It took me several years to get diagnosed. These are my suggestions for a healthy emotional recovery.
Oh, man, have I wanted to write this one for a long time. And I also want to do videos soon, but I’m still feeling anxious about how to speak on camera about what I’ve been through. So bear with me.
Obviously, this is not everything. You’d get exhausted from reading my whole story, but this is a beginning. For some of you, it will be a great start; while for others, it will be everything you need.
I don’t even know when my depression began. I just know when it began to take me out of my life. I know exactly when I started to wonder if I’d ever be able to show up for life again. And I know when I began to wonder if life would show up for me again.
My pain began to dwarf my ability to be in the world when I lost my 2nd car. I had this beautiful blue Beetle with an ivory ragtop. It was my first convertible and I was in love. I had been working a fun job that I manifested by defining some exact details I wanted in a job when I needed one desperately, and I was able to get back on my feet after a huge upset financially, emotionally, psychologically and romantically.
I left that job after a year in – it was not my passion – to take the next steps in my artistic career that I felt was taking off. And because I had been so successful in creating that job, I was feeling confident in my ability to create my life anew. However, I was also extremely uncertain of myself, of life and of what was before me. I was still reeling – at some level – from the losses I had endured a few years earlier. So for all of my confidence, my uncertainty continued to rule the day. And I kept trying to band-aid / bridge the chasm by focusing all my attention on my work. Then, to give myself purpose – as if that was the missing link – I decided to take up a new mission to make the world better. With this new “thing to do” on my list, I began to focus all my attention there as well. So there goes all my attention with none saved for myself, or for what really mattered to me. Frankly, I’m not even sure I knew, or even had a hint of, what really mattered to me. And in the end? None of that was healing… so none of it was going to get me what I really wanted.
And what I really wanted was certainty. Or clarity. Clarity and certainty.
Not certainty about what life would bring me or provide. No one can know those things. Besides, I’m an adventurous soul, so that’s never been my desire. My interest had more to do with a certainty about what I wanted from life. That certainty would still continue to elude me for several years because my drug of choice was focusing on making things work while never taking a look for the root cause of the disturbance. Extremely heavy lifting.
I gave my favorite blue convertible Beetle back to the bank a couple of years later, after my career stalled and I had to take a job I absolutely hated but tried desperately to love because it fulfilled my mission of making the world better. I was wrong. The world didn’t need me. I needed me.
The pain of Depression is a lot to bear, and we all handle it differently. Mine is not to tell you how to know for certain that this is where you find yourself right now or even that it is, without doubt, what you are dealing with. (And if you’re reading this, then you’re at least considering you’re dealing with something.) The journey to knowing if you’re in Depression, or to diagnosis, is wholly up to you. And I’m leaving it to you, because as with anything, you are the expert on you. However, I will say this. The way they show the people in those commercials on t.v. is not the way I experienced Depression at all. Emotionally, you don’t have to be down every moment of every day. You can actually be up and still be neck-deep in this emotional illness.
My offerings to you are less about diagnosis and more about recovery and healing. I’m offering my experience to you so that you can take for yourself what will work best for you. Please take what you need, and as always, leave what does not resonate with you on this page. Trust yourself. You’ll know what’s best for you. And please also make sure you always consult with your healthcare provider. I am not a healthcare provider, nor do I claim that honor. So please make sure to consult with experts about your care if you need additional help. Get what you need. Always get what you need.
Okay, here’s my how…
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