4 hours ago
4 hours ago
It was March 20th, 1976. It was about two o'clock in the morning. It was really, really horrifically cold and we were still counting our cold and Fahrenheit Back then, it was that kind of weird foggy, you get in the middle of winter, painfully cold, even the fog feels frozen on your skin. It was now Saturday morning
Asleep at home, just after midnight, the phone rang. It was someone we knew. He'd been picked up by the police for drinking and driving. There was a time, I guess an awful lot of people drove drunk. How long ago you asked? Well, in fact, that was 47 years ago. My research told me it was a leap year. I doubt I knew then that it was a leap here or if that actually mattered.
I ran into someone a couple of weeks ago at an event. someone local, who had an accident about nine months ago, and she was horrifically banged up in the accident. It caused her some hearing loss. It caused her to have heart issues. She took a brutal the brunt of the steering wheel and suffered as very serious concussion
There's an awful lot more things obviously going on, but concussion is a very strange beast in of itself. And she and I spoke at a luncheon where I was simply inquiring how she was having gone through some of the things she'd gone through. I wanted to offer some suggestions for tools that may be something she was already smart enough to be doing.
And some things that I learned very late in life were important, but I didn't get to them for some time. She wrote a post a few days later in response to some good news. I was incredibly touched in that rshe reached out and talked about me, but that's not what prompted this anniversary article.
It was what she had said about herself along with the good news she could now hike and bike again. And the article came about because in talking about the accident and her reflections after our talk and her good news, she stated that she wasn't any longer going to talk about it. The person “she used to be”, that person had been left back at the accident site.
And that information that those powerful words on that page hit me like a sledge.
You know, I hadn't realized that for all these years. I too lamented and referred to and daydreamed about the person “I used to be”.
And it took me 39 years to even openly deal with my accident, 39 years to start the process to open up to the forgiveness that had to be given all around. In so during I realized that it was really important that I too leave that 20 year old me at the accident site and in my case, she will be in good hands.
And that piece of the store is for another time
Yet, as I sit here retelling the story from the perspective of this anniversary, I can't help but smile at all the changes and all. . Oh, incredible. Happenings mostly in the last decade that have come from decades before where I thought I was just stalled in life, and yet I was doing self investigation. I was researching what had happened, and very, very slowly I was rebuilding this puzzle of my life, this new life.
And the interesting thing is, and I think I said early on here that I'd have to go back. I'd have to go back a lot farther than that accident because this last week where I've really looked deeply into what my friend said about her accident and where she's now going, and where I stand on this precipice, I realized.
In each of those moments of trauma, those difficult times in our lives when we're children, those sometimes material moments that send our entire access, spinning. And often put us so far off kilter. It can be hard to ever think of returning. And yet what I now see is it's not so much a matter of returning as once again reinventing.
You see, for decades I've known, the only way forward for me was to dust off, reassess and reinvent and, and go on as this new form that I only understood peripherally. I didn't realize that's new. .
Well, the whole new being, and the only thing I needed to bring with me were the skills that were beneficial and the lessons that I needed to continue to go forward. I didn't need to drag all the baggage of how it got here and what had happened, and the boohoo hoos, and the if only, and the yes as my friend.
Be as I used to be because in certain times of trauma there is now going back there never again will be a you as you used to be.
And coming to terms with that is almost like a little. It's like you, you put that version of you to rest, and I now know that we must do it lovingly with thanks for the good things learned for the skills we can bring forward and. , understanding and forgiveness for the things that weren't so good for the mistakes made for the things that we perhaps wish were not, and yet why we go forward with positivity and empathy and kindness.
In embracing this new you, we are in fact increasing or increasingly becoming that better you. That's at the core of all the layers that make up you and me, and that's incredible. And the more I thought about it and the more I documented in my head the times, the trials, the, the trauma that led to a, a reinvention, a restart, if you will.
The more I understood. that often those lessons were meant to give us enough of an understanding that we could have empathy for those who may have to fall into that trauma, go through that difficulty, that illness, that devastation.
And if we, you know, build a toolbox of those skills and bring those forward, even as we lay our old selves, our used to be cells to rest at their appropriate resting. , we are enriched by what they gave us and what an incredible gift that is to be able to have some hindsight and as much as there is no going.
There should no longer be a feeling of needing to go back, of needing to be who you used to be and there comes a joy from understanding that this new you going forward is a better. Is a version with more skills, more empathy, more kindness, more concern for our fellow humans, and more ability to serve those around us and do it in a way that is most beneficial to all, including ourselves.
Because what is it they say? You can't pour from an empty cup and like gently laying each of our used to be cells to rest. We are filling our cup with all the good things from those pieces and taking them forward into our new. Then whether your life has one or two or 20 reinventions, those skills that you take forward can only benefit you when you use them well in service of others.
Then that can have many, many. And you can look different each and every time. But this is an incredible lesson to learn. And so with that lesson in mind,
I will recount the story On March 20th, 1976. From this perspective, now being able to view those that were a part of that tableau with me in a very different light.
7 days ago
7 days ago
Every Woman Counts An initiative in Support of The Royal Ottawa
Thursday evening was my first event as the face of the Suicide Zen Forgiveness Podcast. My quick intro includes - I am not only the host, I am some of the stories therein.
I only found out about the event on Monday at another #IWW event, with Sonya Shorey, Vice President of Marketing and Communications with Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards.
It was actually Michael Tremblay, the President and CEO who mentioned the event on Thursday March 9th, suggesting it would be of interest as it had to do with mental health and the Royal Ottawa's incredible initiatives.
I was told there was a special guest… More about that later
I am a weird mix of bravado and fear.. I am in many ways an introvert… regardless of what others say. I am not comfortable with small talk, and am all ways eager to get to the meat of any discussion.
Age and observation have finally tempered that somewhat! I am ok working a room, networking.
With an eidetic memory, it can be difficult for others when I approach with stories of conversations long past. It can be awkward too as I remember things promised as well as suggestions made. I have learned that it isn’t always comfortable to remind people of things they let fall through the cracks, or said in the moment with no thought for follow-through.
