How Life Coaching pulled me out of Postpartum Depression: Photo Story

Hey there! For new readers, my name is Liz Langston. I’m a Life Coach, a mom of three, singer-songwriter, and an advocate of essential oils.

(Photography by Alexis Arias, @candid.kids )

(Photography by Alexis Arias, @candid.kids )

I’ve shared my story of Postpartum Depression before, but I have never shared the role that Life Coaching played in empowering me with the tools to completely take myself out of my own depression, and then go on to find my purpose and build a life and business that I love.

So,

What is Life Coaching?

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Life Coaching is a lot newer than the fields of psychology, counseling, therapy, etc. It is based in positive psychology... So in stead of “what’s wrong with you” + a diagnosis as a way to frame it, it’s more “what’s right with you” and how to create life change and build your trajectory.

But you’ll see what it is as you read of my transformation…

My Story

After giving birth to my first baby, I experienced some trauma during the first 12 hours postpartum. Two blood transfusions later, and a big scare for the entire floor of nurses, the worst was over.

He was totally worth it. ;) Hello, little Jensen.

You can see how swollen my face was. My blood pressure was through the roof - preeclampsia was in full swing.

You can see how swollen my face was. My blood pressure was through the roof - preeclampsia was in full swing.

Nothing like being first-time parents.

Nothing like being first-time parents.

While in the hospital for the birth of my second baby, I experienced flashbacks to the trauma of being in the hospital for baby 1. I had no idea that I was experiencing anxiety. I was struggling to breathe and had my first panic attack.

Starting a few days after getting home from the hospital with baby #2 (our sweet Roslyn Claire, pictured below), I was having regular anxiety and panic attacks every few days.

This was right in the middle of everything - anxiety was totally new to me. I think the only other time I’d ever had an anxiety attack was with a deadline for an assignment in college.

This was right in the middle of everything - anxiety was totally new to me. I think the only other time I’d ever had an anxiety attack was with a deadline for an assignment in college.

I remember being so unable to function, (and my mother was across the country on a mission), I called my aunt, who I really didn’t feel super close to at the time, but I was so desperate. I asked her to come stay with me - she lived 4 hours away.

She drove to my house the day after her birthday, came to be with me. She slept on the couch because I didn’t have my wits about me to make up a bed for her. Wasn’t even on my radar. I was so depressed. My brain was so not mine….

I remember sitting on the couch, in a towel, having just showered, watching her prepare dinner for my family. (Yes, I was vaguely aware I should get dressed, but I was also so fuzzy in my thinking… I just sat there in my towel for a bit, staring…) She was moving so swiftly. She looked so strong. . . . Guys, she was just preparing dinner. But with where I was mentally, it looked so heroic. (And let’s be honest, some days, making dinner is heroic.)

Anyway.

Fast forward some months, I got on antidepressants, learned a lot, shared my story with my instagram followers and put up a YouTube video about it. But other than that, kept it to myself and moved on.

Then, almost two years later, came baby number three, our little Amos!

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Amos was born underwater, at a birth center. Why? … I did not know any other way to get a step ahead of the anxiety and panic that I experienced in the hospital after baby number two, and honestly, it just felt intuitive. So in preparation for Amos’ birth, my husband and I changed our birth approach entirely: we chose a birth center, hired a doula, worked with the midwives… I read a book to prepare my mind for labor. I really worked hard to train my mind and set myself up for success.

And honestly, the birth process was perfect. Labor was wonderful for me. I reaped my rewards of preparing so well. Physically, it was an amazing recovery.

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But once again, three or four months after Amos was born, I was depressed again as a stay at home mom.

This time I was devastated about it.

I had prepared so well. Labor and delivery and postpartum recovery had gone AMAZINGLY well, and yet, this.

My mind.

My thoughts.

I felt so helpless, trapped, disappointed.

Again.

…I’d love to tell you that I proactively set out to learn and figure out what was happening.

But in stead, I just felt sad about everything. Sad about how I was depressed again, sad that I wasn’t enjoying being a mom, sad that I wasn’t feeling the desire to do much.

