I have a long list of personal aberrations. Most are livable but annoying. Yet, one experience in disease changed me forever. I do not have it now, but I live with knowledge that my mind and body are capable of it. During a brief but significant period of my life I experienced clinical depression. Not a mild bout of the blues, but a descent into a black pit so deep that hope was a distant memory and I had no idea how to begin to start crawling out. There were months when fantasy and reality were almost indistinguishable, and the sole reason for opening my eyes in the morning was my two children.
Living in the world and not feeling anything is like being dead - except you're not. You are still in the world with people who love you, who have expectations of you, people who care but don't understand, and people who don't care and tell you to snap out of it. But you can't snap out of it any more than you can snap out of the flu or the chicken pox.
It was the worst thing and the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed me for the better. I journeyed out of the darkness to feel more human than I'd ever felt before. I knew myself better and it gave me a permanent ability to empathize with other human being's struggles.
I felt stronger as a woman knowing that, even with professional help and medication, I still had to create the will to live from deep inside me. I was still the one that gathered the massive determination it took to fully heal. I will always regret my children seeing me at my weakest, but I am also aware that they saw me get better and carry on in a new life. When crisis visits their lives, as it surely will someday, I hope they will remember and understand that there is always healing and hope.