Depression. For me it used to feel like a shameful word. For a recovering perfectionist, to not look like I had it all together, that I was good, was too difficult to admit to at first. Tricking myself into thinking once I started sleeping better again and once my job becomes less demanding and stressful, I could get past this depression. This depression that I thought I had successfully hidden from others- ha.
Depression, oh how you can be sneaky with the way you slowly creep in… masquerading first as a little insomnia here and throw in some low energy there. But Depression, you then brought some friends with you like trouble concentrating, sadness, anger (again I could blame that on my demanding job), loss of interest (I could blame on the low energy from lack of sleep) and isolation. The friends you invited Depression took away my joy and left me feeling overwhelmed. All the while I still believed I could blame this on my situation, like if only I had a less stressful job. The negative dark thoughts, the anxiety, the self-blaming and criticizing had become crippling at times. Depression, you were quite stealthy on your way in, slowly taking over without me even realizing it.
Living two years with undiagnosed and untreated major depression, I finally hit rock bottom. Which for me was a pretty serious breakdown that required leaving CA and moving back home to be near family in IL. Having the breakdown, leaving California and moving back home was just more that I felt ashamed of at the time. I didn’t realize it then, but I needed to have a breakdown to be cracked wide open. As Leonard Cohen brilliantly writes and sings, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
Going to therapy, seeing energy healers, journaling, leaning on others, meditating and prayer all helped on my journey to healing and wholeness. It was not easy, I fought and resisted who I was for a while. I had criticized and rejected myself for my sensitivity and for being an introvert. I rejected that I was an empath, I rejected that part of me that feels things deeply. I rejected the very parts of me that are my unique gifts and strengths. However, I did the hard, deep inner-work necessary to get to the place of self-compassion, self-acceptance and self-love.
Living and thriving on the other side of depression, I can now see that very dark period with depression was a gift. For me personally, depression was my catalyst for incredible growth, it was my biggest teacher and it opened my heart even further to endless compassion, understanding and unconditional love. I can now look at the depression I experienced as a gift that serves me profoundly as an intuitive healer. It allows me to hold an unconditional loving and compassionate space, to deeply understand and be a witness to those who are struggling and suffering. To be truly seen, heard, felt and understood is powerful. And it is an honor to be used in this capacity.