I've got my smile back; my passion for life, love and work.
"It would appear I've been on a bit of a journey recently. You know, one of those that really puts the miles on the clock. That makes you wonder if you'll make it to the next place to fill up on fuel. That seems to take forever to get to the next leg but equally the time flies by - making you realise that time really isn't constant, merely subjective. That during this time of travelling you meet some wonderful people who really ‘get it’, and bring joy and help you in whatever form they can. That sees you watching the rain clouds gathering over fields near and distant, whilst shafts of sunlight penetrate the cover and mottle the landscape as you keep moving on down the road… I could go on.
Maybe I should point out here that this journey has been has been inside my head. Around eight weeks ago I was at about the lowest I've been in a long time. I had decided that I couldn't go on like this mentally any more. This wasn't living, this was merely existing.
But I'm not talking about suicide. I'm talking about attempting to find a way to keep climbing that mountain I kept coming up against. To finally get the talking therapy I've wanted and needed – rather than medication – for a long time now.
I'll be honest, it was a scary prospect.
I posted about my battle on Facebook and a massive amount of lovely people responded with love, warmth, empathy and support for me – which I'm still humbled by and very grateful for.
One individual, Jamie, posted on the thread that he could help me and then inboxed me about such. I remembered his post in this group about a year ago. He'd basically said that he's a Life Coach and a Chef as well, so he understands the pressures involved in our line of work and how that can affect our mental health.
But maybe most importantly, that he'd been through this himself. He was offering his services as a mentor, to help people that needed it, simply because he could. The response to his post was phenomenal. In a group of around 30,000 chefs he helped break down the macho bullshit culture that unfortunately still exists, and proved that it was in fact ok to express this type of sentiment; that it isn't in fact a weakness to ask for help. Needless to say, I sent him a friend request.
After saying I wanted his help and outlining my situation we agreed to talk on the phone. First session was a gauge of where I was, mentally and in life. Of helping me look at myself slightly differently. So we arranged to speak again the next week to begin properly, as it were. We started this session with some opening questions, which were to become the intro to each session following this. Jamie helped me find the answers, if I was unsure. Never judgemental, just calm and supportive.
Over the following weeks I came to understand what my depression was and where the voice, telling me that I wasn't good enough that had become almost unbearably loud over the last six months or so, came from.
But most importantly, I became aware of exactly what this is to me, and how to beat that voice when it starts shouting at you.
It's an ongoing process, I'm effectively trying to reprogram over 20 years of mental fuzz. But what matters is that I am.
Although my sessions are technically over - we were both amazed at the speed at which I became consciously aware of the thought patterns, triggers and self-sabotaging behaviours I'd come to adopt and accept as normal - he's still there for me if I wobble.
I honestly can't thank him enough for how he helped me to own my mental situation.
Yes, he helped massively, but the hard work came from within – from me.
I've got my smile back; my passion for life, love and work. My ability to be the best I can for myself and by consequence for everyone I care about.
Yes, there are days when I wake up and voice is nagging away. But thankfully it's in the background, and no longer an all-encompassing fuzz of noise that makes me question even my ability to get out of bed, let alone manage anything else. And I can now beat it, with the tools he helped teach me.
But the BEST bit? It's that I did that. Me. I've regained control of what's ultimately mine alone, my mind. And this pleases me more than I possibly express through words alone. No matter what you feel, no matter how bad, how isolated, please just remember you're not alone. That feeling is a lie. If you want to beat this, you can."
I can achieve anything I want and that is exactly what I shall do!
"A few months back I found myself in the worst place I have ever been, at the end of a very intense long-term relationship, and I had no clue where to turn, my heart was broken and I certainly did not believe in any lights at the end of this tunnel. My whole world was tipped upside down so typically I sought comfort from my friends and family. They all mean well but they all pretty much give the same advice, ‘it will get better’ ‘you’re better off out’ etc, but I needed more than words, I needed to do something to get me out of this rut, I needed to change something in me to stop me from going back to the monotonous cycle of an abusive relationship. I didn’t want to be the girl that’s always sad and treading on egg shells anymore, I wanted to re awaken the old me who I loved, that had fun and laughed a lot!
I have had various types of therapy over the years to help me cope with other issues in my life such as anxiety. I tried a few different counsellors, a hypnotherapist, I went to my GP, and these all played a part in my development but the effects of these therapies seemed very short lived.
In July this year, a month post break up, I was invited to a close friends house to celebrate her birthday. I was a bit dubious about going as I hadn’t been going out much, only really to work then home to cry! Anyway, I went against the easy option of hiding and went over to my friend’s house, where Jamie (an old friend from years ago) was also. It was very nice to see him as I hadn’t seen him in almost eight years and as always, he was the life and soul and made me laugh which was exactly what I needed. In our brief catch up I mentioned about the terrible pain I was in and he said he could help me. I already had a counsellor but I was interested in how he could help me, he told me how he had recently started life coaching, I didn’t know much about it but I was willing to try anything if it would make me feel better!
At a later date we met up and discussed what it entailed and what I wanted from life coaching sessions and he signed me up there and then and I’ve not looked back since. Coaching with Jamie has changed my life, he made me feel completely secure but at the same time got me out of my comfort zone which I now realise is actually a very uncomfortable place. He told me I had been ‘quietened’, which I most definitely had and he challenged me constantly and then gradually without even realising I was becoming the person that I used to be, that I mentioned earlier, the person I loved!
I was so downtrodden at the end of that relationship I never thought I would pick myself up again but he gave me challenges and each time I rose to them because I wanted to change and he believed in me. I really am so glad that I went to my friends that night because I don’t think I would be where I am now without Jamie’s help, guidance, encouragement and belief.
Most importantly he has helped me realise that I can achieve anything I want and that is exactly what I shall do!"
I was recommended to Jamie as I suffered badly from depression and anxiety for years. I was in a toxic relationship with someone who suffered badly from mental illness themselves. My job was going poorly, and I didn’t have the motivation to try and make anything better as it all seemed pointless.
I had tried numerous types of therapy before, but almost as soon as the session was over - I felt the same again. I’d been given medication that made me worse, therapy that didn’t work, and had wasted too much money trying to make myself feel even a little better. So I tried the life coaching sessions thinking I had nothing to lose.
These life coaching sessions not only discuss what’s going on now, but what has happened in the past - and they examined why I felt the way I did and what I could actually do to change it. Not only in the sessions, but outside them too. The sessions aren’t designed to maintain your mental state until your next session. They ensure you don’t need therapy again. Thanks to these sessions . This really is the only counselling session you will ever need and I recommend it to anyone.