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To Be Alive

Jill was 43 years old. “My life has been a fake”, she announced. Jill described herself as an imposter, filled with self-loathing.

She had no friends.

“Give me some meds, Doc, please.”


But, in my mind, psych meds simply were not warranted for Jill. Instead, I took out my script pad and wrote:

“Share three personal things with a peer that you trust.”


“Oh, no!”, she responded as she walked out of the office, “I could never do that.”


——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——-


We all crave connection. That is how we are wired. The problem is that to truly connect with others, we have to allow ourselves to be seen. And that can be scary as anything.


When we have the courage to be imperfect, when we allow ourselves to be authentic, then relationships reach new heights. To be vulnerable means you are alive.


——- —— ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——


Jill never returned to my office. Perhaps I made the wrong approach, pushed her too hard, scared her…?


…One year later, I saw Jill sitting with a group of friends at a park, her demeanor quite different, laughing and totally enjoying herself.


As a psychiatrist, I customarily do not initiate conversations with patients that I run into in public. But imagine my delight as I turned away and Jill suddenly ran over to me and whispered, “thank you”.

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