I had my first appointment with a therapist in June. But she was not just a therapist, she was my friend. She would meet with me one time and offered the meeting to me as a gift. And, what a gift it was. She suggested that i find a time in each day to connect to my mother. From this suggestion came my thoughts of the day. I was able to channel my mother’s presence and was comforted by what I believed to be her advice for me. This therapist also explained the grieving process to me. I did not feel so crazy after she did. I recognized myself in the different stages. And, she validated the fact that I was exhausted and worn out after sitting by my mother’s side for 4 months then processing my new reality without her. i told her that I needed time to recover, I needed time for myself. I told her that I wish that I could take a leave of absence from my job to recuperate and get back on my feet. She thought that was a good idea but she also mentioned that before I do that I needed a plan. This was the only time that she would meet with me because she was getting ready to leave on an adventure to Italy. Little did she know that this one time meeting impacted the future path of my healing experience.
When i left the therapist’s office, I had a lot to think about. I starting thinking about taking time off just to remember how to breath again. But, I could not imagine doing it. When I started to experience the ringing from tinnitus and insomnia, when the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder took over, it forced me to ask for what i could not ask for myself. I had to request a 6 week leave to take care of myself or I would really end up pretty sick from the onslaught of stress in my body. But, I kept hearing my therapist’s suggestion that I needed to have a plan.
Over lunch with a good friend, I discovered that my friend Ana Gloria was finishing up her certification to become a life coach. I don’t know what came over me, but excited I called her to ask her if she could help me. And, the rest is history. I needed a plan, and instead of having to make one on my own, i was guided by this amazing healing angel. And at the end of the six weeks, i had accomplished so much. I wrote the following testimonial for Ana Gloria:
When I had six weeks of leave from work, Ana Gloria really helped me focus on what I wanted to get accomplished during that time. During our weekly meetings, we were able to identify my vision and work to set goals to realize it. At the end of the six weeks, I had accomplished a lot of what I set out to do and started on a path in a positive direction for my life aspirations. She gave me a lot of tools to progress with and a lot of emotional and practical support. She was a pleasure to work with and I will be forever grateful for her assistance during a very challenging time in my life. If you have dreams or life goals that you want to see come true, I would whole-heartedly recommend that you look to Ana Gloria to assist you and get you on the path in the right direction.
She was an amazing gift for me. What I learned from her, I continue to use to help me move forward in my life. With her help, each week I set out to honor my mother. I put together a scrapbook to remind me of what I could do from a place of love! I started to detox and take care of my mind by caring for my body. I started eating better and exercising regularly by trying yoga, cycling, and swimming. I would take walks really paying attention to my surroundings and appreciating the beauty all around me. I organized a group of women and raised money to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in memory of my mom and my good friend Stacy Hart.
With the support of my father, we set up the Mary Jo Nocero Leadership Award for Outstanding Achievement in Tennis to honor a female tennis player at our former high school for exhibiting incredible character. Since my mother supported all three of us, mus sisters, as we played tennis throughout our high school careers, I knew she was smiling down on us as we announced the award before the school’s assembly.
Even after we finished our professional relationship, we continued on as friends. And, as I moved forward I chased my dreams more and more. i took a screenwriting class to learn how to write a screen play. I also started to write my book, intent to share my experience with others so i could use my experience to give others hope if they are going through the same challenges. I also hosted a five part series called Follow Your Bliss and Realize your Dreams. With this series, I presented to others the tools that I learned to best move my life forward. As an added plus, i would invite a speaker to present alongside. Ana Gloria presented twice with me and what a team we made. What fun we had together!