You just never know...
While I was driving home from my office in Ramat Bet Shemesh tonight, my phone rang from an unidentified number.
I couldn't get my headphones on fast enough and missed the call.
I almost never call people back unless they leave a message.
For some reason, which I cannot explain, I called the number right back.
I announced myself and said, "You just called me?"
"Yeah, hi," the unfamiliar male voice said, as if I should know who it was. "Thanks for calling me back."
"Who is this?" I asked cautiously, not wanting to insult the person.
"Do you remember (let's call him AJ) from a couple years ago?"
I recognized his name right away and his voice fell into my memory as a client I worked with about 3 years ago. I was never sure why he left therapy. He just decided not to come back one night and I never heard from him again. He was a serious, deep thinking, tortured young man who was afraid to deal with his deeper issues and, I guessed, got scared and ran away. I have thought of him often and wondered how he was doing…
"Of course I remember you AJ. How are you?"
"First I want to tell you that I don't know why I left therapy. It was a long time ago, and I always regretted not continuing. You helped me as much as you could. I always think about I how much you helped me and how I should have just stayed."
"Well, I'm glad to hear from you now. What are you up to these days?"
"I quit the job I was working at and am now in yeshiva. Nothing much, really."
"That's something," I answered.
"You always did that. you always made nothing into something."
I didn't know what to say? Was that a good thing…?
He went on to tell me that he needed the name of someone who can give pills for a friend. He wasn't sure what that person was called? "I thought of you and maybe you could help me. I hope it's ok that I called."
Firstly, I was impressed he still had my number.
Secondly, I was happy he felt comfortable to call after he had disappeared.
We spoke for awhile about what he was looking for and for whom and why.
Then he said he had another question.
"Was there a name for what I had when I saw you?"
After I clarified that he wanted to know so he could tell his friend (his girlfriend), I answered him:
"Well, if I remember correctly, you came to me right after you had a suicide attempt, or were talking about wanting to kill yourself. You were feeling pretty desperate. I'm not a diagnostician, but I would probably say you were depressed, or were struggling with depression. You weren't sleeping at night. You stayed up all night watching movies and slept most of the day. And you only watched meaningful moves or movies that had a message."
He was surprised that I remembered so much of his story.
I told him I think of him often and have really wondered how he was doing. He caught me up a little on his life now, and I assured him I would look for a psychiatrist for his friend. I asked him to give me a day and he should call me back tomorrow.
I hung up and looked up to the stars in the clear crisp dark sky.
And I said out loud to myself, "You just never know."