How the Deep Adaptation Facebook group is helping me deal with chronic depression
“The anger was was a desperate grasping onto what I already believed, you know. And when you arrive in the group, and that gets challenged, it is like a defense mechanism to kind of to kind of fight back and defend your belief systems, your footholds onto reality. By the sheer numbers of, of people in the group, the openness, the understanding, the willingness to say, I don’t know, you soon come around to that way of – you either leave, or you come around to that way of understanding that it’s okay to not know, it’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be worried about the future.”Stuart Smith
My wife and I had concerns about where our civilization was headed, and we wanted to live more responsibly. We moved to Italy, and I started reading up on sustainable agriculture and other matters. This is how I stumbled upon the Deep Adaptation paper, 18 months ago. It made me realise that things were worse than I thought, and that made me want to learn more. So I joined the Positive Deep Adaptation (DA) Facebook group and started participating.
The DA group is unlike any other group I’ve been involved in on Facebook. It doesn’t have as many keyboard warriors, trying to shout each other down and out-fact everybody. It feels like an oasis. Without this community, collapse awareness would be a really lonely place.
When I arrived in the group, I often reacted angrily. But with the help of other participants, I understood eventually that this anger came from desperately grasping onto my beliefs, defensively. The openness and understanding I found in other group participants helped me accept my fears and worries about the future.
I also understood that the group’s purpose was to make it possible for people to help each other out, just like I had been helped.
Engaging with the DA group has helped me to grow more mindful, and responsible about my thoughts and my own reactions to them. While I used to be react angrily when triggered, I’ve become better at recognising this anger, and better choose how to respond or behave. For example, since joining DA, I’ve never pressed the heart button on Facebook comments as much in my entire Facebook career!
Joining the group helped me to overcome the episode of depression I experienced after reading the DA paper. It has also helped me improve the way I deal with my chronic depression.
I still suffer from depression, and it still feels the same to me. But thanks to this new mindfulness and sense of responsibility, cultivated within the DA group, my depression – when it reoccurs – isn’t having such a damaging effect in my relationship with my wife. So our relationship has improved as a result: I feel that we now communicate on a more intimate level.
Thanks to my engagement with the group, I am also better able to be open and honest about my feelings with family and friends. I used to keep my emotions to myself, but much less so now: I hug people more, I can tell them I love them when these words would have remained stuck in my throat. This has been really liberating – as well as also being a hugely effective way of dealing with my depression: I can defuse it by practicing openness.
I also search for emotional openness and honesty in people. And I value interpersonal connections much more.
I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the group, I can honestly say that. It’s been truly truly life changing this last 18 months.
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Hi Stuart, it is heartening to hear how conversation – honest, warm and persistent it sounds like – could be a balm to depression. I too, experienced a massive reaction to the DA paper. Wishing you more surprising joys on the mysterious path we all walk together. Vaike