A long spell of feeling happy and successful, a person with a meaningful life and worthwhile work to do, has make me aware of how much pain I’ve had in my life. It was a constant struggle to get through the day, to not fall apart, to not kill myself. To keep on going even when in the depths of despair, or badly disabled by terror. The therapist and nurse practitioner who helped me get on medication that worked both told me that most people who were as badly depressed as I was occasionally stayed in bed all day. For a lot of my life I felt like a person walking in a blizzard. I’d rather lie down, I don’t understand the reason for keeping going, but a voice inside me keeps saying “Now put your right foot forward. Now put your left foot forward.” I remember walking around the backyard at 3AM, chanting the Prajna Paramita, because I was too scared and upset to sleep (I didn’t even know what it was about). I remember walking the basement corridors at Kripalu on another night when I couldn’t sleep. Even in 2005, only 8 years ago, I was still struggling with despair and terror, still being very hard on myself.
If I had been living in conditions of drought or war, I would have known that things were hard and all the people around me would have been struggling too. But because my wounds were invisible, no one could validate how hard it was.