August 27, 2016

Why being diagnosed with Depression was the Best thing that ever happened to Me.

Image: Andrew Poynton/Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/tunnel-silhouette-mysterious-899053/

Three years ago, I sat on the annoying tissue paper that covered the uncomfortable bed at the doctor’s office.

It was by then a familiar place, as I had been there over a dozen times in the past two months. I was awaiting the results of yet another test.

This visit was to find out the results of my overnight sleep study to discover whether my sleep patterns were impacting my body and mind. I was at the point where I hoped my doctor would find something wrong. We had done so many tests and scans, but everything looked normal. I wanted to get to the root cause of the issue so I could fix it and get back to my busy life.

I had the dream job in corporate America. I manifested my soulmate as a divorced mom. Together, we had another child to complete our family and our two girls were healthy and thriving. We manifested our dream home. I started an interior design business which was growing quickly. Everything was great—but I was exhausted.

Surprisingly, when night arrived, instead of falling asleep, my anxiety would creep into bed with me and keep me awake until the early hours. I would watch the clock and count down the hours until I had to wake up. Thinking about my upcoming hectic day would only kick on more stress.

I would overdose on coffee and use pure willpower to get everything done. I was up at 6am and would get home with the kids at 6pm. After we did our nightly routine, I would start working on my interior design business at 9pm and work into the wee hours of the night.

I went on like this for months…

Until, one day, I had a physical breakdown. I could not get out of bed for a week. I thought it was the flu. But the more I slept, the worse I felt. The next week I made a doctor appointment and we started to go down the list to see what was going on.

And test after test, everything came back as “normal.”

But this doctor visit was different.

When my doctor came in to share my results, I was blown away with the diagnosis. My sleep study was “normal.” But as she put down her files, she looked into my eyes and said, “Indrani, I am diagnosing you with depression.” As soon as she said that, I exploded into uncontrollable sobbing. I was in a state of shock. Instantaneously, an avalanche of guilt hit me like a ton of bricks.

My mind was racing with questions running through my head:

“How the heck could I be depressed when I had a life other people dreamed of?”

“How am I going to tell my husband?”

“What happens next?”

I went home with anti-depressants, deflated and ashamed.

In that moment, I knew my life would never be the same. I knew it was time for a change. Instead of pretending everything was okay, I allowed myself time to process my emotions. I gave myself permission to fall apart. And when it started to become less painful I started to take action, one step at a time.

I started with tiny steps—like, peeling myself off the couch when the clock hit 5pm because my husband would be coming home with the kids and I didn’t want my family to see the shape I was in.

After a while, that incredibly difficult task was easier to complete.

Then I took bigger steps, which changed my life drastically.

I looked back to reverse engineer my process into four main steps (my 16 years at Toyota ingrained reverse engineering and continuous improvement in my DNA) which transformed my depression into creating a life I am obsessed with.


Step 1: Get Crystal Clear. Clarity is truly king. When we are crystal clear on why we are in the situation we are in and what we want instead, we can start to learn from our experiences.

We can choose to focus on our desires, rather than our current reality. We can begin to remove the junk holding us back. As we step into this inner work, that’s when we can start to see the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

Start the process by asking powerful questions like, “Why am I in this current state?”  and “What do I desire instead?”

Step 2: Leverage & Activate. We are composed of energy. Our energy emits a vibrational frequency out into the world. When we emit lower based frequencies (i.e., fear, worry, anger, etc.) based on our thoughts and emotions, we will then magnetize more people, opportunities and events which will reflect the same lower based frequencies. This can be a vicious cycle—I speak from my past experiences.

The good news is that when we are able to emit higher vibrational energy we can activate and leverage an energy source which is truly magnificent! This is when people can get into flow—where things start occurring naturally.

Such as when you are thinking “I really need to get out of the house and get some exercise,” and then you see a commercial where someone is on a hike. Or when you get a great idea to diversify your business and then you get a call from someone who wants your new offering.

Those are the signs of flow. It is a beautiful, magnificent thing.

Step 3: Create. Here is where Nike’s, “Just Do it” philosophy comes in. When you are able to get crystal clear on your desires, leverage and activate your energetic vibes, then it is time to take inspired action which is aligned with your personal vision.

Because, let’s get real—when the idea is in our head and we get nudges from people, our intuition and our synchronicity,  we will stay in our current reality if we do not take action.

This step is about taking action by simply taking the first step. I used to get tripped up on this part because I wanted to have the entire plan laid out in front of me first. If we wait for that, we may end up waiting forever and being stuck in our current situation.

When I decided to throw the idea of the plan out of the window and took the first step, whether it was to invest in personal development to ensure a divorce was the right move for my family, or getting curious about becoming a business and life coach instead of feeling stuck in my dream job in corporate America, I was then guided to the next inspired step.

Step 4: Trust. The final step can be the biggest challenge. When we can trust in the process and know with every cell in our body that life happens for us, we can surrender to our divine timing of when and how our plan unfolds.

And I am here to say, the trust part gets easier when you thoroughly go through these steps. How? Well, because you are aligned with your desires. You have done the work to get out of your own way. You have leveraged and activated the powerful energies which are available for us to access. And, you took inspired action.

That’s when you can trust and release (while continuing to take inspired action) because you have done the work.

Looking back, I realized my depression was the best thing that happened to me. It forced me to look within. It gave me the gift of awareness and reflection to dig deep and uncover my purpose—my mission for this lifetime. It also allowed me to uncover and break down the beliefs which were not serving me.

It enabled me to release and create a new reality, where I could have it all.

It was a long, dark, crooked path full of fear of the unknown. But with each step, the light at the end of the tunnel was brighter and it got easier.

Sometimes when we are suddenly in the moment when everything seems to fall apart, we do not understand why the eff it is happening to us. We get caught up feeling pissed, angry, victimized, helpless—and that is okay. Because we need to live through those emotions to release them.

And as we start to put ourselves back together, roll up our sleeves and do the work, we can become stronger, more powerful, more confident, and more aligned with our core values. That is when we become limitless.

It is an amazing experience. As a result, I have been able to design a life I am absolutely obsessed with.

I am able to balance a thriving coaching business, with picking up my the girls from school.

I am able to help other women find their purpose, break through their glass ceilings and create financial abundance while being able to be present with my family.

I am able to practice self-care without an ounce of guilt because I know that is the key to being the best wife, mom, coach and person that I can be to the world.

Depression can be debilitating. It can take over our lives. It can create dependency on drugs.

Or, it can be a catalyst for a life altering change and create a level of joy which words cannot describe.

The choice is ours to make.

What do you choose?




A Letter to my Partner about my Depression.


Author: Indrani Phillips

Image: Andrew Poynton/Pixabay

Apprentice Editor: Molly Murphy; Editor: Travis May

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