Saturday, January 5, 2008

Why Depression Is the BEST Thing That EVER Happened To ME

I'm still here on the East Coast and I just picked up this book of my Mom's THAT REALLY BLEW MY MIND. It's called “Circle of Stones: Woman's Journey To Herself” by Judith Duerk.

Before this trip, when I looked back on my depression, all I saw of it WAS WASTED TIME IN BED. (And not the good kind of wasting time in bed.) I would beat myself up about those sad days, “I could have traveled, I could have written more, I should have worked out everyday!!!!”

THEN I READ THIS BOOK. And my mind got blow.

Here's why. This woman defines depression AS A GIFT. What? How can that be possible? How could a life in sweat pants, under the covers, crying, eating Cheetos and Doritos and missing out on life, BE A GIFT?

Here's what she writes in the book:

“It is often, finally, a woman's own pain and sadness that makes her change her life. FINALLY, it is impossible to deny her feelings any longer.

Depression comes as a gift, bringing the chance to strike root in a deeper ground inside oneself. Depression comes as a gift forcing you to listen to your TRUE SELF.”

Wow. And “wow” like, that's totally true. I have never been MORE AWAKE IN MY LIFE since my depression, MORE IN TOUCH WITH MY GUT, than since my depression, MORE AWARE OF WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE… even WITH THIS DAY than since my depression.

The book goes on, “What if a woman allowed herself to listen once again to her own sensitivities? To listen to the ways in which she is unhappy? What if she allowed herself to trust what her tears are trying to tell her?

What if a woman were to allow herself to trust her own unhappiness and TO MAKE LIFE CHANGES? What if she trusted her anger, her irritation, her illness, even her depression as SIGNS THAT HER OWN LIFE WAS CALLING TO HER?”


After I read the book, I just started typing.

Depression called me, beckoned me, it said, “I know, it's hard to slow down. It would be so much easier to be moving 1,000 miles an hour, RUNNING HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE, and never have to think about anything, including how UNHAPPY you are. But how did that work for your mother? Yeah… not so good, huh?

I know you want to be happy, SO JUST STOP. Lay down. I know you're scared because you don't like to be alone with your thoughts. I know it's going to feel like darkness, it will be scary. But in that aloneness and in that quiet, dark space, you will start to hear yourself. THE SELF that's in you. Can you hear it?

Hey, it's me! WHY HAVE YOU BEEN IGNORING ME? There's things we gotta do! I mean, yeah, we gotta get over David's death and we gotta figure out why you always get into these bad relationships and confront some fears about your Mom. But then WE'RE GONNA GO LIVE IT UP!

“Remember how we used to go on ROAD TRIPS just because? Ooo, and how we'd go to CONCERTS that were sold out, all by ourselves, and scalp tickets and DANCE OUR FACES OFF? How about POOL HOPPING? Oh, and WEDDING CRASHING IN EXPENSIVE DRESSES from Saks Fifth Avenue with the tags still tucked in the back so we could return them???!!! WE USED TO LIVE, LIVE LIVE!!!!

Don't you miss that?”


“She's still there, you just got to listen to me, which is really you, and I'll have you two reunited in no time.”



Surfergrrl said...

AG-I've been reading this blog since work and life have slowed down for the holidays. It basically covers the same kind of stuff and I find it SO helpful!! In a nutshell she says you have to go "through" to get "out." It sort of validates everything I feel right now. Here is the website:

and of course, your blog is helping me too!

adventure grrl said...

Awesome! Is that your blog? Or just one you like? Either way, I'll totally check it out :) My fav. expression is "Deal with it Now or Deal with it Later." Like, deal with yourself and your issues NOW or carry them around, impacting your life and have to deal with it at a time where... well, look at my Mom. She dealt with it LATER - do any of us want to START REALLY LIVING at 60? Not me!

Surfergrrl said...

nope, not my blog...just one i love.

it's sort of like that expression, "wherever you go, there you are." So yup, no time like the present! :)

Anonymous said...


DMBLover said...

Love reading your blog, it cracks me up and I relate. You put into words what I'm feeling, so thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this for us today. I so needed to read this and I don't own the book. I have been suffering from panic attacks and agoraphobia which has been keeping me prisoner inside my house for several months now. I'm very frustrated with it all to say the least. I'm not sure what the heck I am supposed to be getting out of this mental nightmare, but reading your blog today helps remind me that I need to listen to myself to figure out how to fix things that were obviously broken before all of this hit me. Maybe we all need 100 days in bed to get back on track. Sill it's hard for me to look at this mental hell as a gift. But maybe when it's behind me I will see it that way.

Thanks again for the inspiring words today. It really helped me out.

thesleepycat said...

hey! :) I just must tell you that for the past week I've been gone on business and did not have accesss to the internet, and I just got back last night - and one of the happy things about being back was I could go online and read your blog! :D I definitely missed it while away.

reading your last 3 posts was like eating a bunch of chocolate that you saved for later, instead of eating a peice each day! LOL. thanks for being so wise and funny and lifting all our spirits and inspiring me with your own inspiration =]

thesleepycat said...

hi again - i was wondering, where do you get the pics for each post? they are so cute and i love them so i was just curious...

mac said...

like the bible says "those in great darkness have seen a great light." it's a nativity rreading. not like u would know, but if you're lucky, i'll try to get you into heaven.

p.s. who is DMB lover?

RadoMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RadoMom said...

I really miss me. But now I'm not sure who "me" is. I've devoted everything in me to my (awesome, incredible, beautiful)kids and in the meantime lost silly self. I miss those perfect warm fuzzy moments of "all is right with the world".

Thanks for another inspiration. I'm going to keep looking for me. (Maybe I'll go look under the couch..)

adventure grrl said...

Dear Anonymous,
I am so sorry to hear about your panic attacks. Know that I'm really thinking about you and I'm glad you're reading. Just so you know, my depression isn't totally behind me, but I am seeing cracks of light. It's kind of like, I'm still lost and don't have a map BUT I AM DETERMINED TO FIND MY WAY. Keep coming back, we're all going to root each other on.

the sleepy cat, Thank you for your beautiful comments. And to be compared to chocolate? That's the highest compliment I've ever got! About the art, my friend is a graphic designer and has a pay service - that's why sometimes the pics aren't here right away - I have to go to his house and bribe him with a bottle of wine!

Mac said, "Those in great darkness have seen a great light." Thanks, I love that. I don't know who "dmblover" is but probably someone we could be best friends with!

Radomom, I think you're awesome and it's great that you are searching. That's easier for a "non-Mom" like me to say but everyone I know who is a parents says that by giving themselves time, it gives back to their kids ten-fold because they are happier. Get a journal! It works wonders and YOU WILL NEVER FORGET WHO YOU ARE.

Anonymous said...

This post was especially meaningful today. I think this is the point that I'm at, where I'm realizing that despite how scary it is, I need to stop and listen to myself. Thanks for the book recommendation, I'm going to look for that.


Broken Barn Industries said...

It's so hard to see any possible benefit to depression when you're in it. Great post, thank you.