“You get the help you need the most when you give help...”
I remember the first time I heard this. It was through my job; I was interviewing a man who operated a "New Age" bookstore and was an “intuitive life coach,” both rather unusual and not widely accepted situations in the rural, small town community I write stories for. I had hoped to stop the spread of myths and rumors that this person was some sort of devil worshipper. He was one of the most spiritual persons I knew, and was in fact an ordained minister who performed marriages and conducted funerals. I had experienced his intuitive gifts firsthand, and asked him how he came to use them to help others. His response was that he “taught to learn.” That he helped illuminate things for others and in so doing, he was helping himself to spread light. The thought that “you get the help you need the most when you give help” sounded strange, but it stuck with me.
I didn’t realize how true it was until I landed on The Path Forward. When I finally got up the guts to post, the responses from other members who could either relate, validate, discuss, joke, and even give a reality check I wasn’t quite ready to hear, made me know this site was a place where people cared about healing...and helping. Cared enough to respond to a really messed up “spinning.” I had such CD and was also feeling so brutally hurt and wounded that I could barely function. The responses--sometimes many, sometimes few--lifted me up, centimeter by centimeter. They opened my mind to the truth. They helped pry the pain out of me; they made me feel like I mattered; they spurred me on to not let the destroyer bring me down and to turn in my victim card; they restored my faith in others and then in myself and my ability to rise up. Yes, there were bumps along the way but if it weren’t for the interaction, the comments--even the ones I didn’t want to hear--I would have continued to spin, likely into oblivion. Instead, with everyone’s help here, I began to rise. So I began to try to help others as they landed here on their knees, mired in darkness. Was I healed? No. But in trying to lift others up, or offer honest interchange without the intent to hurt or shame or belittle or judge or blow off, it lifted me up...centimeter by centimeter, inch by inch. It was truly instrumental in my recovery, and led me to where I am now...
...Which is three plus years TOTAL NO CONTACT (and never more grateful and happier about it), but I forget sometimes what it’s like to feel half-dead inside, where taking even a single step is a monumentous effort; where the entire brain is consumed with the trainwreck of the “relationship” and the heart is burning up with searing pain. But I have to remember so I can help others with the compassion required, with an open heart and with the intent of empowering others as I was empowered by the amazing people on this site who used their painful experience to help me and their fellow survivors. If I forget I run the risk of making someone feel worse; I forget that the steps are lined up for a reason and that sometimes it takes people a while to muster up the courage to face the fears head on and just STOP. I was still “in it” when I first started reading here...Had I been continually berated for not being able to change, I would never be out of that hell...I am so grateful that members here chose to help and believe...I choose this now, too.
“You get the help you need when you give help.” For me, this is true. I hope all who land here in recovery will consider this and maybe even try it. I found that posting to someone who is sharing their pain or victory, starting a little dialogue or even making a joke has helped me tremendously, and even helped others, too. That’s a great feeling. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
With love and gratitude, and encouragement to keep striving toward the light,
P.S. Interestingly enough, Goldie is what I would call an “intuitive life teacher and healer,” and if it weren’t for that interview years ago I wouldn’t have the language to describe her gifts. Check out her blog and recovery options at http://www.lisaescott.com/blog/goldie