The connection and beauty of two negative recent events in my life 

I have a deeper appreciation for life and moving about throughout the day, as I’ve never had before. Two things happened in the past few months that helped me to come to this realization. I started taking an SSRI and I had outpatient knee surgery. Two different things for completely different reasons, but in all honesty both were because I was moving through life too quickly and absentmindedly. Both have completely slowed me down and fattened me up (just a little!) And it’s not all a bad thing.

Back in March I literally lost my marbles and thankfully became completely aware that fooling myself into sleeping more or doing more yoga or meditating more often were going to be my cure. Truthfully, I was unable to do any of those things anymore where I was able to enjoy them. Yoga while it felt good physically did not slow my thoughts or help me to ‘just be’ like it used to. Meditation was a joke. My old tricks for going within and being still did not work any longer. I sat there diligently, but was unable to stop the racing in my head.

I did all I could to keep up with my life. I was (and still am) the most organized person I know. Trust me when I say that everything was as efficient as can be. No time management tips would help, I would read them and feel like I could write a better article and even had tips for the author. Stretched thin. No room for error. One miscommunication between a family member and the whole string of well planned events and pick-ups would fall apart. No way to live.

A few days before the marble losing I went to a routine Thursday morning report out for my organization’s senior leadership. As usual I prepared at the last minute, was in a rush, but put together something beautiful and well coordinated. I went into the usual conference room. My employee pulled up the presentation while I pulled up my rolling chair under the dark large oval wooden conference room table. SLAM! I hit my right knee really hard on one of the legs of the table. All around oohs, ouches, “I heard that”, “you didn’t need that knee, haha” went around. I shrugged it off and trekked on. About 24 hours later I was meeting with my small department of 4 and realized my knee hurt. I wondered why as I plowed through a packed, quick agenda. As I was talking and rubbing my knee I remembered that I hit it the day before and slightly wondered why it took so long to hurt. That night we went out to dinner with some friends at a ski lodge and it hurt even more.

The next day Daren and I went into NY city for the evening and we were so busy and so stressed that I didn’t have time to think about my knee. It was the next morning that seemingly out of no where I had my first well overdue panic attack. While I cried the whole way home I did notice my knee hurt, but it wasn’t until past 9pm the next night while getting ready for bed that I even noticed how swollen and red it was. Daren was at a hockey practice, I wanted him to look at it, but I was asleep before he even got home.

Long story short, the next few weeks were filled with panic attacks and knee aspirations. The panic got worst faster. I realized I had to start medicine. I had no where else to cut back. And have you ever tried “relaxing” while in a non-stop adrenaline rush? If you haven’t, take my word that it doesn’t work. I noticed once I started the SSRI how often my body was in fight or flight while my brain started to calm down. Wow, I lived like this all the time? Head starting to chill, body still reacting to outside stressors and knee getting worse.

I first went to a walk in urgent care 5 days after the impact where I was urged to watch my knee for a few days. Don’t run on it, don’t lean on it, call the orthopedist in a week if it doesn’t get better. It didn’t stop swelling, but it stopped hurting. So I didn’t listen and ran on it and did yoga on it and didn’t call the orthopedist for 3 weeks. Who has time for this? At first I was getting it aspirated every two weeks and I would wonder if I should even go back because the swelling stayed down… at least of course a day or two before my next scheduled appointment. Then it started to swell sooner and I was going for weekly knee drains. The 2nd to last time I went, it was swollen when I took my bandage off the same night. And the next time I went to the orthopedist I nearly fainted from the lightheartedness of the doctor trying to massage the fluid out of my knee into the needle. Nothing was coming out anymore. Some kind of wall built up in my knee and no routine procedures were going to help it any longer. I needed to consider surgery or live with this wall that created a big puffy golf ball knee.

It’s funny because I feel like the knee mirrored a really rapid physical rendition of the mental decomposition that I experienced over the past few years. I was in too much of a rush, not paying attention, & unknowingly hurting myself. Then ignoring all of the early warning signs and doing the least amount possible to tend to a deteriorating condition because I was busy, I had important things to do damn it. Until I hit a wall both mentally at first and then one actually built up in my knee. An impenetrable wall that needed medical interventions to break down. Both happened within days of each other. It wasn’t until I really had no choice but to live with the pain or deal with it medically that I realized my decisions to live like I do is harming me. My body is all I have, why wasn’t I taking care of it?
I had some medication adjustments, a rough few weeks. Far and fewer panic attacks. And finally outpatient knee surgery last Monday. I’m not believing that I am a changed woman yet, but I’ve had the MOST relaxing weeks of my life.

