I felt like a fraud. Inauthentic. Fake. I was lying to everyone— my friends, my family, my entire social media following. But even worse than all of that, I was lying to myself. I was preaching about love and union and oneness, yet I felt so separate. So isolated. So alone.
I was depressed and afraid to admit it. What if I told my friends and family and they didn’t take me seriously? What if they dismissed my illness because of its deceptive invisibility? What if they discredited me as a yoga teacher? What if this feeling never went away?
For two months, I wouldn’t acknowledge those questions. I refused to give them any sort of attention. Until, I went to a psychic who told me I had an aura of sadness surrounding me. Yes, I paid someone to tell me how I’ve been feeling lately: depleted, drained, unhappy. But, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to hear the truth. I had gone to her as an escape, a desperate final attempt to prove to myself that I was okay (even though I totally wasn’t). The last palm reading I had, about a year ago, I was told that I am a world traveler and I will always have safe comings and goings and that I was about to embark on a chapter of self love and discovery, so I thought that this visit would elicit the same kind of feel good, sunshine-and-rainbow type of fortune. But, that was not the case. Instead, I was left to face the undeniable truth. My depression was real.
And when I did, I felt temporarily relieved. It felt good to talk about it, to free the words that I had encaged within for so long. But then I got caught up in the label of depression and felt worse. Every few days I would feel better until inevitability something would cause me to retreat back into myself. Eventually, this irregular emotional confusion changed form to a vicious cycle of hopelessness and despair. I felt sorry for myself, which made me feel sorry that I even felt sorry for myself in the first place considering how good I have it in comparison to the rest of the world. And then, I would go back to feeling sorry for myself anyway because the pain was so real. I even began to indulge in it, suffering for the sake of suffering. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I began to identify with my deep despondency, as if my depression and I made some sort of arrangement to keep my painful memories alive and to only focus on the sour parts of my life. I completely lost myself. I was saying things I didn’t believe in, throwing myself daily pity parties, and self-sabotaging to another degree.
Even though I was barely recognizable to myself, there was a part of me that was still paying attention, that cared to take note of all of the things that helped and didn’t help. I learned that listening to sad songs, and pitying myself, and oversleeping and believing that I wasn’t good enough, hurt. While being patient with myself, practicing yoga, doing intense physical exercise, writing, believing I was good enough, and reaching out to to people, helped. Especially that last one. (Let’s read it again: reaching out to people helped). While I was unaccepting of feeling most of the love I received, it’s the support from others that really helped me recover. My family and friends offered all that they could from their level of understanding, and my boyfriend helped me flee a toxic situation. I was not alone, after all.
It’s been about a month since I’ve felt really low. I still have good moments and not so good moments, but for the most part, I feel that my energy has returned. I’m sleeping regularly and laughing more. In the last few weeks, I made the move to sunny Florida with my boyfriend and even though I am starting anew without much direction, I am optimistic.
As I begin this new chapter of my life, I am grateful for all that has transpired to get me here. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It was all a part of the process. We endure difficulties in order to experience growth. It’s just one of life’s overwhelmingly complex laws, confusing and incredible at the same time. I could spend years pondering the concept, but I don’t think I will. All I know is I am alive. And that is enough.
It should be noted that no two people are ever going to recover the same. Healing is a very personal process. What works for one, may not work for another. So, while I did not participate in therapy or the use of prescription drugs, does not mean that I do not discredit them. It simply means it was not a part of my process.
If you ever feel depressed, know that you are not alone. Reach out to friends, family, or helplines. To connect with the Depression Helpline, call 1-800-826-3632. For more information, visit www.dbsalliance.org.