I feel like it’s time to really put it out there.
What this coaching thing has done for me, and who I’ve become because of it.
I’m going to go into some really personal details here because I believe that my story belongs to everyone.
If you’ve met me, you know that I’m a very outgoing, sometimes outrageous woman. I LOVE my children, family and my husband. I’m a good friend to those close to me, and I have a lot of patience and understanding. This was not always the case.
The first 30 years of my life has been a pressure cooker to overcome my innate tendencies to be judgemental, ego-driven, shallow, resentful, and most of all angry.
I had a really great childhood, my Mom is the warmest bundle of blonde sunshine you’ve ever met. But no one’s life is easy and perfect. My parent’s relationship unraveled around 5th grade. My Mom was going back to school to finish her degree and money was tight. My parents fought constantly. I was a tough kid to raise and dealing with my bevy of behavioral problems was difficult for them to deal with.
I suffer from depression and anxiety and had been swimming as a way to physically counteract the symptoms that went with it. But when my parent’s marriage was coming to an end, the drama, the hardship of it, was overwhelming to deal with. I quickly quit my extracurriculars, I was isolated, moving away from my friends from school (which ended up being a blessing) and soon I was in a new school. I started doing drugs. I tried marijuana at 13 years old at a friend’s house, her cousin bought it for us. I was smoking cigarettes. I have always been a very spiritual person, I grew up in church and I believed God had failed me. Releasing myself from the pain of what I was going through with drugs and alcohol was my distraction of choice.
This went on for a long time. I was in some whack ass version of counseling. The only stability I had in my life was my grandparents and their health was failing and my sisters and I were responsible, along with my mother for caregiving in the evenings. My Mom remarried, he ended up moving to Florida to find work, he never came back and she divorced again.
I got my act together my sophomore year of high school. I was still partying, only less. I became focused on a goal, that was getting into college and getting into business school. I worked constantly throughout high school and it was a great outlet.
I managed to pull it together to get into Ohio University’s School of Business. I moved there in 2005. I hated it. It was too rural, there wasn’t enough going on. I changed my major to Anthropology. My dreams of being an entrepreneur and a business owner no longer mattered.
I became completely unraveled. All of the structure and support I had through high school was gone. The reality of my mental illness surged by heavy drinking became very clear. My depression spiraled out of control. I was in a relationship with an older guy and would spend days on end away from school to be with him. I put myself last. My future didn’t matter. I was a mess. I left OU with 40 credits left to graduate.
The process continued. When I moved back home, I literally didn’t leave the house for months. My older boyfriend who I had been dating for a couple of years broke up with me by halting all communication. I spiraled out. I tried to go out but my behavior was so reckless and addiction fueled, it really got me nowhere.
At this point, I had started meditating and reconnecting with my body. This story of futility and hopelessness continued even after I met my husband and moved to upstate new york, where I continued to drink excessively. We moved back to Columbus, I tried to go back to school and I worked.
And then everything changed.
As I was leaving work, I was hit in the driver’s side door by an F-250. I broke my pelvis in 4 places, I lived in a retirement home to complete rehab and suffered from severe PTSD.
One day while laying in bed I watched Wayne Dyer speak on PBS. After that, everything began to shift. Self-help had entered my life and my work began.
One year later we had our first son Liam, one year to the day after that we had our twins, Christopher and Dominic. I became a mother of three in one year. After they were born, I was still battling with alcoholism. My twins were premature and the stress of being with them every day in the NICU, and working, and taking care of my oldest son took a heavy toll on me. In the midst of this, my husband started his own business, putting our already heavy burden in a wobbly place. I continued to work and even found a better job as a sales rep, but it soon became clear that I was overwhelmed, my drinking was getting out of control again, and I needed to be at home to heal and raise my family.
I had been doing constant self-development. I had attended a seminar in Columbus that was extremely helpful and spoke to a coach about becoming a coach. I went through a certification program through the International Coaching Federation, I tried to work. I struggled to be a stay at home Mom. I took out a lot of money from an annuity to fund it all.
I started becoming more personally responsible. Drinking much less, being healthier overall. I became a better mother, and I grew in significant ways. It was trial by fire and I’ve walked out of it stronger than ever. I have a business I love, my husband’s career is about to take off, my kids are healthier and more focused than ever.
I am moving to a place of thriving.
Overcoming addiction, self-loathing, worthlessness, and failure.
I know a lot of people laugh at 30-year-old life coaches, what the hell could they even know?
Let me tell you, I know what it’s like to suffer, I know what it’s like to fight for your life. I know what it’s like to wake up ashamed from a night of drinking and fighting. I have made a lot of bad decisions. But I made one really important decision. One day, after my accident, feeling “survivors guilt” I looked in the mirror at myself, and I said:
“there is a reason you are still alive. There is a reason you survived this and it will become clear soon.”
And I have so many now.
For those of you who are suffering I send my heart out to you. So many of my hardships were due to my beliefs that didn’t serve me. A deep level of contempt for myself drove so many actions that hurt me and my future. And I have a before and after story now because I chose to fight. I chose to stand up to everything that I felt was “wrong” with me and change it. Even writing this now I have so much compassion for what I went through and who I was because of it. The foundation that I stood on in this process was weak, and because of it I was a person I would hardly recognize today.
If you knew me from another time, I hope you see the changes that have taken place. I hope those who are becoming the best versions of themselves can find forgiveness and compassion for who they were.
If it wasn’t for God, life coaching, therapy, and a small voice inside pushing me forward, I don’t know if I would be here today. And as i’m writing this at starbucks my eyes are starting to water. That is why i’m doing what i’m doing. That is why i’m a life coach.