the myth of sanity, by martha stout

Underlying the various forms of heartrending pain and diverse complaints with which they come to therapy is the same fundamental question—Shall I choose to die, or shall I choose to live? They come to therapy to help themselves answer that question, and I will get nowhere if I try to answer the question for them, or even delay its consideration. The rest of therapy never begins for a survivor of trauma until that ruthlessly basic question has been answered.

And is there something that makes it okay in the end? Is there something that makes it worth it, being so tired, going through all this?

…viewed in cold objectivity, we are shell-shocked as an entire species.

The goal, put simply, is to enable oneself to live substantially in the present. The task is life-affirming, and also a kind and generous thing to do for the people one loves.

…nothing defines unified personhood so solidly as the courage of strong commitment to personal responsibility.

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