I've known depression intimately. it's been “clinical.” I've suffered from anxiety attacks. I've tried acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and church - lots of church - the sunday, wednesday varietals with a bible class thrown in. I've gone to 12 step programs. i've been vegan, vegetarian, (twice), fruitarian, done juice fasts, and cleanses. I blamed food, relationships, my job, my drinking habits, or my weight as the reason for my misery.
It all had little or nothing to do with anything.
I simply didn't know who I was, or what mattered, or what my favorite color was. I never knew if I was fat or thin or pretty or smart. I didn't know what was important, if I should vote democrat or republican, or even vote at all. This went on for a very long time.
I kept suffering, though I didn't want to suffer, and I kept trying to fix it. I was hospitalized, institutionalized, and beaten. I blamed god or my childhood or my belief I wasn't a good person. I thought Sylvia Plath was romantic. How much pain do we have to be in before someone takes notice?
No one noticed.
So I tried drugs - legal and illegal. I smoked. I wore black. I got fat. I got thin. My hair fell out. I wrote poetry and had affairs. Then everything changed after I had children. My narcissistic view of myself in the world disintegrated. Joyfully. Painlessly. Seamlessly. There they were, beautiful, unadulterated, flawless. Mine. For a season. To love and nurture and take care of. Not everyone finds bearing children and raising them the solution for a lifetime of pain. But for me, it was that simple. They loved me and I loved them, totally and completely.
They saved my life.