OVERCOMING MY LOSSES
Mike Couture — My Second Blog
This article is also published at Medium.com
It has been several months since I wrote and posted my first Blog titled “OVERCOMING MY FAILURES”. In that blog I wrote among other things “As I enter the final chapter of my life, it has been my desire to write my memoir which would serve as a sort of legacy I can leave for my family.” I also wrote “In researching and talking with a number of writing coaches and self-publishing groups on actually writing my memoir, I find it difficult to write a complete memoir when I don’t yet have an ending.”
I am pleased to say that during these last 6 months I have engaged with a self-publishing company and now have a designated writing coach along with a full team of industry professionals who will assist me in my book writing and publishing journey.
On the initial call with my personal writing coach, we were discussing my personal and professional background, the specific challenges I have experienced, and why I wanted to write my memoir. She then asked me if I had thought of a title. I said I was struggling with that. She suggested we start with a “working title” and suggested, “what about WHEN THE BOTTOM DROPS OUT — HOW TO RECOVER FROM THE DEVASTATING LOSS OF YOUR BUSINESS”.
That hit me squarely between the eyes. This title reflects exactly what happened to me — a life-changing loss, and then the opportunity to turn that loss into a life-changing recovery, the very thing I have been attempting to do these past 10 years. I am now on a new career path as an aspiring author.
Which brings me to why I chose “OVERCOMING MY LOSSES” as the title for my second blog. As I am working through the self-publishing curriculum, engaging with like-minded aspiring and experienced authors, I am learning the craft of writing. I want to write my memoir as a means to deal with the life FAILURES I have gone through and the emotional roller coaster I have been on.
As I contemplated what I wanted to write in my memoir, I thought about dealing with my failures and thus the title of my first blog. I have come to realize that it is not the failures I need to deal with, but rather with the LOSS associated with those failures. Being divorced after 10 years of marriage and 3 young children was a painful experience and one I considered something I had failed at. I can still recall the conversation I had with my daughter and 2 sons, all under the age of 10, in which I had to explain that mommy and daddy needed to live apart. That I was the one moving out of our house. That was absolutely devastating for me. Then after several years had gone by after the divorce, I became the custodial parent again and moved back into the house. I then met, fell in love, and married again.
My wife Linda and I have been married for 32 years and have had 2 more sons to add to our family.
Being expelled from my business on September 13, 2012, which I had originally founded in 2000, was another failure for me. It was much more than the fact I could not go back to the same office the next day. It led to devastating personal repercussions of not belonging to and having ownership in what I had founded and what had been such an integral part of my life. This triggered all sorts of emotions (shock, bewilderment, sadness, hopelessness, anger, resentment, etc.). It also affected my family’s financial situation, which in turn affected my mental health and well-being, which then took a toll on everyone in my family.
Attempting to put things into perspective, I now think about the difference between loss and tragedy. Loss is losing something material. Material things are things which can be replaced. It may be difficult and sometimes seemingly impossible. However, if you cannot replace that thing exactly, you can (and will) find something to take its place. Sometimes, that new thing is even better than what you had. If it is not actually better, at least you can take comfort you have learned something (whether you believe it or not) from the experience that may be of benefit to you in the long run.
Everyone experiences varying degrees of loss and tragedy during their lifetime. Like I said, a loss can be replaced one way or another. To me, a tragedy is something that happens to people in our life. These can be life or death circumstances. You don’t just replace a person. The death of an elderly parent may be a tragedy for anyone. However, it is part of the normal life cycle and to be expected. It will happen to your parents, and it will happen to each one of us. We grieve and we move on. The most tragic event I can think of is for a parent to lose a child. When your child is born and you become a parent, you expect them to experience all the joys that life can bring. You nurture them and will give your own life for them without hesitation. To have the life end for the most important person in your life is TRAGEDY. While fortunately I have not experienced the death of one of my children, my parents did, and one of my sons and his wife have. Seeing and hearing the pain my parents experienced when the news was broken to them was a tragedy. The memory still haunts me today. The loss of my grandson at the youthful age of 18, my son and daughter-in-law’s only son, after a courageous 3-year battle with a severe illness was a tragedy. Knowing and seeing the ongoing grief they must endure breaks my heart every day. It’s something my son and daughter-in-law will need to deal with the rest of their lives. The fact is, I do not know the steps to recover from this kind of tragedy.
As I am writing my book I have come to realize I may never be able to precisely articulate “HOW TO RECOVER”, so I have updated my working title to “WHEN THE BOTTOM DROPS OUT — OVERCOMING THE DEVASTATING LOSS OF YOUR BUSINESS”.
I do intend to probe deeper into OVERCOMING FAILURE and OVERCOMING LOSS, as well as other pertinent topics in my future blogs and book. I hope you will see continued improvement in my writing skills and that I am worthy of the time you take to read my blogs and eventually my book.
I am currently setting up my Author Website which will provide more timely and continued updates on my book status.