Wild: An Inspiration

Wild (2014)

The movie Wild featuring a stellar performance by Reese Witherspoon is an inspiring true story based on the memoir of the author Cheryl Strayed. Strayed hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in hope of finding ways to cope her mother’s death, her experimentation with heroin and her divorce.

A friend of mine suggested I watch the film as it changed his life for the better. The impact it had on both him and another friend after discussion on Facebook piqued my curiosity. I found it on Netflix and added it to my ever increasing My List feature with excited hand gripping the TV remote control. My husband and I soon sat cosy together and pressed Play.

From the outset I was hooked and knew that this film was going to be extremely significant in my life. Here was a woman haunted by her mother’s tragic death and subsequent downward spiral into self destruction and addiction. Hooked on heroin and casual sex, she struggled to cope with her deep pain.

Aspects of my Borderline Personality Disorder identified with her erratic behaviour before and since meeting my husband at a fibromyalgia support group at The Royal Free hospital in Hampstead, north London. Behaviours unbeknownst to family until I opened up some time later to therapists and my husband whom I hide no secrets with. A marriage is based on absolute trust, unconditional love and a heart-to-heart about one another’s past was the initial foundation blocks of our life together.

Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl journeyed forward, meeting various people of a questionable nature. From loss of water to lost toenail, unpleasant thoughts and constant flashbacks of her own personal tragedies, that determined soul continued to the end of her journey. And as the end credits rolled, I was sat with my husband crying. An enormous realisation smacked me in the face like the time I walked into a lamppost in Chelsea.

All the multitude of negative experiences and health challenges I’ve wrestled with over the years have not defeated me! They have not destroyed me and my enjoyment of life. They have not put me six foot under or in a haunted Victorian asylum. I have found love through mutual suffering and married a wonderful caring man. Met incredible people over the years through having kept in touch since our school days and new friends made thanks to connection on the Internet and social media. My past has not made me into a defeated heap of rot surrounded with flies, I am who I am: a strong woman who is far more resilient and positive than I realise.

Should you be questioning yourself, your life choices and the true impact of any unfortunate afflictions or experiences, watch Wild and take a journey with Cheryl. It may be one of the best therapy sessions you’ll have.

Photo of Cheryl Strayed by Graeme Mitchell for the New York Times

Further reading Recovery Is Like A Game

© Copyright: Sharon Lawson™

3 thoughts on “Wild: An Inspiration

  1. You know, since you sent me the image you used here as your title, it has been my phone wallpaper. This is wonderful to read as Wild had the very same impact on me, as you know. Cheryl’s journey may have been different in some ways, but the result of her journey is precisely the same. Reese Witherspoon’s performance was incredible and also as brave as a bulldog. And we all need to reach our Bridge of The Gods in our own way. This is a warm-hearted and insightful recommendation, which I truly hope will lead others onto the Pacific Crest Trail. To paraphrase you – we are what we are. And the most important step we take on our quest is the one where we accept and celebrate that. Thank you for sharing your own experience with this glorious film. A piece to be treasured.

    Like

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