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 complex 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 recovery journey began aged 23. I entered over 100 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 help me 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 trained as an integrative counsellor. I don’t believe that one way fixes all, having learned from the variety of approaches that had helped me.
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 saw a lot of complex trauma cases entering the therapy room and so I followed my passion and specialised by completing a Level 7 PgDip in Traumatology and PTSD.
Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. You don’t have to continue to live with difficulty. You can heal and feel empowered again. .