My name is Linda Lentini and I am on a healing journey. Over twelve years ago I interviewed for a position at Advocacy Unlimited (AU) and I have been here ever since. AU was a very small nonprofit at the time and when I started there was only four of us including our interim executive director Karen Kangas. We were a small yet mighty team. We started many things together that are a big part of the agency that is AU today. Please do not get me wrong, we also faced some major internal and external challenges. We changed lives, ours and the people around us.

When I joined AU, I was an angry traumatized person in recovery. I wanted someone to pay for my missing childhood and for the violations against me through the mental health and judicial system. I shared my story with anyone that listened, focused on telling providers what they were doing wrong and blaming everyone. Advocating became my life and it was important that I help people and systems change. That became my identity.

As years have gone by, with many lessons along the way, I’ve discovered how I can advocate without being angry. I’ve started healing. I have stopped blaming providers for violations from the past. I work on being part of a discussion where a workable solution is the end result. Don’t get me wrong, I am aware that there are things happening in these systems that are wrong and horrible. We need to continue speaking up against violations that hurt all of us. Avoiding an us and them mentality and always remembering that we are all human beings living on a planet together just trying to do live the best life we can.

Today my advocacy includes empowering individuals to have the life of their choice using the mind/body, stress management, mind opening etc. practices that work for each individual. It is no longer important that I tell you how to do things differently. It’s important to do things differently and share what I have learned on my journey while allowing others choice.

I stay away from supporting any cult of personality practices. Another person, especially someone I have never met, cannot change my life or give me answers about my life.

Only I can decide what works that for me with the knowledge and understanding I have today. Gaining knowledge about practices is incredible and beneficial, following a person to gain their knowledge on life does not work for me today. For example, so and so once said……ha ha.

My life was changed when I walk through the doors of the old cottage in Wethersfield and it will never be the same. I love what I am blessed to do for a living because it has allowed me to find a life worth living. Many years ago, I was on a mission to end my life and now I am so happy I failed that mission.

Hugs and Health to All,

Linda Lentini