Darkest Before the Dawn

Life’s been crazy lately. I recently returned from a six-week stint in beautiful LA. My daughter came out for a couple weeks to stay with me while I was there. We had an amazing time. Every single second we were together was pure bliss. Every. Single. Second.

Then came time for her to return to college and me to my desk here in snowy Michigan. We cried, a lot, at the moment of our separation. Actually, I’m still crying even as I write this.

It’s been 25 days since I’ve been back. 25 days of battling the dark beast known as Depression. 25 days of going back on the medications I’d swore I’d never take again. 25 days of no productivity, missed opportunities and maybe even a friend or two who’ve given up on trying to stay in contact.

The holidays always get me but this year was much worse than most. The darkness wrapped its arms around me, whispering lies of slothful temptation into my ear. It pulled me down into its abyss and kept me hostage there, aided by the very pharmaceuticals intended to fight it.

The good news is, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, even through the tears. The darkness is passing and its grip weakening. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been very frightened. I thought I was rid of this scourge. I thought I was “cured.” Or maybe I just thought I was “better than that now.” For it to return with such vengeance took me completely off guard.

But it’s okay. I’ve made (or am making) peace with it. And I know that it’s a sign my life needs some major fucking restructuring in order to keep that darkness at bay. I’m now gratefully gathering the strength I’ll need to make those changes.

If you’ve been listening to the same dark lies as I this holiday season, please take these lessons to heart:

  • The darkness cannot sustain itself forever. No matter what it tells you, it WILL go away. This too SHALL pass.
  • Nothing is ever so bad that you cannot tolerate it for one more day. Tomorrow will come and bring with it renewed hope. Please, don’t leave before it gets here.
  • There is nothing wrong with you other than the way you feel. Despite what your feelings tell you, you are perfect, whole and complete right now in this moment.

In just 3 days it will be a new year. I look forward to taking the lessons learned in 2011 with me through this next cycle. And I look forward to sharing it all with you.



22 thoughts on “Darkest Before the Dawn”

  1. I so wish I could just wrap my arms around you and hug you!!!

    Depression is a demon I know well, and having also found myself in the place of thinking that I’m beyond it, or cured, or whatever…. I am still ever-vigilant of its cries. Even this very moment.

    You really *are* perfect and amazing, and talented, and creating change for yourself and others in the world. You’ve helped me in countless ways, and though I’m just one your work reaches through me out to others I then touch and help. Quite the legacy, my chicky.

    Sending you much love, and light… I’d be happy to set up a crystal grid for you if you like… just say the word <3

    1. You just did wrap your arms around me and hugged, I totally felt it here! Thank you, sweet Angel. A crystal grid would be lovely and so very appreciated. I’m certain much of this is due to the changes and shifts in energy we are all experiencing…and it’s only just beginning lol. I’m grateful for the darkness though, without it I’d never experience the incredible gratitude I feel for the light. xoxo

  2. Huge hugs here, Jenny.  I understand this SO much.  I had, probably, one of the worst Christmas’ ever (lots of first-family drama) and, over the years, I have just let myself slide down into a big fat slumping heap of self loathing and pity.  BUT.  Like my grandma always said, “It’s okay to fall down once in a while, just don’t waller.”  I end up picking myself up and keeping busy with joyful, happy things.  No. Actually that’s a lie.  I end up on the sofa for a week watching forensic file television programs and checking and rechecking my locks at night.  That is, when I sleep.

    The truth is:  the slump really does pass, the days really do get lighter and brighter and, eventually, we get back up and find a way to make a fresh start.

    Blessings to you.  Blessings, love, light and peace, hugs and more love.

    1. LOL! I cannot tell you how many serial killer movies, Law & Order SVU episodes and crime documentaries I have watched in the past few weeks. It’s a sure sign something’s off-kilter for me.

      Oh my word, it’s so nice to know we’re not alone…even in, no, ESPECIALLY in, our not-so-best moments. Thank you, thank you sweetest Pam!

  3. Oh, Jenny – this is just one of the reasons I love you — you are so real (so no-bullshit-honest)!!

    I’m sorry I didn’t think to ask how you were — I did notice you were AWOL, but pictured you super busy and having fun, fun, fun. 

    I know that dark beast myself, and love those lessons you shared — they’re so true (even though they sure don’t FEEL true when the beast is wrapped around my reality). 

