January 12, 2015

Managing Depression Without Drugs: Opening up about our lifelong secret Habitual Patterns—so we can let go.

depressionMy lifelong secret is depression.

I hate admitting I have a disease. I don’t even like to think of it as a disease. No one really knows except my doctor and therapist. For as long as I’ve been aware of myself, I’ve noticed the pesky, persistent blue mood seemingly following me all-the-time. I’ve become a master of hiding it. I bet most of my friends and family would say I’m a happy person. It truly is my deepest, darkest secret. But I’ve always suspected that medication isn’t the best way for me. I’ve been on antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs for a decade, and a year ago I decided to wean myself off of them.

Like many people looking for some relief, I first turned to yoga. I quit my high-stress, professional job and signed up for yoga teacher training. That was exactly one year ago. I graduated teacher training in August.  The past year has been so full and rich. It’s been heart-wrenching at times. I’ve wanted to quit, and I’m learning to shine. I’ve faced some demons and found my inner-truth and authentic voice.

Yoga led me to pranayama and breath work, which was, in turn, my gateway into meditation. Meditation has really been a life-saver for me. Now, as a newly-graduated yoga instructor, I want to bring meditation and mindful living to others who seek relief from depression and other dark places.

Now, in my middle-age, I am finally learning to live a balanced life off of medication.  I also got a dog. He’s been my fluffy rock along the way. So, if you’re really struggling with depression, maybe give yoga a try. Or get a dog. Breathe. You can find your way…just like me.

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Rebecca Lynch