The lyrics to an old Beatles song have been dancing around in my head lately:
– – –
When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four
– – –
Sixty-four! That sounds OLD, doesn’t it? Especially for someone whose generational mantra was “Never trust anyone over thirty”!
Like everyone else on this planet, I started out as a very young person. I was little, and I could not wait to be big. The years passed slowly by, and I slowly grew, and then YAY!! I was all grown up, a bona fide adult. I had finally ARRIVED!!
But the years did not stop going by. Indeed, they started going by faster, and faster, and faster still, until sometimes I feel like I’m in a speeding truck, careening down a mountainside with no brakes.
Now, my sixty-fourth birthday is just around the corner. And I’m thinking: “Huh? How did this happen?” I really did not expect to get this old, this fast!
On the inside, I don’t feel any older than I felt when I was in my twenties. Wiser, for sure, and definitely a lot more experienced, but not older. And yet, I have a granddaughter who recently turned twenty-five. (I text-chatted with her recently, and she is doing very well in her Harvard graduate program. Hey, it’s a grandmother’s right to brag, lol!)
For me, the good news about being almost sixty-four is that I am the happiest and the most peaceful that I have ever been in my entire life. This is largely due to the neurofeedback therapy I have been undergoing twice a week for the past three months, as treatment for my PTSD. (I am working on an in-depth post about my neurofeedback experience. To put it in a nutshell: Neurofeedback is AMAZING.)
We are all getting older, every single one of us, one day at a time. But regardless of how old we become, as long as we exist, we have choices. We have hope. Today, more than ever before, there are avenues of healing: healing for our minds, healing for our spirits, and healing for our physical bodies. We don’t have to stay stuck in our old, sick paradigms. The key is to never give up on yourself. Keep seeking, and eventually you will find the answers that you need.
Considering how very badly broken I was, both mentally and physically, by multiple extreme traumas that began in my early childhood and continued through my early adulthood — if I can be happy, healthy, and thriving now, at the age of (almost) sixty-four — there isn’t anyone alive who is hopeless!
I stopped a homeless man on the street a few days ago. He was walking along the sidewalk, ranting and shouting to himself. I offered him food and water, but he did not want anything. Then I offered to pray for him. I told him: “Many years ago, when I was a teenager, I had schizophrenia, but God healed me.”
The man stopped his verbal rant then, and really looked at me. “Was it bad?” he asked.
“It was very bad,” I told him. “I spent almost two years in a mental institution.”
Then the man carefully and gingerly reached across the sidewalk, and lightly touched my hand with the tip of his finger. I understood that for him, just making that tiny, very brief human contact, was huge.
Schizophrenia is considered one of the worst mental illnesses, and it is widely believed to be incurable. I have had many physicians and therapists tell me over the years that I must have been badly misdiagnosed when I was fourteen, because there is nothing schizophrenic about me.
But I know that for two years, beginning half a century ago, I did, indeed, have all the symptoms of schizophrenia. My mind had been completely shattered by the horror of extreme trauma, and I was no less broken than the homeless man I prayed for on Easter Sunday.
But by the time I was sixteen, my symptoms of schizophrenia were completely gone, and I was taken off of all psychotropic medications. Since then, I have had three children, worked for a major TV ministry for several years, gone through nursing school as class president, written and published a novel (under a different pen name), and in May 2000 I was on the Oprah Winfrey Show, featured in one of her inspirational “Remembering Your Spirit” segments.
Now I am (almost) sixty-four years old, and I am the happiest and healthiest that I have ever been in my entire life!
I know how badly broken I was, and I know how far I have come. This is why I believe, with all of my heart, that absolutely no one is hopeless. “Seek, and you shall find.” Our Creator God is real, and He loves us, and He really does answer prayer! I am living proof that this is true.
Kathy Boecher wrote a post earlier today about how getting older does not mean that we have to stop being productive. She is a few years older than me, and her perspective is very inspiring. I hope you will give her post a read: Leap of Faith
Thank you for stopping by, and God bless! Here is a big great-grandmother’s ((HUG)) if you want one. At the advice of my neurofeedback therapist, I am keeping comments closed for now. Plus I still have a memoir to finish… Lord willing. 🙂
PS: My neurofeedback therapist agrees that I do not have any degree of schizophrenia. However, on my baseline eeg, he found plenty of evidence of developmental trauma, plus evidence of head injuries. He was exactly right: I have been knocked unconscious four times in my life, three of which were due to abuse. But neurofeedback is “rewiring” my abused, traumatized, “elderly” brain!
Neurofeedback is effective for all kinds of brain issues. The therapist told me that he has treated four diagnosed schizophrenics so far, with neurofeedback therapy. “They don’t have schizophrenia any more,” he said.