Couch Coaching: If Sheila from Santa Clarita Diet Came for Coach-Therapy

Welcome to a new blog series where I imagine fictional / historical characters coming to me for coach-therapy

If you have any suggestions for characters who might benefit future posts or any other questions, I’d love to hear from

I know they’re not real but we’re all human – you may not be undead but we all need to be able to set and maintain healthy boundaries. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it:

Sheila: ‘Of course I do [want to be cured and no longer undead]. But I have endless energy. And I sleep two hours a night. I get so much done.’

Joel: ‘You eat people.’

Sheila: ‘I know. It’s just that I’m so much more confident now. And our sex is incredible. And I don’t know if this has anything to do with it but I can parallel park in one move now.’

Joel: ‘But you do want to be cured, right?’

Sheila: ‘Totally. Mostly.’

Joel: ‘But you eat people.’

Hi Sheila,

Change is often challenging and you’re dealing with so much. You have your family and Eric but your situation really is unique.

To have gone from feeling a bit rough to that unfortunate projectile vomiting at work and then discovering you’re undead… you’ve held it together remarkably.

You and your family seem closer than ever. Your husband clearly adores you and you him – a challenge in any long term relationship let alone one where you’re undead. Do you take any time for a gratitude practice? Letting him and Abby know how much you appreciate them? Journalling perhaps?

And you’re finally asserting yourself. Sometimes, when we start doing things we haven’t done before, like setting boundaries and using our voices, the pendulum can swing too far the other way. As if making up for all those times we’ve not said anything, we do the opposite –  in your case, chasing down your daughter’s school principal and threaten him with ruining his life if he does his job. It’s wonderful that you are building your self-control. You didn’t kill and eat him. But, to be fair to him, she had been skipping school (although suspension seems like an odd punishment). Again, you did so well not killing him but if you reflect on it now, how else might you have handled the situation?

I don’t know how you’ve managed to be so restrained in so many ways and applaud you for it. I also love your ability to reframe so many challenging situations – like being coerced into killing by your corrupt neighbour. You’re right. You DO have to eat.

I hope that Joel will find a cure for you and that, if you’re not eating pizza by next week, it won’t be long. And I’m impressed by your honesty that there’s a part of you that likes being undead.

Whatever we’re dealing with – trauma, sleep issues, anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, burnout… – there’s always a positive element to our self-sabotaging behaviours. You’re very honest with yourself and Joel about the benefits this new lifestyle is bringing you.

I’m wondering if there’s a way you can keep some of these benefits even after you find a cure for being undead?

If you’re able to put supports in place now – I’m happy to help you if you want to work with me – you can look at ways in which you can boost your energy levels without needing to eat people.

Similarly, now you’ve had this taste of supercharged self-confidence, you don’t need to stay undead to know you won’t go back to tolerating a verbally abusive boss and other situations that would have sapped your energy in the past.

In terms of getting so much done, while it’s wonderful to make the most of our natural energy cycles, is there a way in which you might delegate more? You’re dealing with so much change yet suggested your husband take some me-time instead of giving yourself even a little break. Is this a pattern?

We don’t know if your enhanced sex drive and new driving skills are a result of your being undead. It may simply be a benefit of having more energy, focus and feeling more awake because you’re sleeping so well even though it’s in shorter bursts.

If you want to, we can explore this as well as your researching more socially acceptable ways of fuelling an energetic lifestyle without eating people.

I look forward to our next session (and, to be honest, am so glad we’re working online),

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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