I thought I was in a dark place until the therapist started the session handing out papers and said, "I want you to write down 3 things you enjoy doing or 3 things that make you happy" A few around the table jotted something down. Most just stared blankly at the table. I was trying to decide which 3 things I enjoyed the most.
Then the therapist said, "Well, I know given your issues most of you have, you do not enjoy anything, so write down things you once enjoyed doing." Still some just stared at the paper. By this time I had written the 3 things I enjoyed doing and was working on 3 things that made me happy.
"OK, that's enough time. Let's just discuss what you have. Levi, what did you write down?"
"Nothing, I could not think of anything."
"You used to enjoy fishing, why not write that down?"
"Because I don't enjoy that any more."
"But you will. There will be a day in the near future when you will feel good and will want to go fishing." He turned to Peter, "Peter, what about you."
"I couldn't think of anything either."
"Don't you like going places with your friends?"
I knew what was coming next and I was not disappointed. Peter said, "I do not think anyone likes me."
"Oh, I don't think that is true. Some one likes you."
"Well, I guess my cat likes me."
It continued around the table with a few things added by a few folks. I feared when it came to me what to say. Was there a problem with me that I enjoyed doing things and I could think of things that make me happy? Did that mean that I am not as depressed as the rest? Am I on my road to better days? What am I supposed to say when it comes to me?
If I read everything I have written down, is that going to come across as cruelly arrogant - as in "Look at me, I'm happier than you." ? Or do I play it down, only read one or two things, and then lay low, so as not to hurt anyone's feeling and make it look as if I am doing no better that they are. God forbid, the idea that I am doing well send someone into the death spiral of deeper depression.
I played it safe and only read one or two things from my list and did not sound very enthused about those, God forbid I sound as if I am doing better. But as I left that afternoon, deep down I knew I was moving on. The Black Dog may be on his way back to the yard where he belonged.
Maybe the sun is starting to break through that dark cloud I carry with me after all.
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