Upasana: Thinking back on the challenges in your life, has there ever been a time that you thought of seeking help from a counsellor or therapist and decided against it?
Lindsay: Yes, there have been several times that this has been the case, with one instance particularly significant.
U: What were the reasons at the time behind your decision?
L: At that one time, things in my life seemed in my mind at least, very firmly beyond help or redemption. It seemed to all be down to me.
U: Could you expand on what you mean by ‘down to me’?
L: Yes, certainly – by ‘down to me’, I refer to the fact that I have no living family of any kind and, at that time, had really no other source of support. I had just moved to Melbourne from Far North Queensland to begin anew after 3-4 years of recovery following a serious work-related back injury. I could no longer work, and as such had developed further feelings of inadequacy as a ‘non-provider’. After being injured, I lost all that I had, essentially, including my home & my marriage – I had been married for some12 years by then, with a daughter less than a year of age. To say it was traumatic grossly understates things.
Though my injury was plain to see, and had cost me everything, a great many friends and work colleagues had felt that my injuries were much less severe and significant than they were.This resulted in constant and ongoing attacks upon my integrity; something which has left many scars.
After my arrival in Melbourne in 2001, I began a relationship that was far from suitable. I hadn’t given myself nearly enough time to heal from the trauma of my marriage ending before jumping into a new relationship. I had little support or understanding from my new partner. I was at a very low ebb, with my self worth in a very bad place. This relationship after the injury was a huge error, and yet I was drawn in: attracted and clinging to what ever hope there was of warmth and affection. I was in a new city where I knew no one at all, and had begun to feel very alone.
At crisis point, it came down to only Me. Of course, this was the very moment I needed some kind of support but I had always believed I could get through using my ‘inner strength’, and that things would improve with time and tenacity. I was very, very wrong. This led to a very intentional overdose at a time when I truly believed there was nothing else, no way out, and little if anything at all to live for any more. I have since learned, thank goodness, that I am a bit more valuable than this, not to mention being rather hard to kill!
This was perhaps the one time that I desperately needed counselling from a good source. Ironically, I have sought counselling since for what were really much lesser issues…
U: Since those years, have you developed new ways to access help and support when you need it?
L: I guess that over the years, I have developed differing means of coping with grief and loss, and with issues of self worth, some of them effective and some less so. But this has improved greatly with increasing knowledge, self awareness and help from truly great friends.
In general terms, I have tended to be self-reliant in dealing with most things, and yet I am profoundly aware that in almost every significant instance, there would have been so much more support, and with much better overall outcomes than was the case, had I simply sought help from a counsellor.
U: where are you in your journey of learning self-worth? And how will you continue to develop this learning?
L: I have always held dearly The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and have dipped into this for so many years now. Also, a lot of the Dalai Lama’s writings, and more recently the likes of Carolyn Myss, many of the ‘Toltec Wisdom’ works (Don Miguel Ruiz). I have also read several works by Hermann Hesse, who has written some beautiful words.
‘Wake Up Now!’ by Stephen Bodian has been read time and again and treasured by me for the simplistic yet powerful manner in which he imparts his message.
In the last 1-2 years, I have read things by Dr. Wayne Dyer and, really, anything else that L, a good friend of mine, hands me along the way. She always seems to have precisely the right book for me….any and all of these are always precisely what I might need at the time….the authors of many of these I have quite forgotten, but many of the words still resonate.
L. herself, as the beautiful friend she has always been, has been so inspirational and supportive toward my growth, something that is ongoing. I attribute the largest parts of my well-being today to her, unquestionably – I could never over state the many ways in which she has supported and guided me – she is a true friend, the likes of which come into our lives so rarely.