If you are considering choosing me for a therapist I would like you to know my story.
My own struggles with depression eventually led me to an interest in helping others with mental health problems, first as a volunteer and eventually as a vocation.
I came by my illness honestly enough through gifts of both nurture and nature. Substance abuse and undiagnosed mental illness were parts of my family of origin and childhood life. Looking back I now see how these conditions had always shaped me but I didn’t really feel anything was wrong until I experienced my first serious episode of depression in my mid 20’s. I survived and I have survived over and over again, all the while learning about my illness and how to help myself and let others help me as well. It has been quite a journey. I’m a little older and a little wiser now but I don’t take my own mental health for granted. I have learned to take care of myself on a daily basis and feel honored by the others that I help find meaning, fulfillment and health in their lives.
I recently ran across a quotation by Fred Rogers (remember Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood?) that seems to be a good summary of what I have learned:
How great it is when we come to know that times of disappointment can be followed by times of fulfillment; that sorrow can be followed by joy; that guilt over falling short of our ideals can be replaced by pride in doing all that we can; and that anger can be channeled into creative achievements …and into dreams that we can make come true!
The World According to Mr. Rogers
A good sense of humor helps too.