*Sharon grew up like most people we know, in a dysfunctional family. In order to escape the family, Sharon learned to be very resourceful. She learned to read any situation for signs of possible abuse and knew how to skedaddle. Sharon worked hard, got a good education, got herself into a great career, married and had children. When her self-doubt and buried emotional pain started to surface in the form of interrupted sleep, recurring illness and difficulty dealing with relationships, Sharon did what she learned early—she read some books to educate herself, worked harder to keep herself ‘in check’ and was prescribed some antidepressants, so that she could continue functioning in the life she thought was expected of her.
25 years later Sharon is sitting in my office, frustrated because she can’t stop crying and she doesn’t know why she’s crying. Things that she handled efficiently for 25 years, she can no longer handle. Everything on the surface looks great. She’s read the books; she understands how life works. She is a success, only she doesn’t sleep more than 4 hours a night, she is overweight, can’t find any time for herself and is plain sick and tired of being sick and tired all of the time.
Because Sharon no longer has the physical energy to stuff down the things causing her depression, she is finally ready to face it. But, the facing of it is not nearly as frightening, difficult or devastating as she imagined. In fact, through coaching, Sharon learns how to rest, maybe for the first time ever. She then is amazed as her story surfaces. She sees that her real fears seem so obvious once she’s stopped running and hiding. Those fears, those shadows, those buried pains are fascinating fonts of valuable information that eventually set Sharon free from the imagined prison Sharon’s been in since her early adulthood.
In Sharon’s case, getting coaching for her exhaustion and depression became an opportunity for self-compassion; to learn some tools to frame experience and a magical shift in perception.
(*Sharon is a composite of many people, including me!)
Depression Your Personal Story Workbook
The Perception Diet