YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE YOUR LIFE PARKED IN NEUTRAL!

I just returned from a combined (Edenton and Elizabeth City, North Carolina) Depressed Anonymous fellowship  workshop which I was asked to give. It was an all day workshop, with morning open to the public and then the  afternoon sessions committed to the two groups speaking to each other about their own personal experiences with the Twelve Steps and how their lives have changed since being part of these two groups.

These groups both were formed right before Christmas 2014. Both groups now have a strong presence in their communities because those in recovery now want  to “carry this message to those  who are still suffering from depression.” This is the bottom line for all of us who have found hope and healing in practicing and putting the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps  into our daily lives. Hope is what we are sharing. You don’t have your life parked in neutral.

“THE MOST COMMON FORM OF DESPAIR IS NOT BEING WHO YOU ARE! ”  —  Soren Kierkegaard

”  Depressed Anonymous is a spiritual  program where you will find people like yourself, honestly, openly and willingly dealing  with their character defects (staying isolated) and gradually admitting that they have to change their lives and lifestyle, if they are going to be a whole and honest human being.  The decision is yours. You make the choice!  The Twelve Steps and your own personal story can now be shared with others and can help them in their own life’s journey. Give the hope that you have now with those who have lost hope. Build it  (mutual aid) and they will come! ”

Source: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 108-109.

I witnessed the “miracle  of the group” again this past Saturday in Edenton, North Carolina when the participants of both fellowship groups came together and shared their stories of how they moved into drive and  out of neutral. I thank  all you beautiful people in North Carolina as you continue to work your program of recovery! You are becoming who you really are and whom God means for you to be!

I AM FINDING MYSELF ACCEPTABLE TO ME.

AFFIRMATION

“How many times have we heard persons say that ‘my depression is such a comfort to me.’ Many depressed people say that this feeling of worthlessness and hollowness is all they have ever known. In fact, they add, ‘since all I’ve ever known I’m too scared to feel something different.’ It appears that their whole identity is based on how they feel, and so they feel they are bad.” (9)

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I know that I can recover and feel good about myself. Each new day I can choose to think differently about myself. I believe that, with time and while working my Twelve Step program, I can feel better. I will make a list of how I want to feel and then start to experience these brand new feelings of mine.  My spiritual program of letting God run my life is beginning to payoff as I can feel a change in myself occurring.

I am taking out one of the main bars of my prison cell. I am no longer considering myself as someone who is bad, worthless, unacceptable to myself and to others. I am finding myself acceptable to me.

MEDITATION

Our feelings of hollowness  are greatly diminished after and during a meeting where we hear the hopeful stories of those members of the group who are feeling better because of the Depressed Anonymous program of recovery.

-Copyright(c) Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. (1993, 1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. page 112.

I THINK I HIT A HOME RUN!

“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, but has   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 friendship of three faithful members in the group, I began working on my driver’s 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

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous (3rd.Edition) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky.  “We never talked about our feelings.” Page 112-113.

GOD IS THE RUDDER OF MY BOAT. I AM GOING TO PUT MY OARS IN THE WATER!

 AFFIRMATION

I will have the peace I desire as I continue to pray to do God’s will.

“Being in God’s will is the beginning of peace and the beginning of the end of your depression with its hollowness and jitters.” (8)

 CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Most people don’t understand this who have not been in the program very long. What it means is that I must attempt to work and live this spiritual program. I need to let myself be guided by God’s hand in my life and so become open and ready to fiollow his guidance.

The beginning of wisdom is to hear the voice of God. It is imperative that I take an active role in getting better. I often say that God is the rudder of my boat and I have to put my oars in the water if I am going to get to the shore. I believe that one of the best ways for me to start to feel better is to take each step (Depressed Anonymous, Third Edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications) and try to do what it suggests.  Keeping a journal lets me know what I am feeling for each day. I have come to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity.   I wonder sometimes if this hollow feeling inside myself isn’t more of a longing and hunger for a spiritual food that nothing in my life now can and ever will provide.

MEDITATION

We pray that God will show us the way out of our depression by living and following the program that  has healed other people who have been addicted to a behavior or a substance and which  continued to bring them down instead of up.

SOUIRCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for Twelve Step Fellowship Groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 71.

“DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS HAS BEEN THE ULTIMATE KEY….”

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.

TODAY, I AM LIVING IN THE SOLUTION AND NOT THE PROBLEM. DO THE “WHAT IF’S” RULE YOUR LIFE?

AFFIRMATION FOR TODAY, DECEMBER 27/ A HIGHER THOUGHT FOR TODAY.

My serenity lies in my living in  the solution and not in the problem.

“…We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves…

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us- sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.”  (8)

REFLECTION

I  am beginning to understand how this program of recovery works in my life. First of all, I learned that after a number of meetings, I was beginning to feel more hope for myself. I heard other older members of the group express the fact that the more they came to meetings, the more they began to learn how to live one day at a time and how to let go of all the fears and the “what if’s” that ruled their lives. Since the recovery program is a spiritual program, I have realized that I will be helped by my God as I understand him with whatever I need for my own growth in personal peace and harmony.

Before my eyes, I see lived out the promises for those who work the suggested Twelve Step program of recovery.  My belief in a power greater than myself is the priority of my life. I am  gradually  loosening the grip of sadness which once controlled my life.

MEDITATION

We keep the promises of God in our hearts which states that if we ask for anything it will be given to those who believe.”

I believe!

“We have less concern about self and gain interest in others.” PROMISE #7 of Depressed Anonymous.

This is a Promise that I can vouch for. When I first became a member of the AA fellowship, a 12 Step Program of recovery, that my entire life was turned upside down. I learned how AA  is a spiritual program where I came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. The first thing I did to bring sanity into my life was to go to as many meetings a week as I could, read every bit of literature as I could which pertained  to using the 12 Steps to gain sobriety and sanity.

It was later in 1985 that I developed a program for depression using the same 12 Steps of recovery. I called our organization Depressed Anonymous and have been helping others like myself  to know and believe that we are not alone.  I talk, e-mail, write and now blog about my own experiences with depression with the view of helping others out of the prison of their depression.

As it says in I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER, “It is almost a truism to say about those of us who want this program, are not now focused on self but on the will of God for our lives. 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.

There is a saying that to gain energy you must give energy. I found this to be true for my own life.

The spiritual writer Joel Goldsmith stated that: “There is an invisible bond between all of us. We are not on earth  to get from one another, but to share those spiritual treasures which are of God. Our interest in each other is, in truth, purely spiritual.  Our purpose in life is the unfolding of the spirit within..”