Q. I have been a very introverted person most of my life. I lived in my favorite books and avoided most social interactions. I was literally afraid of being around people. Since August of 2002 I have been fortunate to receive treatment from a psychiatrist, whose fees have been paid by the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. I have three visits left now.

I have been on antidepressant medication since August of 2002. It has had a minimal effect on me; I do not jump with joy every day, but I am more optimistic than I used to be. Colors are brighter. I feel more attached to my everyday “reality” than I did before. My primary obsession now is to determine what I need and want to do with the rest of my life. I need to know how and if I fit into the “big picture” of life. What is the most important task for me to accomplish?

I do not have a clear picture of who I am. I have spent so much time focused on what I thought other people were thinking about me and trying to make them happy. I avoided opportunities to develop my own sense of self. Before I started therapy I seldom experienced much joy in my life. I made myself miserable, and often, people around me. I seldom laughed. I can find joy now. I do have the ability to have fun and to laugh. I feel more a part of my life. I even participate in my life. I still have sadness, but that is just part of “life”. My mother always taught me to “take the good with the bad”. I can see the wisdom in that, now. I just want to know this: what is the purpose of my life?

A: Only you can find the answer to that question. Healthy people realize the importance of that question and then with great humility spend a lifetime seeking its answer. Your direction will slowly reveal itself and each day you will find new insight, no matter how small. The cumulative effect will be one of a happy, meaningful life. The key; HUMILITY. My best wishes upon your journey.