I had spent so many years searching for the solution to my Mental ill Health and what had been labelled as; depression, anxiety and trauma. I had tried a multitude of prescriptions expecting a magic bullet, until I realised that part of the issue with my reliance on medication, wasn't the effect that they were having, but the story that I was telling myself, or being told by taking them. I had bought into that story and whether they were working or not merrily went about my life. It was only as I started to keep dipping into deep lows that I began to question this and challenge for a different solution.
My symptoms of depression were;
Behavioural - Avoidance, withdrawal, seeking affirmation, putting on a false front, escape, defensive, tearful, worry, overthinking, rumination and over analysing - a pretty comprehensive list of unhelpful and limiting emotions wouldn't you agree?
Motivational - Helping and pleasing others.
Affective - low mood, anxious, upset, annoyed, guilty, embarrassed and frustrated.
Somatic - Stomach churning, Restless and unable to sleep - reading this it's a wonder I kept going!
Cognitive - Unhelpful thinking styles/patterns, mind-reading, critical of self, compare and despair, mental filter, catastrophising, personalising and black and white thinking.
I remember the first time I read all this. It was in a report written by my therapist. It summed me up totally, yet seemed a condemnation of issues I could never see how I was ever going to work my way through. Why am I sharing this with you? Because, I feel it is important to realise the journey that many of us go through, where we think that there is now way out and no solution.
The rest of the report read as follows;
Core Beliefs - I'm worthless, I can't cope, I'm a failure, I'm stupid, I'm not good enough, I'm unimportant, people cant' be trusted, people let you down, the world is unpredictable, I'm unlikeable - how had I got to 44 with all of these limiting beliefs and survived?
Unhelpful Assumptions -
If I reveal my true self people will not like me,
I blame myself as it reaffirms I am worthless,
If I seek help it means I will not be good enough,
If I can't handle a difficult situation people will see I can't cope,
If people don't value me it means I'm unimportant,
If I am not working people will see that I am worthless,
If I am out of control people will see that I can't cope,
If I can't help others people will reject me,
If I make the wrong decision people will think that I am stupid.
Negative Automatic Thoughts - I'm on show, I feel exposed, People don't like me, I feel under pressure, Why do I bother?, I feel stupid, conscious and overwhelmed, I should be able to help myself, I cannot even get a job that I don't want, I should be able to help myself, I feel lonely, Nothing is going right, Everyone else is doing better, I feel out of control, I don't feel appreciated, I can't trust my own judgement, I am supposed to be an intelligent person, I feel burdened by things, Everyone expects too much of me, people won't like me.
Rules I live by -
I should always protect myself
Everything is my fault
I mustn't allow others to help me
I must always avoid difficult situations
I should be able to do everything myself
I should always be in control of my life
I should always be strong
Pretty harsh reading for me when I was feeling so helpless and low. However it all rang very true and clear to me and was a perfect reflection of all I had been feeling and experiencing despite trying to continue with a 'normal' life of; work, relationships, motherhood, friends and studying for my Masters in Mental Health Psychology.
This was my awakening moment for what needed to change and why. I needed to be able to access the psychology of the mind and understand what both 'makes me' and indeed what 'breaks me'.
Alongside my Masters in Mental Health Psychology, my own counselling and therapy, practitioner training and reading around the subject of the mind and the brain, I realised that all I had been taught through life, however helpful, had not included the ability to understand the unconscious and the conscious mind, the effect of limiting beliefs and disempowering thoughts, but most importantly how we can take back conscious control over all of this.
So again, why did I open up to the frank report of where I was? Because if I can start to manage all of that and engage with a more Emotionally Wealthy and proactive approach to my thinking, then others can.
That's why I started Nurturing Emotional Wealth and became a Practitioner to support others on what is a continual journey. We need to develop this proactivity, rather than simply react to Mental Health, as we are. We need to help our future generations to understand the psychology of the mind and the brain, teaching them what we have been deprived.
To join the community, where I hope to relate, empower, support, inspire and educate to a better Emotionally Wealthy life, please follow me at Facebook
My new short course on the "Emotional Wealthy Blueprint for Challenging times" is now out and is at an introductory offer price at the moment!
To access it then follow the link here !
I look forward to welcoming you x