Posted by: ourlifewithmpd | July 7, 2013

I realized I never told you how I got here

I was sitting in one of my first group therapy sessions. It was January of 1999, and there was about 30 people sitting in a circle, all diagnosed with depression.

Now, of course, I know things were much more serious than clinical depression in my case, but at the time — while it was embarrassing at first — there was a certain sense of relief to find other people who were going through something similar.

We all went around introducing ourselves and talking about how our day went, and so on. I will forever remember this particular session as if it were going on right now because of this one woman who sat two people to my left.

She was in her mid-50’s, I’d say, one of those ladies who used to be flashy but with age now looked cheap. She had way too much makeup and leathery over-tanned smoker’s skin and piled up hair and too much jewelry. It was her turn to speak.

“I’ve been in these groups for the past 30 years,” she began …

… and in an instant, I felt as if someone had opened my eyes.

Just think about it.

Thirty years.

At that moment, I knew what my goal in life was going to be: I was going to get well.

I was NOT going to be like this woman. I was not going to be in the same place in 30 years. I just wasn’t going to do it. I had a life to live. I had small children to raise. I had to get well.

And so the last 14 years has been a relentless search to do what many people think is impossible: recover.

I’m grateful for that day, that group, that woman, because if not for all that I would not be here today. I wouldn’t have had the ability or the drive or the determination that I needed to get me through what would be some major obstacles.

It sounds too simplistic to say I just decided to get well, and I would never tell that to anyone else, because I wouldn’t have been able to hear it before the moment happened.

But basically that’s what happened.


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