In the book Dancing with Depression, I didn’t want to say anything that would deter people from wanting to read the book because it didn’t follow certain religious practices or traditions. I wanted to tell the story as I lived it and so I did not go into the depth of the spiritual reading resources that I felt led to, that felt right for me. If you are a person who looks at the world in absolutes, there is a right way, that another way is the wrong way, it has to be such and such, you may find as we go along that you will not want to remain with this web site. I encourage you to keep an open mind. I had to be open to what was coming to me in a new way. I had to be willing to do life differently. I had to be ready to be guided. I had to trust.
If you are desperate in your depression though, you may want to know just what it was that sent me on my road to healing and you don’t particularly care to be afraid of reading it. You trust the path because this woman, who lived with clinical depression, is depressed no longer. I’m free.
For some people, another’s journey is enough to start building trust in something new. If I would never have taken the path I took, I don’t know that I would have ever been healed. If I did not digress from what I’ve always been told and if I had not risked to find my own way of “doing life differently”, I might have remained stuck in depression.
Just that I knew deep inside that life had to change was significant. I’m a relatively insecure individual and I don’t like change. I was quite the creature of insecurity full of “must” and “should”. I learned as a child life “should” go and be a certain way. I was hanging onto all that I’d learned. Well, nothing I was familiar with was working obviously. I was just released from a psychiatric hospital and all the conditioned ways told to me to manage depression weren’t working. I was ready for change.
But the new direction began with desire. The new way, what presented seemed to quicken my heart, to enliven me and I was, in fact, looking forward to my new way of being in the day. Just hospitalized for depression, unable to drive, I was so sick my mind ‘time warped’. One example, I was thinking I had been dusting the china cabinet for a half hour when my husband came home from work… I had been at it all day!
Due to the depression and knowing I couldn’t function, I quit my employment. that’s amazing a workaholic could do that. I could only just take care of me – kind of. If I felt like quilting, I quilted. If I felt like doing yoga, I did yoga. (Yoga was a way for physical movement so necessary in a depression. I know, someone out there is going to be shocked I did yoga… Did you know the word “yoga” means to connect with the higher? Keep an open mind.) If I felt like meditating, I meditated. Remember, I had been in a place of not even wanting to take a breath. I felt nothing. I had no desire other than to stop breathing and not “do” life. Remember, I said if I was going to do life, then God would have to “do life in me”. Quilting, yoga and meditating were the first things I did that I felt like doing. They came from tiny desires within. Where did the desire to do the right things for myself come from? Not from the depression, I tell you that. New desires just happened as something awakening in my heart toward these little healing practices.
A lack of desire for much of anything is certainly a characteristic of depression. We go through the motions of life, don’t we, but we don’t have much enthusiasm or motivation. Enthusiasm? What’s that? Enthusiasm does not compute in the mind and vocabulary of the depressed, does it? Well, I now live with “enthusiasm” and it started with the simple “doing” of what I desired to do. I think God took that excruciating prayer of surrender and honored it by giving me desires that had become obliterated in my spirit. I recognized a desire to quilt, to do yoga and meditate. Find your desire waiting – and do it.