From a Life of Depression to a Loving Life

by Jo Billings, USA

I am a woman of 40 years old and have spent about 33 of those years dealing with depression, anxiety and self worth issues. I spent many years in psychotherapy and have been on and off antidepressants since age 17. I have delved into diverse healing modalities to try to clear the suffering. I worked with naturopaths, acupuncturists, healers and shamans for a long time… but was still living daily with emotional pain.

I was plagued with the feeling that not only was I not sharing love and joy (because I couldn’t feel it myself) but that I was just adding to the pain and misery of the world with my own suffering. I felt confused and didn’t know how to live my life. I felt so off track, so lost from myself. I kept saying to myself, “I want to know Truth”.

When I read one of Serge Benhayon’s books, I was moved by how true it felt to me. True, in contrast to all the self-help, spiritual modalities and psychotherapy I had tried where I was always left feeling that I needed to sift through the muddy parts (for example, the fact that the practitioners often seemed extremely drained, stressed, unloving or outright sickly).

I wanted to learn more about Universal Medicine and began slowly listening to Serge’s audio presentations and practicing the Gentle Breath Meditation. As I became more focused on being present and less distracted, I felt stronger in myself and more able to say no to the depressive thoughts that would previously have such a hold over me. I began to feel myself, not numbness or sadness or pain.

The teachings of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine have helped me understand that what I was experiencing (my emptiness, depression and suffering), was me missing myself and how to come back to me by not seeking outside for a fix, but looking inside to heal. With the support of audio presentations, classes, and healing sessions, I have been developing the ability to be more present, feel my feelings, accept where I am and to not give my power away to sadness or other people. I’m working on not undermining my integrity by comparing myself to anyone else. I had been trying to help people and do things to feel needed and receive acceptance from others, but I had not been offering loving attention and acceptance to myself, and that was not working!

I had often lain crying on the floor with exhaustion and had come to realise that I could not go on feeling everyone’s pain and sadness… that it was taking me out! I have also had aching kidneys (sometimes extremely painful) from childhood, which no doctors could explain. My introduction to Serge’s work came while living in Australia; when, in response to my describing how my kidneys ached, a friend opened one of his books for me to read a section about the different ways a person can deplete their kidneys. It described exactly how I had been living and giving to others without regard to myself. I was well into my own personal work of accepting the fact that my lifelong efforts to ‘help’ my family, out of this deep sympathy, was not truly helpful and that I was actually drowning myself in it. One of the courses I took from Serge (later) really helped me move with this. I can be compassionate instead of sympathetic. As I develop true compassion; learn not to take on other people’s pain and to trust others to be learning what they need, my kidneys and lower back have been steadily improving, not to mention I am not crying all the time!

By healing a lot of childhood sadness I have also gone from needing chiropractic support for my sacrum (a lot of pain and expense!) on average of 25 times a year (from age 14 to 38) to enjoying a half hour esoteric session about once a year with a shadow of the symptoms which are 90% resolved at this point.

Using simple tools such as breathing gently and learning to honor myself by not overriding what I know I need to do or say, I feel for the first time that I am Living my life, not just existing and surviving.

What I mean is that I am actually able to enjoy myself most of the time in whatever I’m doing. I ‘want’ to do things and I often enjoy connecting with people versus dreading waking up each day and experiencing anxiety around people because of feeling I was representing myself so poorly and unable to fulfill my purpose (of living / being me)…I am handling things much better now instead of feeling desperate about getting by.

I now feel more empowered and able to discern what is good for me and make supportive choices. This has changed everything about my life and it all comes from me. For example, I no longer crave and eat sugar or caffeine or take drugs and alcohol (or date unloving men) to escape unpleasant emotions or keep me going. After 25 years of trying not to eat sugar (as I could see that it greatly exacerbated my symptoms) I have found that it’s not about saying no or having a strong will; I am eating more how I need to because I can feel that it doesn’t feel good in my body to have these things. It is rewarding to be more in touch with my body! I also have chosen, for the first time, a truly supportive partner who is gentle and whom I respect.

