I went to a specialist, who found a thyroid imbalance that had been kicked off by the virus four years before. He gave me a prescription and very slowly I began to feel better. I got more rest and had fewer lost days.
I saved thousands of dollars and determined to leave my job and write for at least a year, to see if I could make it. I started going to an Anglican church that I loved. I started to date again – a blind date, a guy I asked out, a guy I asked out because he wouldn’t stop talking (always a bad sign), a friend who flew up from South Carolina. I was in so many ways out of my comfort zone, forcing myself to engage with the world again, to try. Within six months, I was, if not a new person, at least I had worked my way into a new perspective on life, with hope and possibilities, with a more independent me I rather liked.
In January I gave my notice. In February I walked away from meetings and coffee breaks and lunch breaks and paid vacation and health insurance to the gloriously terrifying world of writing fulltime.
I felt like the jasmine plant in my sunroom that nearly died from lack of water and then sprouted blossoms on dead-looking branches – there I sat, blooming – an escapee from depression, having willed my way into a new life, having stepped off the cliff into freelance hell only to find it daunting but very, very good. I was still terrified. But I loved life. Like blossoms that were completely unexpected.