Breakdown & Realisation - when the penny drops
Anyone who knows me will recognize my favorite joke in that headline.
So, while this is a story about me, it is really about you – all about you, because the most important thing I have learned is that time spent worrying about what other people think about you is time wasted, what is important is what you think about you.
And that is my motivation here; as the anniversary of my sudden departure from a former life hurtles towards me, I feel I need to get this down on paper to lay it to rest, in the hope that by telling the story of my last 12 months I can help others who stand where I have been; if I can provide comfort or reassurance to just one person, then everyone is a winner (as they say) hence the first installment of my journey from breakdown to rebirth.
So, what do you think about you?
Why are you really? What is your motivation for life right now? What makes you happy? What do you really want to be doing? What are the things you want to do? How do you think things are going? As Ryland would say, are you ‘winning at life?’
I don’t expect you have all the answers, these are big questions and you only read this far perhaps on a whim; but believe me, time spent thinking about these questions is time very well spent; until you can answer these questions honestly, you are not helping yourself to be your very best self; and you (of all people) really should be, believe me.
So, that’s enough about you, let’s talk about me; to give you some pointers to look out for.
I thought I was winning, I wasn’t.
I was highly invested in my job, to most people I knew it was 90% of me and placed a huge strain on every other part of my life; I carried great responsibility for many others, in a very large organisation. At my age I knew that the clock was ticking, I made the mistake of talking about an age-based programme that was to calmly transport me from Head of Everything to much loved retired gardener; I helped others progress, I openly spoke the truth that I did not intend to be around forever. I called it Project 55.
It didn’t happen.
A meeting, an email, a discussion, the details are irrelevant, the outcome is the same.
The beautifully choreographed 3-year colour-coded flowchart descended into a crumpled catastrophe at the flick of a switch, 33 years in the advertising world became 30 minutes in the doctor’s surgery.
And I learned more about myself in that 30 minutes than I ever thought possible. The doctor knew it had to stop right there and then – for the good of my mental health, and he started me on a trajectory that was to give perspective and context that had been sadly lacking for a prolonged period that only hindsight now enables me to appreciate.
Crash bang wallop, there is was – the end of that chapter, unscheduled, immediate and clearly life-changing; breakdown. What was to follow would be a realisation, self-help, therapy, group-treatment and revitalisation all over a 12-month period to lead to the rebirth of Chris Broadbent 2.0.
OK, the good news is you can avoid this, ongoing self-diagnosis and avoidance strategies will facilitate course-changing progress well before any potential crash for those willing to invest the time. For me, the signs were there, and I had driven right past them – you don’t need to make the same mistake.
You see, by the time I got there, I couldn’t even tell the doctor what I did for a job, I was a gibbering wreck, I had made the mistake of thinking it was important; I look back now and see that trajectories were not aligned, there was going to be a crash, the proverbial penny was going to drop, I was running around trying to deliver for everyone but myself, what was best for me never entered the equation.
Funny to look back, far from funny at the time.
A year on, the outcome as I see it now is amazing, better than anything I could have ever imagined last March, but the way I got here – well that was not so pretty, and that is where I hope others can learn and avoid the more treacherous parts of the path.
Writing this Blog this morning has made me realise how important it is to share, to help others struggling with mental health issues and offer support for anyone who may need it.
I intend to cover the following four areas over the month of March 2019
• Breakdown & realisation - when the penny drops
• Self-help & therapy - how to help yourself
• Groups & treatment - letting others really help you
• Revitalisation & rebirth - being your very best self
I hope reading this and future installments prove a positive thing and help anyone struggling with what life is throwing their way. I welcome any feedback to my blog, please comment away!
Anyhow; that’s enough about me. Let’s talk about you........what do you think about me?