I did not want to tell the truth of my story, not because I’m shy but because most people’s default position, when they hear of another’s mental illness, is pity. And I simply did not want to bear the burden of that heaviness no matter how well-intended it was, or not. It is why I couldn’t share, because I wasn’t in a place where I could survive the weight of it. It would’ve thrown me back into illness and that’s where I came from; not where I wanted to go.
But fuck it. I’m ready now. I want to reach the maximum number of people possible with this blog, and currently, it is still struggling to break 100 followers, even after 4 months of great content. So I’m going transparent in hopes of going viral.
I want others to know they’re not alone. And maybe I should just let that go. So I am. And I’m telling my story instead. Here it is.
The Revolution of Bliss is not some Pollyanna intentioned project. It was born of my journey through my greatest despair. This journey was a huge surprise. It was not even on my radar. In my life at that time, I thought I was living the way I should be. I thought I was doing everything right. I was pursuing my acting career in Los Angeles and having some moderate success. But the years continued to pass and many people around me would say, “You’re so good.” But what went unsaid all the time was “So why haven’t you made it yet?”
I didn’t know the answer to that question. And frankly, I grew exhausted of all my work, all my persistence and my tenacity that went unrewarded – meaning without a consistent career to follow. It even went diminished – meaning people in the industry kept telling me to do more as if I wasn’t doing anything, the consensus being “if you’re doing enough and you’re doing it right, then you’d be where you want to be (or you’ll get there eventually).”
But when is enough enough? We hear about how hard work can lead you to what you want, but what happens when it doesn’t? This does happen. Hard work is not the answer to everything. This does happen to many of us where hard work leads to discombobulation and despair.
I needed accomplishment. I needed reward. I needed fulfillment of my goals. Everyone does. It’s called validation. No one continues to do something multiple years in, multiple years out if it looks as it it is not working. That would be tantamount to continually sending out resumes without ever getting a job, or tantamount to continually exercising but never losing even one pound. You wouldn’t do that. That would be weird. I kept in it, waiting for “three feet from gold” to be true, but at the cost of my misery. So I turned my sights to other things at which I could excel. But the “best” one I found broke me.
I turned to an avenue of personal development that resonated with my soul. It had all the “right stuff” that inspired me to do more, to be more. And in hindsight, I could see that it felt so good mostly because I was winning at it… furiously, ravenously winning. I love to win. It felt good. It felt great. They constantly recognized me. But the recognition didn’t focus on the “superficial,” like my industry. It all felt substantial and the complete opposite of anything superficial. That was what felt so, so good. I constantly wavered though, unsure of my good feelings. I did not want to give up on, but wondered whether I should let go of, my dream (at which I was failing) and just turn my complete attention toward this endeavor at which I was winning. I wanted to stop feeling bad about what I was up to, and only feel good. Being selfless about my needs, and about the world and how it needed to be saved was just the remedy I sought.
That’s when I dropped from the ledge of the cliff and into an abyss so deep only Major Depression could awaken me. And thank God it did.
Believe me thanking God was not something I could do four years ago, in the thick of the abyss. Back then I was cursing everything and everyone for usurping the life I thought I should have had. My life had become a morass that I did not recognize, and I had let it – or, at least, that was what I thought. I had no idea how it had happened though with me in the driver’s seat.
I mean, wasn’t I doing everything right? I studied about acting, about “the biz,” about being successful in the biz. I learned from others, experts in my field. I did the work. I took the steps. I read books. I did more work. I invested my money in me, in my career, and in my life. I learned, learned and did more learning. I built my confidence and opened myself to giving everything I had, all of myself, to an audience. But nothing seemed to break open the dam. When I turned to try something new, something different to help me succeed in my field, I ended up finding a new path upon which to tread. This new path felt genuine, which felt good. The people down this path rewarded me for my work. It felt good to win, to be trusted with more, to know that what I was doing was making a difference with so many around me. My life was changing. It was deeper and richer because I was going deeper. But it also felt like I was turning my back on who I was. I struggled because it felt like I was turning my back on my joy for some idea of righteousness and enlightenment. However, underneath, I knew I wasn’t turning my back on my joy, or my dream. The career-lessness that I thought I was enduring to no end was because there were facets I didn’t like about my industry. There were things that I loathed about what I had met up with, the deceit, the foul behavior at the expense of others, the disingenuousness, the disregard for people because their status was not “high” enough or their “star” was not big enough. I considered this path one of self-indulgence, but mostly because those I met did not exemplify the values that my family had taught me. I mixed up my loathing of those few with myself, because I made wrong my love of the industry, and my fear of the havoc my “misguided” love would wreak grew. After labeling it all self-gratification, I thought it best to leave for the higher nobility of being selfless. I almost made it to Tibet to become my version of my highest regard for selflessness – my own Buddhist version of Mother Theresa. (I like to go all out. I walked 500 miles across Spain in 40 days. I’m no slouch.)
Who knew the path of enlightenment could lead me to my lowest low ever? Who knew the path of my greatest discovery would be one that looked like the utterly WRONG direction? Who knew I would find my greatest joy in experiencing the greatest Depression, the greatest depth of pain, the greatest depth of loss after losing my closest cousin to tragedy, the greatest depth of loss… of myself.
