After an industrial injury I was unable to return to normal work. Very soon the debts started to mount up., we ended up with the loss of our home and had to move into my mum and dad’s backroom with all our goods in boxes piled up around the walls and us and the kids living in the one room.
It eventually became clear, that I was starting to develop feeling of depression and I soon found myself in a very dark place. There seemed to be very little sympathy for my situation, no one seemed to understand the dark and isolated place depression takes you too, pull yourself together, I was told, I was a scrounger apparently, I was told we all have problems and down days, this was not helpful.
We eventually managed to rent a home and it was decided that I should take on the roll of house hubby, raising our 2 boys and keeping the home while my wife continued with her career and kept us all going. As time went by my identity ebbed away and I was struggling to find the motivation to shave, wash or dress and my roll in the home was considered by many to be that of a lay about and my wife was being advised to dump the loser, you can do so much better, and all the time my depression deepened as my weight increased, I WAS STUCK IN A RUT.
My days were spent eating and wallowing over every part of my crap life, looking for blame and feeling frustrated with my inability to get out of this mess, I was feeling like a victim of a rubbish life with missed opportunity and a disability. Before I knew it I had reached a grand weight of 30 + stone, (it used to seem strange to see my scales go round once and then at the 20 stone mark start to go round again) and I developed lower spine degeneration and I felt my family and the world would be better off without me.
It was after nursing my father during his short fight with prostate cancer which ended in his death aged 63, that we decided to move away from London and go to Somerset which had been a dream for many years.
I felt my family would be safer there if i died (I had by now had a silent heart attack) and they would have a chance of better life, we realised life is short and too valuable to waste (this was to be proven once again by the sudden death of my sister aged just 49.
We hoped this move may also help me find the motivation to start again However, I was then diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and this felt like it was the final nail in my coffin.
After a time of wallowing I decided enough was enough, I felt it was time to do or die, I realised it was my responsibility to get my life moving and I knew I needed to find some help to do this and so I started on my journey to recovery and get my life on a more positive track, last chance saloon.
"It was like having to start all over again" I wanted a better life for myself and my family, I wanted my boys to have their dad back, NO, A better dad, It was time to press on and fight back but this time I needed to be a new stronger me, I wanted my dignity back and I needed to get healthier, and lose weight, I wanted to build my recovery on foundations of concrete not sand as there was only time to do this once so I need to get it right.
I must say it felt as if, as I had lost everything, apart from my family, there was a feeling of freedom and the only way now, is up. Then I heard a song called "Me And Bobby Mcgee" and a line from the song seemed to make it clear -
"Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose"
I wanted a new life not my old one back.
My GP, offered various Pills, but I am not a pill type person and touch feely counselling was not for me CBT seemed to be overloaded with paper work and diary keeping that demanded self examination which, was not something I had the time or energy for after all if I knew what the problem was, I would fix it.
I wanted to move forwards not look backwards I had already done my wallowing and self pity. I wanted a more dynamic, braver, more selfish, more empowering future I was feeling more positive and wanted to get back into the world.
"Once I decided it was time to move, on there was no doubt in my mind that I would"
I managed to secure a job however, as often happens, feeling full of enthusiasm to get on I did to much to fast and suffered the effects of Boom bust and my GP said I had to leave my job. I decided I wanted to know more about stress, depression, anxiety and why it happens but most of all, what I could do too change things for ever.
I had previously read many self help books, (same crap just different title and author) but they could never have replace the personal touch of a face to face session with a good therapist / coach who would get to know me as an individual helping me find MY solutions and keeping me focused on my goals and who would occasionally kick me in the pants and challenge my limiting beliefs and negative values however this may cost me money (self investment)
I learned how to cope with my new life situation and looking back I can see that the very thought of making these big changes was frightening and challenging however, no one could do this for me, they could offer the right sort of help but ultimately it was up to me to do the work and I was starting to get that fight back, awaking that inner warrior and my motivation was growing as I got a backbone and pressed on.
As my therapist / coach continued to encourage me I could no longer work manually so I eventually signing up to an English course at my local college (and other courses) to lean how to write, lean better grammar and understand big words, I discovered books and loved them, I loved learning, I even qualified as a teacher of adults, so much for my teachers telling me I would amount to nothing, they even refused to enter me into exams.
As confidence grew I signed up as a volunteer crisis line operator with "Mindline" which felt good as I felt I was giving something back and I was becoming motivated to learn about the human condition so my journey to my present carnation as a therapist began.
I started by taking a course in counselling which seemed a good place to begin. I realised that continuing my training as a counsellor was not the route for me I felt it was touchy feeley and to much about trawling over the past looking for blame, courses for horses as they say.
As I progressed with my mind therapy courses in CBT and Life coaching etc, We decided it was time to step up my training so we sold some stuff and we invested it in my professional development.
As I progressed we decided to sell our lovely home in Dunster and moved to WSM where I was able to continue my training by attending a professional hypnotherapy / Psychotherapy course at the South Wests largest hypnotherapy training school in Bristol. I gained qualifications as a professional hypnotherapist and psychotherapist.
After gaining a qualification with Curly Martin as a specialist life change coach I started Phoenix Life Coaching & Hypnotherapy in 2009 and continued to develop my skills as a Master Hypnotist, CBT practitioner, Advanced weight loss and hypno-tummy band practitioner, and other qualifications PTSD Dip, Advanced Master NLP, Life coaching, Effective Brief Psychotherapy, and much more. This has been a costly journey both financially and mentally but the freedom to live a better life the amazing feeling of getting my life back on track was worth every penny of it and more.
I invested in my future and since making these changes I have done things, met people and achieved goals, WAY beyond my wildest dreams. I lost 15+ stone and work daily on my personal and health development, I practice what I preach !
I am registered with the, GHR (Where I have been awarded "Senior Practitioner" Status) the CNHC, The NCH and the NHS directory, I am often asked to do talks (to anyone who will listen) about the mind and how it works and how hypnotherapy helps make fast and lasting change.
The reason for telling my story here is not to bleat or gloat but, to show that I don't talk or work from an ivory tower, I walk the walk, talk the talk and have experienced personal challenges first hand, and I now help people who are ready, to change their life.
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