STEP ONE OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS
“We admitted that we were powerless over depression and that our lives had become unmanageable.”
“Let’s listen now to the long-denied part of us that speaks out in favor of a change – that voice of hope that says we will feel cheerful one day. The small part of us says that we should risk going to this meeting and admit that: “Yes, I am depressed, and yes, I am going to find my way out of this prison by taking stock of my strengths and by beginning to want to hope.” You do have a choice. You can begin to let go of your fears of what life will be like without the constant gnawing feeling inside of you that produces that awful jitteriness. You will find lots of acceptance from the group as you listen to the many ways others like yourself have surrendered their problems to their Higher Power and begun to find a sense of peace and sanity that they never thought existed. The old issues in your head will whisper that there is no hope for you that no one is as badly off as you are and that nobody will want to help you as you don’t deserve anything anyway. Often these old tapes have been with us since childhood and many of our adult depressions have their roots in our childhood. Many people do not remember much of their childhood, but repressing memories does not mean that the emotions belonging to these experiences in childhood disappear.”
Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky. PP.33-34.
If you answered “yes” to any or all of the questions above, then we have help for you. Many times your answer could also indicate that you may br feeling “blue” or even depressed. Please read on.
“I am affirmed to know that I can always find a group of people who know how I am feeling anytime I want to get in contact with them.” Higher Thoughts
We also learn that the “isolation of depression begins as a place of safety and goes on to become a place of torture.” D. Rowe, Breaking the Bonds. Fontana. 1991.
I hear it often in meetings and I see it in the faces of the new members in the group. There is the fear of the new and the different. One has to give credit to those people when they come to their first Depressed Anonymous meeting. They are admitting first of all that they are having a problem. Admitting that their lives are out of control takes courage. They are coming out of their isolation and looking for help with their problem. They are willing to give up the safety of their isolation for the pain of telling others that they are miserable and have no hope of ever feeling differently.
Every move that I make toward other depressed when I am depressed takes me closer to another human being and help. My torture is so great that I am willing to come and meet with a group of total strangers and tell them my story. The amazing thing is that they listen. No one else wants to or has time to hear me tell my story. I have the key to gain an escape from my misery if I just use it. One of the telltale signs that I am depressed is when I begin to isolate and withdraw from others. When I find myself not wanting to be bothered by anybody, I just get myself to talk with another person who is like me, understands and can predict the painful path of depression.
Our powerlessness lies in not being able to snap out of our depression. We know now that God as we understand him, or our Higher Power is going to get us through this period of our lives. We are on no time table with God, but we know his power is inside of us and we want to be conscious of this power in our lives now and everyday.”
Copyright(c) Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for twelve step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.PAges 17-18. January 28.
What is a speed bump? A speed bump is simply a slight rise in the pavement to alert car drivers to slow down. Most of the speed bumps can be found in residential areas/ neighborhood streets. In some areas they are marked with yellow stripes .Depending on the necessity for motorists to drastically cut their speed, these bumps are built with more height and force the motorist to come to almost a stop to prevent damage being done to one’s vehicle.
I find the speed bump to be a metaphor for my own experience with symptoms of depression. I do know that as my symptoms grew more in kind and strength I gradually reduced my activities. My mind was filled with obstacles which grew larger and more formidable as time went on. I found myself sitting alone and stalled. I found my personal speedometer registering 10mph instead of the normal 50mph. The more I perceived the speed bump ahead, rising out of the ground like a brick wall, I knew that I couldn’t go any further. I was like the sail boater on the lookout for any breeze to get me moving again.
No matter how hard I tried to get over the bump, I kept telling myself it was a hopeless task. There was no way to get over it. I felt helpless. I kept telling myself that I might as well just stay where I was and so I shut off the engine. It was like I was terrified with fright. I thought of a thousand options but none of them appeared manageable. I just believed my situation was useless.
Well, this metaphor doesn’t end there because I am no longer helpless. In my real world I thought, I’ve got a serious problem here ( symptoms of depression: fatigue, anger, feeling worthless ) all of which I have to deal with. So, I admitted that I was powerless over my depression and that my life was unmanageable. (Step One of Depressed Anonymous). And then “came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” (Step Two of Depressed Anonymous) Then I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of the God as I understand God. (Step Three of Depressed Anonymous).
If your speed bump keeps you from moving in life know that many of us have been there like you. There is a solution, and just begin to believe that you are NOT l alone. It really helps to know that you can join our fellowship and find hope. Been there, done that!