Sometimes It's the Quiet, Simple Stories of Resilience that Show the Biggest Transformations
by Daniel D. Maurer
I have a friend. Let's call this friend 'Peter.'
Peter's a great guy. Plenty smart, too. He's extremely active in social media; sometimes I think too much so. But never has he failed on any single day to write some observation that looks into the obvious so differently than anyone else's ability to do so, that I'm not just blown away with his pithy ability to make me think differently.
Peter's a compassionate guy. He reaches out to people who are hurting, offering them not just encouragement, but little bits of wisdom that are nothing but kindness and empathy. The wisdom he shares isn't "advice," either. It's not the kind of thing where you ever feel he's being Mr. Know-It-All. No. It's genuine. Sometimes he doesn't say anything other than, "Hey man . . . I'm sorry. Keep at it. It gets better."
Peter knows recovery. The days have rolled into weeks, and the weeks, months. Now he has years. From my understanding, he doesn't attend meetings much. However, it's not an indication that he's anti-Twelve Steps, or for that matter anti . . . anything. I'm envious of his ability to recall information, see wisdom for what it is, and incorporate it into his life.
Peter is loving, and Peter is loved. I haven't ever met the guy IRL (In Real Life). I only know him from his online alter-ego. From his blogging and writing too. But from the interactions I've seen on both Twitter and Facebook, it's readily apparent that people care about him, because he's the REAL DEAL.
BUT . . .
Peter's got a problem. He frequently suffers from self-doubt or lack of self-esteem (I'm not sure which). It's amazing because, looking at the depths of depression he extricated himself from, I'm not entirely certain why this is the case. He's an exceptionally resilient individual.
I think it has something to do with a project he's been working on over the past couple of years. It's a book project. When he reads it, he shares that he feels like his story isn't POW or WOW enough for other people to really care about or be interested in.
Writers often go through phases of self-doubt or lack of inspiration. I can relate. However, my story really is POW & WOW, and I know many other writers/bloggers who have similar stories.
I've been through the fire of publication and even a little fame; if you don't believe me, check out these photos from a SUPER WOW book event I had two years ago. (They just popped up in my "memories" on Facebook.)
Here's the thing . . .
I've read Peter's book. Gave him feedback too. It was nearly all positive. His recovery story, indeed, doesn't have that POW factor like this: you wake up out of a blackout with one boot on your left foot and you find yourself standing in the middle of a crowd gathered around you in a Puerto Rican jail cell.
But here's what his story DOES have:
- Real Transformation
- Hopelessness to Hope
- From Wanting to Die, to Yearning to Live
- From Crying to Laughter
You know, it's like many, many stories you possibly have heard yourself "in the rooms." Simple people who changed their lives for the better through something more powerful than themselves—a Higher Power working miracles through YOU.
If you're here thinking that, "I can't really make a difference—I don't have the POW or the WOW" . . . well, think again. You matter. Because you discovered the grit and resilience to embrace life again. Recovery doesn't need to be flashy or famous or movie-material to matter to someone else.
Sometimes, all it takes is the hand of friendship reaching out to help another. Or, shit, maybe just a hand to help yourself to really make a difference.
Don't ever forget that you're worth it. And I hope "Peter" reads this and realizes that he's going to transform more lives through his simple wisdom than 1000 famous actors or 10,000 "famous" authors ever will, simply because he cares.
Oh yes. And his book is amazing. I'll be yelling about it later on. Stay tuned!
About the Author
As much as Daniel D. Maurer would like to be famous, he's probably not going to be. But, he's written some pretty cool books and keeps this blog. He loves his boys, his wife, his cats, and his dog. And, you know . . . some days that's just enough.