December 10, 2019
After a long absence and a very dark year…I’m back. Even with that, I found much strength, joy, and inspiration throughout this challenging last year. In this video, I’d like to share with you the reason for my absence and what I’ve learned because of it.
I want to share with you the journey that I’ve been on for the past year. In November of 2018, I was at my office and I received a phone call from an ambulance driver who told me my ex-husband, Tim, was having heart failure. They were taking him to the hospital. Many of you who have been following my blogs for many years, will know that my husband and I split up over four years ago at that point. But we have remained very, very close friends. I dropped everything and rushed to the hospital. He was having some strange seizures. We didn’t know what was happening. Every time he went into a seizure, I held his hand tightly and I said, “Tim, don’t you leave us. We need you. Don’t you go anywhere.” I was desperately wanting him to live.
It was terrifying. I asked the doctors if he was having a heart attack and the doctors told me he’s having some signaling issues in the brain. They didn’t know what was happening at this point.
And that’s when I knew. You see, earlier that year Tim had been diagnosed with a very small, slow-growing glioma brain tumor in his brain. They did an MRI and sadly the MRI confirmed our worst nightmare, that in fact the tumor was growing. We discovered that it was a highly malignant grade three incurable brain tumor, the type that was also unresponsive to chemotherapy and radiation. When he became too sick to take care of himself, my daughters and I moved him back into my home and we took care of him until he died in August this year.
So why do I share this with you?
I share this with you to let you know that this is where I’ve been. I have been a caregiver for the past year: taking care of my ex-husband, taking care of my children, and working with friends and family to do the best we could to ensure that Tim’s final months were good ones. It was an important job and I wanted to dedicate myself to that.
What did I learn?
I have learned, over the past number of months, that I have incredible gratitude for the training that I have in positive psychology, which is the scientific study of psychological wellbeing. I really don’t know how people get through life, get through these traumatic events, get through these very challenging, difficult times, get through it all, without the training that I’ve had. I have 10 years of training in mental toughness, training on resilience, training on wellbeing and happiness, and how to stay psychologically healthy, and I still found it incredibly difficult. But I also stayed strong and resilient and was able to feel joy and a great sense of purpose.
Mental Health is important
Recently, I went to a conference on mental health and there was not one moment of discussion about mental health. It was all about mental illness. It was about how do we manage mental illness? How much is mental illness costing us? How do we get access to services for people who are mentally ill? It was all about mental illness, which is good. We want people to be able to get help if they’re mentally ill, but who’s talking about mental wellbeing? Well, that’s what my blog is about. It’s about giving you science-backed information about what keeps us healthy, what keeps us strong, what keeps us resilient, what keeps us joyful, regardless of what is going on in our lives.
I am going to be inviting experts in to do interviews with me that I’m really excited about.
I will be talking about how to take all of this great knowledge and research and apply it within a workplace to create flourishing workplaces.
I will talk to parents about parenting strategies for how you can help your children.
And I’m going to of course be talking about how you can incorporate a lot of this science and research into keeping yourself healthy, and whole, no matter what is going on in your life.
I am so happy to be back. I am thrilled. I would love to hear from you if you have ideas or topics you would like me to explore.
Happy holidays, everybody, and enjoy your time with your friends and your family! I hope 2020 is your best year ever!