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44_Journeys – Chapter Four – Seeking a new path

I would like to take a moment to remind the reader of where we are, and thank you for patiently joining me in a bit of confusion.

When we left the story with “A return to the beginning,” our subject was sitting in her truck at the airport, writing a letter to the man she felt was there, possibly waiting to show her an authentic experience of true love. We care now concurrent with that story once again and will begin with her next journal entry. She is 28.

Summer 1995

It seemed my study had hit a dead end, but I didn’t quit, not entirely. I kept working on myself. The medication made it better, a lot better. I was amazed by how much better. I couldn’t believe people felt this way every day. I could sleep at night, not without the night terrors, but I did sleep, and the therapy helped. My mind was quieter. Sometimes, I even experienced peace or the version of it I could understand anyway.

I remained in psychotherapy for as long as they would keep me. It became my new addiction. I would find an error in my thinking, something driven into me during my early days of development, and correct it. With every realization, I found new life. I felt happier. I felt healthier, and it was wonderful. I was healing. 

Every day I found a way to make it better. Every day I discovered more faith in my ability to grab hold of the life I thought I deserved, but the work was hard. The medication had side effects, and I didn’t like them, and therapy wasn’t easy. I spent session after session returning to the pains of my past, tearing out my soul to laying it on the table, so we could study it. In the end, the arduous work, the incremental progress, and the medications; they only fueled my original determination to find a better solution and to find it quickly. I knew there must be a way to improve the process and finally be free of the suffering and side effects. 

The medication had proven it is possible to alter how I felt. So had the therapy. Every time I gained a new perspective, I felt better. There was some key to the effects my treatment had on me. I could feel it. So, I began to explore the processes themselves. What did they have that I needed, I wondered? 

I was dedicated to my practice, finding alternative methods of healing. I would dig as deep as I could, pushing myself to go further than anyone expected possible. With each moment, through the reconciling of each story, I saw glimpses of ordinary life. Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “To live a fully conscious life, one must be willing to admit they might have been one hundred percent wrong yesterday.” I lived from this philosophy. I was willing to consider everything I ever knew as reality to be the lies of yesterday. I wanted a better life, and I knew I would do whatever it took to get it.

In time, I was medically cleared to stop taking the MAOIs. This confirmed my original faith. The prescription was slated to be a ‘life-long need.’ My chemicals were supposed to have caused irreversible damage. I was told I couldn’t change the bad wiring, but I had proven something. I could feel better, and this time, it wasn’t the medication. This time, with each new awakening, I felt more balanced. I felt like a better me. This was it. I had found a way.

I’ve spent the last five years medicated and in therapy, and I am grateful for all it has given me. It built a foundation for me, which made it possible to live a functional life. It taught me to understand; life is a story, and stories can change.

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