want anything to do with us because they get tired of our moaning, groaning and pessimistic way of looking at life. Why shouldn’t they? Life is tough enough without having to be subjected to another’s gloom and doom. But this is the place where we recognize the difference between ourselves and others, and of course we think our lot is always the worst of all. The self-pity never brings us into any personal sense of peace, but has just the opposite effect in that it helps perpetuate the myth that depression floats in like a dark cloud over which we have no control. We need to tell our spouse, family and friends that we want to start again and begin to take charge of our lives and start to chip away at our sadness. We won’t blame our need to sadden ourselves on what my wife/husband did or did not do for us, or what a friend said or didn’t say. We finally have to take the bull by the horns much like the recovering alcoholic, overeater, gambler or smoker, and admit that it is “I” that has the problem, and that it no longer does any good to blame others for my problem. Once I admit that I am addicted to depressing myself, then I can begin to walk through the door of the prison that binds me. I must realize the fact that my depression will only get worse unless I put a stop to all the ill-thinking, feeling and acting out behavior that keeps me perpetually locked into my sadness.”
SOURCE: DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS (3rd edition). 2011. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 86.
THE PROMISES #6 The feelings of uselessness and self pity disappear.
In the Promises of Depressed Anonymous we see that “One of the major areas in our lives that change quickly by our attendance at the group meetings is that we pity ourselves less and less. We begin to be grateful for all that we have and all that we are. We begin to see that once we start getting connected to others like ourselves on a regular basis, through our Depressed Anonymous meetings, we now are listened to by others and we are validated. We don’t hear “snap out of it” at our meetings. Suddenly our years of self pity, isolation and desolation have been cashed in for a currency that buys us a new competency, a new identity, autonomy and a burgeoning interrelatedness with others. We know we are not alone.
We now can speak about our experience with depression in the past tense. We can now show how we have the tools of self-care whereby we can dig out and begin to construct an edifice of hope that will last the rest of our lives. As long as we continue to use the tools of the program we are bound to feel different as well as think differently.”
SOURCES: Depressed Anonymous (2011) 3rd edition; The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002); I’ll Do it when I feel better (.2013) Page 41.