In the year 2009-2010 I went into a severe depression; it was like living in a fog. Many families had challenges during that time due to the upside down economy. Our family was part of that era.
Everyone deals with things in their own way. I was out of work for almost one year. We were a two income family with three great kids, one out on her own and two still at home. I was working daily to figure things out and move through this challenge regarding work and the domino effect it was creating in our lives. However, after awhile the effects of that time sent me spinning like I had not spun before. Anything up to that time that had been a crack in my life and was covered up pretty well, now became a deep chasm with no idea how to cross it to get to the other side. I'm a woman of deep faith however that season of time sent me reeling.
I felt incredibly alone. I knew the energy I was giving off was very heavy but I felt I could do little or nothing about it at the time. All I could seem to focus on were the mistakes I had made, the bad judgement calls and anyone I had hurt up to that point in my life. As a result, I was not the life of the party and I naturally isolated myself. I became consumed with regret and wondered how to find my way out of that dark place.
How do you move through something like that?
Not to sound cliche' but it truly is one step at a time, one day at a time, one moment at a time.
I began to open up and talk with my husband about my perceived mistakes and missteps as well as hurt I felt I had caused people I cared about. He was able to reframe things and shine a different light on them and for the first time I was able to see some positive in the situations that haunted me. There were actually things that I did well I just was literally blind to them. Replaying them over and over in my mind wasn't helping things. As I was able to take my thoughts and put them into words, it helped me to be able to at least communicate my journey. Some days I was really angry, some days I was apathetic, some days I saw a little light come through.
I began to be aware of how I was feeling instead of just a cloud of emotion, more like a black cloud. In doing that, I was able to acknowledge my upset and move through it much faster. Up to that point, I kept things to myself and tried to just push through...obviously that wasn't working well. As I was able to become aware and acknowledge the 'feeling of the moment', it became easier to find things in my situation that I could actually appreciate and while that certainly didn't solve everything, it definitely helped at that moment to shift my thoughts into a different, more productive space.
When I really thought about it, the time off had allowed me to:
- care for my parents a bit more
- stop feeling so pulled in so many directions all the time
- get some much needed rest
- get my house organized in a way I never could while I was working
- begin to work on some areas that had begun to have my husband and I going in opposite directions
There were definitely days that it was difficult to find things to appreciate or "look for the good"; days where I wondered if I would or could feel truly happy again. Days where things looked bleak and it took all my courage to get up and face the day and take care of things that needed taking care of. I just kept taking it at the very least one day at a time. l continued to slowly move through each day. At some point the light around the edges became more prominent and I didn't feel the need to sleep as often during the day anymore.
I began to recognize ideas as they showed up, I acted on them and followed the trail. Some panned out great and others led to additional or different opportunities. By the end of 2010 I was starting to see the light of day again. Nowadays I don't even recognize the 'me' of that time. There is a happiness to my life again and a connection with life that I love; however, it was definitely a journey.
I recognize that there are varying challenges and degrees of depression, this was just one person's experience - mine. I believe in sharing with the intention that others can find hope or see themselves in some form or another of this experience and be encouraged in some way. We are never alone, we all share the human experience and while there are plenty of good times, it is in the challenging times that we really search for answers so that we can get off the treadmill we're on and find some happiness in our life again.
Challenges still come for all of us because that's just life. However, I discovered some tools on that journey that have helped me ever since that time. I want to share them with you:
1. Aware - Become aware of what you are feeling. Emotions are a powerful indicator and when we know what we don't like and aren't happy with and don't want, we can use that to recognize what we do want.
2. Acknowledge - Bring those emotions to the surface for yourself. Burying them and not naming them and acknowledging them is only slowing your process of healing. Acknowledge what you feel so that you can move through it.
3. Appreciate - Once you are aware and acknowledge what's going on inside of you it opens the door to being able to begin to see things a little differently. Make peace with your current situation. Make a list (even mentally is fine) of the most positive aspects of your current situation. Things may not change overnight but they will begin to change.
4. Apply - Now that you have allowed a bit of light in the situation don't be surprised when ideas come to you about people to call, steps to take, and actions to follow. Apply that knowledge and follow the trail and see where it leads.
These are the steps I took and still take today to move from any situation I don't care for much to creating something more in line with what I want for my life. My hope is that you can utilize these steps as well to be able to move from where you are to where you want to be; one day at a time, one step at a time, one moment at a time.
Life is good and is meant to be enjoyed. I hope you find comfort in these words today.
Your Personal Coach,
If you could use some assistance in creating a better life, please feel free to contact me today to schedule an appointment or find out more information regarding the services offered.