Episode 69: Rediscovering Yourself After Life Altering Health Challenges

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Thanks for joining us for episode 69 of The Ancestral RDs podcast. If you want to keep up with our podcasts, subscribe in iTunes and never miss an episode! Remember, please send us your question if you’d like us to answer it on the show!


Today we are interviewing Sarah Ramsden who helps people discover and embrace theperson they have become after emerging victoriously from major illness.

Sarah Ramsden is the leading Personal Coach helping people who’ve recovered from major health issues make the most of their second chance in life. As good as it is to feel better, life doesn’t always go back to the way it used to be.

Major health issues change more than just medical records, they change you, and that’s what her work is all about. As a brain tumor survivor and someone who manages Multiple Sclerosis naturally, she knows exactly where her clients are coming from. You can find Sarah at SarahRamsden.com.

Sarah has gone through the process of reclaiming her sense of self and life. Now she is helping countless others do the same. Join us today as Sarah tells her personal story, explains how she works with clients to help them discover their new identity in life, and even shares examples of practical exercises that you can try on your own.

Here are some of the questions we discussed with Sarah: 

  • Any sort of diagnosis of an illness can bring up a lot of different emotions. What do you find are the most common ones and why do these change how people view the world as they move through their diagnosis?
  • What are some examples of areas of people’s lives that are affected?
  • Do you find that there’s a difference in how people deal with acute or chronic illness diagnosis in how that affects their life going forward?
  • What do you feel that your work is all about? What are you doing with people within that coaching session to help them move forward?
  • What practical ways do you get your clients to come to the realization of what their highest values are?
  • If someone has an environmental value that they they’re not in alignment with currently and they really can’t do anything about it right now in the sense of doing something major,  what is something that someone can do to really help them live more in alignment with that in the meantime?
  • How do you feel like social relationships change and play a part in recovering after an illness?
  • Can relationships during the healing process change effectively afterwards? Is there a way to help move the relationship in the direction that they feel it needs to go towards?
  • What cool things do people have to look forward to seeing from you in the future?

Links Discussed:


Laura: Hi everyone. Welcome to episode 69 of The Ancestral RDs Podcast. I’m Laura Schoenfeld and over there is Kelsey Marksteiner.

Kelsey: Hi guys.

Laura: We have a really great guest for you today, so we’re going to skip over all the boring updates that Kelsey and I might try to eke out for you guys because not a lot has been going on for us lately. But before we get started with the interview, let’s hear a quick word from our sponsor.

Alright. I’m really excited to have our guest on with us today. Sarah Ramsden is the leading Personal Coach helping people who’ve recovered from major health issues make the most of their second chance in life. As good as it is to feel better, life doesn’t always go back to the way it used to be. Major health issues change more than just medical records, they change you, and that’s what her work is all about. As a brain tumor survivor and someone who manages Multiple Sclerosis naturally, she knows exactly where her clients are coming from. You can find Sarah at SarahRamsden.com.

Welcome to the show, Sarah!

Sarah: Thank you, ladies.

Laura: We’re excited to have you here. I feel like I’ve seen a lot of changes at your website over the last couple of months and years. I’m really pumped to hear about what you’ve been doing in the last couple months and what you’re going to be doing as I’ve seen that you are going to be hosting a retreat.

Sarah: Hopefully next year, yeah. We’ll see if that pans out.

Laura: Retreats can be a little intense.

Sarah: They are a lot of work.

Kelsey: So Sarah, I think it would probably be a wonderful idea to tell us a little bit about your background and your story because it sounds like it’s really changed the way you feel about the work that you do and changed I guess the work that you’ve done with your clients over the last few years as Laura was mentioning. Can you give us a little background on yourself?

Sarah: How far back are we going?

Kelsey: As far as you want.

Sarah: My story can go on for a really long time. I guess a short version of my story is that I used to be very high end, very senior graphic designer working for some very big agencies, for some Fortune 500 clients. One day I literally found out that I had a brain tumor. Then a few days later in the same week I found out that I had MS.

Kelsey: Wow.

