Coaching and Potentially Life Threatening Illnesses
If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with a serious and even life threatening illness you have likely experienced significant distress. The shock of hearing and accepting the diagnosis, let alone living with this new reality, often creates gut wrenching turmoil. Seemingly endless amounts of medical information, coming at you at breakneck speed. You must digest this information quickly and under pressure.
Although not immediately apparent, adjusting to this new paradigm is called grief. Grief is described as a multifaceted response that has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, spiritual, and philosophical dimensions. Though you are not grieving the loss of a person who has died, you are experiencing the loss of the life you had. A fundamental shift in what was, to what is. In the midst of sadness, overwhelm and pain, life has the audacity to go on.
You watch other people packing their bags and going on vacation, carrying on with their lives and complaining about small things, yet you are thinking much bigger and more profound thoughts; your thoughts touch on the “what if?” Will I be part of the percentage of people that go on to live a long and healthy life? How will my illness inform the rest of my life? How do I make the most of each day, even in the midst of my serious illness?
If we let it, so much of our life can be given up to fear, especially in the face of life threatening illness. Fear of the unknown, fear of the “what if?” Fear has a way of eclipsing our lives and seriously impacting our quality of life.
Coaching is designed to help you dismantle your fears and adopt strategies that can help you filter out automatic, habitually ingrained fear based thinking that can impact your daily life. Having someone (a coach) to support you, as you develop unique goals for coping and self care, all designed to sustain you in your journey both now and into the future.
When the Patient is Your Loved One
As the caregiver of a loved one who is experiencing a serious and even life threatening illness you may feel as though the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You would not have it any other way, but even so, you have also been thrust into a world of unfamiliarity with new responsibility and tasks you are adjusting to. Coaching is designed to spend focused, concentrated and purposeful time on you. Someone to debrief and bounce your own experience off of. Someone to help sustain you in your own journey. Coaching can assist you in developing valuable coping strategies, including self care practices, and suggestions for important resources that will support you, as you focus on your loved one and, the life ahead.