So I started this three month goal-setting, health and fitness challenge group with a personal coach – we’ll call her Belinda – two months ago. Belinda does all of her work on the challenge via Facebook and social media. She also has a brick and mortar business in the city, but this is a secondary way for her to make some cash.
Well, the whole thing was going swimmingly. I was setting goals, cutting out alcohol, eating healthier, doing good stuff. I was getting great feedback from her, exercising more, feeling better overall. Doing lots of great work.
She had a private group for the coaching group on Facebook, but she also friended all of us with her personal Facebook account. This was great, for the most part, until Belinda posted that she was super depressed and her life had come crashing down. I had developed a personal relationship with her and felt awful for her. So I messaged her.
One of the things she had mentioned previously was some health struggles that she had been having, specifically thyroid problems. A friend of mine went through a similar thing a few months earlier, where she was super depressed and went to get her thyroid checked (she already had thyroid issues). Apparently the tests revealed that her thyroid was low and her medicine wasn’t in therapeutic range, and they adjusted her dose. This adjustment dramatically improved her depression (she felt as if she wasn’t depressed anymore). She was so surprised and amazed by that, she told everyone on Facebook as a PSA, basically.
In my message to Belinda, I said “Oh, lady, I’m so sorry you’re hurting! I think you said something about your having thyroid issues before… Is that okay right now? I know low thyroid can cause depression, sometimes severe.” Followed with “Take care of yourself. <3”
Of course, I texted that to her before she clarified her Facebook post with “I’m losing my business.” Apparently, rising rents in our area have almost priced her out of her brick and mortar space and she’s screwed. She posted later that she’d almost committed suicide. Well, that sucked.
Belinda let me have it. She messaged me that (I paraphrase) I needed to stop being so scientific and that I was awful person for even suggesting that. The next day (not even 8 hours later), her next message to me was all “How are we going to attack those goals! You’ve got this!”
What really sucks is that I totally sabotaged myself. I had completely stopped drinking. I’d been meal planning. I’d been working out. And then and there, I just lost it. I went to the store and bought some wine and some awful junk food and just went to town. I was so upset. Why did I do this?! Why did I sabotage myself over something so obviously out of control that I probably couldn’t have said anything that would have been met with positivity? Ugh.
I’m at this point where I want to quit the group because I’m so bummed over all of this. Obviously, I couldn’t just tell her, in her extremely vulnerable state, that this wasn’t working for me and I want a refund. I guess I’ll just ride it all out until the end and then unfriend her and unfollow the groups.
The thing is, this is the latest in a series of people close to me (except for my husband, thank God, he’s always telling me how much he loves how scientific and unemotional I am), telling me I’m too scientific and could I just not be for once? Belinda, my dad (!), the woman I considered my BFF, another BFF from a few years ago, etc.
Here’s the thing. I know I’m not a robot. I genuinely like people and am able to interact with them charismatically, and people enjoy my company. But the science thing…I swear, I cannot turn it off. AT ALL. It’s who I am. It’s why I became a scientist. It kills me that I can’t work as one. Because then I’d get my science fix during the day, and want to be normal human at night. But I can’t.
Thankfully, I’m starting up with therapy with my beloved (with full, professional boundaries, thankyoubabyjesus) psychologist next week. I need someone unbiased and professional to work through this with, and not a health coach! In a way, though, I’m really glad this happened because it was a pattern I kept seeing and I want to do something about. Maybe it’s worth reflecting on, but I sincerely hope she says to me that I don’t need to change. Or maybe she’ll give me strategies in the future of “don’t try to help people when they’re extremely emotional”. Which feels awful, but maybe that’s what I need to hear.
Anyway, here’s to trying to get back on the health and fitness bandwagon. Yikes…