Marry YourSelf First: Depression, Addiction, Divorce…
I had a client say something very interesting to me last week…
she suggested that because I was a mental health counselor, I,
therefore, have minimal issues or challenges in my life.
Ha! I wish!
I shy away from sharing much of my personal story with my clients,
as that is all part of having, and demonstrating, healthy boundaries.
But I felt inclined to share the following with her…and now, with you…
I shared with her my early life challenges with addiction to drugs and alcohol,
the three drug-related arrests by age 18, my 18 months of treatment,
and the “mac-daddy”, the relapse with cocaine and methamphetamine.
Then my spiritual awakening at 29 after over 40 different jobs,
my marriage, my “calling” to go to college and become a therapist,
my being “THE” self-proclaimed relationship expert,
followed by the next breakdown: The divorce!
Then the fall into depression and the battle with it over the
next 15+ years.
I shared this all with her to convey one message: Yes…
I’m human too and I’m NOT beyond any set of circumstances
that occur with my clients…or anyone else, for that matter.
BUT…through all those trials and tribulations,
I have learned valuable lessons…many of them.
I’d like to share a few of them with you now…
Everything passes…Sunshine always follows the cloudiest of days.
I choose to focus on the future sunshine, not the past clouds.
I have a choice of my attitude regardless of outside circumstances.
I choose the positive, hopeful and optimistic path.
The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity.
I look for opportunities.
The more uncomfortable something is, the more I can grow from it.
I commit to growth.
I’m either living or I’m dying…there is no neutral.
I choose living every time.
And the biggest and more wonderful lesson is this:
No matter how far down or how hard I might fall, I can always
get back up and it doesn’t have to be pretty.
And with each fall or stumble or fumble, I learn something
that I’ll inevitability be able to pass on to someone else or,
better yet, because of my poor choices or bad experiences,
I now have an empathy with another who has a similar
challenge and that empathy, that connection,
has tremendous healing power.
Yes…I can turn every bad, negative, hurtful wound inside-out
and grow a garden…after all, manure is great fertilizer!
These are sacred wounds and I am the wounded healer…
and for that I have no shame.
Rather, I have gratitude that I am able today to have the ability
to connect, help and heal others because of all my varied
The good…the bad…the ugly…and the beautiful.
And the same goes for you….