Alongside my schooling and learning was my emotional reality – I struggled with deep depressions and rage.
The rage lessened over the decades but the depressions stayed into my 50’s. I had suspected from age 17 that I had manic-depression. Anytime I asked a therapist about it, they discounted it because I did not have psychotic breaks. In my early 50’s a therapist friend took a refresher class on what is now called bi-polar and showed me the newest research….. I did indeed have manic-depression episodes. Bi-polar is now considered to have 4 levels.
Level 2 has 8 symptoms and I had 7 of the 8 – the missing symptom…. psychotic breaks. How fortunate for me, I had never been given a label and now I had one. I went to doctor and got a prescription for lithium… except, the second I touched the bottle, I knew I could not take it. And so began a lot of research on manic-depression / bi-polar disorder. What I learned and put into practice gave me the tools to manage this part of myself that suffered from these dark episodes. I still have the medicine bottle of unopened lithium. I keep it to remind me that I can and do trust myself and the guidance I receive.
My dreams were a huge resource in dealing with the depressions. I began to understand a particular set of symbols that I never had been able to really decipher. As I began to work with these dream symbols, they began to evolve and shift as the frequency and intensity of the depressions decreased. At this point I no longer suffer from these debilitating and draining episodes.