I am Important and so Are You ~ The First Seed of Hope

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I am important the first seed of hope
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I am important. And so are you.

I have just as much importance as any other human being on this planet and that includes the presidents, movie stars, doctors, lawyers, teachers, my parents, grandparents, geniuses, famous inventers, authors royalty and  all others. And so do you.

A job, a profession, or a gift or title does not make some people more valuable than other people.  

People are People.

I am special. I am the same amount of special as any other human being.  And so are you.

I am valuable. I am just as valuable as any other person on this earth. And so are you.

I have a choice. I had to learn this truth before I tried it out, but today I know that I have a choice about the way that I am treated. I have choices about where I go and who I hang out with. I am not obligated to love. I am not owned by anyone. I can choose to say yes, or to say no. And so can you.

I can think for myself. And so can you.  I had to learn this truth, and I had to learn HOW to do this because it was never encouraged in the past, but I did it. And so can you.

People are people

I am just as smart as anyone else. And so are you. People have different gifts, but that is not a measure of intelligence. “Smart” comes in all kinds of packages and has many different colours. I didn’t know this before; I had to learn this truth, but I did learn it and I embrace it today and so can you.

I don’t have to believe the lies that I was raised with about ME any more.  Through this process of recovery, I found the original me; I found my gifts, my purpose and my individuality and I took all of it back. I took my life back and I live my life now, in wholeness and fullness. And so can you.

People cannot determine my value. That is not up to them. They can kick me down and call me stupid; they can sneer down their noses at me and turn their backs and call me a liar; it does not mean that they are right. They can reject me for my decisions to stand up for myself, but they can’t decide who I am.

These past few years I have LOVED celebrating the New Year. Since I have taken my life back, I love to reflect on the year coming to a close. 2011 has been fantastic. I accomplished many of the things that I set out to accomplish both personally and professionally.  My family continues to recover from living in an abusive system.  We grow closer with each passing month. My children are growing up beautifully and my marriage continues to flourish. I have so much to be grateful for and I am grateful every day. 

This whole recovery thing began when I first had the thought that I could recover. My new life began with a tiny seed of hope. At first I only believed that I could feel better enough to want to get out of bed in the morning and finish raising my kids who were then ages 7, 11 and 13. With the first discovery of the first false belief system I had, I believed that I could recover from the constant depressions and dissociative identity disorder that plagued my life.  Then I realized the roots of those debilitating issues in my life and little by little I had the courage to face those roots. Each new discovery helped me to move forward to the next discovery. Each thing I faced led me to a new truth hidden in the lies of my life.  Each forward movement led me to greater and greater freedom and wholeness and it all started with that little flame of hope and belief that it could be done and that I could do it.

My entire family has benefited from this process. My kids know that overcoming depression and dysfunction IS possible. They’ve lived through it. They know that relationship is two sided and that they have a choice. They know the true definition of love.

To all those who are still struggling to overcome; to all those who are still trying to come out of the fog and to take your own life and power back;

YOU CAN DO THIS TOO.

All things were possible when I believed that they were.  The truth, as painful as it was, set me free.

Happy New Year; I am grateful for each of you; I appreciate all that you contribute and share with me here and wish each of you a wonderful, healing 2012.

Bright blessings, hugs and squishes;

Darlene Ouimet

More Related Posts ~ See words in bold print and highlighted

My relationship with me ~ Emotional Healing

58 response to "I am Important and so Are You ~ The First Seed of Hope"

  1. By: Michelle Posted: 6th January 2012

    The best way I can describe dissassociation is that it’s like being on autopilot. I was like that for years!! I used to wonder why I would ‘zone out’ (no drugs or alcohol involved at all) whilst I was driving to work, any situation that had me even mildly anxious.

