Let’s talk about depression

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They call it the silent killer. They say it’s a process you must go through to come out of the other side. What puzzles me is that if so many of us are going through it, why is no one talking about it? I need to talk about it.

I’ve just emerged from the darkness, and hope never to return, but how can we control something that absolutely consumes us?

I of all people have the recipe for happiness, I teach people the tools, I understand how to live in the moment, how to just be. But sometimes life takes over, and we lose ourselves temporarily to a human experience, one that teaches us so much if we are prepared to take on board its lesson.

I have suffered with bouts of depression over the last few years, particularly in the last nine months, mainly due to health issues, periods of unemployment and other such life events. Periodically I lose my trust in the universe, but just as quickly it returns. I know that the good times are coming, I just need to be patient and wait. The universe loves making us wait.

Having discovered a spiritual pathway so early in life, I didn’t think it possible to ever feel so absent again. Once I learned the truth I knew that happiness existed in every moment, the secret was gratitude.

There was a time when I had much ‘less’ materially, in the way of: home, relationships, income, belongings. I distinctly remember having cold showers for at least two weeks, but giving thanks every morning just for clean water and the roof over my head, despite very difficult and basic living circumstances at the time.

What happened to that person? She was so connected, she worked with the universe, free from fear. She just was. Perhaps life got in the way.

I don’t even recognise the person I’ve been for the last couple of weeks. The only way to describe it, is like someone flipping a switch out of nowhere and turning off the power without notifying you. Suddenly feeling dead inside, you lose all passion, you are completely numb, even to the things that make you smile, regardless.

I’ve watched others go through it. I’ve stood by helplessly, relentlessly offering to help, why couldn’t they hear me? Now I understand. They were also numb – it was a process they needed to go through. At least they knew I was there, when they were ready to come back. Thankfully one of those people recently came back, just at my time of need.

The problem is, when we’re in the midst of darkness, we feel so alone, with no one to talk to. I’m learning that keeping things inside does you no good, if we do not work on our own self-healing it will only come back to haunt us. I have now acknowledged that I am so good at helping others, but not so good at helping myself – and that has to change.

I’ve learned that when you reach out you discover that we are more alike than we realise, and that friends do exist even if you haven’t spoken in some time. It’s important to be there for each other, we must be there for each other. Friendship is vital, like air and water, we must fight for it – even when we’ve lost our way, even when life becomes too ‘busy’.

We must also remember to take time for ourselves, time alone and time for silence. It’s such an important part of our personal development and the healing process. When you live with other people, particularly a long-term partner, it’s so easy to lose yourself, no matter how much you love that person.

I realise that I lost myself some time ago, I’m sure most people have experienced this. Rebuilding yourself is not an easy task, piece by piece, but the first stage is awareness, once we are aware we can start to make the necessary changes. I’m on a new journey of self-discovery now, pushing myself to try things that scare me. I don’t want to be scared anymore, I want to feel alive.

As I begin to remind myself of the way I used to be (before life took over), I reach for my gratitude list and I start writing a bucket list.

It’s time to take control of the fear and the sadness, the healing will come in time. Bear with it. Try to look at the positives rather than absorbing the negatives. There will always be positives. If you can’t find any, start with your loved ones, your animals, the roof over your head, food on the table. If you’re not happy in your job, change it. If you want to move abroad do it. If you don’t try you’ll never know, and wouldn’t you rather say you tried than spend a lifetime wondering?

Go for a walk in the park, watch a nice film, spend time with children or animals. Do something that makes you smile, push yourself to take that first step, and the next step won’t be so painful.

But never regret the darkness, it is our greatest teacher.

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with hitting rock bottom, it’s a magical place to be. A place where we begin to connect with our true self, a place where we step outside of the ego, where we realise what we do and don’t want from life, the source of much creativity. A place where we align ourselves with purpose and gratitude. Through darkness comes light.” KJ x May 2016

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