The date is 29th March 2020 and I am sitting in my room amidst the corona virus lockdown in England. With nothing to do other than work, eat and go outside once a day for exercise, I decided that it was as good a time as any to start a blog!
There are a lot of different motivating factors for me wanting to have a platform for sharing information, especially since I have become a fully qualified counsellor. I realised a few years ago that what gives me fulfilment in life is helping others, and I really want to be able to share the things I have learned over the years which have helped me feel happier, calmer and more balanced.
We all have our unique journeys in life, which inevitably include some challenges and periods of difficulty. The most intense and difficult personal challenge for me came around ten years ago when I had an extremely traumatising experience whilst taking a psychedelic substance. I took this substance in the wrong setting, with the wrong people, in the wrong dose, which led to the impact of the trauma being felt even after the substance had worn off, lasting years and at times getting progressively worse. After many long years of investigation and study, I realise what I experienced was trauma induced dissociation, leading to increasing levels of post-traumatic stress. What I also learned was how hard this is to diagnose (even for professionals), due to the difficulty of explaining the symptoms to others. Before I realised this I had tried hypnotherapy, yoga, psychiatry, searched endlessly on the internet, but no one could shed any real light on what had happened to me.
At the time of this experience I was at university, and I coped by pretending as if nothing was wrong and putting on a brave face for those around me. After finishing university I moved to another city with some close friends, and worked in a number of soulless office jobs. This was another assault on my already fragile state of mind, and I thought fuck this – if I am feeling miserable and I can’t find anyone here to help me to know what happened and how I can heal from it, what is actually keeping me here in England? So I decided to do something I had wanted to do for years – to go travelling alone to South East Asia!
This trip didn’t necessarily help me feel any better, but it did enable me to make some important realisations about my life and the direction I wanted to move in. Until this trip I thought I would end up in a boring office job working in marketing, hating my life in the week but partying at weekends whilst saving for a mortgage with a nice wife and a couple of kids. What I realised about myself was that the most fulfillment I get in life is through helping and working with others, and that I wanted to dedicate my working life to doing this. I didn’t actually have to work in marketing or work in any type of office for that matter, I didn’t have to get a mortgage, I didn’t have to do anything if I really didn’t want to.
This was a truly liberating realisation, and it most certainly changed the trajectory of my life! I proceeded to spend a large part of the next seven years travelling the world and living in Vietnam as an English teacher, meeting a lot of great people along the way and having experiences which helped me to open both my mind and my heart. Year by year I began to find new practices and ways of being that helped me feel more alive again, which ultimately led me to find my calling as a counsellor.
As I reflect on what an intensely difficult but immensely rewarding ten years it has been for me, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have had to get out of my comfort zone and to dedicate to my own self-development. It is said that good sailors aren’t made on calm waters. I can most certainly say that this experience has helped me to become a confident sailor on the seas of life, and I am intrigued to see what else life has in store for me in the years to come…
So now you know a little about my story, I hope it provides some context for the areas I wish to explore on the blog. There is so much good in the world, yet there is also so much that is truly messed up. I hope I can share some of the ways we can bring out the best of ourselves and each other, and build a community based around mutual support, cooperation, creativity and self-growth.
For anyone who has experienced any type of mental health issue themselves, from anxiety and depression to trauma and loss, I hope this blog can help to shed some light on how you are feeling and potential ways for you to work towards happiness and contentment. Below are a list of the subjects which interest me and which I feel will add value to the blog:
- Mental health
- Human psychology and sociology
- Meditation, mindfulness & yoga
- Careers guidance & education
- Health & wellbeing
- Cryptocurrency and decentralisation
If you are interested in any of these subjects and want to explore my ideas further, feel free to check out my latest posts and subscribe to receive any new content!