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Years of Depression

I posted on social media the other day that I discovered something in relation to my teenage depression. I wanted to share more about that with you because I think it’s an important topic that a lot of people go through.

My experience of depression was in relation to a lack of self-worth. I didn’t feel like I was needed or necessary. I felt like the people around me would be better off without me. I didn’t feel like I had a place in the world and to try to help, the people around me kept trying to put me in the proverbial box they thought I should be in. The more they tried to push me in a certain direction, the more depressed I became.

I tried twice to kill myself by overdosing on Tylenol. Both times I ended up in the hospital. The second time, I actually ended up in a psychiatric ward for a week or so. It was a voluntary admission on my part and because I knew how to hide my depression and pretend to be well or at least not a danger to myself, they let me leave.

I was clinically depressed between the ages of about 12 and 20. Those were some rough years. I realized the other day that the depression was created by my own sense of need to fit in the proverbial box. The truth is I didn’t want to fit in. I didn’t want to live life the way the people around me were, but I was too young to understand what needed to be different or how it could be different. I didn’t have a path in front of me yet, I just knew the one I was on wasn’t it.

Because of a desire to make the people around me happy, I resigned myself through the process of depression, to fitting in and living the life others wanted me to live. It was there that I hid my power away. I would later give it away to everybody around me. It was a very wounded thing to do. I sabotaged myself intentionally, in this victimized way to prove to other people that I couldn’t live my life that way. I figured if I played along for a while and was miserable enough, eventually they would get it and leave me alone.

I spent the next 20 years avoiding the thing that had caused the depression. I tried to fit in and live the life they wanted. What I say now is that I drove that path drunk. I couldn’t stay on it no matter how hard I tried. I wasn’t meant to fit in but I had to live that way for a long time to understand what my truth was. What I learned was that people just wanted to be comfortable. It had nothing to do with whether I was happy or not. My mother actually told me that it didn’t matter whether I was happy. It was my job to fit in and “do the right thing”, which was code for telling me to live my life the way she wanted me to. I realized that if I waited for permission from other people, I would never get it. I would simply be miserable for the rest of my life. I knew that I didn’t want to end up miserable like I’d watched my mother do to herself. Something needed to change.

Through a series of events, a lot of pain, and a brief trip back into a very depressed and suicidal state, I decided it was time to heal so that I could do my own thing. I decided it was time to dig my power back out from where I’d buried it, and give myself permission to be okay while living the life that I wanted.

I had intuition in those days, even though I didn’t really know what it was nor did I have control over it, but it chimed in quickly to guide my path and told me that I needed to heal myself from the inside out. That’s what started the process. I tripped on spirituality on my way to looking for a new belief system or a religion. From there, I began to dig into these concepts that I use and share with you now.

My depression and my ability to slip back into it to this day comes from me trying to fit in the box. It’s taken me most of the last 7 years or so to actually get to a place where I’m okay with not fitting in. I really just had to decide to say screw it! To do that I had to get over worrying about making other people comfortable. I had to reconfigure boundaries in my relationships. I had to start blocking out most of what the world was trying to show me. I had to get really okay within myself by creating a strong connection to my own internal power.

I re-commit to myself and my power almost daily. Every time I come here and write something for you, every time something happens in my own life and I change my pattern of response to those things, I’m recommitting to my own power. It takes awareness. It takes courage. Some days it is a struggle, it’s hard as hell, but it’s worth it every day because that connection is what allows me to do this. It’s what will allow me to continue to change my life as I move forward.

My depression served me. I’m not mad at those years, I’m actually grateful for them. They taught me who I wasn’t. It took me a long time to pick up and acknowledge those lessons, but once I did, things began to change quickly. I don’t have to go back there anymore, that’s the power of awareness. But I will always remember what it felt like and what it taught me. They were powerful, important years, and I wouldn’t change them even if I could.

Love to all.

Laura

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