09/12/2012 08:35 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

For a Minute There, I Lost Myself

I was standing in my kitchen and my teenage daughter's music was playing on her computer. A song came on that was very familiar. Eerily familiar.

"Who sings this song?" I asked, sure that I had it on iTunes.

"Radiohead," she said. I didn't have it on my iTunes. Intentionally. As I stirred the soup I was making, I heard the chorus:

For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself
For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself
Phew, for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself

I debated how much to tell her. But you know me--I had to tell her.

"I don't listen to Radiohead anymore because it was the soundtrack to one of my worst depressions."

She looked up at me from her Kindle.

As I continued to listen to "Karma Police" by Radiohead, I mused aloud "Actually, that's what depression is: when you lose yourself."

She went back to reading, since we both knew I had found myself again.

But I could say this with confidence because I got out of my depressions by rigorously, painfully, and strenuously finding myself. No drugs required, thankfully. Then I thought how ironic it was that my oldest daughter, who also went through a deep Radiohead phase, coined the term "Women Finding Themselves" for my favorite genre of movie.

It's so easy to lose yourself--in the wrong job, the wrong relationship, the wrong town, the wrong mindset, the wrong diet. Changing often involves changing your viewpoint more than your actual location, but it also takes the courage to dig deep into the pit of your soul and ask yourself, Who am I really? Who do I WANT to be? Am I living the life that best enables me to continue down the road to where I was meant to go? The hardest part is then getting up the courage to make the changes required, whether it's going for a run and a bike ride or getting out of a relationship that has grown too confining.

I've also called this "finding my original me." Sometimes, life takes us off track, and we have to work to find our way back...or forward!

But the pain and work are worth it. As the soup heated up on a rainy end-of-summer day, the warm glow of the kitchen shining on my happy girls, my heart light and smiling, I knew in my soul that all that pain and hard work was worth it. And even the song sounded different to me this time.

For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself.

But--phew!--then I found myself! I found my original me!

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