Friday, March 9, 2012

Healing Starts When You Know You Are Not Alone

The other day I was watching the interview of Paula Dean on the show, Oprah's Next Chapter.  Regardless of what others say, I love Paula Dean.  To me, she is an inspiration in life because she went through some very horrible moments in life and managed to make something of it.  Maybe her life isn't perfect to everyone, but in my mind, she comes across to me as a down home person who is genuine.  Please keep in mind that this blog post was written before the more recent news articles about her surfaced in the news.

On the show, Oprah was talking with Paula Dean and asked her a question about how she recovered from anxiety and agoraphobia.  I myself went through a time where I was afraid to go beyond the doors of my house.  It was miserable and difficult.  At times, I still want to hide, but now I try to stop that when it happens.  In many ways, I can really identify with Paula Dean.

As she began to answer the question, she said that she saw a show one day and I believe it was Phil Donahue.  On that show, the topic was agoraphobia.  Paula stated to Oprah that she realized for the first time in her life that she was not alone, and that is when she began to heal.

When we know we are not alone, it makes a world of difference to us.  I found that to be true the first time I attended a Voices In Action conference in Chicago back in 1998.  Meeting other survivors of child abuse gave me the realization that I was not alone.  Up until that point, it seemed like I was the only one.  Everything changed from this point forward and my own healing took off at tremendous speeds.

Sometimes all we need to know is we are not alone.  There are others out there that share a similar story and understand.  As humans, we want to know we are not walking through the fire alone and just that gentle hand of a fellow traveler can be enough to keep us walking.  It can be very frightening on the path of healing in life, but when you know there is someone out there to help if you stumble and fall, it can put a bounce to your step.

I'm seeing first hand in a multitude of ways that the little things I do in life become major moments of strength to others.  In return, I draw much strength and growth from these things.  Yet, I know that just having someone there who understands, can change the course of another person's life.  When you know you are not alone, healing begins.  When you know you are not alone, the world changes before our eyes.

Something I wrote many years ago when I was dealing with a lot of this fear is a piece called "Interview With Fear".  It is a lighthearted attempt to get us to think more about fear.  To read this previous blog post, click this link.

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