Here is the first in a series of sharings/interviews that I will post regularly. People who overcame obstacles, who reached their goal or realized their dream will give you some tips and tell you how they dealt with their difficulties. I meet many inspiring people in my work as a Coach, and I am sure you do as well in your life. But only on rare occasions do we get to truly hear the more detailed story of how they overcame barriers, especially those within, and how they accomplished themselves. I wanted to offer this platform for others to speak because I want to illuminate the genius that I see in everyone, and I know that when we recognize ourselves in others and we see that those we identify with have succeeded, it plants a seed in our minds that maybe we can too. And I wish to tell you that you are right.
Today, Karen Coleman, a wonderful singer from Ireland, shares how she came out of a very dark place and into the light.
«I found music in the darkness.
Firstly, let me tell you that I have been a singer my entire life, I did my first gig when I was thirteen years old, much to the dismay of the nuns in the Convent school I went to in Dublin. I won’t tell you my whole story as I am not sure it’s all that relevant, but what I will tell you is that three years ago, everything in my life changed. I had been touring the world with a successful band that I had worked with for seventeen years, I was in a relationship, my daughter was in College : everything was great. But then my partner met someone else. My relationship ended. As a result I had no choice but to leave my job. Weeks later my daughter, who had fallen in love with a guy in England, told me she was leaving home to be with him. I was devastated. The balance of my life had tipped so hard in another direction that I was catapulted into a darkness I never knew existed.
The first five months in the darkness, I didn’t leave my house, I couldn’t get dressed, I couldn’t think straight. I drank at least a bottle of wine a night, searching for oblivion, not wanting to touch my thoughts, because the thoughts that lived in my head were the enemy. How could I think about the man I loved in the arms of someone else, or the fact that my depression had torn my family apart ?
But then something happened, I sat at the piano, and started to write. I had written songs as a young child, but somehow, in all the years of singing, I had lost my connection with music. And there it began, note by note, piece by piece. I slowly put little pieces of pain into every song. Music was my healing. Music IS my healing !
I wrote and released an album of my own music which received critical acclaim. One of my songs reached number one on an unsigned artists chart in the UK where it stayed for three weeks. I have recently played a sell out show, and signed a management deal, and I am looking at recording a new album this year !
What can I tell you if you are in the darkness? There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope. For me, music and writing were the things that helped me find my true place in the world. I was not just a Mother, girlfriend, or a session musician. I was much more than that. And it was the tipping of the balance of my life that showed me that we are all so much more !
My aunt said something to me recently that really struck a chord : “If you could have him back, and your old job BUT I told you that you could never write another song again, what would you do? »
The answer is : I wouldn’t change a single thing. The love or the loss. The love has given me beautiful memories, the loss gave me the tools and resources to write music, and much much more : it has given ME back.
For me my healing and path out of the darkness was through music, yours may be baking pretty cakes that put smiles on your children’s or grandchildren’s faces, or writing that short story, painting a picture, knit that jumper, building that model airplane you’ve talked about for years… What ever you wish for or dream about, the time it takes to “do” it is far less than the time it takes to “think” about doing it. Find what it is that inspires you, and through that you will find Peace, and baby step by baby step, you will find your way out of the darkness, into a new life, a new you… And you’ll be amazed who and what you will meet on the other side.»