A while ago I promised to share a story with you. Madaleine’s story. Madaleine is a coaching client of mine. Actually, let me rephrase that. Madaleine is a very compassionate, caring and generous person who came here for one-to-one coaching sessions. She not only felt it vital to make changes in her life, she courageously acted upon it and at the same time sensed that it could be very helpful for others to hear her thoughts and get more than a quick glimpse of the kind of turmoil that can be stirring right under the surface and out of the “public eye” and share what it feels like to live like that.
And what it feels like to turn the tide.
I am so very pleased to have met Madaleine and so grateful for the opportunity to work with her and full of admiration for her generosity. Here is part one of the story. In her own words and with her full permission.
The reason that I first came to see Bonnie was that I decided it was time for a change.
The past three years have been particularly difficult. They have included the challenges and emotional upheaval of moving to a completely new area where I didn’t know anyone; extended and debilitating morning sickness; adjusting to my role and identity as a ‘full-time mum’; having a miscarriage; feeling isolated and lonely; having another period of morning sickness and a difficult pregnancy with hip and back problems; being unable to sell our house and getting ‘stuck’ in a rented house which didn’t feel like home; experiencing periods of depression; coping with an extremely challenging toddler whose behaviour often pushed me to the edge of my emotions and capabilities; combined with the sleep deprivation which comes with a new born baby.
I know that none of this is particularly extraordinary. People deal with these kinds of challenges every day and in fact I there are plenty of people in this country and around the world who have far greater challenges to deal with. I feel guilty for this self indulgent outburst. Part of me thinks that I should stop moaning and just get on with it. Friends and family tell me how brilliant I am and that I am doing a great job. I have got two beautiful children, a husband and a home. What is there to complain about?
The problem is that the events of the past few years have worn me down and knocked me out of shape. My confidence has disappeared and I just don’t feel happy in myself. I don’t know who I am or what I want from life anymore and I don’t seem to have the energy or the optimism to change that. I feel that I have lost my ‘sparkle’ and a sense of the ‘real me’. If I am going to be a good mum, a strong role model and support for my children then I want to sort this out. I want to ‘fix’ myself.
I had read about Bonnie’s ‘Wheelbarrows’ Seminar and it was the first inspiring thing that I had read in a long time. Throughout my adult life I have developed patterns of behaviour which are not always useful and which can often lead to negative emotions and outcomes. In my initial email to Bonnie I explained my hopes. I told her that, “I would like to change my approach to dealing with problems and stress. I would like to break negative patterns of behaviour that exist in myself and in female members of my family and to move forward with a more conscious and positive approach to life”.
Bonnie said that she would be happy to work with me, so here I am.