Take Me Away

In my mid-30s, I gave birth to my third child around the same time that I took on a new job leading the turnaround of Gatorade, the $5 billion global sports drink business. Nothing could have prepared me for the stress of the job, watching the daily multimillion-dollar sales declines and feeling everyone's eyes watching me with the expectation of immediate miraculous results. Throw in the overwhelming impact of post-partum depression, and I recall being up one night at 2:00 a.m. because the baby wouldn't sleep and having an absolute emotional breakdown. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, crying out in pain for some kind of release from the stress.

That night, my husband swung into action and said “ENOUGH.” Instead of allowing me to toy with the idea of canceling my much-needed break due to the pressures of the job, he took action and packed me and the rest of the family up for the airport, where we were to head to the gorgeous island destination of Fiji. His very act of taking the decision making, and therefore the guilt associated with taking a break from my job, off my shoulders was the game changer that I needed to replenish my utterly depleted mind, body, and spirit.

What I learned from that experience is how important it is to get away from a stressful situation like that – to find a new perspective and realize that it's going to be OK after all. Sometimes, when you are too close to a situation you can't see it clearly for yourself and you need someone else to bear the brunt and make the decisions for you.

That courageous act on my husband's behalf is what got me through one of the most challenging experiences of my life.

By Sarah Robb O’Hagan