Sarah: This was quite frankly the most…I can’t even say stressful because it was primarily shocking week of my life considering that I had never had anything more than the flu before, I’ve never been in hospital, and my health was something that I never had to give a second thought to, which is like a lot of people who realize that they have any kind of health issue. I’ts a bit of a slap in the face.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Sarah: This really is in my opinion a testament to the power of stress. In the previous year, I had gotten engaged, I was planning a wedding, then I planned a move from Canada back to the UK which fell through, and then I planned to move across Canada which happened. We got married, we sold our house, we went on our honeymoon when we moved across the country, we were looking for a place to live. And then I got these weird symptoms, like couldn’t feel my hand, my gait was off because I was a runner at the time so you really notice that kind of thing.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Sarah: I didn’t even have a doctor yet in the new city I was living and working in in Toronto. I had to go to, if you guys have them, like a walk in clinic where it’s not your regular doctor but it’s just anybody can go. They don’t hold your medical records there, it’s just you just have to know it. I went to this clinic and luckily they’re super paranoid for that very reason, they don’t have your health history. That was the week that I was week I was diagnosed.

It changed everything in my life because six weeks later, I was being wheeling into the operating room to have brain surgery to have a craniotomy to remove the tumor. Then I was very fortunate, I was given three months off work to recover from the immediacy of having a stranger touch your brain.

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: But it really took me a good year to get everything in my life back into my life gain. Then I had this realization, which is kind of the feel for the work that I do now, which was the night before I was due to go back to work after that three months. And to use some context, when I went back to work that first week, it was just for a four hour work week and every week my work week increased by four hours because even after that first work week of four hours I got home and I just slept for three or four hours. It was that exhausting.

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: But the night before I went back to work, I found myself just bawling my eyes out in the shower and I just felt like I was crazy because I should have felt happy, my health is getting back on track, I’m feeling better. I just felt like I was having all the wrong emotions and I couldn’t figure it out.

It was like this big realization that I had standing in the shower that I didn’t want to go back to this job that I had simply loved three months later. This experience I had been through had changed me so much that I realized that going back to this work meant that I would be doing work that wasn’t in line with my values, which meant I would be making very rich corporations richer and not making a difference in individuals lives. That was the beginning of the process of me realizing that what I had been through had really changed who I was a as person and not just my medical records.

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: Then from there I basically because I was kind of freaked out by what was going on, I thought okay maybe this is a reaction to everything that I’ve been through, so I gave myself a whole year to just stick with the regular plan and see what would happen. But I still felt the same way after a year and I ended up quitting my job. I ultimately a year later quit my whole design career and went back to school to study nutrition.

More recently, as Laura was commenting, that perhaps a year ago I started moving my business into coaching instead of nutrition, into personal coaching or life coaching. Basically that is completely inspired by everything that I went through. And I kept talking to people who have experience with same things when they go through a horrific time with their health, whether it’s an acute situation or it’s a long term management thing, whether that be IBS or MS or something like that where they can finally say okay I’ve got this, I’m on top of this, I’m managing my health, I’m in that point where I feel like I’m good. I had spoken to so many people and they while they’re happy to be feeling better, they have changed as a person and it just feel like you’re standing on shaky ground.

That’s what I shaped by new coaching practice around is helping those people who’ve been through major health issues, and I work mainly with women, is to really figure out who they are now and to really make the most of the fact that they have this whole second chance in life, and to literally not waste it. Because as I’m sure you ladies can appreciate is that when you’ve been through something like that, it really, really wakes you up to your own mortality and the fact that you only have an infinite amount of time here. That is really something that motivates a lot of my clients to throw caution to the wind and just do exactly what’s right for them and not be concerned with anyone else anymore. But of course that’s difficult.

Kelsey: Right. That’s quite a story for sure and I think you’re the perfect person to sort of fill this niche where I think it’s very needed. When you’re diagnosed with something either acutely or chronically, I think that really does change your perspective on life a lot and that can be confusing to people.

Sarah: Absolutely, yeah.

Kelsey: You mentioned that when you were crying in the shower and you just felt like you were having all these wrong emotions, I think that any sort of diagnosis of an illness can bring up a lot of different emotions. What do you find are the most common ones and why do these change how people view the world as they move through their diagnosis?

Sarah: I think some of the emotions that come up are things like obviously confusion, but there’s this sense of shame and guilt that the people around them see them as who they used to be, right? And really you see yourself as you used to be, but you’re processing this information that you’re not ready to tell the outside world because you haven’t quite assimilated or come to terms with it yet. So you can’t say to your parents or your friends I kind of don’t really like this work anymore.

