This inspiring blog has been written by Megan Holgate, a former Financial Markets executive, who found herself a sole parent with an 8 week old baby. Megan has gone on to write her own book and has featured in many well known publications, with her blog on narcissists going viral. Megan is determined to help other women navigating Divorce and Recovery from a Relationship with a Narcissist. Megan is about to release an online offering ‘Free Yourself from Narcissists’ later this month.
This is her story:
The day, three years ago, is etched in my mind like a tattoo on ones’ skin. My eighteen-year old daughter, had been spending too many days lying on our very comfy lounge, which normally is ok, but not when it’s a when it’s a glorious summer’s day in Sydney.
Her excuse for not wanting to go out with her friends, was the same repetitive excuse ‘I feel ugly & fat.’ Words spoken from my extremely beautiful, but very thin daughter, with many caring and close girlfriends and popular with boys. Life had somehow become too stressful for her. I saw signs during the end of Year 11 and then by Year 12 it was escalating to daily meltdowns, which I simply associated with her end of school exams and her desire to achieve an extremely high ATAR score. Somehow her anxiety didn’t calm down, even when she attained a fabulous ATAR score and was enjoying living on campus studying her dream University course.
On this December day, two weeks before the end of the year, my daughter sobbing for no apparent reason, looked up at me through tearstained eyes and said the words most parents would never have imagined their child to ask. ‘Mum I need help, I don’t want to live anymore?’ I was numb as I wrapped my arms around my broken sobbing child. ‘Mum I have to get away to find out what’s wrong with me?’ ‘I need to get help now?’
Together, as I was too scared to leave her side, we searched the Internet and found one of the Top Five Rehab facilities in the world, which happened to be in Byron bay; a twelve-hour drive or a short plane ride from our home in Sydney. After making the necessary enquiries together we were on our way to the airport, anything to help save my only child’s life, as I knew she was on the verge of giving up on life. Why I had no idea? Driving from the airport to the facility was made significantly sadder, as quite a few of her friends were heading to Byron Bay for a music festival, which made me feel even more of a complete and utter failure as a parent. My daughter should be with her friends having fun, not on her way to Rehab.
My daughter was in the facility for seven weeks, where she was diagnosed with Anorexia, Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After the seven weeks in-patient treatment, she returned to Sydney where she was happy to be home but still not comfortable with life. She knew she needed more help and thankfully was brave enough to ask me if we could return to Byron so she could continue treatment with her therapist. Her request was a serious one as she understood the financial toll this would be for me, but she also understood her precarious health situation. This was not about running away from Sydney, it was her wanting to become stronger mentally and physically. We packed up our lives and returned to Byron Bay where I rented a house to create a home while she had extensive treatment with her amazing, wonderful and caring therapist.
Anorexia or any Eating Disorder, are insidious diseases that destroy everything of importance in the sufferer’s lives. From family, friends to university courses, it stops them participating in life as it consumes and controls their lives. I understood my daughters’ recovery was not something that could be dealt with quickly, while watching her fight her battle to overcome this disease. However, one must be a realist as I am, and it may take many years.
My corporate life came to an abrupt end just as my daughter became unwell, and is a perfect of example of the mantra in our lives, ‘Everything In Life Happens For a Reason.’ After a year out of the workforce, while supporting my daughters’ recovery, I met with a few corporations. The roles on offer were perfect, but I had changed, something inside me had shifted and I wanted more from life. I needed to find something that gave me more of a purpose. That something is Divorce Coaching.
Sadly, my daughter’s health deteriorated once again and we returned to Byron Bay, where we have now been living for three years. I have completed my book, which I wrote with the pure intention to help women who may have experienced any of the traumatic experiences I have. As friends began reading my book, I understood I could help more women on a larger scale and that is how I discovered my true calling in life, Divorce Coaching and helping women through Recovery from a Relationship with a Narcissist. This work does not feel like work, as it fills my heart with so much JOY.
If you are faced with a personal challenge that has shaken you to your core as your present life and future are now extremely different from how you originally planned them, the most important lesson I have learnt is to simply remember ‘To Breathe.’ In life I now understand all challenges we are faced with are ‘Meant to For a Reason.’
My Three Tips If Your Life Suddenly Takes an Unexpected Detour:
1. Remember to Breathe, Stay Calm and Don’t Panic.
I have a quote hanging in my office. ‘Every day is a new beginning, take a deep breath and start again.’ I think that sums up the only thing to do when your life takes a direction that is unexpected.
2.Turn Fear of the Unknown into Excitement.
Navigating unchartered waters can be frightening and strange. However, you can turn the fear of the unknown into a wonderful new life, where you can begin to ‘Start Living Your Most Authentic Life’ one you never thought possible. I am living my absolute dream life after diving through my fear of the unknown.
3. Helping Others.
Nothing feels better than helping people. During times when my daughter was at one of her life’s lowest point, we helped out those less fortunate than us, and immediately it took the emphasis off our problems and made us realise how truly fortunate we are. I was raised with the mantra ‘There is always somebody else worse off than you.’ On this day giving to those far less fortunate than us was a gift. Charity work is a part of our life and one of the most rewarding parts.
Have a beautiful day.
Disclaimer: this blog and associated images have been published with full permission