For almost 24 years, I have been your morning weather forecaster at NEWS CENTER. A very comfortable relationship has grown in that time between you, the viewer, and me. I enjoy forecasting the weather for you, and we have a long history together. But today, I want to tell you about another side of me that you don't see.
For the past 10 years, I have been on a personal journey of emotional healing, a journey that will be ongoing and one that I embrace for the rest of my life. I am an adult child of an alcoholic; my dad was the drinker. It took me a long time to not feel shame around his drinking and even longer to shake off blame that I was the reason he drank. It took me even longer to believe that I could not have controlled it, or for that matter, control others' behaviors into my adult life. I have worked hard in counseling over the last years on understanding these issues and making changes in my behavior and choices.
About two years ago, my wife Linda suggested I share my personal story with the public as I have a large "following."
Linda has been a social worker for many years and has worked with lots of people embarrassed or afraid to tell their story. She thought I could help people feel more comfortable sharing their own story if they heard what I had gone through. Wow, that is a lot different than telling you whether you need your sunglasses or an umbrella! But she slowly convinced me that sharing what I have been through and learned so far could be helpful. Linda also has a story to tell, as her mother took her own life when Linda was only 7. Dealing with her mom's suicide and figuring out how to weave that into her life has been her journey. She got help early on as an adult, yet had many of the same barriers to overcome. We talked a lot about what the main issue was for both of us in dealing with our struggles. The word that kept coming up over and over was SHAME.
So, as the story goes, I was talking to the Public Service Director at NEWS CENTER one day about this issue, and that Linda and I hoped to speak on the topic someday. Surprisingly, she had been looking for a way to approach the subject of shame in a tangible, concrete way as the station had done some work on this subject already.
So this is our beginning.
I am proud to work for a station that encourages and promotes issues of real importance to the public, such as Fit at 5 or Buddy to Buddy. This is no different, as shame cuts across all walks of life and everyone deals with it on some level.
In the weeks and months ahead, on air and online, you will read and hear my story, and I hope it will lead you to opening up to someone you trust if you have been hesitant. I am not a counselor, I don't wish to "fix" anyone or presume anyone needs "fixing". I can't know anything about your level of pain, fear, shame or anxiety; I can only share my experience with my demons and how I chose to deal with them. Just know you are not alone and you may want to start your own journey of recovery. I truly hope you do and find "sunny skies ahead."