I was just inspired to write about something that may seem counterintuitive. I am sure we have all heard the phrase, silver linings, at one time or another from someone possibly wiser than us in order to pull out a positive from a negative.

When I first heard about silver linings from my therapist when I was still quite sick, I thought she was completely off the mark. I could not understand how anything good could come from my illness. The truth is, there are so many silver linings for me, I am not sure I could list them all on one page. I was severely depressed, (which astounds me each and every day as I continue to fully realize just how ill I was) had several medication trials with unpleasant side effects or no effect, was hospitalized twice within one month, began electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and was involved in therapy where I was peeled and sliced open in order to work through the depression and all that came with it.

As an outsider reading this, I am sure it sounds daunting and terrifying. Trust me…it certainly was and sometimes still is.

The funny thing is, since July, every now and then, there are realizations, epiphanies that I have that sometimes make my heart race, my eyes tear and the excitement I feel is indescribable. These are the silver linings. I began to notice and understand them shortly after I began ECT as I “woke up” from my illness. They are now constant and it is sometimes difficult to keep up.

I now have the ability to feel love in an intimate and deep way unlike I have ever felt it before. I am able to practice mindfulness where I can focus on the present moment and not focus on other worries or life events. Now, my relationship with my husband and daughter runs deeper than I ever knew was possible. I learn of silver linings every single day right now and I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

If someone had the ability to take away the past year and a half, my depression, the medications, hospital, ECT, all of the difficult and painful work in therapy and I could simply go on as I was before this nightmare, I would say, “absolutely not.” I would beg that person to leave it as it actually happened. If I had the choice, I would do it all over again, the same exact way. I would do anything, endure anything in order to live in these amazing silver linings. Not only did I gain my health, I gained myself in the process.

For anyone suffering, enduring illness, await the silver linings for they will make themselves known. It is worth it.


Recovery from Illness


I am Present

I hear the birds. I smell spring. I see flowers growing, blooming. I feel the wind rush through my hair. I am here. I am present. In this moment I am sweating after a long walk. On this walk, I cleared my mind and focused on the music in my ears. When lost in thought, I returned to the moment and focused again on the music.

I think of the day, the week, the past month. Change. Change is good. Change is difficult. Change is scary. I’ve passed the dividing line and now my life is real. I will hold on and brace myself while also taking deep breaths and feel the calm. The calm is new. The calm is good. The calm is scary.

I will practice this daily. I will focus. I will become acquainted with myself. I will start anew. I will learn…one moment at a time.

I am here. I am present. I am aware. I am in my life.