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: Or I’m not connecting with my best friend in the same way anymore. Because you haven’t figured it out for yourself and so the thought of putting it out there and having someone critique it and ask you questions is way too much.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Sarah: In that respect, also this guilt that you should be happy or you should be celebrating when superficially you are, but deep down there’s just something just not right. It’s that feeling when you walk into a room and you just get this gut hit that okay, something doesn’t feel right in here.

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: It’s very hard to describe or put your finger on, but it’s like that feeling. That’s how most of my clients come to me. They want something else. They’re not necessarily sure what it is, but they know that the old life that they’re trying to fit themselves back into just doesn’t fit them anymore.

Kelsey: Right.

Laura: What are some examples of areas of people’s lives that are affected? You mentioned your career, obviously that seems to be an obvious one that can get affected by a major health issue. Relationships might be another one. Anything else that you feel comes up other than those two more obvious ones?

Sarah: I’ve had a client realize when she was living in Toronto that that was just not the right environment for her and she up and moved to Sydney Australia.

Kelsey: Wow.

Laura: Good choice.

Sarah: So environmentally, and then I experienced that too is that I was living in downtown Toronto in a basement apartment, and a year and a half ago…because this process once it starts, it never stops, you’re continually reevaluating…I ended up moving from downtown Toronto to live rurally in a cabin in the woods, basically, which is where I am right now. It’s a miracle that I have internet.

Then of course, as you said, relationships. Relationships can fall apart. Either they pull you together, this experience will strengthen a relationship, or it will show you who people are for real. I think that a lot of people can relate to the fact that when you’re really sick, people that you expect to be there, suddenly aren’t. Then really unexpected people come to the surface and are super helpful. Always I’m guiding my clients to just trust what’s going on and follow that feeling that you’re drawn to certain people and certain people are coming into your life now as opposed to others.

Kelsey: Right. It’s such a strange time I think in a lot of people’s lives. Of course Laura and I, we work with people who are more in the midst of illness whereas you seem to really specialize in getting your life together, or I guess that’s a bad way of putting it, but getting your priorities straight or learning your new priorities after illness. I think what is interesting to me is that you’ve had both an acute illness and a chronic illness diagnosis.

Sarah: Right.

Kelsey: Do you find that there’s a difference in how people kind of deal with those different types of diagnosis and illnesses in and of themselves in how that affects their life going forward?

Sarah: That’s a good question. I don’t have a definite answer to that. I think that the people with an acute situation whether it be a car accident or like myself a major surgery, or something like that…you know what? No, I think it depends more on the person, and their support system, and who they were going into this influence who they are coming out of it. I think now that I’m thinking out loud about it publicly, I think it actually has more to do with the person.

Although I feel like, and I do have a lot of people emailing me with autoimmune conditions and specifically because they’re things that can take a long time to really get a handle on and to really have the confidence to feel like okay, I’ve got this now.

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: I feel that I do have a lot of people with autoimmune conditions emailing saying I’m experiencing this, but they’re right in that depth of healing in that very moment. They very often are wavering between oh my God, I really need to kind of step away from this and do X Y Z, whatever it is, something a lot bigger…and my hands are like massive above my head right now to kind of demonstrate. But they just physically and health wise are not in a position to do that, which super frustrating for them.

I often do sessions just one-off sessions with people like that just to help them find a way to be happy with where they’re at right now because that in itself can be one of those healing modalities that can help get rid of some of those underlying stressors in your life.

Kelsey: Yeah, absolutely. When you talk about helping people after they have healed or feel like they’re on top of management of a chronic illness, what does that mean exactly? What do you feel that your work is all about? What are you doing with people within that coaching session to help them move forward?

Sarah: First of all, my coaching goes from a minimum of four months and most clients continue on after that. Their first stage is to really get to know who you are again because…and you guys have touched on it already is this idea that your priorities have completely changed.

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: All of my clients say to me that before I got sick my health was not a priority. It wasn’t even something that came up in my mind because well why would it? That’s the normal state of play of people. Not so much in the Paleo community, but generally. Then when they come out, health might be one of their top priorities or one of what I call my top values.

