…or does it? This picture was taken on November 30th, 2017, my birthday. I had just finished teaching class (truly one of my most joyful places to be; being of service and sharing yoga) and was being celebrated in the Birthday Chair, amongst my dear friends and yoga community. I was smiling, laughing, and for all intents and purposes having a blast!!! Darkness, however, was nipping at my heels. Inside, I was falling to pieces and, for the most part, I was oblivious to the cataclysmic crash looming in my very near future. After all, I had been managing my depression for many, many years, navigating the ups and downs of life, no problem! Whatever this was, I had it. I. DID. NOT. Not eight hours later, I was being checked into the hospital, explaining to a Crisis Counsellor what had unfolded for me and why I was there. I was a shell of myself and remember saying,
“Suddenly, there was only darkness, no light. I could not see any light. I always see the light.”
I recounted, for him, the events of the few months leading up to this particular day and he referred to it as the perfect storm. In fact, he was right, it was. Hind-sight is 20-20. If only I had been paying more attention, I may have felt the storm brewing and I may have been able to curtail its magnitude. Instead, I spent the next three weeks in the hospital trying to make rhyme or reason of how I arrived there, literally jaw on floor. Cue, the very hard work.
Today marks 3 months. It has been a terrifying and wondrous ride; excruciating and extraordinary. Jam-packed with baby steps forward, setbacks, successes, stumblings, ephipanies, giant leaps forward, and growth, growth, growth. I distinctly remember having a conversation with my Step-mom, whilst I was in the hospital and it became a defining moment for me. Her words,
“Julie, you have a history of recovery and those who have a history of recovery, have a greater capacity to do so in the event of a relapse. You have beat this before, you will do it again.”
Those words. Inspiration. Hope. Possibility. I dug even deeper.
Fast forward to today. I have a follow-up appointment with my Psychiatrist. Yes, I have a Psychiatrist, as part of my Mental Health Support Team (this team also includes Nurses, a Social Worker, an Occupational Therapist, and a Counsellor). My Shrink (his word) and I are a good fit, and this is tremendously important in facilitating the healing process; he is, and has been, amazing and I am truly excited to check in with him. It has been well over a month, since our last appointment, and I have oodles to share with him, relative to the work I have been doing and my ongoing recovery. Quite frankly, I think he is going to be a little blown away because honestly, I am. My Step-mom was right, I can do this, I AM DOING IT. Every breath, every moment, every step I take, I feel myself regaining strength and confidence, and the best part, evolving into a more human, more real, more authentic version of me. And more than ever, I am determined to stay the path and explore with wonder, what’s next in my self-care journey and this crazy, magical thing called life. I wish the very same for you.