By Tom Deighan
It all started when I was two –years old when my dad died. He was 37. Nightmares were a common occurrence for quite some time. At that time there wasn’t much awareness of depression. At nine-years old my brother Michael passed away.
While my mother was in a nursing home, the word depression entered my life. My whole family has depression. It is truly a world of sadness, to be depressed. To me it comes down to holding onto losses that were never grieved. The more I held onto the losses, the worse it got.
Therapy was not a topic that of discussion in my family. Family, feelings or depression were rarely talked about.
So I drank to relieve the reality of dealing with the loss. In 1986, I suffered a nervous breakdown because of wanting a relationship to work that never should have started. My counselor, Meredith, saved my life. Just about all issues were looked at. My thoughts led me to believe that the healing and work was enough.
After moving to Oregon and back here, a second breakdown happened, once again. Again Meredith was a great help. I was still drinking. She mentioned three times about looking at my drinking. It wasn’t until the fourth lecture from Kathleen that the reality of drinking set in.
Kathleen got up near my face and asked if I wanted to be like this for the rest of my life? I said no. Not realizing what an effect that decision would have on my life.
My spirit is so much lighter because of that one decision. The weight is off my shoulders. Meredith was always spiritual. That was what I wanted.
My life became a world of nature and sobriety as a spiritual practice. Prayer and acceptance of loss transformed from darkness to light. Today my depression still exists in a minimal form. With the healing came spiritual gifts.
Helping people has a become way of life. The door to healing that I didn’t know existed, opened. Life became a wonderful experience.