When I saw this mug @Target it was like it was speaking to me directly. I am more of a glass half empty than half full type of person. It takes great mental and emotional energy to "See The Good.” My default is to try and prepare myself for the "bad,” so that I don't get caught off-guard. Well I have seen 42 cycles around the sun and I can report back that I have never successfully prepared myself for the unwanted unknown. When those things happen that I deem "bad,” the wind still gets knocked out of me and all that "preparing" I did goes straight out the window.
What I can say is that when things don't go the way I expect, want or when tragedy strikes, honoring myself in that moment has worked miracles for me. When I honor where I am in the moment I can move through the emotions and reach for better feeling thoughts.
I don't talk about this often but I have and I guess still do to some extent experience depression. I am extremely intentional about whom I surround myself with and what I digest via my eyes, ears, and energy because of it.
I had an emotional break down in my early 20's because I never processed anything that ever happened to me in my life. I would put on a tough, strong exterior for the world and I would ensure that I didn't spend too much time alone with my own mind. I am an extremely sensitive and empathic person. I feel EVERYTHING deeply. So I was basically a ticking bomb that could blow at any moment. And when I was in college, I went down, hard and fast. It was after Aaliyah (the singer) passed away and then a month later 9/11 happened.
It felt like I was in a dark hole, completely alone and anything and everything I did to get back to me just pushed me further down until the light was just a spec. I remember playing golf with my father and BIL, crying the whole time because I felt completely alone despite being surrounded by people. I remember crying hysterically to my mom as she asked me what is wrong with pure fear in her eyes for me. All I could say was, "I don't know.”
I felt like I could not get ahold of myself and each day I forgot a little more of who I was. Thankfully, I had an amazing therapist at the time. She prescribed Zoloft and some sleeping pills with no refills, so that I could get some relief and sleep. We made dietary changes - I had to stop drinking coffee and drink more water. I made lifestyle changes - no more reading the newspaper or watching the news. And we talked and processed ALL the things I had never spoke of, including to myself.
Since then, I have never had to go back on anti-depressants or aids to help me sleep. The anti-depressants made me feel less, which at the time when I was feeling so much was welcomed, but we are meant to feel, so I didn't like that form of nothingness.
I needed to learn how to process my emotions, how to articulate my feelings, erect boundaries, and most importantly I had to accept and love ME. With that said I still have to be mindful of my surroundings, emotions, and boundaries because it is very easy for me fall back into that darkness at varying levels.
My emotional state is a journey that I must stay present for. The biggest change happened for me in my 30's when I stopped running from my mind. When I took the time to travel into the complex web of thoughts that is my mind and found a way to organize and create a process for my thoughts. This was a GAME CHANGER! I figured out how to process, not run or avoid, and to change the direction of my thoughts, which then changed my whole life (this was the birth of the CALYPSO Healing Method that we teach inside Herbal Medicine for the Soul).
I share all of this to offer my experience honestly and lovingly so that anyone who relates to that dark lonely place can see and know that there is a way out. There is a space on the other side even if in moments, when desire for relief seems absurd. My hope is that everyone finds a process for their emotions to manage them and use them for your empowerment instead of being controlled by them.