Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

What of 2009?

As I look back on the last year of my life, as narcissists are want to do, I ponder what to make of the year 2009. It was the year the my marriage almost fell apart. It was the longest single period of unemployment I've experienced since I was 13 years old. It was the year that I lost much of everything I had to depression. It was a year of release from place and ministry, as the kids that we mentored left in late 2008. It was the year that we moved back out to the country.

But, those will not define the memory that I carry for 2009. I will remember 2009 as:
- the year a friend took a chance on me, and I made good on my promise to be as good of an employee as a friend, which has earned me much respect in his eyes
- the year that QueenJaymz and I looked back at 10 years of marriage with a sense of accomplishment, of having earned the right to celebrate 10 years together
-the year that QueenJaymz crossed over the threshold into the 30's, and commemorated it by getting a really awesome and meaningful tattoo (by a talented artist)
- the year that I dedicated myself to opening up my own brewery
- the year that I decided that I needed to write a book, and to pursue that with seriousness
- the year that I finally put pieces together to make sense of how and where I fit in to the body of Christ, which informs my current situation and my future ministry (not the paid kind; the real kind most people are taught to believe they aren't capable of without permission and "training")

However, what I will most remember 2009 for is that it was the year that I conquered my long battled foe, depression. I am no longer its slave or victim. I have vanquished the demon that plagued me for many years.

Now, to be fair, it was a journey that found me planting the flag on the peak of the mountain between the last days of 2009 and the first of 2010. But, it was not a single, radically life-changing moment in which it occurred.

I hit a point last year that I decided that I needed to pursue individual counseling therapy. So, I sought out a cognitive-behavioral therapist who did work on an income based scale (since I was just dealing for tips, at the time). I found the Pacific University Counseling Center, which was a godsend. Pursuing therapy with vigor, because cognitive-behavioral therapy is a cooperative therapy between client and counselor, has made all the difference in the world for me.

Now, "Why Cognitive-Behavioral therapy?", you might ask. When I did my degree work in psychology, I chose the school of cognitive-behavioral psychology as my own. It seemed to make the most sense in development of how we humans psychologically developed and related to others (and I find it absolutely incomprehensible how people can believe Freudian or Jungian psychology are appropriate vehicles to deliver a real understanding of how the human mind works). Cognitive-Behavioral therapy approaches the mind from the standpoint that a person's circumstances have a tremendous impact on how we develop and become who we are. However, it acknowledges that there is something special and specific within each person that determines who they are, as well (which I would postulate as the unique part of each person that God puts in us). And, the ultimate goal of cognitive-behavioral therapy is to make the client their own counselor. Its success and effectiveness is based on the outcome of the therapy, not how much the counselor can milk it for while solving your problems for you. Generally, clients are done with therapy between three and six months, many without medication (which I decided that I did not want to pursue as a solution).

I'm scheduled to be done at the end of February (it will be six months, then), but I am hopeful that I will finish up beforehand. The indicators we're using as trackers are showing very good signs right now.

Root for me, pray for me or send positive thoughts my way on this. I'm very excited about how this is tying up. I'll write more about the positive effects this has produced in my life in a later post. This one is getting really long.



SilverNeurotic said...

I'm glad you decided to blog again, at least to update us on what's going on with your life.

Congratulations on making the decision on conquering your depression, I'm glad that you were able to find a therapy that is helping you (and you can afford). I feel hope for myself.

KingJaymz said...

Thanks, Sil. I finally have something positive to say. I've not said much because it's been a lot of self-pity and complaining, and I just couldn't put that crap out there anymore.

I'm severely blessed to have found a good cognitive-behavioral therapist. I'm about four and a half months in, and I'm feeling like I'm pretty much done. I had my weekly appointment today, and I felt like I spent much of it explaining what I've already processed more for the benefit of my therapist than my own. However, for a narcissist like me, I can't shy away from the chance to talk about myself for an hour.

All that said, if you haven't tried it, I'd recommend giving it a go with a couple of different cognitive-behavioral therapists. I was lucky and found a good one on my first shot. I've been through four or five family-systems therapists in my life, and none of them have been worth a damn dime I've paid them.

I can now believe that there is always a reason for hope. That's empowering.