Letters from Our Readers
Dragons, your books, and lifesavers
Dear Dr Whitfield and Ms Barbara Harris,
I know this is going to be an unexpected email, but I wanted to reach out to you both and send you my deepest and most heartfelt gratitude, for writing your books, and for lighting my path along this journey that has been my life.
I am now 50 years old…and just this past year, through an immense amount of volatility, made a decision to change the course of my life by going within and searching all the dark shadows that I’ve spent most of my life remaining unaware of. It’s a long story, but one I’m sure the details you have heard countless times over the years. I immersed myself in reading every al-anon and recovery book I could get my hands on, and slowly after 4-6 months some of the fog began to lift…to every author, I owe a deep debt of gratitude that words cannot express. And what I’ve come to realize is that I might even read every.single.book. that is written on recovery, but my healing cannot be through just my mind (I would have been healed by now if it was only a cognitive process)…that it must be experiential (visceral shudder)…
Your book, “healing the child within” was the start of my journey with you…I have been slowly working my through “a gift to myself” and also I’m in the middle of Dragon energy. All of them are lanterns for me, and especially “wisdom to know” is the one specifically that I’m basically ingesting word by word.
I’m one of those daughters of an alcoholic father / codependent mother who grew in a chaos that drove me to be the hero who would save the world…of course I grew up to become an emergency medicine physician,and for most of my personal and professional life I have embodied sisyphus….without hope, with despair, with fatigue and exhaustion beyond imagination.
I hit a bottom about one year ago, and though this bottom has continued to drop since then,I’ve managed to find a wellspring of hope and lightness that I never knew existed. What an enormous relief it was to realize I was not crazy…that many of my reactions/responses/thoughts/behaviors were common to people like me…who knew! Those first few months of feeling the breath of freed-up energy as I ‘ceased to resist’ I was scared that this would be a temporary phase, and once the novelty of the idea wore off I’d be condemned back to my hopelessness and despair…but thankfully that hope and lightness have never left me.
Even though I am still swimming in pain…I am better equipped to tolerate and feel what I’ve spent a lifetime avoiding. I cannot express how much your work has helped me along the way. I wanted you to KNOW that in your bones.
Thank you for listening to me
You have my eternal gratitude.
How should I start my healing?
Dr. Whitfield’s book Not Crazy: You may not be mentally ill addresses this issue.
Although we don’t know anyone in your area, we have found that going to a 12 step meeting and asking the regular participants there is the best way to go.
Either Al-Anon, or Adult Children of Alcoholics, or any 12 step program. Just Google 12 step meetings or the name of one you know of and their website will give you meetings in your area. You may have to wait until the quarantine is over — meanwhile buy the book and start reading. A Gift to Myself is another one that will help and is an easier fast read.