Today is International Womens day and I want to tell you a story about a woman ( and a mother ) that inspired this very website. In this article I, John Wilson, the founder of Seek A Therapy will discuss my story. Why I was inspired by and influenced by the woman that is my mother, to try and make a positive difference for the world.

John’s Experience Of Depression And The Support He Received

In 2009, three years before John founded the website battleofmind.com (now seekatherapy.com) he had trained as an architect. He graduated with extra qualifications only to graduate at the foot of the recession. There was no opportunity for architecture in his locality and he couldn’t move away. At the time, he was engaged to a teacher who worked in the area and so also retrained as a teacher of IT. Unfortunately, he found that that profession was full of bullying. Many teachers experiencing such experiences and eventually becoming a victim of it. It was surrounded by jealousy and the teachers were also very stressed so it didn’t help. This was the first experience of a mental health breakdown John had.

John had amassed a large student debt. 6 years of working very hard, gaining a higher education, led to nowhere. Accumulating a large debt ensued feelings of hopelessness and despair. In combination with a failing unsupportive relationship with the teacher lady. John was 26 at this point and felt the only way to start again was suicide. In 2011, ge was diagnosed by his GP at very high risk of acting on his thoughts. He was only 2 points away from being sectioned in a mental health ward, it was that serious.

At the time, there was little my GP could offer in help. A waiting list of 3 months for 5 hours CBT and antidepressants of a high level. When he was standing on the edge of a cliff metaphorically, it was inadequate to say the least. Fortunately for him, the one thing that really helped John heal wasn’t his GP. It was that he didn’t want to pass on his pain to his family and instead began his journey to healing.

me and mum on international womens day

Recognising Holistic’s Health Specialist Woman On International Womens Day

When his mother knew he was in such a bad way, of course, she was very concerned. When he was in a bad place, shaking on the floor, in a cold sweat, in total panic and hopelessness he rang home saying ‘i don’t want to be here anymore’. He can remember that moment, even now, quite clearly. His mother advised him to write down everything he was thinking and feeling. And so, he 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.

John’s mother is a reiki master, reflexologist, Indian head masseuse, aloe vera specialist. Also with a huge knowledge about nutrition, crystal therapy, and various other healing methods. Her knowledge and understanding about the ‘whole’ human experience and health gave John a helping hand. This knowledge, that so many people just don’t receive when they go to their GP or the NHS was a catalyst for healing. His mother, Christine, was my personal therapist and guide to healing and helped a great deal. Without her intervention, he can safely say, he may not be here today. Below are just a few things she helped me with : –

  1. Advised he keeps a journey journal, writing in it daily.  Everything he thought or felt. So, as time passed, and the tablets began to take effect and he did other things, he could see change was happening.
  2. Sleep. The first 2 months on my road to recovery she advised he moved back into the family home. He did this a lot for the first 2 months, just resting my mind.
  3. Start walking and exercising. His family had recently bought a dog so he pushed himself to go out and walk him as it helped improve his mood, He also began to exercise on the wii fit, losing 2 stone in 3 months.
  4. Set goals. His mum advised me to think about setting goals, what would I like to do? What did he used to enjoy? He entered an art competition and started learning Spanish.
  5. Try therapy. She knew about lots of therapy, she was the one who advised him to try EFT ( moderately successful), Homeopathy, counselling, CBT, reiki, floatation tanks and finally hypnotherapy. Of which was his ultimate benefactor. This knowledge and experience of trying different therapies is something a GP didn’t advise. Thus inspiring seekatherapy.com, currently at 1000s of therapists but intending to grow it much much larger.
  6. Start meditating. He used a guided meditation cd which would clear his thoughts. It gave him a small sense of peace although my heart would remain heavy.
  7. Look at what he was eating. She made him become more conscious of what he was taking in and often cooking for me instead of eating junk which would just re-enforce my depressive moods.
  8. Keep a gratitude book. Write down 10 things every night that you are grateful for no matter how small it is.
  9. Play. Started to relax and play games and take my attention away from my mood and feelings for a time.
  10. Encouraged him when he 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 his healing.

These are just a few of the things she advised him on and why he wanted to do the same but for everyone who didn’t have the support. Battleofmind.com was the blog he 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

His mother had supported his 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

John’s younger sister was still at secondary school. She was a fairly quiet young girl, seemed happy all the time. Secretly, she was also suffering and struggling inside. She was being victimized at school in an all-girls school. The teachers were not acting on the information they had been given.  Accused of harassing and threatening another girl. If you truly knew his sister, you’d know she would never do this. She was always the kindest and warm soul you could meet. This girl spread rumours about her due to jealousy, due to his sister’s popularity.

Even though she always tried to include this girl who bullied her in her group because she felt sorry for her. There were also a few girls from another class that would always pick on her. Unable or knowing how to fight them back she held all her emotional baggage within.

John, the founder of battleofmind.com and seekatherapy.com was always seen as the quietly strong, funny, easy-going older brother.  Always making people smile, but when she saw him collapse it was tough for her. 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 and her health had begun to deteriorate.

Coping With Three Ill Children

Christine, John’s mother, must have felt her world had collapsed when all three children were so unhappy. But maintained her strength and support for all of us. Probably also in turn because of his father being a very strong and supportive man as well.

The youngest child became the most worrying. Two years after leaving the school at 15 she became anorexic. It got so serious that she almost died whilst John was away working in London. Fortunately, she came through that and is now making a great recovery but is still challenged even now almost a decade on.

Contracting Cancer & Beating It

His mother also contracted breast cancer 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 and John’s dad. Not one to be deafeted, she used her holistic knowledge and began doing things to help treat herself. Things like reducing dairy product intake, using turmeric in lots of things and so much more. Eventually, she had to have an operation but she did keep cancer at bay and fortunately, she overcame it.

On International Womens Day Appreciate Women

In conclusion, I think what this personal story and international womens day should teach us is that we should be thankful for all the women in our lives. Every woman deserves 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. She is a friend, advisor, a healer, a motivational coach, and an inspiration. Now running Holistic Therapy Liverpool and helping people around the city to heal and relax.

Thanks to John mum for the inspiration and thanks mum, for helping me heal and keep believing!

To every woman on the planet, have a great happy international women’s day!

John

Founder of seekatherapy.com

International Womens Day Celebrate Women In Your Life

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