A few weeks ago I disclosed something that a lot of life coaches don’t admit…
Some people say this “label” is unhelpful.
I actually disagree.
Call it what you want, telling the truth about how I was feeling instead of denying it or hiding it helped me to figure out what I needed to do to feel better.
There are days when I feel grumpy, irritable, sad, and ashamed … But depression is a whole different animal. I’ve had it a few times in my life.
What You Resist Persists
The first time I had it, I resisted the shit out of it. Instead of admitting it, I got drunk, I smoked, and I made other shitty decisions that I’m not at all proud of. That bout lasted a couple years. Now I can see why.
The second time I had it (very early in my career as a coach) I tried to use “thought work” (thought work is a tool coaches learn to re-evaluate limiting thoughts). Little did I know that this was a sneaky way to resist reality disguised as a more evolved way of handling my “issues.” I couldn’t understand why the thought work wasn’t making me feel any better! Until I got it (duh!) I wasn’t feeling my feelings.
I Let it IN
But this time, I let it in. I listened. I admitted it to thousands of people via this post.
And something unexpected happened. I quickly started to feel better. I made some big scary decisions in my business. I did some things to create space and freedom in my life. I ugly cried in front of a friend.
And this is what I learned:
1) You Really ARE As Sick As Your Secrets.
There were times when I really needed to talk to someone. The old me hated to cry in front of other people. The new me learned that I could let my people see me cry. My friend reminded me things about myself that I would have completely overlooked had I not been willing to let her see how much I was hurting. And I would have suffered so much deeper and longer.
2) It’s Okay to Be Human
Stop hiding. You are NOT perfect! If you aspire to be helpful to others, you have to be willing to tell the truth about yourself. [Tweet that!]
Too many of us deny our own humanity through perfectionism. Thank god for my depression because I can talk to you about it. I have the experience to help.
3) When You Take Away the Quick Fixes Your Shit Comes Up (It’s a Good Thing)
It’s been a year since I’ve had a drink. Alcohol and I had a special bond. It was my protective membrane. And once it was gone I started to see just how sensitive (read: empathic) I truly am. Now that I know this about myself I’ve started to learn some ways to cope without booze. One trick is to just say, “no thank you” to anyone who enters my space with crappy energy.
“No thank you.” (When you don’t want that energy.)
“Yes please.” (When you want more of that good juju.)
Amazing how fast the dark, heavy cloak of depression, what Karla McLaren calls the “stop sign of the soul,” lifted when I took the time to tune in and ask for help.
And now check it out.
I got my groove back! (Shout out to my friends Sherold Barr, Helen MacMillan and Cheryl Binnie)