Here it is. I am still alive. I brushed up against death in March…and again in April.
I almost lost my sister to medical error; I almost lost myself to another man’s attempted suicide.
Damage done, you say. Move on. But getting out of bed in the morning, putting one foot in front of the other, that’s not living. That’s just moving on. So where do you go when everywhere you look you see the world as described by Joseph Campbell — loss…loss…loss?
Millions of people do it…but I won’t take a pill to make me “feel better.” Why? The pill masks what’s really broken, what’s really causing the pain. I can bury my feelings like many others do but they will still be there, will burst forth at the worst possible time, will eat away at who I am and what I really do love about this world we live in. So no pills.
What I will do — what I am doing — is take advantage of the very generous offer of my auto (and house) insurance company, Encompass.
Who would have thought that someone trying to commit suicide on your car is covered? Not only does this company cover it but they hire warm, compassionate people to help you through whatever your particular accident was, real people who genuinely cared that I was being torn apart by the sound of a body hitting my car, crashing through glass, bouncing off the fender, rolling to the ground. Hearing and seeing that sequence over and over and over again.
Encompass offered me some help. They are paying for me to see a therapist. Not just any therapists though. And this is the hard part. I had to find a therapist I couldn’t outsmart, out talk or out manage. That may not sound too hard but trust me, it is. If you have lived a few years (63) and you are pretty smart, pretty well-read and well-educated (thank you UCF and Villanova), you can get pretty good at dodging whatever it is that is dogging you.
So enter Dr. Kathleen Curzie Gajdos. Quiet in a way that is impressive, gentle but pushy, demanding that I reach, stretch, open and feel all of it, everything that is changing my spiritual shape from a sphere to a triangle, trapezoid, rhomboid, pulling me out into corners that are dark and feel safe but are not. She uses dream analysis (Jungian), color therapy, even a sand box where you create whatever you feel inside. But mostly she uses her inquisitive nature, her years and years of experience and her sheer humanity to help you back to center and away from those small, dark places.
I have seen death but I am coming to life again, Different, stronger even, but alive, nonetheless thanks to this magical healer and to an insurance company that still believes in helping you in your time of trouble.