An Important Anniversary

One year ago today, I found myself somewhere I never thought I would be–the inside of a psychiatric ward. Like 16 million other Americans, I was suffering from depression, one that seemed to only intensify with each passing minute.

As days stretched into weeks, I reached a point where I thought I would never feel like myself again. Which made the prospect of not living anymore seem frighteningly appealing. In reflecting on how far I have come since then, I am also thinking a lot about what it took to pull me back from the brink. Along with my strong spiritual faith, what carried me to the other side more than anything was the tremendous support and care that I received from loved ones.

Family drew in close. Most especially my aunts, Titi Nancy and Titi Lydia, cousins Aidita, Alexandra, Andrew, Carla and Marcella, sisters-in-law Barb and Pris and, of course, siblings Ray, Steve and Hilary.

Friends near and far rallied around me. I am profoundly grateful to Molly, for being my lifeline when the darkness took over while I was in L.A. I am beyond thankful to Julie, Tiffany, Natalie, Sara, Guida, Viva, Heidi, Jackie, Cindy, Caroline, Marilyn, Pam, Jenn, Donna, Lee, Bobbi, Lauren, Louise, Dave, JP and Steve. And forever indebted to my two Lisas–Lisa R. for giving me a home and TLC when I needed it desperately; Lisa L. for brightening up so many of my long days in the hospital. And every single person who reached out to me after I shared on here what I was going through.

March 31st, 2017: A selfie to commemorate the turning point of three consecutive days not feeling depressed.

Many years ago, a wise person told me the redemptive part of going through trials in life is it makes you more empathetic to other’s hardships. It also heightens to a visceral place your appreciation for the fragility of life–and desire to make the most of the time you’re given.

One of the high points after returning to my beloved NYC was going to see the musical “On Your Feet” with dear friend Natalie. There’s a part of the show that deals with singer Gloria Estefan’s bus accident. As her post-recovery anthem, “Coming Out of The Dark” played, the words resonated with me on a much deeper level—

Starting again is part of the plan
And I’ll be so much stronger holding your hand
Step by step I’ll make it through I know I can
It may not make it easier but I have felt you
Near all the way
Coming out of the dark, I finally see the light now
And it’s shining on me
I see the light
Coming out of the dark I know the love that saved me
You’re sharing with me

Thank God for new beginnings.

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