Rising up From the Darkness: How I Found Success in the Least Expected Places

Success: A Broken Definition

We’re used to tagging people as “successful” if they meet certain socially acceptable criteria: the nice clothes, the shiny cars, and the big houses (usually located in places so far out of reach we can’t even mentally place them on a map).

The [sad] fact of the matter is that success is a broken definition. It’s not a new thing; in ancient Rome, those who were successful wore nice, bright colored clothes. In the Renaissance, being on the curvy side was seen as a marker of success. And at the bridge between the 19th and the 20th century, success in America was made in railways and gold.

Those are the stories we’ve been fed with. Centuries over centuries, we’ve been made to believe success is nothing but the sum of whatever material gains one has accumulated throughout their lives.

Beyond the books, the screens, and the business magazines, though, real, successful stories look much more different. They are made in the dust by people who have reached rock bottom and pulled their last ounce of strength to carry on and hope. They are made in vivid colors but not the ones worn by the rich of Ancient Rome; they are made in fullness, but not always the one displayed on body sizes; and they are made in gold, but not the precious metals so many have chased.

Rising From the Dark: The Real-Life Stories of Success

Working as a social worker, I have seen and heard my fair share of dark stories, but I consider myself blessed to have witnessed a very good amount of success stories: People rising from the darkness of their own harsh judgements, who learn to appreciate their hardships and struggles and share their wisdom and lessons with others.

These real-life stories of success have little to do with fancy designer clothes and glamorous photo shoots for glossy magazines and Instagram.

Instead, these stories are about light and darkness, about the duality residing in each and every single one of us, and in beating the most terrifying adversary one could ever fight: ourselves.

Yes, the real enemy is right there in the mirror, lurking from the shadows of your mind, pushing you into self-destructive behaviors and patterns.

And yes, YOU are your own saviour, your own Superman in disguise (ahem, Superwoman). You are your own angel.  You are more powerful than you think.


Since I have worked so much among such angels who fought and won over darkness in the most magnificent ways, I was inspired to write a fantasy novel about a fighter, survivor who doesn’t know her own glorious potential yet—but with a touch of magic to it.

Ladies and gentlemen, Meet Diamond in the Rough, the Agents of Angels series that I have been working on for some time now and which, I hope, will inspire YOU to declare your light and worth and let go of whatever thoughts that may be holding you in the dark.


Your story of overcoming difficult, arduous situations, whether bestowed upon us or self-induced, can be powerful lessons and inspire hope for others.  That is true success.


About Treena Wynes