Tag Archives: THE PROMISES OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS

PROMISE # 2: We realize a new way to live

“After having made a clean breast of things we begin to live with a clean conscience. We have made amends, made it right with our God, others and ourselves.

How does one acquire freedom? Freedom is based on detachment. Detachment means to no longer cling to persons, places, things or behavior that cripples or demeans itself or others.

In  our struggle with depression, we had felt that we had lost all freedom and happiness. We now know that we have the key to our prison in our hands and as we move through each of the steps a new fact was discovered, that we don’t have to remain frozen in time with our depression.  We know that now we can celebrate a release from all the old fears, resentments and images that we held of ourselves over these many years.

Our happiness is now dependent on how we look at ourselves, our world and the understanding that we have of our God. I know for a fact that when I first came into the fellowship, I felt like a stranger in a foreign country. My thoughts and feelings were all confused as I began the journey into myself with a deepening desire to discover the engine that drives my sadness.  The battle raged inside of me – a battle that was fought in the shadow of past events – relationships. It was a personal triumph for me to finally see that there was a way out of this despair and emotional atrophy.  I now follow a practical plan as outlined by our suggested 12 Step program.  I make sure that every day that I get into action and do something.  I used to think that if I wait long enough the good humor fairy would tap me on the shoulder and I would be well. This is exactly the opposite of what our program of recovery promotes. Our position is that you have to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

A pill might make you feel differently-but it will never take away the circumstances that brought you down in the first place. The Promises here tell us that we will find a new freedom of happiness – but first, work has to be done. Our lives and the way we look at life are composed of past and present events.”

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SOURCES:     Copyright(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications.

Copyright(c) I’ll do it when I feel better(2015). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 33-34.

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 109.

…something powerful is starting to blossom within me

 Promise  #12 states that “We would suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”

I believe that this Promise is at the core of our recovery. It is precisely at this moment in our lives that we realize that somebody, someone greater than myself is guiding me. This someone is not forcing us but is guiding us through our darkness.  It is lighting our path so we neither stumble or regress into our old ways of thinking and behaving. It is with this in mind that we continually redirect our attention to have that desire to do its will.

Before we discovered the program of Depressed Anonymous we were convinced that the only chance that we had to get better was to wait while the prescribed drugs kicked in and then everything would be all right.   But now we are certain that our ability to get well is surely based on how much we develop the belief that we can choose how we feel and think. Indeed we are now convinced that we can either sad ourselves or choose not to sad ourselves. We have a choice.

The community and bonds of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship produce a feeling that just as other members of the group are recovering so can I. We must be willing to let go of all thoughts that tell us we will   never get well. These are the same thoughts that have imprisoned us over the years.

We now listen to the God of our understanding and proceed with the belief that what we hold about the world on the outside of us is determined and governed by the world that is lived within us. We are in a brand new way, on a new path, and find ourselves committed to a fresh belief that something powerful is starting to blossom within me.  A peace that surpasses all understanding is beginning to be born in us when we learn to relax,  wait and listen for that still small voice.”


SOURCES:  (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

(c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous: Planting a seedbed of Hope. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 25.

Promise # 11: I can live in hope and not despair

Promise # 11 of the Promises of Depressed Anonymous shows us that with work and  a commitment to oneself that I will leave the prison of my depression.

Starr tells us in her personal story in Depressed Anonymous that it was when she opens up and shares her story with others in the group that she feels relief.  It was here that  she learns how to handle situations that at one time  baffled her. We all have learned that whether we share in a face – to – face group or online, our ability to trust others begins to grow.  We begin to feel empowered. We now know almost intuitively that trust of others can lead to trust in ourselves. We tell ourselves If others can grow and get well so can I. We also find ourselves doing less and less of the self-bashing that we once did. Now we find that we  can be free of the prison that we have constructed,.Our negative feelings about ourselves get gradually replaced by feelings of positive regard.  We find that the guilt and shame that once shadowed our every move  now begin to be diminished. How is this?  It happens because someone like ourselves has shown us that we too can live without depression.  We have become believers in what can be done with hope, work and time.

SOURCE: I ‘LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER. (2014)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Our Relationship With Other People Improve: Promise #9 Of The Promises Of Depressed Anonymous

Why wouldn’t our relationships with  other people improve?  After we have begun to put into place our daily program of recovery, through prayer and meditation we now are expectant and hopeful. We reflect upon each Step, and we complete a piece of the structure that in time will be the new me. I think that one  of the more critical areas to mend in our lives is the thinking part of ourselves.  Depression appears to start with the way our minds react to and perceive events outside of ourselves.  So, from the start we need to promote to those persons depressed to get involved in as much physical activity as possible, namely., walk, express personal feelings to others, go to meetings, talk on the phone with supportive people, in other words, get connected as much as possible.  Most importantly we discover at our  group meetings that there are many persons, much like ourselves and at the same level of recovery. We know we are not alone.

One of the immutable truths, according to Dorothy Rowe, who wrote the mental health award winning book, Depression: The way out of your prison. is “that other people are such that I must fear, envy or hate them. ”  If we believe that we are bad and valueless then it follows that we must  fear other people because they can find out how bad we are and so reject us.

Once newcomers hear  the before and after of our lives it will make it easier for them to believe us when they  experience our own enthusiasm and cheerfulness.”

SOURCE: Copyright (c) I’ll do it when I feel better. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. (Pages 46-47).

Do The Next Right Thing

I personally believe that once I have made the first step, and admitted my powerlessness, I set in motion a force –the loving force of the creator in my personal life. In time I am filled with energy and find that this power can change me — restore my life with purpose and meaning. It can prepare me to meet those to whom are ready to risk leaving behind 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.”

SOURCE:  Copyright(c) THE PROMISES  OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS: Planting a seedbed of hope. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky. P.15.

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I like the statement to “do the next right thing.” For me that was a motivator for the times that I wanted to just give up. These were the powers that continued to give me the nudge to keep on doing all those things that could help in my recovery from depression. What, for me was “the next right thing?” For one, it was to continue working the 12 steps in my own life–one step after another. I also found another person to walk with me in my journey of recovery. I also read everything that I could find on my addictions. No “rock was left unturned”  that could help me accomplish doing what I knew would keep me on my feet and  moving forward with hope. I attended faithfully my 12 step group, read most if not all of their literature and continued to follow the promptings of my God. I heard other members of the group telling how they knew the Promises were working in their lives, sometimes quickly and with most,  over time. But they worked.  Life began to be better for us as we moved from one step to the next. We discovered that we had less concern about ourselves and gained interest in others. We want to scream it from the housetops –don’t give up!  We too felt hopeless and that our lives were unmanageable. Looking back we saw that a change had taken place  once we had established a daily plan for our serenity. We followed the direction of our Higher Power as we continued to “:do the next right thing.”  The next right thing for me today is to tell you — there is hope for you too.  That’s a PROMISE!

Hugh