Tag Archives: spiritual experience

The Miracle Of The Group

“By our continual shutting ourselves up in the little world of our own mind, we gradually sink more and more into despair and feel that no one can understand how we think and feel. The biggest freedom that we can gain from confessing to someone else is that we no longer have to have it all together and be perfect.  We can begin to  admit  it when we are petty, selfish and self-centered. We can then admit that we want to have restored a sense of peace by getting free  from  all worry and fear from the past and by turning those over to the  Higher Power. We can then discover that forgiving ourselves and being forgiven by God are one in the same thing. The group will see to it that the more you admit your own fears about yourself and the future, the less terror the present will hold for you.”

“My dear friends, it is this spiritual experience, to feel that God is with you, and that this joy is the joy that will restore your youth and renew your spirit.  We no longer have to be the way we are -we can choose to feel and be different. Others are doing  it-so can you!”

Depression feeds on hurt, pain and self-doubt. When we are depressed we have a need to bash ourselves for our misguided errors and sinfulness. The Fifth Step  if done genuinely and prayerfully, will in time help restore our sense of freedom and belief that we are truly forgiven.  It is in the miracle of the group and its acceptance, love and nurture that helps the depressed person feel secure without recourse to depression.”

THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK, examining Step Five, asks the following question at 5.21:  List what action you will have to take if you want to respect yourself again? Remember, it’s our past need to tell ourselves how bad and unacceptable that we are that keeps us depressed. This is a “wrong” if there ever  was one.


SOURCES:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 64 (Book One of the Home Study Kit).

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002). Depressed  Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 52. (Book Two of the Home Study Kit).

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The motion picture (1999) , PAYING IT FORWARD is about the recipient  of a good deed who pays it forward to some other than the original benefactor. Our very own program of recovery, Depressed Anonymous makes  the same commitment to those who are depressed. I have found it to be a truth that the more I offer others what I have experienced in my own recovery the more I strengthen my serenity and peace.

When I shared with a local Depressed Anonymous group how my own recovery from depression has been a gift from my Higher Power — members of the fellowship just about fell off their seats. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? A gift? Well, yes, it certainly has turned out to be that way.  Ever since the first group was founded in 1985 I have been sharing with those others still suffering from depression.  I share that  by practicing the Steps in my own life I have found serenity and hope. I am no longer  alone. I have the tools to stay in recovery and to be  in contact with others just like myself  who are making or have made their way out of the prison of their own depression. It is by paying it forward to others which  has made it possible for me to keep focused on my own recovery and to practice what I preach.

Paradoxically it has been my own brokenness, anxiety and fear, which  led me to a power greater than myself.  I think that God, our Higher Power, inspires us to go and set free, the key, to help others know and believe that there is a way out of their depression. And when the depressed “get it” they too want to  begin to pay It forward to others who still suffer. So, pass it on. It is possibly one of the best gifts you can give to another!

The Twelfth Step of Depressed Anonymous states that: “Having had a spiritual experience as a result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.”

Source: Depressed Anonymous (2011) 3rd Edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Pages 104-109.