Today I’m going to tell you MY story. The good. The bad. The Ugly.
So this isn’t going to be one of my quirky, feel good posts. But my hope is that by sharing my story, others will share too. After all, I’m always telling my clients, the VA’s I mentor and people in my various groups that in order to be heard by the people you WANT to work with and are passionate about helping, you need to be authentic – vulnerable even.
Why did I pick now to share? Because I had a choice this week. I was faced with a situation I’ve dealt with so many times in the past and I always took the same path. Then I’d be surprised at the toll it took on me. How I let it affect my life. The brain drain. The depression. The heartbreak. The fear. The grief. The sadness. And the list goes on and on. I always made the same choice. (Ah! There’s that pesky definition of insanity)
This time as I made the same decision, my entire being rebelled. I had a total and absolute meltdown. I collapsed in the shower, crawled back into my bed and cried uncontrollably because I knew I could not go down the same path again. I just couldn’t. The toll was too great. I had paralyzed myself with stress and emotion to the point I was non-functioning. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t sleep. I knew I had to do the hard thing and change my decision to save my sanity – to save me.
Now I won’t try to tell you that I had this epiphany all by myself, because I didn’t. I had the unconditional love and support of my amazing boyfriend no matter what I decided. I also had the wisdom, love and support of an incredible therapist who has seen me through some very dark times over the last several years.
You see, I was the wife (now ex-wife) to a career alcoholic. I was married to him for 26 years and his caretaker for more than 10 of those years. But even after I stood up for myself and walked away three years ago, I was still the one he always called when he needed help. And I always said yes. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve said yes. I said yes and helped no matter what it cost me.
I’ve totally lost track of the number of times I’ve said yes, checked on him, taken him to rehab, sat and helped him through the check in process, picked him up after – Hell I even cleaned out his apartment during one stint so there was no liquor there and old spoiled food was taken out before he came home. I was nauseous the entire time and a side of my brain said “What the f*ck are you doing? Who the hell does that for their ex-husband? Especially one who has already put them through hell? WTF?!!! GET OUT!!!!”
No matter how many times I said yes, the outcome never changed. I would become an emotional wreck. My life and business would suffer. And sad to say, he never stayed sober.
Yesterday, I said NO!
I said no to him which in a way is FINALLY saying YES to me!! I put myself first. WOW!!
Did I feel guilty that I wasn’t helping him? Sure I did. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t.
But the immediate relief was beyond belief. I could breathe again. My brain started functioning. I could think clearly instead of being so overwhelmed that I shut down.
Why do I tell you this? I’m sure you’re all wondering at this point. What on earth does this have to do with my business?
It comes down to two things
The first one – my WHY. The whole purpose behind why I do what I do.
This week totally reaffirmed my WHY. WHY I am so passionate about working with and supporting coaches and wellness professionals. And here it is.
If through my support, my clients can help just one more woman come out of the dark and into the light, just one more stand on her own and take flight, improve the life of just one – my job is complete. I am at peace. Because I never EVER want any woman to be anything less than her most magnificent self.
The second is just the reminder that you can’t expect a different outcome if you continue to make the same choices.
Sometimes the hardest choice to make is the necessary one to make the outcome different. In the immortal words from the movie, A Knight’s Tale – “you CAN change your stars”.
Change. Your. Stars.
Now you know my why. I’d love to know yours. And if you have a story to share, I am all ears.