Transcript of 15th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Eliza Raven, Wednesday, July 2, 1997 at 10:00 am.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Eliza.
Ms. Raven: Hello, Doctor Balis. How are you?
Dr. Balis: I'm doing well. How are you?
Ms. Raven: As well as can be expected.
Dr. Balis: Is that so?
Ms. Raven: Yeah. That's so. I feel like I let everyone down. But beyond that, I'm okay.
Dr. Balis: Why do you feel that you let everyone down?
Ms. Raven: Doctor Balis, of all the stupid questions...
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Eliza. I'm just trying to understand your feelings.
Ms. Raven: It's okay. I know that. I'm just feeling like a smart-ass.
Dr. Balis: Ahh, I see.
Ms. Raven: Yeah, it's been an earthshaking couple of weeks, kind of. Really weird. I feel like some great big hand reached out and smacked me back into reality. I'm not saying that I'm going to hurdle right over the depression--both you and I know that recovery is not instantaneous. But I've decided to choose life.
Dr. Balis: I'm thrilled to hear it, Eliza.
Ms. Raven: Yeah, I have a plan.
Dr. Balis: Oh? What is it?
Ms. Raven: Well, only if you'll help me implement it.
Dr. Balis: Of course I'll help you. What does this plan entail?
Ms. Raven: I just want you to help me help myself--which is what you were doing before. But...well...I don't know. It's like I need you more now than ever before. I realized that I want the help. Not that I didn't want the help before...well, I don't know what I'm saying.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps you've realized how valuable therapy can be to you.
Ms. Raven: Yes. That's it. You're more valuable to me now. I know I need your help now as opposed to before, when I just wanted your help like an instant fix. Maybe now I realize it's something that we have to work on together.
Dr. Balis: I'm really pleased, Eliza.
Ms. Raven: I just want you to know that when I sliced myself, it wasn't because of your lack of trying. It was my lack of trying.
Dr. Balis: How did you not try, Eliza?
Ms. Raven: I didn't. I didn't care about the medication, I didn't care about the sessions, and I didn't try to work on my problems. I just kept everything in and focused on the symptoms and not the cause, until the cause consumed me like a cancer and nearly killed me. Brilliant. Sheer genius on my part. Aw, screw. You see?
Dr. Balis: I understand.
Ms. Raven: I was hoping somebody did.
Dr. Balis: Are you ready now to work towards your health?
Ms. Raven: I'm going to try. I can't say that I'm going to be a raving success, but maybe I'll be able to shine for a moment or two. Sound fair?
Dr. Balis: That sounds really good, Eliza. What made you change your mind?
Ms. Raven: You mean about suicide? Like I said, it was a really freaky week. First, there was running into Peter in the hospital.
Dr. Balis: Really?
Ms. Raven: Yeah, it was weird. I couldn't help but feel this overwhelming sense of complete failure. I mean, there he was weak and vulnerable and shocked half to death when he saw my wrists. And he looked hurt. Like I didn't care enough about him. I don't think either of us were taking very good care of ourselves. I suppose the double shock was enough to jolt us--if only slightly--back into the real world where we need each other very much. Even if he doesn't need me as a lover, or girlfriend or whatever, he still needs me spiritually. And maybe, I need him to teach me, and to help me grow, and to learn from. I would be happy to have him as my lover. In fact, I'd be overjoyed. But I don't think it's ever going to happen. At least not until he comes out of the clouds and sees the beauty in the mundane world. I think I woke up when I saw him there.
Dr. Balis: I see. Did anything else happen these past two weeks?
Ms. Raven: Most recently, I saw my grandparents.
Dr. Balis: Good.
Ms. Raven: Granny was very upset with me. Damn, I failed everyone. But she said that whatever is gnawing at me must be stopped. I told her about the unnamed pain, and she took it upon herself to have an emergency coven gathering--all thirteen of them--along with all of my solitary pagan friends. I got to meet Letitia and Mordred in person. It was exciting and scary. I'm amazed that the hospital let me do this.
