She is the face behind the face of the company, Crisis Averted. The real story. The reason it launched and exists. Most companies begin with credentials that include a 4-year bachelors degree with a major and a minor in specific fields of study. I'm often asked if I have a Psychology degree, if I'm a licensed counselor or if I'm paid by the public school systems. The answer is "no" to all. Which usually follows by a puzzled look of what exactly Life Coaching is or what these public speaking engagements could possibly include!
This companies credentials begin with the face in the picture. Her name is Josie. It began with a death by suicide. Then a phone call. The one that changes everything. The one where you realize never again would you be who you once were. It began with the cold hard truth of what that really looks like and how absolutely terrible it is to feel so helpless, not being able to save another human being from the depths of their own hell. Even worse, was not knowing it was anywhere near that bad. It followed with unending guilt, depression and sadness that words can't describe. The heaviness of her pain was instantaneously transferred to those left behind.
Then, it was being forced to walk the same path she did. One I simply could never understand prior. It was being buried in a pillow that I never wanted to leave. Followed by the bottle. The bottle of booze, the bottle of meds, (never ending medications to "fix" me), a pack of marlboros and even more external toxicity at every corner. After learning how to overcome those, it was learning to feel again without constant numbing. And I am not going to lie when I say that was more painful then any hang over! From there was acceptance. Which, on days like today, can feel light years away. Then there was forgiveness of self. Pfff, that one my friends, is the toughest mountain to climb!
11 years ago, I wouldn't have guessed this is what would've stemmed from something so atrocious. There was this silent pull to keep moving, even in the depths of chaos. Blindly putting one foot in front of the other. Stumbling backwards, falling, getting back up. Doors slammed shut, while others opened. This company, this mission, me, as a person - stems from her, her life and even more so, her death and the lessons that followed. They are my credentials, they are more then any text book or shiny degree could offer. Its debt comes with one that no number can justify. It began with the worst outcome imaginable and has turned into what I can only hope, will be the best thing possible. I can't save her, perhaps she was never ours to save. I can't go back and redo one single second of it. But I can change it from here on out.
You see, it isn't about mental illness, it's about mental health. It isn't about fixing, it's about growing. It isn't about numbing, it's about feeling. It isn't about resistance, it's about acceptance. It isn't about them, it's about us. It isn't about external blame, it's about internal peace. It's about learning all of these, and then continually relearning them over and over again. It's about what we're here for. The life we want to live, one with passion, purpose and fulfillment. And most of all, it's about healing.
You aren't alone and your story isn't for nothing.