"I had no idea what anxiety was when I was nine years old, it wasn’t until much later that I realised I had been suffering from it from at least that age, and maybe earlier. I displayed clear signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by the time I had reached my teens, but still, at this time (the mid-90s), no one had diagnosed it. I finally self diagnosed at the age of 30 when I discovered the book The Imp of the mind.
Despite battling with OCD for most of my life, I had managed to become a successful musician and educator. This all looked great on the surface, my obsessive thoughts had been soaked up by my obsessive activities, but I started to notice the dam was leaking. Things came to a head for me just before my 40th birthday, my ego took such a huge hit that I essentially hit rock bottom, I had to drop some of my work and needed medication to at least allow me to do the work on myself that I knew I needed to do.
My journey took me through treatments such as CBT, Exposure Response Prevention, hypnotherapy, and ego work, alongside personal studies and research on the vagus nerve, breathwork, somatic therapy and other ways of working with trauma directly in the body. Throughout all this I discovered Zen, a practice which continues to transform my life in ways I never thought possible.
One of the key things I have discovered so far is how important it is to find our authentic selves, to discover who we really are beyond the rigidity of whatever the current culture demands of us. It is only then that we can return and contribute to society with unshakeable roots and genuine compassion and understanding.
I hope I can be of help on your journey!"