It's just now that I feel I'm "out of the closet" and not hiding my mental illness - which is depression.
Or it could be Bipolar-II, but like some, I think Bipolar II is the happiness you feel when you finally come out of depression and you just look hypo-manic for awhile because you're finally engaged in life, social and getting shit done.
Depression, for sure, since age 14 when I first got treatment for it. I didn't understand a lick of any of it but it would set the stage for my college psych major years later to try and figure it out.
By the time I was 5 years old, I had gone through 5 traumas and it was always hard to feel normal with that history. I was drawn to self help, psychology and mental health to find answers.
It took decades for my mother to get an official mental health diagnosis. Before that we just thought she was weird and couldn't understand her 13 year bout of homelessness...
Meanwhile, I was learning about depression and anti-depressants and Complex-Trauma and PTSD, hoping I could learn enough to get over it and be able to help others after I got my degree.
So from age 14 -17 I learn first-hand about hospitals and treatment centers, and 12 Step meetings and group homes.
In my 20's I was mainly into self-help, positive affirmations and took a look into some meta-physical stuff. I hung on to my child abuse story for years and years and thought it was my mission to heal it.
I did recovery for about 7-8 years when I began to feel I was out-growing it and having some disagreement with some of the cult-like beliefs I saw there. I wanted to see what life was like in the "normie world" without all the 12 Step talk. Plus, my mental health wasn't really being addressed or fit into the 12 steps. I still didn't know I had major depressive disorder.
So, by the time I got to grad school, I had this big idea that I would "just be myself" and not tell anyone my "victim" story. I was sick of it anyway. I wanted to pass grad school like anyone else. (And, secretly, I thought if they found out there was something wrong with me, they wouldn't let me into the psych field.)
I also let go of anything that wasn't backed up by science and research. I dove into being a psych nerd and studied all I could about psychology.
In my 30's I worked in the psych field, research and social work. That's when I got in the closet.
At least at my day job. By night I hit support meetings and chatted on internet recovery sites.
But it still felt like I was "undercover". I was ashamed of my mom, so I just never mentioned her.
I was ashamed of myself so I just pretended and hoped I could pass as "normal".
And then I went about 10 years with no support at all (trying on my own to be normal) and it didn't get me anywhere but spinning in my old patterns (see Relationship History Post) and creating more depression. I "hit my bottom" with relationships and decided to set out to heal myself or get therapy or anything but more repeats of the same patterns. I was done. I returned to 12 Step, but this time it was only Alanon. But they never heard of Tapping, and I felt I wasn't allowed to talk about it.
In my 40's I got into EFT and Tapping and that really helped with symptom management and finally getting a handle on my emotions. I loved it. I was happy/happier than I had been in years, or ever.
I immersed myself into the world of Energy Healing. I didn't need therapy or meetings anymore. But not many of my EFT friends had any awareness of recovery. I didn't miss the 12 step talk but I did miss the hugs, the support, the fellowship.
I decided to try EFT on my Recovery (codependency) issues, and it worked so well that I wrote the book "Emotional Freedom Techniques for Codependency Recovery" and found my husband of 8 years now. It helped me change a lot and get unstuck from where I was spinning in repeat-mode.
But there was still something missing...I felt I needed something that would tie it all together.
Then in my 50's, as God would have it, I wound up working at a Recovery and Wellness center for Mental health and the whole mental health world had turned into the 'Recovery Model", which is different from 12 steps and not affiliated at all.
What no one knew was that I was secretly depressed and suffering from watching my son grow up into a young man with mental illness and I didn't know what to do. I thought it was my fault. I thought as a mental health case manager, I should know what to do. But I didn't.
I couldn't even speak his name without crying so I didn't speak at all. I kept it all in... until I began working with other peers in the recovery wellness field for mental illness and had the courage to talk to co-workers about my son, and even my mom. I still was trying to hold the depression back, thinking I'd have less respect. I wanted people to see my Master's degree and not my depression.
Long story short, I got my son into help and got back into my Alanon so I could get back to self-care in relationships. And, I dusted off my Recovery Model material and started putting together a class that I'm an expert in: Depression and developing a Wellness Plan to manage it. I even started saying out loud that I was a survivor of PTSD/Trauma. I wasn't judged for it and I got up the nerve to start talking about Tapping too.
I found that the Daily Routine Plan and using EFT both together is what helped me the most deal with life and symptoms. That's what I want to share with others. Tapping can shave years off of the recovery journey and you get to wellness faster so you can enjoy life instead of struggling though recovery without it.
I hung out with the EFT crowd for many years. But they didn't get mental illness and the mental health field just had a few people here and there that were learning EFT Tapping.
It just made sense to me to put the two together and that's how I can up with this blog.
But I wanted to market myself as an expert and provide info and education and not ever really expose myself and my family that there are 3 generations of Crazy going on now and well, it drives me crazy at times. It's hard to wrap my head around.
The best solution was coming out of the closet and just being real about who I am and what I'm doing about it.
The thing is EFT alone wasn't enough, 12 Step meetings were not enough and Recovery Wellness model wasn't enough. None of them were enough on their own. It's only when I combined them together that I saw profound changes and real results in my life.
Then I got scared that people wouldn't like me doing that, so again I kept it pretty quiet. I just tried to sell some books, I did private sessions and really didn't have much of a direction. For awhile I put it all aside and just worked my day job...
...But this blog was calling to me to get back to it. My book was sitting there feeling like a ton of people are missing out on what I found and I decided to just go for it and put all my healing and recovery stuff out there.
This weekend I finished my 6 Part Depression Wellness (Coloring) Workbook and made 6 Videos to explain each part. It was such a RELIEF to do that and to just put it out there and not worry anymore about what anyone thinks.
After age 50, you start to care less about what other people think anyway and start doing more of what you want, because, heck, you got nothing to lose and I could die without ever sharing all the stuff that I've collected and practiced and put together to help others struggling with depression and trauma and relationship or family woes.
So now I'm coming out of the closet and peeling off the layers of fear and stigma and just doing what I'm good at: helping people heal themselves with Energy Healing AND a Wellness Recovery Plan to follow.
It doesn't even seem like a big deal now as I write it. But for several decades it was a huge deal and I suffered a lot in silence with it. If I can help just one person skip all that and get right to healing, then its all been worth it.
Welcome to Recovery Tapping - Tap Out of Fear and Into Choices - J.P.Bailey, MA, EFT-CC Emotional Freedom Coach www.RecoveryTapping.blogspot.com