Sarah Protzman Howlett

Sarah Protzman Howlett

A Beautiful Mind

5280 | January 2012 | Visit the original article online

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I’m not sure I need to be here. At 29, I’m healthy, newly and blissfully married, and professionally satisfied. I’m thrilled to be living back in Colorado after a stint in New York City; I don’t have childhood trauma, financial problems, or addictions. Yet, at 8 on a sunny morning, here I am: in therapy.

For the past few months, I’ve felt funky. Initially, I justified my cloudy disposition: This is just an adjustment phase, I reasoned, a normal reaction to the transition of being new in town, with a new job and new partner. It’ll pass on its own. But by the time I made an appointment with Kelley Gray at Grace Counseling in Littleton, I’d begun to doubt myself: After all, I’d been working in my pj’s from a one-bedroom apartment all winter–sometimes going a whole day without seeing another human. In the evenings, I’d beat myself up for another unproductive day, and catastrophize things as small as oversteaming the broccoli we’d planned for dinner. Suddenly, I was a failure. At everything. Even though I “knew” that wasn’t true, I’d lost hold of my emotions. And while The Sound of Music always brings me to tears, vegetables usually don’t. Maybe this melancholy was something to worry about.