I tell you this story not for pity or sadness but to explain my journey and to tell you how rainbow after the storm was created. This has been my storm but it has also become my rainbow.
Who am I …?
My name is Nicky Price and I will be honest the title above threw me a little, it made me stop and think about ALL of the things I am, ALL of the things that anybody has ever said to me OR About me! So having taken a big deep breath, I decided I wanted to share with you some of MY story. The parts that I know based on how I feel and what I have been through, but most important of all so that you are able to see that no matter what has happened in your world there is always HOPE and there is always a way back. Not necessarily a way back to where you were, as often when we have been through changes life just can’t be the same again. Yet over time we can adjust and learn to be in this new world. Everything just needs a little time, along with a big spoon full of courage, often some tears and a huge cup of strength. But I do promise you that wherever you are right now, things can become better, there is light at the end of the tunnel and most of all YOU ARE WORTH IT.
I’ll be honest. I sit here knowing that writing some of this will hurt and right now I think to myself “come on Nic there’s lots of other jobs you could be doing”, who would have ever thought ironing could become so appealing …….
I guess in a nut shell it would be easier to just say “Lord I’ve been through it”. I guess I don’t really think about that person who has lived my life. I feel it, I criticise it, but I don’t really want to own it. Probably for many reasons. I don’t want pity. I don’t want to be known as the person who “lost her child” or “the one whose younger brother died way too early and never met his little girl”. The one who thinks “How can life ever get to be good again now dad isn’t here?” ….. You can start to see why this was difficult to write.
However, what I will say is that everything that I have ever been through and the above are just some of the lowlights. This is what has made me WHO I am today and still creates the changes within me. So for the last sixteen years I have made it my mission to learn as much as I can about how our emotions and feelings affect us and how we can start to use this in a way that enables us to create a story around us that we are PROUD of, we can start to own who we are.
Let us stop being scared to be this incredible strong person because (whether you feel it or not) it is what you are.
So my (almost 21 year old) son who I am immensely proud of (lord has he been through so much) asked me several years ago “Mum why do you do the job you do?” I thought, good question. After some thought by which time he had forgotten he has asked me the question in the first place, I replied “because I want to help as many people as I can so that they won’t have to suffer quite as much as I have”.
You see I have worn the ‘T Shirt’ that says Depression and Anxiety and like anything I do in my life if I am going to do it then well let’s do it properly! I always think I didn’t just have the words on the front of said T Shirt they were on both sides and inside too.
The particular time I think about that set me off on this journey, was just after I had a beautiful baby, so over 20 years ago now. We had moved as a family to Somerset as my husband was in the services and were based there. So I up uprooted everything that I had and moved to a beautiful place in the world as a new mum thinking how ‘idyllic’ this is. I wanted to make sure that his dad got to see him every night and that baby had Daddy around, so I guess I didn’t really think about me and leaving all of my family, friends, job (which I had worked hard for) and all of my support network. Throw into this mix that my Grandma (who as well as my Mum was the most influential lady in my life), died suddenly 4 weeks before y baby was born. Sadly she never got to meet him, though I did have dreams where I saw her with him so I like to think that she has. It’s not surprising that my world felt apart… Deep Breath.
Being a Mum, I always think is the most incredible JOB in the world but without a doubt the hardest. Here I was stuck in a place where I knew nobody, in a life that from the outside looked wonderful but inside I was slowly dying a little at a time. I tried to get some help. Now bear in mind this was over 20 years ago so Mental Health was not talked about back then. I can still remember seeing the doctor’s face when I sat there with this beautiful baby on my knee saying I am not sure I want to be here anymore.
To be fair he did refer me as an emergency to see someone immediately. I remember thinking thank goodness somebody is going to help me. The relief was tremendous yet short lived. The reality of this was a meeting with two strangers who asked me lots of questions (from a List!) and told me that yes I was depressed and that I needed Crisis help and would discuss my case NEXT week at the team meeting and would get back to me in the next couple of weeks with suggestions on how they could ‘help’.
I always compare this to if you went into hospital with a particular nasty break in your leg. I know that they wouldn’t just confirm yes you have a break so just pop off home and eventually we will get back to you, but in the meantime …. just jog on! … does it show that this still makes me angry all of this time later? I was passed around from trainee to trainee who were only ever there for 4 to 5 weeks at a time. I learned not to open up as what was the point if they would be off again soon and I would have to start all over again. Throw into this mix a doctor who put me on the strongest numbing tablets ever, so much so that I was incapable of being on my own to look after myself let alone my beautiful child. I felt nothing and I mean nothing.
Then one day and I shall remember this for as long as I live, I was going over to see my mum and dad who lived in Spain. It was thought a good rest and some TLC would be good for me (which it always was and still is!) I was watching the TV on the flight when they had the TV’s in the aisles (yes it was that long ago!) I can even tell you what I was watching ‘One foot in the grave’ Then I heard this noise. It made me stop and I honestly looked around to see whatever it was, then I realised it was me. I had just laughed. I was so shocked when I realised, that I had wondered when the last time I had laughed was. This for me was my turning point. You see I have always been a ‘happy’ soul and to think that the medication I was on had stopped me from this simple pleasure in life, was the point I thought “that’s it I am taking back control of ME!”
Over the following years I have read, studied and questioned hundreds (probably thousands) of people along the way on how they have gotten back onto their feet again. From this I created several successful courses. One being ‘I Am I CAN’ which is one of my most proudest moments and is now being taught in colleges, housing offices and on behalf of council Wellbeing services today. Throughout my journey, I have helped thousands of people to see the person inside that I get to see. To help them realise that they are ENOUGH and that with a little hard work and acceptance to start to look at what they can achieve in their life and that they can move into being the person they have always known deep inside they can BE.
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