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transcript-who am i

Who Am I?

Who am I and why might I be able to help you?

At the time of making this video I’m 54 years old. I’ve had a very varied career spanning telecommunications, recruitment and then a very successful career in IT. When I left IT, I’d worked my way up from Junior Programmer to Technical Director.

During my last few years I experienced continued anxiety and ongoing serious panic attacks. Any symptoms that you experience are are unique as you are but here’s how it started for me.  

I had 2 children under the age of 4, my dad had recently died, very unexpectedly, and I’d been working extremely long hours for a long period of time. It was a stressful time for me.  

One day I was working from home. I was sitting at my desk and starting to feel unwell. Nothing specific just unwell. Very quickly I felt dizzy and was struggling to breathe, my chest was feeling tight and the tops of my arms were feeling constricted.

It didn’t pass and started to get very scared. I knew that I had to do something so stood up to get the phone and collapsed on the floor. When I did call 999. It took them about 10 minutes for the ambulance to get to me and I was convinced that I was about to have a heart attack and that I’d be dead before they arrived.

I don’t know if you have children but the only thing that went through my mind for that entire time was ‘who is going to tell my children that their dad’s dead?’

After that it started happening more and more regularly. No one explained to me what was happening, I was in and out of hospital, I must have had every test that there is for heart problems, but nobody ever told me that what I was experiencing were panic attacks. It took me a long time to figure it out for myself.

My colleagues at work knew this was happening. I couldn’t hide it from them. Several times I was taken from work in an ambulance with the blue lights flashing. People were not particularly supportive there were lots of comments made, to my face and I don’t know what was said behind my back. I felt that I was being judged on my ability to do my job. 

Once I had figured out what was happening to me it was a very long and slow process of self-help books and counselling. It wasn’t a satisfactory process and I knew that there had to be a better way, so I quit what was a very successful career to retrain and to figure out what that better way is.

Now seven years on and I’ve helped a lot of people and I’m still learning. I don’t have all of the answers. In a lot of ways this isn’t about definitive answers it’s about you and me working together to figure out what the answers are for you. 

My personal and professional experience has taught me that the only way to approach this is not to work with a lot of people and try to help everybody. It’s better to work very a few people very closely. Really getting to understand the person who is sitting next to me and getting to the root of the issue.

I wouldn’t label what I do as therapy or coaching but it has elements of both.

I do have a framework as a starting point, it’s a framework that’s flexible enough to adapt to what you need.