    Then years later during the court case ( from the decision to press charges right through until I said good bye to my ‘mum’ in my heart; it’s been about two years now) after I gave my police statement I felll’ into severe dissasociation. The curtains just closed. (no more michelle, just an empty shell ;)That was when everything slowed down even time, it seemed. I was hospitalized and had to inch my way back to normality. It took time, support (the mental health team saved my life.. )and discipline. I never thought I would be any different to that, I never thought I could be well. I have had another illnesss and subsequent oxy addiction but never the severe lack of ‘brain power’ and clarity I suffered from back in the ‘fog’. I have other toxic ppl in my life, but I am learning how to deal with them too. I do not and will not see my ‘mother’ again. Unless I bump into her somewhere, I’d like to ignore and pretend not to see her. I REALLY HOPE I can do that. But I won’t be too hard on myself if I fall short of my own expectations, because I am am on a totally different planet now than what I was when she last saw me. YAY !

    Ps. I had my last oxycontin 32 hrs ago and I have weaned off very slowly leading up to that.. I will be in the worst of the withdrawals by tonight/tomorrow… Wish me luck!!

  2. By: Michelle Posted: 6th January 2012

    I wrote this poem the day after I was discharged from the mental health unit.
    I don’t think I have posted it before, but it seemed applicable considering the last few posts.
    I dedicated it to all mental health workers, and support people. And it’s also for you Darlene, because without you a lot of us would still be struggling and without support. Thankyou.

    THE OWL and THE BIRD

     
     
                             There once was a bird,
    Who flew high in the sky

    Higher and higher,

    He so loved to fly

     

    He soared above the earth,

    and watched over all

    So engrossed he became,

    He barely noticed his fall

     

    He fell to the ground

    And injured his wing,

    He lay for sometime

    Hurt, lost and crying

     

    Not far away

    A wise owl heard his cry,

    He left from his perch,

    To go find out why

     

    He found the bird down

    His face on the ground,

    The owl landed softly

    Without making a sound

     

    The bird felt his calm presence,

    And opened his eyes

    He saw the wise owl,

    And continued to cry

     

    The owl stretched out his wing,

    And sheltered the bird

    He sat and he listened,

    To every single word

     

    The bird said ‘I am hurt,

    sad and alone,

    I miss my family,

    And I miss my home

     

    But here I am stuck,

    I cant fly anymore

    Will you help me get home?

    So once again I can soar?’

     

    The owl looked at his wing,

    And knew what to do

    ‘I have just the right thing

    Needed to mend you’

     

    ‘Come with me now,

    It may hurt for a while

    But follow me closely,

    And soon you will smile’

     

    The bird followed the owl

    And started to heal,

    And wisdom and knowledge

    The owl would reveal

     

    The bird wondered and asked

    Why the owl was so wise?

    The owl replied gently,

    ‘See here, my large eyes?

     

    ‘With them I can see,

    The most darkest of nights

    And with my ears I can hear,

    Tears falling so light’

     

    Then the bird closed his eyes

    And said a quiet prayer,

    Of respect, warmth and gratitude,

    For the owls loving care.

     

    By Michelle

    13/11/2009

    DEDICATED TO ALL MENTAL HEALTH WORKERS AND SUPPORT PEOPLE.

  3. By: Mimi Posted: 7th January 2012

    Michelle,
    I enjoyed your poem. 🙂

    I finally sent a response to my mother’s gushy email after Christmas. Again, I had anxiety later in the day after sending it. I have not heard back from her. I suppose she’s hurt, but I strongly suspect she’s angry and using her silent treatment response; and, what she doesn’t understand is…. I welcome the silent treatment nowdays. More time to work on “me” rather than giving my emotional energy to her!

    In the response, I pointed out that she asked, so I was answering honestly. I only touched on little bits because I know my whole life story surrounding her would be too much to swallow. I told her I thought she should stop wearing down her mom (89 years old) with her emotional problems and grief. She already has little to think about besides worrying about others. Not only that, but she lies to my grandma (which I didn’t mention to her in the response), so, I told her I thought she should stop it given all the other people she has to lean on.

    I said I had uncovered some lies in 2011 from different people and it was devastating. I didn’t say the majority were from her.

