Since telling the story about my recent health challenge and pulmonary sarcoidosis diagnosis on the blog last week, I have gotten a ton of questions. They’ve come from friends, from extended family, from sober supports in the recovery community, and, most importantly, from women considering hiring me as a coach. The most common question has been, “How can you keep coaching when you are sick?”
I am grateful to everyone who has asked because this is the most beautiful invitation to share my thoughts about the work I do, how I do it, and why I want to continue doing it.
The bottom line? I didn’t come this far to only come this far. Yes. I have challenges ahead. But, I also have a passion for recovery work and I absolutely love helping women create lives they no longer want to escape. I am quite certain my mental health would take a gigantic hit if I stopped working. I am fortunate to be able to create a work-life balance that suits my situation, no matter how it may change as the weeks and months pass.
While I indeed pressed pause in a very large way as I was in the throes of the testing and diagnosis phase, I continued coaching several women, holding space for them weekly – daily, in some cases – in exactly the same way as I always had. I did have to reschedule one coaching appointment at the last minute the day following my biopsy as I didn’t realize how awful I was going to feel.
As wildly uncertain and unsettled as those weeks were for me personally, I honored my professional commitments. And, that’s how I know I now have the power to not only continue the coaching work I am already doing but also shift back into growth mode as a coach, offering new programs (stay tuned!) for the remainder of this year and into 2020 and welcoming new 1:1 clients.
While I struggled with the decision to share my health journey publicly, ultimately I put it out there for the following reasons:
- We often think only of what recovery does for us on a day-to-day basis. And, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, without recovery, my experience the past three months would have been much different; I have drawn on recovery tools and lessons too many times to count over the last several weeks and have been so grateful for every ounce of wisdom, strength, courage, patience, self-awareness, and so much more. Knowing how much I needed all these things in a time of crisis reinforced my commitment to making sure I am constantly reinvesting in my recovery.
- My diagnosis is pulmonary sarcoidosis. It’s not a common disease. If there is anything I can do to help raise awareness for it and connect with others who have it, I want to do that. In the same way I didn’t know anyone like me when I first got sober, when I was first diagnosed two weeks ago, I didn’t know anyone with this disease. Less than one week later, I do. Why? Because I shared my story. Community is important in all areas of our lives, especially in the spaces where we choose to recover, to join forces and become bigger than those things we might otherwise decide are more powerful than we are.
- Writing is therapeutic for me. It’s how I process situations and emotions. It’s how I connect with my truth, and sometimes how I make decisions. Do I publish everything I write? Of course not. However, when I have something to share about recovery, I always will.
- It’s part of my story, and I never want anyone to think I am hiding anything.
If you are considering coaching and want to explore whether or not we would be a fit, please do not hesitate for one moment to schedule a FREE, no-obligation discovery call. I would love to meet you and learn more about how I can support you.
I promise you the following:
- I will not enter into any coaching contract unless I feel I can honor the commitment.
- Coaching will be all about you and your goals. My health is not your burden and we will not discuss it.
- I will offer you the absolute best version of myself before, during, and after our sessions. That’s my job and I take it very seriously.
- Insomuch as I hold space for you, I trust you will honor your commitment to coaching. I may from time to time have my hair tucked up underneath a hat. I may be wearing yoga pants. Please do whatever makes you most comfortable for our time together. What matters most is that we both show up for you.
- I will always do everything in my power not to reschedule our appointments.
I’ve written about how I have good days and bad days and the roller coaster is wildly unpredictable. That’s my new reality. I’ve settled into it beautifully and am surprisingly empowered by the pace that’s currently serving me. Accepting and even embracing that unpredictability allows me to plan for it and take away some of its power.
One of the recovery dividends I cash in on every single day is my ability to set my intentions as well as revise and course correct should things start to get wobbly. I set boundaries for myself and for those around me. That means if I have scheduled a time to talk with you in a coaching session, that time is as sacred as it can possibly be barring any unforeseen emergencies.
I know that even on my worst day I have a few good hours of productivity in me. I fill those hours with the most important things first. Things like coaching calls, family obligations, and anything that I have determined for myself is a non-negotiable in my recovery from alcohol addiction and management of my sarcoid. Those are things like healthy food, plenty of water, movement, lots of opportunities to take deep cleansing breaths, and lots of other things.
I call for reinforcements when I need them. There are a lot of people supporting me on my journey. I designed it that way – by accepting their offers to help as well as asking for help.
So, the answer is … YES. I am still a coach. I can still hold space for those who want my support on their recovery journey. It is work I am honored to do and I cannot imagine giving it up.