Contributing author to Hope is for Always, “My Classroom of Hope.”

16 years ago I was suffering from chronic alcoholism and participating in a domestically violent marriage. Our three teenagers had experienced this chaos for a dozen years. And although I was a remarkably strong and intuitive parent, I was weak and vulnerable as a partner. I could not stop the cycle because I could not put myself first. The oxygen mask theory it is often called.

But on Halloween in 2002, my 16-year-old son said. “Mom, I will not live like this another day. One of you has to go.” Brian was saying YES to his wellness and gave me the example to say yes to mine.

I left that day with the shirt on my back. My sober date is 11/11. I was saying yes to the unknown!

What is mind-boggling is, despite this conflicting upbringing, my children are incredibly centered, confident, aspiring, loving, kind empowered adults. It was time to bring those same strengths into my wheelhouse!

I learned the systems I had used to survive were no longer useful. I had to create new pathways every day. And over the past 16 years, my life became phenomenal. I found a faith in something bigger than me ( I call it, God). I attending nursing school and graduated at 52. I became a photographer to bring balance to my creative element and studied multi-dimensional healing to become a Reiki master.

Personally, I healed the wounds of domestic violence by owning my part in those early choices, I became spiritually engaged through the 12 steps of recovery, with retreats and mentors enhancing the experience every year. I invested in individual therapy and group therapies for a decade.

The culmination of so many resources brought me to a moment where I asked, from the bottom of my heart. WHAT DO I WANT NOW?

The answer was immediate “to help families make choices that bring wonderful health and abundant happiness into their lives.


IG @terryfinneganlynch


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