Pre-Peter, (or, before I discovered Peter's works), I battled chronic depression. I rarely tuned in to my own thoughts which could cripple me. What a negatron I was! Peter mentioned in his writings that he was a recovering negaholic, well I think I even had him beat.
I had visited a couple of well-meaning therapists who, bless their clueless hearts, were unable to help my helpless self. When I dove into my darkest of days, I’d scarf down some chocolate in order to desperately savor some much-needed sweetness in my life. Or, I would starve myself. Never felt worthy. Never felt pretty. The one serious boyfriend I ever had, horribly mistreated me, and I never understood all the while that I had allowed it.
Well-meaning and frustrated friends of mine would try so hard to convince me to escape this relationship, but I never listened. He left, out of his own commitment-phobia, and Peter's poetry was there to pick up the pieces of my helpless heart.
I had tried one or two "self-help" books before. Perhaps I wasn't ready to hear the message. Perhaps the author did not move me. His or her points were too muzzy for my fuzzy brain. Whatever the reason, I stayed a prisoner of my own depression.
It's amazing what a little blue book could do. Last December, You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought by Peter McWilliams burst into my life, like a sizzling comet, and I have never been the same since.
This year, I had re-united with family who never even knew I existed. I was so thrilled. I had waited all my life for this, with such high expectations which unfortunately were dashed. Pre-Peter I would have been devastated, crushed, dead inside. But since taking his advice, like avoiding people and situations that upset me, I am learning that I am better off without those empty connections and I do not allow their sour judgments of me to rob me of the pride I have in myself. If I am not accepted, I no longer beg people to like me. I simply move through and move on. Sure, I still get upset, but the level of upsetness is so much less.
All my life I craved father figures, family figures, because I felt such a void. But Peter's words helped soothe that ache. He taught me to be my own family unto my own self. (And getting to know Peter’s Mom means so much to me. I truly feel like she’s my family. She has shown me unconditional love that I never before experienced.)
I still have days where I might feel down, but those moments of being down are no longer mountains, just moments!
I am learning to be grateful everyday for simple things. I rather religiously keep a "Book of Good" (mentioned here in previous post). I especially keep this book when days seem stressful. I find this has helped my attitude immensely!
Pre-Peter, I was always getting injured. As an amateur athlete, I had weak ankles, a throbbing knee injury, I was one sloppy mess. My doctor claimed I could never run too far, because I simply wasn't "built for it." I created, allowed and promoted (as Peter calls “CPA”) each injury. I didn't believe in myself. But, through Peter's words, they inspired me so much that I went from running a couple of miles to running a full Marathon, safely! All on my own-no fancy trainer, no expensive gym. All me, while Peter's philosophies danced through my head!
Pre-Peter, my world was a whirlwind of dark drama. Post-Peter, my life has been forever changed.
A man I never got to meet has helped change my life in a way I never thought possible. So when people ask me why I spend so much time writing about a man I never got to meet, I know in my heart, in my own way, I’ve already met him.
I love you, Peter.