    I told her I was sick of my life of misery; the shadows of fear, anxiety, depression, and anger always following me. That I need to make permanent changes and I have a lot of work to do in seeking truth and turning everything around. I pointed out that I’m responsible for my own healing not hers, and vice versa. And, that my mental health comes first in my life now, not hers.

    I was honest, but I suppose somewhere in there she could find some injury. I haven’t heard back from her and that was yesterday morning. I haven’t thought about it much either, but I did experience some anxiousness last night. I can assume that’s the reason. I stood up for myself on a fairly small issue. Imagine what would happen if I told her the WHOLE story, which would take the majority of 2012, haha!

    My sister who moved away. I apologized to her again because we corresponded several times in the past 3 days. She did not acknowledge my apology, just skimmed over it as if I never said it. My apology was for ever hurting her in any misdirected anger or pain. Now, having done that, I feel free. Free of any obligation and free in that I did the most humble and honest thing. Her ignoring it has not hindered that feeling of freedom. Only solidified her pride and inability to communicate. I feel okay with it, but I’ve learned also that because i feel okay right now, doesn’t mean I will in 10 minutes. I’ll work through that if the time comes. I am more prepared to let my mother or my sister go now. I feel like I’ve ended it on the best terms I can personally muster. Which is better than either of them can say. I’m free of guilt, and that’s huge. Thanks for listening and peace to all!!
    xoxo,
    Mimi

  4. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 7th January 2012

    Hi Michelle
    Congrats on being off the Oxy. Best of luck with that.
    Your poem brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing it and for including me in the dedication!
    It is beautiful.
    Hugs, Darlene

    Hi Mimi
    YAY for all the work you have done around this family issue. Thank you for sharing your points to your mother and your insights. (and yay yay that YOU and your health come first now! that is fantastic!)
    Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Mimi Posted: 7th January 2012

    Thank you Darlene!! Being heard is so valuable!!
    Love to you,
    Mimi

  6. By: SMD Posted: 1st March 2012

    Hi Darlene,
    This is the first time I read this post and I can definitely relate to a lot of what you are saying! I agree with your statement, “At first I only believed that I could feel better enough to get out of bed in the morning and finish raising my kids”…(my kids are 6 & 13- a girl & boy. I have felt this way too, especially this past year. I had difficulty getting out of bed, due to my depression.

    I now see that my depressions are triggered by abuse…my last depression came out of how I was treated in a work situation. I was devalued by others, which made me feel rejected and sad. I know not everyone is going to like me, but I have the right to be treated as an equal!…The women I worked with, reminded me of my mother. It was not a good fit for ME.

    My confidence was really shaken. I beat myself up for letting them have power over me. The truth is, I did not let them, they were friends and banded together and I was singled out…I trusted my instincts- I could not prove it to my boss, but I know the truth and it was hard to deal with. I’m glad I got out of there, by my choice to ask for a pink slip. I never got one of those, but it was a ticket to my freedom to work on myself! I did feel shame, however, I know I made the right decision for ME. I got off track again but one thing triggers other memory for me…Thanks for Listening!
    Sincerely, SMD

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd March 2012

      Hi SMD
      I can relate to what you said too. The kind of situation you are talking aobut you are so powerless. I think the depression comes from that powerlessness and the powerlessness comes from the way we have been raised to regard ourselves. Round and Round… for me with healing came major changes, all for the good!
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Mimi Posted: 2nd March 2012

    SMD,
    I think I wrote before about a similar situation that happened to me at work. I ended up quitting too. I really valued that job and thought I would retire from there. My supervisor said she didn’t have proof also. She got to the point that she started treating me like I was a “whiner”. I went over her head, and that proved to be nothing but more spoonfuls of crap. She too basically said, just swallow it. We all mistreat each other at times. I was so injured by all of that. It was a heartbreaking experience and caused a lot of damage to my self esteem and value. I’m happy for you that you could get out of the situation. I feel for the people who have no choice but to stay and take it.

