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The Seventeen Year Depression


It came in late July 2008, I began to realize I had a near seventeen year depression. It started as if my soul knew the future arriving the next month in the summer of 1991. And years of my life would be embroiled in a wicked hell bound torture fest, that I wouldn't recognize. What kept me from realizing this for seventeen years was, in my being extremely busy. 

I had built a successful business.  I married Mr. Right. We adopted two children as infants and were now a happy family of four. I was able to work at my healing through running distances. We lived in suburbia, surrounded by trees, fresh air. A somewhat secure, safe location. The house we saved for and bought after 14 years of marriage was manageable. We had so much more than I could have ever imagined. Especially,  considering where I came from. I smiled a ton most the time, according to reliable sources. Coupled with a wicked sense of humor and great self-deprecation. 

Realizing all this, I knew what had brought me low, deep down. I'd not expressed it, ever.  I was ashamed that feeling tortured would be considered ungrateful. And I would have none of that.  But finally I realized this in June of 2008, after all those years. In 2008, it was the self-empowerment of self-defense, and fighting that made me feel once again, 'Alive'. Really Alive. 

Alive that no one understood who hadn't known how to get so deep. Alive where you feel the macadam through your running shoes, as you run on the streets. 

I don't feel bruising the way others do. I don't care in vain as others do. I feel differently. 

Oh, that seventeen year depression came originally as I was once again mistreated by those who ruled the medical community. 

It was as if they enjoyed their misdiagnosis of me. They screwed up again, and on July 31st, 1991, just as I was climbing out of the six foot hole in the ground, that they'd prepared for a small woman who made them feel even smaller. Due to their thinking, they lacked some form of ethical bravery or manhood upon a glimpse of me. 

Yes, a strong-willed small woman brought out the raging inequities of certain men who wielded power over lives. And it was to do harm,  unwittingly. And I knew it. I said nothing. I was metaphorically trained in diplomacy. 

And the crowning achievement of those men to keep a 'nothing' down and dead appeared to fail. Yet, the depression was hammered in deeper with each passing month, and then years.  The physical crippling placed squarely upon my freedom to feel all but pain, no one could witness nor understand, that which was clearly present in my realm. 

So here I was in 2008, the lone woman welcomed into an all men's fight club, originally for self-defense,  because a rapist, a predator I had put away was getting out fifteen years earlier than he was sentenced to. I knew I was in trouble.... 

And so, a month into the 2008 self-defense training the feeling of joyful Aliveness arrived, as I prepared for another private self-defense session. Phil Dunlap, my self-defense and eventual fight instructor said, "This makes you feel Alive. I get it." And he did. 

He told me, "The world is against you doing all this." I agreed. Because I chose that I could do 'all this'. And that, attaining my new feeling of being 'Alive', had set me free.---Jody-Lynn Reicher 


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