Photo Credit: Arif Riyanto, Unsplash.com

Written by Yossef Sagi
June 14, 2019

How I Redefined My Experience of Depression

(Continued from Part One: The Wake-Up Call)

My body was resting, but my mind was restless. With no task to keep it busy, it occupied itself by harassing me.

The debilitating thoughts came back: victim mentality, suicidal ideations, helplessness. My feelings teamed up on me : sadness, despair, misery.

It continued on for days, which I spent in bed with the lights off. If I had a client call, I could muster up the energy for the hour and then immediately fall back into my slump.

I needed to do something to improve my situation. It was a sunny day and taking a walk was usually therapeutic. I put some clothes on and dragged my feet across the carpet—making it as far as the living room before collapsing on the floor and lying there for the next hour because that was the best I could do at that moment. I slowly regained some energy to drag myself outdoors.

My walk was slow and deliberate. I looked at the beauty around me—the ever-blooming Los Angeles flora, blue skies, and golden sunshine. God’s wonders did little to heal me.

I quickly tired of walking and sat on the sidewalk, catatonic and staring blankly into nothingness. Having no clear sense of time, I wasn’t sure how long I was in that state when a neighboring family was getting out of the car that pulled up beside me. My common sense kicked in and told me to get up before I freaked out the kids. I forced a smile and went back indoors to my bed.

Not knowing what else to do, I completely surrendered into this depressive state. I let it overtake me—I might as well—there was nothing I could do about it. Then something interesting happened . . .

I started cracking up.

In my entire life experience with various types of depression, I’d never completely surrendered myself to that feeling, to that moment. Now, completely at its mercy for the first time, right in the midst of my apparent suffering, I found myself literally laughing out loud.

Even though the laugh came out of my belly and ran through my lips, I knew it wasn’t from me—at least not the part of me that was suffering.

It was coming from an aspect of my consciousness, perhaps my Higher Self, dissociated from the rest of “me” and floating just above my body. Simultaneously, I was in my body and above it—both the observer of my life and the participant experiencing it.

From the observer’s point-of-view, the whole thing was ridiculous and hilarious.

A Conversation with my Higher Consciousness

This Higher Consciousness began, “Take notice only of your body. What’s going on in your body?”

A tightness in my chest, tension in my muscles, and low energy.

The Higher Self challenged me, “Just because you have tightness in your chest and tension in your muscles and you feel low energy—does that mean you must be depressed?”

I guess not.

It continued, “Now pay attention to your feelings and emotions. What are you feeling right now?”

Sad, helpless, and disappointed.

“Just because you feel sad or helpless or disappointed, does that imply you’re depressed?”

I suppose one could have those feelings and not suffer from depression.

“Now listen to your thoughts. What are they telling you?”

I have no purpose. No reason to live. Everything is meaningless and there’s no point in going on.

“Just because you have those thoughts at this moment, does that mean you’re—by necessity—depressed?”

I then realized it’s completely possible to have those as thoughts and for them not to be debilitating—that although nothing has inherent purpose or meaning, I create that meaning and purpose for myself rather than have it be dictated by the organization I work for, by what society expects, or by some higher authority.

I had certain thoughts, feelings, and sensations, but I was more than the sum of all of those. I’d been conditioned that when I experience all of that together, it must mean that I’m depressed. My depression had become my identity just as coach and teacher before it.

All I had to do was pay more attention, and become more aware of what was happening in my body and emotions to recognize that my mind was interpreting these things as depression, but really they were just hints reminding me I’m not on my right path.

The so-called “symptoms of depression” continued through the day, but my relationship to those symptoms had changed. It wasn’t a bad experience, it was simply an experience—another one of the ways the Divine was choosing to experience this beautiful, physical reality through me—not inherently better or worse than happiness or joy. Just . . . different.

What I previously thought of as a scale of consciousness—from low to high—now appeared to me as a circle. Besides the different perspectives held between victimhood and enlightenment, these two states have much in common. They both contain a lot of stillness, beingness, and presence—but one of these states seems to be forced upon us against our will and the other is a choice.

Instead of climbing up all the rungs to that enlightened state, I’d fallen so deep that it only took one more step down to go from victim to Consciousness—the Awareness of my Divine aspect.

The Push and Pull

The universe is merciful like that—forcing us into surrender so we can glimpse the beauty on the other side. I thought I’d have all the answers, and when I was met with the reality that it was all beyond my ability, I allowed something bigger than me to enter within.

I took some time to check in with myself and realized that what I was trying to create with my business and how I was going about doing it wasn’t right for me.

I was pushing too much when the universe wanted me to pull.

I wasn’t meant to be a guide or teacher—it was more important for me to embody my lessons and share my experience rather than rush to teach them to others.

My business (and relationships) would no longer work by convincing others of the value of what I do. Instead, I would wait to be invited, because the ideal clients for me are those who see the value of what I bring as who I am—through my essence.

I resolved to stop working on my business in the manner I had been until that point came. It wasn’t aligned for me. Instead, I got a moment of inspiration to write a blog—I’ve never felt drawn to do that before. Since I was no longer in the role of teacher, the blog would share my life experience rather than prescribe any absolute truths to anyone.

These articles, which I wrote just because I now knew that it was what my soul wanted to do, ended up getting tremendous feedback. Suddenly people were contacting me, inviting me to assist them in creating their own life journeys. The reality I realized I wanted to create became manifest effortlessly.

Going forward, I remind myself that the key’s to remember to stay on track with my soul’s desires and not take on any roles that aren’t authentic to me.

And if I forget, that’s okay, too—because I can always get “deep rest” to bring me back onto the path.

Photo Credit: Arif Riyanto, Unsplash.com