Finally getting back to normal!
It took me about a year to start feeling better. I suppose it was a combination of anti-depressants, psychiatric and psychotherapy sessions, mindfulness training and light therapy. But as I had not felt a healthy normal for so many years I had lost touch with what normal was. I think the best way of describing my “recovery” was that of feeling better and that meant starting to enjoy life more instead of being numbed out by it.
The various physicians I encountered unanimously counselled me not to return to work unless it had been shored up with additional employees. As far as I figured it work was a major trigger for more depression. Initially the idea of returning terrified me but as time rolled on and as I began to feel better the terror dissipated to be replaced by common sense logic that my workplace was toxic to my mental state. My colleagues never anticipated I would ever return and my “replacement” was hired. I say “replacement” as if your colleagues believe you are not returning and they hire someone who sits in your office then that new hire is a replacement!
Again, I conferred with my friends W and Kennedy Jones about what it means “getting back to normal” after a depressive episode.
Both agreed they had been depressed for so long or subjected to the triggers that sprouted depression they can’t accurately grasp what normal was. Both wondered if undergoing depression and escaping its clutches made them new men better equipped to face the mental challenges thrown their way.
As W said, “My normal for such a long time of period was a series of events and triggers that worsened into a depressive state. It is not a normal I really wanted to return to. In fact, it descended into a sort of nightmare. I like to think of normal as a futuristic concept. It is the new me made wiser by what sent me down the rabbit hole of depression. My recovery was infused with optimism about the future and a keen sense of awareness of the shit thrown my way that triggered the depression. I don’t wish depression on anyone, but it made me a stronger and more compassionate individual and very aware of my world.”
I think W’s comments show that some suffering can make a person better!
And Jones said, “I really agree with what W has said on this. If you are on the railroad tracks of life you must be able to jump aside when that potential depressive train is on its way. If you have been through this once you become much smarter when that train is coming at you on the tracks. What I must be thankful about is the recommendation made to me about getting involved in mindfulness sessions. The simple task of remaining still and feeling your body and breath was extremely difficult if not painful during my depression. After several months I began to feel as whole and suddenly began smiling during meditation which was at the point my psychiatrist was saying the worst is over!”
Jones and W agreed with me when I said when depressed your goal should be to be better again or feel well. “Normal” is perhaps a bit misguided .It could be that normal is a toxic situation and one you want to avoid