“I show my scars so that others know they can heal.” –Rhachelle Nicol'

I write from a very vulnerable place. I don’t make up things to write, I write from my heart about experiences I have had. I write because life can be brutal– yet, I have experienced the beautiful as well.

One of the 12 Step promises reads, “No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experiences can benefit others.” I felt voiceless, worthless, completely isolated and misunderstood—invisible even. It was a very painful place to be. I hope by speaking out now, that others may not feel so voiceless, worthless, isolated, misunderstood or worse—invisible. Everybody wants to give up from time to time, but I also wanted to die and considered ending my life. I didn’t think I mattered. I felt I only made things worse for those I loved dearly (which was the opposite of my intentions towards them) and that devastated me!

I remember in the deep abyss I was experiencing, that most of it felt exclusively like raw, unbearable pain. I also vividly remember a time when I felt extremely angry while being in that deep pain. This anger fueled me and I screamed out, “I will rise like a Phoenix! This cannot be the end of my story!” I’d love to tell you that from that point on my life was a bed of roses, and all my relationships became fantastic; however, I’m not going to start making up things now. It was a journey and it still is! But, it was a defining, resolute moment—one I do not forget.

I have to believe that no matter how far down the scale I have gone, that sharing my experiences will benefit others. I don’t know in what way or how, but I choose to believe. And, without having gone so “far down the scale”, and doing healing recovery, I wouldn’t be writing nor would I be able to support others compassionately on the Warmline. I’m fueled by my scars that remind me of my bittersweet healing journey.

You do matter! As a Peer Support, I hear people’s stories every day. I don’t physically see them on the Warmline, but I feel them and they *become seen.” They are not invisible or voiceless as we connect, and they’re no longer isolated. They show strength and courage just by reaching out. Never underestimate your story of healing recovery. Your scars are a healing witness, salve to someone else’s deep wounding, and inspiration for them to realize that their story is not over either!

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.