In the Beginning

In order to understand the nature and flowing references throughout my blog, I recommend reading my initial post The End of the Beginning first.


Unstuck in Tibet

After my Breakthrough Crisis, an unhelpful therapist - no slight on her, we simply did not connect - and miserable attempts at medication, I opted for the holistic route. This is true to my nature anyway, as I am not one for repeat foreign substances in the body. Occasional beer and wine, sure. Maybe even a cigarette or two when the mood (or the lucky) strikes.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe there are some people who have legitimate need for regular chemical rebalancing assistance. Case in point: my mother, the schizo-affective. The miracle drug of Zyprexa brought her out of a near 12 year catatonic fog which she affectionately refers to as her "period of unawareness." This was nothing short of a miracle, so rest assured that I do not doubt the usefulness and necessity of psychopharmacology in warranted cases. However, I had an inkling that my acute onset of emotional despair was of the let's-dig-in-and-deal-with-it variety, not with a numb-to-a-bearable-muted-existence solution.

I have been a turkepescatarian (I eat fish and turkey but no chicken, red meat, or pork) for nearly 10 years. I run marathons and teach yoga. I'm a hippie in corporate America's clothing; my brother calls my style of dress "business bohemian." I wanted a natural way out of this mess. Having worked my way out of a failed marriage and emotionally messy divorce (what divorce isn't emotionally messy?) through self-help books and soul-discovery exercises, I began searching for resources to help me unpack my emotional baggage. Understand that at the time I did not realize the size of my suitcase. I thought this was garden variety depression, perhaps with a little near mid-life crisis sprinkled on top. Everyone's healing journey is unique; the beginning of mine was overly optimistic and woefully misinformed.

I found an incredible book titled Unstuck by James Gordon, MD. He speaks about depression as a call for change. I had been feeling this call for many years and proceeded to outline them all in my journal. The call to process traumatic memories from my mother's multiple suicide attempts and resulting abandonment. The call out of my unhealthy, emotionally abusive marriage. The call away from my constant need for overachievement; I am off the charts in McClelland's nAch scale. The call to slow down from my overly taxing 70hr a week corporate lifestyle. I was finally ready to answer.

While Dr. Gordon's book had a lot of excellent information, and I do highly recommend it, it did not provide the total package of assistance that I required. But it was an excellent start. Most importantly, it led me to a mind-body skills expert in my area (the book mentions a website of providers who are trained in the Unstuck therapeutic methodology) who then ended up referring me to a talk therapist with whom I connected immediately. I continued to see them both separately once a week for the next 8 months. The combination of these two ladies, to whom I will refer as Em and Dee in subsequent posts, very well may have saved my life.

Em, my mind-body skills expert, gave me the most wonderful gift I could ever have imagined. Well, she gave me many but this one really takes the cake. I had recently purchased a new set of mala beads to help with my meditation practice. I chose the set pictured below because there are two colors of stone intermingled within each bead; I saw this as a representative balance of Em and Dee working together toward my healing.

The most special thing about these beads - Em's gift to me - is that they have been blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In person. He held them in his precious little hands and said a prayer just for Me. The pricelessness of this gift in the eyes of millions is not lost on me.

I am forever grateful for the miracles the universe will bring if you can simply open your eyes to see and hands to receive them. Never underestimate the power of connection. A quote from Unstuck: "Connection is loneliness's daimon. Accept who comes. Enjoy them. Do not burden with expectations. In experiencing one connection, you will realize that others are possible."

When the student is ready the teacher will come. When you are suffering, remain open to all possibilities that healing can and will come from a variety of sources. Though Unstuck did not heal me, it led me to many things, resources, ideas, and people who have helped me greatly along my journey. This is hopefully a theme you will pick up from my writings. There is an infinite supply of resources, relationships, help, and support if only you will look.

You are not alone. You are worthy. Healing is possible; all it takes is your openness to it.

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