The power of EA...and one day at a time.
I wrote this in response on another Forum, but thought I'd post part of it here as sort of an 'update' and also to encourage anyone else who might see it.
Recently, I have discovered Emotions Anonymous (and AA, although I'm not really an alcoholic), and at least in the short term, these groups have literally saved my life - and in part because they provided a spirituality based on seeking serentiy in 'a god of my understanding' This has been liberating and affirming for me because it guides and frees the program participants to make sense of the world and themselves by appealing merely to 'a power greater than myself', which can be 'love' 'acceptance' 'the universe' 'the group' some traditional god or whatever. I always thought these groups were just masking a form of Christian theism and trying to make it a little more palatable and esoteric (and this works for some), but that's not my experience at all so far. It just acknoweldges some greater power, a 'higher power' if you like, but leaves off all other baggage that may be frought with superstition, doubt, anger, fear, etc.
It allows me to trust again, achieve a coherrent reason-justification for being at peace - which my overactive mind always seems to want to reach for even if I don't need to fully understand it.
Really, what I wanted to say here, is that I am finding an amazing power in the process and expereince of participating with others in community and wisdom and practice in the 12-step groups. I am meeting many people who have had every bit as much a struggle with depressinon (and other challenges), who are different people now, healthy, well, in strong, consistent, recovery - some of them seemingly fully. For the first time, in many, many years, I have genuine hope and a quiet peace--I am confident can grow--toward mental and emotional welness.
I have tried a LOT of things a lot of times. I would encourage anyone out there who has never tried (or even if they have), to see if they can find an EA or even 'Open' AA or other 12-step group.
Hopefully, this may help someone else out there.
(I've had a long torturous journey from 'devout' Biblical literalist fundamental evangelical christian faith as a kid growing up to....all the way to militant atheism for a while (due to a combination of dealing with the problem of evil and intellectual skepticism), and have gradually clawed my way back to a more robust rational deism based largely on metaphysics and philosophy (logic), but always borne out of a deep emotional desire to want there to be a god who reconciles and makes sense out of the chaos and pain (as I think we all long for). I've written about this elsewhere here under "Anyone Else a Deist?" Depression and Religion Forum.)
EA, Emotions Anonymous, OA, Overeaters Anonymous, AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, NA, Narcotics Anonymous, and all the off shoots of AA are wonderful programs where like minded people in a group setting get together to share their hopes, their strengths and their struggles and find some relief.
I am not sure how many of these groups are still working or available in cities across the world, but they are free groups and usually meet on a regular basis.
I've NEVER heard of EA!!! I think it sounds like a FANTASTIC idea! I am going to look for meetings near me. What a great concept!
PLEASE keep us updated on it would you? I would love to follow along with your progress, and read about your experiences with it, both from a depression standpoint, and also for anxiety. People may really benefit from the information.
I'm off to do some googling. Thanks so much!