“Right now I feel very gay; that is the word that feels right for me. But I’m very open to that shifting and changing as time goes on because it is fluid and things evolve and I think we all benefit when we can actually think about sexuality as more of a spectrum and as more fluid than when it’s this binary labeling, like definable thing.” ~Emily Morris
I’m going to gush for a second over Emily Morris, my friend, fellow NARM practitioner, and colleague in the therapy world. What a privilege it’s been to witness her journey, her beautiful unfolding of authenticity. For anyone who’s deep into that gray area of life––that nagging “middling” feeling of half-living, the push/pull of a sham existence––this story will resonate with you. More than that, though, as Emily describes the healing momentum and worthwhile changes that she’s experienced, I hope you’ll find inspiration to forge your own path towards becoming your true self.
“Sobriety…and then being gay are the best gifts I’ve ever given myself,” says Emily which, imho, is the most authentic opener ever. As a middle-of-the-road drinker, the kind who never imbibed during the work week and (mostly) avoided the sloppy, blackout phase, Emily’s abuse isn’t often associated with the picture our culture paints of “real alcoholics.” Her trajectory from weekend partier to sober-curious to four years sober affirms that life needn’t fall apart in spectacular fashion before someone ditches alcohol for good. That doesn’t make the recovery any less challenging.
Getting sober often prompts other life changes. For Emily, that meant giving up weed and pursuing NARM therapy for her own healing. Side note: another therapist doing the work? We love to see it! “I actually had some pre-birth trauma and some really young stuff that had happened, like ages zero to three, that my body remembered in NARM sessions but my mind did not remember.” The process brought Emily back to her body to the point that she was fully able to realize her lifetime of compulsory heterosexuality, conforming to the cultural ideal because that’s just what one did. Emily’s healing speaks to the power of trauma and the layers of denial that often accompany it, the disconnect she unconsciously engaged in by denying the vital, fundamental parts of herself to the point that she didn’t even know she was gay!
Since coming out, Emily has broken off a hetero engagement, moved to Nashville with a woman, broken off that relationship, and learned to set boundaries with family members who struggle with the positive growth she’s enjoying. Emily’s well and truly left the middling ground in favor of a full-on, high-level expression of her most sacred self.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
GUEST CONTACT INFO & BIO
Emily Morris is a licensed therapist and mental health coach based in Nashville, TN. Emily specializes in complex trauma, relationship issues, addiction recovery, and anxiety.
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