An example here: I ran into a guy in my thirties and said hello… quickly followed by.. “You won't remember me as I was only in your kindergarten class for 6 weeks!” Total blank stare on his part, with a hint of fear? Concern? Pity? LOL
His name was Peter Brady and he had a number of siblings, One of whom, a sister, Diane.. A couple of years older than he and I. She didn’t know me from a hole in the ground- her parents and the whole family went to church with my Gran and Aunt. I lived in Toronto during grade school. I spent summers with my Gran and Aunt here in Ottawa.
I attended Assumption church at least a few times a year. I thought Diane was always so well dressed, very on trend.
That little detour down memory lane, was a lead into the evening which started with me seeing folks I had not seen in years.. From about 4 or 5 years to almost 20 years in one case.
We all change over time, however, not often as drastically as I have changed over the last 3 years.
I no longer use a cane to assist me to walk, my hair is usually super straight and turquoise. Oh and I have dropped over 70 lbs, which it seems makes me somewhat unrecognizable on first glance. I seem to totally forget this when I go out now.
In my discomfort, wrapped in my lack of self-confidence, which is still one of the demons with which I wrestle, I often think I’m not very memorable, and this is part of my long term awkwardness, one of the mental challenges that has been an ongoing internal conversation for decades..
It wasn't lost on me that the event had to do with mental health services and the access for all women.
Back to the event…
It was created by Women for Mental Health at The Royal who said “The reception featured some of the fierce women championing the most important work in women's mental health care and research. Attendees learned how The Royal is working to serve the women in our community through customized care and access, and why it's so important.”
The surprise speaker was the honourary patron of The Royal, Margaret Trudeau, wife of past prime minister Pierre Trudeau and mother of Canada's current prime minister Justin Trudeau.
Margaret has been open and honest with her own mental health for a long long time. To this day she brings hope, inspiration, and change to the world of mental health. And has been at the forefront of much of the best in philanthropy here in Canada and abroad.
The other speakers ranged from peer helpers, now full time employees to the chair of Women for Mental Health, Katherine Cooligan.
Getting the information out about the podcast, and being able to further my cause to end the silence, stigma and shame surrounding suicide and extending to mental health in general was the fuel that fired me up to attend and participate in this event.
This was the first, as the face of Suicide Zen Forgiveness, and now that the ice is broken, its time to make some noise…
Ending the Silence, Stigma and Shame will be beneficial to all of us. Starting the conversation early with children, about their thoughts and the veracity of those thoughts, and arming them with tools like meditation and visualization to handle their myriad emotions, both big and small in ways that allow them to remain in a position of choice.
Choice in how we react is ours. Giving each person the tools to make each choice a little easier, in times of distress, anxiety, suicidal ideation or simply an overwhelm of any emotion is key to a healthier, happier future. That future begins with you.
Let’s provide the tools for the next generation to be open to discussing all their emotions. To be open to learning that thoughts are not always true and emotions are meant to flow and go.
I believe that it was a successful event, and I am open and choose to look forward to the next one…
Let’s choose to be silent no more #SilentNoMore
Tuesday Mar 07, 2023
Patrick Chester The Silent Addiction S4 E9
Tuesday Mar 07, 2023
Tuesday Mar 07, 2023
My guest, Patrick Chester is a 51 years old husband, and father of two boys. Patrick spent 15 years living in the darkness that is gambling addiction.
Patrick is a graduate of the University of Washington, who eventually went on to work for himself as a general contractor.
Patrick spent many years building a solid reputation, and was widely respected as a business owner and professional. He threw it all away as his sports gambling addiction took over his life. Everything took a back seat to his gambling addiction, including his own family. Patrick ended up over a million dollars in debt, suicidal, and ultimately sent off to jail for the crimes he committed to feed his addiction.
Patrick left jail in June of 2015 and has devoted his life ever since, to those that suffer in their own addiction. Gambling addiction lives in the shadows and it's hard to recognize, Patrick’s hope is to raise awareness and educate people about the dangers of gambling harms.
Currently working with Epic Risk Management, Patrick is traveling the country and educating student athletes about the consequences and risks when it comes to sports betting and gambling.
Patrick on YouTube
Tuesday Feb 28, 2023
Michele Bell the grief warrior talks Loss Awareness day petition 9/29 S4 E8
Tuesday Feb 28, 2023
Tuesday Feb 28, 2023
Michele Bell | The Grief Warrior®
"The creative world is as much a part of my life, and the mental wellness community equally so. My sacred tools bridge these two industries by transforming how we support artists." -Michele Bell
Michele is an award-winning screenplay writer, storyteller, and survivor. She is a recovering grieving mother with an extraordinary eye for truth and the wisdom of gifted DISCERNMENT. With her insight and agility, Michele has the power to cut through life's complexities with remarkable precision. Her innate wisdom enables her to identify what matters most — enabling you to gain an invaluable ally on your journey forward.
But Michele is so much more than just another healing mentor.
She is a true Renaissance woman who lives on a powerful spiritual path. Her connection to the energies of LifePath 11 and Heyoka Shamanism allows for profound insight into personal growth and healing, while Enneagram 2 helps nurture an unconditional love for others. Her life’s resumé is a lengthy one… especially if you count what she’s overcome and accomplished as a solo mom. Amongst her many lists of credentials, Michele counts her life experiences as the most noteworthy, as she calls them the CAT credentials:
Compassion. Authenticity. Trusting.
She has recently launched Caregiver 101 and The 7 Stages of Grief Alignment Books: EMBRACE PIVOT with PURPOSE companion workbooks on AMAZON.
With a human design as a 1.3 Manifesting Generator, Enneagram 2, Heyoka Empath, and Life Path 11, Michele is grounded in abundance to help you create peace with the past, joy in the present, and hope for the future.
As a young gifted child, she’s faced bullies, welcomed grief, and endured pain. But most importantly, at 57 years young, she’s risen above them. Michele turned her grief into grace, letting it propel her forward, never holding her back. She’s pivoted from pain to purpose and is ready to help her clients do the same.
Loss Awareness Day Petition https://chng.it/xtd2Ydxrcz
Tuesday Feb 21, 2023
Lois Koffi - Suicide Losses - Addiction- Recovery S 4 E7
Tuesday Feb 21, 2023
Tuesday Feb 21, 2023
Lois Koffi is a transformational speaker/ trainer/ coach/ Ironman Triathlete that has coached thousands of people in business and healthy lifestyles since the year 2000.
