In the days after I realized how emotionally depressed my son was I found myself in a lot of fear. Terror actually. I felt like my whole world was falling apart. But then I slowly began to connect with others. Other mothers who had been through their children’s traumas. Other people who had survived their own depression and anxiety.
One thing I told myself when all this happened- I was NOT going to isolate from others. Years ago I would have held all this pain in and carried it around in me like a big dark secret. But I have learned that keeping secrets keeps you sick.
I am not going around shouting my miseries and woes to everyone and anyone. But it is important for me to share my life and what I am going through with others who are close to me- my friends and family.
I share appropriately of course. I don’t want to make myself into a victim.
Life happens. Life is hard. Everyone suffers. And we are all connected.
And something miraculous happened. As I was blessed to be able to share with other moms and women I work with about my son and what he is going through, that fear transformed into love and gratitude:
Love for all the wonderful people who I am blessed to have in my life.
Love for all the moms and women I am connected with who love me and who have also shared with me parts of them. How they have been touched somehow by depression or anxiety or mental illness, and how they lived through it.
Love for my child and all children who are depressed and anxious.
And love and compassion for my little family as we go through this.
Yes we are all healing. All three of us. 🙂
Here are some of the things for which I am grateful these days:
-Being completely open to receiving kindness from others.
-Savoring the joy of a mindful breath.
-The sacredness of the stillness of night when I can’t sleep.
-Immense gratitude to God for his goodness which is all around.
-The privilege of witnessing small healings in my family each day.
If I hadn’t experienced being broken myself, I guess I wouldn’t know these things. 🙂
And another really good thing has come out of this time- a miracle really- my husband has started to see a psychiatrist. He has an appointment with her today after work. Today will be his third time seeing her.
He started taking Cymbalta over the weekend. He is in a fragile state, with dark moods and anxiety. I guess the psychiatrist told him these feelings may get worse before they get better.
I started seeing a therapist too. She is very nice and knows a lot about trauma. She incorporates mindfulness into her practice, which is really important to me.
My son is doing better. It is slow going. All of his friends are back to school now. So he is basically alone here. He spends a lot of time on the computer (always has, he’s a computer kid). I wish he’d go to the gym, but I don’t want to push him. He is working with his therapist and he gets out a little. My nature is to worry about him constantly, but that is not going to help anyone
My daily practice is to stay in the present as much as possible. I am moving slow and keeping my life as simple as possible. As Eckhart Tolle says, “Problems of the mind cannot be solved with the mind.”
My morning meditation is too important to be missed these days. Very grateful that I have this practice.
Lately I have also been grounding myself by walking outside barefoot. Stretching and walking always feel good. Being outside and just weeding in the yard feels good, too, so I’ve been doing that a lot.
Also, remembering to connect with my breath and focus on the slow and steady rhythm of my breathing throughout the day. Breathing reminds me of the ocean, how the waves just come in one after the other.
Last Saturday I drove upstate to be with my parents and sister. I needed to be with them and just be around people who love me unconditionally. It was just a quick overnight, but we all shared a nice spaghetti dinner and conversation. It felt so good.
I used the 2 and a half hour drive there and back to just breathe and be in silence, and also listen to Guided Meditations for Self-Healing by Jack Kornfield. It is really good. I bought this audio CD back in 2012 when my dad had cancer. I sent my parents a copy too at the time. Not sure if it helped them, but it really helped me. It is wonderful.
Today I’ll take my son out to sushi for lunch, if he gets hungry later. That is a little ritual we have.
This morning I googled an online Bible for the phrase “Fear Not”. There were 62 passages to choose from. I think I’ll receive that message today. 🙂
I’ll end this with a prayer of thanksgiving: Thank You Lord, for blessing me with the gift of life, the gift of friendship, the gift of motherhood, the gift of family, the gift of healing, the gift of inner peace, the gift of love. Thank you.
So that’s it for me. Wishing you a day filled with peace. Sending a prayer of comfort and healing to all who are touched by depression or sadness in any form.
xx, Lisa Arcelia