The first part of working with me, and the length of this process depends entirely on the person, is getting to know yourself again and that means finding what’s your priority, what your values are. We do a lot of exercises around figuring out what your values are. When you think about your top 5 key values, they’re the things that if they’re at the top of your list, and if you’re really honoring them, life feels good. Otherwise you just have this continual sense of unease and something doesn’t feel right. Even though my relationship with my partner is amazing, but there’s something else that just isn’t feeling right and it might be, for example like we were talking about, you’re just living in the wrong place. Maybe the outdoors is one of your key values, and getting outdoors is something that just makes you tick yet, your living downtown in a city, which is a perfect example of me. Then nothing in your life is going to feel quite right.

Kelsey: Yeah.

Sarah: We figure out those values, and that’s probably one of the most profound sessions for my clients because they have values pop up that they never even considered. I have a very introverted client, she’s awesome, she does so much work as a result. But she found out that connection was one of her top values and she had never considered that before. And now that she’s seeking out the right kind of relationships with people who are just like her, and not loud, and are equally quiet and considerate as she is, that she’s just getting a lot more from the rest of her life as a result.

Basically what my coaching about is figuring out who you are, kind of bolstering who you are as a person, and then that can help you figure out and get through any struggles that you are facing, also fears, moving forward to those big things that you want to do.

Kelsey: Amazing, yeah. I love that idea of figuring out your values. Laura and I have been talking a bit more about that recently on our podcast. Do you have any tips for people who maybe aren’t sure what they’re values are? Or they maybe have some idea. What practical ways do you get your clients to come to the realization of what their highest values are?

Sarah: I have a specific few visualizations I do with people, and then we discuss them after, and we can pull out values from there. But some things that you can do on your own at home are things like, what are the things that consistently piss you off? We’re not talking about people not using their turn signals on the highway, right?

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: This is deep seating stuff that really pisses you off. Just write it down and then think okay, if the fact that this is pissing me off or is annoying me is an example of something stomping or standing on my values, what is the value that’s been dishonored here? I’m trying to think of an example. What’s something that really gets to one of you ladies?

Kelsey: Oh gosh.

Sarah: Where do I begin?

Laura: Right on the spot there.

Sarah: Yeah. We can come back to it.

Laura: I was going to say maybe if we’re just talking about professionally in the realm of nutrition is when people are overly focused on appearance as opposed to health or nutrition.

Sarah: Okay. So if people are more focused on appearance as an indicator of the way you should be as opposed to health?

Laura: Yeah and this isn’t necessarily clients, this could also be professionals that are kind of promoting this certain look or whatever. But just when I meet people who are so worried about their weight or their body appearance that their willing to harm themselves, or they’re willing to overlook health issues caused by that, or if somebody like a professional is promoting unhealthy behaviors in order to achieve a certain aesthetic, that’s something pisses me off.

Sarah: Yeah, that could be as simple as saying that maybe that value that’s being trampled on there is a true, deep seated health in contrast to something like a vanity health or something like that. I feel like there’s more to it than that. So if we were in a coaching session, we would really dig more into that and figure out okay, there’s health there, that’s an easy one, but there’s something else behind it.

Laura: Yeah. Perhaps the emphasis on women’s appearance as being their value or something like that.

Sarah: Right, and maybe it’s this idea that are they falling short on themselves because they’re putting so much value in the way that they look? And you want so much for your clients or for the people around you than to be so fixated on their appearance when there’s so much that makes you up as a person. Perhaps you as someone who promotes health, you see that glimmer that there’s so much more to them than what they are seeing.

Laura: Mm hmm.

Sarah: There’s probably a value in there that’s more than about health, but about you seeing the true value in people in who they are.

Laura: Mm hmm.

Sarah:  For example.

Laura: So deep.

Sarah: That’s why I do a few sessions on this, so we really would dig quite deep into that. It’s really, really interesting.

I’m trying to think of another way that people can do it. If you can imagine a time in your life where you were, it could be a specific moment or a vacation, but you were on top of the world where you were so alive you could feel it right to your fingertips. If you can just imagine that scenario.

For me, it was the first time I stood up on a surfboard at an all-women’s surf camp at Sayulita in Mexico. It was just like wow! You know? I don’t know if you guys have ever surfed.

