In Part IV in my series on depression. I thought it important not only to share my truth, but to continue the conversation about mental illness, thus helping one another find tools and ways to ride the waves every single day so none of us, whether you are depressed or living with someone who is, feels alone.
I discovered, throughout this whole ordeal: my separation, my move, my past relationships with friends and family, that I had to learn to be my own best friend. Most importantly, I also had to deepen my relationship with the divine: The divine in me, the divine in you, and the divine in the Universe. This, is a task of great importance for me. To rely on something bigger than I, to surrender, to KNOW that I am not alone in this world. You and I, together, can find solace in knowing we are loved and supported.
Finding some sort of Spirituality doesn’t make depression go away. It does however, give you a chair so you can sit down and be with it while it is there.
– Mel Horrod
In the past, from a very young age I was always longing for someone to constantly be here to comfort me.. to be my security blanket… Where this feeling of incessant insecurity came from, I do not know.. Was it my parents separation, my father not always “being there”, the bullying at school, the feeling of being ostracized and not being part of the “in crowd”? This lead to bad eating habits and the constant urge to want lose weight over and over. Whatever brought me to today… whatever caused this person, who I am now falling in love with, to hate herself to the point of not even wanting to look in the mirror… is not of utmost importance (healing the roots are), yet, acknowledging that the path I have taken has led me to today has fired my critical urge to want wellness.
What I know for sure, is that I am a worthy and loveable human being. I know this!! right? But do I 100% feel this in the core of my being. I do not feel I am there yet.. and this is where I am going.
Which brings me to the subject of Spirituality. My spirituality has been there since the age of 4 (that is the earliest I remember). I believe 100% (this is my truth) that without the belief in God (this is my term I use to describe this amazing unlimited source I can tap into) I would be dead! Without my belief that there is spirits, Angels, sprites, light, Gods and Goddesses watching over me, I would not be of this earth. It is this belief that I am not alone which carries me through these troubled waters.
I also believe the divine works through people. Real people! I have surrounded myself with those you support 100% my well-being and detached myself from those who don’t. This is part of my spiritual path towards wellness, which also includes medication and therapy. Spirituality alone will not cure me, however, it has taught me to be aware and be there for myself in such a loving way.
In their book, The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Fourself from Chronic Unhapiness, the authors state in their introduction:
“Depression Hurts: It’s the “Black Dog” of the night that robs you of joy, the unquiet mind that keeps your awake. It’s a noonday demon that only you can see, the darkness visible only to you”. (p. 1 Williams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn)
Part of my spiritual path is to practice Mindfulness: The authors describe Mindfulness as:
“The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to things as they are.”
To me, this could mean during a panic attack to stop and focus on my feet touching the ground until the wave passes. Being mindful and grounded, instead of trying to “fight” the panic away is a tool I used often, which is, in fact, surrender and acceptance.
“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”
To sum up, my faith in God has been, and still is, a major part in my recovery. My understanding of the God in me, has brought me to here and carried me during the very painful times. My gratitude, for all that is and all that will be, creates a bridge for me to cross when times are tough. I am happy and grateful for this gift of depression, because it allows me to go inward instead of searching outside myself thinking I need to be fixed (no need to fix something which isn’t broken).
Even though I am battling depression now, I still choose happiness every day. Do I feel happy every day? NO! Do I feel happy in some moments of my day? YES! because I choose it.. because I know it is there, and I accept when it is not.
Remember we cannot chase away the blues when one is clinically depressed, however, we can use all the tools available: Medication, therapy, friendship, diary writing, mindfulness, and yes God whomever you wish him or her to be!
Love and light