Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What a difference a decade makes -- part 2

I got my 2010 census form in the mail a few weeks ago. In 2000, I never filled it out. It looked too big -- intimidating. I was depressed, and I couldn't handle it. I couldn't handle brushing my teeth most days. So I broke the law and threw it out. Two months later I overdosed.

Today I sat down to complete the form, thinking it would take me a while. I had no idea it was so simple and quick -- for a single person. All I needed to note down was my name, sex, age, race, and whether I sometimes live somewhere else (I don't). The rest of the form is devoted to the up to 11 other persons living in the household. Since I live alone, I was done very quickly.

It got me thinking about other differences between 2000 and 2010. Sure, I heal a lot slower. I have knee and back injuries that pain me on the regular. The lines are deeper on my forehead; I've given up trying to manage my gray hair without dye. And I'm a good 35 pounds heavier.

But I also have a career and a serious boyfriend. Erev Pesach is my six-month anniversary with JV; we'll celebrate it at the seder we're making together. (Actually, I'll probably be the only one at the table who's celebrating it, but that's enough.) I'm praised at my job and given significant responsibility. And support, so that I can do my job effectively without developing an ulcer.

In short, 10 years ago I didn't believe I had a future, and that underlay my suicide attempt. Now I believe I do. And I got enough help -- from Albert Ellis and other cognitive-behavioral therapists -- to be able to cope and thrive. I guess another difference is that I have a much better psychiatrist, too, and I've found medications -- and supplements, like melatonin -- that seem to be helping me function.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. BRAVO! Thanks for posting this. You made my day. I remember very well how things were for you a decade ago. Nice to see perseverance pay off. I know you endured a lot! May you only go from strength to strength from now on.
    Chag Kasher V'Sameach.
    And please, let's find a way to get together next month!

  2. Are you around for Shabbat? JV and I will be here. We could hang out Shabbat afternoon.

  3. You've come a long way, baby :).

    Also, you were rail-thin back then. Much more robust and zaftig now. It's a good thing.

    Also, you were then, and you continue to be, now, an inspiring and exceptional model of perseverance and success. In case you didn't get the message, you're adored and admired by a lot of people, and we all wish you continued success and happiness.

    Lastly, I'm sorry I missed the needling. I had to visit the boys. But lord knows I could use the stress reduction, so maybe pencil me in for sometime after yomtov.


  4. This post really made me smile. Hope the next decade only gets better!