I hurt badly. Worse than badly. And no one believed it, because I was smiling and laughing the whole time. But some people could see what was there beyond where my own vision got blurry. Thank God for them. No, my smiles and laughter were not a facade. I had genuine happiness. I am a genuinely happy person. Both can exist at once.
Both great sadness and great happiness can exist within one person. And that was me. And I had no idea how to leave behind that which haunted me – my sadness that was uncontrollable. This sadness would envelop me and not let me go. It would make lying in bed most of the day seem like a better idea than leaving it. My sadness would be so heavy and so burdensome that I’d cry and heave just to get it off of me. But it didn’t work. So after not being able to live my life for two years straight, after not being able to get a job, after ending up on public assistance and a member of 4 different Twelve-step fellowships and still not feeling like I had any answers to what was “wrong” with me, I finally moved back home to the embrace of my family. At some level, I felt like a huge failure at life – and not for the first time – but I was in a huge haze as to why.
The first time I read about Depression I thought it was some grandiose explanation as to why people were lazy. The next time I heard others speak of their Depression, I got that it was real but I still thought they could go further than they thought they could, if they just tried, and leave the over-burdened histrionics behind. When I read about Depression just two years ago and how it could affect 40-plus-year-old women after long bouts of emotional and psychological stress, the loss of a loved one and/or post-traumatic stress disorder, something clicked. I realized I had been in some form of Depression since I was 12 years old. I was finally free.
My life and its entire trajectory finally made sense. Not all at once but little by little, discovery by discovery. I had been trying to do my life right, but I had never thought to heal myself. My work had been all about action and self-development through learning. It had gotten me far, but it was not what would heal my Depression. It was not what would allow me to become whole.
Healing, however, was not in my frame of reference. Physical healing through spirituality was something I knew a bit about, but emotional healing was not anything I had ever put stock in, and definitely nothing I had ever known.
To choose healing would have never come to me before. But all my Twelve-step work led me to surrender my ideas about life, my decisions about life, what I thought I knew “for sure” about life… and open up to new ideas, new possibilities, new intuition and guidance from within. Twelve-step saved my life, and not because I was an alcoholic or drug addict. My addiction didn’t affect my physical health in such a direct way as substance abuse. My addictions were like so many that go unchecked everyday – money (or debt) addiction, and trauma addiction. These don’t rate on the charts in our society because everyone carries some level of both. So instead of viewing them as addictions, we write them off as life. And this is true. It is a valid viewpoint.
However, my unhealed wounds were “taking me out.” My life had been (and still is) a perfect progression of my greatest growth, and yet, if I had let them, my wounds going unhealed would have left me bereft of any life. It was not to be however. My joy and my internal guidance continually spoke, and I heeded when it finally made sense in my mind. A sweet man who wanted to be my husband introduced me to Abraham-Hicks, and I began to get glimpses of what I remembered from my childhood and who I truly was. I began to remember what I had always known. It was finally being confirmed that I had everything within, instead of all the subterfuge I had learned from so many as I was “educated” in life – that I needed to learn from without.
After leaving the personal development organization behind, after discovering that the same aspects that I had loathed in the film industry were too in the personal development industry (because people are people and I could finally see my loathing as my choice), I came to recognize that there was nothing I needed from outside of myself. Everything I needed was within. And not like a concept, or like a good idea or a mantra to say to myself, but like the richest experience that my mind, body and soul could handle.
I was home.
So Depression helped me to come back to myself. Thank God for it. I have healed and I can help others heal too.
Enter The Revolution Of Bliss. I discovered through my experiences and “ruin” that bliss is our natural state and that returning to that natural state represented what we call resilience. And that resiliency was the key to our healing. There is no coincidence that we have recently discovered anyone can have PTSD; that it does not take war and being the cause of human destruction to cause traumatic stress. Trauma happens at any time in our lives, and to different levels of sensitivity in individuals in different ways.
It took the extreme of those military PTSD cases to discover the vulnerability of all human beings. And now we get to begin to discover – each of us, for ourselves – what it is to unlock our own healing of our wounds and return to bliss. And to embrace bliss not in an addict-induced state but from within our Selves, with nothing added and nothing taken away.
You do not have to be dealing with Depression to want to evolve in a way you can see will make a great difference in your life.
Are you looking for your fullest expression of who you are? Oprah called it “your best self.” You can call it anything you like. Many will promise they can help you by giving you a list of actions to take, but there is no action that you need. I’m here to share, express and illuminate that which will help you return to your inner guidance. Everyone heeds their inner guidance, but few heed it completely without doubt. Everyone of us needs healing so that we may be more fully connected to the spark within us that can thrive in our complete faith.
Are you ready to heal your heart so that it can break wide open in a way that only consumes you with love?
You are resilience. You are joy. You are love. You are life. You are it all. And it is all you. I hope you discovered something of yourself in my words. And if not, then I hope you were inspired by my story. I write to speak of the glory that is life.
Be well. Oh, and there is more and varied content to come. It just takes a bit to get right, and frankly, I didn’t want to miss anything out. There is much more to come… and soon.