Since March I have rediscovered the library. I’ve been reading a book a week or so. Fiction books. Nothing intellectual or about business or world religions or how to live more simply… Just fiction books with no meaning. I’ve also started having bi-weekly massages. Daren and I have been spending more time at home, in our house, making the outside pretty for the spring and sipping cocktails in the evening while reading or watching tv. Fun tv. Not documentaries or the history channel. We watch the Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. I’ve started coloring mandalas thanks to a few of my girlfriends who got me the most coolest yogic pack of goodies for my birthday. I’ve been frequenting the shops right in my town and enjoying what is so close around me. The natural food store, the eastern/Polynesian based massage parlor, the local taverns. I have discovered I love craft beer and IPAs. I often go to the coffee shop in my town now too. There is a green tea matcha latte I just love there. And when I have time I’ll bring a book or my computer and write for fun… like I’m doing right now on the beach, on Long Island. In my old stomping ground where just the roads and trees and weeds look like home. I’ve been going back to sleep in the mornings when I don’t have to rush off for work. The lexapro has made me less anxious and some might say more lazy. In all of my adult life I was raring to go the moment I opened my eyes. Did my body feel tired? Hell yes. But there was so much to do, even on the weekends. Weeds were growing, dishes were in the sink from the night before, there were pets to feed, exercise to keep myself moving, shopping, cleaning, kid shuttling, food to make, some place to go or person to meet or emergency to tend to. The list goes on. Who had time to sleep? I’d be wasting it. My dad taught me that as a young kid. We weren’t allowed to sleep in. In his Italian accent he’d bang on our doors and tell us we were “sleeping your lifes off”.

But now those things I just had to get up for didn’t seem so important. They could wait. They would be there yes, but they didn’t loom over my head like before. When I have given myself permission to try in the past I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep. But now I spontaneously just do. Even when I intend to get up, sometimes I do and other times I can hear my body; and it tells me that it would like to sleep a little longer. And I’m a better person for it.

However, this past week took the cake in slowing down and chilling out. I had the surgery on Monday. It didn’t hurt too much at first. I got dressed and walked into the house from the car. I sat on the back deck with a book and my leg up. And I slept. For hours. I’m sure it was the anesthesia, but gosh it felt good. I woke up in time for dinner. We ate on the porch with my leg up. It was starting to hurt a little more. I asked Daren if we could walk Koji. I wanted to move but by the time we made it across the street I was really faint. Daren helped me back in and onto the couch. I stayed there the rest of the evening with some tea and the company of my family, the pets and Game of Thrones. I felt faint going upstairs for bed, in the middle of the night when I had to get up to use the bathroom and again the next morning when I came downstairs for coffee. I stayed home from work that day. Daren set me up with my computer, some books, tea, and the remotes. I slept even more. The house was nice and quiet. The animals slept all around me. I got up a few times and made some lunch and decided to get my shoes (extremely slowly) on to walk down the street. No more faint feeling. Nice & slow. I had no where to go and nothing to do and realized for the first time in a long time that it had been several days since I felt any kind of stress. My body too… No stress. No pumping heart or fight or flight. Just homeostasis.

Our cul de sac looked so sweet shining in the sun after a morning full of rain. I hardly walk down my own street or know my neighbors. Their houses look so much like ours but they all have their own unique little decorations and landscaping.

A co-worker offered to pick me up the next day. I accepted the offer. I walked slow into work. And moved slowly all day. I had to wonder why I always felt the need to take on too much, rush around or cram it all in? I took my bandages off on Thursday and really noticed the difference in my legs while on the ferry in Friday on the way down to Long Island for Memorial Day weekend. I saw and felt the swelling of the right leg and curves of the other. My feet, my nails, the differences in my knees. Yesterday morning in the shower I was amazed at the great beauty of legs in general. The veins, the joints, how they bend and move and carry us through life. I’m so lucky to have working legs. Anyone who has them is lucky. We take them for granted. I made myself some breakfast and ate in the sunroom while watching the birds. I was in awe of the food. I had an egg white omelette with mushrooms and some blueberries and raspberries on the side. I was thinking about each single raspberry and how with some water and the sun each little bump grew very slowly over the course of each day until they were perfectly ripened and picked off the vine. I ate each berry one at a time marveling in the sweet taste that I so often take for granted. I want to and need to slow down.
We spent the day outside yesterday. I figured out how to do 60 minutes of yoga and not need to lean on my knees or bend them more than 45 degrees. Food tastes wonderful. The trees are so alive with their new spring leaves. With each passing day that the SSRI helps me relax and my knee is healing I’m so thankful for life and I can feel the ever so subtle differences in my healing. Both mentally and physically. One little piece of healing at a time. The same way that each little raspberry grows a little piece of each bump each day. Life is so beautiful. I want to bask in it and kiss it, dance with it and roll around and laugh with it.

