When I was 23 years old, the lake house that my family had entrusted to me burned to the ground. It was a cedar cabin, and when lightening struck one night, it caused an electrical fire. I lost all my possessions and the pets who were trapped in the house. This experience was a pivotal moment in my life.
After the fire, I soldiered on. I continued to work at IBM and go to school two nights a week. Then I increased my class load to four nights a week. Eventually I was forced to slow down because I became what they called back in the day clinically depressed, a condition now known as major depression. I went into therapy for the first time and found it to be a wonderful tool. That was a new beginning!
During this difficult but enlightening journey, my best friend sent me a card that contained the following quote from an Asian philosopher: “My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon.”
I began to understand that my loss was moving me toward change and growth. It enlarged my world and led me to new opportunities I might not have considered were it not for the fire. I gained a new freedom. The lessons learned were enormous and lasting.
Depression, no matter what its cause, can force you to deal with difficult experiences so you can move on. You no doubt have stories that reflect your adaptability, resilience, and determination. I invite you to share your story in as little or as much detail as you like. In addition, please feel free to post your story, comments or question.