At the end of August, I wrote about going sane. It was a phrase that I heard one night as I sat in a circle of women, spoken by a beautiful young woman who was full of love and vitality.
I have come back to that concept over and over again during the last few months. What does it mean to go sane? What does it mean to dive into the depths and then come back out again on the other side?
This evening I found out that the amazing young woman who spoke those words died on New Year’s Eve. What a terrible loss.
I didn’t know Jen well – in fact, that was the only evening that I spent with her. But we became Facebook friends and sent messages a few times. I called her as a source for a newspaper story. She was gracious and lovely every time we spoke.
As I reflect yet again on her words…going sane…I suppose it is finally time to come clean and admit aloud that the last few months have been really difficult ones for me.
2011 has been a year of tremendous growth for me. It hasn’t always been easy or pretty, but since Jan. 1, 2011 I have shed a layer (or six) and grown into a new sense of myself. The first half of the year was about growing and learning. The second half of the year gave me a chance to test what I had learned.
The dividing line was at exactly the halfway point – July 1, 2011. It was the day that Mr. Blue Eyes and I had our first 5-hour phone conversation and took that first giant leap into falling in love, and it was the day that Evie died. I had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows all in the space of a couple of hours.
My system has always been prone toward slipping into depression. For most of my life I thought medication was for people who wanted to take the easy way out. I believed that if I just worked at my spiritual work hard enough, I would find the light. The problem was that I spent so much of my life in a fog of depression that I couldn’t do the spiritual work. Which only added to the sense of failure.
I went far enough down the slide in 2006 that I finally admitted I needed medication to get myself back to a stable place. My primary care provider told me it would probably take about 3 weeks to notice a difference. It took 3 days. I got back to stability…and more. I went to Inner Visions and, for the first time, began to live my life.
I went off the anti-depressants last year and did quite well. But the emotional roller coaster that started on July 1st sent me into another tailspin. For a while I was able to hold it at bay because of the excitement with Mr. Blue Eyes. After a few months, though, reality crashed in and I sank. Unfortunately it took me a couple more months before I recognized it for what it was – more than just a period of upheaval, this was depression.
Seven weeks ago, I went back on the anti-depressants. It has made a world of difference.
So here I am – back on the horse. I’m stable again. I’m back to feeling strong. I’m handling the parting with Mr. Blue Eyes with a sense of grace – lots of sadness, but also grace.
I am, once again, going sane.
I wish that it hadn’t been Jen’s death that prompted me to put these words to paper, because I’d really like to share them with her. I’d like her to know that in just one evening together, she had a profound impact on me.
Wherever you are at this moment, Jen, thank you. My love and prayers are with you.