"I almost drove my car into oncoming highway traffic."
Those were the first words I said to the therapist who sat across from me.
In my mind, I couldn't help but think, "How in the hell did I get here?"
But as I sat with the therapist, I couldn't deny the overwhelming feelings of fear, sadness, and foreboding that coursed through my body.
I almost killed myself.
What stopped me that day wasn't the sudden realization of what I was doing. In fact, the thought of ridding myself of the pain and the sadness was alluring.
What stopped me was my next thought - worry over who was going to care for the two kittens that I adopted the weekend before. Their wellbeing was more important to me than my own.
How did I get to this point?
On paper, my life was great. I had a good job and lived in a fun city. My network of friends was vast, and I just returned from a two week trip to Italy and adopted pets.
My life was normal.
If normal looked like
Living with a mother who was diagnosed with ALS when you were five years old
And passing away when you were 15 years old.
Losing your father almost precisely one year later to a heart attack.
Watching your only caregiver at that time, your grandmother died of lung cancer when you were just 8 year old.
Then losing your best friend to leukemia when you were 10
All the while, navigating life entirely on your own because there was no one available to take care of you.
And to top it off, getting trapped in a ten-year relationship with an emotionally abusive man.
Through therapy, I learned that up until the point that I made that life-changing decision to get help,
I had lived my life in "survivor mode."
That means you live your life from one moment to the next. You become an expert in rationalization and wait for the other shoe to drop. It also means that you have difficulty developing emotional attachments to anyone, including yourself.
Today, I am pleased to report that I am no longer living my life as a "survivor."
When I acknowledged my past experiences of neglect, depression, and abuse, I became stronger, more compassionate, and better able to weather whatever struggles come my way.
It also gave me the courage I needed to leave a successful corporate career and become a
Leadership Coach and Entrepreneur.
That is why I am honored to be supporting Shark School’s Campaign to help those with cystic fibrosis learn the fundamentals of building a business. So many patients and their families went on disability services or dropped out of college because they didn’t think they would live long enough to make a difference. With the advancement of science, patients are living longer, and now they don’t have the tools and resources to be independent.
When you purchase any program or coaching program through Shark School, a portion of your purchase goes towards granting a scholarship to a patient or their family -disrupting the societal expectation that going on disability is the only option.
Life is meant to be lived, so please help those in need to recognize their dreams.
About Tracy Irvine:
I am a Certified Mentor Coach (CMC) and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with an extensive background in coaching, talent management, human resources, leadership, and training. Leveraging my 6+ years as a coach, I offer coaching training to leaders in a fun, interactive, and transformative environment for some of Silicon Valley’s most sought after tech companies in the Leadership, Executive Presence, Confidence, and Communication
My coaching style brings perspective, wisdom, and honesty to a safe, supportive, and interactive learning environment with an emphasis on teaching leaders how to increase their employee’s self-awareness, leverage their strengths, build personal resilience, and strengthening communication.
Previous to my coaching career, I have over 18+ years of experience in Talent Management and Human Resources for organizations ranging from start-ups to global organizations, including Apple and Accenture.