As I spoke, I pointed at my husband. The camera zoomed in on him. He looked fine to me, or perhaps I needed to believe that my announcement about him would not have any effect on his masculine ego. Meanwhile, the man I was talking to told me that I was special and that most women were not like me. Oprah saved me by bringing in another point of view. It was innocent. It was a disaster. We never talked about it, but I learned from friends that my husband was devastated. What I had said was true, but he was still devastated. Although I apologized several times, he never really recovered from my unintended humiliation.

It really is true that being on Oprah can make or break you. While in one sense that appearance was the straw that broke the back of my marriage, it also injected a hot shot of adrenaline into my career. Everywhere I went, I became "the lady on Oprah." People were mobbing me for photographs and autographs in the airport and Target! My books were flying off of the shelves. The publisher was printing more to keep up with the demand.

Every organization that had anything to do with love, relationships, saving the environment, or anything else wanted me to speak. My travel schedule tripled. My office telephones were ringing off the hook. My husband and I were barely speaking, and I was, for the first time in my life, beginning to believe in myself. At last, I was loved and I mattered. I had something to say and people were listening. I could pay my bills on time and I had something left over. I could buy things without looking at the price tag. People knew my name when I walked into a restaurant or store. And yet I was always preoccupied with the next thing.

The first book royalty check I received after a season of appearing on Oprah was so large, I was afraid to touch it. I made a copy of it. I wept over it. I deposited it in the bank and could hardly sleep, thinking that the money would not be there in the morning. It was.

©Iyanla Vanzant 2010. All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of SmileyBooks.