    Like Angel said above, “you’ve helped me in countless ways” – you are such a blessing in this world! I am sending blessings/vibes/prayers out to you and for you as you move into more of that strength and peace you mentioned. Many virtual hugs!!

    1. There’s nothing virtual about your hugs, Karen. I feel them in a very real way and they bring grateful tears to my eyes. Sending some back your way ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. *hugs!* I thank Goodness and humanity for inventing the Vitamin D capsule! ๐Ÿ™‚ :>
    For the first time in YEARS, I’ve been able to bear this weather with something like goodness. :>

    Even so, there are those moments, when I can feel the tickle and know that such things aren’t as far away as one might like. :>

    *hugs!* again and if you ever need to talk and are in a place to do so, please feel free to find me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (And when you’re ready, I’d love to talk loverly amethyst with you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a stone that’s just been waiting for you to say ‘yes’ to it. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    1. *facepalms* You know what, last winter I took oodles of Vitamin D and it really did help. Never even crossed my mind again until this very moment. Thank you Birdy. I will immediately begin taking it again. Michigan winters are especially brutal for SAD.  And I cannot WAIT to meet that stone as well!! 

      1. Most welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad it was of help! ๐Ÿ™‚
        That’s one of the many things that sucks about S.A.D. – you forget the things that help you get out of if. ๐Ÿ™

        YAY to eager-stone-meetings! ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know when you’re up for it and we shall see what we can do! ๐Ÿ™‚ :>

  5. Jenny, I too thought you were busy with the holidays. I am sorry, I wish I could wave a magic wand for those who are suffering from deep depression. I made a conscious decision this season to change my stinkin’ thinkin’ thoughts and fears. I decided I would have a season full of miracles, and I have. Big, small, some to do with me, some with friends or family members. I was tired of being afraid of how we would survive another crappy month of home sales, of trying to live on a quarter of the money we need. Just a decision, for me, every day, to know the miracles were already there and anticipating the excitement of discovering what they were.

    All sounds hokey, silly, or perhaps even a tad insensitive. I just couldn’t face the thought of a holiday season feeling like crap. It worked for me, and is still working.

    I hope you are off the couch, dry eyed, with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. And one more simple thing I have found that works for me, smile… I find I cannot feel bad when I have a smile on my face. Sometimes I really have to force the smile, but in minutes I feel the warm feeling creeping in and the sad feelings and fear draining away.

    You rock Jenny… seriously. We are brightened by knowing you!

    1. Thank you Andrea. I love your approach and it’s not hokey at all. Luckily the light is getting ever-brighter here and it feels so amazing to be reaching the other side of this struggle. I believe the tough times illuminate the special times so for this I am very grateful. Your words and support mean more to me than I can ever express. Much love and hugs are being sent your way today ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Tis the season for funk.  If it’s going to get you, the holidays are the perfect time to tackle you… when your guard is down.  I flirted with the dark side, being somewhat emotional.  This was my first Christmas since losing my Dad in March, but I managed to to not fall into the abyss.

    That you’ve dragged yourself to your computer, and engaged your brain is a good sign! You are generating the necessary momentum to turn things around. You can do it kiddo!

  7. Jenny this is beautifully written and inviting to make peace with everything, even the darkness. So honest and open. It is why I love you. 

  8. Love you, miss you, glad to know you’re still around in whatever condition. Haven’t given up on you. Hugs and sunshine from the Bay Area!

  9. I’m sending you a package filled with sun, laughter, smiles and a pair of fuzzy mittens.  You’ll know the box by the big purple bow.

  10. Hugs and positive thoughts being sent your way, Jenny.  If you find that the vitamin D helps you, you might want to check out The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, it has helped some people that I know. : )  You are an awesome woman and have been very inspirational to me and I am so glad that when I read your post, you said that you knew that there is nothing wrong with you, just the way you feel.  Here is to a great New Year for you, my dear, you deserve it. . .

  11. Jenny. Thank you for sharing for honestly and purely from your heart. Those are the voices that will resonate through the noise as we move into this amazing year of change and transformation. And you, by exposing the darkness, make way for the light. Much love to you. 

  12. Jenny, I can’t say I know how you feel, but I know how I’ve felt in my own dark spaces.  I remember thinking it would last forever, every time.  I also know the feeling of thinking I was so beyond this, till it strikes again.  I appreciate you sharing this and being whole and open. 

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