I healed my own depression. YES, you heard right, I battled terrible depression for years. I can almost hear many close acquaintances reading this and saying: “I didn’t know.” My response to many uttering the same would be “NO SHIT!” I did a fabulous job of hiding it very well – a job in and of itself. I medicated for parts of it, hiding behind the numbing effects of the prescribed medication for a while, but the meds robbed me of my emotions.
On medication, I didn’t really feel anything. I didn’t feel happy, didn’t feel sad, I was just existing, albeit in a kind of zombified state – not LIVING at all. I hit my low point early in 2015, when my bowel burst. After waking from tests to discover I had lost about 30cm of my bowel, and had to carry a colostomy bag for a large part of the remaining year I was devastated. It was almost a fatal blow to me emotionally as I’m a single parent. My kids (aged 13 and 19 at the time) were forced to step up, but despite their valiant efforts, was still not at the level my condition would demand.
My depressed state exacted a toll on me in personal ways. I treated my boyfriend at the time horribly, pushing him away. If I’m to be honest, my behaviour towards people in my orbit at the time was appalling. Of course, the root cause of it was that I hated myself sooo much at the time… In retrospect, it’s rather obvious to me now why I was incapable of accepting love and support from others … I couldn’t give it to myself, and sure as hell couldn’t give it to anyone else.
Definitely not the ideal way to way to live Believe me! Also during this dark period I often entertained thoughts about ending my life. Many acquaintances also don’t know this as it’s also the first time I’m coming clean about it publicly.
So, why am I sharing this with you? Well firstly, please know it’s not to gain sympathy or “Wow, Mel! You’ve made it! Well Done!” pats on the back. The reason I am sharing this is that I want others who are struggling silently with depression, to know that I am a normal, average person – no different than many of you reading this right now. Outwardly, I might appear to have it all together and HONESTLY, I am totally on the right track with my life and have come a long way…
So what did I do? Early on, I realized that even with the best of intentions that dealing with it is beyond the scope of what our families, friends, and even ourselves can do. I began to visit a therapist regularly, and in so doing courageously began the work of dealing with unresolved feelings head on. Also, I began learning about and incorporating previously unexplored Spiritual (as in not dogmatic) modalities of Self-Care and Mindfulness Training.
For example, one of the things I’ve really embraced is Meditation, gifting my Spirit with uninterrupted quiet time to ground myself. I’ve also begun practicing Mindfulness – of Being and Honouring the Present, rather than Living in the Past which is often where Depression and Self-Defeating mindsets manifest, and often works in concert with Anxiety which is Fear of what May Happen (future).
I’ve begun to now Fully Appreciate where I am In the Moment. Right Here! Right Now! I’m now Focusing and Magnifying on my Amazing Qualities… the things I Like about Myself. I’ve come full circle in this Journey. I am a Work-In-Progress. We All Are!
It’s been over a year now since my lowest low and wow!, the changes that continue to take place! I am in awe of myself, it has been a Complete Transformation.
I urge those of you who struggle with depression, and feelings of low-esteem to consider where you are at… I know there are many of you that relate to what I’m sharing…
The Take Away is This… WE are the only person that can SAVE US. NO ONE ELSE CAN.
If there is toxicity in your life, you need to be brave enough to identify it’s source and either neutralize it or, preferably, remove it from your life altogether. I’ve learned the hard way that not everyone in your life is actually good to be around. I’ve too, had to cull toxic people out of my life; people who were like anchors rather than life rafts; people who were either not supporting my growth, or worse, afraid of it. Toxicity might come in the form of a “friend”, or significant other projecting their own deeply rooted and largely unresolved feelings of failure or inadequacy towards you… Or, it might be in the form of a job that’s currently robbing you of your Spirit, of What Your Heart is Wanting You to Finally Embrace.
And … it’s scary having to step away from people, or relationships, or jobs you originally thought had your best interest at heart, especially if the time and emotional investment has been significant. But to step away from it and in the aftermath feel like I do now is – in a word – FREEING. I’m now free to live my life without that emotional miasma hanging over my head, jading my view of life, and robbing me of my happiness.
Connect with people like me, who understand you, join a group, see a Therapist, find what you love in life. Believe me, it will change your Life!
Having a Network of Amazing Friends HELPS. A LOT… As does Surrounding Yourself with Positive People. But know that it might not be enough. You might need the support of a group going through dealing with similar feelings. You might want to seek the help of a licensed therapist to help walk you through it.
Please know that there is Life After Depression. Please know that Your Life… Every Life is Precious. Please know that You are Loved…