I always felt so broken, like something was wrong with me. Now, for the first time in my adult life, I feel that I am OK and that I am really learning to take loving care of myself. I am more and more able to just be myself. I am beginning to feel a loveliness in who I am. I have a sense of purpose in working to re-learn how to live a loving life and I know I’m on my path!

341 thoughts on “From a Life of Depression to a Loving Life

  1. Jo, I really loved reading your story of transformation. For me I feel there is no mistake that after a long time searching, true healing was found through coming to Universal Medicine.

  2. This is a great sharing Jo thank you. Having been (and still get hooked into being) a sympathiser in my life I know how poisonous and exhausting this behaviour is for the body. Once we are exhausted and not living from our true kidney energy we are much more susceptible to bringing in more harming behaviours which then affect the body detrimentally even more. So awesome to change this cycle to one of healing and expansion.

  3. It is inspiring to read Jo how you never gave into your long term battle with depression but continued to seek the key to unlock the hold it had on you which eventually did occur when you came upon Universal Medicine and began making more loving choices for yourself.

  4. What a huge realization it is to understand that our suffering comes from being separated from ourselves and as a consequence of this we miss that connection not only with ourselves but with God. It makes sense then that true healing can occur when we re-connect with ourselves.

  5. Wow the profundity of what you are saying here is massive, 33 years out of 40 struggling with depression and lack of self worth to knowing there is nothing wrong with you. There are billions of people in the world who would benefit from hearing your story – it’s so wholesome and heart-warming.

  6. Hi Jo I enjoyed the article, its a positive testament on the power and truth of the healing modalities and practical lifestyle tips that Universal Medicine present

  7. Great to read your blog Jo. I have been a “victim” of depression on and off over a period of about 10years , and like you I have turned this around and now know that I am appreciating more and more the love that I am and not looking outside of myself for confirmation but instead valuing my innermost voice and taking responsibility for my decisions . I have had some wonderful help from Universal Medicine Practitioners and especially Serge Benhayon’s Presentations. Life is about what we make it.

  8. I really appreciate what you share here about depression and understanding how much exhaustion is part of it. The apologising for for being you, the trying to save others, the constant searching for meaning. The drain on the kidneys is enormous and makes sense when it is felt. The simplicity of the way Serge Benhayon works is what was the point of difference for me. He didn’t tell me or try and hook me in, he needed nothing from me but for me to enjoy being me. A breath of fresh air. Thank you for sharing your story Jo.

    1. On exhaustion – it totally makes sense that an exhausted, depleted body is not going to equal a wholesome, vital person who is loving life. And when we’re exhausted it makes it much harder to say no to depressive, heavy thoughts. Building our body through deeply looking after it, focusing on staying aware of what we’re feeling, and learning to listen to our body’s messages and that quiet, inner voice, starts to slowly turn this around.

  9. ‘…what I was experiencing (my emptiness, depression and suffering), was me missing myself and how to come back to me by not seeking outside for a fix, but looking inside to heal.’ This awareness is the key to most of our ill health Jo and I feel I knew it all along, just had not understood how to access and express this truth until I met Serge Benhayon!

  10. Brilliant Jo – Yes, continuously ‘sifting through the muddy parts’ is so different to truthfully looking at what we need to change in our lives, but always knowing ourselves to be, first and foremost, divine love.

  11. Long term depression usually falls into the category of being unable to manage; your story is a positive testament on the power of the healing modalities and practical lifestyle tips that Universal Medicine present.

  12. ‘I felt confused and didn’t know how to live my life. I felt so off track, so lost from myself. I kept saying to myself, “I want to know Truth”.’ Jo these words reminded me how through Serge Benhayon and the presentations of Universal Medicine, life made so much more sense and how I had spent the majority of my life avoiding the truth.

  13. Beautiful. This story shows the difference between taking responsibility to heal yourself with the support of Esoteric Practitioners and seeking a cure or a fix for someone else to do it for us.

  14. Beautiful to hear of the positive changes you have made to your life through taking responsibility for your choice. Jo, your story will be an inspiration to others who suffer with the debilitating effect of depression.