Dr. Balis: I told them it was okay.
Ms. Raven: I should have known you had something to do with that--they gave me no trouble.
Dr. Balis: I thought it would be good have your grandparents involved. So please tell me about the gathering.
Ms. Raven: We all cast the SpiderWeb for me together, infusing it with so much more power. It was the most powerful experience I had ever felt. All of these people that love me were standing in a circle, raising all of this power, and giving it to me, and weaving the web with me. I have never felt stronger. I actually felt divinity. And that's something that I've not felt for a was pure magic, Doctor Balis. I'm sure you don't understand, so let me just say that it was awesome.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad it was such a positive experience for you.
Ms. Raven: And it was great meeting Letitia and Mordred in the flesh. Astounding and wonderful. Letitia was all that I've assumed she would be. And Mordred cried when he saw me. A lot of people have been doing that--crying, I mean. I wonder why? Anyhow, he gave me this little blurb he calls "Inspirational." Can I read it?
Dr. Balis: Certainly.
Ms. Raven: Okay, I need to tell you the background story first. Okay?
Dr. Balis: Go ahead. I'm listening.
Ms. Raven: All right. There was this guy--Jerry. And the one thing that Jerry was always noticed for was his attitude. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he'd reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Raven: Jerry had a job as a head waiter. He was a unique manager, because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. And the reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Dr. Balis: I agree, that could make Jerry a better manager.
Ms. Raven: There's more, Doctor Balis. So this one guy was curious and went up to Jerry and asked him how he could be so positive all the time. I mean, even Jerry must have a bad day once in a while, right?
Dr. Balis: And?
Ms. Raven: So Jerry's reply was the "Inspirational" that Mordred gave me. I'll read it to you now: "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, 'Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim, or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining, or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life. Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or a bad mood. The bottom line: it's your choice how you live life."
Dr. Balis: Very interesting...
Ms. Raven: That's not all.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Raven: There's the rest of Jerry's story. One night, Jerry did something you're never supposed to do in a restaurant business--he left the back door open. He was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.
Dr. Balis: What a horrible story.
Ms. Raven: Don't worry, Doctor Balis, it has a good ending. The same guy sees Jerry six months after the accident and asks him how he was. Jerry replies, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Want to see my scars?" This guy doesn't want to see Jerry's scars, but he does want to know what had gone through Jerry's mind as the robbery took place. And Jerry said, "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door. Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live. The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes I read, 'He's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action."
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Raven: There was a big burly nurse that shouted questions at Jerry. Stuff like: "Do you have any allergies?" And Jerry replied: "Yes." The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for Jerry to speak. Jerry took a deep breath and yelled: "Bullets!" Everyone in the emergency room laughed, and Jerry told them: "I'm choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead." Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. It's a good story, don't you think, Doctor Balis?
Dr. Balis: Yes, it is. And it looks like it made a big impression on you. Your friend Mordred is a very insightful man.
Ms. Raven: He's not a man, Doctor Balis. He's a little boy. He's only ten years old. But this was so powerful to me. He gave me this gift. I chose to run with it.
Dr. Balis: I'm very glad. I have a feeling that you're on your way to recovery. How do you feel?
Ms. Raven: Like I took the biggest plunge ever. It's exciting and scary, but it's so worth it.
Dr. Balis: That's great. I've been thinking a lot about you lately, and I took the liberty of running off copies of a book that I think will be especially useful to you right now. I'm only giving you chapters one and two for now.
Ms. Raven: Like a reading assignment. Hey, that's cool. Homework. I never thought I would look forward to it.
Dr. Balis: It's called "Rapid Relief from Emotional Distress." I really think you could benefit from it.
Ms. Raven: That's awesome. I'll get right on it.
Dr. Balis: Well, it looks like we're about out of time.
Ms. Raven: As usual.
Dr. Balis: I'll see you here next week, okay?
Ms. Raven: Sure thing.
Dr. Balis: Okay, then. Goodbye, Eliza.
Ms. Raven: Goodbye, Doctor Balis.
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