I was at the top of my game. Closing deals and developing properties as a commercial real estate broker. Raising two amazing kids with a loving husband.
Then, during elementary school, both my daughter and my son began suffering from chronic illnesses and frequent bouts of anxiety. Coping with the growing list of illnesses and special needs became a struggle, one that began to impact our entire household.
ADHD, OCD, sensory processing, chronic fatigue, depression, hallucinations, suicidal ideation, and Lyme disease.
I’ve dealt with this entire list and much more over the last five years, and it almost left me broken.
I once told my daughter’s therapist that I was worried about my daughter not feeling the desire to be happy. He asked her what would make her happy, and her response was simple:
I'll be happy if my mom is happy.
It took a moment for the significance of her comment to sink in: my own emotional state strongly impacts my daughter’s. It changed our lives.
I began a journey to discover what brings me joy, for myself, and also for the impact my own joy has on my family.
On this journey, I shared experiences with friends and other parents of children with chronic illness or other unique challenges. I wrote stories in my journal. And I discovered that, for me, happiness comes from sharing stories that, while usually rooted in challenging topics, bring light out of darkness, lifting and providing validation, connection, and community to parents and caregivers with similar struggles.
I left commercial real estate behind and started the Very Happy Stories Podcast. I went from Mom and Commercial Real Estate Broker to Mom and Storyteller.
Where does my joy come from? It comes from bringing hope, empowerment, and freedom to you, my audience. It comes from finding gratitude in grievance.
The journey continues. Managing chronic illness is a lifelong challenge. Healing takes time. As we heal, my stories grow.
Let’s heal together, one story at a time.
Born out of a mother and child wishing for the same gift for each other: the gift of happiness.