Mental health can be hard. Sometimes harder for people to deal with than physical health. Why? Because you can see a cut finger, swollen ankle or bruised arm. It’s even acceptable to speak proudly of how you attained your physical war wound, yet with mental and emotional health and wellbeing, it’s often a different story.
No one can see your angst. The darkness. The pain behind the smile. It’s also seen as embarrassing to have ‘lost control’ of an aspect of your mind.
In this Blog I share:
- Some reasons why mental health poses an additional challenge.
- Why I say there is hope.
- Steps you can take towards your own TranceFormation.
- Helpful resources and next steps.
In 2020 I became a Mental Health First Aid Trainer, as part of an initiative to help train 1000 people in Watford to become Level 1 mental health first aiders, and make watford a “wellbeing town.” (If you want to know more about attending the free training, I’ve put further information in the Resources Section at the end of this Blog). The Instructor Training further highlighted the complexities of mental health. The training speaks of the mental health model continum:
“Mental health does not simply mean the absence of a mental illness - it is possible to have good mental wellbeing whilst being diagnosed with mental illness. In contrast, someone who has no diagnosable mental illness can still have a low level of mental wellbeing.” Nuco Training Ltd
And even that statement highlights something which has always been a bug bear for me, the term ‘mental illness.’ There are stigmas around anything with the word mental attached, and mental illness is often perceived as being ‘mad’ as it used to be called when I was growing up, and who would want to publicly admit to that?
With my clients, I started out calling it emotional health and wellbeing, because it was an easier way to start the conversation and recognise that it is a scale.
To be blunt. If there wasn’t hope, I wouldn’t be here. Life would have most likely ended for me in September 2000 or sometime thereafter as the problems and challenges piled on and steamrolled in; you’ll see what I mean you read the list. Probably not a good list to read if you’re feeling vulnerable, so you can skip the list and scroll to the Rapid TranceFormation bit.
Twenty-One Years Not Out
For the past 21 years I’ve been Coaching and teaching and speaking and writing and sharing about how you can go from surviving to thriving after a challenging start in life, or a life compounded by life's curveball issues along the way; and when I say challenging start, I mean being sexually abused from age 7-17, being diagnosed with what was thought to be early onset Alzheimer's in my early 20s as a result of a NHS medical blunder which decimated my physical and mental health, a career crisis; I went from Chartered Accountancy student to Coach and Hypnotherapist, and the usual stuff like finding out your fiance had an affair, yada, yada.
I share the list in more detail below, together with a few of my favourite mental health and mindset tips.
It's been 21 years since I was ready to end it all. October is my anniversary month. It's also been 21 years since I started helping others change and TranceForm their own lives.
Before we start, let’s get the potted summary list out of the way, just so you know why I say there is hope even if you’ve had a difficult or challenging start or dark times and moments.
The (No So Great Life) List
The list is in no particular order in terms of weighting, chronology, or importance.
- Sexually abused from age 7 to 17 - Have been working with sexual abuse “thrivers” for the past 21 years.
- Contemplated suicide in September 2000 – Following year I became a Samaritans volunteer.
- Partner had an affair, and it felt like the end of the world – Became a Relationship Coach and did that for 9 years plus wrote a magazine Agony Aunt Column for 7 years.
- Was diagnosed with what was thought to be early onset Alzheimer’s in my early 20s – I’ve been teaching PhotoReading Accelerated Learning for the past 19 years.
- Was probably one of the most miserable people you would hope not to meet and suffered for several years from chronic fatigue – For the past 21 years people always comment on my joy and amazing energy.
- Went from “that will never work” to being the woman who now pioneers innovative ideas and brings others along the ride.
- Almost having my house repossed when a few months after unexpectidly being made reduntant my dad died so I spent what little money I had (I didn’t get a severance package) and travelled abroad to be there for the funeral.
- Went from super sceptic of anything illogical to doing Huna Energy work and Tarot Readings.
- Went from studying to be a Chartered Accountant, to giving it up to become and Coach and Hypnotherapist instead.
