In young adulthood, Donald Miller skyrocketed to success due to the wide acceptance of his New York Times bestselling “Blue Like Jazz.” But while he was impressing the masses, he wasn’t connecting with anyone. At 40 years old, after another failed relationship, he decided to seek professional help. Miller, now married, is now sharing the details of his struggles to find intimacy in “Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy.” Here he discusses what brought him to the breaking point and the healing he found through counseling.
RNS: Intimacy issues don’t develop overnight. What are the warning signs in that one is becoming isolated or shallow in their relationships?
DM: For a long time, I thought I was good at relationships because I was charming. People liked me. But I was lonely. I think that’s the sign something isn’t right. When we have hundreds of instagram followers who are impressed with us but still feel lonely, it’s because our real needs aren’t being met. For me, that meant starting to get more honest with people about who I really was, flaws and all.
RNS: How did you discover you had issues that needed to be addressed?
DM: I messed up a relationship pretty bad. I broke up with a girl, and it wrecked us both. Some friends reached out and let me know my patterns were damaging. So I got help. My problems were obvious to everybody but me. When I finally admitted it, I decided to get help. I went to a therapy camp and started seeing a counselor. The journey was amazing and healing.