According to the NIMH (National Institute for Mental Health) 23.8 million adults in the United States suffer from depression. This figure does not include anxiety disorders in which depression is also a component (GAD, PTSD, Agoraphobia, etc.). As a woman who has struggled with depression, I understand the frustration in finding accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. I also understand the day-to-day challenges of depression and how it can interfere with our relationships, our happiness and our desire for personal fulfillment. Learning to accept depression and how to manage its symptoms has played an important role in my midlife journey and one of the topics explored in my most recent book, Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself. In anticipation of my upcoming book release celebration, I share with you this poem (not in the book) that expresses one of the ways in which I have made peace with my struggle with depression.
Depression staring back at me
Through inky, fluid, darkness
Imprisoned between antique silver frame,
Pressing toward me through the darkness,
Depression’s feature’s in relief against ebony curtain.
I reach toward the guilded/guilted frame,
Steadying myself beneath her glare
Ashamed to let others see the darker side of me…
Imprisoned in my home…
Paralyzed by despair…
Thoughts obscured by a cloak of darkness…
I Inquire of the part of myself I keep hidden from the world,
“What is it you want from me?”
Tired of hiding from myself.
Tired of shielding the truth.
I Boldly step into depression
Piercing through the darkness of the blackened mirror.
Depression brushing over and through me like a heavy mist
Grasping and clinging like a spider’s web
Reaching the extent of its grasp as I continue walking
Depression snapping back against the mirror that now stands behind.
Suddenly bathed in light
I behold the treasure that lays hidden within.
Depression’s gift to me.
Understanding that it is because of depression and its strange bedfellows of obsession, anxiety, panic and worry that I have learned
Reaching for my open heart and outstretched hands
I Gather toward me the precious treasure depression has left for me
which is now my gift to the world,
We make for our return,
Thanking depression along the way.
The birth of the Soul includes finding our way through all of the pieces of ourselves we keep hidden from the world, and finding our way through the inner obstacles, fears and insecurities that keep us from the life of purpose, fulfillment and peace that God intended. As Midwife to your Soul, I offer programs and services to assist you in moving through these inner obstacles. To schedule a one-on-one session or workshop, contact me at (920) 230-1313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.