I wasn't the "real me" for forty years. The person that people saw was something of an act. During my lifetime, I had some lovely people try to connect with me on a meaningful level, but I rebuffed them and kept my distance.
I was hiding something ugly. Since I didn't understand it, I couldn't hope that anyone else could understand it either, so I kept up my defenses. I didn't want to, but felt like I had to.
I'm reminded of Ecclesiastes 3.1: "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:A
time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,"
An illness which spans four decades can have a significant impact on the seasons of life. It was painful to watch the time pass, knowing my seasons were changing and
my purpose was going unfulfilled.