  15. What I find profound with what Serge presents is that it is nothing new, it is just simple common sense. Sometimes he presents things we may not have considered much before but it just makes sense! And it can be felt so strongly in the body as a truth unlike so many other things. Then to live it, only confirms that what he is saying is indeed the fact.

  16. “…for example, the fact that the practitioners often seemed extremely drained, stressed, unloving or outright sickly..” That’s an interesting one isn’t it. We have health professions sharing advice which they do not follow. Not taking a dig at them or anything, cause they’re in the same boat as everyone else, it just shows the state of the world we are in when this is the reality.

  17. This was great to read Jo. Especially that a life of depression can be turned around, by looking at what you are taking on in life, your hurts and what is draining you. The difference was well noted by how you no longer require chiropractic support, and have 90% less symptoms with 1 healing session a year! That speaks volumes.

  18. It is very important that we know depression as an illness and not who we are. we are amazing, loving beings, who are not defined by an illness. It was great to read of your journey back to you Jo. Depression is often misunderstood and is often caused by physical depletion first before all the mental anguish kicks in. It is great to understand this and to deeply care and nurture ourselves so that we can be truly well.

  19. “Now, for the first time in my adult life, I feel that I am OK and that I am really learning to take loving care of myself. I am more and more able to just be myself. I am beginning to feel a loveliness in who I am. I have a sense of purpose in working to re-learn how to live a loving life and I know I’m on my path!.” Thankyou for sharing your story Jo. Thanks to Serge Benhayon I have learned that we are all amazing deep inside – that we just have to uncover the what we are not – that has overlain our beauty. We mostly start out as shining babies. It feels so tragic that life does its best to damp this down. But its never too late. Taking responsibility for our life and its patterns can turn so many things around.

  20. Jo your story is an amazing account of how Universal Medicine and their therapies offers amazing support. There are people all over the world experiencing similar symptoms, so the potential for people to be truly supported by Universal Medicine and to possibly also recover is immense. I have also turned around my life (and continue to do so) with the loving support of Universal Medicine. I hope you will write again Jo, it would be great to read a follow up.

    1. Yes Melinda a follow up would be great! The healing that Jo shares is also true for me on many levels and I am still working on some issues. For me true healing is a continuing focus so the issues that were there that caused the illness can no longer return.

  21. How huge is it to say you “always felt broken”, but now no longer feel that way. That is an absolute miracle.

  22. 33 years of depression is a very long time, what an amazing turnaround due to your own choice to support yourself in your life.

  23. ‘I’m working on not undermining my integrity by comparing myself to anyone else.” this is a very incredible and beautiful line to read – comparison is a killer in more ways than one, It destroys our light, and also our body from the inside out. It is one of the most evil and detrimental emotions to allow. To choose comparison is to choose to destroy ourselves. Unless you clock it and use this awareness in a good way, of okay I am inspired by that person to change my life…

  24. I can relate to taking other peoples and the worlds sadness on, but in no true way does this help anyone. It’s important to clock and really appreciate how much we care about people – but it’s actually really imposing and almost self indulgent to live this way. People can’t feel the truth of what’s going on for them if we are emotionally involved, we’re almost entangled in it all.

  25. This is incredible to read because so many people choose to believe they have to live with depression for life, and often think that’s the case, that it’s something to manage, but that’s not the truth, it’s a choice. And by our choices we can choose to not have this. The greatest freedom in this world is knowing we have a choice.

  26. Jo,
    I too always knew that I was living but a shadow of the life that is mine to live. Also feeling not good enough, and wanting to please others so that I would be accepted. Through choosing to be a student of Universal Medicine, I am now living my life, how I want to live it and each day even more of me emerges. Depression is a world wide epidemic and your sharing shows that it does not need to be.

  27. Your blog is very inspiring to read Jo, wonderful to read and feel you appreciating yourself and the choices you have made, this is awesome;
    “I now feel more empowered and able to discern what is good for me and make supportive choices. This has changed everything about my life and it all comes from me”.

  28. “I have been developing the ability to be more present, feel my feelings, accept where I am and to not give my power away to sadness or other people.” A great sharing Jo, this is the key to empowering and accepting ourselves and to realising that through making more loving choices that truly support our body we can re-imprint the way we treat ourselves and accept the natural loveliness we feel within as who we are.

