DEAR ABBY: Do you ever feel sometimes that your life is going backward instead of forward? In my early 20s, I had a life. I was engaged, going to college, hanging with my friends, loved my family, had standards for myself and goals in my life.
As I have gotten older, I feel like all I have is a graduate degree, a good job, my health, a truck that's paid for, and wonderful, generous parents for letting me once again live with them. (Another relationship gone bad.)
Somewhere along the way, I kept losing the things that mattered to me, that kept me together, that made me who I was. And now, here I am at 28, and if I died tomorrow the only people at my funeral would be my family and some co-workers.
I am lost and I can't seem to find my way back. I don't even recognize the girl in the mirror anymore. And the saddest thing is I am a licensed therapist, trying to help other people put their lives back together while I'm still searching for mine. Ironically, I'm amazed at what I do and have a deep-seated passion for it.
Abby, how do you get a life when you've lost the one you thought you were living in? -- AT SEA IN WISCONSIN
DEAR AT SEA: All of us have down days when we feel like we are going backward instead of forward. How can we appreciate a bowl of cherries if we don't encounter a few pits from time to time? Or a worm?
Being a licensed therapist (or an advice columnist, for that matter) is no guarantee that life isn't going to have its ups and downs. As human beings, we are as vulnerable to depression as the next person -- and people in the helping professions are not except.
If you want to figure out where you lost your way and how to get back on track, then your best bet is to find a colleague you can talk to. (Many therapists do this.) Accept that you need a dose of therapy and embrace it. You're in the perfect position to get the help you need, so stop procrastinating.