Hey! I’m Sarah
I’m not a magician, but…
I’ve got a trick or two up my sleeve to help you to live well with chronic illness.
I’ve had the pain, the fatigue the guilt, I felt the crippling uncertainty, and the loss and one thing I know for sure … having the right people in your corner makes all the difference.
That’s why I’m passionate about giving people with chronic illness the tools they need to feel supported and in control.
So you can wake up energised, excited and ready to show up for yourself, become empowered and strong, to develop the flexibility to manage your condition long term and confidently step into your purpose.
Do you feel like your body’s ‘check engine’ light has been on for ages but you’re still driving around convincing yourself that it will be okay?
You’re exhausted, holding on by a thread and wondering when it all may come tumbling down, right at the wrong moment. Like when your boss asks you to complete one more task before you leave at the end of the day or your partner comes home late and criticises the choice you’ve made for dinner?
You just want to be able to join in with the real world like everyone else but the more that you try to paint on the fake smile, the more exhausted you are and the further everyone else’s lives feel from your own.
You have just about reached your limit of well-meaning suggestions to cure you, like ‘have you tried yoga’ or ‘my aunt recovered by drinking luke warm green tea’.
You are grieving the life you had and the life that you had planned out in your head and you’re uncertain about what the future holds now – if you are honest it scares the fuck out of you.
On top of all this you are dealing with the expectations of everyone else has of you. You constantly wonder if people believe you are really sick as they only see you on your good days when you look OK, not when you are collapsed on the sofa wondering if you should use your remaining energy to wash or to eat.
You are consumed by feelings of helplessness and anxiety, and an overwhelming frustration that you have such a lack of control about your life now, it seems to be dictated by hospital appointments and doctors.
You’re torn between feeling like you can’t let your illness ruin your life and the fact that you have to listen to your body and rest.
You’ve been told that this is progressive, life long, a disability, so you’d better just get your head around it and put up with the hand that you have been dealt.
Where have YOU even gone in all this.
I changed. I had mastered survival mode, it was now time to live.
This was my story. I figured that I would just get on with my life, focus on everyone else keep pretending to myself and the world that I was OK and paper over the cracks. I wouldn’t let my ever growing list of chronic illness’ define me. But they did, by hiding, by pretending, I wasn’t being me and they had control.
I still have my chronic illness’ no magic pills where that is concerned, but I learned to accept them and made a decision to redefine the way I lived my life. I gave a shit and took back control.
Then bam, just when I thought I had a handle on this chronic illness stuff one of my kids became quite sick. I totally underestimated the overwhelming rollercoaster of emotions and how disconnected I would become from the real world. It was ten times harder than dealing with it for me as everything felt single thing in my life felt out of my control.
But, I wanted to show my kids that living with a chronic illness or disability is not a life sentence but just a part of them. To lead by example. So, I took control, I changed the things that I told myself I couldn’t or shouldn’t do into things that I could. I began to own my life again.
With me by your side and your new found confidence, you can have this too.
I get frustrated that we live in a world where we are diagnosed with conditions that impact our whole lives but the medical system is so stretched and fragmented we struggle to access thorough testing or any services that really help to manage things positively long term, especially the massive changes that a diagnosis brings to your life.
I get frustrated that we live in a world where asking for help, or admitting we haven’t got it all figured out, is seen as self-indulgent or fucked up, when in fact, I know the exact opposite to be true.
I know, because I would never admit to anyone that I wasn’t fine… the pretence and subterfuge was my secret weapon. Like a swan, calm and serene, but paddling like crazy just beneath the surface just to keep going. And who wants to just be just fine anyway? Why can’t people with chronic illness live extraordinary lives, just like everyone else?
It’s this belief that forms the foundation of my writing and coaching approach. I’m honest and will always I hold you accountable with plenty of love and kindness.
I’m here to help you to become empowered.
I’m a certified Life Coach, Master NLP practitioner as well as a qualified teacher, but beyond the shiny certificates on my wall I have learnt to help people to live their best lives through lessons that I’ve learnt in my own.
