I only went to two football games this season, and still, I almost lost my dang mind.
Allow me to explain.
If you know me personally or have read through my past entries, you know that I moved from a city with over a million residents to a country town coming in with a whopping 18k folks, both prison populations included. (OMG, I know!)
Before meeting Coach, I packed up my city life after accepting a job in a smaller market with a 5-year plan to return to the 10th most populated U.S. city.
And then, God swooped in with the interception.
When I met my husband, he burnt out my fiery and feisty flame in the best way possible. His gentle mannerisms, sincerity, and his absolute faith in the Lord were what first caught my attention, but there was something else, too.
I noticed how often his former players still kept in contact. No matter how many years had passed since they had stepped on the gridiron, these young men still wanted to share monumental life milestones or would seek their former Coach’s advice as they navigated through the world.
I truly admired that quality, and I knew I had found something special.
So, it was no fight in deciding to toss out my life’s playbook and begin making a new one with my forever teammate. Eventually, I said goodbye to my latest city and headed West to the outskirts where my husband was born and raised and where cows literally were my next-door neighbors. Oh, and where football was life.
As we headed into our second year of marriage, rode out the wild waves of COVID-19, we also joyously welcomed our first child.
Then, one night as Coach and I were drawing back the comforter, I whispered, “I don’t know exactly what’s happening, but I feel off. I can’t explain it, but my mind is not where it usually is.”
All I really knew at that time was that I was in the early stages of ending my breastfeeding journey, had recently switched career paths, and that football season had just begun.
Two weeks later, I had penciled in my first appointment with a therapist.
Thankfully, within three months of committed work, I was able to determine that a part of what I was feeling was due to a sense of separation of self and what makes me, me. Part of my therapy homework was to revive activities and favorite pastimes that I participated in before becoming a (coach’s) wife and a mother.
For me, this included making the decision to step back from football.
Through therapy, I came to an understanding that similar to motherhood, the coach wife life is only a part of me, but it isn’t the full me. I am so much more than both parts. After all, Coach met and fell in love with me with not a single drop of the game in my veins (yet).
So, this season my Friday nights consisted of powering through books on the couch, rekindling my love for journaling and writing, and enjoying candlelit spa nights in my bathroom after putting our son down for bed.
Life is a lot like the game of football- sometimes you make significant gains, and sometimes you get pushed back. It’s in those moments of being held back, though, that you can often decide how you want to play out the rest of the game.
As for me, I knew that in taking full responsibility and action of where I was mentally, I could eventually show up for my home team and be the greatest version of myself.
When you recognize and honor the power in knowing yourself and hone in on that, well, my friends, that is where the game changes.
Reader Note: If you’re looking for therapy resources, check out Going to Therapy as a Coach’s Wife? Sounds Normal to Me!