She has seen so so many people focus on the external DOING of goal setting, new year's resolutions and intention setting and realized that most of our success lies WITHIN.
She has had her own awakening journey of working through addictive behaviors, depression/anxiety and struggles as well as many victories and successes.
She is here for YOU to get to the ROOT CAUSE of your health and wealth limitations.
She helps guide you with love and compassion with mind/body/spirit fitness as a transformational coach using guided visualization and many other tools in her vast tool belt to get you to live the life you LOVE with superconscious creation.
She is also one of very very few 12 Week Year certified trainers in the world
She lives in Southern California with her family and hosts retreats with her beloved husband, Didier, who is a shaman. They use sacred shamanic tools as well to help guide and support those that are open to that path of deep dive shadow work and trauma release.
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Lois Koffi - Transformational Coach/12 Week Year Trainer | Microdosing coach for addictive behaviors & mind/body/spirit health
Tuesday Feb 14, 2023
Elaine Talks: Break the Cycle of Despair * AI * Wallowing S4 E6
Tuesday Feb 14, 2023
Tuesday Feb 14, 2023
Break the Cycle of Despair
Joan Baez--: “Action is the antidote to despair.”
So this is my taking action to break the Cycle of despair as I see it.. Within my own mind.
Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire about a result. Hm. Interesting. And, despair is defined as the lack of hope, or lack of such a feeling of expectation and desire about a result.
I want to understand and map a way out of despair.. It seems for some of us.. Despair and its opposite hope are the continuous rollercoaster of our lives.
At 16, when my friend took her own life, new years eve, 1971.. . It affected me in ways it took me decades to come to terms with… literally decades..
Not until 2013, when I was at a weekend workshop, I only attended to support a friend.. Did I actually give voice to my story… The right person asked the right question that opened the floodgates… To an extent..
Yes It was raw, real and probably really disjointed. However, there was very little emotion in that first telling.. Except in looking back I know the anger seeped through a bit in places…
Back to the despair/hope cycle -- or rollercoaster ride..
I really used to think I was the only one who felt this way… It’s kinda funny that the first thing people say about their situation is often that they are sure they are the only one who feels that way… Or has that quirk, or pain, or .. well whatever.. I didn’t have a name for it.. Would not have thought of either extreme as despair or hope to be honest.. I didn’t ever want to spend time in any emotion.. Emotion equaled pain therefor.. DO NOT FEEL any emotion and thus no pain.. Back then I was in physical pain 24/7 and did not have the tools to manage it and had no time, no interest or bandwidth to consider adding emotion to the mix.
It's important for me to note here that I now have a whole toolbox filled with meditations, mindfulness and visualizations that afford me the freedom from the cornucopia of drugs I used to ingest to try to get relief.
LOL I can hear the laughter, how naïve... How simplistic... How very one dimensional... or is that two dimensional?
So these are my thoughts after some interesting research… I started by asking ChatGPT AI … and I want to share what it offered.. Let’s see what you think..
Q What is despair?
The ChatGPT says-
Despair is a feeling of utter hopelessness and discouragement. It is a sense of being overwhelmed by negative emotions and a lack of confidence in one's ability to improve a situation. Despair can lead to feelings of sadness, depression, and even a loss of the will to live. It is often associated with difficult life events such as the loss of a loved one, financial problems, health problems, or relationship difficulties. However, it can also result from a more general sense of disillusionment with life, the world, or oneself. It is important to seek help if you are feeling overwhelmed by despair, as it can be a serious mental health issue that can impact one's quality of life.
Q How long does an emotion last
The length of time an emotion lasts can vary depending on a number of factors, including the intensity of the emotion, the individual's ability to regulate their emotions, and the events or circumstances that triggered the emotion.
Typically, emotions are experienced as intense and fleeting experiences, lasting anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. However, the after-effects of an emotion can persist and influence a person's thoughts and behaviors for much longer, sometimes even for days or weeks.
For example, after experiencing a traumatic event, a person may continue to feel anxious or depressed for an extended period of time. Similarly, intense emotions such as anger or grief can linger and continue to impact a person's thoughts and behaviors even after the initial emotional response has subsided.
It is important to note that while emotions are natural and normal experiences, if they persist and interfere with daily life, it may be a sign of a more serious mental health issue and professional help should be sought.
Q Can acknowledging your feelings change your brain?
Yes, acknowledging your feelings can change your brain. The process of recognizing and naming your emotions is known as emotion regulation, and it has been shown to have a positive impact on the brain and overall well-being.
When you acknowledge your feelings, you activate the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for executive functioning, including attention and decision making. This activation allows you to process and regulate your emotions, reducing their intensity and impact on your thoughts and behaviors.
In addition, by acknowledging and expressing your emotions, you can increase activity in the brain's "social cognition network," which helps you understand and respond to the emotions of others. This can help improve your relationships and social connections, which in turn can positively impact your mental health.
Overall, acknowledging and regulating your emotions can change the way your brain processes and responds to them, helping to improve your emotional well-being and overall quality of life.
Q What are some quick things you can do to help you ease out of despair?
Here are some things that might help ease feelings of despair:
Reach out for support: Talking to a friend, family member, or a mental health professional can provide a much-needed outlet for your feelings and can help you gain a different perspective on your situation.
Practice self-care: Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies. Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being can help boost your mood and reduce feelings of despair.
Focus on gratitude: Practice gratitude by writing down things you are thankful for in your life. Focusing on the good in your life can help shift your perspective and reduce feelings of hopelessness.
Connect with nature: Spending time in nature, whether it be through hiking, gardening, or simply taking a walk, has been shown to have a calming and restorative effect on the mind.
Engage in mindfulness: Practice mindfulness by focusing your attention on the present moment. Mindfulness meditation and yoga can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and promote feelings of calmness and well-being.
Seek professional help: If your feelings of despair persist and are affecting your daily life, consider seeking help from a mental health professional, who can provide you with personalized strategies for managing your emotions and overcoming despair.
Remember, it is important to be kind to yourself and seek help if needed. It is okay to not be okay, and reaching out for support is a sign of strength, not weakness.
I think the AI answers were pretty good. I think we are at a place now where we can more easily reach out and share with someone that all is not well with us.
I think it's important to make a point of talking about our feelings and emotions, our state of mind. I believe it is even more crucial to get yourself to feel each emotion. Emotions only last for about 90 seconds to a couple of minutes..
