The Time Before Sanity: A Quest For The Great “A-Ha!”
Every now and then we have what is called an “A-ha!” moment. Or, if you want to use grown up words, an epiphany. They can be small, for instance, when you finally understand how to solve that gross math problem. It could also be major, when you are faced with a decision that could change your life. This is the story of how I found my “A-ha!” moment. I realized my overall purpose in life.
Last year could pretty much be called the worst year of my life. I had faced severe loss in just about every way possible. My world was ripped out from underneath me, but it was within losing it all that I began to learn about myself.
My morning routine in St. Vincent’s Behavioral Health Center went something like this, I’d greet every patient I saw at the med counter, ask them how they were, smile and tell each one I was proud of them and how well they were doing. I dealt with my problems by giving everyone else support, support I didn’t have. support I, myself, craved.
Many of my nights were spent walking up and down the halls for hours talking with patients that couldn’t sleep. Sitting in the back lounge attempting a guided meditation, stretching and doing yoga.
Suddenly in a moment a thought struck me as I layed down on the cold, tiled floor, staring up at the clouds through the skylight. I didn’t want to be the “patient” anymore. My life hadn’t been easy, but I was given a gift. I had learned skills necessary to overcome my obstacles with full self awareness. I had been exposed to a variety of difficult experiences, I could relate in one degree or another to others who were struggling through the same issues. I returned back home determined to conquer my demons and not let anything stand in the way of becoming the person I wanted to be.
I exposed my hardest battle in an article written in last semester’s Horizons. I brought my entire self into question so I could try to understand why I had done the things that landed me in an inpatient facility for the second time in my life.
After the article ran, I spoke with Professor Coba-Loh, my abnormal psychology professor. I told her about how much I wanted to get involved, to help others as a mental health care worker or counselor. She pulled out a pamphlet on the Behavioral Healthcare program and saw that I already had most of the classes to complete it. She explained that it would give me a special insight if I chose that particular field. So, this semester I have started taking the classes I will need to get that certificate. It has been a blessing, teaching me more about myself. I’m gaining my confidence, I’m sure I have chosen the right field.
The dreadful path I had taken has led me to fully understand my purpose. I had recently met up with a friend of mine from those days in the hospital. He looked me over as we walked passed Housatonic and said, “Dude, all of these things didn’t just happen for no reason. You were born to be a therapist.” I just smiled, shrugged, replying, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”