I looked like I had it all together and in some ways I did. I looked like a had a good marriage, I did had a very successful private counseling practice, I taught graduate courses at a local university, I volunteered, I had (& still have) three awesome kids, a lovely home complete with a dog and cat. On the outside I looked like I had the picture perfect life that some might envy, but on the inside I was broken and hurting.
I lived in silence and fear….mostly the fear of being found a fraud. My marriage was crumbling, I was depressed, anxious and I couldn’t see a way out. I was burnt out working with severely traumatized clients and hearing their stories. I was the glue that held everything together and quite frankly I tired of holding all of life together for people. As the months turned into years the depression grew worse until I was suicidal and hopeless, at the time I couldn’t see a way out other than to move to Africa and drop out of society.
Fortunately, before I did either I asked for help and I checked myself into a treatment center for depression. This was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I spent a month one winter in beautiful Edmonds, Washington on the Seattle Sound overlooked by the Olympic Mountains and gorgeous sunsets
where I was surrounded by a team of caring professionals so that I could heal and recover. I learned so much about myself and life, but mostly I was thankful to be there and to have an opportunity to the direction of my life.
When I got out of treatment I let go of everything in my life, my marriage, my career, my business, my home, everything that was important to me. I lived in a little condo on the Columbia River with a few clothes, some dishes and my dog. I spent my time in prayer and learning who I really was and who I wanted to be. I was emotionally sober for the first time in my life and while it was foreign and uncomfortable it was also a really beautiful time in my life.
…..to be continued.