It happened really when I’d least expected it. Actually, I didn’t even know what had happened until long after it had passed.
I was in my 30’s. It was a good time for me. I was happily employed, surrounded by dear friends, healthy and attractive. I’ve always been an optimist and this time was no different. Life was really good.
Then one morning I woke up feeling incredibly sad. So sad in fact that I wanted to cry, but I had no idea why. At first, I wanted to pretend nothing was wrong, but then quickly decided to just “go” with the feelings I had. Not an easy thing for an optimist.
So, I started to cry. But once I’d started, I just couldn’t stop. I cried for days, literally. Nine days in total. I didn’t even know a person could have that many tears, lol. There were times when my tears would stop, but the terrible sadness inside remained. There were times when my bedsheets were soaked through.
I remember being totally conscious of my own thoughts…all the things I was grateful for – friends and the like. But still the sadness remained. I also could not sleep and would turn on all the house lights when night came.
A dear friend came over every day with Gatorade to make sure I was at least getting liquids. I just couldn’t eat anything at all. I could not even get out of bed.
I wondered to myself…am I going to be like this forever? Will I have to be institutionalized? What is the matter with me? Some of my friends said they thought I was depressed. They referred to it as “clinical depression.” I thought maybe they were right.
Then, on the 10th day…I woke up and simply felt like getting out of bed. My tears were gone, but I was not yet “happy” again. I felt somber. Very somber and very quiet. I went back to work and I remember thinking that life felt more like I was observing it than living it.
I realized that during my nine days, I had lost the value of everything that I “thought” made my life happy and fulfilled. I was now going to have to “start all over,” bringing meaning back into my life. No more standards that belonged to other people, parents, teachers, friends, etc…only my very own would do.
I remember sitting on my living room floor talking to God. (Which I’d pretty much stopped doing by that time in my life). I said, “Please God, I just want to be comfortable in my own skin. Please help me be comfortable in my own skin…” and the doorbell rang.
What a pleasant surprise, my old and dear friend Heidi…and oh, how nice, a book she thinks I’d like, her dad, Dr. Bruce Alspach (also a psychiatrist) had given her to read. Hmmm…Many Lives, Many Masters.
Well, I just couldn’t put it down. It made me aware that when I’d given up “religion” I’d also thrown the baby out with the bathwater, because I’d given up God, too. It made me aware that I really knew nothing at all.
Thats how I became open again to all things 🙂 That’s when I “woke up.”