Laura: Yeah.

Sarah: Surfing when you first stand up is like oh my gosh! And you’re just standing there with everything through your head. For me that’s what I call one of my peak experiences.

From that you can think okay, so what are some of the values that come with that experience? In that experience it would be things like adventure, taking risks, what else?

Laura: Physical ability, maybe.

Sarah: Yeah, exactly. Fitness, and physical ability, things like that. What you can do is go through some of those times in your life where that was just the most amazing night or that was the most experience. And you can write down all the things from all that and start seeing where you’re seeing commonalities. Those are a couple of really simple ways of looking at it.

But of course, as a coach, I’m always interested in the stuff that you don’t know about. That’s the really exciting stuff. Then also being wary of values that can come up that are not true values, but they are as a coach I would call that saboteurs. Something that’s actually like a red herring that’s trying to actually hold you back.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Sarah: That would be something, Laura, in your example of clients who are really so fixated, or people who are so fixated on their appearance over their health. They may say that health is a value of theirs when really that’s what I would call a saboteur placing it in there kind of justifying something that’s a problem for them. It’s not always as straight cut.

Laura: Yeah. You could say well health is my first priority and then you end up doing things in the pursuit of health that end up creating a lack of social interaction or things that are important to happiness that the pursuit of health can get in the way of.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Sarah: Right, and a perfect example actually of this saying that success is a value, which is usually nonsense. Success is not a value. Saying success is a value is the equivalent of justifying a type A workaholic mentality.

Laura: Right.

Sarah: When really actually it may be things like a deep connection with my family is a value, learning is a value, a sense of freedom. But success is rarely a value. It’s usually something that we are calling out to justify some negative behavior.

Laura: Or it’s getting at something like freedom where if you’re financially successful, you have the freedom to do the traveling or the extracurricular things that you enjoy doing.

Sarah: Right. That’s a really good point because when I’m coaching with someone, they will often come with a goal like let’s say that their goal is to be at a point where they can travel and live life in such a way. Well as a coach I would actually find out well what’s really important about that goal? What’s behind that goal? Maybe it’s because that freedom allows me to feel in control of my life and I can up and go wherever I want whenever I please.

So my goal as a coach would be okay, let’s not wait for 6 months or a year for you to get to that point. Let’s figure out how we can get that sense of freedom in your life right now. That would be things like being a tourist in your own town or taking camping trips instead of feeling like you need to make it this big grandiose thing. You can have that sense of freedom immediately. How much better is that than having to wait?

Kelsey: Right. I think that brings up a good point of once you find your values, I think a lot of times people can feel overwhelmed at making them a priority. They feel like maybe they do need to move across the country and do something crazy to really be aligned with those values, when truly there are smaller ways to implement those values into your life and make them a priority.

That example is perfect. For example, if you are feeling currently like you’re in the wrong environment, because we talked about that a few times here, that’s one of the bigger ones I would think is maybe a little bit tougher to deal with before you can…let’s say you can’t move until next year or something like that. How would you recommend that if someone has a value like that they they’re not in alignment with currently and they really can’t do anything about it right now in the sense of doing something major, just as an example for the environment one, what is something that someone can do to really help them live more in alignment with that in the meantime?

Sarah: Let’s make it a bit more specific. Let’s say someone wants to be able to live in a place where they can have their own garden, and spend more time outdoor,s and the weather’s a little easier to do that, which I think is a lot of people who are Paleo kind of going in the direction. They really want to grow their own food and be more involved in that side of things. Let’s use that as an example and you live maybe in Chicago, downtown Chicago, where it’s kind of hard to do that.

There’s two streams here. There is what can we do right now? And then how do we get to where you want to be in the future? In the immediate, it would be like okay, so how can we feed this desire now? And it might be doing things like taking some gardening classes, or even reading a book on how to have a potted garden on the balcony, and then starting to put that into action. There are lots of small things that you can do like that. You might even go volunteer at a community garden or do little things like that to get your hands in the soil and to experiment. And that also helps to give you confidence in that bigger dream, that actually yes, that is something I want to do.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Sarah: Which is always a good idea regardless of whether you can just up and leave and do that or not. Then of course there’s the other side of things where you want to feel like you’re working towards that goal in the long run rather than just biding your time.