From wanting to hide away from the world because the effort to just hold a simple conversation with a friend was too much, to feeling stripped of the career that I’d trained so hard for and feeling the paralysing overwhelm as two of my three children began collecting their own list of chronic illnesses.
Then moving my family half way across the UK, to our dream house in the country – at the same time as getting an EHC plan in place for one of my kids (if you know how hard this is, then you know!) whilst juggling the family business and three kids, two with their own health crap going on. All while hobbling, as I managed to damage my remaining ‘good’ knee in a spectacular fall three days before the move. Life is tough… but we can do hard things.
Life can be tough but I also know that we can do hard things.
I have lived my life struggling with the impact of chronic illness on me – the years (decades) before diagnosis that were clouded by dis-belief and after that the impact that the actual diagnoses’ brought with them, both on the here and now and the plans that I had for my future. Then, much harder than for myself, I’ve had to deal with it all over again in stereo for the kids.
But that’s when it hit me square in the heart – we all get to choose who we are and how we live our lives. As for me? I choose to live a simple life in the English countryside with my family. Doing things that put me a little outside my comfort zone, and spending my time with the people who make my heart happy – but most of all being me.
When I’m not coaching, I find myself walking my talk and signing up for things that will challenge me a little. Although I am quite an introvert I love public speaking and each year I go to Brunel to advocate for Chronic illnesses in children.
I’m scared of birds, especially flappy ones, and yet we’ve bought a flock of chickens. I’ve taught myself and will continue to teach myself, that the only way through is to act in spite of my fears. To challenge myself to do the things the voice in my head tells me I can’t.
I also know how important it is to have balance in your life when you have a chronic illness so practicing what I preach also involves listening to my body and not beating myself up if it decides to throw me a curve ball every now and then.
This is why my coaching is effective. I’m very familiar with the hurdles that my clients come up against – because I’ve been there myself. I teach what I know from a place of deep personal experience and understanding.
I believe that I can do most things I put my mind to. And I believe that my clients can do most things they put their mind to, too.
The bottom line is that you can change your life for the better. It’s totally within your reach, even if it feels just about as likely as running a marathon.
All you need is the right amount of help to get you moving.
Curious about what is possible for you?
My coaching sessions with Sarah have left me feeling refreshed and full of positive energy. I’ve gained lots of insights and ideas and have taken some useful practical steps. Swapping the daily abstract panic and stress I felt about my need to return to work for a well-formed outcome focused on what I want to achieve for myself and my family feels really liberating and has opened up lots of possibilities in my mind. The practice of identifying and reflecting on what I want, and when I want it, has helped massively – paying attention to this as I go about my day to day is helping me to manage distractions and make decisions about how to use my time.
I felt like my chronic illness had taken away all of my options for my future and I felt stuck, but working with Sarah has helped me figure out what direction I want to go in with my education and career, and what steps I can take to get there while managing my symptoms. My thinking about success was very “all or nothing”, and she helped me change my approach to achieving my goals; rather than struggling to overcome my limitations I try to adapt and work around them.
Sarah has been a warm, friendly, and incredible support to me especially as I returned to work full-time after a long period of illness. She allowed me to see where I needed to take a step back and re-evaluate my goals and values, and breathe when I started feeling overwhelmed. It was perfect timing for this new transition. She really has a multitude of techniques and I totally recommend her insight.
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↓ This toolkit is part workbook, part toolkit part best friend on your back pocket so that you can begin to rock you relationships even with a chronic illness ↓
Professional qualifications and memberships
- Trained Mastery Method Coach with the Institute of Coaching Mastery
- Certified life Coach
- NLP Master Practitioner
- BA (hons) 1st class, Teaching studies and Biological sciences (QTS)
- CDP in The Neuroscience of Change with Coaches Rising
- CDP in Positive Intelligence
- Certified Chrysalis Effect Practitioner
- CDP with IPSEA in special educational needs and disability (SEND) law
- Full member of the Association for Coaching