Five years of gratitude… my journey home
by Benjamin Fry
The power of coincidence
Five years ago today I woke up and knew that I had come to the end of my capacity to tolerate any more pain. I wanted to die. That morning I faced a crossroad in my journey: turn left for death; turn right for life, more pain, uncertain recovery, a life unknown. The idea of turning left felt so comforting; a reliable path to the end of suffering.
Today, five years later, exactly to the day, I sit on a wonderful rural property waiting for the moving trucks to arrive bringing Khiron House to its new home. As I was preparing for this arrival, I found myself curious about the date and looked back five years in my diary. It was exactly today that this started five years ago. On that day I telephoned the Meadows in Arizona and was on a plane the next day. There I eventually discovered trauma healing treatment at Mellody House and my journey back to life began.
Today, as Khiron House moves to this wonderful property, leading that move is Colleen DeRango, who was the lead clinician at Mellody House. She has recently become the executive director of Khiron House allowing me to take a step back from day-to-day involvement. The power of these coincidences, these bookends even, moved me deeply.
It is also the week of ‘Thanksgiving’ in America, as it was five years ago. It is a time to ask what we are grateful for. As I reflected on that this morning I was moved to tears. Tears of pain I became very familiar with, but tears of gratitude were a very new experience, one which I found for the first time when I left Mellody House and said goodbye (or so I believed!) to Colleen.
Today I am grateful:
- That I am alive
- For the continuing love, connection and support of my ex-wife and children, who suffered terribly with me
- For better health; both mental and physical
- For the opportunity to be working and productive
- That my work is meaningful to me
- For the brave people who work with me on our projects
- For our clinicians I found in the UK who were committed to trauma healing work
- For the trust, time and financial commitment from our patients who risk walking this journey with us too
- That I made that call and got on that plane five years ago and that there was somewhere to go to
- For Colleen DeRango, who was there at the beginning and the end of this chapter, like some graceful divine presence, our Alpha and Omega
- For the healing energy of horses
- For love, connection and spirit, without which I would surely have taken the other path
- For life, in all of its rich complexity and magical layers
There was no artifice in this, no plan, not even any conscious awareness. Exactly five years have passed from one event to the other, a death of sorts to a birth; a five year odyssey to bring a phoenix from the ashes of both myself and my life. And I only noticed this morning.
I would like to give my thanks to everyone who has nurtured me on that journey, travelled alongside me, suffered with me, and put up with me. In this week of ‘thanksgiving’ I am overwhelmed with gratitude; something which I once never thought I would ever feel again.
I believe that it is a testament to the greater forces in our universe that a true surrender into recovery (which I was left with no choice but to make on that morning five years ago) is so often rewarded with rebirth. So my final gratitude is to my higher power and the angels who have watched over me. Truly I was saved in that desert five years ago and for that I can only reflect in wonder, humility and service.
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