I love hearing people share their story
Unravelling grief through sharing your story is powerful, not only for you but it helps others share their story too.
Today, with the permission of my client, I’m going to share her story that she shared on social media. I’ve been working with Gab for a few years now, and when I saw her post I felt that her story would benefit others.
Gab gives us a peek into part of her life where she felt most vulnerable. She tells us about the traumas she’s been through, how that’s impacted her life and her growth through therapy.
Gab’s Story : helped her unravel her grief while sharing her story
The following is exactly what Gab wrote in her social media, as you can see sharing her story helped her to understand her grief more. She often posts her personal story on her social media and this helps her process what she’s going through and live alongside her grief.
Live the life today you’ll be happy with in 20 years?
The past 5 years I realised I needed to make changes to live the life I wanted.
When I was 15 I was playing soccer. I had been playing since the age of 5 and that year I tore my ACL. This was the first time in my life I experienced major depression and anxiety. I didn’t know who I was without soccer.
With months of therapy I worked through these thoughts and emotions and after year 12 I knew I wanted to peruse personal training so I could help others. This was going to be my purpose.
I finished year 12, still plagued with anxiety and depression. I graduated, went to my year 12 formal and I was excited for a month off after finishing 13 years of schooling. I was just about to go away with my group of friends at the time for schoolies.
The day before we left my dad was in a horrific work accident leaving him with full depth burns to both of his legs and leaving him with lifelong disability.
Already I was in a bad headspace and this just pushed me over the edge. For months afterwards I suffered with PTSD. Everytime I got a phone call I would expect the worst.
I visited the hospital every other day which in itself was hard, but my dads resilience and strength made it that little bit easier.
I was 18. Just out of school and trying to find my place in the world. Then my life changed. I was forced to grow up very quickly. Luckily for some amazing friends I found a new therapist and I still see her today.
18months of hard, emotionally draining work, I finally found myself. I started studying nursing which I quickly realised wasn’t for me and then threw myself into getting qualified as a PT.
I had a conversation with my therapist one day that I wanted to open my own business. I wanted to live life on my terms. Life was too short not to.
So that night I went home, I was at my computer for 8 hours going through my everything I needed to create my business. The next day I launched it.
I’ve made many business mistakes and failures but that is what has lead to my success.
The last 5 years for me has been about jumping towards what I feared most. I was scared of failure, the unknown, and judgement.
Today I am so grateful that I ran towards my fears. Everyday I get to do what I love, I get to live on my terms. My business is thriving, my relationships are thriving and I love who I am.
Yes it’s hard work but in 20 years if I continue on my path I will be happy with my life.
Take the leap. Do what your most scared of. The time is now.?
What my client’s want is a “magic pill”
When I first see clients, they can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard ‘haven’t you got a magic pill or a wand you can wave to make this all go away?’
I assure them that this is a process, and they need to go through everything that life is throwing at them at the moment. The next question usually is ‘well, how long will it take?’ I answer with a knowing smile ‘as long as it takes’. Clients usually aren’t very happy with this answer. However, they get into the rhythm of sharing their story and feeling the progress of the deep work we’re doing together.
Stories are important because…
Unravelling grief through Sharing your story helps you feel that you’re not in this alone. It helps you to connect with others. How many times have you had someone tell you a story about their life, and your response is ‘yeah, that happened to me too’. Conversations are opened up when stories are shared. You feel like you’re not alone. You feel understood and that you’re part of a group. It also helps you unravel your grief and open up to sharing more of your story.
Sharing your story is powerful
Let me tell you how powerful stories are. Our daughter was out shopping and overheard a gentleman talking to other shoppers and she couldn’t wait to share his story with me.
He went about it in a very unusual, but brilliant way. The following story is the ingenious way he chose to share his story.
My daughter Sam was doing her weekly grocery shop, and noticed an older man doing his shopping. The man was going up and down the aisles in the supermarket and asking every person he saw how they were, and did they find what they were looking for?
My daughter was seeing him in each aisle, and he was asking people around her, but not her. He finally came across two young women. He asked them, and they replied that they were trying to find the biscuits. He obliged and showed them where they were, and then continued with ‘My wife died last week, and I have to do the shopping all on my Pat Malone now’. There was no reply from the women. He continued with ‘Have a nice day and enjoy your biscuits’.
The women still said nothing, and stood there awkwardly for another few minutes after he left them, mouths wide open looking at each other. They did not knowing what just happened, or what to say or do. Finally the women continued on doing their shopping.
What would you do?
I would have loved to be one of the people he asked if I needed help. What would you have done?
If this ever happens to you, after hearing about his wife’s death, continue the conversation further. Maybe you could ask some questions.
Some questions you could ask are:
- How long were you together?
- When did you get married?
- What did you like doing together?
- How are you learning to do the shopping?
- What’s different about your life now?
Asking these few questions will help him feel connected and it also makes you feel great too. Sharing his story helps him make sense of his life as it is now.
This man was determined to share the story of his wife with anyone who would listen. I wonder if anyone else had an extended conversation with him?
I love the way these two people found ways to share their stories. They were willing to be vulnerable and could share the parts of their story that they were comfortable with. I really appreciate that they let us into their lives and shared memories with us.
Lets wrap it up
I know how difficult it is to talk about your grief and loss and I never take for granted being let in to others lives. Thank you for sharing your memories with me.
I’d love to hear your story too. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org