From the November 2010 magazine.

Drama Queen

Her struggle to live moment to moment continues

I AM one of those people who have lived under the assumption that only "big" and unusual events define one's life. One might say that I have a flair for the dramatic. Others have simply called me a "drama queen." And, truth be told, I have had a number of those unusual or profound life-changing experiences, such as growing up adjacent to one of the largest slums in the Philippines, witnessing as friends of my parents were arrested for questioning the justice of a dictatorship, hitchhiking through war-torn Guatemala the summer I graduated from college, getting married after a whirlwind romance, giving birth, getting divorced, being present at the death of my beloved grandmother, descending into the hell of addiction, and miraculously living through it to enter recovery.

These events, and others like them, did indeed help define who I am today, and I love telling stories about my adventures and the "earthmoving" realizations I came to during or immediately following them. However, the importance I have placed on having huge, unique, breathtaking encounters with life has caused me a great deal of pain. After all, life is simply not made up of one dramatic event after another, and my inability to see beyond that led to chronic depression.

-- MARY P.

Madison, Wis.

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