After my depression diagnosis and then my breakdown, I was faced with a completely new lifestyle.
Now my use of the word “lifestyle” may not be what one normally describes as such, but for me it is the proper word.
My life changed. I spent months in bed, then several years in the house. My few steps outside were for weekly therapy, the occasional drive after dark, and some trips to the local book store. That was my life for many years.
My lifestyle had changed. My daily routine no longer included practicing law, with all the resources and opportunities it provided.
The pay was gone. The medical plan was gone. The interaction with people was gone. Without being able to work, the sense of belonging and being part of a firm was gone.
As I note, I was in a bedroom. Now the breakdown certainly brought on my being so self isolated. But a huge part of my thinking was trying to understand what had happened. To simply get my head around the idea of practicing law on a Friday to being in bed that Tuesday was extremely difficult. I felt like I was no longer in charge of my life. Everything had changed, and I had no say in that happening, it seemed.
But In time, I realized that I simply had an illness. Depression had a devastating impact on my life, both personal and professional. Those years of darkness could be explained, I could understand. That re-framing of mind was crucial.
I felt I was in a safe place , I had an illness, I wanted to get healthy.