A few months back, I was asked to write an article about my experience of burning out and depression. This personal experience that I shared in this article is extreme and relatively rare.
Yet, it happened to me. The reason I agreed to share my experience is because if I can inspire only one person to change and get help, then it would be all worth it. I never imagine going through it, because I saw myself as strong and successful, and only weak people would “let themselves go to that point.” Yet, I found myself in a situation I was not prepared for: I broke down! I was completely helpless and hopeless. Nothing I did seem to help and the harder I tried, the harder it became.
It took over a year and 20 Electroc Therapies to get me out of this situation. But I also know that the person who made those changes happened, was me. I had to learn that I could be strong despite my weakness. That I had the power to change, despite my desperate situation. I had to learn that saying no was not a sign of weakness, that being mindful of my physical wellbeing was a must. I had to learn to listen to myself. I had to learn that I could regain control over my life and my health.
Today I am stronger than I have ever been, yet according to my past standards, I am weaker than I have ever been. How can that be?
Because I utilise my full potential, I use my strong rational, analytical mind, together with my emotional/sensible/ empathic side. I use it to help others and to help myself.
I was my worst enemy, I am now my best supporter.
Yes, my goals have changed, I won’t be the CEO of a large international company by the age of 40, I help others avoid my mistakes and regain their confidence faster than I was able to, by using my own experience.
The good news is that what I went through was extreme, most people will go through life never experiencing such a traumatic experience. But many people will experience at some point the feeling that their life is out of hand, that they are helpless and that they have no hope, and for those moments of doubts and despair, I know I can provide the system, support and accountabilities to allow them to move on to feeling self-confident once again, sooner rather than later.
This is the article which should be published shortly. I do hope that it offers some hope to those who find themselves in a difficult situation.
From hopeless to self-confidence, the hard way
I am often asked how a pharmaceutical worldwide director becomes an EFT coach. There is no quick answer to that question. It took me almost 10 years to get that. But leading stressed-out people back to confidence and drive is why! Because I needed to share, to help many successful and driven people get to the next level or others who because of external circumstances are completely unable to cope and defeated return to their successful path and certainty.
I was my first client. I started my journey with a total burnout. I went, in the space of a few weeks, from a successful executive well on her way to a promising career to a shadow of myself, unable to function or to take care of my family.
Ten years back, I was the picture of success. I was a mother of three, under the age of five, I was a global director for a pharmaceutical company. I travelled the world extensively professionally. My husband and I moved around the world from project to project, seemingly effortlessly.
All this came crashing down when problems started pilling up for me. I started panicking. I thought if I push harder at the problems and if I am harder with myself, I will solve everything. I did just that! Except, the harder I pushed, the bigger the problems became.
I was loosing myself and my sense of confidence and I was not even aware of it.
One day, a call came through: My 2 year old was taken to hospital with a lung infection and I wasn’t even in the country. I spent a week with her in hospital. When she got out, I had not slept in a week. I went to the doctor, who suggested: “Slow down!” I remember looking at him thinking: How? I had all those responsibilities, a huge project to see to completion, I had a team to lead, at home, I had to settle our family to a new country, a new house, a new school and a toddler just out of hospital. The more I told him why I COULD NOT stop, the more concerned he looked. He finally suggested I checked into a sleep clinic for a few days.
My stay lasted 7 WEEKS. I was diagnosed with total burnout and ordered to rest some more and that things would improve. During this time, I had dropped into depression and no treatment seemed to worked! This lasted over a year. I slept over 20 hours a day. My only outing was to the psychologist twice a week. I lost so much weight that I was diagnosed with anorexia. Dutifully, I faced my numerous problems head on. It was just traumatising me further. I didn’t know!
By year end, not only was I still taking medication to sleep restoratively and to fight depression, I also took anti-anxiolytic drugs, blood pressure drugs and many others!
I started considering suicide. How could I continue being a burden for everybody?!
I was hospitalised again, in a psychiatric unit for ElectroChock Therapy (ECT). I had 20 sessions. Each time, I feared that I would die during the procedure.
It shook me up out of lethargy!
I made a deal with myself. I would bit the odds and I would NEVER go back to being helpless.
I was determined to get better. I regained control of my health and my life! I went on a journey. I explored the world of integrative medicine. With EMDR and EFT therapies, I addressed my demons one at a time.
Within 18 months, I was medication and depression free and I was back to functioning normally.
It was 7 years ago! I have never gone back to that helpless place!
Nowadays I help others regain their self-confidence by taking control again! I focus on helping others learn from my journey and find the tools to progress.
Do you feel overwhelmed? at a loss for what to do? Powerless and hopeless?
There is hope! I can help you. Make a call or send an email. I can help.
I can be contacted at Joelle@joellespractice.com or click here.
Joelle @ Joelle’s Practice