I left the Welsh Valleys at 17 years young, suitcase in hand, escaping childhood trauma but unfortunately stepping into several years of domestic violence. The result of 8 years of trauma left me with PTSD, flashbacks, severely anxious, a self-esteem that was on the floor and saw me entering a string of destructive relationships. After being bullied by a particularly narcissistic female boss and suffering post natal depression, I realised I was repeating unhealthy patterns, being triggered too often and I needed to change, monumentally. And I was ready…
And so my journey began. I entered over 200 hours of personal therapy, with several different therapists, over many years. I put myself on wellbeing courses, read self-help books, watched ted talks and soaked up as much knowledge as I could. I learned how to self care, using exercise, diet, yoga, meditation and mindfulness, creativity and lots of practical tools. I surrounded myself with a supportive network of friends, family, therapists and professional services, which I am eternally grateful for, all of which helped me (and still do to this day) remain balanced and well.
Finally feeling comfortable in my own shoes, I realised that I wanted to pass my knowledge and tools that I had learned, that had put me back together when I felt broken and unfixable. I wanted to make what I had been through mean something, to help others recover, so I qualified as an integrative counsellor
I followed it up with the Award in Education and Training and began writing and teaching wellbeing courses for mental health charities – Herts Mind Network, Mind and The New Leaf College. I now work with couples, and facilitate mindfulness and anxiety management groups and have began writing my first book. Counsellors under the BACP have to do 30 hours of continuous professional development a year so I’ve specialised in mental health, autism, trauma and inner child work, as well as coaching.
Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. You don’t have to continue to live with difficulty. You can heal and feel empowered again. Live your best life.