This morning I woke up at 6:30 when Daren got up to drive Kieran to his new job at the country club. I felt inspired and started to write this. Then I stopped. Instead of writing I just wanted to experience! I opened the blinds to one of the windows in Daren’s old bedroom and saw the sunny trees and just listened to the sounds of different birds. I laid back down and enjoyed the silence and birds and serenity. I started to get sleepy and pulled up the covers to go back to sleep. I want to turn over a new leaf and be more with nature. I did ask to cut back some hours at work and thankfully the powers that be said yes. I want to feel this way without a knee slowing me down or medication in my body. That means I need to do things a little differently. We all need to live a little more and “do” a little less. Be present a little more and absent a lot less. Every single stinking moment is important and it’s our choice to live in it and be grateful for it, or be absent and regret the past. I’m so ready to live more in the here and now and so thankful I am learning this before I let my life slip away another minute. Namaste.

4 thoughts on “The connection and beauty of two negative recent events in my life 

  1. Welcome to the beauty of life. You have inspired me. It’s nice to know that there is someone out there who can relate. My experience was the exact opposite. I am no writer but bear with me and I will tell you my story in my own words. I suffered for a long time from depression. I can remember being a little girl staring out the school windows thinking to myself “why am I here?” Days, years and months went by and it was the same old routine. Get up in the morning, school (which I despised), taking the bus home and then taking a nap on the couch. I always wondered why I slept so much but what the hell sleeping is great! Years went by, report cards came and went with bad grades, being grounded and just longing to be older. Yes because when I got older I could do whatever I wanted with no one to answer to. I would have a great job as a secretary have an apartment and get married. None of this happened. I graduated high school and went to a two year business school. After all even if I got bad grades I had to at least go to college. That is when I met my friend my best friend. I nicked named him “The Funk.” We were introduced one day when I didn’t want to get out of bed. He was so nice. He liked staying in bed too and so we started our journey together. When I did get up he kept me company by putting thoughts of laziness and confusion into my head. Again I thought why am I here? What am I doing? I don’t want to be in school. He reminded me that I could start over and do what I had always dreamed of. NOTHING! At the three week mark I got sick of him and kicked him to the curb. I didn’t know what happened to my friend but it was over and so my life went on and I stayed in school. I graduated two years later. I really wanted to stay in White Plains, NY and make a life but due to having no plan, no money and no goal I moved home. Life was exciting. Although I started drinking alcohol at 14 I could never keep it down. Yup I was the drunk puker. Every time I drank I didn’t stop until I couldn’t remember anything. One Saturday night in high school I went to the movies and drank my first orange soda and vodka. It was hysterical. There was a fly on the screen and that’s all I remember. I woke up in the janitors room with a guy holding me telling me it was going to be okay. I was carried in there by a friend so that he didn’t get caught letting us sneak into the mover theater for free and have alcohol. I was a freshman and my friend was dating a senior with a nice Camaro. After they snuck me out of the theater I was put into the car. Poor guy I puked all over that beautiful thing. We got picked up by my father and I turned my shirt inside out and he never knew. It was a different story when I turned 21. I was sitting at Mauri’s café in Meriden having a beer. One went down then two and suddenly I realized that I could drink without throwing up. This was great. Alcohol became my new friend. We didn’t spend every day together but I started to go out and have a life. I was no longer the little girl staring out the window at school. I had things to say you see. My new friend showed me that I could have a personality. I was the life of the party. Everyone liked me now. I had things to say, songs to make up. I was a lot of fun. I went on with life. I was grown up now. I still had no plan for myself but who cares I was going to be in my twenties forever. I still longed to for that life I missed out on in White Plains. I was in a co-dependent relationship and took my boyfriend up on an offer to move to Long Island. There I landed my first big job. I liked it out there a lot. We broke up and I moved into an apartment. I was really doing this on my own. I spent five years there. One day I got up and there he was in my bathroom. “The Funk.” It had been a long time since I saw him. I embraced him immediately. Things were different with him. He taught me a new way of doing things. For three weeks we got out of bed, took a shower, and went to the office with wet hair pulled up in a clip. One day someone commented to me and said “you have worn your hair slicked back and wet like that for three weeks.” In my head I thought well at least I made it to work. It was during the third week that I decided to try and figure out “The Funk.” A co-worker and I went to happy hour and discussed what was wrong in our lives. As usual I started to think Why am I here? More importantly I wanted to know why The funk and I were hanging out again. I called my aunt and explained to her that he had come back. Why does he do this to me? He comes around and makes me feel sad and worthless for 3 weeks and then disappears. She explained to me that The Funk was part of depression. At twenty three years old I started to question my life. Why didn’t anyone notice this as a child? Why did my mom let me sleep all the time? Why didn’t someone tell my parents your child lives in a constant state of day dreaming? It was all their fault. I was put on an antidepressant but to be honest I don’t know that it worked. I floated through life not thinking about things much. I had an apartment, a good job and I lived on my own in NY. What more could I have asked for. Fast forward 15 years with me. I moved back to CT. I got a promotion and worked for the Vice President of