Really allowing yourself to be in the moment.. With all of the not so nice or fun ones too… This means despair as to me, it’s one of the worst.
So let's practice staying in touch with your internal self.
One of the most important things you can do is make a point of staying in touch with your feelings, your emotions..
When you find it all too much … rather than stuffing down the emotion and choking back your feelings.. Like I have said for years.. Sometimes you just have to wallow. Yep.. wallow.. Not for long, know that The fastest way out of emotional pain is through it.
If you close your eyes and have a quick nap.. When you wake up, in those first few seconds you can choose to think a positive thought.. Be grateful for one small thing..
The softness of the blanket over you… hearing a bird at your window… taking that next breath -any little thing you can choose to be grateful for will start to grow a new seed of hope… tell yourself you accept you as you are.. That is the first step to self-love .. which is the early sign post on the road to self-confidence. It’s all inside you… You can choose to start acting as if you were feeling better, take the time to smile at yourself in the mirror.
Did you know
When you let yourself wallow in your own feelings, particularly despair, you'll feel more comfortable around other people and their feelings. This can help you build bonds with others, and it can ease your loneliness.
Believe me.. It’s never too late to begin a new story for yourself. And we have the ability to rebuild ourselves all the time. The choice of how you react is always yours…
I’ll leave you with this Victor Frankl Quote: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”
Tuesday Feb 07, 2023
Earnest James Focus outside yourself S4 E5
Tuesday Feb 07, 2023
Tuesday Feb 07, 2023
Earnest R. James is a family man, father, and friend, with a heart for people. As a minister, mentor, and speaker, Earnest has dedicated his life to inspiring and uplifting others.
His mission is to help others deal, heal and fulfill. “Deal with your problems. Heal from your pain.Fulfill your purpose.” He spreads a message of hope and healing wherever he goes.
He believes that, “We must heal ourselves. When we heal ourselves, we heal our families. Our families healour communities. Our communities heal our world.”Earnest was raised in a two parent house hold, but recognized the effects of fatherlessness on his extended family and friends, who were being raised by single mothers.
Earnest is determined to heal families by helping fatherless mothers and daughters heal from their father wound with his Friend 2 Fatherless Daughters campaign and mentoring dads and sons with his M.A.N. U.P. (Men Activating Newly Untapped Potential) male mentoring program.
Earnest also is an advocate for education. After a few failures early in life, Earnest quickly rebounded to complete grammar school, finish high school in three years, and became a college graduate. Earnest is now an entrepreneur, business owner, minister, and speaker. Earnest believes “If you must fail, fail fast and fail first. That way you can rebound and rebuild your life. Then help others do the same.”
Earnest is an author, social media influencer, online course creator, and workshop instructor.Earnest has been a guest speaker on several podcasts, as well as hosting his own podcast, Deal to Heal with E. James Podcast. Earnest plans on sharing his message with as many people as will listen.Earnest can be contacted to speak at your event or to host a workshop by booking at www.dealhealfulfill.org .
He is also available to be a guest on your podcast or social media platform. Earnest is willing to aid, assist, and partner with likeminded people, who will help him carry out his purpose to help others to deal, heal, and fulfill.
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj4CU0HH0VJbSZr0DCDM83gFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/DealtohealTik Tok: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMRV8t6kdInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/deal2healpodcast/Tee- Shirts: https://deal-2-heal-tees.myshopify.com/flow.page/dealtohealwithejamespodcast
Tuesday Jan 31, 2023
Derick Fage TV Host TEDx Speaker S4 E4
Tuesday Jan 31, 2023
Tuesday Jan 31, 2023
Meet Derick Fage
Derick is the host of Daytime Ottawa on Rogers TV and you can often hear him on CityNews Ottawa discussing local, provincial and national issues. Over his 18-year television career, Derick has demonstrated an amazing ability to connect with people, young and old. Derick is authentic and isn’t afraid to be vulnerable, which is something guests and viewers have grown to appreciate over the years.
In 2012, Derick was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his community work and contributions to charitable organizations. He received this award well before going public with his personal struggle of living with chronic fecal incontinence since birth.Following his public admission, he accepted the role of ambassador for the Canadian Continence Foundation in the hopes of helping others who are living with any number of challenges. Derick is also the president of the foundation.
Derick has given inspirational and impactful talks, including his powerful TEDx Talk based on themes of; living with an invisible medical condition, bullying, living with mental illness, isolation, living life to its fullest, human connection, building meaningful relationships, the benefits of being authentic and the importance of being kind to one another.
Please View Derick's TEDx Talk on my Relentless Pursuit of Happiness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-B4gEktREc&t=50s
Host, Daytime Ottawa on Rogers TV
Media Personality, Host, MC, Professional Speaker, TEDx Speaker, Live Auctioneer
President and Ambassador, The Canadian Continence Foundation:
Tuesday Jan 24, 2023
Andy Grant Host Real Men Feel S4 E3
Tuesday Jan 24, 2023
Tuesday Jan 24, 2023
Andy Grant has been helping people for over a decade as a best-selling author, award-winning speaker, Transformational Energy Coach, Healer, suicide prevention activist, and host of the Real Men Feel podcast. He holds certificates in Positive Psychology, the Enwaken Coaching System, Akashic Records, Life Activation, and other leadership programs and energy work modalities.
Known as the King of Authenticity, Andy is the founder of Real Men Feel, a movement encouraging men to come out of the emotional closet. Andy has been producing and hosting the Real Men Feel podcast since February of 2016.
As a survivor of multiple suicide attempts, Andy knows how low we as human beings can feel, and he is committed to helping people realize how magnificent life is meant to be. His Amazon best-seller, Still Here: How to Succeed in Life After Failing at Suicide, has helped people around the globe and includes everything he wished he knew at a younger age. Andy is also a facilitator at MensGroup.com, a contributor at GoodMenProject.com, and an initiate of the Modern Mystery School.
Learn more at TheAndyGrant.com
Explore working together with a complimentary Clarity Call. You'll get clear on what you want, what's in your way, and what you can do about it. Visit TheAndyGrant.com/talk.
