Where were we? Oh yes, my life had gone completely to hell in a hand basket. Hmmm, wonder where that expression came from… Ok, so back to our story.
Completely throwing myself back into my business and into my work was probably the very last thing that I needed to do at that time in my life, but it was something familiar and there I was again, needing to make a living and keep a roof over our heads… And so I started to work relentlessly, often 7 days a week. I was working with a coach who was going to “help me” change my business. She continued to assign homework that I needed to complete if I really wanted my business to change (and that on top of a 60-80 hour work week). It was necessary to revamp my website which involved hours and hours of writing and designing and going back and forth with the person who was creating it. It was necessary to write articles and content and find places to speak. It was necessary to become someone different again in order to fit into someone else’s idea of what I needed to be and needed to do to be “successful” in our society.
I must clarify that this coach was not a villain. She was, in fact, doing what she believed was needed to change my business. She is a wonderful woman who helped me see things in myself and take chances I would not have taken without her involvement and support. So please understand that what was happening was because I was choosing to go back into a familiar dynamic in an attempt to hide from and dull myself against what was really happening in my life. If I’d been a wiser woman, I would have taken the time to take care of myself and maybe even would have been kind to myself and treated myself the way I would treat any other person who was working through the kind of chaos that was happening in my life.
Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on your perspective) I wasn’t wiser and I wasn’t kind to myself and I continued to slip down into that old familiar hole. I made excuses and alienated people I deeply care about, and I worked, and I worked, and I worked. Have you ever done that? What I’ve come to understand is that I was keeping myself so very busy that I had neither the time nor the energy to face what was staring me right in the eye. I was desperately unhappy and needed to make some changes and if I didn’t want to do it voluntarily, well, it was just going to happen anyway.
Do you know when really true and lasting change occurs in a person’s life? It’s when staying the same becomes more painful than changing. And that’s exactly what happened for me. Unfortunately, in my confusion, I blamed others for my unhappiness, mainly my husband. I am very thankful today that he did not allow me to push him away and that he is still my biggest cheerleader. He saw how confused I was and how deeply I was hurting and he refused to leave me in the middle of that all by myself. What a gift!
When I began to understand that things needed to change was after a surgery that was expected, but because of a cancellation in their schedule, I was given the option to bump it up to 10 days after the Dr. announced that surgery would be necessary or wait 7 months. I jumped all over that and worked ridiculous hours for the week leading up to my operation in order to do everything that needed to be done so I could relax and recuperate. Can you believe that 2 days after my surgery clients were calling? I had been told I needed to be off for a minimum of 2 weeks although of course they prefer you take 6 to really have a chance to rest and recuperate. Less than a week post op, I was back at my desk. I wasn’t working full days, but I was back at my desk. One day, I was so exhausted and in so much pain that I finally realized that this was completely ridiculous! You are supposed to rest after surgery for some VERY good reasons. Your body needs to heal and when you don’t rest and take care of yourself, guess what doesn’t happen?
The end result was my becoming angry and resentful. I began to realize that I had created a dynamic with my clients that was unhealthy, for me and for them. There is really no reason on earth why any person should not be able to be unreachable for 14 days and why anything that came up during that time could not be put aside until I was able to recover and, having recovered, return to work healthy again.
Once I began to understand that I had created that, I also understood that only I could change it. How did I do that? My next article is the last in this series and I’ll share all of the answers with you. See you next time!