I remember the exact moment I knew something was wrong. My parents had an extra ticket, so they had invited me to go with them to a holiday feast that I had always wanted to attend. The event was on the sixth day of December, and I had been looking forward to this evening for the past two months. We arrived at the beautifully decorated ballroom and were seating at our table when suddenly I felt this extremely odd sensation of feeling disconnected from the whole event as well as all the people. I experienced the urgent need to get out of there as soon as possible. I excused myself as I headed to the restroom, not understanding what was happening to me. Why would I be feeling so bizarre at an event that I had anticipated for weeks? I remember standing in the bathroom stall thinking that my life was in crisis mode and I didn't know why. I was finally able to calm myself down, and after a few minutes I was able to return to the dinner. During the remainder of the evening I felt as though some other person had inhabited my body, and it took every ounce of control to sit through the meal and entertainment when what I really wanted was to vanish into oblivion and try to figure out the meaning of this confusion.
The next morning I felt that all the vitality and joy had been sucked out of my being, and had been replaced with a powerful sense of apathy and an abundant amount of anxiety. I couldn't shake that feeling all day. I also couldn't eat anything because my whole system was in a state of upheaval. My body seemed to be shutting down while my mind felt stuck in high gear, and I didn't have the slightest notion of how to make everything return to normal. I was going through the day in a state of fear, panic and profound lethargy. I had the urge to go to our neighborhood church and sit in the quiet, thinking that maybe I would find some feeling of relief by just being there. I remained for an extended period of time, imploring God to fix whatever was going on inside me. This was followed by tears of sadness, mixed with tears of defeat for my complete inability to comprehend or control this situation.
On the way back home an unusual statement came boldly out of me mouth, shocking me. I said, "Well, God, you have my attention, if that's what this is all about." It took me years to realize the power of that statement, but at that time I was mainly mystified about the origin of this insight. What had made me aware of the possibility that this may have all been happening as a way for God to get my attention? I had no way of knowing for certain, but I did know that the woman I had been a few hours ago was no longer the one in control of my body or life, and it was knowing that fact that scared me more than words can explain. I was even afraid to talk about it with my friends or family because I thought that verbalizing my fears of losing control might indeed send me over the edge of sanity into some black hole. It was as if the life I had known was on the verge of disintegrating right before my eyes, and I was at a total loss as to what my next step should be.
I set up an appointment to meet with my family doctor in hopes that he may understand and be able to explain what was happening and then be willing to assist me in formulating a plan to deal with this state of turmoil. He asked me many very specific questions and concluded that I was depressed. Depression? What would be the reason for me to be depressed when my life seemed to be going well? My family was healthy, my job filled me with satisfaction, my friendships were strong. I wondered what could be so wrong that it would set off a depression? I needed to learn more about the causes and cures, and the one finding that hit home loud and clear was that depression is sometimes triggered by anger turned inward...Yikes! Could this have anything to do with my infamous Pandora's Box?!!