Dr. Tyra Manning’s story is both unique and universal, as it demonstrates the pervasive devastation of loss while demonstrating how courage and love can triumph. Tyra’s husband was shot down over the Laotian jungle while flying a top-secret mission during the Vietnam War. She learned of his death while she was hospitalized at the Menninger Clinic, where she was being treated for depression. Tyra’s worst fear had come true.
Determined to fulfill the rest of the dreams and promises she and her husband had made to one another, that she get well and become a teacher, Tyra persevered through the darkest of times. Ultimately, Tyra earned a doctorate in education from the University of Kansas, becoming one of the nation’s top school superintendents.
She has devoted her forty-year career to helping children achieve their highest potential. Since retiring in 2004, Dr. Manning’s mission has been to share her personal journey of hope with people who are experiencing depression, addiction, and loss.
Though she travels around the country delivering the messages and lessons in her new book, Where the Water Meets the Sand, Dr. Manning is a born and bred Texan. She currently resides in the Texas Hill Country.
Need help? Check out these resources:
- Operation Homefront for military families
- SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
- National Eating Disorders Association
- Alcoholics Anonymous Near You
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Locator
- Boerne Impatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers
- Texas Withdrawal Treatment Options
PsychCentral, a leading online network for mental health resources, has for the second time highlighted excerpts from my upcoming book, Your Turn: Ways to Celebrate Life Through Storytelling. In an article by Margarita Tartakovsky “Using Writing to Help Us Process Our Grief”, the author points out how Your Turn recommends writing as a powerful tool […]
With the 4th of July on the horizon, I took some time to reflect on some of my favorite Independence Day memories. The 4th of July is truly one of my favorite holidays of the year, and it’s a special time to reunite with family, friends and members of the community. Earlier this week, I […]
George Orwell’s dystopian book 1984 famously observes, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” I’m reminded of that quote more and more these days as I watch systematic attempts to erase the memory of historical figures, works of art, celebrities or politicians from our collective consciousness because they’re […]
Determination By Tyra Manning
I’ve always been fascinated by hands; they reveal so much about an individual’s character. In fact, I often make a point of tightly clasping the hands of those I first meet, discreetly glancing down to check out the unique pattern of wrinkles, scars, callouses or arthritic bends etched in their skin. These imperfections offer an amazing view into the kind of life that person has lived.
This fascination with hands goes back many years, to when I was a patient at The Menninger Clinic. As part of my therapy, I was required to take sculpture classes. I soon found that the tactile sensation of working with clay, rolling and flattening it on a table and then shaping it into another form was very therapeutic.
I also learned that my favorite inspirational subject, by far, was hands. In fact, for many years, my favorite piece of art from that period–a clenched fist sculpted out of clay–followed me wherever I went. The fist became, for me, a symbol of my own determination to overcome life’s challenges and a reminder of how far I’d come in my own journey.