There are many myths about Gardens of paradise, the Garden of the Hesperides is by far my favorite. In Greek myth, the Garden of the Hesperides is located between dusk and dawn. It sits on an unclimbable mountain, guarded by untold horrors and is unseen by mortals. In the Garden reside the Golden apples of Immortality.
The garden is the perfect metaphor for living with chronic illness. Like the Garden, living with chronic illness has us living in the in-between, we are often not Bedridden, but we are not fully well. Like the garden our journeys are often invisible to the outside world. We power through impossible circumstances, constantly climbing to reach our picture of ideal health. So often though we experience hurdle after hurdle until it feels like an insurmountable foe.
How does this apply to Illness management though?
Like any epic journey, it is hard to find your way without a map. I have spent a lifetime learning how to read the map. So often, we are so overwhelmed with our chronic illness journeys that we don't realize we are going in the wrong direction, or that we are carry things that are weighing us down.
For example, for most of us, our stress levels are directly tied to our bodies self-regulation. Most of us also carry mountains of stress in our daily lives that tools like positive psychology, habit formation theory, and communication training can reduce or even eliminate. What would it mean for you to cut your daily stress in half? In addition to stress, modern science has come out with incredible research into how our diets affect our inflammation. I am not currently a registered dietitian. I cannot give you detailed diet plans with counted calories. I do however have a Bachelors of Science in medical nutrition. With this I can guide you to make food choices that better fit your ideal picture of health.
Speaking of what I am not...
I am not a doctor. I work alongside your doctors to make sure you have the knowledge and tools that you need to succeed. I do not prescribe things, I do not ignore your input and instincts. Instead I am a coach. I listen, I understand, I make suggestions, and guide you to a better understanding of how your body works. I have spent thousands of hours in practical training, and learning the latest research in the science behind autoimmune health, mental health, and illness management. Often times, the solution doesn't require a new medication or more diagnosis codes in a chart. Instead, every part of your health can change through habit change and understanding.
I am also not a psychotherapist. Much like therapy, we spend our sessions talking one-on-one analyzing your life and health. Our techniques overlap, we both use modern psychological techniques. It can be confusing , but here is the simple difference. In therapy, you look at the past and heal the harm that has been done. In coaching, we look at the present, we look at what's happening right now and make positive changes for the future. Often in session trauma from the past comes up. In those cases, we will unpack how you are functioning in the present and I will recommend you to a licensed therapist if required for further treatment.
What I am is a licensed professional. I am certified by Georgia state University in Health coaching practice and sit for the national board exam (NB-HWC) in October. I have hundreds of hours in practical coaching experience and a lifetime of experience in chronic health management. A lot of people call themselves nutritionist and health coaches, only some of us come with the real training and certification to do the job right.
The Untold Myth of the Hesperides
Long before the birth of mankind, the world gave birth to many great wonders. Of these, none was more spectacular than the garden of Dusk and Dawn.