    I hope that if this kind of drama presents itself in the future, I will have new tools with which to handle it. That it won’t result in me crumbling and being heartbroken….. that I won’t be so weak that I can’t handle it. It was all about my mother too. The nerves surrounding the damage she did have resided just beneath my skin, although I didn’t even know it at the time. It was just an unfortunate situation and I hope to be stronger in the future. It really got me off track too.

    I’m more self aware now. I know what happened in hindsight ~ that the pain was actually from a wound my mother caused, and my coworker just ripped the scab off. I’m thankful for this knowledge now. Good luck in your future employment endeavors. I hope and pray for a great new job when I’m ready…. I’ll pray it for you too.
    xoxo,
    Mimi

  8. By: SMD Posted: 2nd March 2012

    Mimi,
    Thanks for your validation..Wow!..we’ve had such similar experiences with work conditions and our dear old moms. I too hope I will be able to handle stress & abuse better without falling apart. It adds to the damage, when you feel powerless. I am stronger than I was and the DBT skills I use every day, help me to cope. I don’t disassociate as much and my lows aren’t extreme. The pain I experienced with that work situation was also from a wound my mom caused and salt was added to it, from my co-workers. I’m content not working outside of my home for now, but I may have to venture out again. I have options and my first priority is to my healing. I’ll continue to job search, but I’m not going to kill myself doing it lol….
    Big Hugs,
    SMD

  9. By: Mimi Posted: 3rd March 2012

    SMD,
    It’s remarkable the likenesses that fill these pages isn’t it?? I think I find similarities so shocking because I thought I was alone. I suppose that’s part of the abuse as well. Mother told me I was alone basically. That she was all I had; that my family was on her “side”, etc. The flip side of that was she didn’t want me either. She didn’t say it, but her actions spoke louder on that point.

    May I ask, is DBT Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?? Curious because I bought a workbook at the beginning of the year that teaches this therapy. I’m not that far into it, but it’s really awesome the things I’m learning from it.

    I was seeing a counselor, but my appts have lapsed so I’m not going back for now. The thing I think is kind of strange is, she never brought this up to me. (DBT) I’d not even heard of it until I literally stumbled upon this book online somehow. It was no accident I’m sure. Your comment about it intrigued me. I had sort of put the book aside, but now I’m going to make it a point to work through it. It’s an excellent book. I suppose I put it aside because other things became more important, but I know this healing has to come first in all things, for a while at least. That’s the whole reason I’m not working now, or going to school. I gotta use this time wisely, it won’t last forever. I do look at the newspaper for jobs, but I’m certainly not killing myself either. hehe!!

    Darlene,
    Thank you for clarifying that powerlessness fueled depression. I think it has for me too, I just didn’t know what it was really ~ the cause. I know there could be any number of causes, but powerlessness is a big thing for me ~ maybe for everyone I suppose. It sucks the life out of me. It shushes my emotions and voice. No wonder it feeds depression!! Ahh, I love these revelations!! As always, thank you for your help!!

    With love,
    Mimi

  10. By: SMD Posted: 3rd March 2012

    Hi Mimi,
    Yes, DBT is Dialectical Behavior Therapy. My last counselor recommended it. There are workbooks out there, but I had to enter an outpatient day program 5XW for 6 weeks. I was working at the time, so I had to ask for a LOA. I did not know what to expect, since I did not know this therapy. I did do some research on-line and it sounded so practical in teaching every day coping skills, which is what I needed. At the time, I was overwhelmed with emotions.

    I didn’t know where all my anxiety was coming from. DBT teaches you Emotion Regulation, Mindfulness, Distraction, & Radical Acceptance. The founder of DBT (Marcia Linehan)just admitted in an interview, that she developed these skills for herself, because she suffered from Mental illness- Borderline Personality Disorder. She was actually an inpatient as a teen, with self destructive behavior- cutting herself. She had an interesting life story & now look at her- helping others. I find that to be inspiring, because she has been there and can truly empathize with the pain.

