YOU ARE ENOUGH
You Are Enough is the story of the journey my family and I have gone through over the last 5 years since our oldest daughter (21) last spoke with anyone in the family. The book is focused on letting parents know that they are enough and gives them tools to cope with the many challenges created when a child leaves as Carolyn did. Whether it be; alcohol, drug addiction, mental illness or something else, the ramifications of simply walking away are fierce. The book walks you through many of the challenges we faced and how to overcome them from; talking to your other children about this situation to challenges in your marriage and overcoming shame.
Below is a LinkedIn post from January, 2022 that provides some more context.
1709 days ago was the last time I spoke to my oldest daughter.
It was April 17, 2017 & for reasons out of my control, she ceased communication with; me & my wife, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, her siblings. Everyone.
For the first 4 years years I felt all of the emotions. I was gutted. I was broken. I was in pain beyond words.
According to Brené Brown, shame is an, "intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging."
For the first 4 years, I felt a tremendous amount of shame. The worst situation I could find myself in was meeting new people. Inevitably, they would ask the toughest question of them all; do you have kids?
I would answer & then the follow-up question....Where does your 21 year old go to school? What is her major? Is she dating? I didn't know any of that so, I did the only thing I could think of, I filled in the gaps with things we thought to be true in an effort to avoid the actual truth, in an effort to avoid the shame.
I did all of this until I was on a flight about 6 months ago headed back from a business trip to Dallas. A series of events on that plane led me to have an epiphany. A moment of real clarity. As I sat on an airplane at 37,000 feet it hit me, I AM ENOUGH.
You are probably asking yourself why I am sharing such an intensely personal story on what otherwise is a very business-focused social media platform. Well, here it goes.
LinkedIn like every other social media platform is not an accurate portrayal of real life. We all know this but we don't often think about it. Social media is generally only an outlet for our, "highlight reel". People don't often talk about the ugly in their lives on social media. We don't hear about; divorces, foreclosures, job losses, etc. We get the highlights and then we start down the path of shame because our life doesn't line up with the highlight reel that is LinkedIn or other social media platforms.
With shame out of the way & a realization that I AM ENOUGH, I came out of my shell. I began to be confident when someone asked me family questions. I started sharing my story and telling people it has been more than 4 years since we last spoke.
Do you know what I found out? I found out that my story resonated with people. I learned that my story resonated with someone almost every time I shared it. While they would have their own story, it wasn't all that different than mine. The commonalities were strikingly similar. The amount of people in pain is astonishing.
As some of you know, I am writing a book about my journey that will be ready for editing soon. Until then, please know;
YOU ARE ENOUGH.
If it isn't you suffering, it is; your boss, your coworker, the person that just cut you off as you drive to work, the barista at Starbucks.
Love well. Be patient. We don't know what others around us are going through. Life is hard & that is ok.
YOU ARE ENOUGH. THEY ARE ENOUGH.