For a decade I struggled against pain. Chronic, often debilitating pain. I cried the day I bought seat adapters to help me sit; I felt I was crossing from healthy to disabled. The pain upended my life: I was at the top graduate school in my field and couldn’t make it through a work day without sneaking off to a corner to lie on a bench. I couldn’t cook dinner and also clean. I couldn’t drive so had to take jobs near my home, or homes near my job. …

Candid truths and follow-ups: I say out loud to the team of people I lead that I am struggling.

It’s Friday afternoon on a ten-way team Zoom and I want to know how each individual human is faring with this struggle. Like all good software teams we do a retro, a list of what went well, what could be improved, and follow-up actions. Usually it’s about teamwork, communication, changing processes or tools. But that’s not what’s top of mind.

Someone mentions our product is growing 50% a week. I’m grateful we all have jobs, but it’s a lot of work…

Though the walls my neighbor is sobbing, sometimes choking on wails of sadness. She is new here and alone over there. Should I knock on the door and offer empathy, tea or a hug? Or will it be an intrusion on her privacy to realize she can be heard? I wait tensely. I cannot ignore her as I write, especially if this is what I am writing:

***

The third therapist I sat down with, I asked her directly: how many times will I need to visit with you before I know whether this is helping? She was the first…

Shira M Lee

Shira is a speaker, writer, teacher, advisor, and General Manager of Behavioral Health at Eden Health, and formerly at Omada Health.

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