Coping With Trauma While Running a Home Based Business

Coping with TraumaI ran my businesses from home as I was the caregiver for my 90 year old mum who was nearly blind, had dementia and was on a walker after having her hip replaced. It was sometimes difficult to run my businesses while looking after a very demanding mother, but coping with trauma when I was hit with two serious illnesses simultaneously, really did set up some challenges for me.

Sometimes I think you work even longer hours when working from home, simply because the work is always there with you. I ran a support association for home based businesses; had a silk painting business which received orders from around the world; I was an international speaker and was also an author. There was never a moment when I was not planning something new or trying to meet deadlines.

This is not so easy when you are in your 60’s, but ‘if the mind is willing the body will keep up’ was my motto. Then the unthinkable happened. I had a stroke and while undergoing a CT scan the medical team discovered that I also had a life threatening brain tumour which was pushing the brain stem out of alignment.

On my second day in hospital I discovered that I could not read. The stroke had left me with the rare condition of ‘Alexia without Agraphia’. This was a real shock and initially shattered me, as my entire life seemed to revolve around reading. But the good news was that I could still write.

Right then and there I decided to set myself the challenge of writing a book called ‘Thank God I Had a Stroke’ as without the stroke they would not have found the brain tumour and the doctors figured that I had about three months to live if it hadn’t been discovered when it was.

My recovery was built around being positive; being optimistic; setting goals and challenges; caring for others (I even tried to support others in hospital with me); and being determined (sometimes referred to as stubborn!)

I am somewhat slower now than I used to be, but I know to stop and rest when I get tired. I have a wonderful husband (now my official caregiver) who reads my emails etc to me. For every page of my book that I wrote, he had to read it back to me – I am sure he read the entire manuscript at least 50 times. The actual writing of the book was not as hard as the changes that I made based on the suggestions of an excellent editor. I found it so difficult to get my mind around where the changes were to go and what needed to be moved to where – because I could not read it. But finally the print copy of the book was in my hands! I have just commenced the marketing of it and it is doing well.

For me, coping with trauma was just another step in my life that I had to accept and do the best that I could. I did not see it as the ‘end of my world’ – even though in some aspects, it was. To cope with such unwanted and sometimes devastating occurrences in our life, does require a very positive mind set. You can read just how I was able to cope in my book, Thank God I Had a Stroke.

Tips and Hints

In my next post I will tell you how my confidence soared because of what I was able to achieve in my home based business. It can be scary trying to get back to normal after a serious illness, but you have to try, try and try again. Having determination (stubbornness?) can really make a difference to the speed of your recovery.

31 thoughts on “Coping With Trauma While Running a Home Based Business

  1. Lisa Perkins

    Wow, I’m completely convinced that you are some kind of “Super Human”….. You leave me totallyspeechless with everything you have been through, the fight you had to pull through it all, and on top of taking care of your elderly Mother….. I Truly believe that GOD put you on this Earth, for very Special Reasons!!!

  2. Tara York

    Things happen for a reason and you just have to “roll with the punches” as the saying goes. The human spirit is amazing and there’s no limit as to what we’re able to accomplish, even after suffering from serious illness. Keep up the awesome attitude and great work!

  3. Kris H

    I agree about trying to get back to normal after having been dealt with a serious health issue. It’s often difficult to solely concentrate on business when in the back of your mind you are worried about your health. I think as you’ve said, trying and trying are the most important thing when it comes to getting back to where you where.

  4. Ana B.

    What an inspirational story. I agree that having determination can make a ton of difference in how well you recover, and you’re a great example of that!

  5. Debbie Boulier

    Dealing with trauma can be extremely hard, for both yourself and the patient. I would even venture to say it’s more difficult that being ill yourself, in some cases. Stubborness in this case is most definitely needed along with a healthy dose of determination.

  6. Tiffany

    Your tip about having determination is spot on!! I think it is probably the number one thing that you need for anything in life but especially for overcoming challenges. I enjoy reading your tips and applying them to my life 🙂

  7. Jack J

    I have actually been trying to make a living out of my house ever since I have been injured and reduced to limited mobility. I have found it to be very trying and frustrating but overall very healthy for me and interesting at times.

  8. Nakiba

    It is great that you took your tragedy and turned it into a positive business move. I am afraid to fail therefore I am afraid to try. I guess I would need more determination to get myself out of the rut that I have subjected myself to. Maybe your next article will help me to gain a bit of confidence.

    1. Barbara Gabogrecan Post author

      I have a saying, the first time you ‘fail’ it is a learning experience. It is only a failure if you make the same mistake again and again.
      Warm wishes

  9. Chris W.

    I agree that stubbornness is an excellent virtue when overcoming a challenge such as a serious illness. I’m glad that you had the tenacity and positive mindset to overcome your illness. Your story is amazing, and I love how you are using your experiences to help others.

  10. Debra Owens

    You truly , truly do inspire me to put my learning disability aside and make my home job work!
    I have very short term memory, and it effects everything in my life! If you can overcome and share your story to inspire others than I can learn a phone number and remember it! I will do it! Thank you!

  11. Amy

    It is especially hard for me to know my limits and stop to rest. You are very lucky to have a caregiver to help and support you. Do you have any advise as to how I can take the first steps to running a home business?

  12. Tina

    I think you are an Angel to help others go forward with whatever struggles they maybe having in life. I’m disabled myself which; made me very depressed. 19 major operations with several organs removed. I’m in pain everyday of my life. Some days it’s tolerable and other days I’m stuck in bed. It’s really wears your energy down. With the operations came blessings of healing and finding new abilities and hobbies. I have my own business as well. I want to help people which; makes me the happiest. Thank you for writing these articles dear Angel. You are a true inspiration!

    1. Barbara Gabogrecan Post author

      Tina, I am so sorry that you are in so much pain – you are right – whatever your health problems are – constant pain does take all your energy and often your happiness. If you would like to contact me directly to discuss any of your issues – please feel free to email me at Warm wishes, Barb

  13. Lyn Collins

    I cannot even imagine what you have been through and it amazed how you were able to manage it. Some will just totally give up, although I cannot blame them. However there is always hope and it life must go on.

  14. Nicky Evans

    This post, and your tip, actually has me smiling… i suppose you are right, the difference between stubbornness and determination is somewhat fine 🙂 It is such a wonderful thing to read not only about your recovery, your strength and insights but to also gain glimpses of your personal life. I thank your husband for reading my comment out to you (when he gets around to it as i can imagine, that his schedule is as busy as yours). And what a blessing YOU are to your family, friends and total strangers like me.

  15. sam

    Once again your writing is so inspirational to me. I do feel you nailed it right on the head that working from home is demanding. Great job as usual.

  16. caitlin

    I enjoy your blog very much and look forward to reading your book. You are a very strong and exceptional person thank you for sharing your life experiences your writing is very uplifting.

  17. Rose

    I’ve nothing but admiration for anyone who “takes a lickin’ but keeps on tickin'” How scary it must be to lose such a basic ability as reading. Looking forward to the next post

  18. Jane

    Trauma does not have to ruin everything. There are always ways to overcome horrible events. To overcome a horrific trauma best to take small steps to restoring your life. Don’t try and do everything in one go as this may prove to be a setback if it does not go to plan.

  19. Denise Yue

    I am inspired by your strength through difficult times. A positive outlook on life can truly carry someone through to victory.

  20. Denise Yue

    Thank you for sharing your perspective on overcoming challenges presented by the illness you face. You have inspired me to keep moving forward in life.

  21. Kate Hughes

    I also run a home based business. It is very inspiring that you are able to do all of this even at an older age. You are a great role model.


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