I am not a pity party kind of woman, nor am I one for excuses. At all. I’m an action taker and I make things work. It’s what I do. So while I am (reluctantly) sharing this with you, I beg of you not to dole out pity, apologies, prayers, or essential oil remedies….because, listen, EVERYBODY HAS SOMETHING. I’m nothing special for suffering from an autoimmune disease and mental illness….in fact I could likely step out into the parking lot of my building and yell “WHO HAS A CHRONIC ILLNESS?!” and get a smattering of raised hands attached to people with pain in their eyes.
I don’t speak of this publicly often at all, to avoid all of those things I just asked you not to dole out…but also because I don’t want to admit defeat. I don’t want to say that it makes running a successful business all the more difficult. I don’t want to admit that it’s put a strain on personal relationships. I don’t want to accept that I’m not invincible. I don’t want to be a complainer. It could be worse. It can always be worse.
WHAT HAVING AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE MEANS FOR MY BUSINESS….
*It means using every.single.ounce.of my energy for the time that is forward-facing with my clients, and manifesting artificial energy when I run out of real energy…which happens very quickly.
*It means having to document absolutely EVERYTHING because my memory is no longer reliable.
*It means I have a much deeper level of empathy for all of my clients who are suffering from any disease/illness/ailment….because as empathic as I am, I truly had NO idea what it was like with a chronic illness until I had one.
*It means I cannot take on as much new business as I used to.
*It means I cannot book clients as far in advance as I used to.
*It means I have to take the high road when people are aggressive with me about not being able to fit them in.
*It means wishing I didn’t have to take the high road all.the.time.
*It means having to answer the “where have you been!?” questions on social media far too often.
*It means having to rely on employees more than in the past.
*It means I’ve been naturally forced to get my priorities straight, therefore finding deeper meaning in the service that I provide to women.
*It means always wondering how much further along I could be in my career if I didn’t have this disease.
*It means focusing more on the education side of things and slowing down on the physical aspect.
*It means being way more in-tune with my own personal style and artistic aspect of my work, which I am so so very grateful for.
*It means shooting more intentionally and appreciating every shot I take all-the-more. It’s forced me to level up!
*It means having an EVEN harder time listening to women hate on their bodies instead of loving and appreciating the vessel that carries them around and does miraculous things.
*It means a much deeper level of appreciation for my work and creating visual documentation of legendary women.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR MY PERSONAL LIFE…
*It means I’ve been forced to get my priorities straight, which has actually been a HUGE blessing and massive relief.
*It means having to hear “you’re no fun” when I politely decline cake at a birthday party.
*It means hurt feelings every time someone says “But look how thin you are!! You look great!” in result to the weight loss from having an insanely restricted diet.
*It means having to completely altar my schedule and work habits so that I am able to reserve a little bit of a good mood for my husband and children.
*It means declining practically all social invitations just to avoid the frustration of others trying to accommodate my diet, which even I don’t fully understand.
*It means taking 27 pills a day.