Mandy’s Story #8

Describe yourself: I am happily married, with the cutest golden retriever (Whiskey) and feel grateful for our sweet life. I’m 41 years old and have been a professional coach for 20 years. Next year I will be launching business with my best friend sharing our experience working in the self help industry and what we discovered is the untold truth about happiness: it is not found in a guru, money, or fame. Happiness is only found within. 

What are your biggest insecurities? 
My health issues and eating habits. I get migraines, and have many triggers I know I need to avoid. I’m insecure about going to parties, out to eat, and anything social because most of the food I can’t eat. I get uncomfortable when people ask me about my eating because I know how sensitive others get about their own eating. I don’t like it when people say “Sorry Mandy I’m eating this in front of you.” The last thing I want is for others to feel guilty about their eating habits around me. 

What are your biggest fears?
Losing my husband. I met him when I was 35 years old, and have witnessed two close friends lose their husbands tragically. This fear isn’t logical, my husband is loyal and healthy, but that is my deepest fear because I’m very happy and deeply in love. 

How do you get through your fears?
Speaking to close friends, and having a very good therapist. 

If married, what are the biggest struggles you have in your marriage?
Our political and social beliefs, and our eating habits. We are both very passionate with our beliefs, and it has been the one area that can bring out the ugliness in both of us. We rarely eat together because our diets are vastly different, it’s not really a struggle but more of an inconvenience. 

If ever divorced, what do you think caused the divorce? Do you ever regret getting the divorce? 
My husband was divorced when I met him, I’ve never been divorced but I believe divorce is necessary unfortunately. There are so many in toxic and abusive marriages who stay together just to avoid the stigma of divorce, to me that is sad. 

How do you get through those struggles in your marriage?
We have an incredible therapist on call. 🙂 

We also have rules: 
*Never insult one another 
*Never call each other names
*Never say “whatever” 
*Never say “we need to talk” 
*Never say “shut up”
*Never flip off the other 
*Never lie to one another
*Always kiss the other when one leaves
*Always text morning love text to whoever wakes up first 

If we do, the other has a 5 minute time out. We have successfully kept these rules in place for 7 years. 

What is a trial that you feel alone in?
The quest to cure my migraines. Everyone feels pity for me, but no one knows what to do. I feel alone in my search for answers and all the things I do to find answers. 

How do you get through that trial?
I listen a lot to Medical Medium podcast, and read about other success stories for inspiration. 
Meditation. Prayer. Yoga. Good friends, and my husband. 

Have you ever had something traumatizing happen to you? If comfortable sharing, what is it? 
My sister was put into a drug rehab program at 17 years old, I was 11 years old. This “rehab” was worse than prison. In fact there is a documentary being made about it because there has been a high suicide rate of those who were patients. I had to attend mandatory meetings every Monday and Friday for 9 months straight, while I briefly saw my sister being held like a prisoner. These meetings were abusive to me as a child (100xs worse for my sister). It was illegal how they were treating these young troubled kids, and my sister didn’t even have a drug problem. 

I was also in a very abusive relationship for 3 years. He was an alcoholic with a very scary angry problem. I had never experienced being called names, yelled at, and head butted twice leaving me with a black eye. Even though it was traumatic, I was grateful for this relationship because it led me into therapy that helped me heal the parts of me that were attracted to him in the first place. 

Do you feel like you are alone in life? If the answer is yes, What do you think could help you feel not alone? 

Rarely do I feel alone, because I would say my biggest accomplishment in life is having amazing friends. 

 What advice would you give someone going through similar trials? What are your biggest blessings?

Best advice I can give anyone is to invest in friendships. In our isolating culture we need a lot of support and the safety of being truly vulnerable with safe friends. 

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