June 5, 2020:

This period of adolescent onset began to fade when I met the right woman.

She's a year older than me. Beyond-genius brilliant. Beautiful, cultured, accomplished. She shared my interests in arts and introduced me to many which would become lifelong loves: Monty Python, The Who, Jackson Pollack, Thomas Pynchon. She took me exploring, got me high, wrote me letters, and the most important thing, the thing that truly mattered, was that she was kind to me. She was supportive, made me feel good about myself, so that slowly, over time, I found myself opening up about my true interests and my true identity with someone I both trusted and respected.

I had never spoken intimately with anyone before about things that mattered. Literature, music, art. A long time was necessary for trust to build, but, as it did, the fog began to slowly lift.

Her supportiveness created a context for recovery. Her willingness to listen was a substitute for talk therapy, while her unwavering reinforcement was really very similar to CBT. I didn't know what she saw in me, but I began to wonder if maybe I should. Little by little I came to suspect there could be a direction for me to follow, and started to think about how to achieve that.

This isn't hyperbole. It was the loving intervention of one strong individual which pulled me up onto my feet. That someone so sophisticated and brilliant found me worthwhile led me to think of myself as worthwhile. That was the beginning of recovery.