Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

On the Huffington Post: 12 Things I Learned in High School

what i learned in HS.jpgThe Huffington Post recently published my post, “12 Things I Learned in High School.” To read the entire post and some interesting comments, click here. It begins … 

Yikes. It’s time for my 20-year high-school reunion. I have the wrinkles and the gray hair to prove it. Although I look back and snicker at all the keg parties I threw at my house when my mom was away, and how I always seemed to pass out in someone’s closet, what I remember most were the wise words of a few teachers who took me under their wing and asked me to probe deeper … to think long and hard about who I wanted to be when I grew up. I’m still not totally sure, but here are some of the nuggets I most appreciate.


1. Act as if you belong.

In 12-step support groups this means “fake it til you make it.” I just remember being incorrectly placed in an honor’s class. I sat there next to Tony M., a fellow average-intelligence classmate who I recently hooked up with on Facebook, wondering what language everyone was speaking. And Tony reminded me that by acting as though we belonged, we fooled Mr. Troha into giving us As!

2. Today can be the beginning of a new life.

My senior year, a few teachers pulled me aside and challenged me on my self-destructive behavior involving alcohol. Apparently some stories about the Homecoming dance had made it back to them. “What’s going on?” one religion teacher asked me. It prompted me to ask the hard questions and confront my alcohol addiction. I remember sitting up in bed one evening that year wondering if the decision to abstain from alcohol that day would really influence the rest of my life. Twenty years later, I can confidently answer that question: absolutely.


3. Never lose your sense of humor.

Humor is by far my strongest ally in the fight against negative thinking and despair. I try to remind myself daily of what G.K. Chesterton said, “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.”

4. Success is 99 percent sweat, one percent talent.

Take it from this girl who didn’t break 1,000 on her SATs. Perseverance. That’s all you need. Just as the Japanese proverb says, “Fall seven times, get up eight.” Or an anonymous saying “The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground.”


5. Gratitude and kindness will open many doors for you.

My dad taught me this one. As a very savvy business man, he stressed the importance of “thank you” notes, and expressions of appreciation, especially to the gate keepers like the assistants to the publishers you want to publish your book. A little kindness to her will get you in the door.

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  • Thomas Waterhouse, LMHC, PA

    “Fake it till you make it” has wisdom as its foundation. In psychology, it is “cognitive dissonance” doing its thing. People who “act” non-depressed end up being measurably less depressed. It even has a basis in Biblical teaching! YES! Act “as if” you belong because the truth is, you do! Great article!

  • Douglas Page

    OK here it goes……..I cannot leave my home,I cannot find a way to get to a place that takes Medicaid and medicare…I also am so confused I have not been able to relocate to a town that is more educated and has medical attention I feel I need ( i am willing to try this life thing again) What I mean is ONE: I have HEP/C Parkinsons
    Bipolar disorder,and probably much more!! I live by myself & my only familiar(my cat’Candy’)I do not have any friends cause I just do not trust anyone!!! I do not want to leave my cat unattended so I am scaired to leave for some help. I want to keep my rental(Duplex) This is a cry out for some HELP!! PLease I just need to get meds and help,I live in Biloxi Mississippi I am willing to go anywhere other than this DYEING city.I do not know what to do!! i CANNOT LEAVE HOME sOMEONE HELP ME PLEASE!!!!!!!!!! i HAVE PHONE 228-207-1549 i COULD GO ON AND ON BUT……….. DOUGLAS (thanks I think)

  • Douglas Page

    This is a note CAUSE i want to make sure this gets Out I am scaired and lonely……….Douglas I wrote a note earlier and I need to know thaT YOU CAN HELP OR SUGGEST SOMETHING !!!!!

  • Donna

    Has anyone made contact with you yet? Hang in there. Take a deep breath and know that at the very least, others are now praying for you and help will come soon.

  • Your Name

    I am praying for you too. I pray that you are comforted and help will come to you. Let your feelings of being scared and lonely be replaced with the peace and well-being that is yours to have.

  • Your Name

    Hmmm…Wait!Am i getting surprized with you Dough?What’s going on?
    God is good,all the time,that is the truth,if he is blessing you
    and as always,big or small in your life,that doesn’t really matter,
    what matters most is that you know that God is always there,you
    never look tooo far to reach Him because our health is one big
    blessing we could receive from Him,we just need to count our own
    blessings and we know it is always there,if we don’t,God never be
    mocked here.As humans,we are vulnerable to not feeling contentment
    in everything,that is the reason that God planted eternity in our
    hearts because of this emptiness,but if we will accept Christ in our
    lives,He filled that up to us.My point Douglas is that no matter how
    difficult is your situation,no matter how confused and groping you
    were with your situation,God never left you,that is why for all people who is watching all your ways,there is no way they will find
    any corruption and greediness in your behaviors because truly,what they see is wahat they get!Anything that is not naturally given by God
    may it be character,fame or fortune can vanish in no time from us,it
    will surely reveal the whole truth on what you really are because God can only make one complete in by the image He has given and is dwelling upon yourself.We are purchased the highest prize throught the blood of Christ,let it show and Douglas is just a role model of
    this we call recepient of God’s goodness!In conclusion,Douglas desserves anything,like anyone who is of and with Christ,small or great blessing,He doesn’t count,all he asks is the fair share,and if
    he cannot get it honestly,he just shrug his shoulders and pray,for God is His completeness,not anything from wickedness and greediness,but in total surrender to His will,Douglas is blessed.To you Douglas,when you say let God be God,surely,it shall be done and it
    shall manifest in your life for God is always good,that is the truth and a matter of fact!Be humble and again,a warrior is a child,Douglas is a child,sooo by his innocense,and God loves children,he is blessed!

  • Solman

    Douglas, I also am relocating away from a town where I own a home. Without a phone, with no home buyers (insurance agent trying to help there), and situation getting worse every day…I can relate a little to what you say. I’m sorry you found this blog post to be the best vehicle to be heard at. If I didn’t have the car packed like a pyramid for the life to come I would offer you a lift, even tho I recently was decimated by a parolee who had local church connections unbeknownst to myself & her parole officer. The church holds themselves and her up on a pedestal for her treachery and so I get to flee from this “Sodom” without the emergency pre-paid cell phone I had.
    But I digress. Therese, I trust you hear what Douglas is saying. Not sure what we can do for him but some of the current comments are definitely NOT helpful. In fact somewhat cruel. Is there a BeliefNet member who can help Douglas — I mean beyond “words of encouragement”?
    Therese, what you learned in high school has served you well. Also God has blessed you in many meaningful ways to help you deal with the mental health issues. I’m glad for you for that.
    Douglas, if you must give up the rental and even the pet, please understand that a pet depending on you if you can’t take care of yourself is worse than getting into an institutional environment where you can heal a little at this time. Please see if the Humane Society can find someone to care for the cat when you can’t. Some people will be kind and decent to you and even the cat even if they don’t love you adequate to your needs.

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