"In 2015, out of the blue, my best friend James took his own life. He was silently suffering from depression. It turned my world upside and made me question everything I understood about what seemed to be a strong and knowing friendship between us since early childhood.
Throughout the grieving process, I decided to avoid my feelings. I am British after all, stiff upper lip and all that. I did whatever necessary to distract my mind from the situation I was going through.
Careful what you wish for…
After two years of trying to ignore my feelings I finally got what I wished for. I was completely numb. Devoid of all emotion. The scariest place I have ever been.
I longed for feeling once again. To experience the world, I once remembered. I remember one distinct moment looking up at my lighting fixture which dangled in the middle of my bedroom. I remember joking about putting it around my neck. A jolt of electricity ran through my body and I suddenly became aware of where my thoughts were heading. In this darkest moment I suddenly realised the power of the mind.
I remember telling my friends and family I needed help. Still too scared to open up emotionally, I opted for medication. Contrary to popular opinion they are not happy pills (Honestly, I wish they were at the time). I was petrified of ever being dependant on medication and consequently I relapsed a couple of times. Whilst they didn’t make me feel any different, I think the reassurance of taking 3 tablets a day were 3 signals of intent to get better. This is where I discovered the 6th wonder of the world… compounding.
The single most powerful asset we all have is our mind. If nurtured and trained well it will create enormous wealth.
The true breakthrough in my recovery was when I created L;FE
Talking about mental health can feel like a bit of a taboo subject and I think a lot of people can feel uncomfortable approaching the subject. I was offered cognitive behavioural therapy but the thought of sitting on chez lounge discussing my crazy mind didn’t sound like any fun.
I decided on an alternative path. L;fe enabled me to connect with thought leaders, experts and public figures to create a deeper understanding of our minds.
This knowledge enabled me to understand my situation, talk openly about my own experience and ultimately find useful ideas for ways in which we can life happier and healthier lives.
The hard realisation… I was never happy
When I think back to that lighting fixture, I credit James for saving my life. Long before James took his life, I wasn’t happy. I was simply moving through life rather than living it.
Admitting and overcoming depression was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. In doing so I had to acknowledge that my current lifestyle didn’t bring me happiness. Worst still, I didn’t have a clue how to make myself happy. How embarrassing, after 25 years I didn’t know how to make myself happy
When I talked about this embarrassing dilemma, I realised I was not the only one. The sad reality is some people move through life without ever finding their happiness.
How will you create a L;FE you love?
Each one of us is completely unique. We don’t come with a manual on how to make ourselves happy. I have discovered the best way to start to start this journey is to build trust in ourselves and constantly experiment. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.
So here I am, ready to succeed and aware I will fail along the way. I am ready to understand what it means to be truly happy and I hope it inspires others to do the same".
I hope L;fe becomes a forum for people to share ideas that create happier and healthier lives. If you want to feature, please get in touch.