Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Depression - The Stop Sign of the Soul

Some of you may wonder why I haven't posted for almost a month. I've been wondering myself. The main reason is that I was away for a week visiting my mom in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was so grateful for this opportunity and had a fabulous time. However, travel involves so much pre- and post- expenditure of energy for me, that as much as I love it, it still knocks me for a loop. And part of that loop often involves a spiral into the dark place of depression, which brings me to my post for today.

I have tended toward depression most of my adult life. I now realize that my first experience of serious depression was in my early 20's during my first years in college. Looking back, I see that the depression coincided with my first serious identity crisis - if I decide not to be a doctor as I had always imagined, who am I, what am I here for, what the heck am I going to do instead? The depression got clinically significant during my years as a new mother, when I became classically lost in being a wife and full-time mom. Swept up into meeting everybody else's needs, where was I in this equation? After trying so long to cope on my own, I finally sought treatment at the urging of my sister ("life really doesn't have to be this hard...."), and found some relief with short bouts of therapy and many years of medication. I often credit Zoloft with saving my life at that time.

Even with medication, my depression peaked about 10 years ago when our family endured a series of crises, life as I knew it unraveled, and I eventually ended up getting divorced. As most who've been there know, this process was excruciating, and the last thing I ever intended or wanted. But as my friend says, depression is the "stop sign of the soul" and I had to heed the lessons my soul was calling me to learn. I couldn't survive within existing conditions. Satisfied that I had done everything in my power to 'go to the mat' for the marriage, I somehow found the courage to separate. Talk about an identity crisis! I had been fully vested in a lifetime partnership. I remember feeling like I was literally disintegrating at many points during this time.

By the end of my marriage, my spiritual seeking had intensified. When we split, I was in my final semester of massage school (a common path, I found out, among spiritual journeyers), and had also begun exploring energy and intuitive healing in earnest. I was blessed to meet some amazingly gifted clairvoyant and clairaudient healers, and experienced many incredibly powerful sessions. I discovered that, for me, an hour with such a healer was the equivalent in effectiveness of about 6 months of traditional talk therapy. This was not a matter of "believing" in energy work. This was my own experience of it, felt in the body and life changing. These healers work at the soul level, and insights and healing happen in many dimensions, in quantum ways. I learned quickly what Truth feels like when it resonates so clearly and strongly in my field, and it's extremely comforting. I became convinced that it was possible to manage the depression without medication and I gave it my best go. I also recognized my own calling to this profound soul-focused Lightwork.

Although I did have to revisit medication for a short while during the worst of my separation and divorce, I have now successfully remained medication-free for about 5 years. I credit a broad based approach to alternative methods as well as the steadfast support of my dearest Soul Sisters (whom I will profile in future posts!) for my ability, eventually and with much diligence, to overcome seemingly endless setbacks and truly shift my vibration upward. This, I discovered, is the holy grail - a permanently upregulated vibration.

At this point, I am taken by surprise when I feel myself spiralling downward again. I am usually able to take effective action to reverse or prevent full descent, but I still have occasional episodes of finding myself swirling in the thick of darkest despair. But I take heart - these episodes happen much less frequently and I bounce back much more quickly now. I will be sharing my essential tips for surviving these brief - but brutal - episodes in my next post.