As an active member of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship, I am also an active member of the 12 Step recovery program, Dep-Anon, for families and friends of the depressed.
Since I have a family member who is depressed, and the fact that I was depressed, but still maintain my serenity, by continuing to stay active in the DA fellowship. You might say that I am a “double dipper” being able to be part of two important mutual aid groups. Not only do I know what happens when I am depressed, I also know depression and how it affects a family member, resultant, affecting the whole family.
Now that I have the help of other family members (Dep-Anon) who have a depressed significant other in their life, my focus now is not on the depressed loved one, but the focus is now totally on me. I have become a new person, in that at one time I was harsh and critical of this person, who slept all the time, didn’t work, and was oblivious to the suffering she was causing myself and my family.
I believed, mistakenly, that since I had experienced depression with its overwhelming power, pushing me deeper into isolation from my world and myself, that I was qualified to FIX my family member. Wrong. I tried that route. It was a disaster. My criticism and cajoling her did the opposite of bringing her out of depression. My focus and anger, as it was directed toward her, locked her deeper into the prison of her depression. Ultimately, I discovered that my negsativity and lack of acceptance into the family, did nothing but harm. Surprisingly, now, with my harshness changing to compassion and acceptance of her as a daughter, a fellow humn being, brought down by her illness, is setting us both free. I give credit to my Dep-ANon fellowship for putting me on the right track–work/focus on fixing me.
ORIGINS OF DEP-ANON
Dep-Anon had as its inspiration the 12 Step Al-Anon program for families of the alcoholic. The program was focused, not on the alcoholic but on themselves.
We now became focused on our need for recovery, believing that the focus had to be on us — not the depressed family member. I have learned that I can only FIX myself. Being part of the Dep-Anon family group presented me with a focus on my own spiritual and mental health needs. Now, I am participating With other family members, using the recovery tools of Dep-Anon, I was no longer alone, but now had the support of other family members like myself. Together, we have discovered that by focusing on our character defects ( critical of our loved one, anger at their behavior, lack of compassion for someone who is sick) I have found my attitudes changing.
A positive result of being part of the Dep-Anon family group is to learn about the nature of depression and how it affects a person, physically, mentally and spiritually. Our motivation to do anything positive to move us out of the mental and physical “lockdown” of depression is severely handicapped.
Dep-Anon espouses the four C’s which state our beliefs about NOT taking responsibility for our loved one’s depression. These four can be a constant reminder of living each day with what we face.
THE FOLLOWING ARE OUR FOUR STATEMENTS OF BELIEF
- I believe that that I didn’t cause it.
- I believe that I can’t control it.
- I believe that I can’t cure it.
- I believe that all I can do is to cope with it.
Copyright(c) Dep-Anon: A Twelve Step Recovery Program for Families and Friends of the Depressed. (2021) Hugh S., Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Page 13.
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PASSWORD : serenity (lower case)