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: I always use the analogy of a flashlight. I live in a very rural area. There’s no streetlights so when it’s dark, it’s truly dark besides from the stars and the moon. When I take my dog out late at night, if I don’t take a flashlight, I can’t see anything, which is a problem because there are wild animals around here.

But imagine that the beam of a flashlight, you can only see so much ahead of you when you’re standing there, and if you take one step, a little bit more is revealed to you in that light. Right? And this also applies to people who don’t know what their big dream is because as I know it can be hard to dream and want more for yourself when you are, for example, currently in the midst of healing like the people that you deal with. This is a good analogy to use with them is that you can only see so much right now. You take a step forward, a little bit more is revealed to you. Then if you imagine taking 5, 10 steps forward, you’re seeing a whole load of possibilities and potential that there’s no way you could see it at the beginning because you have moved forward through and the light has revealed that to you.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Sarah: When looking at your long-term goals, it’s a one step at a time literally approach because sometimes you might have the goal to…if we’re continuing with the idea of moving, and having a big garden, and being somewhere where the growing season is a little bit longer so that you can do that more successfully…you might have that idea, but in taking it one step at a time, you might actually realize that actually I think I kind of would like to try doing that in Costa Rica rather than going to this place.

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: By taking it slowly one step at a time, there’s a lot of value in doing that because there’s so much that you could not have possibly have imagined at the beginning being revealed to you as you go through all that.

Kelsey: Yeah, and I think there’s something to be said for having a plan too. And that sort of sounds a little bit counterintuitive to what you just said, but I feel like it’s that one step at a time kind of ieda with a plan too because there’s this end goal that you’re maybe working towards, but taking that one step at a time, like you said, really I think unveils a lot of things that you may not have necessarily realized before. And if you were to just go and do that big plan right away, you can kind of miss those learning moments and I think those are an amazing thing to have.

Sarah: Yeah, and a great example of this is after my crazy week and then brain surgery, I waited a year because I was kind of freaked out by what I was experiencing, what I was feeling. But I ended up quitting a six figure job and then I actually ended up doing freelance design work instead. So that was a bit of a from full time to freelance work. That was kind of a step, a small step. And then I was in a position where I could quit, then I quit my career as a designer. Then I went to study nutrition which I would never have realized right when I was having that moment in the shower, I would have never have considered nutrition at that time.

Kelsey: Yeah.

Sarah: And then my marriage ended up falling apart unfortunately because that’s another thing that can be affected both negatively and positively by these experiences. And then I met someone else, and then I moved across the country, and then my business changed again. So it’s like there’s no way you can possibly plan to that extent.

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: It would have been way too overwhelming. You’d never get anything done.

Laura: Mm hmm.

Kelsey: Exactly, yeah. Speaking of relationships, I think that that is something, like you said, that can either have a positive or negative impact on your life and even your health I would say as well. How do you feel like social relationships change and play a part in recovering after an illness?

Sarah: That’s a good question. There’s a difference between the kind of support that you need from your friends and families when you’re going through it versus when you feel you can call yourself as someone’s who’s recovered, who’s actively managing and successfully managing something.

As I’m sure you both have experienced is that when someone is going through major health problems, it doesn’t matter what it is, it has a significant impact on how you can live your life. And so you need the kind of support where your partner is going to hold your hand, your friend is going to come with you to doctor’s appointments and take notes, and they’re going to be a shoulder to cry on. There’s a very specific kind of support that you need that helps prop you up.

Now when you’re on the other side of things, the kind of support you need is very different and that is less of the you’ll be okay, let me hold your hand, let me be a shoulder to cry on kind of support, and more of the I’m going to hold you up for the kind of strong person that I know that you are, and allow you to make your own decisions, and allow you to make your own mistakes. Because it’s that kind of empowering support which is typically very different for people, and that is the kind of support that’s really going to help you grow the most that you can as a result of the experiences that you’ve been through.

Kelsey: That makes sense. In terms of being healed or healing, do you feel that being around other people, that that sort of has to change in a sense? Like you were saying that during the healing process, you need that hand to hold or shoulder to cry on. Do you feel like those relationships…can they change effectively afterwards? I feel like a lot of people kind of on the other side of healing feel like things aren’t the same in their relationships with people and are maybe frustrated by that. Is there a way to help move the relationship in the direction that they feel it needs to go towards?