Connect with Andy on Facebook:
See all of Andy's books
Real Men Feel
Tuesday Jan 17, 2023
Katie Thornton MSW, LCSW Loss of her Father S4 E2
Tuesday Jan 17, 2023
Tuesday Jan 17, 2023
Katie Thornton MSW, LCSW
My guest is Katie Thornton, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and EMDR trained therapist, licensed in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Maine, North Dakota, Texas, Nevada, and Wyoming.
Katie has extensive experience working with individuals, families, and groups through a variety of challenging circumstances. Katie believes that change happens when people are given the support they need to draw on their strengths and realize their potential to live fulfilling and happy lives.
Katie provides both counseling and assessment services for children, adolescents, adults, and veterans. She approaches both services as healing processes, helping answer deep-seated questions that individuals might have. With a passion for supporting neurodiversity, Katie provides an environment of compassion and support to help individuals and families learn and thrive.
Get in Touch with Katie
Facebook - Connect
LinkedIn - Connect
[00:00:00] Elaine Lindsay: And it's good to be here once again. So, uh, without further ado, I'm going to go ahead and bring Katie up on stage. Hello? Hello. Hi, uh, again. I will say thank you very much for joining me on the show. It's always, difficult to start the show in a positive way because we are often talking about things that are painful.
Mm-hmm. and, , I, I'm going to let you. Tell your story starting where you will. Mm-hmm. . Cause I think that's really important and you can, you can go ahead and I'll pop in when it's appropriate. Okay. Okay.
[00:00:54] Katie Thornton: So my name's Katie. I am here because I lost my dad to [00:01:00] suicide. I was a freshman in high. So we're actually coming up on 20 years this year in March.
So it's kind of like a big milestone moment, I guess. But yeah, I did lose my dad back in March of 2023, or sorry, 20 of oh three. So 20 years ago, March 18th. . It's been a, a rough road, but I think I'm kind of in this place now and it took me a lot of, a lot of work and a lot of time where I'm like in this post-traumatic growth stage where for the longest time it kind of shaped who I was, but not in a positive way.
I'm from a very small town, so everyone in my town knew me and knew my family, and knew my dad. They knew what happened. . So it kind of became my identity in high school. But it's not the identity that I wanted to live my life as, so I [00:02:00] worked really hard and it, it was a journey , that's for sure. Where there are times that I maybe looks like I was kind of like running away from the situation to create my, my new identity of whatever my identity was outside of that girl that lost her dad to suicide.
but I think that I found her over time, . And going through it defined me in a negative way to like, it has shaped me and it has motivated me and pushed me to where I am and who I am today. So I am a licensed therapist now, and I have no doubt that that's why I'm in the path that I'm went on. I developed like this sense of travel and adventure, which I.
is also part of what, I don't know, it was like part of my journey of discovering myself and who I was, cuz I would go and travel out on my own. So it was just me and my thoughts and my myself [00:03:00] of figuring out who I was. So I think it helped, it helped me to figure out who, who Katie truly is. Like just Katie by herself, who is she?
And I think that that helped me a lot. . Well, I, I have to interject there because just that like, I hope you give yourself enough credit or how, how together that was mm-hmm. , because as a teenager , we don't always react to things really well and, and smaller, much smaller things than, than losing your dad.
[00:03:40] Elaine Lindsay: Right. It, it had to be very difficult, especially in a small town because everybody does know what's going on with everyone else. Yep. Are you an only child?
[00:03:51] Katie Thornton: No, I have a younger brother. He is three years younger than me, so it's the two of. , we have very different lives. . You would think that we have [00:04:00] different parents and grew up in different houses, but yep.
Here we are. Same parents, same house . Yeah. It's, it's funny how we can be that different. My sister was five years younger than me. Mm-hmm. and chalk and cheese . Other, other than, you know, the family ResSem. We were absolutely nothing alike, . But how old were you when you first traveled on your own? I was, it was after college, after my undergrad.
So I went to college at 18 and I intentionally picked a university where basically no one from my high school was going. I think two people from my class went. , I mean, isn't that many? So I was like, okay, I'm fine with that. So I intentionally picked a college that no one else was going to, so no one else would know me.
I ended up transferring two years in and I [00:05:00] ended up transferring to the school that most of my high school went to . But it's, I mean, it's a large school. It's, it's Ohio State, so it's a large school, so Oh, yeah. I saw plenty of people from high school, but I also made a lot of connections outside of my high school.
So it was good. And then I graduated from college in 2010, and then in 2012 I moved to Korea and I lived there for two years. , and that's where like my traveling really started is any long weekend or any break that I had from work, I would go to another country. And then when my, I did that for the two years, so 2014 I was working on my master's and I had to come home for my internship basically.
But instead of coming straight home, I took the long way around and traveled around Southeast Asia and traveled Oh wow. For like three months. I got back in 2014, but I did three months of traveling at that time. Oh, wow. Were [00:06:00] you an adventurous child? I think it's always been in me. I like to, I, I mean, I grew up camping and sailing and all of that with my, my dad was a sailor, so that's what we would do all summer.
Every summer was go to the lake and we would camp and we would, would sail or get, we had a power boat too, so we did those. As a kid our traveling as children always kind of revolved around my dad's sailing. Ah, okay. So it's not like we did a lot of international travel or anything like that. So it was around either sailing or soccer cuz I played soccer.
So Uhhuh it was that. So I think it was always kind of in me, but it looked different because of life situations and I didn't have the power and the say or the money to go where I wanted to go as. . Yeah. It's a little different when you're a kid because you, you are at the mercy of your parents mm-hmm.
Right. Right. And what it is they wanna do. For sure. [00:07:00] Did your father compete in sailing mm-hmm. , or was it just He did. He did. Yeah, he did. He did. Every Sunday. . Wow. Ooh, okay. . That's it's a, it's a, a huge community, the sailing community. Mm-hmm. , but it's a, it's a very it's very different. , let's say from land lovers.
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. It's a very, very different community. Yes. and, and your mom. Mm-hmm. . How did this affect your mom at the time? I think, I mean, her and I have talked about it a little bit, and I won't totally speak for her, but I think it was a rough time. They were, they were still married, they were still together.
It. In our house that it happened. So it was, I mean, I don't know. I, it would be really, really hard. I can't imagine to lose your husband is one thing, [00:08:00] obviously. So she lost her husband. She lost the father of children. Of her children. And then so navigating, how do you, how do you grieve that loss but still show up for your kids?
