I was lost but now am found: a Midlife Redemption Story.
Posted By Dr. Diane
Amazing Gracehas always been a favorite hymn of mine, and that line “I was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see” fits into my own redemption story.
Maybe you can see yourself in this tale of the downfall of the perfectionist, professional mom.
My achievement orientation began very young. I was smart and school was the place I felt safe and rewarded for my hard work.
By the time I was in high school, I remember feeling like I had to figure everything out on my own. Independent, perfectionistic, high-achieving with more than a few control issues.
I was wound way too tight. Failure was not an option.
My push energy and shear grit got me though grad school, complete with a stomach ulcer and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. (I had a lovely therapist who helped me avoid a complete melt down).
I got married. I progressed in my career. I worked way too many hours but felt like I was doing something important, helping others to heal. I was 34 years old and had the big job of Clinical Director of a Drug and Alcohol Rehab Hospital.
Then I started having babies and by the time #2 entered the world, I knew 60-hour work weeks had to end.
I switched to private practice, but was so afraid I would fail, that I developed a huge anxiety problem and had to go on medication and seek personal therapy once again.
Fortunately, my practice flourished and my anxiety lessened and I was grateful to have flexibility around family life. I had a wonderful mentor who introduced me to spiritual and holistic practices and that kept me grounded.
I thought I was doing so well keeping all the many plates of responsibility spinning.
From the outside, I looked like I had it all together. I realize now that, despite all my good intentions, my self-care was still at the bottom of the priority list and my self-love was absent.
You see, I was all in my head and ignoring my own soft tender heart.
Reflecting back now, I can admit that once the kids were in school fulltime, I quickly built up my practice and my perfectionism and push energy were back in full gear. I was going to save the world, one client at a time.
Despite having a spouse who was very involved with the kids and household chores, a lovely group of friends, and a flourishing private practice, I would have intermittent periods of exhaustion, irritability, and low-grade depression.
Rather than seeing these symptoms as signs of the need for better self-care, I just pushed through them and carried on…until I couldn’t.
I was 53 and in the throes of perimenopause. I was sleeping poorly, gaining weight by the minute (and hating myself for it), had poor energy and a lousy attitude toward life. “What am I doing? God, please help me!”
And 2 miracles happened. I was introduced to the practice of Self-Compassion and to the philosophy of Feminine Power.
In a few months, my life was transformed. I opened my heart to myself, a totally new concept (just because you are a psychologist doesn’t mean you are healthy and whole).
And I found a community of like-minded women who helped me see myself more clearly. I was able to own my “good enough’ness”.
I was a woman reborn!
If you are feeling the call to find yourself, to create a new and fulfilling chapter in your life, I would love to have a chat. So book a free coaching call with me.
We will discuss where you feel the most discontent in your life and what you would love to create.
I will help you identify a pathway, some straightforward strategies, to effectively begin your healing journey. Then we'll explore if my programs may be a good fit for you.
When you help a woman fulfill her potential, magic happens. ~ Sara Blakely
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Dr. Diane Garrison
Psychologist and Women's Empowerment Coach with 30 years of clinical experience, Dr. Diane is passionate about helping midlife women rediscovery themselves, overcoming burnout to reignite their vibrancy and joy.