Even coaches need coaching

It takes a village to achieve mental wellness, especially when your world includes trauma. My trauma is infertility and while I dug into the work to understand and accept my setbacks, to the point of thriving in spite of my past, I didn't get here alone.

In the early days, muddling through the complicated emotions and logic following multiple miscarriages and closing the chapter on treatment, I could barely manage a cohesive set of thoughts.

I distinctly remember walking into my home each day after work, exhausted from putting on a fake smile and acting like I had my shit together, only to stare at a blank wall for hours.

I was tapped out.
Overwhelmed.
Caught up in my own shit storm of grief and frustration and anger and chaos.

My body held immense tension between the tip top of my skull through the outskirts of my shoulder blades, but I couldn't fathom moving to work out the kinks.

I was stuck. With my best effort I couldn't figure out how to dig myself out in spite of knowing better.  All my research and planning and Type A personality traits had been thrown out the window. All the stuff I was good at did me wrong. My very best effort left me with nothing and I was imploding with each passing day.

Then the anger came. I so desperately disgusted with how I was showing up in my own world, the one I held sacred and cultivated with my very being. I was livid at how I was treating myself. I would never allow this type of behavior to my friends or family, why was I allowing it to happen to me?

In my real life, no one else had given up on their Plan A. No one else had walked away from treatment. I had no resources, no one to lean on that blazed the trail before me, to provide guidance and support.

I felt more alone walking away from IVF that I ever did accepting my diagnosis.
A diagnosis, to me, meant others had been there before me...so many that it had a medical term. It was valid. Real. Treatable.

But now? I was just....here, a shell of a person walking through life with what seemed like no one in my corner.

Songs on the radio made my head buzz and triggered my seemingly never-ending panic attacks. So I tested the waters with classical music, then talk radio, then silence...all a bust.
Until one day I stumbled upon a blog post that mentioned A Life Coach School podcast and thought...huh, maybe guided conversation would help.

I dove into home improvement projects to ease my mind and move my body. The repetitive, familiar nature of sanding and brush strokes, tearing down something to rebuild it into something more beautiful, was incredibly healing. It was then I started listening to self-help audio books and podcasts, which didn't jive well with me at first. It seemed like I was being talked at instead of talked with.

Eventually I went back and tried again, and that's when everything clicked.

From that point on I would listen to personal development, coaching and guidance audio books and podcasts on my way to work. And every day I exited my car filled with optimism and energy, something I hadn't felt in a really, really long time.

Life was going to be okay. In fact, I started dreaming about my future again.

Fast forward a couple years, sitting here today on the website of the company I co-founded, confessing I STILL need guidance and support in my life. Surviving and thriving beyond trauma does not magically end. Life becomes overwhelming and chaotic and sometimes, even the mentally strongest hit roadblocks.

I did.

I have neglected to manage my own emotions and they have been spilling out all over the never-ending creation and chaos in my life. It has not been pretty and quite frankly, because of the mis-management, hasn't taken much to make me tear up.


You know who helped me through my rut?
My co-founder, Lindsay.

As we try new things and create this company we are also equally invested in learning about each other along the way. You may or may not remember that we have only met once, at the inaugural InfertileAF summit, and prior to that? We know not much more than what we post on Instagram.

As hard-headed as I can be sometimes, she was able to identify my panic-mode issues through our chats and gave me some amazing techniques to try out, just as we would offer to anyone else we take under our wing.

It was refreshing to be seen and heard. My shoulders dropped as my tension eased and it felt like I could breathe again.

You see, even coaches need coaching. I require mental tune-ups just like everyone else. The strongest minds have weak seasons, too. No one has it all together. No one is perfect. We are all human.

But, we can be perfectly imperfect together. Just reach out for help.