- I was terrified of public speaking until age 32 – I have been teaching public speaking since 2001, and doing live TV, recording podcasts, and live radio is now one of my favourite things, both for myself and my once terrified clients.
That’s Not the End of the List
There’s a TON more in between, however, those are some of the edited highlights!
The Rapid TranceFormation
At the start of October 2000, I was suicidal. By the end of October 2000 (yes, I said 4 weeks) I was a Coach and Therapist. The following year I became a Samaritans listening volunteer, and trust me when I tell you their training also wasn't easy.
The stark contrast and juxtaposition in start and end points is why I say there is hope.
I always wanted my work to be about how to maintain your mental health over the long-term. It’s the reason I chose the ripple effect logo 20 years.
It represented the Breakthrough Session as the catalyst and the centre, the ripples of which would continue throughout my clients lives. That has thankfully proven to be the case.
World Mental Health Day
At the time of writing, it is Today is World Mental Health Day. Mental health is something which affects almost all of us at some point in our lives, whether it’s good, bad, positive, or numb and indifferent, we all have mental health.
The Invisibility of Mental Health
A song that resonated with me at university was Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson:
“Now if there’s a smile on my face, it’s only there to fool to public . . . . Don’t let my self expression give you the wrong impression . . . . . Baby I’m sad . . . . Sadder than sad . . . . Tears of a clown when there’s no one around.”
I realised it perfectly described how I got through primary school (elementary school for readers in the USA). I was partly the class clown. Strict parenting meant it didn’t overly affect my studies, however when it came to fitting it, that was my secret weapon; to laugh at myself first, so others wouldn’t have to, or get the chance to do so.
I employed a watered-down version of that strategy at university, in terms of using humour to navigate my way through. The invisibility of mental health, and our ability to mask and hide it when things go wrong is another of the reasons why it can be challenging to tackle and face.
Solutions and Resolultion
The Power of Music
Tracks of my tears was similar . . . . “Take a good look at my face. You’ll see my smile looks out of place. If you look a little closer it’s easy to trace, the tracks of my tears . . . “
Smokey was singing about relationships. Nonetheless it still resonated deeply. And why the music? If you’ve come across me on Clubhouse, and scrolled to the bottom of my Clubhouse Bio it says:
“I’ve been using music therapeutically since 1975, so am a longtime mindset pioneer.”
I have to doubly tip my hat to Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, both of whom unknowingly saw me through the traumatic childhood years. Elvis was my Saturday (matinee) support because there was a double dose of his movies in the afternoon.
With Michael I used to close the living room door and secretly just dance.
Mindset and Mental Health TranceFormation Tips
A few quick tips. They are simple yet super powerful, and are a big part of the reason I am still here with my mental health in tact.
Tip 1 - Keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how small the steps.
Tip 2 - Take time out when you need to; it's OK to stop walking and take a break.
Tip 3 - Talk to someone who isn't in the same mess or space.
Tip 4 - Dance. I have been prescribing my Dance Break Sessions to Breathrough Coaching clients for the past 21 years. The simple version is find a favourite track and dance.
Tip 5 - If you have old emotional baggage or limiting beliefs weighing you down, work with who has the capacity to hold the space. A great starting point for me was calling the Samaritans. They are available on the end of the phone 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and also via email, text, and even an App. Get in touch. Their details are the Resources section below from the Samaritans in October 2021
This life has been quite a ride, and the journey hasn't all been plain sailing, however in the words of Elton John, I'm still standing, and as my dad used to say of sorts in reference to cricket: "Twenty-one not out."
I still write and share on speak on these topics 2 decades later, because I realised early on it was important to let others would like to know there's not just a light at the end of the tunnel, but that it can be an enormous and stable light. If you want to learn more about how to maintain your mental health in the long-term, get in touch. I'll be starting an eZine on the subject, where I’ll share both interesting articles and resources, and mind and brain TranceFormation tips and insights.
