An Open Letter to Dr. Gabor Maté
Well Dr. Gabor Mate, being on stage with you sure affected my life. As vulnerable as this is, I write this to inspire anyone who is interested to get through the tough times, anxious mindset, or difficulty relating. Four months ago, you gave me a gift. As some gifts come, it was not comfortable. The Compassionate Inquiry course was amazing, and challenged me, and made me decide to jump into a whole new level of healing.
I have now finished 12 weeks of clinical counselling for parents of children who have witnessed violence. As well, I have 2 weeks left in the Stop the Violence program for women. And on Monday, I start the Trauma-Informed Parent training. Four months ago, I decided to completely quit dating, zero, zip. What a great step! I stopped almost all dance classes and took my focus inward to get emotionally strong instead. I withdrew from circles, friendships, social crowds and small-talk events. I surrounded my son and I in a cocoon of close friends, the river, and nature. I kept my chin up and did the hard trauma processing work that needed to be done—35 year old stuff. Delving into deep wounds and patterns and pain—not fun…but worth it.
I say with so much peace, I am the happiest I have been in a decade. A hard decade it’s been for us, for sure. Learning so much from you about addictions and trauma, I keep asking... how am I so lucky to have avoided addiction after all the added-up experiences? My wise woman tells me weekly that it’s because of “a deep connection to self and hard core, committed self-care”. I am damn lucky to only have minor food issues and an anxious attachment style to deal with. If the worst things I do in life are eat too many chips and spend too much time on Facebook, I will happily take that.
We really are so blessed. And now, a break in the clouds, a beautiful new way of being, time for play, time for tea. Time for all the beauty in this life. I’m still imperfect. I still swear too much and get snippy with my kid. It’s not all done. But we are happy. We had the best summer we have ever had. We are peaceful. My kid is peaceful! (This gives me tears.) The anxiety has faded, as you predicted Gabor: when I dealt with my own shit, my son’s spirit was freed too.
I can deflect other people's stuff and relax into trusting my gut. I have found value in myself that I had let others push down for years. I have uncovered my love and appreciation of my leadership gift/ purpose and released other peoples’ issues with this space I hold. I have risen back up. I am blessed. My son and I are more connected than we have ever been. I cherish everything.
Like the change in the seasons, I ride this. I know it will change, it won’t stay so high. We just ride, and learn, and love.
With thanks, Elizabeth Bliss
(photo credit: Ben Kerr)