Climbing the long, steep, muddy incline out of a dark, deep abyss first requires one to realize a few key concepts:

1. That one is in fact in an abyss.

2. That being there isn’t serving anyone.

3. That one is worthy of getting out.

4. That there is hope to get out.

5. That being out of the abyss will be better.

You may have seen my article on Caregiver Burnout a few weeks ago here on my website. The intention with that piece on burnout was to give insight to treatment professionals on what it must be like for the parents/spouses/siblings/etc who are losing themselves in their caregiving role.

Today my intention is to provide insights for both parents and professionals into what has worked for caregivers who’ve climbed out of the abyss of hopelessness and fear to recover from burnout and be able to be effective caregivers.

The code of ethics for the International Coaches Federation to which I adhere, requires that I not share anything from my coaching sessions without permission. Luminous Momma is a writer and was a client of mine. She now wants her voice to be heard and has given me permission to use her words with this pseudonym.

Embracing those 5 key concepts was not easy and took a lot of time, trust, courage, work and faith.

Most parents who start working with me are at the bottom of the abyss (without realizing that in fact that is where they are) and are able to see that their child needs their help.

And they seek that help without seeing that in fact, they are not getting the oxygen they need and without that, they will not be able to effectively support their child.

Being listened to and being seen shines the light on the dark abyss and helps family caregivers see that they need help getting oxygen to survive so they can indeed provide support for a loved one. 

Once Luminous Momma had realized those first 5 key concepts and had a thread of hope that being out of the abyss might be better, then her next brave, ‘brutiful’ steps could be taken.

More trusting of herself and me as her coach was needed. That took not only listening and acknowledging her where she was at and honoring that pain, it also required shining the light on her worth.


Bullet point version of that paragraph because we are all stretched to our limits:

Next Steps for Caregiver:

  • Trust Yourself
  • Trust Your Coach

Next Steps for Coach:

  • Acknowledge MORE
  • Listen MORE
  • Honor the Pain and don’t fear it
  • Shine Light on Caregiver’s WORTH

Then she could begin the brutal and beautiful (‘brutiful’ as Glennon Doyle Melton says)  life saving daily work of journaling, breathing, praying, trusting, practicing the skills so she could begin to heal and hold space for her sweet self.

This all sounds rather quick and easy looking at it now, AND this process is slow and arduous…AND…

When one has accompaniment, it is possible to have moments of sheer joy that sparkle along the journey. 

Watch for Luminous Momma’s NEXT…

“I learned how to hold the joy, and the sorrow in the same moment.” – Luminous Momma

“I learned how to hold my child capable, to love myself, listen and hold space for what is hard to hear. That has helped her learn she is capable.” – Luminous Momma

“Becky you helped me to be brave, courageous and intentional. I now hold boundaries. And follow through with them.” – Luminous Momma