Depression is a silent killer–a Dementor–that imprisons the heart, wipes the mind, and dominates the body until the spirit sacrifices control. By its command you suffer–silent and alone–because depression hates to be seen, because if it is seen people will love you, and when people love you then you love yourself, and God will whisper away some thing that never was. Read more about love
For 16 years I suffered with depression before finally being released from it. This is the story of how I gained my freedom.
(Experiences are not in chronological order, except for the first and the last.)
Sometimes we need to surrender our environment, and secure a new one. Having been treated by multiple therapists, I moved ‘cross the country–into a city and a state with personas nearly opposite from whence I came.
I was water after a fall
turbulating beneath it all
coming up for air and sun
drifting onwards into rapids;
here and now my spirit spun.
The idea of healing with energy fields resonated with me. Reiki was popular, so I visited a practitioner at her home. For 20 minutes we discussed why I had considered reiki. We then transferred to a room reserved for healing where there was a table to lie on. Nearby was a shelf with crystals of every shape and color. She had me select a handful for her to use, then lie down. Holding these crystals, she motioned her hands over my body in a pattern intuitive to her. The crystals were then placed on me, and she laid her hands on areas of my body to reorganize my energy. My physical heart felt warm, and my mind calm and open. I left her home with an unfamiliar feeling of love in my chest, and I liked it.
Weeks later I returned, but the special experience did not. Looking back, reiki was not what my body needed.
Another mode of energy healing I tried was described as “soul awareness” by the practitioner. His office resembled that of a psychiatrist, complete with reclining chair. At each visit we would talk shortly, then I would recline and close my eyes, while he–I later observed–would sit in his chair, close his eyes and wiggle his fingers at me. Extraordinary events occurred. I allowed my mind to wander, and after several minutes I saw colors everywhere taking shape and changing shape. We were beautiful together. Later, I saw shadowy things flying before my eyes. Whenever I actively looked at one, it vanished. This continued for a few minutes, with multiple shadowy things being seen then vanishing. However, there was one giant shadowy thing that I was too afraid to see; it was too big and too dark. It came towards me, but I made myself open my eyes to avoid seeing it.
I spent a few minutes in the chair reflecting on these experiences. I looked at the practitioner and smiled, then at a painting, then the couch, then a plant, then an item on a shelf, and continuing to look around the room at various objects I marveled at how interesting they were. Each and every object I looked at was fascinating, and I further realized that it was as though I could see with more detail. Before the session, I saw everything as through an old color television, but now I saw as through a high definition digital television. There was simply more clarity. When I exited outside into the sunlight it all looked brighter. There were not more light waves penetrating the atmosphere, rather, it was like my eyeballs had more photoreceptors to detect the light that had always been there.
A second visit was not extraordinary; I was focusing too much trying to have a magical experience, so I had not. During the third and final visit I “let go and let God”. Other incredible experiences were had, which prepared me for a great battle shortly thereafter, but I do not wish to entertain you with the details of either.
Energy healing opened a door, but one through which I did not enter. Searching deeper, I visited a hypnotherapist, telling her my confidence had been subdued and I wanted it to be freed. After having me answer questions, she guided me into relaxed state of mind–to which I consented–and from this state of mind memories of boyhood were raised.
The boy I once was played sports, chased girls, and made his teachers laugh. He was funny, cool, intelligent, likable, funny, happy, confident, funny, strong, and fast. It had been years since I’d seen him, yet here we were together again.
The session concluded with me feeling unburdened, confident, and a bit flirtatious. Everything will be okay, because the world is mine. The boy inside me had become alive, and I was myself again.
A week later a professor verbally disciplined me during class. I had been shot, and he was dead.
I tried hypnosis again some years later, but developed a bizarre pressurelike sensation in my brain as though my self had been replaced with an unwelcome person. Terrified of having been permanently damaged, I torturously pleaded to God, and the sensation vanished. All the effects of hypnosis left, and the depression returned.
During many social situations I felt worthless, ashamed, and looked down on. Everyone knows I’m a loser. I will die if I show people who I am. This was my social anxiety, and it correlated with my depression. A small dose of waxy cannabidiol placed under my tongue enabled me to go places and talk to people. The fears went away, and after two months I began to gradually use less.
…What did not…
- Testosterone supplements: For men, low testosterone can create depression. Desperate and irrational, I bought supplements I knew would probably not work. I was right.
- Omega-3 supplements.
