Am I Finally Learning?


I’ll be 50 in September. I’ve worked very hard in therapy over the decades. I’ve seen practically every type of healer in existence.

When it comes down to it, I’m realizing that so much of liking and accepting my life has to do with liking and accepting myself.

I’ve dealt with severe depression for most of my life. I’ve been on multiple psych medications for decades. I’ve even made suicide attempts.

I read awhile back that most women begin to develop depression in their 40’s and 50’s. It’s seeming like the reverse is true for me.

I was always moody and sensitive. I did art from childhood, and had that kind of temperament. I started seeing a therapist, who was terrible, when I was around 11 or 12. I had developed an autoimmune disease at 10, and she wasn’t making my already agonizing life any easier.

Debbie was my therapist. My family had Kaiser health insurance, so I didn’t get much of a choice. My main physician at the time, told my folks that he thought I needed to be in therapy to process my angst over living with a serious illness.

Debbie was beautiful. From a physical perspective, anyway. She was about 5’10”, had short dark hair, and these big brown eyes lined with lashes like a deer has. She was a model, in her early days. I imagine she was starting to age, and needed a new profession. She chose to be a psychologist. Bad choice for her. She mostly worked with young adults and children. A fact that baffles me to this day.

I remember her regularly getting annoyed and snapping at me. Telling me I was spoiled. Grimacing and arguing with me about the validity of my feelings.

I already felt like a failure, felt like something was terribly wrong with me as a person, and was miserable as hell. Debbie only made my sense of confidence diminish. Maybe she worked with young people because she had a sadistic side, and wanted a sense of control over her patients. I don’t know, but it makes me mad just thinking about it.

I feel like my life’s work has been to rescue myself from the deep well of hurt, and pain I’ve been trapped in the since my youth.

I’m not going to get into why I felt that way, or what my history has been. This is a blog, not a novel.

Somewhere I developed this conviction that I was lame and broken and in need of fixing. That everyone around me was sane and normal and happy. I was the loser. I simply knew it.

As horrid as Debbie was from a therapeutic perspective, my current therapist is wondrous. There are gifted and committed healers of the psyche and the soul in this world. It’s finding them that can be frustrating, and expensive.

I’ve struggled through a lot, which I’m realizing is the case for most. I’ve worked my butt off trying to make sense of my perception of myself and the world. I’ve been able to learn, at least to some degree, where my vision is flawed. Where I’m not seeing myself clearly. It’s been like I have these wonky glasses on that make everything look skewed.

It is time for me to enjoy life. To love what I have. To love who I am. I have felt my perspective shift dramatically over the past few years.

It was a revelation for me to realize that I’m not any more messed up than anyone around me. That perhaps I even have had the good fortune to develop skills that many people don’t have.

I believe the work that we do on ourselves is more valuable than anything else in this life. It can transform our view of reality, and can transform us.

I don’t want to be overly positive, as it’s not really in my nature, and I’m superstitious to boot. I do think, however, that I am finally emerging from that deep well of muck. It’s taken me around 40 years to get here, but hey, better late than never.

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