Part 1: Getting Started

doorI’m not a writer. I’d like to be, but as with so many other things in my life, I’ve shied away from experimenting with challenges I don’t feel I can do perfectly or respectably; I don’t care for discovering I’m not good at something. I’d rather leave it in limbo my entire life than find out I’m inadequate. But, here I am writing; I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable to potentially negative judgment. Why?

The answer, in part, is because I have found value in it. It turns out the benefit of overcoming fear has had profound results in my sense of well-being. But if you’re like me, overcoming fear requires some serious motivation. At some point in my life, the pain of not making needed changes became greater than the fear of making them. That’s when growth started to occur. It sounds simple enough perhaps but in reality, I had to reach a level of complete desperation; serious life-threatening, institutionalizing-type motivational pain.

So, I need to speak to you from my heart. That will mean I’ll need to write without reservation. Being honest will mean telling you things which may give you pause. You’ll have opportunities to “qualify out,” that is, you may be inclined to say, “I can’t identify with what he’s saying because I haven’t been to a psych ward for five days, or I haven’t lost my job, or I’m still married,” etc. In response, I’ll pass this one by you: If you are not interested in what I have to share, then there’s nothing anyone can say to make you stay. If you are interested in what I have to share, then there’s nothing anyone can say to make you leave.

There’s a wonderful quote I heard that gave me insight into my journey. It’s one of the quotes I hold up as a long term goal. It goes something like this: “The highest form of human intelligence is to observe oneself without judgment.”

Admittedly, that’s a long term goal and perhaps a little advanced for the beginning of our conversation. But it is, nonetheless, an important component of my recovery. It’s one of those moments when I realized that bringing out for review the long-held terms and conditions I’d tried to honor as the rules for my life, putting them out on the table for review, would prove to be incredibly valuable to understanding what I deemed important and where I had perhaps gone wrong. Displaying these rules openly would allow me to make some difficult decisions on what needed to be gotten rid of, what needed to be kept, and what needed to be revised or worked through.

So much of my journey is about healing. Healing for me has meant overcoming impossible constructs of fear, re-establishing relationships in real and honest ways, developing a sense of self-esteem, crying, accepting my flaws and respecting my efforts at improving myself, finding purpose, regularly dwelling in a place of contentment, and knowing I am exactly where I am supposed to be – writing a blog.

It occurs to me now that I want to restate one of my main goals for writing: I want to appeal to those who are suffering, perhaps desperately suffering and in pain. When I first began the process of recovery, I was deeply depressed and suffering enormously. I had reached a point where I just wanted to die, in part because the thought of ending my life was the only form of “relief” I could muster. I would have given anything to find even a glimmer of hope; just a few minutes of of relief. I would have loved to have found someone out there who could understand the pain I felt and somehow attempt to validate me and perhaps allow me to think there was a way out. That is why I write this blog – to let you know I have been there and I know with excruciating detail how you feel. I am here to tell you I found my way out, and I am honored to be able to share it with you. I’ve helped others find their path and there is good reason to believe there is value in this experience I share with you now.

Humbly,

Tom

Continue to Part 2: The Wheels On The Bus Go Round

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