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Alleviate your depression through the power of meditation
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Have you been depressed? Do you love someone who suffers from depression? Do you live with someone who suffers from depression? An answer of yes to any of these questions says you know depression is a devastating illness that, at its most severe, results in suicide attempts and, more often than anyone wants to admit, death. Childhood depression is a most misunderstood phenomenon and as such goes under diagnosed and in some very sad cases dismissed as attention seeking. If, you feel you may have had childhood depression or are worried a loved one had it or has it now, do NOT stop reading this story. Reading this story may be the most loving thing you do for yourself or for your loved one, because it tells of a young women’s struggle with childhood depression, its devastating impact on her life, and her triumphant recovery. The story begins when Louise Patricia Parker was born on a beautiful morning in March and Sarah and Billy Parker became the prouder than proud parents of a bouncing, healthy 8 pound baby girl. The Parker and Wilson clans were at the hospital awaiting the news that their first grandchild had made its entrance. When the door opened and the goofy smiling new dad walked in, you could hear everyone suck in their breath awaiting the announcement. A healthy baby girl was waiting to get a good look at her grandparents and would be ready for meeting them in five minutes. The first look at Miss Louise took everyone’s breath away again. She was perfect in every way and no one could take their eyes off of her. The nurse was taking her temperature, putting a little pink stocking cap placed over her red, yes red, hair, and little Louise was suffering all of the indignities of having her parts (eyes, ears, nose, toes etc.) checked out for completeness. Baby Louise was an easy baby, toddler and young girl. She looked at life as if it was magical and it had been conjured up just for her sheer pleasure. She was precocious and learned to walk and talk before most children her age. She was ready and willing to give hugs, kisses and snuggles to any one who looked like they needed some. When she was only past toddling, Louise’s parents enrolled her in Tumbling Tikes classes, drama groups, and public library offerings. She seemed to enjoy the activities that let her climb, roll around, and jump to her hearts content the most. She was the fastest runner on the block and all of the kids knew they couldn’t say, “Bet you can’t beat me”. Louise started kindergarten already reading and ready to help her teacher teach the other children. She was a social butterfly and had a way of wrapping school staff around her little finger. Life was good for the Parkers and they thanked their lucky stars everyday that they had so many blessings. But one day, life dealt a devastative blow to this happy contented family. Louise and her parents had taken their van on a weekend camping trip. When the Parkers were returning home from © www.project-meditation.org
the peaceful weekend, the weather took a sudden turn for the worse and the rain was falling in sheets. The visibility was less than right in front of your face so Billy decided to pull to the side of the road and wait out the storm. He knew there was a rest area not more than 50 feet up the road where they could wait. When he turned into the rest area, he had no idea he had turned into a traffic lane for semi trucks coming the other way. He left his lights on for safety. Reports say a semi turned into the rest area going too fast and hit the Parkers van head on. Billy and Sarah were killed instantly. Little Louise was in the backseat and had been knocked unconscious by the impact. Louise was taken to a hospital in an ambulance. The sheriff said he believed she did not see or hear any of the recovery operations. Louise’s grandparents were overcome with grief. Billy’s mom was given medication to calm her because she screamed and cried for hours on end. Billy’s dad sat and stared out the window and cried. He wouldn’t talk to anyone. He sat there until the day of the funeral when he got up, put on his Sunday suit, and went to the funeral home to say good bye to his son. Sarah’s parents were in a state of shock but they put their heart breaking grief aside to assist with the funeral arrangements and to sit with little Louise while she was unconscious. You could tell they were there in body but their souls were gone. They were only zombies. Billy and Sarah were laid to rest in one grave. Sarah’s casket was lowered into the grave on top of Billy’s. The sobbing and wailing in the cemetery was deafening. After the graveside service, the ladies auxiliary served a meal and the townsfolk had a chance to comfort the family and each other. A tragedy of this magnitude shook everyone down to their bones. As Louise gained consciousness she said she wanted her parents right away. When her grandparents told her that her mom and dad had gone to heaven to be with God, she went stark raving wild. She sat up in her bed, opened her mouth and screamed a scream that sounded like her heart had been ripped out of her body without anesthesia. As one scream left her another one followed it. Her grief was palpable, fresh, and terrifying to everyone around her. No one knew how to help the seven year old girl who knew well enough that when life ended it was over and she would never see her mommy and daddy again. She would never have her mom hug her again. Her daddy would never kiss her and tuck her in again. Oh my God, Oh my God! Arrangements had been made for Louise to stay with her mother’s parents until her dad’s parents recovered from their grief reaction. Everyone felt it was best that Louise be with the next best thing to her parents, her grandparents. Louise stayed in the hospital two more days. When she got to her grandparents she found they had taken all of her things out of her old house and had moved them into her new home. She couldn’t believe she wasn’t going back to her house. How could she not have her parents and not have her house too. God was not good. He was bad! © www.project-meditation.org
