We all aspire to live the best life we can right? But in order to really do that we need to clean house and work through whatever issues we may have that is getting in our way. I know this because I did it. Every time I hit a brick wall in my own life I had to get uncomfortable, get out of my own way and let the healing begin. Every one of us has our stuff, our issues. Within the process of life there will be obstacles and many times issues from our past will surface and obstruct our view, hence, life from the cheap seats.
Every time I meet with a women and we begin our work together we talk about this very thing and they love the cheap seat metaphor ” yes that is exactly it” they say. We all want those cushy velvet reclining seats up front but in order to get them we have to be wiling to do a few things. 1. Be okay with not being okay 2. Be ready to roll up our sleeves and work hard 3. Get out of our own way 4. Know that change takes time, it is not going to happen overnight. The rewards of course are many. Just being aware of the crap that bogs us down and beginning to change our inner monologue will greatly improve our lives and make us happier.
Depression in women has doubled from 2000 to 2010. Staggering right? I almost fell of my chair when I read this. Now let me be very clear, I am not an expert on depression. I am however an expert on myself and I have suffered at times with depression and I know that all of the women that I know personally and professionally have as well. It is normal to a degree. Life can be cruel and we cannot help but be effected by it’s roller coaster ride.
Self work can be the best time you spend with yourself and it is worth the investment of a good therapist or coach. Love yourself enough to want out of the cheap seats. Don’t be afraid to do the work. Like I told a client just yesterday, “we just need to dust you off a bit” because under all of this is the bright, shiny , beautiful and best you. I can see you in those velvet seat from here.
Like so many fans of Philip Seymour Hoffman, I was deeply saddened by his death. This guy was simply one of the best actors of our time and I loved everything he did on screen. So much has been written of him since his death by heroin last Sunday, but little has been written about the woman he shared his life with and who was the mother of his three young children. I think of him, but I think of her more because she is what is left behind in the vortex of addiction that was his life. I don’t know Mimi O’Donnell but I wish that I did so that I could send her a note of support. A note from one woman who once loved an addict to another. From a woman who decided to leave because the pain and suffering of living with an addict was just too much and I, like Mimi had had enough. I would tell her not to feel guilty which is much easier said than done, but the fact of the matter is you only have two options with an addict. Option one, you stay and continue enabling and living in hell. Option two, you leave because you love yourself and in her case your children, more than you love your life with an addict. Even more difficult in this case was the fact that Mr. Hoffman had been sober for over 20 years. By now the knot that lives in the stomach of us enablers had probably subsided for her. She was able to breath and feel good about their life together and perhaps even let her guard down a bit. Then the unthinkable happens, he falls off the wagon and the peace called sobriety they once had is now back to the constant turmoil of addiction. It is a horrible place to be. I would also tell Ms. O’Donnell that she did the brave thing, the hard thing, the thing that none of us want to do. She left him. It was the right thing to do and it took guts and immense courage. Those of us who have walked in these shoes know this; the pain will become more manageable and over time we get to a place of peace again. None of us are equipped to fight this formidable demon called addiction, it is like fighting a war with no weapons, it cannot be won. All we can do is let go and hope that the addict we love finds their way to treatment and gets the support they need. In the mean time we do the brave thing, the hard thing, the thing that gives us anguish. We leave. You did the right thing Ms. O’Donnell and although your grief and agony now is deep and cutting and you carry a heavy burden of guilt, you will be ok. It will take time and much support for your family, but you will be ok.