Lessons Learned From a Health Crisis
I haven’t written anything for a very long time. Thank you to all my clients and friends who asked when my next post was coming. You kept me encouraged during my most recent challenge.
Sometimes a rogue wave will catch you off guard and shatter the familiar landscape of your life. Maybe your storm was the loss of a partner, a job, or the diagnosis of a serious illness.
As a coach, I encourage my clients to look at life’s upheavals as points of impact in their life, which help them grow into the person they were meant to be. I know from experience that it’s not always easy to look at the event as a blessing and move forward. Yet it is possible with a little time and a change of perspective to create something new.
My recent storm of complications from a spinal tap left me with a brain that had processing challenges, frequent bouts of pain, vertigo and mental fog. Doctors told me it would take three to six months to get back to normal. The road back to health hasn’t been easy.
Having a brain that wouldn’t function, as fast or as effectively as I wanted was frustrating. I had to learn to slow down as my brain healed. No running. No computer. No reading. No fun! Today’s blog post is a marker that I am on my way back to health. I am once again able to read, organize my thoughts and write.
I learned many lessons over the last eight months. Here are some of the first ones to become clear enough to share.
Honour the Loss
Sometimes you just have to honour that the change sucks. You can’t be all Pollyanna-happy all the time. While I was focused on reclaiming my health I frequently found myself frustrated, angry and sad. Letting yourself feel all the emotions that accompany an upheaval will help you to let go of what was and accept the now.
Let Love in
People want to help and letting them help you only strengthens your connections with the people in your tribe. I needed to rely on the kindness of others to help me in the weeks after the diagnosis. I always saw asking for help as a sign of weakness. It’s not. It takes greater strength to say, “I need you”.
Having crazy toxic people in your life creates chaos and stress. I was reminded that I can’t control what other people do but I can control my reaction. Oh yeah, and worrying adds nothing to your life.
LET IT GO!
Manage Your Health Budget
While we budget our finances few of us manage our health budgets. As a working single mom with two businesses I continued to try to do everything without being aware of how much trying to do it all was depleting my health. Now I look at how much I can do and allocate my time without over-taxing my body and mind. Anything that isn’t within your health and financial budgets or isn’t your passion you need to let go of. It’s not worth risking your health to try to do everything.
The storms in our lives do pass. Believing it will get better will help keep you afloat during the tough times. Try not to hold on to what was. Take the time to look around at the new landscape. There are lots of great things to discover.
I’ll share more lessons as they come clearer in the weeks and month ahead.