People tell me I’m a calming person to talk to, even when I’m speaking passionately about helping people recover from depression. But I wasn’t always this way.
I was terrorized every day of my young life, so I grew up thinking it was normal to be afraid all the time. My job in our house was to be invisible. On top of that I was raised with what is officially called “childhood emotional neglect”.
When I wasn’t being terrorized I was ignored. It may seem strange that because the environment at home was consistent I knew what to expect, but out in the world I was confused and bewildered and full of fear. I had no understanding of people, and why they did the things they did. I had no sense of self, no confidence or self-esteem, and no personal power. I was completely helpless.
When a child is traumatized they feel it’s their fault.
The only alternative, that their caretakers are at fault, is too much for them to deal with because their very life depends on that care. So I grew up with the feeling there was something deeply wrong with me. And I carried that feeling for many years into adulthood.
In my teens I got into drugs and alcohol, and when I was 27 had a major psychological crisis.
I developed OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) with the recurring thought many times a day that I was a disgusting person. I seriously considered suicide. But I wanted so badly for my two young children to have a good father, the opposite of what I’d had, that I decided not to do it, and stay and work through my problems.
There are many variations of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Although I had the obsessive thoughts I never had the compulsive actions, so I never hurt anybody. I just made myself very unhappy, and was severely depressed for the next 40 years.
Because I was ignored as a child I craved human connection,
but my OCD made it very difficult to form relationships.
For quite a while I couldn’t look people in the eye. The leader of a group therapy I went to called me “Mr. Fear”. Most of the time I was able to keep working, but I was painfully alone. I developed a death wish. When I saw someone die in a movie I would feel very relaxed, and think to myself “It’s OK. They have peace now.” And often, when I saw a person walking down the street, I would wish I was them.
Fortunately I started to believe in reincarnation, which says that whatever life lessons you don’t learn in this lifetime, you have to come back and learn in your next lifetime. And there was no way I was going to go through the misery of this lifetime again, so I decided to stay, and learn whatever I had to learn to live a happy life.
I developed an insatiable drive for personal growth.
In the first 20 years after my crisis I did so many low paying jobs. Most of them could have developed into something good, but my self-esteem was so low I never did well. I learned to live on very little money and had huge credit card debts. I floundered, trying everything I could to get out of depression and live a good life. I often struggled for a long time trying to learn something I thought would help my depression, only to find out later it was either a complete waste of time or actually made things worse.
My journey to a happy and productive life would have been so much quicker
if I’d had an experienced guide.
Then when I was 47 I joined a meditation group, and I intuitively knew I was in the right place. In the 24 years since then, with serious daily meditation I gradually changed my life. Slowly I was able to gain control of my thoughts. And because our thoughts create our feelings and emotions, I learned to feel good. My understanding of myself, of other people, and of how the world works increased dramatically. Things that used to be complicated and confusing became simple and clear.
I created a successful business, made good friends, and built a life filled with meaning and purpose. I became more of the person I always wanted to be.
Until I experienced for myself how wonderful life can be, I never would have believed it.
And I always remember that without the years of my suffering I couldn’t have gained the experience, empathy, and insight to help others recover from their own depression. I took three coaching courses over three years, and each one was dramatically better than the last.
The most important thing I learned is that I have a natural aptitude for coaching. I’m very good at supporting people to feel good about themselves, find their personal power, and make their life the way they want it. Book a Free “End Depression Now” Coaching session.
I look forward to hearing your story,
Things are going to get easier