Darlene and Carla ~ How it All Began


(Darlene) I remember meeting Carla that first time. She was really shy and she didn’t actually talk to me until I met her when I was speaking in another seminar several months later. I was drawn to her determination to get over the struggles that she was having with depression.  I gave her my phone number and encouraged her to call me if she ever wanted to talk.

She did call me and over the next 2 years we would meet for lunch or dinner about once every three or four months. Due to the circumstances of how I met Carla, my role in her life was one of support as she was a client of the counselling firm that I worked for. Having said that, even after the first three or four times we met, I really wasn’t sure why Carla was in therapy.

(Carla) When Darlene and I started meeting for lunch or dinner, I always felt excited to get to know her more. Honestly, I was hungry to learn how she had recovered from her depression and was now living so fully alive. At that point, I was still struggling to understand my own story. I felt afraid to tell her too much about own struggles because my story didn’t seem to have much to it. It felt vague. And I was afraid that to just tell Darlene about my depression with no big events to back it up would expose me as a fake. Nevertheless, I always left our visits feeling encouraged and inspired. The more Darlene told me about the reasons for her depression, the more I was able to piece together the reasons for my own.

(Darlene) In the second year of our friendship, I started to realize that although Carla had none of the traumatic events in her life that I had had in mine we had some very similar damage. At the same time in speaking with other clients through the seminars, I noticed that it didn’t seem to matter what the diagnosis was. I realized it didn’t matter what age differences there were, (Carla and I are 19 years apart), whether male or female, married or single, religious or not- there was a commonality that we all shared. In each of us something was missing. The roots seemed to be formed in childhood, and we all seemed to have a skewed understanding of the truth.

(Carla) What motivated my healing and recovery more than anything else was to know that my depression had real causes and to be validated that my struggles were real and could be figured out. As Darlene shared more and more of her story with me, and as I continued in my own therapy, I put the new truths I was learning into practice. Today, even though our lives still have dramatic differences and our life purposes are unique, I am walking in the same kind of freedom as Darlene.

(Darlene) I knew about 3 years ago that I wanted to share this message with the world, and as I thought about how I would do that, and thought about starting a new blog, Carla approached me about writing a book about my life and recovery. This blog evolved naturally out of that meeting. And here we are!

The photo was taken in the 5th wheel that we used as an office on Darlene’s farmland. We hope that you have enjoyed our first joint post!

Hugs, Darlene and Carla

9 response to "Darlene and Carla ~ How it All Began"

  1. By: Carla Dippel Posted: 24th May

    Patricia, it is really encouraging that the same truth can help all of us heal, no matter what kinds of details are in our stories. Thanks Jeanette! It is VERY enriching to have you as part of the “shared journey” too. 🙂 Welcome here One Long Journey, and thanks for your comment (Darlene is on her first day of vacation today, so may or may not be able to respond to comments!) Thanks Stacy~ it is good to have you here.

    Excited to continue the journey!…

  2. By: stacy Posted: 24th May

    What a good experience for you guys. I’m always eager to hear more about people who have successful long term relationships. Look forward to hearing more.

  3. By: One long journey Posted: 23rd May

    Recently discovered your blog – thanks for sharing so much of your healing process. I am slow into the process – have “met” many on line, but none face to face. Looking forward to more of your joint posts.


  4. By: Melissa Posted: 23rd May

    What a beautiful first post for me to read from your blog!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd May

      Hi Melissa,
      Welcome to this blog! So great to have you visit!
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Jeanette Posted: 23rd May

    We are all more enriched with the meeting of your two souls! It is in seeing how such ‘chance’ meetings take place in this world, gives me such hope for my own future of ‘chance’ meetings that will continue to heal/encourage/change my life!

    Here’s to the shared journey!


  6. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd May

    Hi Patricia,
    I might still write that book; I have never decided not to, just decided “not yet”. I’m kind of blogging my way there for now.
    It is exciting to be on this journey with you too.
    Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 23rd May

    Thanks for sharing your beginnings together. Darlene, you really should write that book. I would buy it and read it. It is exciting following both of your stories in recovery.

    Carla, you remind me of a friend that I met at my first 12-Step meeting. We both were brand new to 12-Step recovery meetings. I was an incest survivor and she was a preacher’s daughter. I had lots of traumatic memories from my childhood and she had no memories at all. Like you and Darlene, as our friendship grew over the next few years, we discovered we had what Darlene calls commonalities even though our childhoods were so different.

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