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"Let Your Light Shine"

Divinely Inspired

- Dr. Marla D. Golden -

I’ve seen a lot of suffering in my lifetime. I’ve also seen a lot of triumph.

I know that suffering without purpose is senseless.


I never realized suffering to the extent that I’ve seen in people with substance use or behavioral use disorders and the people that love them.


I’ve dedicated my life to easing the suffering of people in pain of one kind or another, but it occurred to me that we all have to take our place in this and that the people who could make the most impact are those who have been through it.

I’ve honestly never experienced such unconditional love than times that I’ve been surrounded by people who knew or understood my suffering.


My son made a great impact on me when he told me he thought his substance use disorder made me a better doctor and I thought about the impact that had on me, the impact of him saying that to me was great. It was then that I felt Divinely Inspired. I thought, ‘ Of course!’ People who suffer helping people who suffer and helping professionals like myself help them.

With all good intention of medical professionals and laypeople, everyone is trying to do something to save us, but we’re all in this together. We need to help us, help them figure it out.


Inviting people suffering from addictions to substance and self destructive behaviors to be part of the solution with the intent to create change not only in our lives, but in the lives of others in our communities and in our world. This is about taking the charge and the stigma off of these disorders, seeing all of us and our problems as truly being the same in many ways, removing the slurs against addicts, putting faces and names to the people who suffer, and allowing them to hold their heads high. No hiding, no shame, no judgement. It may be painful at times. Remember, we are all in this together. No one needs to know the specifics of your issues unless you choose to tell them/us, but by being kind and gentle in your dealings with yourself, even parenting the child that lives within each of us, will make it easier.

We invite you to join us.

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The processes that take place in the brain that lead people to do such self destructive things are based on the basic instinct to avoid pain and pursue pleasure. The Science of Change is based on a property that we all possess called Neuroplasticity and Somatoplasticity, where changes occur in the brain and body based on what we do repetitively.

When we do something that feels good, our brains and our bodies like it and they want more. The shorter the duration of that feeling the more often we want to do it and, in fact, the worse we become in terms of our brains wiring towards that very substance or behavior. We are driven to do it based on the instinct to pursue pleasure and avoid pain. It not only involves what we feel, how we think, and what we do, but sometimes we are driven to do these things over everything else. It is like that drive to have that feeling takes over and it is our only motivation in life. Everything else falls away and falls short of experiencing that feeling. We can harness the Science of Change and figure out how to move away from this type of behavior. You know how it feels, you know what you do, maybe why you do it, you know this experience. If we work on this together, I believe we can create the change necessary to have healthy behaviors and lives that are pleasurable without tearing ourselves, our families, our relationships and our health down.

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