Your task sometimes in this great game of life is to find your way through the mysteries that come our way.
The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be – Marcel Pagnol
A few days ago, I was talking to a young guy whose life is a complete mess. He hates everything about his life, but doesn’t know what to do about it. He is so scared about the lack of prospects he feels he has, and has got so close to the point that he can’t even face how unhappy he is. The more afraid he has become, the worse everything seems to have got.
The last two weeks things have deteriorated for him beyond belief. He has become afraid of everything, even his own thoughts. He is convinced there is something ugly hiding in his body, and it will destroy him.
He believes that he is worthless and powerless, and that there’s nothing he can do to change it. He is absolutely convinced that there is no way out of any of this. For the last month or so, every ache, or pain, is amplified in his mind, and he is convinced that he is on the verge of having a stroke. He is sure of it. Convinced disaster, and yes death is waiting close by.
What recently has happened is that he has had a horrible reaction to all his negativity, anxiety and depression. The other night he was having a massive attack of fearful thoughts, feeling pains shooting through his chest, heart and legs. He then began to feel his lips becoming tight, as well as most of his right hand side of his face. I went around to talk with him, and after a while got him to settle down enough to help him into a meditative state, and then sleep.
But the damage was done, the next morning, his face had got no better, and had gone into full paralysis of the muscles on the one side of his face. He went immediately to see the doctor who diagnosed it as Bell’s palsy.
The doctor put him on a heavy dose of steroids. But now at least he realises he can’t go on like this anymore, but he wants to go on, and make his life into something he can be proud of.
Basically, he knows everything needs to change. But, at the same time, he realised that it could change.
I am coaching him in a way, explaining to him that now he has to take ownership of his life and start working to make things better. He has to start by getting control over his inner voice, the one that is constantly telling him the dreadful things and he has to start fighting that voice, eventually shutting it up. This is in his power. His fears, doubts, and mistaken beliefs are holding him back and keeping him trapped in a life of misery.
Nobody knows why he is like this. There seems to be nothing specific that triggers this. You can look back into his past and there’s no one moment, no event, nothing out of the ordinary that has created what is happening to him. He has spent many hours with counsellors but to no avail. The reasons why what happens to him does is still a mystery. All anyone knows is that about 6 years ago he started having panic attacks. Since then more counselling, doctors visits, and the prescription of numerous medications. But nothing to this point stops these panic attacks. They keep coming. Wearing him down slowly but surely.
He is battered now. He sees just a vicious circle. He can’t find his way out. All he knows is this isn’t a life he wants. Not like this.
When he called me late the other night, he sounded at the end of his tether. He is a friend, not a coaching client. And I immediately went to him as his friend. We talked but I could see nothing was going in. It was surreal really, I could actually see his inner voice at work, the negative one, assuring him that disaster was looming.
At this point I made the decision I wanted to coach him. Our hearts guide us, and here I wasn’t prepared to let this young man, my friend, stay where he was any longer. It was so clear to me that he has a lot of negative, limiting beliefs he holds about himself. And his favourite words include ‘yes, but’ so constantly he’d say ‘Yes, I want to do that, BUT I can’t because…’ These mistaken negative beliefs sabotage him preventing his life from going forward. It is time somebody helped him release them, and showed him how to change his thoughts, taking control over his negative, evil inner voice.
My hope is, that he is ready to let them go. A few days ago he was just wanting to give up, but I know we have made a little progress. In fact I’m keeping him to busy to find much time to think. But often its hard for some to release or even let go their anxiety and self doubt.
Everything is just so scary for him though. When he has a panic attack he can’t breathe, gets tingling and numbness and his mind just erupts with such painful, fearful thoughts. Even with his medication these are happening still about once a week. He hardly goes out anywhere, just sitting in his bedroom starring at four walls, driving himself further down into a big hole. Well no more.
We are going to tackle this once and for all. We will do it together.
I know many of you struggle with the same things he does. You may feel stuck and trapped. You may not even know what you want to be or do–maybe you’re afraid to know. Join my friend on his journey, together you will find your way through. I will cover in future blogs some of the steps he and you need to take.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao Tzu.