One of the most gratifying things is to check in with last year's Life is Sweet bloggers to see how things can change in a year. So lovely to have Marilyn back once again after last year's post on Discovering Her True Self to talk about what's been working for her in her journey to healing.
Last year for the Life Is Sweet project, I wrote about the problems I encountered with treatment options when I was misdiagnosed. I was very confused and because of my “label”, so were all the alternative folks I sought help from. I had lost all sense of my identity and became an over medicated, middle-aged woman, forced into early retirement. So, I embarked on the search to discover my “true self”.
A new family doctor who helped me reduce my meds in order that I might think clearly was the first step. As I was a recovering alcoholic, part of my program was to find a “power greater than myself” who could restore me to sanity (Direct quote from 12-Step literature) Recovery Meetings helped for awhile but there was always the stigma of mental illness and I was not readily accepted.
I stopped going to Meetings and also stopped going to psychotherapy, after the Counsellor indicated that God would only help…”if you buy into that crap”. His time with me was also interrupting his nap as he fell asleep on a number of occasions during our sessions.
I had read a book by a well known female tele-evangelist on the spiritual approach to weight loss (made necessary by the side effects of the meds) and in it she suggested a loving church family for support and encouragement. While I considered that I started to read the Bible. From that it became apparent that my biggest problem was FEAR…..unwarranted FEAR.
Each time I traveled the bus from my home, I passed a church of the denomination of my childhood. One day I noticed the sign said the service was at 11a.m. on Sundays. So, the next week…there I was.Here were 200 or so of the most caring people I had ever come across and I was welcomed at once!
There were many difficult moments as I set out to “grow-up” in their midst but when I tried to push them away because of old fears, they hugged me closer. They spent time talking to me, they included me in all the social gatherings and some things that were being held that I couldn’t afford ended up being paid for me. Was I spoiled? A little but was I busy working on church committees to give back? You bet I was !!
Today I have turned a life-time of rejection and disappointment into compassion and care for our most vulnerable folks. I help out at Sunday School and volunteer at the local nursing home on day a week. My confidence and esteem are all growing and I don’t need to hide my feelings with alcohol, food, shopping or whatever.I know my limits and how to pace myself. I learned how to draw close and when to let go. I learned not to be so serious and to stop pushing and pulling myself around to please others. Best of all, I learned to laugh. My inner critic is now also silent.
HEY…….I think I’m getting well !!!