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“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
Does Diane’s story resonate with yours? Would you like to share your transformation story?
To appear on the blog and in Nicole’s KindaProud book, #EmergingProud through NOTEs
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My name is Diane Gagné, I’m 49 years old and mother of 2 beautiful young adults of 21 and 19 years old. I’ve been married 25 years to a wonderful man, my guardian angel, as I like to name him.
When I was a child, I was very imaginative, always in my comic books, a very enthusiastic kid. I grew up in a family where I was alone with my parents, because my brother of 18 years my elder, had already left the family home. My father was older than my friend’s fathers, and I was a privileged person. I was very happy all the time and a little bit blind of the jealousy of my friends. So, when at 9, I became menstruate and started to grow up to became a woman in approximately 6 months, I didn’t notice the attention of the boys on me and the jealousy of my friends. I started to be bullied, and the end of my primary school and the beginning of the high school were very tough. When my father died of cancer when I was 16, it was very painful and I “crashed” for the first time.
I met my husband at age 18, but we had to live separately during our studies. When we finally settled down together it was very very far from our hometown, because my husband was post there, and after that received an offer to start a business with partners. So we decided to make our life an 8 hour drive away from our families. We raised our child alone with no help most of the time, with 2 careers difficult to balance. I was a lawyer and I worked most of my career as a Crown Attorney. I struggled a lot with the difficulty to balance job, family and a very sensitive part of me, a part that was having a lot of troubles to deal with the misery that I was seeing in my job. I did lots of files of sexual assault and physical abuse on children. At 35 years old I received a bipolar disorder diagnosis and I started to take medication. Lots of medication was tried. I had a hard time with medication and to stabilize my moods. I was always flitting between depression and hypomanic states. I never had a psychosis but a lot of little manic states where I was very high, irritable and spent a lot of money. In 2010 I changed my job and worked in human resources, less stressful, 4 days a week job. It was better, but not so much. In 2013 I started to practice running and it helped too, but I had an intestinal obstruction in 2014 and almost died from it. I had to stop running for a few months and 1 year later I had to stop again for a hernia. Each time I stopped running, I experienced a little depression. All this “mess” built up in 2016 when I had a mixed state: depression and manic symptoms at the same time. It was horrible and in July of this this year, I made a suicide attempt.
Someone didn’t seem to want me yonder, but after that, I was completely lost. Lost, weak and I didn’t know what to do with my life. I had memory breaks, difficulty concentrating and other cognitive difficulties, so I started to meditate. I was ready to try everything to help me. But I was a skeptical person, really down to earth and I stopped believing in God after the death of my father. When I was young I was practicing; close to God and Jesus, but when I lost my father, I closed the door on religion.
Anyway, meditation was very difficult at the beginning, I was unable to concentrate on music or guided meditation. So, after few days, I threw all this away and I decided to just listen. Listen inside, all those thoughts spinning all the time in my head… I listened; I took conscience of them more and more every day and rapidly, one day, they stopped. They stopped for a few minutes and they started again! But, I realized that it was always the same thoughts playing like a tape in my head. And, during that little break to rewind the tape, something “magic” started to happen. I felt something inside me, a kind of energy flowing from the bottom of me, rising in my head and the feeling was incredible! I felt calm, at peace. So, I started to meditate more and more. After few months of that, I started to have some strange experiences of voices and guidance in my meditations and few weeks after that I experienced a Kundalini awakening. Since then, my life has completely changed, for the better… but also the worst at the beginning! It was, at first, a complete changed of perspective of life in few days, a huge break on the ego and the merge of a new state of consciousness. But, also lot of psychic manifestations, quite similar to a psychosis state. I flirted between those two states for many months and when I started to realize what was really happening to me: a spiritual awakening, I started to live it, in the most troubling way for me, in the mystic way. I experimented an enormous call to God, something that I really didn’t understand and something very confronting for me, as I didn’t believe anymore in God. In almost 2 years, slowly but surely, I broke all my skepticism and my conditioning, about my beliefs of life but mainly about myself. I discovered that I was not that sick person that I had become with years, completely identified with my diagnosis. I was not that person who always did what people expected of me, and I was not that person; unconfident, dragging her guilt and her sadness like a second skin.
I discovered I’m a light, a beautiful shining light, living her life free of all conditioning as days passed and wanting to help people to do the same thing, to discover what we all have inside of us. We are all connected to life, in a way that we cannot imagine and, some people feel that connection at a deeper level, an unconscious one, in a way that can be suffering. With time, they become disconnected from themselves, which causes more suffering or increased manifestations like voices or visions. After 2 years travelling into conscience, I completely changed my perception of mental illness and want to tell to people suffering in life: “You are not alone, in fact, you have the whole universe inside you!”
With help, a lot of work on yourself and patience, you can discover this beautiful gift inside you. If I did it, you can. Slowly but surely, one day at a time, you can discover your own light and make it shine in your life. Find your path and an exit of mental suffering. This experience was extremely confronting for me: I struggled with visions, voices and many manifestations, I rediscovered God, but finally, at the end, I found peace and joy but especially, I found my true self.
Find out more about Diane’s work here (website in French);