  29. Well done Jo, such a turn around using the simple self loving tools to reconnect to yourself and remember who you are. So empowering, self empowerment.

  30. Wow! What a wonder-full way you have shared the truth that I have also found from the presentations by Serge Benhayon. The key is being consistent in my approach to healing, as my body has many issues and if I do not continue to bring a focus to the next level of healing then those old patterns return.

  31. Let us never close our eyes as we will miss the majesty in what every moment brings. After all, how can we blame when we can’t find something true when we walk around in life with our eyes closed.

  32. How beautiful to discover that you weren’t broken at all – all you needed was to be shown the way back to appreciating the real and whole you with the simple tools of self-care and self-love.

  33. To not be at the mercy of the ups and downs of our own and others emotions is the greatest liberation I have experienced and this I have learned from Serge Benhayon and the teachings of Universal Medicine.

  34. Amazing to read about how you’ve turned your symptoms and life around Jo, just by making different choices to connect to your body and live from there. I’ve found that the more I build this connection to my body, by paying attention to how and what I’m feeing, the simpler and easier life flows. There’s less complication, no issues to work through, just the simplicity of what is needed in each moment.

  35. It is certainly fascinating to read about how different people embarked themselves in a healing journey with Serge Benhayon. Every way was designed precisely to work. It was what was exactly needed to unlock the key. The way is very personal and is for everyone to discover.

  36. Beautiful inspirational blog for others to read, thank you for sharing your journey. Depression is a very big condition that many people suffer from and it can often stem from very young. At this age you have little understanding of what is even going on and by the time you get some understanding you are already drowning in it. I see more and more people suffer from this condition daily. It really goes back to self loving and slowly bringing a gentleness back into the connection with yourself and your breath. The Gentle Breath Meditation is a great tool to support this.

  37. That is an amazing journey you have been on and continue to unfold of course. To be in that much emotional and physical pain and find your way out of thoughts that can feel as if they own you and are you is remarkable.

  38. There is such a rise in depression across all ages in our society today, I only hope that these blogs become more and more available to many people, because what you have shared here Jo is pure gold. Simple steps, each day to bring yourself back to a life that is empowered, joyful and loving, very inspiring for many.

  39. Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine doesn’t try to fix or tell us/me what to do. What is presented is for me to discern whether it is true or not. How does it feel in my body? It then becomes real, undeniably and unquestionably felt and then it is down to me what I do with it – listen and take heed or dismiss it.

  40. It is never too late to reclaim back the love that we are, for when we do choose to be responsible for our own choices and make self-caring choices for ourselves miracles can happen. Thank you!

  41. Being aware of and dealing with depression can be very debilitating. But when we re-learn choices that are loving and supportive for ourselves, it is only then can we turn the table around on what depression is and what it can feel like in our bodies and in our life.

  42. thank you Jo. We live in a world where it is very easy to consider ourselves broken or not enough, not living up to some external or internal standard – it is something that can never be fulfilled – but if we understand this is just part of a bigger game to keep us from knowing the fullness and magnificence of who we truly are then we have the possibility and choice to step away from the game and onto the path back to realising the truth of our being and of our connection to the all.

    1. Well said Annie. Feeling ‘broken’ is an illusion we are sold that sets us on the path of trying to ‘fix’ ourselves. This means we come from what is ‘wrong’ and try to set it ‘right’, rather than come from what is true – we are love; whole and complete – and then working back to see what has impeded our expression of this.

