Our Life Cheerleaders

“You’re a hard stick.” I hear those words each time I have blood drawn. The other day, after four sticks, for five tubes of blood, and a very upset phlebotomist, I found myself cheering her on, telling her she can do it, she’ll have a great day once she’s found a vein, all you need is confidence. I was determined to have her shake it off and find a vein because she was the only one working. She couldn’t pass me on to a co-worker and I was not going to come back another day, to hear the same words, “You’re a hard stick.” That’s the kind of stress I prefer to only have once a year if possible, not two days in a row. She finally found a blood-giving vein and off I went, hoping to never lay eyes on her again!

I love the term corner coach. I used it with my kids growing up. When they were nervous about a test, activity, any kind of fear before the unknown, I would encourage them, telling them, “I’ve got you, I’m in your corner.” It was easy to be there for my kids that way. But I haven’t asked for a cheerleader, corner coach in my own life until recently.

I whole-heartedly believe that learning to live with a chronic illness takes support. Support can come in many forms. It can be family, friends, pets, therapists, a supportive blogging community, whatever feels safe and supportive. Making changes, transformations, living with an illness, healing from trauma is a lonely journey, but as I’ve said many, many times it doesn’t have to be an alone journey.

I work very hard to accept that I’m living with an illness, I’m living with PTSD. It doesn’t define me, but it is part of what I cope with on a daily basis.  With this acceptance comes doubt, nervousness, sometimes feeling defeat and extreme exhaustion. There are times when I just want to sit down in the middle of the ring, have the referee give me an 8-count and quit the fight. That’s when I need a corner coach.

There were many times, when I looked at my therapist and said, “I just need you to be my corner coach right now.” He got it and said all the correct: I’m proud of you, you can do it, you’re doing great, you’re kicking-ass kind of things. With that kind of support, I’m was to able to stand up and can get back into the ring of life again.

Now there are times when I say to my friends, I need you to cheer me on right now. It was easier to trust my therapist and ask him to do that. It’s been a steep learning curve to ask for that from my friends and family. I always had that role. The cheery, happy, you can do it, I’m right there beside you role.

I’m continuing to learn that I have to ask my friends and family for that kind of support. To infuse confidence, to see me, hear me, rest with me, hold my hand, go out and play a bit.  And how have they responded? They are right there! Coaching, cheering, holding my hand, and pushing me to have the confidence I need to continue on whatever path I’m on at that moment in time.

At times, I’m exhausted from living with this complex-PTSD.  But I know that each day I grow stronger. My determination to recognize the times of contentment and peace increase all the time. One of the reasons I’m stronger is because I know I need to have a support system of coaches and cheerleaders.  In my life that includes: family, friends, my pets, and a supportive blogging community. It’s been a lesson in vulnerability to cultivate, but, for me, it has helped me grow and heal.

Do you have people or animals in your life who will get you back in the ring? To sit beside you, rest with you, letting you know that you’re okay?

image source: pexels

Thank you for reading my new book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels, available in both ebook and paperback from Amazon.

43 thoughts on “Our Life Cheerleaders

  1. Wow, really?? Im sitting here re-reading this and feeling extremely grateful, humbled, and blessed. As a matter of fact I had an extremely difficult week! Yesterday and today are going much better and I have found my footing. Thank You! Thank You!! I really hope my emotions and gratitude come through to you. ❤️🙏🏼🤗❤️


  2. You are heavy on my mind right now and when that happens I always wonder if the person in my thoughts is going through a rough patch, and just in case they are I always pray for them because I know how rough patches can be. I wanted to tell you this just in case you need to hear it today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow this is awesome to read Tony. I’m so glad to read that you have a support group that fit that role as corner coaches. It makes a huge difference in our lives when we get to experience that kind of support. Thank You for sharing. 😊


  4. Its easier to be a corner coach than to ask for the same for yourself. The fact that you are able to ask for help shows much maturity and personal growth. We all want to be known for our strengths rather than our vulnerabilities, But the truth is that it takes much strength to show that we too can be vulnerable and sometimes need help from others, Kudos to you, Alexis.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is, as always, spot on. I’m sad that you had to give your phlebotomist a pep talk but I’ve been there, explaining my story and body to countless medical people, telling them they don’t need to cry, explaining what I need to get through the visit etc… that being said I agree the cheerleading is a two-way street. Asking for what we need, encouraging each other and doing it all from a place of genuine caring. Ptsd is exhausting. You’re a good woman.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Alexis, I agree that we all need support network to help us through the most challenging times in life. No one can know what we need to get through dark times if we don’t express our needs. I hope some of my poems can be considered corner coaches. What do you think? Thanks for sharing your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you Anne. I love that you have/had these people in your life. I agree, if our people are dealing with their own stuff it isn’t as reciprocal as far as support goes sometimes. I think, for me I learned that when I started to ask others who were close to me for support, they felt some relief. I think they wanted to be there but I had this weird wall up. I was so afraid to be vulnerable. Wow has that changed. 🤔🤣
    Have a good weekend my friend. ❤️


  8. This.is.fabulous!! Stephen and you have a unbreakable bond. Im so glad you have awesome Sylvester. As Im typing this to you, I have my cat Brad on one side of me and my dog Leilani on the other side. What would we do without our critters?! ❤️


  9. Thank You so much Andrew. Wow, your encouragement really touches me. I am definitely one of the lucky ones who have an incredible support system. Im grateful to them all the time. I know this beast of my illness rears it head sometimes more than others, but Im determined to live with my symptoms and stop fighting them most of the time. Certainly comments like yours helps tremendously!! Have a good weekend my friend. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  10. This was definitely my dad. My mother too, but not as reliant & strong emotionally. Unfortunately, it depends on what else others are dealing with. I too feel more like I fill this role than have it filled for me. It’s an important thing to think about. Thanks for your thoughts & support in my writing, Alexis 💕🌻~Anne

    Liked by 2 people

  11. It’s interesting you should say this today. As I read your posts, and see you read mine, I have been feeling a connection in an ‘in your corner’ kind of way and have been rooting for you. I just have trouble saying such things out loud, even when I want to. Thanks for the opening 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m in your corner. Now this is the thing I want you to do: move your mind away from the past as much as you can. Exercise it in this direction. Don’t let triggers link you back. Keep the mind moving steadily forward until the past and its effects become a distant memory.
    Remember, you’re doing great! I’m here for you. Now move forward. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  13. My brother Stephen and My Cat Sylvester. Stephen’s speech is limited but he sends out such a positive angelic Aura that when we are together My Vibrations come up another level. He lifts me up in mind, body and soul. My cat Sylvester shows his Love through Meows and snuggling with me. After a difficult day at work his furry body purring like an engine is a Purrrfect way to start or end the day.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. First, I have the exact same problem when donating blood or at my doctor visits. It can be annoying, but like you, I find myself acting as a cheerleader.

    Alexis, you give me the impression you have spent your life being a coach,, cheerleader, and supportive adviser. From the bottom of my heart, I hope every one near you rallies around you to provide the support you need. PTSD can be so difficult. I hope you can find the strength within yourself to conquer this.

    Be happy. Be well.

    Liked by 2 people

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