And I don't know how she did. . She did it , but I don't know how it is. I would imagine a very, very hard juggle to have to, to have to juggle, so, oh my God. Yeah. We thankfully have a, a lot of really amazing supports between friends or family. So I think that that is the number one way that we all kind of got through it is, I mean, the night that it happened, we probably had 25 people all there.
whether it be help take care of us or help take care of her, help take care of the house or him, or whatever the case may, may be. They were there the next day to be like, okay, my, my dad was the one that made the most money. So finances were, were a struggle and we didn't have [00:09:00] life, life insurance. Oh.
Right. So figuring out like, how do we navigate this whole thing financially? So she had friends show up and like, here's this application, here's what you need to do. Mm-hmm. , I will do it. This is what I'm doing. So I had a lot of people really take the reins on things and help us out. Oh, thank God for that.
[00:09:21] Elaine Lindsay: Cuz that doesn't always happen. Right?
[00:09:23] Katie Thornton: No, we were very, very fortunate that we have, we have a good team. Mm-hmm. . And it must be a good small town too. It, it is. I have my moments on how I feel about it. Yeah.
but there, there are definitely good things that have come out of it.
[00:09:41] Elaine Lindsay: Yeah. I, I think that, I think that's normal.
I think we all have mixed feelings about where we grew up and mm-hmm. and the people around us. It is of course, harder when you go through something traumatic, especially in high school.
[00:09:57] Katie Thornton: Right.
[00:09:59] Elaine Lindsay: You know, it, it's [00:10:00] hard for, it's hard for younger children and, and I'm, I'm sure it was very hard for your brother as well, but being in high school, on top of it being an awkward time as a human being, right.
There's all those hormones and, and you know, as you said, you didn't know who Katie was.. and this certainly didn't help.
[00:10:24] Katie Thornton: Right.
[00:10:24] Elaine Lindsay: But you're to be commended because not all of us who had a loss in our teenage years chose a good path or, or chose any path for that matter. Mm-hmm. in some cases because some people freeze.
Some people hide. Some people. , take the bull by the horns and, and mm-hmm. , go on and live their life. And, and you obviously did that, which I think is quite incredible. Yeah. Yeah. And also speaks to probably the, the strength of your mom. Mm-hmm. [00:11:00] did, was there, was there any indication, like, do you, you ever ask yourself, did you see something in your dad?
[00:11:13] Katie Thornton: I knew that night. Oh, we were we were supposed to go, well, we weren't, I wasn't going to go, but I ended up being in the car somehow, . We were supposed, the circus was in town, so we were supposed to be going to the circus that night.
[00:11:26] Elaine Lindsay: Okay.
[00:11:26] Katie Thornton: And there was like a whole thing of events that happened that day in that evening before going, so I ended up, I'm like, fine, I'll just go with everybody too.
and he was in the car, but he was still upset about the things that happened before. And he actually got out of the car and started to walk home.
[00:11:46] Elaine Lindsay: Oh.
[00:11:46] Katie Thornton: And my brother was like, let's go to the circus. I'm like, Nope. We're go like, we need to go home. And my mom knew we needed to go home. So I knew, and that's not the first time I knew like he had been in the hospital before.
Not that it had always been [00:12:00] communicated with me. Yeah. On that I. . I also knew at that time that there was something going on, whether I knew the extent of it or not, I don't, I don't know. But I knew something was going on, but I knew that night that things were not normal and not okay. And that we needed it to go home.
[00:12:19] Elaine Lindsay: Yeah. Yeah. And, and that in itself were you closer to your dad than your. mom?
[00:12:27] Katie Thornton: My dad was always my coach for soccer, so we spent a lot of time together for sports. My mom and I are still very similar on a lot of things and I think that that caused a lot of tension and a lot of issues growing up. Yeah. My mom is my best friend now as an adult and everything, so I don't, I mean, I probably was closer with my dad cuz I just spent more time with him. with soccer and everything.
[00:12:56] Elaine Lindsay: But the reason I asked is because [00:13:00] often when it's children, if you are very close to the parent that you lose, you do have thesenot premonitions, but maybe feelings ahead of time.
[00:13:13] Katie Thornton: Mm-hmm. ,
[00:13:13] Elaine Lindsay: even, even when you don't know as a child, you, you know, there's so. .
[00:13:19] Katie Thornton: Right.
[00:13:19] Elaine Lindsay: You may not be able to articulate it.
[00:13:21] Katie Thornton: Mm-hmm. ,
[00:13:23] Elaine Lindsay: but that does make it difficult. And one of the reasons that I do this podcast is because I, I want us all to end the silence and, and deal with the stigma and the shame that people go through,
[00:13:40] Katie Thornton: right.
[00:13:41] Elaine Lindsay: Because, You lose a loved one. It does not matter to me how it happened. Mm-hmm. , you, you are suffering a loss of someone that you loved and
[00:13:51] Katie Thornton: Right.
[00:13:51] Elaine Lindsay: And that's what we need to remember.
[00:13:54] Katie Thornton: Mm-hmm. ,
what was your dad's first name?
[00:13:58] Elaine Lindsay: Mike, okay. [00:14:00] That's, that's I don't know. It's something that I've always asked people because I think it's important to. To give voice to the names of those we've lost.
[00:14:11] Katie Thornton: No, I agree. I agree. I like making sure when I'm working with other people and talking to people that we are using their names too, so I like it.
[00:14:24] Elaine Lindsay: And do you have children?
[00:14:26] Katie Thornton: I do. I have two.
[00:14:28] Elaine Lindsay: Okay. And what are your thoughts on age appropriate for children when. As a therapist.
[00:14:38] Katie Thornton: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:39] Elaine Lindsay: when do you believe it's a good time to share? Like, maybe not in excessive detail, but share that you've lost someone?
[00:14:49] Katie Thornton: So, I mean, our kids are young, so I have a four, she'll be five in March, and then the other one is four months, so she's still itty bitty.
[00:15:00] Our four year old. . She, well, she looks at pictures of my dad and she, yeah, looks at him. She knows that that's her grandpa. She'll ask like, what's his name? Cuz she knows, like she knows that my mom is her grandma, but she doesn't call her grandma. So I let her name him cuz she's. also their first grandkid.
