I made this water color painting of my night table 6/26/78, thirty-two years ago today. I was just beginning to emerge from the deepest darkness–a depressive state that I would never again experience. The chart taped to the wall represents one of my early therapy sessions with Lee, who led me out of this chaos and confusion. We were working on my relationship with my mother and father, and the arrows indicate good connections with them where I thought there were none. Lee was the first person I ever cried to about my stomach operation as an infant. I inherited the lamp from Krissie, a friend who saw me through a suicide attempt when I was twenty-two.
I share this painting and narrative today because it’s my friend Suzie’s birthday. Back in 1978 when I was so down, she invited me to move into a room in the flat she rented. She helped me begin a new chapter in my life, and I am forever grateful for her reaching out to me. A friend who embraces the whole you is one of the best antidotes to depression. In this painting, the lamp is in the center. I was finding illumination, the light inside myself. The clock is also at center. I guess it was time I woke up to my authenticity and vulnerability. Thank you, Suzie. Thank you, Lee. Thank you, Krissie.