You may know me as the Queen of GSD, your go-to for websites, digital marketing and cute dog pics on Instagram (seriously, check it out!) I hit the scene in early 2019 ready to dazzle everyone with my skillz but there’s something you may not know about me.
…I’m kind of a big deal.
I’ve been a patient advocate since 2006, the year I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It started with a digital newsletter I created, then it turned into a blog. That blog turned into paid blogging. Which turned into being invited to patient advisory boards with big pharma and healthcare companies. Which lead to speaking gigs. This lead to advocacy actually being part of my career. In 2009, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I started a nonprofit for women living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease in 2012 and worked full-time for that nonprofit for a few years.
If decades of working in change management - both with large organizations as a consultant and individuals as a coach - has taught me anything, it’s this… most of us don’t do well with uncertainty. It’s why people that are worried about losing their job will act in ways that lead to them actually losing their job or why people horde toilet paper when a previously unknown virus alters life as we know it.
We need to control something - anything.
So it’s been surprising to me that the uprising of Coronavirus hasn’t been a bigger deal in my life. I mean - it’s a big deal, but it’s not.
My lawyer said it was okay for me to right this anonymously, so I decided to do just that.
Let me backup...
My new position started as a job I was thankful for. Not super exciting work- but I was okay. A month in, and already, I wasn’t sure whether I was in a toxic workplace. I knew it didn’t feel good to go into work, but that’s adulting, right? Did people actually enjoy coming into work? Was I being bullied? Was I the cause of the bullying that was happening? Am I a good worker? The gaslighting was never ending.
I am a female drummer that started playing in the late 1980s. Besides Sheila E., think of another female drummer from that era. I can wait.
No one? Exactly!
Just imagine the resistance I got from men having the hubris to think that I could play on their scale and in their arena. It was brutal! This set into motion the idea that the only way I would be taken seriously was to be better than the guys. Seemingly my only option to succeed was to be a superior player, work harder, and know all sides of the business.
Last Saturday I found myself with one of those rare days where I had the house to myself and no plans to be anywhere. I grabbed a comfy blanket and my laptop and curled up on the couch, intent on spending a few glorious hours writing in silent peace. Somewhere along the line I decided that a fire would enhance the mood, so I got up, grabbed the firewood, loaded the fireplace and headed to kitchen for a lighter.
As I turned to make my way to the kitchen, however, my toes got caught up in my wide-leg pajama pants. I tripped and lunged forward, stumbling as I tried to regain my balance. Seconds later I found myself slamming headfirst into a plaster wall… hard. I slumped to the floor and laid there, stunned. I started scanning my body to check for broken “stuff,” but all I could feel was a lump that was quickly taking residence over the entire right side of my head.