    Anyway, that’s my speel on DBT for today. I highly recommend it from my own experience. Keep me posted if you decide to use your DBT workbook. I saw the workbook at Barnes & Noble and it looked great…it has plenty of room for journaling about your feelings and applying the skills. Good Luck to you and I hear you about the job situation…it won’t last forever, so I’m going to spend my time wisely too. Actually, another DBT skill is Wise Mind- look that up…lol
    Sincerely, SMD

  11. By: Mimi Posted: 3rd March 2012

    SMD,
    Wow…. thank you for the insight. The workbook I have is authored by Melanie Gordon Sheets. In the acknowledgements, she thanks Dr. Marsha Linehan for inspiration and laying the groundwork for the book/program. So, I’m happy to know the additional information you posted. I didn’t know anything about her.

    I wish I could attend the program you attended, but I don’t think it’s offered where I’m at. Everyday coping skills are what I need too. I’m no longer overwhelmed with emotions, but, I’m afraid when I get back into “life”, working, school, etc, that I won’t have the skills needed to handle things differently than I have in the past. Anxiety has plagued me too at times.

    I will have to google her and see what it brings up. Interesting though, I did do some research on BPD and found I had a lot of the traits. That scared the crap out of me!!

    I’ll look up wise mind too!! 🙂

    Thanks for posting this. Great information!!

    Peace and love,
    Mimi

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd March 2012

      Mimi
      don’t let “diagnosis” scare you. I was diagnosed with several things. All that was information which is very interesting but knowing a diagnosis never helped me heal. It was looking at HOW that stuff happened to me ~ the root cause that I am always talking about where I found the healing. (people hate it when I say things like this, but for me it was true. I didn’t do the treatment for bi polar OR DID in order to heal, I looked at when and why those “disorders” began. )
      Hugs, Darlene

  12. By: Mimi Posted: 3rd March 2012

    Darlene,
    Thanks for clarifying. I don’t dislike anything you post, because you are a survivor and an anormous inspiration. I want what you have…. the path to get there matters not in the grand scheme of things.

    BPD was something I “self-diagnosed” and I know the truth about that. Self diagnoses are rarely a brilliant idea. Haha!! When I saw the characteristics and how I relate to them, I decided I wouldn’t carry that diagnosis, as in how it defines me. After all, I did diagnose myself.

    That said, I have purposefully NOT said I have BPD. I don’t want a label, I want healing. I’ve learned from you that the labels don’t really mean anything, and that it does nothing to propel a person into healing. I almost think it could be more damaging, for me anyhow. So, thank you for reiterating and making sure I understand the TRUTH about healing. I’m so grateful for the stuff I learn here.

    Like everyone else, I want to be better. I want to function with zest for life. I did pick the workbook up again today because I feel like I never learned any coping skills. I feel in my heart that I need to figure out a different way to handle things in everyday life. It would be awesome if skills just fell into place as a result of the healing work I’m doing, finding my voice, taking back power, etc. I’m afraid it won’t. I’m afraid period. It’s so hard to trust myself and my thoughts, actions, everything!! I do want to finish the workbook, as a plan B ~ in case I get into a position where I desperately need a way to cope without falling apart. I hope this makes sense. 🙂

    With love,
    Mimi

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd March 2012

      Hi Mimi
      Yes, it is about rejecting the label, after all, a label is yet another way that we are “defined”. And it doesn’t matter WHO gives you the label. I was diagnosed by professionals.
      My family used my diagnosis against me as though it were PROOF that there WAS something wrong with me. My life got way worse when I had been diagnosed. It was like “OH THAT is what is wrong with “her”. I had an extra layer to fight against because of the diagnosis. (but I did it! and I won!!)
      Hugs! Darlene

  13. By: SMD Posted: 3rd March 2012

    Hi Mimi,
    I agree with Darlene in respect to labeling yourself. It is another way we are defined. I had anxiety over being labeled again, in my 40’s. I felt ashamed & offended for being labeled but I gave DBT a chance and it worked for me. I also believe Darlene’s way of looking at the root cause to the damage leads to healing. I was just sharing one way that worked for me in coping with anxiety/depression. Actually, I don’t have BPD but I have some traits, which is only part of me, not who I am as a PERSON. Sorry the diagnosis scared you, that was not my intention. Sincerely, SMD

