Sometimes life just comes at you hard. In six years, Rose* lost her husband, her favorite sister (and best friend), and even her dog. And she’s only 65.
A native of Pittsburgh, Rose lived in Florida for more than 30 years. She wanted to be a dancer, and her husband was a successful jazz musician. When their daughter was born, life was complete.
These days, Rose struggles with depression. She is emotional, takes some medication, suffers from an unrelenting need to scratch her arms – and has also had her share of misfortune (including a recent fall in her apartment where nobody found her for more than two days).
After Rose’s husband died of Alzheimer’s at age 54, she returned to Pittsburgh to be near other family. Then, less than a year ago she lost her sister to cancer. In fact Rose has survived cancer herself.
So you might not wonder why Rose sought counseling.
The wonder is that despite it all, Rose is active, social and has a great sense of humor. At the senior hi-rise where she lives she is on the social committee. They deal with everything from advocating for more cameras to discourage drug dealers, to beautification. She knows all her neighbors, is involved with politics and has a cat.
At counseling she gets to talk about the loss of her sister; the rest of her family don’t mention her name. She gets suggestions about how to cope with the sad days, and her therapist says she resolutely follows through. She is starting to remember a wonderful husband and sister, not just their absence. She likes that her therapist is so “down to earth.”
Therapeutic counseling exists to help people navigate their changes and challenges. There is no required level of “mental illness,” just the desire to come to terms with events, health, family – life – as best you can.
Rose came to be listened to and shown a way forward. People need different kinds of help to keep going, and keep growing.
Everyone deserves to live the best life possible, and sometimes it takes a trained professional to help sort it out. If you need help, please reach out: 412-521-3800.
*Name changed to protect confidentiality.