Hi, I'm Katherine!I am a registered nurse coach, autoimmune patient, and non-profit founder.
This is my story.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been good at taking care of everyone else. The responsible oldest daughter, a conscientious student, and a compassionate listener – I was frequently called on to keep my siblings safe, tutor my classmates, and allow space for others to vent about their problems.
As a young adult finding my way in the world, I experienced prejudice, earned a scholarship, and lived frugally. I was also reminded that I had access to privilege, education, and money more easily than some. I was taught that it was my moral and ethical duty to be generous towards others and always ready to give.
There was a dark side, however, to those virtues.
Surrounded by patterns of rescuing and codependency, some of the most influential figures in my life had not yet learned to take responsibility for their own lives and the hurt they caused others. Asking for help, admitting defeat, or having limitations were considered a sign of weakness and I was taught to give the appearance of having it all together.
My greatest fear was that I could ever appear to be selfish, lazy, or a mooch.
I learned to cope by always doing for others, always trying to please others – and all the while remaining completely out of touch with myself. I was living for everyone else’s expectations and I had no idea how to break the cycle.
My first breaking point came during my first week of college when I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease.
This is my journey with chronic illness.
Looking back, my diagnosis no longer surprises me. I felt guilty having needs and limitations and never knew how to say, “No.” I was in deep debt emotionally, mentally, and physically – and had been living that way for years.
When I was first diagnosed, there were no social media support groups, no online resources, and no autoimmune awareness.
I felt left to figure it all out on my own.
My family and friends at the time offered the same advice they always had (which was all any of us knew how to do at that point) – to push through the pain, to toughen up, and to get back to meeting everyone’s expectations.
All those years of trying to rescue others had finally cost me one of my most precious gifts – my health. I had been fooling myself trying to help those who didn’t really want to be helped, all the while neglecting to take care of myself. I knew something needed to change.
This was my turning point.
- Learning to take responsibility for my own health and happiness was no easy task. I was much more tempted to blame all those I’d allowed to take from me without reciprocation.
- Learning to say, “No,” was scary when people chose to leave. I was terrified to be abandoned and wondered who would love me if they didn’t need me or what I had to offer.
- I took a break from life and set out on a journey for healthier living – from the inside out. I deserved to be celebrated. I deserved to receive tender loving care. I had to learn to do those things for myself.
Here's what we accomplished.
When I started my journey as a health coach with the creation of Chronic Wellness Nurse, my goal was to bring to others the wellness tools that worked for me – mindfulness, rest, digestion, detoxification, boundaries, and movement. All of these were cultivated over many years on a journey of self-awareness and exploration and one that continues to this day.
The most powerful process for me started with my heart, mind, and soul and depended on staying connected to my Creator.
As with any form of personal growth, it’s an ongoing cycle and there are setbacks along the way. Each one, however, has opened a door to something far greater than I could have imagined on my own. I firmly believe that obstacles exist, not to punish or to be fought by us, but to teach us valuable lessons.
The most enjoyable privilege that has come from my own story is being able to connect with like-hearted women around the world – women who are also struggling to overcome strongly entrenched patterns so that they can emerge on the other side, ready to say, “Yes,” to the blessings life has to offer.
I want to be here for you.
In whatever state you find yourself right now, even if it is not optimal physical, mental, or emotional health, you are not alone. There is a group of us here ready to support you as you take the next baby step on your own journey. There are tools and skills that you can learn that will make the process easier.
Where are you today on that scale of readiness? Are you feeling despair, hope, anger, or empowerment? All those feelings are acceptable here. I’d love to have you reach out and share with me what is on your heart and mind today or what you are experiencing with your body as it does its best to take care of you in today’s ever-changing world.
Lots of love,