Yesterday, I posted about my experience facing my sadness and depression once again. The outpouring of love and support has been amazing. It's not that I didn't expect others to reach out, but I didn't expect my experience to resonate so deeply.
I am humbled and need to say this: Thank you all for caring for me, for loving me, and for being fearless in supporting someone you are connected to. I hope this sharing, and resulting connection can exist for so many others who are facing emotions, illnesses, and experiences that our society so frequently shamed.
It's odd how the world around me can be so bright, and I feel the intensity of that brightness, but it's often sprinkled with an inexplicable dullness that fluctuates in intensity overtime. There are moments when that dullness takes over, but last night there was a moment that was particularly filled with brightness.
We rolled into the parking garage at my condo, and Mitch noticed something odd on my neighbours bike rack. He started laughing and said - is that a Chandelier? Then it hit us both at once - there's something hilarious to be done here.
And so, we recorded this Snap:
And I laughed - I laughed so hard I almost started crying. We had a BBQ with some of Mitch's family earlier in the night, and I struggled with being present, I think I had a bit of a hangover from the release of posting yesterday. I did my best, and his little baby cousin helped me smile, and be 100% in that space with the love around me.
It's a moment to moment struggle sometimes to stay out of my head, and to not go down the deep end, but reflecting on it and writing it out helps me so much. It also helped to read and hear your stories.
The title of this post, 'You Never Know Who's Working On Your Behalf,' felt so right for a number of reasons.
The messages that came in were from people who are deeply committed to wanting to impact this world in their unique and positive ways. They either were experiencing something similar to me and didn't have the words to express it, or no longer felt alone, as we often feel when facing sadness or depression.
Others wanted to make sure I knew the impact I've had on their lives or their work, and how much they appreciate what I do - these were very humbling to read, but also so empowering to read. Thank you for being so supportive, loving, and honest with me.
Others still, wanted me to know it's okay to seek professional help if my personal attempts at healing are not successful.
This made me think and feel deeply.
Something I didn't write about in yesterday's post is how therapy and counselling helped me out of my depression(s) in university. I had a counsellor for almost the entirety of my undergrad. Janice was both a BFF and my saviour.
She knew everything about my life at the end of my five years. I had started seeing her in 2008, my first year at university after I lost a friend from high school in a tragic car crash over the holidays. I had driven past his accident the night before flying back to Ottawa without knowing it was him. I missed the funeral, but my mom went and took roses to my friends who were closest to him. Alex - you are still in my mind and in my heart.
A week later, an acquaintance and fellow dance-team member was killed in a car crash just off campus. There was a memorial at Carleton for Vanessa, and I went and remember being bombarded by press outside of the room, I was an 18-year-old grieving two deaths, and still healing the wound of losing my aunt suddenly the year before. I was ripped open, and needed help.
And so, after the memorial, they were handing out information on grief counselling and I made an appointment. My journey with Janice was not easy, it was messy, and full of so many tears, and fears, but it healed me. On one of our last sessions before I graduated, I came in to her office so full of energy and so pumped. I had just come from a coffee with a friend, and realized that I had a voice.
'Janice,' I said, 'I have a voice. I have an important story to tell.' She looked at me and we both started crying. For years of not-feeling-enoughness this was a breakthrough for me.
She sat me down and opened her binder and shared this poem with me, and it's stayed with me ever since (it was actually the same poem that Oprah read to the audience when she visited Ottawa, the day I got to meet her):
Love After Love - Derek Walcott
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
I share this with you as an offering and a reminder. I am still working on how I want and need to feel moment to moment, I feel it's something we are all working on. Today, I make a promise to reach out to Janice again, and to reconnect with this woman who aided me in healing and working with my illness before. I don't need to go at this alone, and you all have reminded me of that.
I am still laughing, I am happy, but my moments of sadness, fears, and tears just happen to be more often these days. But having you to read my words, and to support me through this is making it better.
Also, I hope to continue writing each day on this platform to share musings, videos, quotes, poems, anything that inspires me. It's been too long since I shared my words with others.
Disclaimer: I cannot speak to the experiences of those diagnosed with severe or clinical depression. I am not a health expert and am only sharing my journey navigating the feelings, emotions and experiences that have come up in my own life. If you are curious about seeking professional help for the feelings and experiences you are going through, visit In Your Corner.