Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Random Thoughts on Life Out of the Closet and Therapy

While I nervously await updated election results on Question 1 in Maine and results from Washington State and the Referendum 71 effort to repeal same sex domestic partnership rights, I figured it was a good time to reflect on my personal saga and further update readers after a very serious meltdown back in late September that resulted in a TDO - something I never want to experience again. As I mentioned over the weekend, I've been on new meds for roughly a month and I saw my new therapist and psychiatrist yesterday and today. I believe that things are moving in a positive direction. As I have stated before, I believe that therapy is a must for anyone making the transition from the closet - or undergoing the consequences of homophobic judges who continue to believe the discredited "choice myth" disseminated by anti-gay Christianist organizations.
When it comes to finding the right providers and/or coming to feel comfortable with new providers, it is important to remember that achieving a new comfort zone does not happen over night. And, if you do not feel the right fit with providers, it is critical that you try someone else. If it doesn't feel right, do not do it. That said, I think I am going to be happy with the new therapist and psychiatrist both of whom are not locals and come from much more enlightened and liberal areas. Indeed, both are still suffering culture shock and are shocked by the open racism and homophobia in this area. While my past providers have been male and it is a bit of an adjustment to be working with women - not that gay guys and straight women do not work well together.
Bottom line, coming out in mid-life is not easy - not that coming out is ever truly easy in our current society - and it is important to not expect the process/transition to happen over night. One also needs to accept the fact that there may/will be set backs from time to time. To readers in situations comparable to my own, my message to you is to "hang in there." As for bouts of depression, a reader in California sent me an e-mail that I found very profound. Here are highlights:
A really interesting insight came in my years of counseling. This doctor talked about "the dignity of depression." I could hardly believe my ears, and asked him about it many times. He suggested that a person who can feel deep depression (pain) also has the capacity to feel great joy. The depression is a measure of passion, and passion is good! If you can have negative passion, you can also have positive passion. On the other hand, some people who seem to be "okay" really have very little passion, either way. They don't feel deeply sad or very, very happy... they just go along, with a narrow range of feeling. He spoke about the dignity of having great passion. I could hardly believe him, but I've come to know it's true.
I can honestly say that if the choice is between going through life semi-numb emotionally or having depression as well as great passion, I will take passion any day.


Anonymous said...

my google-fu is failing me...what is TDO?

Congrats on finding a better suited therapist/psychiatrist. It's really hard to find a good fit-harder still when you realize it's not me-it's you...lol.

Julián said...

Apareces muy guapo en la foto Michael, besos, CIAO..