So I'm like, you get to, you get to name him, what do you wanna call him? So she calls him Pop Pop. She has pictures of him. She has her favorite pictures of him. She does ask, she has asked before, like where he is or if she can see him or visit him or something. I can't remember how it all happened exactly, but she has asked where he is.
and the conversation kind of threw me off guard at first cuz I'm like, you're two and a half where, why are you asking where pop pop is . Yeah. But we've gone to, and I think every family's gonna be different on how they handle the conversation and yeah, granted our [00:16:00] family is not super religious or anything like that, but I don't know.
The first thing that kind of came to both of us, cuz her other grandpa has also passed. . So the first thing that kinda came to both of us is like, your grandpas are in heaven. Yeah. And right now that's good enough for her. And she's like, yeah, they're in heaven. They're happy. So cuz we've had the conversation too of like, we've lost our dog.
So we've had to, to explain what happens and like why that's where her dog is. So then she's like, , our dog is with pop Pop, like they're having fun. So it gives her like that sense of peace and comfort, I guess. I don't know. And content. That's where, yeah, that's where we are with the conversation right now is pop, pop is in heaven.
And that's all she really knows. And that's all she's really asked. I'm sure that as she gets older she might ask more questions. . And I think that it's important too that at some point, whenever that point is, and I don't know when that's gonna be, , it is gonna be [00:17:00] important for her to to know at least a little bit.
She doesn't need to know the details if she doesn't want to kind of thing. But I think family history is important in mental health is part of her family history and our medical history. So at some point I think it is gonna be important for her to know. I just don't know when that time is gonna be yet.
We're just playing our cards as she throws them at us a absolutely.
[00:17:23] Elaine Lindsay: And that's actually why I asked because. , we are seeing kids younger and younger, not, not only not understanding
[00:17:33] Katie Thornton: mm-hmm. ,
[00:17:34] Elaine Lindsay: but not understanding the thoughts in their own brains.
[00:17:37] Katie Thornton: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:37] Elaine Lindsay: And the fact that we don't talk about it, we need to bring it out so kids know. Not every thought that runs through your head.
[00:17:45] Katie Thornton: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:45] Elaine Lindsay: is real. Or, or is true. And, and sometimes we, we can talk about those things now. and allow you to get that out of the way and, and not, [00:18:00] I don't wanna say cover up, but
[00:18:01] Katie Thornton: mm-hmm. ,
[00:18:02] Elaine Lindsay: you know, not, not push it aside.
[00:18:05] Katie Thornton: Right. Right.
[00:18:06] Elaine Lindsay: It's, it's important for, for us to acknowledge all of our mental health
[00:18:12] Katie Thornton: mm-hmm.
[00:18:12] Elaine Lindsay: and the fact that, you know, people in the family have gone through something, and you know, after P T S D affects so many people for so many reasons. I think it's really important that kids understand that as well.
[00:18:30] Katie Thornton: Yes, I think this kid is definitely a therapist child because we're very big on using our words and she's very big on her feelings.
[00:18:39] Elaine Lindsay: Oh, that's good. That's good. , you probably don't think so all the time,
[00:18:46] Katie Thornton: but not all the time. There are times that it can be challenging as a parent. But then I just remind myself of like, we want strong, independent women and that's what we're raising her to be, and. . It'll all be good. [00:19:00] It'll all be good for her in the long run.
[00:19:02] Elaine Lindsay: Yeah. Yeah. There are challenge, there are definitely challenging days with children, for sure. . But I wanted, I wanted to say, and, and do you, do you think your, your father's death led you down the path of your career? or was it something you, it wasn't something you were leaning towards prior?
[00:19:29] Katie Thornton: I was always thinking about being in the field of like working with people and helping people.
So yes, in that aspect that's always been a thing. But specifically working on therapy and mental health? No. No, I think his death and the way that he did die is absolutely what pushed me into the mental health direction of helping people and working with people.. Because I was looking more like the medical side and the medical aspect, but after that I was like, no, that's [00:20:00] not the route that I want to go.
[00:20:01] Elaine Lindsay: I, it's, it's a very double edge sword that we have to live through these things to have full empathy for others who are going through these things.
[00:20:15] Katie Thornton: Right.
[00:20:15] Elaine Lindsay: And, and that makes you. very good therapist because you, you understand, right?
[00:20:22] Katie Thornton: I think, I mean, it definitely, it definitely gives me kind of that benefit is I've been through something too.
So yes, it gives that relatability and I, I say that all the time when I'm meeting with potential clients is like I can have the entire alphabet behind my name and I can have all the degrees and all the certificates and all the training in the. , but if you feel like I can't relate to you or I don't understand you, or you just don't like my personality, cuz that's a big thing too, I'm not the right therapist for you because that relationship between a therapist and a client is so [00:21:00] important and that is gonna be more important and more impactful and lead to more success than having the whole alphabet behind my name.
[00:21:11] Elaine Lindsay: Absolutely. I totally agree with. and it's, it's interesting cuz I've had this discussion about the medical field in general. . Mm-hmm. , I firmly believe that doctors, all doctors need to go through the process of surgery before you can fully understand how to be a good surgeon.
[00:21:34] Katie Thornton: Right, right.
[00:21:35] Elaine Lindsay: You know, and, and the same for dentists.
And I think it's really important for you to be able to have had that, that knowledge, that understanding, so that you can be much more empathetic.
[00:21:52] Katie Thornton: Right. No, I agree. I agree.
[00:21:54] Elaine Lindsay: And it will resonate, I'm sure, with your clients as well. Yeah, yeah. [00:22:00] And you have a, you have a rather broad based practice as well.
[00:22:06] Katie Thornton: I've definitely been in a lot of different areas throughout my career for sure.
Whether it be in working with children, working with families, working in schools, working in child protection. So I've definitely been in a variety of areas and then also working in like nonprofits or community mental health agencies. Oh, okay. So, and then private practices. And then I have just recently gone out on my own.
So now that I'm out on my own, I am being a little bit more like strict and narrow about what I take and like really honing in on my skillset and my area of expertise and all of. So now that I'm on my own, I am being a little bit more picky and strict about who I'm working with, but I feel like I kind of can be, and that's how I'm gonna be the most successful, is just really absolutely honing in on my, my [00:23:00] strengths.
