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 grew out of a desire to share my experiences and insight with a broader audience. I wrote it for those who contend with mental illness, those who love them and those who work with them in mental, physical, or spiritual settings. It is my hope that all of these people will be able to see that there are multiple ways to understand mental illness. The latter sections of the book focuses on several cultural traditions that encouraged me to alter my own understanding of mental illness.
The Journey of a Wounded Healer
This book is a gift—a ‘coming out’ of the shadows of complicity with others’ expectations and beginning to live my own truth and claim my own story. This story tells of the transformation of unrelenting pain—spiritual, mental, and physical—into a wholeness that allows me to fulfill my calling from the Universe and live in healthy and fulfilling ways. My journey is of a spiraling nature. The spirals of mental illness interweave within a web of experiences that are sometimes frightening, dangerous or wonderfully healing and whole. The spirals of Transcendence, Love, Light and the Sacred that lives within my soul are there as well. In the telling of my story it became important to describe the connection between two significant spirals—the realities of my life events and my ever-changing understanding of the spiritual aspects of my life. Obviously, one cannot truly be separate from the other, but clarity demands some method of describing the interconnection within the mystical web so that the overlapping and interacting of one spiral with another is not lost.