Though I am well now, I remember that other world, bled dry of all its pigment. And that me, deceptively present. After all, people could see me, so they assumed I was actually there. But with my mind wedged in the cracks of elsewhere, my body functioned merely as a placeholder.
Depression grinds you down, hollows you out, replaces the formerly supple you with a hard mollusk shell you hope will pass for a self. On the outside, you look shiny and polished indeed; on the inside, you are splintering. Sometimes, you’re altogether vacant.
There were times I’d feel anxious, too, especially when staring down the barrel of a task that might, on another day or in another, parallel universe, feel laughably easy. Unpack a car after a trip. Review finances. Submit final grades. Work the room at a party. Here came the obsessive, racing thoughts; the irrational fear; the migraines. And the vomiting. And off I’d go to bed, to reset. Or try to.
Oh, but there were times—four or five-day stretches—when the cracks softened and elsewhere receded and I. Felt. Grand. Invincible, even. In those moments, I could query a publisher and sell a manuscript, just like that! Concoct the most Magical Bedtime Stories Ever for my children! Commit to staging a fundraiser for the middle school, even though I’d never done anything remotely like that before! During one Invincible Stretch, I remarked to an acquaintance who was serving on the PTA that I was fluent in a second language, Spanish. “You’re probably fluent in seventeen,” he said matter-of-factly. Such were those moments, when some mysterious shift in my brain chemistry rendered me briefly, freakishly supercharged, effusive, creative—the kind of woman who seemed unsurprisingly capable of speaking seventeen languages.
Until I crashed, that is. And the pigment drained away again. And my body dragged and sputtered while my mind either lapsed or went into anxious overdrive, my moods utterly flat or agitated by turns, my life stalling.
Medication worked, for a while. But as is often the case for those of us seeking relief from our unwieldy thoughts and moods, the compounds I tried ultimately failed to connect me with what I really sought: my Best Self. I wanted access to what I valued most about me—my imagination! I wanted once again to delight in story telling, music, teaching. And I wanted traction! That, I really wanted.
Fast forward to June, 2014, when I decided to titrate myself off the last of my medications, determined either to crash or begin slogging forward again in fits and starts until I discovered some other kind of Answer.
Which, miraculously, I did. That same month.
I never suspected that the right combination of micronutrients, in the right proportions, could reset my brain. Nevertheless, when I began a nutrition regimen centered around EMPowerplus Q96, that’s exactly what happened. I reclaimed my natural gifts. I reinvigorated relationships with family members I treasure. Best of all, I am clear-headed, which gives me the kind of traction I thought was in the rear view mirror.
In getting myself back, I have resuscitated the life that so often seemed just out of reach. It was my life, the one I felt powerless to grab and run with. And now, it’s mine again.