How often have you heard someone say, “Everything happens for a reason”?
Did you ever watch the Hercules series on TV in the 90’s? Right at the height of his career, actor, Kevin Sorbo, of Hercules fame, experienced a major health crisis. He tells his story of his personal tragedy in his book, True Strength, My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life. Like Jill Bolte Taylor, he also suffered a stroke in his 30’s, actually 3 strokes. He was in great physical shape at the time and yet struggled to heal the brain. He talks of a physical, spiritual (he went back to the Christian Church with his wife Sam and they prayed together) and psychological (emotional) healing. He talks about going to a Jungian psychiatrist who helped him with accepting his “humanness” or his shadow side. “We all have our shadow, the part of us we don’t want. The ego wants to leave it behind, but Jung said that the purpose of life is to integrate it.” He admits he had liked his Hercules identity and coming to terms with this “weakness” or being mortal and human, coming to acceptance of this and not feeling ashamed of “being human”, was part of the healing process.
Most addicts or alcoholics have a hard time asking for help and accepting that as a part of their humanness. His body and his mind “were telling him to take a rest”. He began to find balance in his life. He describes his wife, Sam, as his “motivation”. She supported him and recognized the mind, body, spirit healing process. From this same Jungian psychiatrist, he also learned that finding gratitude daily for what was working helped him be more positive. This is a great step to stay positive in recovery too.
Finally, we can be grateful all life’s experiences, especially the challenges because they can help us grow. Kevin and his wife, Sam, now have 3 children and he is a spokesman for A World Fit for Kids, a non-profit mentoring organization in Los Angeles. Hockey player, Wayne Gretsky in his recommendation of the book states: “Hockey is a contact sport. So is life…An inspiring and uplifting journey into the world of never giving up.” Fellow actor, Tom Selleck states: “Tragedy can transform us for the better. That is Kevin’s message.” Pick up the book and read it and tell me what you think? Better yet, let me know how your challenge in overcoming addiction has transformed you for the better.
Sue Judd, MSS, LSAC
Sue Judd, MSS, LSAC
Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor