Friday, March 16, 2007

Our Second E-mail Reporter Talks About Depression

{ Image Credit }

Depression can be a killer at worst and a bummer at the very least. It's also rampant in the world.

We recently had a post concerning that called, World-Wide Depression.

A woman named Dar left a comment to that post then said it could be used as its own post. I'm glad she decided to share it because she relates valuable information about depression; and, we need all the information we can get because depression is a most potent Spiritual Killer. Even if you don't suffer from it, I can bet someone you know does...

Dar not only decided to share about depression, she also agreed to be our Second E-Mail Reporter !

Just before her first report I want to give you two links:

* A Depression Screening Site

* A Depression Forum Site

Now, here's Dar:

"Below is an e-mail that I wrote to my family and friends back in November.

"My story is basically an attempt to relate to you the 'awakening' that has happened to me very recently. It's my way, I guess, of trying to share the incredible journey that I have just taken, and continue to take.
I have always considered myself to be a self-confident, competent woman. But for as long as I can remember I have harbored a feeling of emptiness, like something was missing somehow...I assumed that something was the 'right' relationship, more money etc...I have come to believe that this is the predominant human condition. Time went on, I set various goals and excelled at things that I set my sights on. I was constantly being told that I would make an excellent nurse. I even enrolled in school in Denver, but didn't see it through. I was dragging my feet because, I thought, that I wasn't supposed to be a nurse and if not that, then what?? I knew I had other passions but my whole work experience was nursing-my technical skills were top notch, so what was my problem???

"In 2003 I began to feel a pull to Maine. No idea why-never been to Maine, actually never been east of Ohio, but there has always been a 'fondness' for New England..it seemed like 'home' to me somehow....So after a 10 day vacation to Maine in the summer of 2003, I started planing. June of 2004 found me on a plane with my cat, headed for a new life.

"After arriving here my fall was immediate and complete. Everything that I had defined myself by was gone. I couldn't start IV's, drop NG tubes, hell I couldn't even put on oxygen here, people actually doubted I had the skills! All the nursing skills that I was so highly valued for in Denver meant nothing out here. Somehow that translated to 'I am nothing'. I sank into a dark , deep pit of depression, mentally flogging myself for every past error, every misstep in judgement, my intellect 'knew' things, but my soul was a void. I don't believe in taking meds for depression. It took me almost 2 years to pull myself out of that pit, but what I learned about myself were lessons that made it worthwhile.

"Finally I was able to let go--to forgive myself completely for every thing that I had spent so much energy beating myself up for. I learned the power of self-love and I realized that I never actually thought I COULD be a nurse. It was always some far-off dream...I carried with me, every day of my life, crippling self-doubt and damaging internal dialogue that I was never even aware of. All my life, I realized, I searched for something, some place or someone to fill that emptiness in myself. And I always thought that I was honest with myself, and I was, to the best of my knowledge at that time. But our minds are clever jailers, and keep us in self-imposed bondage until we are finally able to rise above it.

"Winston Churchill said 'If you are going through hell, keep going'. As I look back on my former self, I am surprised in a way. My old self would ridicule the waste of so many years being always afraid. Now I am so grateful that I have so much time left! The timing was perfect, it happened when I was ready for it. There are many examples of miraculous things happening as a result of emotional trauma. I would say this has been my miracle.

"I am no longer plagued with self-doubt! The power of that is unbelievable! I don't bemoan the past or live only for some future..'Ill be happy when......'

"I've known these truths always...intellectually. It took this experience for these things to blossom fully and for me to truly see clearly-finally and once and for all. This is not an 'attitude'...it's a knowing....an absolute clarity of what is...and who I am!!

"What I have learned through this experience is simple, yet it isn't something that can be realized intellectually. I identified my self with what I did--all external things. When those external things were gone, so was 'I'....now if I were asked to 'define' myself, I would speak of internal things, things that are the essence of who I am.

"I no longer dwell in the past or worry about the future. I enjoy each step that I take today, and as a result I see things and appreciate things on a much deeper level.

"Our minds are so active, running our lives that we have little room for our spirits to do the guiding. 'Meditation' is one path to that, but those voices are so hard to silence. A simple exercise-Close your eyes and think to yourself 'I wonder what my next thought will be'. While you are waiting for that next thought, it's the absence of thought that is the peace--the quiet that we seek!! Pretty damn cool!!! And practice makes those silences ever longer.

"There have been many spiritual teachers, Buddha, Jesus, various Zen masters who have tried to convey basic truths about conscientiousness. But we 'think' and 'reason' the lessons away, instead of developing our spirits to know what is already inside us.

"Wow, well I'm sure this sounds very 'new age-y', but it is what it is, whatever label is applied. As I have said, these things are not new--none of this is new information. I was just never able to 'depose the dictator' that was my egoic mind.

"Anyway, I also wanted to tell those of you who wrote me letters of recommendation that during my darkest days, those letters were my lifeline to any feelings of self worth, and I am ever grateful. I still cherish them, but for entirely different reasons.

"I hope this isn't too vague, as I read this over I realize that I fall very short of what I wish to express, like a painter who is so moved by the sunset but the final painting does not convey the emotion that he felt while viewing it. But I hope this is adequate, just the same!

Sincerely,
Dar

1 comment:

Puzzled Woeman said...

I realized during my two-year depression that depression kills just about everything - motivation, will, desire, everything. All my hobbies went down the tube. The thing I did most was sleep, sleep and more sleep. I didn't want to go anywhere.

The one thing I did do during my depression was to seek out spirituality. I know now that my spirituality was not just a result of depression because I'm still spiritual and I'm not depressed anymore. However, since the depression has lifted, I feel that I have grown even more spiritually. So, depression can slow down one's spiritual growth.