My Roots: Rising Above Depression
When I lived in Chicago in my early twenties, I got severely depressed. I was working at the Lincoln Park Zoo as an editorial assistant, living in a garden studio apartment and doing my best to just manage my life and be responsible day to day.
I felt overwhelmed, unsafe, out of my league for the work I was doing, and like it took every ounce of my energy and focus to get through the day without people thinking I was a sham or crazy (I was convinced I was both).
At one point, it got so bad that I couldn’t leave my apartment. I felt numb and heavy, like there was a giant shroud over my head and body that weighed me down and I didn’t have the strength to lift off. It was difficult to even summon the strength to talk, so I stopped answering my phone.
I was absolutely exhausted, but I couldn’t sleep. I think I was awake for more than 72 hours straight. My nervous system was completely fried, and I felt trapped inside a haze of dense, dull, jittery heaviness.
Thank goodness I had people that noticed that I sort of disappeared. My friend Andy showed up at my door and knocked until I answered it. He said that my friends were concerned about me, and wanted to know what they could do.
I knew I needed help, I just didn’t know what kind of help I needed. So we got out the phonebook (google wasn’t yet born), looked under “mental health” and found a woman in the area.
It was a woman shrink in a Lincoln Park West high rise that suggested that I read a Cosmopolitan magazine and take a nice hot bath. Hmmmm. Not exactly the solution that I was looking for.
“And that will be ninety dollars please,” a veritable fortune for me at the time.
The next doctor I found was some guy out in the ‘burbs who looked a lot like Alfred Hitchcock. After listening to me for about three minutes, he prescribed anti-depressants. The tri-cyclic variety. His advice was, “take one pill the first day, two the next, three the next,” and so on until I took seven of these pills in one day.
I don’t know if you have any experience with tri-cyclic anti-depressants, but at about day four of this regimen, I felt like Timothy Leary on a really bad acid trip.
So now what?
I knew that depression “ran in my family.” My father had put together a family tree documenting three or four generations of our genes. Quite frankly, it didn’t look good for me.
I was very aware of some of these histories. My grandmother spent the last 25 years of her life in a mental institution. Unbridled electric shock treatments had annihilated any semblance of her former self.
My mother was committed to in-house treatment for bi-polar disorder several times when I was growing up. Once in high school I came home to find her rocking in a rocking chair, her arms crossed over her chest and staring blankly into space, completely unresponsive to my words or touch.
Others included a guy who jumped off a roof, a guy who cut off his ear, and several who just simply disappeared.
I knew I didn’t want to follow in these ancestral footsteps, and the conventional means that I pursued didn’t do the trick. Taking a bath, drugging myself silly, and talking ad nauseum about my problems didn’t seem to do anything to shift them.
I had a realization at that point.
I had to wake up and help myself. And I would do it my way.
That realization is what started me on the lifelong path of understanding the chemistry of emotion and the energetic circuitry that underpins and creates our physical experience.
Taking a Reiki class was the first step on the journey that I began to do that.
Since that time, I have now taught hundreds of people, including physicians, nurses, acupuncturists, animal healers and communicators and mothers of special needs children.
My classes, sessions and products are the culmination of what I have found to be the best energetic information and processes to manage your emotion, thought, and physicality.
This work has enabled me to be happy, healthy and present in this weird, wonderful thing called life. May it do the same for you.