The beginning

Have you ever felt like your life was headed the wrong way? Have you ever been depressed or angry? In my last blog, I promised to talk a little bit about some of the things I did to change my internal state and arrive at a happier one.

When I left the University, I was downright depressed and I had no idea what I wanted to do next with my life. I think now that all of the stress I felt for so many years had changed my biochemistry because I don’t remember being depressed before I took that job. That’s just a way of excusing how long it has taken me to get better and find my passion, I suppose, not that this is a contest or there is any prescribed way to get there, wherever there is.

Hiking in nature certainly did a lot to lift my spirits. I love being out in all sorts of weather. Colorado and northern New Mexico (and, yes, New Mexico is part of the United States, despite that grocery clerk who told me they didn’t take checks from other countries) are stunning. There are miles of trails per capita, so I could go for hours without seeing anyone else. I played my flute and I painted dark (technically awful) stuff just to give me an outlet for my emotions.

New Mexico

I also joined a co-counseling group. This organization is based upon the premise that we can help each other by actively listening to them. It taught me how to listen without interjecting my own biases or my own stories. I learned a great deal about the issues that other people face and the ways in which we all struggle with our fears and our own judgments of ourselves. I found it very enlightening to realize that I am not alone. Everyone has their issues.

After a year I reached an impasse with co-counseling. It was as if it could only take me so far on my journey. It stopped helping me. I noticed that the people in my group seemed stuck as well. Two or three of them had been sexually molested as children and they talked about this every time without seeming to change. I think this organization is great, but I have always relied on my internal compass to tell me if something is right for me. I decided the time had come to quit and look around for something else.

What about you? What have you tried? What worked for you?

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