This book is about hope. It is also a brave and courageous book, written by a woman who navigated the unknown lands of undiagnosed mental illness for over 6 decades. These experiences eventually left her in a place of anxiety and depression that nearly took her life. With insight and self-compassion, she reveals a journey of a terrifying childhood, cycles of profound depression and anxiety, anorexia, addiction, spiritual anguish, and eventual diagnoses. From all this arose a profound yearning for coherence, wholeness and healing.
In her story toward healing and understanding, Carol speaks with brutal honesty about her childhood, adolescence and relationships along the way which caused her great pain. More importantly, she tells the story of her most serious breakdown and how at 63, she finally discovered her Bipolar Disorder and other diagnoses and became stable for the first time in her life. Throughout her life, her spiritual explorations expanded; and, she speaks honestly of her troubled relationship with conservative Christianity and, decades later, her discovery of the freedom of Energy Healing, the practice of Reiki, the wonders of the supernatural world of Celtic mystery and magic, and the profound sacred transformation of the restorative practices of ancient Shamanism.
This is a book for those who experience mental illness, those who love and care for them, spiritual seekers and teachers, and healing practitioners of all kinds.
Carol was born in Indiana and raised in Florida, She earned a B.A. in Voice, a Masters' of Divinity Degree with specialties in Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Formation and a Maters’ Degree in Religion.
In the late 1980s, she was employed in the areas of child welfare, domestic violence and staff development while and various part-time ministry positions. She was also a training consultant throughout New York State for the Department of Children and Families. After returning to Florida, she engaged in full-time ministerial work in Metropolitan Community Churches and is now Retired Clergy and inactive in church work.
She is a Level Three Reiki practitioner, a certified Animal Reiki practitioner, and a Shamanic Practitioner. She is an artist, poet, writer, public speaker, musician, and an active blogger. She lives in The Villages, FL with little Finian, her constant companion dog. She is a proud mother of one son and daughter-in-law, and a happy grandmother of two delightful grandchildren.
Her website is www.thetenderjourney.com and her FB page is “the tender journey”.
This book is, if nothing else, incredibly honest. It was never my intention to write a book about mental illness or mental illness and spirituality as dual streams of insight running simultaneously through my life. But that is exactly what I did. And in the doing of that I managed to bring profound healing into my own life. I hope that this book will begin that process for others as well.
The Journey of a Wounded Healer
What I know now, though, is that in order for my life, in its entirety, to have the meaning, the healing, and, yes, the coherence I have longed for, I have to embrace the pain, the torture even, the regret, resentment, and resistance and love myself enough to bring all those parts of my fairly long experience with mental illness AND spirituality into the wholeness I have already found and the greater wholeness that awaits. It is no surprise I am tired. To try to convince you otherwise would be dishonest; and, it would seem downright ridiculous at this point in this brutally honest book, to do anything except continue to be honest. So, I am tired. I am also hopeful in ways I have never been before, and both things are true at once. It is not unusual, and, in fact, is quite predictable that spiraling upward and downward can and do occur at the same time. It is the nature of mental illness and spirituality, both influenced by the simple nature of life. In my crazy swirling search for center and understanding I was thrown from spiral to spiral much as if two tornados occupied the same pasture simultaneously.