“The unraveling is a time when you are challenged
by the universe to let go of who you think
you are supposed to be and to embrace who you are.”
~ Brené Brown ~
August of last year. I’m standing at the sink doing dishes and pressing replay over and over again on a silent but nonetheless very loud conversation I’m having with myself in my own head. “Why are you here again? What’s wrong with you? When are you ever going to change? You’re such a loser.”
And then my mouth opened and out came the statement “You’re depressed.”
The weight of the words made my hands fall into the soapy water. I was physically and mentally paralyzed for a moment. Time stood still, as did I. “But no, I can’t be, I’m better than that!”, I argued back to myself. And out loud no less for full effect.
As my internal debate continued – ‘But I’ve been sober for 17 years! But I’m not suicidal! But I’m angry and frustrated, not crying and feeling hopeless!’, I went over to the computer. I thought I already knew what depression looked like. I was first diagnosed with it when I was around 8-9 years old, a time in my life when several traumatic things had happened to me. There were subsequent diagnoses later in my teens and twenties. This time however felt very different than previously. And sure enough, the truth of my words manifested in front of me on my screen. I was depressed. It looked and felt different than before, but it was what it was.
Through some act of divine intervention, I knew to call my nurse and make an appointment with her ASAP. Sure enough, her clinical assessment confirmed my suspicion. I was angry and didn’t want to believe her. After I got home, I even retook the Beck Depression Inventory she used with me and scored almost exactly the same. And I wasn’t just depressed, I ranked as severely depressed. There I go, even being a high achiever with something I had absolutely no desire to attain.
Although I accepted the diagnosis on the surface, it was a couple of months before I was able to concede to it with my innermost self. But the day did come when I accepted the universe’s challenge to me and began the new adventure of letting go of who I thought I was and should be, and began to receive the gift of being exactly who I already was. Depression and all.
And the unraveling began.
Just like a set of Christmas tree lights all tangled up on the floor, the tedious work of straightening them is necessary for them to fulfill their purpose. Sure, you can plug them in as is and they’ll still light up. But they won’t truly be able to shine as they are meant to until the work is done.
So go ahead big ole universe of ours, challenge me some more. I wanna be all lit up and shine the way God intended me to. Go ahead I said, I dare ya.
“I am lucky to be what I am!
Thank goodness I’m not just a clam or ham
or a dirty jar of sour gooseberry jam!
I am what I am. That’s a great thing to be.”
~ Dr. Seuss ~
Featured image: Anthony Quintano user on flickr.com, CC2.0 Generic