Today is International Women’s day and I want to tell you a story about a woman ( and a mother ) that inspired this very website and seekatherapy.com. In this blog post we discuss John Wilson, the founder’s story and why he was inspired and influenced by the woman that is his mother to try and make a positive difference for the world.
John’s experience and direction to depression
Five years ago, three years before John founded the website battleofmind.com and seekatherapy.com he had trained as an architect to graduate at the foot of the recession. There was no opportunity for architecture in his locality and he couldn’t move away as he was engaged to a teacher who worked in the area and so, he retrained as a teacher of IT. Unfortunately, he found that that profession was full of bullying within the staff room and even became a victim of it in his second placement due to jealousy and the teachers being very stressed.
6 years of higher education led nowhere but instead, he accumulated a large debt and a feeling of hopelessness and despair, to the point of suicide. He was diagnosed by his GP at very high risk of acting on his actions and was only 2 points away from being sectioned in a mental health ward. At the time, there was little my GP could offer in help but they gave me antidepressants of a high level and put me on a waiting list for CBT ( of which was 5 hours and a wwaiting time of 4 months). Fortunately, the one thing that kept John going was that he didn’t want to pass on his pain to his family and instead began his journey to healing.
Holistic’s and health specialist woman
When my mother knew I was in such a bad way of course, she was very concerned. When I was in a bad place, shaking on the floor, in a cold sweat, in total panic and hopelessness I rang home saying ‘i don’t want to be here anymore’, I can remember that moment quiet clearly, my mother advised me to write down everything I was thinking and feeling and so I did. This helped because when we go to a doctor we tend to put on a mask of how we truly feel, some kind of subconscious social way to behave, this letter ensured that my wounds were laid bare.
My mother is a reiki master, reflexologist, indian head masseuse and also knows a lot about nutrition, crystal therapy and various other healing methods. Her knowledge and understanding about the ‘whole’ human experience and health gave me a helping hand that so many people just don’t receive when they go to their GP or the NHS. My mother, Christine, was my personal therapist and guide to healing and helped a great deal. Below are just a few things she helped me with : –
- Advised I keep a journey journal, writing in it daily about everything I thought or felt so, as time passed, and the tablets began to take effect and I did other things, I could see that I was beginning to heal.
- Sleep. The first 2 months on my road to recovery she advised I move back in with my family and sleep. I did this a lot for the first 2 months, just resting my mind.
- Start walking and exercising. My family had recently bought a dog so I pushed myself to go out and walk him as it helped improve my mood and also, began to excercise on the wii fit, loosing 2 stone in 3 months.
- Set goals. My mum advised me to think about setting goals , what would I like to do? What did I used to enjoy? I entered an art competition and started learning spanish.
- Try therapy. She knew about lots of therapy, she was the one who advised me to try EFT ( moderately successful), Homeopathy, counselling, CBT, reiki, floatation tanks and finally hypnotherapy, of which was my ultimate benefactor. This knoweldge and experience of trying different therapies where a GP would not advise, is what inspired seekatherapy.com, currently at 830 therapists but intending to grow it much much larger.
- Start meditating. I used a guided meditation cd which would clear my thoughts and give me a small sense of peace although my heart would remain heavy.
- Look at what I am eating. She made me become more conscious of what I was taking in and often cooking for me instead of eating junk which would just re-enforce my depressive moods.
- Keep a gratitude book. Write down 10 things every night that you are grateful for no matter how small it is.
- Play. Started to relax and play games and take my attention away from my mood and feelings for a time.
- Encouraged me when I was feeling better, even to the point of moving away for a job, as hard as it was for her, as she knew it was an important part of my healing.
These are just a few of the things she advised me on and why I wanted to do the same but for everyone who didn’t have the support and direction she gave me. Battleofmind.com was the blog I created to be the advice and seekatherapy.com the website to help people find local therapy and explore them easier.
It wasn’t just me, all of her children fell ill…at the same time
My mother had supported my other sister through her journey of which cannot be spoken about…whilst she saw her son also on his knees after 2 failed degrees and vast levels of debt nearly took him away from her for good.
Youngest also broken
My younger sister was still at secondary school. She was a fairly quiet young girl, seemed happy all the time but secretly, she was also suffering and struggling inside. She was being victimized at school in an all girls school and the teachers were not acting on information they had been given. She had been accused of harassing and threating another girl with a knife when, (if you truly knew my sister you’d know she would never do this. she was always the kindest and warm soul you could meet). This girl spread rumors about her due to jealousy even though she always tried to include this girl who bullied her in her group of friends because she felt sorry for her. There was also a few girls that would always pick on her for a long time as well due to her placid and kind nature.
John, the founder of battleofmind.com and seekatherapy.com was always seen as the quiet strong, funny, easy going older brother that always made people smile but when she saw him collapse and she was already struggling at school she couldn’t cope anymore and also broke down a day after John came back to the family home. At 15, she never returned to school to finish the year properly but she still managed to get her gcse’s even though her situation had deteriorated.
Coping with 3 ill children
Christine, my mother, must have felt her world had collapsed when all three children where so unhappy with their lives but maintained her strength and support for all of us.
The youngest child became the most worrying as she became anorexic to the point of almost dying only 2 years ago as the illness got its grip on her. Fortunately, she came through that and is now making great recovery but is still challenged even 5 years on.
My mother also contracted breast cancer only a few years ago whilst all this was happening. If she could have had any more challenges then they were all coming all at once. It was so difficult for her but she fought on with the support of her husband, John’s dad and also, using her holistic knowledge, began doing things to help treat herself like reducing dairy product intake, using turmeric and more. Eventually, she had to have an operation but she did keep the cancer at bay and fortunately, it seems it has gone.
I think what this personal story and international women’s day should teach us is that we should be thankful for all the women in our lives and they all deserve our respect and we should attempt to show our appreciation more often. My mother is probably the most important woman in my life but she is incredibly special because she isn’t just a mother, but a friend, advisor, a healer, a motivational coach and an inspiration.
Thanks mum for the inspiration and thanks mum for helping me heal and keep believing!
Here is to every woman on the planet! Have a great happy international women’s day!