“Already for most humans, the only respite they find from their own minds is to occasionally revert to a level of consciousness below thought. Everyone does that every night during sleep. But this also happens to some extent through sex, alcohol, and other drugs that suppress excessive mind activity. If it weren’t for alcohol, tranquilizers, antidepressants, as well as the illegal drugs, which are all consumed in vast quantities, the insanity of the human mind would become even more glaringly obvious than it is already. I believe that, if deprived of their drugs, a large part of the population would become a danger to themselves and others. These drugs, of course, simply keep you stuck in dysfunction. Their widespread use only delays the breakdown of the old mind structures and the emergence of higher consciousness. While individual users may get some relief from the daily torture inflectied on them by their minds, they are prevented from generating enough conscious presence to rise above thought and so find true liberation.”
~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, p.102
I’ve avoided writing about this topic for a while now, out of fear of being misunderstood, of being accused of denying the realities, severity and seriousness of mental illness, and the power it holds over those who suffer from it. The last thing I want to do is make light of what can be a debilitating and lethal condition. Yet as I journey forward, I’m strengthening in my ability to express my opinions and my truth. As such, I now feel it’s important to share my experience, and to offer ideas for contemplation and consideration. I hope my best intentions are evident.
I’ve suffered, in the past, with recurring bouts of clinically diagnosed depression. In my opinion, these episodes were mild, in the sense that I managed to continue functioning in life, meaning that I was capable of holding my job, dragging myself through the days, and mostly hiding how I was feeling from most of the world. I felt like I was trapped in dark despair and hopelessness, but I managed to keep my head above water. I entertained fantasies of suicide, which elicited the simultaneous and seemingly contradictory emotions of anger and relief, because I knew myself to be incapable of actually committing such acts.
During each bout of depression, my medical carers recommended anti-depressants, but I avoided them, feeling certain that whilst they would no doubt make me feel better, they wouldn’t cure me of the cause of my illness. I believed that the chemical imbalance in my brain, which cases the symptoms of depression, was preceded by something else. I was convinced that the chemical imbalance didn’t just randomly occur – something caused it. As such, I opted instead for psychological counselling, hoping and trusting that it would address that root cause. Counselling definitely helped me, but the fact that I continued to relapse suggested to me that there was something else I was missing. The last time I had depression, I agreed to take the medication, based on the fact that I had young children to care for, and as such I couldn’t afford the time it would take to recover using psychological counselling for treatment.
When, under the guidance of my GP, I managed to successfully wean myself from anti-depressants, I knew I had work to do. I never wanted to suffer from depression again, and I never wanted to put my children or my husband through such an experience again. I knew I needed to maintain the self-care practices I’d begun whilst on the medication, to prevent a relapse. But, beyond that, I knew deep down that I needed to address the root cause of my recurring illness if I was to avoid living this cycle for the rest of my life.
I could sense that if I didn’t take action soon, I would be heading down the same path I’d been down before. It was around this time that Belinda Davidson and her School of the Modern Mystic (SoMM) entered my world. I was interested. I was fascinated. I was drawn in. In a strange and subtle way, I believed that Belinda could help me to escape from my cycle of depression. My instincts told me to enrol, and my husband was on board with my decision. I haven’t looked back.
Let me be clear: Belinda does not claim to be a doctor or medical professional, or to be a substitute for such. What she does claim is to offer teachings that enable you to change your energy, change your life, heal yourself, become intuitive, and discover your life purpose. When I undertook Level 1 of SoMM, I was not depressed, but I was looking for my way to avoid becoming depressed ever again.
Having come out the other side of SoMM Level 1, I feel like the answer to my question of what was causing my depression, is that I’d been avoiding my spirituality for a long, long time. I’d well and truly lost the true essence of me. I was like an empty shell, with no vibrance or vitality. I’d given up the belief that life is full of beauty and joy – it felt more like a hard slog, disappointment, and disillusion. Sure, there were moments of fun, happiness, joy and love, but they felt fleeting and impermanent. I was resigned to bleak “reality”, the daily grind, struggle, and settling for mediocrity.
Amidst this resignation, the flame inside of me, although dimmed, was never completely extinguished. I spent late nights trawling the internet for inspiration and answers. I attended personal development workshops. I subscribed to every mailing list offering hope and salvation from motivational and inspirational authors. I read self-help books. I felt desperate at times. But I never stopped searching. Something inside propelled me to keep searching.
Religion didn’t do it for me. The self-help movement didn’t do it for me.
My teacher, Belinda Davidson, has shown me that my spirituality is where I will find all the answers I seek. She has shown me that my soul holds all the information I’ll ever need to live a life of purpose. She has shown me that I am responsible for my energy, and that by raising my vibration, I play my part in changing the collective energy of the world. She has shown me that I am not my thoughts, and she has shown me how to identify with my higher, light-filled self. She has shown me that I am a Lightworker, and I always have been. I just got lost along the way.
I’m not an expert, and I have no great understanding of what seems to be an epidemic of mental illness in our society. Perhaps though, in my humble opinion, it is worth considering whether our cultural tendency to ignore our spirituality, is at the root of some of our problems. Perhaps we would do well to encourage exploration of our spirituality, to introduce spiritual practices into our daily routines, to consider the larger questions of life as important enough to dedicate our time and attention to in our busy worlds. It seems that so many of us are caught up in life, pursuing empty and meaningless goals that we think are important, but ultimately never satisfy us.
Only time will tell, but I feel certain that a relapse of depression is no longer something I need to concern myself with. I have the tools, the spiritual practices, to ensure that I stay well, and free from mental illness. For that, I am eternally grateful.
If you or someone you love is suffering from mental illness, please seek professional help.
Black Dog Institute: http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia): http://www.panda.org.au/
Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic is currently accepting enrolments for Level 1. Click here for further information or to enrol. Enrolment is open once a year, and the doors close for 2015 on Monday 21st September – don’t miss your opportunity!
*I am a proud ambassador and affiliate for School of the Modern Mystic.