As is true with life, it does go on and Louise’s life did too. She went back to school. At least her body was there but something was gone. Her teacher knew that Louise would be different and sad and may have some learning problems but she wasn’t ready for the little girl that walked through her door. This wasn’t Louise. It looked like her but it wasn’t her. She looked like her heart had been sucked out of her and she didn’t know she was dead. The look was terrifying to her teacher. As Louise grew older, she became less and less a part of life. It seemed like everyday there was less of her to grab hold of and hug. She stopped hugging, kissing and snuggling. She only smiled when her cat Boots sat on her lap. She didn’t laugh and play and act like the world was magical all conjured up for her sheer pleasure. She went through the motions of living. Her grandparents went with her to counseling. They gave her the anti-depression medication the doctor prescribed. They spent time with her and very, very slowly she seemed to level off and not loose ground. She didn’t make headway but the fear of her harming herself lessened for them. By the time Louise was in high school, there was none of the old Louise they knew as a child left. She was not talkative, she did not have friends, she did want to learn, she sat in her room and wrote in a private journal or she ran and ran and ran. That was all there was to Louise until one day, when the civics teacher asked her to stay after class. The civics teacher was the track coach too and he had been watching Louise run around and around the park for months. He was new to the town but he had heard about Louise and her “condition”. He was amazed at how she ran. Her rhythm was smooth, her stride impeccable, and her speed extraordinary. He had clocked her one day and thought, “I have got to help this girl before she hurts herself”. He had been planning this after class conversation for a couple of days. He had talked to Louise’s grandparents about his plan and asked for their help. He asked them about her running and running in the park and how desperate she seemed while she was running. They said they thought she did this as a way to run away from her pain and maybe run away and never come back. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy to reach Louise but he knew he had the medicine Louise needed to heal her wounds. His medicine was meditation and he knew when Louise relaxed and let go, meditation would take her to a place of peace where she could deal with the pain she had never faced. The coach asked Louise to sit down and tried to get a little small talk going. That was a bust, Louise did not have conversations, Louise answered questions. The coach realized he was going to have to take the bull by the horns and launched his plan. He started talking to Louise about her life, her parent’s death, and her grandparents. He said he had visited with them and had talked to them about what they thought her parents would have wanted to see her doing when she was 15. Louise hadn’t looked at him through any of this talk. He waited a moment and went on. © www.project-meditation.org
They said your mom would have wanted to watch you in high school being on the pep squad or in the choir or in drama club. They said your dad boasted about what a great little athlete you were and they needed to be sure and have good lawyers to help deal with all of the pro bids you were going to receive after high school. Still no response but she was looking at him now and he took a deep breath and said, “I think I can help your pain and sadness go away. You want that to happen, don’t you Louise? Are you interested in knowing how?” Again no response but her eyes turned to look at her lap and her body tensed. “I can help you make your dad proud when you run and win every track meet in the state. I know making your dad proud won’t bring him back, but you could be letting your dad back into your heart where he belongs. He may have died but his spirit lives on and he wants you to know he didn’t leave you on purpose and you didn’t do anything to cause the accident. He wants you to run and live. Not run and die. Louise said nothing. Coach was ready to wait this one out no matter how long it took. He went on. The medicine I want you to take is not like the pills you have taken before that didn’t work. The medicine I am talking about is meditation; which is a practice where you learn how to sit quietly and breathe your pain away. Does that sound like something you would try? Coach thought she was not going to say anything when he heard a noise that sounded like a screech, “Yes” Coach’s heart pounded in his chest and he wanted to grab Louise and hug her but he knew better. He just said, “OK, let’s go. There is a class starting now in the gym. That was the beginning of the end of the pain. Louise sat and listened to the meditation coach and followed the directions. She was a natural. It wasn’t long, after she started to breathe in and out, that you could see her body begin to relax. You could tell she was in the rhythm and stayed there, the whole half hour. She had started her journey back to her parents, back to herself. The coach was waiting when she came out of the gym. When she saw him she smiled, a bit, and walked on by. Her grandparents were thrilled when the coach met with them. They had visited a meditation center in a town several miles away and had learned the staff there were highly skilled in working with people who had chronic depression based on a childhood trauma. The staff recommended an immersion approach that would mean Louise would spend a week or more in the retreat center and work daily with counselors and practice meditating. All the grandparents felt the immersion process would be best for Louise but wanted to talk with her first. That evening at dinner they talked with Louise about her meeting with the coach and her decision to go to the meditation class. She looked at them with tears in her eyes and said, “Help me”. And they did. Louise spent three months at the retreat center and each time her grandparents visited, they saw differences. The first difference was Louise looked at them when they talked to her and she tried to say more than yes and no. At the next visit Louise actually asked them how they were feeling and she asked them to sit with her. © www.project-meditation.org
At the end of the three months, Louise was smiling and talkative. Her grandparents wept when they brought little Louise back to her home. She had been lost for so long. They wanted to be with her constantly. They asked her questions about the years she was gone and Louise tried to answer them. There were many times she couldn’t answer because she truly had disconnected from herself and she hadn’t been feeling. Louise has gone back to school and she continues to practice meditation several times a day and attends the local meditation center. She is gaining weight, her body is looking like the young woman she is, her eyes sparkle and she is still running. She is not like other 15 year old girls but then she was always a bit ahead of the girls. She runs for coach and, as her dad would have wanted, she runs like the wind and away with all of the trophies.
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