Morgan Stanley. I was somebody I thought. It wasn’t long after the move when life was going smoothly that The Funk showed up again but in a different form. This time we slept even longer. I went to work came home ate dinner and went to bed at 6:30 p.m. Boy did it feel good to sleep. I would fall asleep, wake up, look at the clock and think “wow it’s only 8:45 p.m.” It felt so good to fall in and out of sleep so that became my routine for three weeks. I was living with my parents and again no one noticed. Three years into my job The Funk was no longer around. He never came back but I met someone new. He was deeper and darker than anything I had ever experienced. I didn’t like him at all. He crept his way in slowly and stayed for a long time. Not only did he like to sleep we didn’t get out of bed. No more five day work weeks. We never worked on Mondays. Mondays sucked. I needed that extra day of rest. When we did go to work we just stared at the computer. I didn’t look out the window anymore I just stared at the computer. Eventually I was called into my bosses office and told that I wasn’t getting a bonus that year. I said I understood. I was not pleased with my performance either. My boss changed his smile and looked me directly in the eye and said “I think it’s time you found another job.” I was fired but they would pay me a months salary. Much to my surprise I was happy. If felt as if finally I could go and figure out what I was meant to be in life. That never happened though. I took a job as a CNA at a nursing home because I couldn’t stand the thought of collecting unemployment. Every day I went to work at 3:00 p.m. each shift I had to place fresh linen in the patients rooms. It was very routine. I had a job, I knew what to do, I did it and actually liked it. However that 3:00 seemed to bring the same thoughts every day. Why am I here? Why do I feel sad? What am I going to do with my life? I spent a 1/2 hour of that time every day like clock work having these thoughts. Again I will fast forward. I know this is long but bear with me girl. It was March of 1996 and I was working at the VA. I had just called off my wedding and feeling fantastic. Like you shared in your story I started to look around me. I had a favorite tree in Meriden. I drove past it every day. One day I noticed just how beautiful it was. The sun was shining all the time and the grass was green. I met my husband in June of 1997 and we were married in September of 1998. It was really happening. I had finally found him after years of dating endless losers I had found the love of my life. It was Saturday May 10, 2008 and I was standing at the reception in my wedding dress. I looked at all the people around me and felt so alone. In my beautiful white dress I felt invisible. These were the thoughts running through my mind. “Why am I here?” Why I am I standing here all alone?” “Why doesn’t anyone notice that I am alone?” “I don’t want to be here.” I pulled it together and danced my butt off. It was until six years later that my husband and I watched the video when he noticed that I looked miserable. After the wedding I went on with life. John knew that something was wrong and wanted to deal with it but I thought I am fine. Life is good. We were married and I pushed any thoughts that something was wrong out of my mind while my husband started to suffer for it. By 2011 John had become a different person. Silently suffering he slipped away and built up a wall. I however carried on. I got a promotion at work. I deserved it. I worked hard. I went from a GS-6, to a GS-7 and finally made it to the GS-9. The work overwhelmed me. I had to do critical thinking which I wasn’t used to do. As you know the VA changes hour by hour and at any time a new mandate could come out and throw a wrench into your entire day. I couldn’t handle it. That’s when Mr. D and Mr. Al K. Holic showed up. We hooked up with Mr. D and then it started. One bottle of wine, two bottles of wine and then three years later two bottles weren’t enough I had to have three. Yes that magic number 3. I had quite the personality now but not like in years past where everyone thought I was funny. John wasn’t laughing at all. He called me an alcoholic. Me? an Alcoholic. HA HA I thought. Alcoholics went to AA and sat around talking about it all the time. They had a label that I wanted no part of. He always said that I wasn’t funny at all. He was right. Not only was I not funny but I was violent. When having these drunken violent fits he would pin my down and ask me if I knew who he was. I would suddenly come to and I did know who he was but couldn’t stop. Eventually Mr. Al K. Holic and Mr. D took over my life. On a Bright Sunny August day I closed to curtains in my guest room and laid in bed. Nothing was going to bring me out of this. I laid there thinking about the sunny day and how I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy it. It was there in that bed that I had my first suicidal thought. Deep down I knew I couldn’t do it so for the next two years I would just keep it in the back of my mind. Life went on. In 2013 I had my last drink on November 11th. It was a week later that my husband’s words finally made sense. I was an ALCOHOLIC. This time my thoughts turned to “how could I live without ever having a drink again?” “Do you think I will become one of those dry alcoholics with no personalities?” It got easier as the days went by. Though I did attend a few AA meetings I never felt like I should be there. I knew what I was and knew that I could never touch a drop of that stuff again. I did not want to sit around in a dingy church basement. Though AA works and it is a great program and has helped millions I didn’t want to do it. Every time I struggled I just asked the Lord to take it away from me and he did. See it’s one thing to life with it every day and have a craving for something you know you can’t I didn’t want that. I wanted to be delivered from this disease and I was. With The Lord’s help, a great husband and supportive church family I was delivered. I don’t call myself an Alcoholic anymore because I know that I am so much more than that label. He went away but Mr. D came right back in. What was I supposed to do? I didn’t have an outlet. I had to deal with everything that was in front of me without a crutch. I had been getting counseling for years before that trying to work out what had happened to me as a child. I felt let down by the system and my family. A little girl who