The #metoo campaign some weeks ago highlighted the burden women (and men) carry in the realm of sexuality, abuse and harassment, often resulting in debilitating depression and anxiety, as well as many other dire consequences.
Basically, a light goes out when there's sexual abuse, any abuse. Or any kind of shock or deep hurt. Or harassment. A contraction, a hiding, a retreat from life. A shrinking and consequent 'forgetting' of who you really are.
Until we can find something that liberates us from the constant pain and suffering that is depression, we are not free.
The incidence of depression is said now to be 10 times more than in the 1950's.
The World Health Organisation consider it to be the 3rd leading global burden of disease and predicted to be in first place by 2030. It is often associated with many other illnesses and 'disorders'.
Today I'd like to share my story about depression in the hope that if it's also your story, that what I found to help, may also help you.
It was 1999 and it was about 6 am.
I had been awake for hours, crying uncontrollably and for no specific reason.
Life was good, it seemed. But there was a deep despair in me that I could not shake. Could it be that loss of identity when we sold our business a year before? Could it be that I was parenting a teenager at the time? Could it be that despite a seemingly loving relationship, there was still something missing?
In the end, I could not lay claim on any of these outside factors.
I knew somehow the source was internal.
There was some calling in my soul that I could not contact, no matter what I did. In desperation, after about a year of this, for a short time, I began a course of antidepressants, which helped me feel somehow sane again but it flat-lined everything - ALL feelings, not just the sad ones.
I found myself existing in a shallow band of emotional expression. But ... somehow it helped me feel 'normal' - like, wow - is this how it can be? Without those nose dives of despair - so in a way it was good- they gave me hope. But I knew it was not sustainable to be on them long term - I was a health nut back then and I hated taking any drugs at all which I still do.
That summer, I opened a magazine and read about ‘The Journey’.
The article was speaking specifically about depression and my eyes widened. I turned the page and saw Brandon Bays’ photo in the ad and got an immediate rush through my body – I knew I had to go .. .and… it was on that weekend in Brisbane – her very first Journey Intensive in Australia, a two day workshop that gave real tools for emotional healing.
The process is about gently getting in touch with the source of the emotion, the associated cell memory, and healing through a dialogue with those who were part of the memory resulting in ultimate forgiveness.
It’s deep work. And it takes courage. But it's simple. And anyone can do it.
That weekend changed my life. The source of the depression for me, was not specifically of sexual abuse but something I would never have imagined - a family, cultural consciousness of suppression. I waited about 7 months, as I knew that depression, for me, could come and go until I finally declared that I was depression free. I went on to become a long standing practitioner of the work and I still offer this process some 17 years later. See here for more info.
In saying this, The Journey is not a one hit wonder. I was lucky. Usually it takes quite a few sessions to deal with all the aspects of an issue but there's an acceleration that happens with each process.
Without clearing the deeper blocks, I could not have gotten in touch with the deeper woman within.
This took me on a path of healing the inner feminine and my work is deeply informed by this approach.
As a practitioner in psychotherapy, if I cannot meet these deeper places then I cannot authentically hold the space for others in my sessions and retreats. This has allowed me to offer work with women and couples that speaks to the heart and soul of each person – it completely transformed my world and I will be forever grateful.
AND THE GOOD NEWS IS:
BRANDON BAYS - FOUNDER OF THE JOURNEY IN AUSTRALIA IN DECEMBER!
If you would like to experience The Journey Intensive with the founder of the work, Brandon Bays - she is here in December:-
And download here to READ THE JOURNEY BOOK FOR FREE online.
So, this is my story ... what's yours? Have you been able to clear yourself from depression? And how have you done that? I'd love to hear... feel free to share below ..
An edited version of this article was published in Holistic Bliss Magazine in June 2017.