By now, you probably know what really turns me on. In the world of Everything Has Been Said Before (particularly among personal development/self improvement circles), what really engages me and inspires me is reading personal stories — because there’s really no such thing as an ordinary life. Everybody’s life experience is unique, and it has the power to shed new lights, even on tried-and-true principles.
And that’s what I find in Melinda Tyler’s blog, Melindaville.
I don’t mean to over-sensationalize the tragedy, but Melinda admits to seeing the view of the bottom — she was hopelessly addicted to heroin and had gotten into other crimes out of desperation. In fact, some of her experience, I really hesitate to summarize here — it’s so persona and painful l that I just can’t feel comfortable talking about it publicly in my own words. Some people told me that I’m pretty open with my personal stories, but this woman is far more courageous than me. She is in the process of writing a memoir that recounts her rise from the bottom, and in the course openly discusses her experience with sexual abuse, prostitution, depression, and drug addiction.
But it’s not just accounts of life’s grim situations. What really inspires me is how far she climbed back up from the depth of her fall — she is now a psychology professor with impressive academic achievements, enjoying a happy and stable marriage. She is an intelligent, genuine, and engaging writer. Her stories of the past manages that tricky balance of having rich emotional content without being too sentimental or melodramatic.
To me, Melinda tells the story of triumph. There are many who talk about depression and suffering, but it’s hard to find stories of such a complete and thorough recovery and turnaround. Whenever I start to think that my life is bad, I think of the difficulties Melinda overcame, and it always gives a better and more accurate perspective. It’s both humbling yet energizing. Her story really deserves to be told and needs to be told, as it shows us what can be overcome. And if that doesn’t give us hope, then I don’t know what can.
So, when I say I recommend her blog to you, I say that with the utmost respect and admiration for what she has accomplished and for her courage in sharing her life with us. This is an important blog, and I hope you help me spread the word about her story of triumph.