Most of you know that I am a speaker and also write books, columns, and more recently, screenplays. All exciting. All definitely my passion. All pretty understandable.
Yet many folks don’t know that I take private consultations with clients, nor do they know what that means exactly, since I’m neither a therapist nor a life coach.
I like to explain it this way … if you were an alcoholic and finally realized that you needed help, that you couldn’t do it alone, and that you wanted to discover the secrets to great non-addictive health, you’d probably go to Alcoholics Anonymous or some other program, right? And in that program you’d expect to find and learn from leaders who had lived through the exact darkness that you’re facing … yet somehow they managed to find their way out. And now they are living lives filled with hope, health, and peace. Just like the life you seek.
You’d not expect your AA group to be led by a therapist with a PhD who had learned about alcoholism by reading a book and studying alcohol, would you? You want to connect with someone who really understands … who knows exactly what you’re feeling … who can empathize with your pain at the same time that they know how to cheerlead you to get you out of your depths of despair as well.
Well, that’s what I do for my clients. Here’s a letter from a new client, in her first communication with me … The pain in her voice is deafening.
I was in a relationship lasting 3 years that left me drained, depressed, and even now, two years after it ended and despite having moved from one country to the other to escape the ghosts, I am still unable to feel joy or any sense of achievement. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. The mornings start in tears and I stuff it all in to face the day and to keep my kids from having the burden of an unhappy mother. I had 18 months of counseling and have read everything I can get my hands on, but the pain is there still and I find myself just wanting the next 40 years to pass so I don’t have to endure life anymore. I know I am fortunate; I have amazing kids, a good job, caring friends, health, and a loving family but still I feel no joy and fill my days with work or other things just so I don’t have to think and feel the pain so much. Can you help?
Brenda is stuck. She doesn’t see the light of day. She’s letting someone from her past still run her life. She has let others determine the value of her life and sadly enough, when those others leave, her value leaves with them.
What do I do? I help Brenda see those concepts from a survivor’s viewpoint. I know her pain first-hand. I know the feelings of depression, anger, frustration, emptiness, and all the rest. And we work together to get her to see just how valuable she truly is through some tools I have in my arsenal which simply seem to turn the light bulb on for some, when traditional therapy and therapists who are pretty comfy asking Brenda, "So how do you feel about that?" have still left her plenty angry yet stuck.
Yet, here’s feedback from one of my other clients, who has moved past the victim stage and on to becoming a survivor. See the difference in the tone, the attitude, and the energy…
I see now that the incredibly difficult experience I lived through was truly the catalyst for helping me become a whole, complete, enriched person who has love and empathy to share with others. I now have a passion to encourage other women, (as a mentor and as a leader of a women’s spiritual growth group) that was not present in my former life. My frustrating situation may have ignited the fire that brought me pain and ashes; but I proudly rose up into my new life to help others — a true rebirth! I hope that the women (and men) that you help can see light at the end of the tunnel like I do - a light that is much brighter and more welcoming than ever before!
If you find yourself in Brenda’s position, whether it be a difficult relationship, an addiction, depression, or some other pain – seek help. No one has to live like that. And if you’ve sought traditional therapy and have found that it’s not getting you the relief and results that you seek, then look farther.
Your emotional health is priceless; to you and your loved ones.
Mary Jo Fay is a speaker, screenwriter, and award-winning author of 3 relationship books, including When Your Perfect Partner Goes Perfectly Wrong. She can be reached through her website at www.OutOfTheBoxx.com or by phone at 303-841-7691.