My login ID appears as HMcgill but everyone is invited to call me "Mac" or "Gilly." I started here at this just about a week ago and have benefited tremendously from the responses to my post on meaning, purpose and transcendence. I was in pretty desperate state when I logged-in. In fact, I was scared. My suicidal ideations reached the planning stage last summer I have known that a big part of my problem with life is not having any real friends. The only real friend or close friend hanged himself abou 23 years ago. Thinking of him, and how close we were, has had a very depressive effect upon me. As a counseling student now about half way through my master's program, I know how vital it is for every person to have a strong social support structure. We wither and die(at least emotionally) without meaningful relationships with others. Exacerbating this problem is that all my attempts to make connections with others at work, school, gym, churches and Bible studies have proven frustrating to say the very least. I pretty much gave up hope of ever having a relationship, just ONE, which could even come close to the brotherhood and affinity I had for my dead friend, Chris. After some school counselors suggested I get some counseling over this loss and my suicidal state of mind, which I cannot afford, I thought that perhaps some AA meeting would be good. As a former alcoholic, I thought at least these people and I have many things in common. The only problem is I mirculously lost the desire to drink on Mother's Day of 1998 or '99 and really don't care to discuss a struggle I no longer have and can't claim any credit in overcoming it. I had been a heavy daily drinker for 26 years and struggled mightily for about ten years with it so In know how hard it is, but the struggle to deal with all the crap with suddenly blossemed after 6 months of sobriety is where I am really at now. Drinking was actually a very effective coping mechanism for medicating my troubled emotional state; unfortuantely the price was too high. The other thing which kept from trying to connect with AA group members was that evening I was suicidally depressed and very tired. I thought of calling a suicide hotline but I get lousy cell reception at my home and wound up here instead. What was really getting me down was realizing that I had worked my ass off for years in several businesses and it all ended in ashes. Now I was afraid that I would crash and burn as a counselor. I had and have a solid argument for thinking so. Then, as I read responses to my initial post I noticed that many forum members complimented my writing. This has also occurred in school with some of my professors and even going back futher. In a flash, I realized that my favored medium of communication is through the written word and that counseling (talking with) people every day was not how I was made to work. So while helping people is still my goal, I am now convinced that daily client consultations is out and writing, perhaps teaching with a smattering of group and individual counseling will work best. A great pressure, the fear of yet another horrendous failure, has been lifted. Past failures have been stripped of their potency and are now just past events. Now that I more fully understand who and what I am, I have confidence instead of fear and loathing. If I am a machine which was designed to perform a certain function but have not been performing the function for which I was designed then any product I produce will be incomplete or faulty at best. If however, I produce precisely what I was designed by my Maker to produce then the product will be of high quality and I will feel that my life has value, meaning, and purpose. Also, since my actions are congruent with my nature, I have inner harmony, vitality, bouyancy and resilience. So, while the exact details of my future are still rather fuzzy, I have faith that when God makes a machine (person) for a certain reason and it operates (behaves) as designed then success, albeit with the normal everyday learning curve, is guaranteed. At least this is my hypothesis; "California or Bust" as they used to say. "They" also say "faith is only as good as the object in which place your faith." Godspeed to you all, Gilly Wiki: "Godspeed or God Speed comes from the Middle English expression "God spede (you)" or "God speed you on your way", a wish for success and fortune for one setting out on an enterprise, voyage, adventure, or travels. It may also mean good luck."