The Paths We Choose

Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, and best-selling author of Man’s Search for Meaning, was a Holocaust survivor. In his poignant memoir, he wrote about surviving the loss of almost everyone and everything in his life—his family, his neighbors and friends, his home with all of his possessions and keepsakes, his profession and his country. His survival, both physically and mentally, was miraculous, yet not just due to “luck” (though that was surely a part of it). One of the most profound insights he shared and offered to others who struggle to cope with seemingly insurmountable tragedies was that there are many things in life that happen to you that you cannot choose—the death of loved ones, to name one of many. Yet, as he so eloquently pointed out, even though you can’t always choose what happens to you, the one thing that no one can ever take away from you is your ability to choose how to respond.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Throughout my plight with mental health challenges, I often called upon this insight to help me navigate my way out of periods of darkness. It’s not easy, it’s not an instant or overnight “fix”—but it’s a psychological path that, if taken, can lead one back to the light.

T.L. Wilson

T.L. Wilson (formerly Terry Wise) has lived through a myriad of personal and professional lives, each of which has led her to the same place, with the same purpose: to provide hope and inspiration to others. Terry is the author of Waking Up: Climbing Through the Darkness, a book that offers a road map to emotional health to people who are faced with a diversity of life’s challenges (grief, depression, suicidality). Terry served on the boards of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the American Association of Suicidology and spent a decade delivering keynote speeches in every state in the United States. After happily re-marrying in 2010, Terry wrote a novel, Viewer Indiscretion, penned under the name T.L. Wilson. Terry’s most recent endeavor as a photographer is to capture and share the beauty of the world around us through a different lens—a camera lens. It is her belief that recovery from mental health challenges is achieved incrementally and it is her hope that each image will provide doses of joy to the eye and warmth to the heart. Her mission is to make the world a better place one book at a time, one word at a time and now…one photograph at a time. To view more images, please visit