I told my story this week the one about depression. It came up during an appointment with a customer. I am sure most people would say to keep it professional. This isn't where I am in my life anymore. I kept it light and I have been so happy lately it is clear to anyone that interacts with me that I have recovered.
I don't tell my life story for sympathy like I use to and I don't tell it to get it out of my system like I use to either. In those days I was lost in my story and telling it was part of my own healing. Today I think I tell it more as a witness in a matter of fact way. It puts my humanness on the table. I think we all have secrets and and it helps other people to see that we are all in this together.
We fear that if the truth comes out it will be extreme and we will end up on some TV talk show or like that commercial where this ordinary guy with a normal life makes one wrong decision about his cable TV provider and ends up ruining his life. That is our fear that we will end up locked up or living on the streets if we don't do everything right and keep our emotions in check.
The subject of depression came up when my customer said that they were fostering dogs for military personnel suffering from PTSD. They were telling me how the dogs bring them back emotionally from being shut down with depression and without the will to live. The dogs keep other people at bay while the person is out in public and eases some of them back into a more normal life.
I shared about losing my own emotions and my own will to live. I told then that it wasn't that you want to die it is that you just don't want to live without feelings. There is a difference in being sad and hurting and when you can't bear the loss you have experienced and having absolutely no feelings at all. I didn't know this place existed I will take sadness over nothing any day.
I thought I would never feel anything again and I didn't think I could spend the rest of my life in that condition. I probably should have taken something but coming from a family that scoffed at drugs I just did nothing and waited. I don't suggest this route for anyone else it was hard on me and hard on anyone that crossed my path for those years.
I have summed up my experience in this way too many things were happening at the same time and my mind and emotions could not adjust quickly enough and decided to take a break. I couldn't handle my reality and checked out for as long as it took.
I can't imagine what terrible things our troops have had to endured. Obviously to the point of having their mind go into its own protection mode. It is good that that some are getting this pet therapy.
Sharing my story can only help people to know that depression can happen to anyone and that there is life after depression. I believe I came back from it because I was forced to see the fear at the core of it. The fear that without what I had lost I was nothing.
When I faced this story I was telling myself and got comfortable with the idea that I was nothing I was able to move forward. I could see where my worth was based on my own idea of who I was and this was just another story I was telling myself. The things I lost were not me they were my idea of me.
I am happy today and that is enough. Today I am a blank slate without all the stories I use to have weighing me down. I feel my life is about just being and interacting with whoever might cross my path today. It is about not taking myself too seriously and getting on with my life.