There are countless families every year that have stories of overcoming odds. Unfortunately, many of these stories never get past the walls where they were made. The triumph of each individual and their family are what motivates many mental health professionals to get up every day.
To know that someone who was too shy to speak with their classmates is now sitting in front of an employer for an interview for their third job. To see a young woman who could only fall asleep if an adult was sitting by her door, grow to be able to go to bed all on her own. To see someone who has gained control over a substance that used to control them. To see children and families build a stronger unit and overcome obstacles that needed a village’s support.
There are many more individuals that may be going through the same life obstacles that you went through to get to where you are. If we don’t share these stories then all they may hear are the stories of loss and denial. They may never know that they can get themselves out of the situation that’s happening right now. If we don’t share our stories of how we’ve overcome those obstacles then there will be less of a chance they’ll learn how to triumph over their similar situation. They need to hear these stories because they may not hear it anywhere else, if not from us.
How can I share my story some may ask?
As you become comfortable, I’m sure the agency that worked with you towards your success would love to hear your story. Telling your story to your helping agency would benefit the other families currently going through tough times; the staff that are there, their volunteers, and everyone else connected with the agency.
The families can know that someone has gone through it, not just a story someone tells them, but a real life experience directly from the person who went through it. Your story can be the reminder of what keeps each professional waking up every morning, knowing great things do happen.
If you might want to go bigger, there’s always the option to write a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper, you may find your story is selected to be published. Craft it, let a few friends take a look at it, call in to see how to best send it off, and feel free to share your story. Here in Anchorage you can call directly to our local newspapers and they can provide you with the right information for “How to send a letter to the editor.” If you’re computer savvy, you can even just “google” it and can find your answers there.
Another great place to share your story is with your peers, local causes, etc. There are other ways to bring your story of triumph out into the light. Even if you’re not comfortable sharing your story with the agency you’ve worked with, you have friends that you can share this with. You never know who they might know who can benefit from your own life story. If you are involved with a church or a local cause, feel free to share your story with your peers in those groups. Each cause and church reach a great number of people and you never know whose life you may be saving through your story of triumph.
We need to start sharing our stories of triumph. We need to start letting the community know how we’ve grown over the years and how we’ve benefited from these programs. The community can benefit through knowing the good things that are happening in our lives because of our own strengths and these programs.
Sure, at times there are not so good things that happen, so if we shy away from sharing our successes, then the only things that may get shared with our community, unfortunately, are those ‘not-so-good’ things. There are too many great successes happening not to share it with the world and let someone grow from them.