As a Mindset Coach you may be surprised to know that I have suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety throughout my life. For a very long time I was ashamed and hid it and for many years I didn’t even acknowledge it, instead constantly pushing myself to be ‘perfect’ in every way. I worked religiously to be the best manager, partner, friend, daughter I could be. I presented a happy facade to the outside world, one where I had the great job, the lovely home, and lots of holidays and social engagements. However, underneath I was floundering, often struggling just to get out of bed in the morning and falling exhausted into bed at night.
At this time I had moved from the Midlands to Norfolk and my father, still in the Midlands, got cancer and I found myself travelling to care for him after work every Friday night, and driving straight back to work in Norfolk on a Monday morning. After 3 months of doing this I was mentally and physically exhausted and one day it all came tumbling down, and you know what…it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I had to finally accept that I needed help, and it was a relief like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
It wasn’t an easy or quick journey back but I made steady progress. I found myself off work for 6 months, the first month not even leaving the house, just sleeping. I had a wonderful doctor who steered me into getting one to one support and for once I became open about my thoughts and feelings, and the childhood trauma that I believe had triggered my depression.
It was extremely painful to revisit things from my past and to have to acknowledge and deal with my feelings, but I think had I not, I’m not sure I would still be here, or be, I believe the authentic coach that I am today.
After hiding away for so long it can be hard to present the ‘real’ you to the world, sometimes people around you don’t know how to cope with this new you, and sadly, you may lose people along the way. Others however, will surprise the hell out of you and step forward and support you in ways you never imagined.
Whilst I would not want to go back to that dark place ever again, I am in a strange way glad that I did go through it as I believe I have come through the other side stronger, more resilient, and more in tune with my thoughts and feelings than ever before.
I still have moments where my mood can dip and I know I am prone to mental health issues. I will likely have to keep on top of my mental health self-care for life, but that makes me more self-aware and able to identify at an early stage when I need to take a step back, and give myself more care. I have developed my own coping mechanisms and techniques to use when I need them and work with my clients to do the same.
Despite my depression, I have never let it stop me living a full and positive life, but now it’s more of an authentic life. I no longer need material things or to be on the go doing new things constantly to make me feel better, instead, I find pleasure in the simplest of things these days; watching my cats playing, spending time pottering in the garden, laughing with friends, and reading a good book. I still love to travel and have new experiences, but the difference now is that I do them because I want to not because I feel I should.
Everyone’s life journey is different, some of us will sail through life fairly unscathed whilst others will be thrown a number of curved balls, but that is I believe what makes us the beautiful, unique human beings we are.
Reaching out for the first time can feel scary, but trust me it’s worth it. Just to say ‘I’m not ok’ for the very first time may just be the first step you need to help you move forward in your life.
If my story has resonated with you and you would like to have a chat to see how I could help you then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org