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.


Nine Years

Nine years ago today at 2:00 PM, in a Starbucks in Dedham, MA, I met the love of my life. Three hours later, while still sitting in Starbucks, we planned our next date which was the following day to see the movie, Silent Hill. One thing we discovered during those three hours was a shared love of horror movies. And thus began our love story.

Nine years later and I am so thankful for this love, my best friend, my partner in life. What amazes me still is his strength and support. This past year has been hell for me but it has also been hell for him. His support has been unwavering and yet he witnessed his love and best friend endure a terrible illness. I imagine there were times when he felt helpless and alone. But he was and is always there: through countless medication trials, through hospitalizations, through ECT and when I come home from a tough therapy session and hide deep inside myself. He is there ready to share his strength and love to support me.

When life was going well enough, prior to my illness, I fear we may have taken this love for granted. This past year, however, has taught me what love really is, how it feels, how it tastes, how it sounds. I am able to live life with my love and best friend and this is a blessing that rightly revealed itself as a consequence of my illness. I knew I was blessed with him but experiencing something so horrid and personal created a real understanding of this blessing. I am brimming with love, still in awe of how it is possible but quietly thankful that I am lucky enough to experience it.

I am so happy to celebrate this anniversary. It is another milestone that deserves attention.

Happy 9th anniversary of our first meeting, my love, my best friend and partner in life.


And Just Like that, It was Over

And just like that, it was over. Today I had my last ECT treatment. Originally planned for next month, we discussed my progress and my current state and decided today was graduation day. I had 23 ECT treatments in all which began in July. It seems surreal to me.

What did I feel when this decision was made? Pride, relief, satisfaction and loved. I am so proud of myself for enduring these 23 treatments as they served a large part in my recovery. I am relieved that I can move on from my trips to New Haven. I am satisfied with the stellar care I received at Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital and felt so thankful as the nurses hugged me goodbye and we wished each other well. Mostly, I feel loved. I feel loved and cared for by my family and friends and the support I have received from my therapist is simply remarkable. My husband and daughter are my anchors and I felt a calmness this morning as I pictured them in my head as I was given the anesthesia.

I am happy to continue my therapy, and grateful that the ECT brought me to a place where I can accomplish the necessary work in therapy. I will continue my medication regimen and continue to stay on top of my feelings. I am well aware that if I start to feel depressed, I need to reach out to the appropriate people to take care of myself.

Just as I said in my recent blog post, I am focused on moving on. Part of this involves some celebrating. I want to celebrate myself. Having ECT became routine for me but was still a source of anxiety. I am happy to celebrate moving on from this. My focus this weekend will be on my daughter, husband and me. It’s time to take a deep, cleansing breath and reflect on all that I have accomplished in the past year, specifically in the past 7 months.

Moving on.