To friends, students, and clients of mine, both from the past and in the future:
For lots of different reasons (all understandable in hindsight), I began, over twenty years ago, to drink excessively and habitually, and then eventually drug. I moved over the next few years into two consecutive relationships, one with a former student, the other with a former client — both my age, both long-term relationships, both with the intention to be married (in the latter, we were, for four years). No matter: the responsibility was mine in both cases, and my poor choices, inexcusable.
I have spent the past decade in recovery. I mention this primarily because it has been through this period of focused recovery that I have really grasped the huge level of impairment I gradually sunk into, and from which I made major mistakes in judgment.
My time and energies since entering into recovery have been devoted to healing, including my own unconscious material that initially pulled me under and the subsequent addiction that attempted to first medicate that, but then only made it worse. I bear the complete responsibility for healing what led me down this particular road, and to make “living amends” every day of my life my single, highest priority.
I do that these days mainly by focusing on helping other individuals in recovery from all manner of addiction (from the Latin addictus = enslavement). This work is deeply meaningful to me, and my many clients seem especially appreciative, owing among other things to my transparency with virtually all I’ve shared above. I speak now out of first-hand awareness of the “dark night of the soul,” and a kind of pervasive humility that was a long time in coming…
One thing is certain: now when I speak of offering my clients a caring, safe, and positive environment, I mean it; am deeply committed to it; and have at last earned the right to absolutely promise it! That guarantee of caring, safety, and positivity — combined with coaching and consulting skills accrued across over four decades of learning, teaching, supervising, and writing — assure my clients of only the very highest level of professional support.