  43. This is an incredibly powerful blog, there is so much in it for everybody, for the truth that exhaustion leads and is linked to depression, I know this myself, when I feel exhausted, physically drained and or run down, that’s when a depression or more flat, fed up, down thoughts and sadness can come in. I have never considered I can give my power away to sadness, I do, and I also take on the worlds sadness because I react to what I see, it’s no wonder I am exhausted, and as you say this is not helping or helping anybody. It’s only now and recently I am beginning to fully feel and realise just how much I do things for other people, before myself, it’s no wonder I feel sad. I am not taking deep care of myself. I worry about other people all the time, in this I am actually sympathising with them, and taking on their stuff. Instead of being super solid and caring for myself, being in a place where I can consistently stay steady and from here, my body not what I do, offer so much more support that I can even fathom, just by being me. This is words to me at the moment, and not something I am living in full, as yet. I am learning it’s not what I do or say, but more so what I live is felt from my body and that changes everything, big time, bigger than I know, yet. For example eating well, you don’t have to say a thing, and eating well for yourself not because you want recognition or look at me, people see this, get inspired, more so than telling people what to eat, or commenting on peoples food, ‘you should eat that’ it just preaching and puts people off. I know it does for me. There is so much more I could write about with this blog, for example the reduction in back pain is huge!, medical costs all from the wisdom that Serge Benhayon shares, which deep down we all know and have lived, of loving yourself.

  44. The healing you have experienced is incredible and a testament to your commitment to addressing what was poisoning your body and appreciating everything else. I also experienced a remarkable back recovery due to Serge’s support after being nearly unable to walk, so know and appreciate deeply the wisdom that is there to embrace when we are ready to hear it.

  45. Jo this is a great blog, so many people live with depression or may not ever get support or admit it. What you share here is huge, it could be easily overlooked or dismissed ” I have also gone from needing chiropractic support for my sacrum (a lot of pain and expense!) on average of 25 times a year (from age 14 to 38) to enjoying a half hour esoteric session about once a year with a shadow of the symptoms which are 90% resolved at this point.” That is 600 sessions of chiropractic support over a 24 year period, which by you’re sharing didn’t support your back in truly getting better, otherwise you wouldn’t have had to have on average 25 sessions year, if an hour long that’s 600 sessions, say at roughly £40 each that’s £24,000 – to – ONE 30min Esoteric session – thats’s 55 1/2 hours less, and never mind the money, a single hour long session may be around £60 – to being 90% free of the symptoms, that is frigging huge and cannot go unnoticed or unsaid. This is a miracle and case study in itself.

  46. “I ‘want’ to do things and I often enjoy connecting with people versus dreading waking up each day and experiencing anxiety around people because of feeling I was representing myself so poorly and unable to fulfill my purpose (of living / being me).” On re reading this article tonight the above paragraph stood out and actually brought me to a stop. As I used to be so anxious around people. Now I absolutely enjoy being with others and sharing in their lives, whilst I freely share my own.

  47. Jo I love reading the changes you have made to your life, there is a real humbleness to which you write and will be a great for anyone who has also experienced depression.

  48. You have made some beautiful changes and how inspiring they are for others to read. Depression is a challenging condition, but sharing will inspire others that their is a way to change, by making loving choices.

  49. Jo I love the simplicity with which you present the steps you’ve taken to make the changes that you have to your life. It’s so accessible and empowering and an amazing support for everyone who gets to read this

  50. Thank you Jo for sharing all that you have, there is such a rise in depression across the globe. To be able to really let go of depression and to come back to living a life that is joyful and purposeful, is really what you have experienced and what is needed for many to read, that it is possible.

  51. Some great realisations you have come to Jo, and with the support of great tools like the Gentle Breath Meditation it is possible to turn our life around and embrace our true selves by expressing how we are truly feeling and connecting to the qualities we naturally hold within. The more we trust our feelings the more we accept and value ourselves.

  52. There have been quite a few times in my life where I felt like I was broken and needed to be fixed, especially around the time I became a single parent. Luckily I didn’t go down the depression track but there were times where my head just would not stop with constant thoughts and taking me into doubting myself and being able to cope. Thank-fully I was stronger than I thought and pulled through quite well in the end. Now when I get too heady and think too much, the gentle breath meditation can work, or I simply stop myself and move really gently and with presence and this really works well to bring me back to me.

  53. Thanks for sharing your experience Jo, it’s interesting to note that we all seem to have similar experiences with depression which is a very common thread that runs through humanity and when looked at from the point of view that depression can be the fact that we do miss ourselves and the love that we know we are and hold in our bodies. The problem being that we are not ever treated with such tender loving care except may be when we are babies, and we are not cherished and nurtured with love because our parents were not held in love either it’s a vicious circle that needs breaking. Our bodies cry out for this love because we know on a deep level this is what we are made of. So we live our lives in angst and unsettlement which I’m sure leads to a depression and or of given upness on life and of ever finding that love.