Sarah: First of all, it takes time for you to recognize the differences that you need in the support system that you have. But once you do, I think you literally have to ask for what you need.

Kelsey: Yeah. Open communication?

Sarah: Right. I think that a lot of the time that if you are the one who’s been through health problems, is that you have to lead the way for people because they really are following your lead. Holding their hand and saying hey, I really appreciate the support that you’ve given me over all this time. This is what I need now, or this is what I think now, can we just try that?

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: Like I know that you mean well, but I think this is what I need now. Can we experiment with that and see how it goes for me?

Kelsey: Yeah.

Sarah: Yeah, it’s not easy.

Kelsey: Yeah, it isn’t easy. And I think Laura and I talk about social relationships all the time lately because we found, like I mentioned before, we deal with a lot of people that are really in the midst of dealing with chronic illness and that it’s so important to have healthy social relationships that really support you and feel good.

A lot of times people put restrictions, like dietary restrictions, or just things that they feel like they need to do in front of social relationships. We’ve seen at least that that can hurt a lot of people and actually make their health worse.

I think it’s really important to put an emphasis on social relationships and the right types of social relationships. That’s probably one of the values I would imagine you figure out. Like what kind of relationships do you need in your life to make you feel fulfilled? And that’s awesome.

Sarah: There’s also this idea that people know you, as I was saying before, they know you from before, right? They don’t necessarily know that there’s things changing in your mind. Suddenly your Google search history doesn’t reflect who you used to be. It looks like someone completely different. But you need this space to explore. And sometimes completely without meaning to, the people around you can force certain values on you or expectations that are hard for you to say no to or to not be influenced by because you’re in personally such a state of flux.

Kelsey: Mm hmm.

Sarah: You’re changing so much and your trying to figure out who you are in such an impressionable stage that you really just need some space to be like oka,y what is really important to me?

Kelsey: Right.

Sarah: It’s hard enough to do that at the best of times to really take a side step from what is expected from you. Like what does success mean? What does all these things that we’re kind of told this is how you should be, it’s really hard to do that in the best of times. Then when you add in the fact that you feel like your changing, and currencies have changed, it can become a bit of a hot mess, and I’ve been there.

Kelsey: Yeah. This has been awesome, and personally I’ve learned a lot, and I’m sure our listeners have too. I want them to know a bit more about what’s coming up for you. What are you working on? What cool things do they maybe have to look forward to seeing from you in the future?

Sarah: Yes. I have a post recovery coaching work that I do, and as I mentioned that’s a four month commitment because it takes some time and it’s super exciting work. If anyone’s interested in that, you can just hop over to my website or you can send you an email to Sarah@SarahRamsden.com. We can chat about it.

I’m considering running a retreat next year. I have to figure that out. I have to ground it in my values. One of my values is ease and running a retreat is not easy, so I’m still figuring that out. If you’re curious about that, then come over to my website and sign up to my email list because you’ll be the first person to get any news on that in that respect.

Then if you’re curious, if there’s anything that we talked about today applies to you, and ladies I’ll send you the links to these so you can share them, I have a couple of free guides on my website. One of them is “The Top 10 Signs Your Health Issues Have Changed You.” Then another one is for people who are just feeling like they’re getting on top of things is another free guide that is my “24 Tips To Fight A Fear Of Relapse”, which is really helpful for people with autoimmunity especially. I find too often that people are not living their life because their worried about their health issues coming back.

Laura: Right.

Sarah: As opposed to actually having their health issues hold them back. That’s something I don’t want to have happen to people. Let’s not have that fear hold you back. That’s a really great guide for people too. I’ll send you ladies those links so they can be shared in the show notes.

Kelsey: Yeah, sure.

Laura: That sounds great.

Sarah: Okay. If anyone has any questions for me, absolutely feel free to email me or find me at Facebook or Instagram.

Kelsey: Awesome. Well thank you so much, Sarah. I really, like I said, I feel like this has been an awesome learning experience both for me and Laura, and our listeners, and we are really grateful for you coming on the show today.

Sarah: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been really fun chatting to you both.

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I'm a women's health expert and a registered dietitian (RD) with a passion for helping goal-oriented people fuel their purpose.

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