Everyone Has A Story
Mine was a painful, disastrous one. But I found that sharing one’s story is healing and powerful. It connects, validates, and liberates. I also found that the worst of stories can turn into redemptive legacies.
Many thanks to VoyageLA for sharing my story.
The Backstory of New Legacy
When I was a therapist intern, I met a fellow intern in his 60’s named “T.” He was wise, honest, and he was a recovering sex addict. He ran men’s sex addiction groups and he really enjoyed the work. Week in and week out, he would show up for the groups, helping other men reach long term recovery. Not only did he diligently collect the 3000 hours necessary to qualify for his licensing exam, but he also flew to other parts of the country to receive training for sex addiction therapy certification.
One day, T was diagnosed with cancer. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he were to put his work and his studying on hold (maybe even permanently) to focus on his health. But he didn’t. He received cancer treatment, and still studied and still worked, and still invested in the men he wanted to help.
And then he died.
Was it all for nothing? All the effort, all the time, all the money? Just to die in the end? Ask his wife. Ask his family. Ask the men he helped. They will all tell you the same thing. It was all worth it.
When I thought about what to name my counseling practice, my mind found its way back to T. When people spoke of him at his funeral, they spoke of his legacy. He was not remembered as “T the shameful sex addict.” Instead, he was T the man who bravely confronted his weaknesses. T the man who revolutionized his life to live porn-free and deception-free. T the man who became a healer of others with sex addiction. This became his new legacy.
I believe it is never too late to create a new legacy.
What about you? What do you want your new legacy to be?
Interview with Dr. Jessica ChenFeng on Centering
Interview with Tim St. John for the SOLA Network
Board of Behavioral Sciences
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (Lic.#MFT82450)
BA English Literature, UC Berkeley
M.Div, Biola University
MA Clinical Psychology, Azusa Pacific University
Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (IITAP)
Certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitator
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