from the 4th grade on never new how to study, write a paper, or event concentrate. Thoughts just floated all over the place. I couldn’t keep organized with anything including my job. Why did this happen to me? What is wrong with me? Two antidepressants and I was still friends with Mr. D? It wasn’t until January of this year that I decided that I could no longer live like this anymore. I prayed a lot and asked the Lord to reveal to me what was wrong. I prayed about every single symptom that I had. Feelings of worthlessness, not having a path, can’t concentrate, lack of interest in anything and so on. There it was right in front of me. Mr. D was DEPRESSION. Okay I thought but why after two medications does this still happen. The racing thoughts, lack of motivation, concentration all made sense now. Not only was I depressed but I have ADD. I had always expected that. I started on medicine and within 3 weeks the medicine started to kick in. Just like you I was on a huge adrenaline rush. I had the energy of a race horse. I love it. I could do a million things. So many actually that I couldn’t keep up. By the time the weekend came around I found that my brain hurt. Now the racing thoughts of not knowing what to do changed. I had so many things to do that I was burning out. How was a I going to manage all this. The medication made me really hot and anxious. I was scared. Sitting at my PC at work I couldn’t calm down so I googled my symptoms and the side effects of the medication. For three weeks I had to go into the bathroom at work, lock the door, pray and over and over I told the Lord “This isn’t from you.” “Although you gave me this medication, you do not come with thoughts of impending doom and overwhelming fear.” “It’s not from you.” “It’s only a side affect.” They slowly started to go away. I have been able to set up a daily routine for myself. Each day I get up early, read my bible, take my time doing things, and go to work. I told my boss what was going on and her and I are working together with my weaknesses and getting things done. The only thing I didn’t know how to do was incorporate exercise. Although I do crossfit I seemed as if I was a machine living day by day. In order to fit it all in one thing would drop off. If I didn’t exercise I read my bible. If I read my bible I didn’t exercise. So I prayed about it and learned that my body is a temple and it is important for my mental health and well being to take care of it. Slowly but surely it started to work. I get up earlier now, read my bible, clean one room a day in the house, go to work and to crossfit. Just recently I started back at the a.m. classes. I am blessed to have picked up a ride on a commuter van that picks me up right down the street from crossfit. It is through reading the bible and taking care of my body, myself and my marriage that I survived the last 4 months of my life. The number three is not just a number it was the pattern of my life. 3 week funks, 3:00 thoughts of hopeless, 3 bottles, of wine, 3 medications, 3 years sober in November and 3 years of healing in my marriage. It has been the best time of my life. 3 months of discovering that there is more to life than waking up everyday. Everything is beautiful. Like you I notice the birds chirping right out side my window. So many of them each with a distinct sound. There is beauty all around me inside and out. I take the time to enjoy the early hour of 4:3o a.m. – 5:30 a.m. I jump out of bed longing to start the day. I flick the light on and swallow those three pills. I pour my first cup of coffee close my eyes and ask the Holy Spirit to show me Jesus through his word. I find myself thirsting for more of it. Eventually my big red dobe comes in and puts his head in my lap. I can do three things at once now. Read my bible, pet the dog, and drink my coffee. I manage to read, pet him. Small chores in the house get done, clothes get ironed and I am off. I can now enjoy my job and not sit in a meeting thinking why am I here? Do I even deserve this job? I do. I am here because the Lord has a plan for my entire life that includes my marriage, a career including my boss as a wonderful mentor, and taking care of myself spiritually and physically. My body is beautiful and it was made to do amazing things. I have found an outlet that makes me feel like I am accomplishing something. Step by step slowly but surely I make progress in every area of my life. If you ever told me that I would be climbing a 15 foot rope 8 times or doing 160 air squats with my ass all the way to the ground I would’ve laughed in your face. I never played sports and had the self confidence of a flea. The body needs to be taken care of it takes time and dedication to crossfit but I can honestly say that I enjoy spending the time with myself and watching my growth process. I know that I want to enjoy every part of life. Everything from the simplest thing like watching your dog run at full speed with his ears flapping in the wind is beautiful. I don’t want to waste one second of it. I sleep now but not like before. I wasted a lot of time in that bed. Now I just use it for rest. Some people say that medication is a bad thing. I used to go on and off of them trying to beat this thing myself. I decided that I will not live in darkness ever again. God formed me. Each one of us is different. I have a few parts of my brain that don’t work that well. It’s okay. I am who I am and don’t want to be anyone else. When I looked at you Esterina I saw a woman who had it all. A thriving career, a great personality as a matter of fact you are a walking encyclopedia. You know just about everything about something. I admired that about you. Your work ethic is incedible and you always look like you have it all together. I envied you. I now realize that none of us have it all together. I have tried many times to read your blog on my lunch at work but the site was blocked. I woke up this morning and there is was so I clicked on it. Thank you for sharing. Over and over in my head I have been wondering if anyone out there that I know suffers from something similar to my own story. Though are stories are different they are similar in so many ways. You inspired me to open up and write this. I pray that you and I wake up every day refreshed and renewed with our hearts open wide to explore all the beauty in the world. I am giving up on the number 3 and now going to take it day by day and not let one day get away from me. One moment at a time.

