Three years ago, I started a journey—a journey through depression and anxiety. Like any journey, it has a beginning and an end. Well, maybe they are important way-points rather than a beginning and an end because the journey started many years ago and will continue for the rest of my life.
My journey to healing and life started with awareness. “Gayle, are you depressed?” my friend, Victoria, asked. I answered, “Yes, maybe I am,” after I thought about describing my day to her which included trying to decide whether to go to the grocery store or not.
The awareness of depression prompted me to seek counseling. I realized I was living in a box and I didn’t know how to escape it. My world had shrunken to my home and my family. I felt alone, ostracized and hurting. I knew that if I didn’t get help, I was on my way to becoming agoraphobic and never leave home.
I began seeing Dr. Anna and she gave me the tools I needed to move forward. She taught me how to deal with the depressive and anxious thoughts in my head and so much more. I am so thankful for Dr. Anna and her work as a therapist.
Over the past three years, I have:
· Overcome a phobia of driving across bridges
· Let go of perfectionism
· Turned off the “you should, you need to” taskmaster in my head
· Learned to give myself grace and compassion
· Received the love of God, who loves me just because he loves me
· Learned that life is uncertain and sometimes all we can do is accept it
· Learned to say, “I trust you, Lord,” instead of trying to control
· Connected authentically to my family and friends
· Connected with people who have different backgrounds and beliefs than me
· Embraced this crazy thing we call life
Today, at the end of the counseling session, Dr. Anna pulled out her phone and asked when I wanted to set the appointment for next month. I said, “I don’t think I want an appointment next month. I think I am ready.” She smiled and said, “That is the goal of therapy.”
I know I can call for an appointment any time and I probably will during the winter months. But, I also think I have the skills to cope with life’s ups and downs and my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I also have a great support system with friends and family. And I know how important is to keep connections and communication open.
I appreciate all of your support through this journey. Your stories have encouraged me. I will continue this blog, sharing things I’ve learned and what works for me in this life Beneath A Dappled Sky.