- Aerobic exercise and weight training. Exercise works only if you stick with it, but my depression made it nearly impossible to commit to a treatment.
- Rose quartz: I taped this crystal to my in the middle of my chest to help me love, because I considered the possibility my depression was caused by my selfishness. Rather than loving more, I began to crave being loved, and my loneliness increased.
- Massages: I was lonely and wanted affection, but I felt worse knowing I paid someone to care for me.
- Transcranial direct current stimulation (tdcs): It was safe, but not effective.
I considered it likely my depression was a spiritual problem. Having been raised Catholic, I contacted a monastic priest, who I asked to administer the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. This Sacrament has healed physically a small number of people who received it, and I had hoped it would heal me both physically and spiritually.
But it did nothing. I was disappointed, confused, and terribly upset.
My interest in Native American spiritualities guided me to a woman who conducted a shamanic ritual called “soul retrieval”. The description reminded me of an experience I had during meditation: my soul seemed to be one inch off center from my body; I was removed from myself. Maybe this shaman could me regain myself.
The ritual was an educational experience. It began with me lying on a prayer mat. She chanted and used a singing bowl to help me enter a meditative state. I could not see what she was doing because my eyes were closed. At the end, she told me she had a vision of a grandfather figure protecting me, and who called me “son”. This gave me hope, but not healing.
Darkness will give you nothing but a believable lie, telling you it is light and light is darkness. So I entered the dark as a way out of darkness. I gave my time to porn, my hopes to strippers, and my body to prostitutes. These were my safe spaces to hide from the true light that would reveal the darkness lying inside of me. In these spaces the women and I hid to hurt each other and without the other seeing. Strip clubs are always dark; it is hard to see everyone. Porn is viewed behind closed doors; no one can know. Prostitution is like George Orwell’s 1984 on a personal level; internal tyranny in the language of love and security; prostitutes call themselves “providers” and “girlfriends”, though they provide nothing and are not your friends. It is doublespeak, and men accept the lie because a real girlfriend can hurt their feelings, so they pay for a woman who will not…to feel safe in their dark space. But
the light shines in the darkness
and the darkness
ain’t got shit over the light
…What fixed it…
I had moved twice AGAIN. Relationships with therapists were short-lived. I couldn’t keep a job. Family said I wasn’t trying hard enough. Nothing I tried fit with me, and I had no idea why. I felt terribly hopeless. One evening I became so disturbed by suicidal thoughts and a fear of homelessness that I cried and wailed like an unearthly creature. I prayed a Hail Mary, and fell asleep for the night.
In the morning I was awakened by the most immaculate and melodious voice. “Immaaaaaanueeellll”, it said. This was not my inner voice. No, it was most beautiful. Bewildered, I tried to figure out what this meant.
“Immanuel” means “God with us”. And He was, because…
…because of the wonderful things He does 🙂 I understood that since depression was slowing my physical and emotional energy, then motion needed to be incorporated into the healing process. I found a healer and therapist who utilized yoga, as well as reiki, guided meditation, Buddhist mindfulness, traditional Western counseling, and various spiritual approaches. She addressed the mind, heart, body, and spirit to support love, joy, and wellness, and I was able to commit!
Passageways are clear spaces through which movement flows. At times they become obstructed. We each have a passageway bonding our mind and body and heart into kinship. Mine had become obstructed. This healer helped me to clear the obstructions, which erased the depression. That was the most anyone could have done.
But passageways are clear spaces through which movement flows, and it was my responsibility to authorize the spirit to flow through, preventing new obstructions.
… and lead to good health.
I had desired to be a monk from the age of 15; but, consistent failure in finding a community to join made me doubt the existence of an outlet for my devotion. I felt like a person searching for marriage but not finding it no matter where I looked. This was painful. Rather than pushing forward with faith in God I decided to quit the journey God had offered to me, abandoning faith almost entirely at 23.
With the help of the healer and therapist, I was able to reopen myself to God, which led back to discerning whether to be a monk or a husband.
I found and visited a monastic community consisting of monks, nuns, and families. I enjoyed several hours each day in communal or private prayer while God gave to me His signature gifts of struggle and peace; cycles of death and rebirth; transformation through fire and water. By God’s will–and my consent–I was evolving into a new man, and I am.
There isn’t anything in our past we cannot let go of. All things must end.
Life is free. We love you.
You are loved.
Listen to Dwayne Johnson share his experience with depression: