Over the years, I’ve developed a reputation for being, as my friend Kim said recently, “a good advice giverer.” (I’m making that my official title, by the way.) Maybe it’s all those tidbits of wisdom gleaned from years of psychotherapy and self-help books. Maybe it’s my habit of squirreling away bits and pieces of information about things that interest me. I’ve joked more than once that I’m a font of semi-useful information. I also happen to be a certified life coach.
In any case, and on any given day, someone wants advice or answers from me. That’s cool. I do love helping people and certainly don’t want to see them struggle or suffer if there’s something I know that can be of use to them. What’s tough is when I don’t have the answer for my own issues and shortcomings. Or when the advice I share with others – good advice at heart – just doesn’t seem to be working for me.
The last 5 months have been tough. I was laid off from a job I’d held for 13 years. It was time to move on, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to pursue a livelihood more suited to my talents and interests. However, the reality of running two business (Reiki/coaching and social media consulting) and taking care of a family was more than I expected. In many ways, there’s less work/life balance than before because I if stop for just one second, everything starts to fall apart. In big business, there’s always support somewhere. Now, there’s no safety net – just me and that shaky tightrope. It will be OK, but I’m dealing with tremendous fear and anxiety about my own capabilities.
Then there’s that obnoxious little critter called depression that loves to pop up at this time of year. Lack of sunlight and wintry temperatures are not my friend. Anti-depressants don’t work for me. I hate flat affect. I’d rather feel miserable than feel. like.everything.is.the.same. I also found out a month or so ago from my doctor that my iron levels are off-the-chart high and my red blood cells are also large, so that might be why I’ve been feeling more fatigued than usual. Even when I know there are things I could be doing to make myself feel better, it is sometimes incredibly hard – like swimming in molasses – to do more than just go through the motions of getting through the day.
Yesterday on Twitter, I said that even life coaches have bad days (although it hardly seems possible that Martha Beck has a bad day, but maybe she does.) If we didn’t, we’d have no perspective to share with others. Empathy is necessary for being a fully realized human being. But some days, all I want is to bitch to someone besides my husband, who is surely tired of hearing me gripe. I’m feeling like it’s harder to get someone else’s ear because mine is taken all the time. I’m not saying the ear isn’t out there (and I can also pay a$40 co-pay for an ear for hire) but it’s simply getting harder and harder for me to ask.
The good news is, today is better than yesterday. Years ago, I realized the cyclic nature of anxiety and depression, which has helped me ride out emotional yuckiness with more patience. However, if that sun doesn’t come out soon, I might be resorting to credit card therapy or Foods I Will Regret Eating, and it won’t be pretty.
Thanks for listening.
(Photo credit: Frankh on Flickr)