Today, as promised yesterday (7/22) in our BLOG, we shared how Lois declared that she “no longer experiences those black, bleak, hopeless periods”. She says that “her life is joyful.”
If her life is so joyful Lois needs to explain why she continues to go to Depressed Anonymous meetings five years later. The Twelfth Step of this program: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry the message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.” ” I am so grateful to Depressed Anonymous that I want it to be there for those who are still suffering.”
See pages 110-111 for a full account of Lois’ testimony in THE PERSONAL STORIES section of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
Also read the remaining thirty stories of the other members of Depressed Anonymous who found serenity and joy using the Twelve Step program of recovery.
Like Lois, there are many of us who today continue to carry the message of hope to those still suffering from depression. Like myself, they all want to share with others that there is hope — there is a day coming that a light may shine and give them a way out of the darkness of their depression. This website and BLOG is just one way that I am taking the message of HOPE to others. Just yesterday a Depressed Anonymous group leader tells of how she is sharing her story OF HOPE to a man who intends to take his life, Another man in the group who worked his way out of despair using the Twelve Steps of recovery is also sharing his own story of despair and hopelessness with the man. That is what Lois is doing–bringing hope to others even though her whole life took a dramatic change. Even though she is no longer imprisoned in depression she still sees it her mission to continue telling people her story. I told my story tonight at one of our local Depressed Anonymous meetings. At each meeting that I attend, gradually, as Lois puts it, I unscramble a part of the mess that brought me to my knees in the first place.
” Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs THE TWELFTH STEP OF DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS
The only requirement for membership in Depressed Anonymous is a sincere desire to quit sadding ourselves today. Just for this twenty-four hour period. We want to try for this short period of time to let go of our sadness. But since we are saddicts, we need to know that we can’t just snap out of our sadness in minutes or even days. To get to feeling better takes time because our learning to sadden ourselves goes back over months, possibly years and one doesn’t just snap out of feeling bad in a few days when the whole way of living has taken years to develop. As was brought out in another Step, it’s not so much our addiction that we need to focus on as our whole life – which we now admit is un-manageable. By practicing the principles of the Twelve Steps, we now know that we need to make an inventory of our whole life. We can leave no rock unturned if we want to live with serenity and hope. Our sadness, like any other addiction, is merely a symptom of some deeper compulsion that manifests itself in our need to seek comfort and safety in sadness. But this is the nature of our addictive behavior and thinking. Our thinking has been compulsive. Every time someone hurts our feelings, and said something that wasn’t pleasant, we withdrew into the dark hole of our depression. We shut down our feelings by numbing ourselves against future hurts. Depressed Anonymous wants you and me to try for one day at a time not to withdraw compulsively into sadness when we come up against a stressful situation.”
—–Read more about the Twelfth Step in the DA Manual, 3rd edition, (2013) Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville Ky. Page 104.