Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:30 AM
A few years ago, I found myself in a very scary place. I was absolutely miserable. I was clingy and co-dependent. I didn't feel capable or worthy of anything good. I was obsessed with the idea of being betrayed, cheated on, left alone. Everytime I got in my car, I thought it was going to crash. I thought about death and getting sick all the time. I was convinced that I would be a horrible mother and ruin my children's lives. My finances were a complete nightmare, so I was always in crisis mode. I was jealous, resentful, unhappy, and afraid. I did not recognize myself anymore. There was this overall theme of fragility in my life. Everything around me seemed totally unstable and false.
But from the outside, it probably appeared that nothing was wrong.
Depression is real. If you have a cold that you can't shake, you go to the doctor, right? So if you have a sadness that won't go away, you need to see a therapist. YOU ARE NOT CHEATING ON GOD IF YOU SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP. Part of my confusion had a lot to do with my spirituality and relationship with God, and I was tired of feeling guilty about it all. Kimberly Foster, the founder and editor of For Harriet has launched the My Sister's Keeper Project to spread the word about the necessity of mental healthcare in our communities and affect more women. You can read my manifesto here where I explain my passion for spreading awareness of mental and emotional health issues.
Also check out When the Blues Don't Move, Parts 1 and 2 by Daree Allen and Meet an Ex-Superwoman: Why I Had to Divorce My Demons by Dr. Kimberly J. Chandler for their accounts of experiences with depression and other mental health issues.
Baby Steps to a Better You
Three Ways to Start Living the Life of Your Dreams
The Seduction of Starting Over
Over time, I realized that I needed to get back to the fundamental basics of who I am as a human being. Not as a woman, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Just as a human being. I tried to think about a time when I was truly happy. What am I good at? What excites me? Comforts me? Sustains me? The things that came to mind were reading, writing, dancing and helping others feel whole. I thought about my personal qualities that come very naturally; qualities that I love but for some reason didn't value: compassion, openmindedness, empathy and kindness. I had to wrap my mind around the idea that I was made this way for a reason, and that I could use these qualities to make a positive impact on the world.
Overcome Your Inferiority Complex
Stop Sabotaging Yourself
There is Nothing Wrong With You
Within this idea that I could actually be loveable just the way I am, I began to see a glimmer of light. When you dedicate the time to rediscovering what you love to do, you can change your life. After being in pain and struggling through life for several years, finding your passion is like pulling the cork out of a bottle of wine. Isn't it? Sometimes it's hard to get the cork out, if only because we're hesitating and struggling with the damn thing for fear of the loud pop.