[00:23:00] Elaine Lindsay: Absolutely. Because when, when that's what you bring to the table, then that's where you can be most effective. Absolutely.
[00:23:07] Katie Thornton: Mm-hmm.
[00:23:09] Elaine Lindsay: on that note we talked briefly before this about some, I think, I think it's exciting upcoming news.
[00:23:19] Katie Thornton: Yeah.
[00:23:20] Elaine Lindsay: What is it you're going to be doing in March?
[00:23:22] Katie Thornton: No, I am excited about it.
It's something that I have been wanting to do for a, a while in. life kept happening. So it hasn't happened yet, but it's going to, in March, I am going to start a group for people that have lost someone to suicide and working on helping people to find that strength again after losing a loved one to suicide and, and helping them through that process and that journey.
And I think in the mental health world, we always say it's okay to not be. Yeah, and that's absolutely true. Like it is okay for us to not have good days all the time because that's reality. Mm-hmm. , [00:24:00] we're human beings. And I feel like the other thing, especially with a suicide loss, is reminding people that it's also okay to be okay.
[00:24:10] Elaine Lindsay: Yeah.
[00:24:11] Katie Thornton: Because we have so much guilt, I think when it comes to suicide of like they were obviously in this not so good head space and that's where they were. And they were clearly struggling and battling and. fighting with themselves internally. So I think sometimes when we, we work through that grief, grief is hard and it's complicated and there's all these different things.
Yeah. And then when we get to that acceptance stage of grief, we can also be like, Ooh. Then there's this guilt of I shouldn't be okay. I shouldn't just be like going and living my happy life when. This person was going through all these terrible things and this is what happened. Like how can I, how can I be okay and live my life and be happy and excited?
So you feel guilty? And I [00:25:00] think it's a normal part of grief, especially with the suicide grief.
[00:25:04] Elaine Lindsay: Yeah.
[00:25:04] Katie Thornton: And I also want people to know that like, it's okay to still like be happy and excited about life. .
[00:25:12] Elaine Lindsay: And another piece to that is there is no timeframe.
[00:25:20] Katie Thornton: No, there's not a timeline on on grief, unfortunately. And just because there's the stages of grief and you've gone through the stages of grief.
doesn't mean that it's not gonna come back up for you another time. Life events seem to bring that grief back up where it's like, I've already gone through these things, so why am I going through, like, why am I depressed again? I was, I went through depression. Mm-hmm. . So why am I depressed? But life events seem to bring.
those things back up.
[00:25:50] Elaine Lindsay: I totally agree. I I've often thought it's kind of like a merry-go-round. Mm-hmm. , I, I don't wanna get back on, [00:26:00] but it's there and, and it's attached to me and there are things that. that are part of my history. Mm-hmm. and, and you find yourself sometimes right back on there.
[00:26:11] Katie Thornton: Mm-hmm. . Yeah.
[00:26:15] Elaine Lindsay: I know that over the years that's, that's been a, a common question for people is, well, how long is too long? Like, or How short is too short? And, and I think it's really important that we reinforce the fact. , everybody is individual.
[00:26:37] Katie Thornton: Mm-hmm. . Absolutely. It's gonna look different for everybody. Yeah. And it's gonna feel different for everybody.
[00:26:42] Elaine Lindsay: Yeah.
[00:26:43] Katie Thornton: And I mean, you can go back to the fact that my brother and I are in the same family and the same household, and we had the same like upbringing, but we grieved differently. And that doesn't mean that either one of us grieved right or wrong. No. We grieved the way that we needed to grieve at that.[00:27:00]
and, and that's a really super point. There is no right or wrong.
[00:27:07] Elaine Lindsay: to grief. It just is however it is for you.
[00:27:13] Katie Thornton: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:27:16] Elaine Lindsay: And, and that's the other reason that I do the podcast is because we found that in sharing your story, it can somewhat lighten your. and can give you the opportunity to sometimes bolster the good memories and remember to say their names.
[00:27:40] Katie Thornton: Right. No, I think , I think it can be really empowering to share your story because there is so much stigma and there's so much judgment and negativity around mental health and around suicide specifically. . Where II think that there's times that we can be shamed for,
[00:27:58] Elaine Lindsay: yeah.
[00:27:59] Katie Thornton: For our [00:28:00] lives and our stories and our journeys, but when you go through it and you finally find your voice to be able to share your story and know that it can actually impact other people in yes, really positive ways.
It is also really empowering and therapeutic to just like get it out of you so it helps you and it can help other. .
[00:28:21] Elaine Lindsay: Yeah. And sometimes that's the, just that extra incentive you need. Mm-hmm. to deal with. Another little piece of your grief is to share your story.
[00:28:32] Katie Thornton: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:28:35] Elaine Lindsay: So is there something you would like to leave the audience?
That either something you find useful, something that, that you tell your clients, something that's intrinsically you.
[00:28:53] Katie Thornton: Ooh, I don't know. That's a hard one. I mean, [00:29:00] I do remind my clients like making, making yourself a. Especially as like as a parent you still have to put yourself first. And I know not everyone agrees with that, but we do have to make ourselves a priority so that we can take care of ourselves and we can show up the best way that we can show up in all of our other areas of life.
And then I also do, I like to, especially when it's suicide and those that have lost someone to suicide, is just reminding them that it is okay to be okay and it's okay to be happy and excited about life again. because that's what you deserve.
[00:29:41] Elaine Lindsay: That was beautifully said, Katie. Thank you so much.
[00:29:44] Katie Thornton: Of course.
[00:29:47] Elaine Lindsay: I really appreciate Katie Thornton being with us today, and I look forward to perhaps talking with you again, Katie.
[00:29:56] Katie Thornton: Absolutely. Absolutely.
[00:29:58] Elaine Lindsay: I'm Elaine Lindsay. This is [00:30:00] Suicide Zen Forgiveness. As per always make the very best of your today, every day.
I look forward to seeing you next time. Bye for now.
Suicide Zen Forgiveness
Lost my dear friend, when I was 16. Andrea, took her own life which became the best/worst Gift that has kept me breathing... through some pretty dark stuff.
Suicide survivors, those adjacent, awareness, prevention, the hidden stories, the mental health challenges, depression, anxiety and more. here we bring them all into the light of day. Cheering for the Survivor and Thriver stories that uplift, give hope, get you or someone like you to make your choice.