Last summer my daughter was traumatized and had a very serious bout of anxiety and depression. She became suicidal and wasn’t able to go back to school. I found myself in a lot of fear. Terror actually. I felt like my whole world was falling apart.
It’s one thing when your spouse has troubles. But when your child is deeply traumatized, your whole world stops.
But then I slowly began to connect with others. Other mothers who had been through their children’s traumas. Other people who had survived their own depression and anxiety. Others who had lived through terrible things and come out on the other side.
One thing I told myself when all this happened- I was NOT going to isolate from others. Years ago I would have held all this pain in and carried it around in me like a big dark secret.
But I have learned that keeping secrets keeps you sick.
I didn’t go around shouting my miseries and woes to everyone and anyone. But it was important for me to share my life and what I am going through with others who are close to me- my friends and family.
I shared appropriately of course. I didn’t want to make myself into a victim.
Life happens. Life is hard. Everyone suffers. And we are all connected.
And something miraculous happened. As I was blessed to be able to share with other moms and women I work with about my daughter and what she was going through, that fear transformed into love and gratitude:
Love for all the wonderful people who I am blessed to have in my life.
Love for all the moms and women I am connected, online and in real life, who love me and who have also shared with me parts of them. How they have been touched somehow by depression or anxiety or mental illness, and how they lived through it.
Love for my child and all children who are depressed and anxious.
And love and compassion for my little family as we go through this.
“A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love.” – Marianne Williamson
Yes we are all healing. All of us.
Here are some of the things for which I am grateful these days:
-Being completely open to receiving kindness from others.
-Savoring the joy of a mindful breath.
-The sacredness of the stillness of night when I can’t sleep.
-Immense gratitude to God for his goodness which is all around.
-The privilege of witnessing small healings in my family each day.
If I hadn’t experienced being broken myself, I guess I wouldn’t know these things.
“Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart a humility a nobility a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.” – Marianne Williamson
And another really good thing has come out of this time- a miracle really– my husband started to see a psychiatrist. In my opinion he has needed help for years, but never got any. For years I wen’t to Al-Anon and felt very hopeless about him. Since summer he has been going to see his psychiatrist weekly.
She put him on medication. In the beginning he just laid around on the couch and slept a lot. He eventually came out of his funk. He was in a fragile state, with dark moods and anxiety. He seems to be getting his act together. I am not sure what the future holds for us, but this I do know- I want and deserve peace in my life.
As I shared with you in my last post, I found a therapist for myself. She is very nice and knows a lot about trauma. She incorporates mindfulness into her practice, which is really important to me.
By the grace of God my daughter is better. After her semester off, therapy, and a lot of down time, she is now back to school, living off campus with her friends. She is doing well and is happy. I am in awe of her resiliency and I just love her so much.
My daily practice is to stay in the present as much as possible. I am moving slow and keeping my life as simple as possible.
As Eckhart Tolle says, “Problems of the mind cannot be solved with the mind.”
My morning meditation is too important to be missed these days. I am very grateful that I have this practice.
Also, remembering to connect with my breath and focus on the slow and steady rhythm of my breathing throughout the day. Breathing reminds me of the ocean, how the waves just come in one after the other.
A few weeks ago I drove upstate to be with my parents and sister. I needed to be with them and just be around people who love me unconditionally. It was just a quick overnight, but we all shared a nice spaghetti dinner and conversation. It felt so good.
I used the 2 and a half hour drive there and back to just breathe and be in silence, and also listen Guided Meditations for Self Healing by Jack Kornfield. It is really good. I bought this audio CD back in 2012 when my dad had cancer. I sent my parents a copy too at the time. They told me they listened to it a few times and found it helpful, and I know it really helped me. It is wonderful.
And here is a very nice healing and guided meditation to relax and help restore you today:
Recently I googled an online Bible for the phrase “Fear Not”. There were 62 passages to choose from. I think I’ll receive that message today.
I’ll end this with a prayer of thanksgiving: Thank You Lord, for blessing me with the gift of life, the gift of friendship, the gift of motherhood, the gift of family, the gift of healing, the gift of inner peace, the gift of love. Thank you.
So that’s it for me. Wishing you a day filled with peace. Healing after trauma is slow-going. But it is important to stay focused on how to take what has been given to you and use it for a greater good. Sending a prayer of comfort and healing to all who are touched by anxiety, depression or sadness in any form.
I wish you peace,