  54. Jo I too have found that using the tools offered in the workshop and presentation of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I am more able to deal with my own emptiness and withdrawal from the world. I had no idea that my depression was me missing myself but it makes complete sense, because if you don’t fill yourself up with your own love that leaves an opening for another energy to come in and take over the space not occupied by me. And as there are only two energies to chose from I chose the energy that was the total opposite to true love.

  55. Really beautiful story Jo. I have pain in my sacrum right now, in fact it’s how I found your blog. What you have shared has supported me to see the link between the pain I feel and the energy I have taken on during the day.

  56. The power of learning to love ourselves expressed so eloquently and with real humility Jo, thank you. When we ponder the possibility that we ‘miss ourselves’ it can seem an odd or unlikely suggestion, but in my experience it is true. The thing we miss most in life is our true self, our innate beingness and no amount of seeking ‘out there’ in the world will heal that. We can have the adoration of others but still feel empty inside and this surely reveals that what we need to do most is to reconnect with this innateness rather than continue seeking further without.

  57. Amazing sharing Jo, and with all due respect to the level of depression that you have experienced, I feel too that at any point when any of us step away from our essence, we are in effect in depression. There are of course stages and grades of depression with some more severe than others, but sadly it is not the more severe cases that scare me (because at least there is an honesty about saying something is not right), it is the cases that are less severe which are almost more scary because most of the world walks around with this less severe form of depression which is actually never ever acknowledged and then it becomes our ‘Norm’…

  58. Jo, it has been so beautiful to read about your experiences and how you connected to the Truth. You were obviously a very sensitive child, and still are a very sensitive adult, and so often it is about being met so that we are reminded of who we are and our purpose here, and then our life begins to change. But change it does, only if and when we are ready to embrace it – as you were on encountering the Truth through the teachings of Serge Benhayon.

  59. The reading from the book on how we drain ourselves and our kidney energy should be something that everyone is brought up with. Instead we are brought up to invest in sympathy, caring for others first, duty and obligation. We are taught, especially women, that these are the things that make us a ‘good’ person. In reality this makes us feel less than we are, and leaves us so drained that we can’t offer anything solid or true to anyone else.

  60. The thing is, is that in some schools now in the UK depression is being recorded at a record high of over 70% of the student… there is something broken in our society, and band-aid solutions will not work…. Fundamental paradigm shifts, as offered by Universal Medicine, is what is needed right now.

  61. Jo your story was such a delight to read. It was very heart warming to read that you are back with us in life. This is how it is done, one by one, we can inspire each other by living who we truly are so that all of us return to who we truly are.

  62. Jo what you share here is medicine that is very much needed today. I can very much relate that it is possible to be truly compassionate without having any sympathy for another and that taking on another’s pain or struggle is actually like swallowing poison and it doesn’t truly help them either. I can’t say that I’m perfect at it but do know that by being more aware of how I am relating with another and by letting go of sympathy I actually feel like then there is space to hold them in true love and equality.

  63. Being able to really feel and take responsibility for why and how depression presents, is a very personal unfolding. I know for me, there was a great deal of depression in my life when I was growing up, I devalued myself and that energy still tries to creep in from time to time. But it has certainly been understanding and why it does and what that opening is for me. When I am not self honouring or valuing my worth, these thoughts come in, its that simple.

  64. A beautiful story of love, truth, transformation and self responsibility, thank you Jo. What you have expressed here is simple yet has the power to transform lives, as you have demonstrated;
    “I now feel more empowered and able to discern what is good for me and make supportive choices”.

  65. As the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis, so too can we break free from that which has kept us in such a darkened slumber for so long when we reconnect to the love that burns within us all. This is a deeply inspiring account of your transformation Jo that shows us it is never too late to rise above the storm clouds that have held us so captive.

  66. What an amazing turnaround Jo, your story is deeply inspiring and reminds us what is possible when we begin to love ourselves and how this supports and allows the body to truly heal.

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