How You Cope With Losing Years of Your Life

Time’s the one thing we can’t buy or retrieve.

Felicia C. Sullivan
5 min readMar 2


Photo by Marina Pechnikova:

“You had the kind of childhood most don’t recover from and…”

And?” I think about the hour commute I make every two weeks and wonder if we can do this over video. My therapist seems to think that won’t work because I’m better at hiding my emotions with physical distance. So, here we are.

“And here you are.”

“And here I am,”I pan around the small office in a non-descript building in Century City, gesturing to the boxes of tissues and degrees hanging on the wall. The laptop that sits idle. The building blocks in an open cabinet because my therapist works with kids. Works with all kinds.

I’m 47, a woman nearing her best-by date, and here I am running circles around old terrain. Like crows hovering in the sky, above the dead. But the good news is we’ve established breakthroughs, that, while seemingly obvious (making me wonder if I’m spending money just to hear a professional confirm I’m on the spectrum because I’m possibly, mildly, self-absorbed), airs new life into old bones.

I write a lot about what’s been stolen from me — my childhood, a greater part of my thirties. Some as a result of that which I couldn’t control and some of which I dove willingly into. And I’m realizing it’s not the resentment of my mother or the sociopathic ex-boss everyone seems to have forgiven, it’s the resentment of losing time.

If given the chance, I wouldn’t want a childhood do-over because I find childhood tedious, but it’s the loss of hours, days, months, and years I can’t seem to shake.

A child’s recognition that she will always have fewer years ahead than what she’s left behind. An adult’s realization of this frightening reality.

Credit: Hulu

A few weeks ago, I watched the three-part documentary, Stolen Youth. It’s probably one of the more chilling films I’ve seen, and know this is coming from someone who is desensitized. I’ve seen the junk-sick and the dead with their eight-ball hemorrhages since I was five. I don’t squirm while watching…



Felicia C. Sullivan

Marketing Exec/Author. I build brands & tell stories. Hire me: My Substack: Brand & Content eBooks: