A Twisted Path to Overcoming Depression
Every so often I wake feeling unusually heavy; inexplicably sad. There’s nothing particularly wrong with my life, though things are far from normal these days. I can’t find a reason for these feelings of sadness; feeling like something isn’t quite right, or is off-balance somehow. I’ve learned it may be nothing, or something that will be explained at some point in the future. The best I can do is keep busy and ride it out.
Moments like these remind me of what I refer to with no fondness as “The Depression Years” which, to my recollection ran through my 30’s and 40’s. It was a time when I was married, gave birth to my daughters, divorced their father, and avoided my parents as much as possible. Little did I realize part of my avoidance was their own individual, and perhaps collective spiral into a deep, dark depression of their own which ultimately led to their suicides.
I recognize with the perfect vision of hindsight that I began to work my way up from the depths into which I’d fallen after my mom passed, and while slogging through my 3-year divorce. My life grew slowly lighter as I left the mental, emotional, and financial woes of marriage and divorce behind me along with the pall of my mother’s excessively heavy presence. Once my father took his leave as well, I have to admit, my own load got significantly lighter, and it was far easier to let go of the burden I’d been carrying for too long, and had feared releasing if only because it was the demons I knew.
Leaving Loneliness Behind
These inexplicably dark, lonely days bring back, not so much the years I was depressed, miserable, and alone, but the progress I’ve made since then. They also remind me it’s OK to have dark, lonely days. Hard as they may be to understand and accept, they provide a balance for me from all the time and effort I put into staying strong, positive, and inspired.
In sharing the roller coaster ride I’m on, though not as hair-raising as it once was, I’m learning even if it often felt like I was a single leaf being flung around at life’s whims, I was never truly alone in the frantic dance. So many of my friends remember similar periods in their lives, and are now sharing both the travails, and the successes they’ve found in leaving at least part of that chaos behind. To be honest, it’s the sharing, the connection, and the understanding which continue to keep many of us on the upward swing of our personal spirals.
The worst part of spiraling down into the dark, lonely pit of depression is the loneliness. It’s too easy to listen to the voices that continually hammer at you about your unworthiness, the busyness of others, and their own lack of interest in your predicament. Your eyes start seeing only the heads that turn away, and overlook those who reach out even as you turn away and focus on those who were never meant to be part of your tribe. Yet, they are your self-fulfilling prophecy.
Consciously Utilizing the Laws of Attraction
You believe you are being rejected, so you only see rejection. You become blind to acceptance; to love and compassion. In the process, you may even cause those who do care to run out of patience, or get tired of being ignored. Before long, you truly are alone, and though a lot of that is your own fault, you fail to recognize it beyond the belief it’s what you deserve.
More and more, I see the Laws of Attraction in action. Looking back a couple of decades, I see how my expectations were matched over and over again. Though it wasn’t at the forefront of my consciousness, deep down, I expected to be rejected, and even made up reasons for it. I was a single parent among not-so-happily married women. I was a female manager in a company where females in management were treated with less respect than the rodents my barn cats hunt. I was overweight and believed I lacked all the qualities that made a woman attractive and desirable. You name it, I found an excuse, not only to justify unfair treatment, but to allow myself to stop trying.
Granted, the first step to breaking the cycle was to stop allowing myself to dance to the beat of someone else’s drum. I had to learn to seek my validation from inside rather than outside. But in the beginning, I took it to extremes. I stopped putting any effort into my appearance. I dressed for comfort, eschewed my iron, and wore little to no makeup except when I was going dancing. That lack of caring snowballed until it encompassed even my work ethic. I did what I had to, and little more. Granted, the environment I’d allowed myself to settle for supported my behavior. No matter how much effort I did or did not put in, the rewards went to the men who fit the company image; who made management comfortable.
Loving My Beautifully Imperfect Self
I’d like to say it was one company; one job that saw this decline in the image I showed the world, but in truth, it was a long, slow slide into the final pit that led to my choosing to leave the corporate world entirely. In hindsight, it wasn’t a bad thing. The choice was a long time coming, but needed the right set of circumstances to manifest. I had to be confident I no longer needed the approval of anyone but myself to see how many people truly loved me the way I was; co-workers and employers excluded.
In the last decade or so, I’ve learned to love myself completely and unconditionally. In so doing, I’ve finally attracted people who have no hidden agendas. I’m not another well to drain before moving on to the next. I’m not a canvas they can fling paint on until they get tired of the mess they’ve made, again moving on. I’m just me in all my imperfect glory, willing to show off my imperfections so the people around me feel comfortable being themselves as well.
I’m part of a community of imperfect beings, who revel in the beautiful, multi-faceted mosaic we create when we come together, yet can break off, and create new and different mosaics in our kaleidoscopic adventure called life. Most of all, I’ve come to appreciate every step on my journey. I set goals, I have dreams, but the destination isn’t set in stone, and it isn’t the part I look forward to when I get up every morning, or go to sleep every night. The adventure, and the joy will always be in how I get there, and for me, that has never been a straight or easy path. What would be the fun in that?
Every Day is Another Reason for Gratitude
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful for all the imperfect people who make my life colorful and interesting.
- I’m grateful for all the side trips my life has taken that make the journey more interesting, and often surprising.
- I’m grateful for a tendency to thrive on change rather than fear it.
- I’m grateful for learning I’m better as part of a community that accepts it’s members as they are, and encourages imperfection and vulnerability.
- I’m grateful for abundance; love, joy, community, friendship, honesty, vulnerability, self-acceptance, peace, harmony, balance, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income.
If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward