You are not your 'depression'.
It does not define you.
Depression is the reason I coach. I have suffered depression. And at that time, I felt so alone and broken. I couldn't find anything to help, nothing I could actually DO!
But with the help of those around me, I recovered.
And now - It's incredible to be able to write this, but - life really is amazing.
I am stronger, far more resilient and I have control of my life, something I couldn't have imagined back then.
So this is my passion - I don't want anyone else to have to suffer like I did in that now distant past. I want to create the resources and support to give you the strength to find your way, to navigate the ups and downs, and come out the other end of the cycle stronger and more connected to yourself and your needs.
I help because I know real recovery can be the start of something amazing.
We need to look at depression differently...
Depression is not a condition. It is a symptom, a reaction, a protection mechanism.
It is a sign that something in your life has been overwhelming, either all at once, or over time, and your brain has decided that the only way to cope, is to withdraw. To go into 'standby mode', while it tries to process everything.
This might include going over and over situations in your head, to see how you could have 'fixed' them.
We try to avoid any chance of overwhelm, by shutting out our painful emotions, but in doing so we also feel less joy, love and happiness.
This doesn't feel good.
And it's exhausting to try to keep a lid on it, and keep away anything that might cause overwhelm, so we're tired. A lot.
What other people see...
Someone who is 'sad'
Someone with low energy
Someone who doesn't want to get out of bed
Someone who is uninterested
Someone who doesn't look after themselves
How wrong they are.
If you are one of the millions of people that suffer from depression, know that you are not alone. You are not broken, or damaged. You are just having a reaction to life- life can be tough, especially when we have to take great responsibilities and pressures on our shoulders.
You are still YOU!
It is estimated that 1 in 3 people will have a severe episode of depression before they are 65. It is that common! We move on from it, we change and grow.
We are not stuck. This will not be here forever.
It can come, but it will pass. And sometimes we need a little bit of help. We need support, understanding and compassion- especially from ourselves!
How can coaching help?
Coaching can provide first of all, someone to listen and understand. I've been there, I get it
We put in place support for when we need it
We cover the basics- food, water, security
Then we make some goals, and create a programme to get us there
We learn the tools that work for us - physical, mental, breath, logic, sound, action...
We learn to be compassionate when we need to be
We validate any fears or thoughts that come in- these are important to us
We find ways to grow our 'safety zone' at the right pace
We start to get the 'wins'. We start to savour positive experiences
We grow our connection
We grow our joy, so we don't have to be afraid of it
We start making plans and get ourselves motoring into the future!
Over the next 2 years, I will be working with other coaches and mental health professionals to study how to apply this process outside of coaching, and open up the availability as we create: 'The recovery project'
Coaching is not a replacement for counselling, psychotherapy, or other mental health treatment, and must not be used in such a way.
Coaching depression can only be conducted when other medical and psychiatric help is in place. Coaching can start before therapy, if we are all agreed it is in your best interest. If this help is not in place, but needed, the first coaching session can be used to look at options and set up this care. We will discuss this in your intro call.
If you are already receiving psychiatric care, you must check with your care-giver that coaching will be a good choice for you at this time.
Coaching is practical, goal-orientated help and accountability, support and understanding. We will not spend much of our coaching time discussing the past, except where it directly influences how we can move forward now.
Coaches cannot diagnose, prescribe, or provide medical advice. We can signpost and help you find the right help. I am a trained Mental Health First aider (Mental Health England 2023) for this reason.