The First Step to Recovering from Depression
If you’re continuously wondering: How do I get over my depression? and if you’ve read every book or article on the topic, only to find that you’re still stuck in what feels like a black hole, then let me start by saying that I’m not a doctor, and my advice is not going to sound like the articles you’d read on Web MD or Psychology Today. My advice comes from my own experience, as fifteen years ago, I suffered from depression, an eating disorder, and I had frequent thoughts about suicide.
I found a way to not only cure my depression, but to live a life that is more joyful than I ever could’ve imagined, and what I found is that the solution did not come from what I read in books, or from the advice of doctors. The solution was spiritual, and it set me on an entirely different path that altered not just my emotional state, but my entire life. You may feel skeptical when it comes to God, or talk about the universe, but I encourage you to open your mind (and heart), as there is only one permanent way out of despair, and this is it.
About fifteen years ago, I was ready to give up. I was unable to process the chaos from my childhood (my father was an alcoholic, and I both experienced and witnessed an ample amount of dysfunction and emotional pain). I didn’t have any tools to cope with my emotions, and so I stopped eating. To make matters worse, because I have a PCOS diagnosis (which affects my hormones, and in turn, my emotions), my mood was erratic at best. I couldn’t sleep; I wasn’t eating, and I couldn’t stop myself from bursting into tears. I remember having to take off work, simply because I couldn’t stop crying.
One day, after running my fingers over a knife and considering what it would be like to kill myself, I prayed to God for help. I told God that I’d had enough pain. I’d come to a place where all I saw was sadness, and I didn’t believe that my future held anything positive. I was ready to let go. Death seemed like a great release from the emotional pain I wasn’t able to process. I was kneeling in bed, sobbing and shaking. I repeated the prayer multiple times. It felt like I couldn’t breathe, but then all of a sudden, I could.
And then, like the turning on of a light, a great feeling of peace washed over me. I felt a buzz in my body, a sensation like being immersed in a warm jacuzzi. It was a feeling of being safe and loved. I could hear what can only be described as a “still, small voice,” communicate to me that I was so deeply loved, and that everything would be okay. The energy felt maternal, as if I was being protected; it was a salve for my spirit. I felt unable to contain that much love. I began to weep, because I knew that I couldn’t receive it fully, that not only was I not alone, but that there was something divine-call it God, call it the Universe, call it my angels-and that presence was right there with me, in that moment and always. A deep feeling of knowing, of remembrance washed over me. It was like I woke up from the pain, or I woke up from the illusion that I was fighting a battle all on my own, and not just fighting, but losing.
In the forward to A Course in Miracles, a spiritual self-study course, it says, “You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer and will gladly give it to you if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given to you.”
While the Course uses Christian terminology, it’s not religious in nature. The words are not important. Whether you call the divine presence God, or the Universe, the results are the same. Whether you believe in the Holy Spirit, or you’d prefer to say you have a cadre of nonphysical entities who accompany you along your journey, the result is the same. When you are willing to tap into the divine presence that accompanies you in every moment, when you are willing to ask, you will always receive an answer.
Here’s the key: You are not alone. You believe that God has abandoned you, or worst still, there is no God, and your life is without meaning. You believe that you have suffered, are currently suffering, and will continue to suffer. You have been let down by family, friends, and those who claimed to have love you.
You’re ready to give up.
But here’s the truth: You are connected to a love so great that it is incomprehensible to your mind. You cannot grasp it with logic, or reason. To experience even a moment of divine love will change your life forever. It is a transcendent experience that the great mystics, or poets like Rumi have tried to convey, but that falls short of the actual experience.
The only way to connect to this deep love is to open your heart and be willing to receive it. The only way out of deep despair is to be willing to develop a relationship with the divine.
The antidote to depression isn’t pills that will numb you, or real-world actions, like joining a new social group, or cleaning your room. The antidote is to open up to the realization that you are not alone, and you never were.
You may have suffered abuse, violence, trauma, and neglect. You may have been lied to, mistreated, and deceived. You may have grown up in dysfunction, manifested an unhealthy relationship, and suffered through illness. You may have an eating disorder, an addiction, or simply find it impossible to get out of bed in the morning.
I’ve been there. It hurts like fucking hell. What happened to you isn’t fair, not in the way that the world defines justice, but that’s not the point; no one said life was fair. Life is an experience filled with pain, tremendous suffering, and loss, but it’s also filled with opportunities to experience profound joy and love.
“Lose your soul in God’s love. I swear there is no other way,” said Rumi. This is the cure for depression. This is the cure for life, for the never-ending ups and downs, the confusion, the grief, and the questions. This is the first step you must make.
Greater than your past, greater than your pain, greater than your mind can comprehend, there is a love for you that feels not only maternal, it feels transcendent. If you could feel this for just one moment, you’d never look at anything the same way. You’d start to see light where there was once only darkness. With just a little bit of willingness, you can experience a love so great that it set your life on a completely different course. The light can enter through the smallest crack.
Hi, I’m Jessie! I’ve been on the spiritual path for 15 years, and this blog is where I share my story & lessons I’ve learned. If you’d like to set up a coaching session, I can help you to come up with spiritual solutions to your problems. Here’s more information information about what a session entails. Send me a message to set one up.