    Darlene,
    I know you haven’t directed any comments to me, however, I just want to apologize, if I was overstepping the bounds, by advocating a therapy on your site. I totally respect your approach and it’s helped me in a different way, than the DBT. I love reading your posts & commenting on EFB. I promise I won’t talk about therapies anymore. I don’t like being defined by a diagnosis either, and it does add to the extra layer of damage, that needs to be peeled away for healing to occur. Sincerely, SMD

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th March 2012

      SMD ~
      No worries. I am not against therapy. I used to believe that therapy was the only way, but today I know different. I am not against anyone talking about therapy or explaining what kind of therapy they are in or what has worked for them. What I don’t like is when someone says that someone else SHOULD or has to do it because it is the only answer. I don’t like it when someone says “you must get therapy”. You have not done that so no worries! I used to get so excited about a diagnoisis.. but that was becuase it seemed like an answer in a sea of questions. Today I know that the diagnosis did not acutally assist in the cure! That is all I am getting at about diagnosis. Nothing wrong with having one as long is it doesn’t interfere with the healing work!
      Love Darlene

  14. By: Mimi Posted: 3rd March 2012

    Awww, I hope I didn’t give an impression that YOU scared me or anything you said, SMD.

    Just to clarify, I scared MYself when I went digging and saw that I had some of the traits that fall into a group labeled BPD.

    Also, I asked specifically about DBT, and I was inspired by your answer(s). I appreciate it your input.

    For me personally, no matter what traits, symptoms, labels, etc…. the truth is, I honestly DO want to learn better coping skills. Certainly I never learned any effective ones. Even before I ever found this site, or read about BPD, I knew my coping skills were ineffective when it came to major events. I’ve known it for a very long time. So, please know that no one scared me except ME… haha!!

    Thanks to you both,
    Mimi

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th March 2012

      Mimi and SMD
      Here is something that really made me think about all this very differently as I came along in my healing process and I say it here only for “food for thought”. I found out that my depressions, bi polar and dissociative identity disorder were ALL coping methods too and when I got to the roots of where they originated, and corrected the lies in my false belief system, I didn’t need them anymore.
      Hugs! Darlene

  15. By: Mimi Posted: 4th March 2012

    Darlene,
    I am trying to get to the very roots of anxiety too. I have found that I’m not sure I can remember back that far…to the first time I experienced it. Did you ever come up against that roadblock in your recovery? My memories of childhood are pretty sketchy.
    Thanks,
    Mimi

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th March 2012

      Mimi
      I thought that was going to be the reason I couldn’t go as far as I wanted to, but the belief system formed from many events. Perhaps I use the word “roots” too much! It is really about discovering what I believed about myself from however young.. I started with the first memories I had. (I had very few) and by the time I looked at 2 events, lights were going on like crazy! I focused on what I could remember, and didn’t worry about what I didn’t remember!
      Hugs! Darlene

  16. By: SMD Posted: 4th March 2012

    Hi Darlene & Mimi,
    I appreciate you both for clarifying your point of views. Darlene, it’s coincidental that you mention your mental health problems/diagnoses were all coping skills. I was also pondering that same thought, the other day. That is how I protected myself from facing the pain & trauma. Thanks for the food for thought and the Love!

    Mimi,
    I appreciate your positive input in wanting to learn better coping skills…It does help from my experience…Certainly,it doesn’t hurt. Keep me posted on your progress with this. Peace out Mimi…..

    Sincerely, SMD

  17. By: Mimi Posted: 4th March 2012

    Darlene,
    Now that I read your comment, I think you’ve mentioned this before. Sorry for asking you to repeat. Amid all the emotions and energy involved in recovering, I lose some key points in the process. Thanks for reinforcing.
    xoxo,
    Mimi

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th March 2012

      I had to hear things over and over again too. It is because we heard the same (false) message for years and years.. the new messsage has to be enforced (cemented) the same way…over time. One of these days I have to start doing everything in audio to save time!
      Hugs,!
      Darlene

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