For a very long time I lived my life totally disconnected. I was on auto pilot. I woke up, did my “mom” job, tried to be a good wife, clean the house, and overall tried to be happy with my life – even though I was very unhappy.
I spent a lot of time worrying about the future – would my kids get in to college? Would they learn to be independent? Would they make good choices and have an easy/safe path in life? I spent a lot of time doing what I felt was expected of me, what I felt other people wanted me to be and do. I was listening to all of the messages that were being pressed upon me. My life was full of “You should be doing…..” Or “You need to……” or “A good mom would…..”
But even though I was trying and trying to do everything everyone wanted of me, inside I felt hollow and unimportant. I felt like I was drowning in the sea and no one could see or hear me. And then things got worse. I moved into depression.
I suffered with depression for about a year and half. Dark lonely days where I didn’t want to breathe anymore. Suicidal moments when I would call my husband and beg him to come home and be with me so I wouldn’t do something stupid. Evenings when I couldn’t stop crying and my teenage son and his friends would pick me up and take me to walk around walmart – or some other ginormous store – where tears would continue to roll down my face unheeded.
They hugged me a lot and told me they loved me. My daughter began cooking because I had lost the ability to make a list, or to bathe and make it to the store. My husband looked at me and shook his head not knowing what to do to help.
When things go really bad I went for help. I found a great counselor and started taking antidepressants ( I know this is controversial but they really helped me) and then……..I started taking yoga. I knew that exercise was good for depression – endorphins and all that. I also was able to do a work/study program so I could exchange my time working for them for free classes. By the end of my third class I knew I had found what I needed.
During the quiet of Savasana I heard a still, quiet voice that came from deep within. It had an answer for me – one that I had been searching for for a very long time. “WHAT DO YOU WANT?” I could never answer this question. People asked me all the time and I never had an answer. I would hem and haw and come up with something I thought they would want to hear….but finally I listened to myself and go THE answer.
You can not imagine how boyant I felt. I had found a connection with myself! I don’t remember where and when I lost it. But once I found it I was NOT going to give it up or let it be silenced any more. Once I listenend to that voice and spoke my truth my whole world got better. My depression slowly eased up over time. After about 6 months I stopped taking meds, I practiced yoga as much as possible and practiced listening to myself.
Can you imagine? Such a small thing…..listen to yourself……not what others tell you you should be…….what you REALLY want! It’s a few years later now and I still have trouble sometimes saying what I want. I have a habit of asking for permission…..but thankfully I have people who love me enough to catch me when I do that….and remind me not to ask….to just say it…..say what you want.
Yoga taught me to Listen to Myself – honest, easy and free 🙂