I was in the middle of this second episode of PPD when this photo was taken.

I was in the middle of this second episode of PPD when this photo was taken.

At about this same time, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law both kept recommending me this life coach’s podcast. I think they sensed how things didn’t seem to be right for me, and were concerned. Anyway, whatever their reasons, I was characteristically apathetic (depressed mamma), and I put it off for a long time. I also had no idea what a life coach would have to offer me - or what life coaching was.

Then, finally, around February of this year, I turned on this life coach podcast while I was folding some laundry.

…I remember it as clear as day, hearing her voice tell me for the first time, that, “Circumstances are neutral.”

Circumstances are neutral changed everything for me. It is the basic premisis upon which Life Coaching builds (if you’re a certified coach through The Life Coach School by Brooke Castillo).

‘Circumstances are neutral’ meant I was both responsible for my own suffering in some way, but therefore also capable to change it.

What is a circumstance?

A circumstance is anything that happens outside of us - anything outside of our own control. For example, what someone says, how somebody else acts, what happens on the news….

I learned that these things are not bad, good, mean — anything. Our thoughts about the circumstances in our lives are what attributes meaning to them. OUR OWN THOUGHTS are the reason we feel any certain way we do.

You can believe this or not. But if you do, you have so much power to change your life.

So that’s exactly what I did.

Circumstances being neutral is the foundational piece, but it is just the tip of the ice burg. Life Coaching offers so much more.

And as I learned little by little, one podcast and blog post at a time, from all these life coaches with The Life Coach School, I changed. I took myself out of my suffering, not by changing anything about how many hours per day I stay at home with my three kids, or how many hours my husband works, or how many friends I have to support me.

I learned, by hiring a life coach, how to change my thoughts. How to recognize my beliefs, how they are coloring the way I see the world, and deciding, one at a time, whether or not they’re serving me in becoming the person I want to be.

Hiring a life coach acts to our life as an Apple Certified Tech guy acts to a new Apple computer.

WHY would you buy a computer, and not spend the time and energy to learn how to fully use it?

Get your money’s worth. Right?

Get your brain’s full creativity on your side, by learning how to use it and hiring a life coach!

…Did you know that your brain will go to extreme lengths to prove itself right? It’s a survival mechanism from when our species was so much less developed. And now, it holds us back in our relationships, goals, etc.

Did you know that your brain, if unsupervised, will keep the beliefs and thoughts that are familiar, EVEN if those thoughts are the reason for your pain, frustration, anger, etc? Even if there is a better way available, without awareness from a life coach in the beginning, your path to progress and evolvement is slower, more up and down, and and does not come with a guarantee you’ll get to your desired outcome.

A life coach will not allow your brain to sabotage your well being, your goals, your relationships.

Watch out. If you hire a life coach, it means you have no more excuses for not taking action. It means your days of blaming other people are over.

It means you are becoming an emotional adult.

Now I am a Life Coach for Moms.

I could not be more thrilled an honored to tell you that I attended The Life Coach School, and have been coaching people for the better part of a year. I love sharing the tools of The Life Coach School with other moms. Their lives are changing, like mine did.

Yours can as well. I’m the one that can help you.

Click here to schedule a free 15-minute mini session. Usually life coaching sessions are 45 minutes. But to honor mothers, market my business, and get this material out into the world, I do a free first mini session.

Here’s how to get your free 15 mins with a life coach:

  1. You click this link here: https://meetme.so/free_mini_session

  2. You book the day/time that work for your schedule

  3. Show up and get the tools to be empowered to change

You’re on the precipice.

Take the step over the edge.

And if you decide now is not the time, do yourself a favor and follow my Instagram account, @lizlangstoncoaching. Also, subscribe to my weekly coaching newsletter and get free help while you’re waiting. Plus you won’t miss a blog post if you do.

I pray for every mom out there, that she will be willing to invest in her mental health and well being. That she will be willing to explore her mind, and the possibilities that it can create if it is supervised by someone trained to do so - first a life coach, and then you. You’ll learn how to self-coach.

To all my friends,

And for all the moms,

-Liz

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