"I had disappeared from my life. I barely existed. Dr. Choy could have placed me in numerous boxes: burned out helping professional, adult child of an aging parent, mom of teenagers. If I had written my own chart it would have said, “Patient with a history of persistent depression and limited treatment results.” My hope in seeking treatment was “limited results” would be better than nothing and that my family deserved better.
Dr. Choy did not, however, settle for any neat little pigeonholes or my very low bar of “limited results” or bypassing the person before him for the sole benefit of my family. Instead, he listened, asked me unfathomable questions and did not dismiss my feelings or my past experiences. He helped me look at my abuse history with gave me unconditional support and encouragement.
I learned how to trust. I learned I do not have to struggle alone. I learned that my past traumas impacted my present day experience of reticence, fear, shame and overwhelm. I learned effective treatment changes everything from my brain circuitry to how I think, feel and experience my everyday life. I have begun to accept difficult things that happened, rather than ignore them and push myself to the breaking point. I can talk about my struggles rather than hunker down and isolate. Instead of powering through for the sake of everyone else’s needs and wants, I tolerate (almost) the question of what I want or need.
My depression has improved with medication and psychotherapy. Perhaps more importantly, underneath that dense layer of depression were unaddressed, neglected and ignored problems that flew below the radar. My past had both obfuscated attention deficit and created patterns of post-traumatic stress. Medications and psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation, and a supportive, safe space have been essential to my growth.
Dr. Choy created a place where I can work on my issues, and grieve complicated losses. I would like to say I got my life back or learned how to live again. In truth, I’m learning how to step into my own life for the first time. It had never occurred to me to look beyond survival towards growth and hope for the future."