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  2. To Lisa. Hey beautiful. Thanks for sharing your own story. It is gorgeously insightful and well written. You made me cry. I had no idea and it’s so cathartic to share. A few people wrote to me off line after I wrote the blog in April entitled “My struggle with stress”. Every word made me cry and feel even more accepted for just being me.

    I don’t know how much you have read but anxiety and depression are two opposites of the same disease. They use the same medication to treat them. So where as your story is totally opposite of mine, behind it all its mostly the same.

    I can SO relate to sitting at work staring at the computer and then googling all kinds of symptoms. Little helps and you do feel alone. The cool thing about sharing is learning you are not. I’ve spent so many hours that way, working myself up to motivation.

    I always admired you too. I remember when we met on the van back in 2008. You had just gotten married and you seemed so young, fresh, pretty and put together. I was surprised to learn you were actually a tiny bit older than me. And no one seems the protype for depression & you definitely do not fit the bill in my mind. You & John seemed so cute and newlywed. So sorry you had negative emotions swirling. Most of us do but it’s not something you talk about. Right after my 40th birthday when you came to my office to bring me the scarf (which I just LOVE btw), we chatted a bit about feeling crazy & PMS. I was glad to hear I wasn’t alone. It was right after my first panic attack. And while we both had to get back to work it felt really nice to connect.

    Thanks again for sharing. Big hug & lotsa love, Esterina

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  3. Wow. Amazing stories both of you. I also went to a clinical depression in the early 90s. No one will ever understand what it’s like unless you go through it. Mental illness is absolutely the worst. I would pick my cancer over that experience again any day. My oncologist save my life not once but twice. When he connected me with an amazing psychiatrist. He would always say to me “you know your own body” and that holds true in all of our three stories. Listen to your body. They hold the key

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