When I first came to The Ecumenical Center, I was extremely isolated – and I’d been that way for a very long time. It was mainly from grieving and not being able to handle it.
This started all the way back when I was in Vietnam…you’re in combat, a man dies, they have a memorial service, that’s fifteen minutes, done and you’re back out in the field. No time to process or to reflect at the moment – and it never gets dealt with afterward, either. So for me it was 45, 50 years of really never handling any of that and carrying it all these years.
People at The Center helped me get to the root cause. They weren’t a bunch of psychiatrists simply handing pills out; I went through that at other places over the years and I don’t like it. The situation is very different at The Center. Their combination of counseling, the spiritual aspect, a little bit of technology…it all came together for me. It’s a very personal thing, too. I didn’t feel like a number like I had in the past. And it just feels good when you walk in the door.
Finding out what’s going on in my head and how I can deal with it – that doesn’t happen overnight. But from day one to three years later, there has been steady progress. They’ve given me the ability to handle things that come up on a daily basis, to go out and talk to people normally.
When I go there, I don’t have a bunch of people just looking at some medical problem. They’re looking at my heart, too. And my soul.