Nov 8, 2016
This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.
Something profound happened a few weeks ago.
I learned that even though I have been well for going on six years, I am still extremely vulnerable to the illness.
It surprised me when depression began taking me over following a work-related incident but I felt confident that after a decent rest period, I would be back to my joyful and self-assured self. Because I knew what I needed for healing and I had all the tools! And it mostly worked – until I was faced with returning to where my greatest triggers live, the workplace. At the first sign of the old stress, the illness tightened its hold on me like a cobra about to lose its prey. I was not prepared for what took place next. My depressive mind blanked out all that I used to know, everything I had figured out for myself during a previous ‘sabbatical’ year of healing, including the tools and tips that had made me well. All of that learning vanished. Lucky for me, I woke up with a clear head on this particular morning – a rarity of late – that coincided with a deadline for my book, which forced me to review many of those steps, like the need to establish a daily routine, spend time in nature, exercise, engage in creativity, and reach out to friends (even when I don’t feel like it). I had forgotten all of that. Rather, I was not able to access the knowledge housed somewhere in my brain – the part that depression locked me out of.
The illness tightened its hold on me like a cobra about to lose its prey.
Imagine my excitement and relief at rediscovering what I used to know. I immediately began to implement these things and within 24 hours, I was back. Not as strong perhaps, but back to being me. Calm. Sure. Filled with hope. Humbled. Because this is not an illness for wimps! It is strong and knows where and how to pull you down deep. But it’s not impossible to surface. It absolutely takes determination, discipline and faith, but it is possible. Even a person who wrote a book about how she got herself out from under depression’s power, can, when under the influence of a depressed mind, forget all she knew. “I’m supposed to know this stuff inside and out. I created my own system for me getting well. I have tools and tips to offer people who also struggle!” Yes, all this is true. But let’s not forget that we are battling a mighty opponent. There are bound to be dips in the recovery lifestyle.
Reach out. Shout it. Get help.