LPGA Legend, Nancy Lopez, Returns for the Fourth Year to The Women’s Home Golf Tournament

Nancy Lopez Golf 2-21-14For the fourth year in a row, LPGA legend, Nancy Lopez will be returning to provide her skills (and heart) to The Women’s Home Men’s and Women’s Invitational Golf Tournament on Monday, April 7, 2014.

We recently sat down with Nancy to ask about her dedication to this event and The Women’s Home, and why supporting women is so important to her. This is what she said:

TWH:  Why do you feel The Women’s Home is important to the community?

NL:  As a mother of two daughters, it is important for me to know that there are resources like The Women’s Home. If we needed services, I would want them to have a place where there would be love and encouragement to help solve their problems. It is just wonderful that women have a place like this to go. Often, people live in denial, but the reality is, these issues can happen to any one of us, or to our mothers, daughter or sisters.

TWH:  As you know, The Women’s Home has a WholeLife program that helps our clients to address six areas of wellness in their journey to a healthy life. What do you do in your own day-to-day life to live a WholeLife?

NL:  I begin my taking care of myself. In a world where there can be so much negative, it is so important to try to stay positive. My dad taught me that! There are so many wonderful things, so many positive things around us. We have to notice them. I also need my faith in God. It has taken me through so many things. I pray a lot for myself and for family and friends.

TWH:  What do you feel is different/special about women?

NL:  Women have to fight for opportunity and position. Both men and women have talents, and both are needed. I do think it’s important that women be both strong-minded and ladies. Women have a lot of power in the world. They CAN hypnotize everyone in the room with their MIND.  Sometimes, women feel degraded in relationships. I know this because it happened to me. I was talked down to, and I began to feel very bad about myself. I had to pull myself up and realize I was better than that, and no one could tell me different. I am proud to be a woman. I have a lot to give to the community and I am committed to making a difference.

TWH:  Can you talk a little bit about this year’s tournament?

NL:  Being on the golf course is always a good thing! I am so looking forward to being with all of you – my professional playing friends and those players I see every year. I hope those returning will reach out to new friends and get them involved. It is such a great cause and I can’t wait to be in Houston to support it.

TWH:  Why do you choose to come back each year and support The Women’s Home golf tournament?

NL:  We should all give a lot. When I lay my head down at night, it makes me feel good to know that I have done something that help others. Many causes are important to me – the March of Dimes, breast cancer research, and The Women’s Home really speaks to me as well.  It is great to return to see my friend, Carol Mann, and the wide array of professional golfers that appear each year. Each year, I recognize more of the players and supporters – they’ve become like friends and family!

This year, Nancy will be once again conducting a golf clinic prior to the tournament. Her tips and techniques are priceless, so don’t miss it!

LPGA Golfer, Nancy Lopez’ accomplishments are unparalleled in women’s golf. During the course of her professional career, she was Rookie of the Year and received the Player of the Year Award four times. She had 48 victories, including three major championships. Nancy is the first woman to receive the Frances Ouimet Award for Lifelong Contribution to Golf. She is also the recipient of the Bob Jones Award from the USGA and the 2012 Byron Nelson Award.

“X the Stigma”: TWH Resident, Melissa, Speaks Out

X the Stigma 2-21-14If you’ve been following us on Facebook and Twitter, you are likely aware of our “X the Stigma” (#xthestigma) advocacy campaign and the many educational, informational, surprising and inspiring posts we have passed on.

From time to time, we like to include in these posts, first-hand accounts of those who have dealt with or are dealing with the pain and shame of stigmas associated with addiction, mental illness, abuse, etc. What we’ve found is that these personal accounts seem to resonate the most with you – our supporters. It makes sense, really. We can hear a fact or bust a myth, but when we hear how something affects an individual personally, it becomes emotional…it becomes real.

We recently asked one of our clients at The Women’s Home to talk to us about her own experiences with shame and stigma. Her words were so impactful and inspiring, we asked if we could share them with you. Melissa, being the brave and amazing woman that she is, said “absolutely – if it will help even one person, how can I say no?”

“My Experience”: TWH Resident, Melissa T.

“Before addiction, I loved the person I was,” said Melissa. “I was driven. I had a great career and a positive outlook. I was a good person and I wanted to get back there.”

But there were things holding Melissa back from getting the help she so desperately needed. One of those things – a big one – was overwhelming shame.

“I was so ashamed about everything I had done and was doing,” she said. “What was wrong with me? I couldn’t imagine that anyone else had manipulated and lied as much as I had…to people I loved. I didn’t want to admit it. I was so depressed and to be quite honest, I hated who I had become.”

Nationally renowned speaker, research professor, bestselling author and long-time supporter of The Women’s Home, Brene Brown, LMSW, offers up a key dinstinction between “shame” and “guilt”. This is important as it explains the poisonous, corrosive nature of shame and what it can do to anyone mired down in it.

She states: Guilt = “I did something bad” and can be a healthy reaction when we act outside our values and standards. Shame = “I AM bad”. Shame is something we are taught, that we carry around like a lead weight. It’s shame that leads to self-defeating and harmful behaviors. Once we believe we are bad, shame erodes our desire to change. We stop thinking we’re lovable or worthy of love. After all, if we are bad to our core, what’s the point in trying to change?

This doesn’t mean that people with addictions or mental illness don’t make poor decisions. They certainly do. But compassion comes from understanding why. And the ability for the addicted to feel worthy enough to get help, is partially impacted by they, themselves understanding why. For so long, Melissa had been told by others that it was her fault…that she did have control over it and so she started believing it. She wondered why others could drink and do fine, but she couldn’t control it. She began to believe that she was an awful person. This feeling prevented Melissa from getting help for quite some time. When she finally did enter The Women’s Home, she began to get the help and education on this disease that opened her mind to a new world, and began to release the harmful self rhetoric.

“My counselor began teaching me that I had a disease,” said Melissa. “She said you wouldn’t shame a person for having cancer or heart disease and that I had a disease as well. This education, including classes like “Shame Resilience” at TWH, really changed my way of thinking. I began to realize that I wasn’t an awful person. I had made some poor decisions, but I’m not a bad person.”

Melissa also realized the value of sharing her story with other addicts and other people with mental illness. She began to understand that she was not alone and that was empowering.

“I’m graduating from The Women’s Home in June, and I can honestly say that I’m no longer beating myself up,” said Melissa. “This program gave me a lot of insight and awareness into myself and this disease. It took awhile, but they were patient and I hope someday I in some way repay every person involved in allowing me to heal in this special place.”

To find out more about our programs at The Women’s Home, go to our home page – www.thewomenshome.org – and read away! To follow our “X the Stigma” campaign on social media, “like” us on Facebook and “follow” us onTwitter. There is power in numbers and opening the lines of communication is key. Join us.