“Going through this has helped me get out of neutral. I’ve just been idling. I’m proud of myself for the first time in my life.”
Success stories don’t usually begin with an adult child ‘borrowing’ his mother’s car and being arrested after an alcohol-related accident, yet that is exactly how Mitch’s story starts. At 22 years old, Mitch’s life was stalled. He’d had a DUI at age 18 and had struggled in college, his partying overtaking his accomplishments. Mitch’s mother, Jan, knew her son was struggling but nothing yet had helped him get back on his feet. He was then living with his mother and searching for work, with little luck. “I was not at all satisfied with where I was in life. I had expected more out of life.” The more he felt hopelessly stuck, the more he drank and the less he did to change his situation. The more Mitch struggled, the more worried Jan became yet she was at her wit’s end about what to do for him.
After Mitch’s arrest, Jan encouraged Mitch to do Blue Binder Project. It was time for Mitch to take charge of his life and make it into something he could be proud of. At first, Mitch was terrified to move past the ‘safety’ of where he was stalled; in reality, he was afraid to try again because he had failed so many times before. Yet Blue Binder Project challenged him in ways he responded to. He began thinking differently and focusing on small steps and then building on his successes. Blue Binder Project gave him the structure and support he needed to make forward progress. There were times he didn’t want to do the work, to answer the tough questions. But with his mother’s support, he persevered and saw how he was learning to be more open with the important people in his life. He started living again, doing activities he loved, like baseball and hiking. Those small successes soon turned into bigger accomplishments. By the end of his work with Blue Binder Project, Mitch had a job and was trying new hobbies like soccer and painting with his girlfriend. He was exercising regularly, eating well, sleeping better. His relationships with his mom and sister were “at their peak” as he purposefully put energy into them. He could see himself in a whole new light, not as lazy or stuck, but as doing well and enjoying his life. In a near fairy-tale ending, Mitch was even asked to try out for two different semi-pro baseball teams, a dream he’d kept hidden for years. Jan couldn’t be more proud of her son’s accomplishments, or more relieved at the reappearance of the loving, charismatic and successful person she knew was hiding inside Mitch all along.