Today I want to give someone HOPE!
The days leading up to the Christmas season always bring with them some thoughts of a Christmas past, the Christmas that changed the direction of my life!
Seven years have passed since that Christmas which had followed a year that had seen me diagnosed with Corporate Burnout, this in turn resulted in me suffering depression and severe anxiety. It was two days before Christmas 2009 that I found myself standing in the snow in my pink slippers, newly single (he decided that the 22nd December was a good day to walk), jobless (having had to leave my 30 year career through ill-health), in debt (as a result of losing my corporate salary) and homeless (having had to move out of my flat due to dry rot), in truth I was suicidal.
I remember feeling that life could never be positive again, the future was black, I felt alone, angry, sad and scared. I was heading towards a Christmas that marked the worst year of my life. I had no idea where I would end up, what I would do or indeed how I was ever going to get better. I actually remember thinking ‘I have forgotten how to be happy’, positive thoughts eluded me.
I was on medication and regularly seeing a counsellor but at that point as I shivered in the coldness of the day it appeared not even these could help.
Why am sharing this today?
Because from that Christmas on I became determined to pull on my inner strength to drag myself, often screaming and crying back from the brink. I swore to myself that whatever it took I would never live through a year like 2009 again!
I can honestly say it wasn’t always an easy journey, I often stumbled but managed to pick myself back up again. I trained as a coach to start my own business in 2010, once the dry rot was cleared I then decorated my apartment from top to bottom over three months to get it ready to sell and I constantly read books to work on myself so that I could learn how to change my thought patterns and therefore my life.
It will take a book (which one day I have promised to write), to share my full story of the last seven years however on this anniversary I want to share where I am today.
I now live back in my home village where the support of my family and friends is invaluable. I am in a long term relationship with someone I describe as my rock; I work as an author, a speaker, a coach and event organiser through my own successful business; I volunteer for five separate organisations; I live life with gratitude, faith and belief knowing that it is possible to get back up when you have hit rock bottom.
If I had been told back then in 2009 that the experiences I had gone through would make me stronger and would lead to the blessed life I have today I would never have believed it, in truth it seemed impossible.
So if this year has left you in a dark place please know not ‘it is not forever’ – there is help out there, reach out to others, look for the things you have in your life to be grateful for and never lose sight of them.
I know from experience it is a tough journey and it hurts but trust me once you are through it you will come to see life as a gift. Hold onto today, let yesterday go and hold onto hope for tomorrow.
Today seven years on I love life, I thank all those family and friends who stood beside me and held my hand; I thank all those who believed in me and helped me along the path when I stumbled and I thank my faith that always taught me that if you hold on just a little tighter you can ride this rollercoaster which we call life.
It is my dearest hope reader that you aren’t where I was in 2009 however if you are or if you know someone that is, PLEASE share my story so that I can give them the gift of hope this Christmas.
I am no super human and if I can turn it around I know in my heart others can too.
Wishing you a Happy Christmas and many blessings for the year ahead…
Read my full story in Made it Thru the Rain - available here