How does one thrive in life, business and relationships? I want to share with you my personal experience of how I was able to thrive in life. This is about a decision I had to make many years ago. Now when I look back on my life I can see how huge and impactful this decision was on my life from that point forward. Before I share what the decision was and what I chose, let me give you a little background information. I grew up in Ireland the eldest of 9 children. I was what is now known as a child who is very sensitive, but back in Ireland in those days I was told not to be so shy. I had periods of depression which went undiagnosed and became more frequent and more severe.
I was hospitalized in my early 20’s, suffering from severe depression and anxiety. I was either crying non-stop or having major panic attacks. I did not even know that depression and anxiety were something you could go to the doctor for, I just thought I was going crazy. I was diagnosed with reactionary depression which meant that I was reacting to a number of major traumatic events in my life which had occurred over the previous year. I was given a number of medications and over the period of about 3 months I started to feel better (for the first time in many years). I was sent home highly medicated and told to get on with my life. My doctor also told me that I would never be able to have a stressful job and to give up any thoughts of pursuing teaching.
A few years passed and with each new stressor new medications were added to my regime. I got engaged and moved to London to be with my fiancé. When I went to fill my prescription for all my medications, I was told that a lot of them were blacklisted in the UK and certainly should not be used in the combinations that I had been prescribed. Needless to say, the move caused a major relapse which resulted in my being admitted to a psychiatric hospital in London, where my meds were assessed and immediately changed. I was given a new diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder with Anxiety. This time however I started therapy. My therapist, Jenny, was using a technique called Transactional analysis. I started feeling and connecting what had caused me to get to this place.
This was not my first time living away from Ireland. Two years previously I had moved to London with a friend. Everything seemed fine and to be going well but inside I was not doing well. My depression and anxiety were becoming unbearable and I felt I had nowhere to turn. I ended up going back to Ireland to my family home and feeling a complete failure. This second time in London was beginning to feel very familiar and I knew I could always go back home. I had been there less than a month with the new meds and having regular therapy. My body was so anxious that it would constantly be jerking and I was afraid to go anywhere or do anything. One Tuesday morning I had just started my regular therapy session when Jenny said to me, “Your session is ending now and you have until 1pm today to decide whether you are going to stay in London or go back to Ireland. If you choose to stay it will be really, really hard but worth it.”
My mind was a whirl! I knew that if I went back to Ireland that I would never leave, that I would be stuck with my parents and never live my own life as an independent adult. I also knew that if I chose to stay in London that in order to heal I had to face a lot of very painful emotions. I was afraid that there was no guarantee that I would ever feel well and was taking a huge risk in staying. I was also realizing that I really did not know myself and I was in London with the man I was planning on marrying. What if that didn’t work out either?
I’m sure you can imagine the turmoil. It was nearly impossible for me at that time to live a so called normal life. I was afraid to do everything, I was constantly in despair and having panic attacks. At 1pm, I met Jenny in the therapy room and told her that I had decided to stay. It was the best decision I ever made. Looking back now a few decades later, I can see the enormity of that decision. This was not just a fork in the road, it was the most important decision I ever made. It was pivotal and life changing. If I had gone back to Ireland I can see now that I would never have gotten well.
I’m not denying that it was hard, it was very hard. I was in the hospital for 6 months, but I got off all my medication and continued with therapy. In the transition period between leaving the hospital for good and living life independently, I worked part time and began to get my confidence back. I went back to school and completed a Post Graduate qualification in Education. I got a job as a High School Science Teacher. This was a huge step for me and vindicated how far I had come. It felt as if I had finally finished what I had started many years ago.
I’m not saying that life was easy and that I didn’t stumble and have set backs along the way. What I am saying is I never ended up back in a psychiatric hospital. I have continued to work on myself since then, moving from traditional therapy to alternative healing modalities and energy healing. I became a practitioner and have been supporting others now to move forward in their life with love and joy. Oh, and I did marry the guy!
Eilis Philpott is the owner of Soul Healing Journey, LLC and the Academy for Soul Healing. She has been a healing practitioner and teacher for over 20 years.
For more information about her services, visit: SoulHealingJourney.com.