I'm Marilyn and I hope to be able to help you with your problems. Having worked in a crisis intervention center and group home since 1989 and having survived many of life's ups and downs, I feel that my experience can be of value to those of you who don't know where to go for advice. I am a Special Care Counsellor by education and a Crisis Intervention Worker and Group Home Counsellor by profession. I have survived an alcoholic upbringing and the early death of my alcoholic parent, major depressive disorder, abusive relationships, problems with addictions to shopping, gambling & Valium, have suffered from low self esteem all my life, and presently live with many physical ailments such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, acid reflux disease, migraine headaches , and obstructive sleep apnea, etc. etc. etc. Shall I go on? I'm a wreck!!!!
This site is a labour of love. Having been a survivor I feel I have a special compassion for those of you suffering from the trials and tribulations life throws our way and feel that I can be of help to those of you who are looking for a "shoulder to cry on". I can be your source of comfort offering you advice from the heart. At the very least I can provide a vehicle to vent your problems and worries and let you feel that you are not alone. I also feel that we are our own best teachers and that you as readers and fellow survivors can help each other. So, how can we help each other?
Each week, I will select a "Letter of the Week" and will provide a personal response on line to that letter. In addition to the "Letter of the Week" , other emails sent to "Dear Marilyn.com" will be posted for advice from you, our readers. It is hoped that we can motivate each other, inspire each other and "keep us keeping on".
What do you think? Can we do it? Do you have any suggestions to add to make this the greatest site on the Web? This will be your site as well as mine so it's up to you where you want to take it. Drop me a line and let me know what's on your mind. Whether it's to get advice or to give it, I'd love to hear from you.
May all of our futures be bright and hold nothing but great promises of happiness,
UPDATE JULY, 2008
A lot has happened since 2002 when I first created “Dear Marilyn.com”. I have left the crisis center and group home and am now working as a special care counselor in two different jobs. One is with adolescents in detention or protection, the other is with intellectually handicapped adults in various work training settings. Both jobs are very rewarding and enjoyable and I don’t regret my decision to leave my work in mental health.
Unfortunately, I did have to take a 10 month sick leave in March, 2007 due to a major flare up with my fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. I am by no means back to normal but am back full time trying to cope as best as I can. My sick leave was a nightmare and you can read about my war with the “powers that be” on the “Letter of the Week” page if you want.
Speaking about the “letter of the week”, I am not able to maintain it as such and now answer letters sent to me when time permits and then publish both the letter and my reply in my “Advice from You” forum. Your advice is still very much wanted and if you feel like it, your replies are very much appreciated. I will eventually change the title of my “Letter of the Week” to “Current Topic of Discussion”. Right now it is all about “invisible diseases” and the battle I went through trying to prove that I was not able to work.
Aside from my health problems, my dear mother died after a major stroke and cancer and she is still very much missed. And, my sister is now bravely battling “lymphoma” and is showing us just how brave she really is. I have moved from the west end of Montreal after having lived in Lachine for over 15 years. Although I just moved to the east end of the island, it felt like I moved to a different world. It is just amazing how we take our environments for granted until we make a move. I am still an animal lover and have my three cats (one who has diabetes) and 2 budgies. At the ripe old age of 58 with my current health problems, I am now faced with what I will do about my upcoming retirement in the next few years. Healthwise, it has been suggested that I go on permanent disability, but finances speak of a different reality and I don’t think I can retire or go on permanent disability for a very long time. Never in my life has the slogan “one day at a time” been so pertinent or assuring. I just have to get through today and tomorrow is a new day. So, that’s it for all my news. My latest “addiction” is Facebook. Have you tried it? It’s a lot of fun, but can be very time consuming. If you want to check out my profile, just click on the link.
If you decide that you want to sign up for it, you are forewarned (LOL). So, as before, I hope you enjoy yourself here on my site and I do hope you will maybe learn something or perhaps teach us all a thing or two? We all have our life experiences and have survived all our trials and life tests in our own way. If you feel you would like to share some advice or ask for it, you are more than welcome.