Today’s personal validation: my therapist remarked (noting that he was compelled to comment because it struck him) that I compose myself with the demeanor & appearance of someone who is not afraid to express who he is at face value.
A pleasant non-sequitur in the midst of a productive session. I’ve been going to him for about a month now, and our conversations have been illuminating & enlightening.
Two key takeaways thus far along.
- One: through nobody’s fault, I adopted a “caregiver” role in the wake of my father’s passing, and have been bearing that cross — sometimes as a martyr — ever since. It was both a natural and an intense development (see also: burgeoning adolescence), and I self-medicated to cope with both the heavy loss and the new-found responsibilities (actual and perceived). What this means is that in some aspects of my personality, I find myself loving as unconditionally as a father would, despite having no children of my own. Contrary to the many positive benefits a big heart comes with, this is not always the most healthy role for me to be assuming.
- Two: I have been suffering from some level of depression for a long, long time. It has waxed and waned over the years, but even throughout inpatient rehab and early recovery, it had never been properly diagnosed nor treated. Alcohol did me precisely zero favors here.
We cover all manner of topics in our therapy sessions (not just substance abuse). It’s more like counseling than it is like psychoanalysis, which suits my proclivity towards candor & dialogue.
With the assistance of my primary care physician, we’ve prescribed new medication and have been monitoring the effectiveness with regard to treating my depression.
I’m sharing all of this because: IT’S IMPORTANT. Also, because it’s working, and the fog is slowly (s l o w l y) lifting.
Something absurd like 1 in 5 New York state residents are depressed, and something like 1 in 8 live with clinical depression. I believe these statistics were sourced from a poll conducted as of 2015 (but don’t quote me).
Chemical imbalance does NOT equal “shame.” Or at least, it shouldn’t.
As with early recovery, a large (LARGE) part of this healing process is simply to be patient, and to be present & attentive. I’m awfully hard on myself sometimes. I need to take it a *little* easier — but also, I need to know when the time is right to push past the edge of that comfort zone.
It’s an uphill battle, but it’s a battle worth fighting. Because it’s winnable.
No one should have be entrenched in a life-long war — not figuratively, not literally.
Let’s make peace with ourselves, so that we might make peace with others.
A visually arresting video for an aurally hypnotic track.