Next Steps and Resources
The Samaritans: Website: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/ UK Number: 116 123
International Support Numbers. I put this page together for my Clubhouse room listeners: CLICK HERE to view. No login required.
Real Life Stories. I did an interview for Image IE Magazine about going from suicidal to Samaritans volunteer: https://www.image.ie/life/life-changing-stories-went-suicidal-becoming-samaritans-volunteer-180346
Real Life Stories. I did an interview for Stylist Magazine this week about what it’s like to become a Samaritans volunteer and what the training involves: https://www.stylist.co.uk/health/mental-health/how-to-volunteer-samaritans/568963
Free Mental Health First Training
If you are a charity or small business based in Watford and would like to train members of your team and employees as Level 1 mental health first aiders, get in touch. The program is organised by the Watford & Herts Chamber of Commerce, funded by Camelot, and supported by our local MP Dean Russell. Drop me an email or use the form below and I’ll put you in touch with the booking team.
It’s all legit and there are no weird catches. You can watch Dean with the Prime Minister talking about the launch here:
Thank you for reading. Feel free to share this Blog.
Wishing you all good mental, physical, and emotional health.
The NeuroSuccess Coach, Multi-Disciplinary Therapist, Flexible Working Implementation Consultant since 2003, Corporate Mental Health First Aid Trainer
About Marilyn Devonish
Marilyn Devonish, The NeuroSuccess™ Coach, is a Business Graduate, holds a Post Graduate Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma, is a Corporate Trainer, Management Consultant, and Prince2 Project Manager, and Certified PhotoReading™ Instructor, Certified Trainer of NLP, Keynote Speaker, Offline and Online Workshop Facilitator, Freelance Writer, Remote Working Implementation Consultant.
Marilyn is a Certified Multi-Disciplinary Therapist, including Certified Trainer of Time Line Therapy, Certified Trainer of Hypnosis, Soul Plan Reader, Tarot Reader, and Practitioner in EFT, EmoTrance, DNA Theta Healing, Hawaiian Huna, Access Bars, Access Consciousness, Energetic NLP, Positive EFT, Past Life Regression, Opening the Heart (OTH), Future Life Progression, and Reiki.
She is also a Soul Plan Reader, and Practitioner in EFT, EmoTrance, DNA Theta Healing, Hawaiian Huna, Access Bars, Access Consciousness, Energetic NLP, Positive EFT, Reiki, Past Life Regression, Opening the Heart (OTH), Future Life Progression
A Personal Trainer for Your Brain, she specialises in blending aspects of neuroscience with personal development to make accelerated performance more easily accessible to all.
Marilyn is also the Founder of TranceFormations™, a Coaching, Training and Consultancy organisation committed to creating impactful and lasting rapid transformation and change. Her journey into these disciplines started with being diagnosed with what they thought to be early onset Alzheimer’s in her 20s, and contemplating suicide in her 30s. Having found a quick, easy, and lasting way to turn that diagnosis and things around 19 years ago, she has been working with both individuals and organisations since then to help accelerate their potential and performance.
Marilyn has been a Flexible & Remote Working Implementation Consultant since 2003. This means going into organisations to implement smart, remote, and flexible working policy and strategy and covering everything from designing and write remote working policy documents, designing work packages, working with architects, designers, and ergonomic specialists to redesign office spaces, through to scoping and procurement of technology solutions, designing and delivering management and staff briefings, training sessions, and workshops, and offering Executive Coaching to support the psychology and mindset of transitioning to new ways of working.
She has also been working with clients online for the past 15 years, starting with telephone and Teleseminars, then moving into the Webinar and Virtual Training space in 2016, supporting clients in transitioning their product offerings from off to online.
In addition to running public workshops and events, she also designs and delivers bespoke Corporate and industry trainings.
Contact Information - Keep in Touch
Main Website: https://www.tranceformationstm.com
Therapy Bookings & Free Consultation: https://bookme.name/marilyndevonish
Online Workshops and eLearning: https://tranceformationstm.newzenler.com
Flexible Working Site: https://flexibleworking.brizy.site/