I have lived at the mercy of anxiety, depression and all manner of confidence-related issues for over 40 years. And, whilst I’m loathe to admit this, these feelings have likely robbed me of more happiness, success and relationships than I care to calculate. In fact, on balance, I would say that my life has always felt more unhappy than happy, even if- doubly frustratingly- everything else that was going on around me should lead me to feel happy.
Like many people who suffer with these seemingly incurable wounds of emotion and resilience, there have been innumerate occasions where I have given in and given up, hiding myself away in the hope that my problems will somehow magically fix themselves. If I’m truly truthful with myself, running and hiding from myself has never worked for me: after all, it might be warm and dry in my cave, but it’s still a fucking cave. And nothing good ever happened in a cave.
Of course, the knowledge that running and hiding doesn’t work hasn’t stopped me doing so again and again: indeed, when it comes to fight or flight, it seems my default setting is most often flight.
However, over the years and on those rare days where I feel I’m able to fight, in a hopeful and often desperate attempt to stop me mugging myself and my loved ones of more happiness, I have tried many types of medication, and many, many forms of therapy. And, whilst every drug and every therapy I have tried have all had their own singular benefits- and, some have even granted me useful areas of freedom and control- none of them has truly been transformational.
That is, of course, until I met Brett.
Obviously, Brett is overwhelmingly kind, caring and approachable, and he instantly put me at my ease- despite visiting him at my lowest point in very many years. But that’s only the smallest slice of what he does, for the wonderful, comforting, supportive facets of Brett’s demeanour are only the starter in his fantastical café of care. The main course is how he does what he does, magically cooking up the perfect atmosphere of warmth and possibility to not only discuss change, but also to actively embrace it. For the first time ever, change has become a thing not for me to fear, but instead to savour and relish.
Brett’s approach to the thoughts and feelings that have held me back my entire life is both simple and instantly effective. Indeed, even before the conclusion of our first session, I was already fizzing with excitement and prospective joy to begin applying both his outlook and his methodology (which is, at its core, focusses on Noticing, Savouring and Valuing those facets of my life that I had previously marginalised).
And, crucially, unlike every therapy/ drug I’ve previously tried, the ‘buzz’ of taking a stand against my patterns of behaviour with Brett has remained with me since. Indeed, as I write this many months on, I’m still absolutely stoked to be both moving forward and looking forward. I’m sleeping better. I’m eating better. I’m feeling better. And that’s because I am better. I’m better because of Brett.
In fact, I now realize that an extra level of brilliance of Brett’s approach is that the changes we’ve put in place have also been quietly terraforming in the background too, even as I write this. His ideas, his hopes and his constructive kindness have all been discreetly bombarding my brain with joy that I’d previously ignored, and- best of all- all of this is happening automatically, without the need for me to be ever vigilant or making enormous swathes of time available for me to ‘work upon myself’.
And whilst my newly-discovered perspective is unquestionably awesome- and it is no understatement to say that it has changed my life, as my view is of literally a different world- I would say that my favourite aspect of the work we have done together is not just the progress, but- crucially- that I no longer have any fear of regress.
Feeling a wobble coming on? Good. Find myself in the dispiriting company of a stressful or overwhelming situation? Excellent. Someone says something unforgivable that cuts me to my core? Bring. It. On.
I’m not only ready for anything now, but I’m ready to take on everything. I feel resilient, courageous and bullet-proof.
I sincerely wish I could explain to you how much that means to me, and how much this means I’ve changed, but sufficed to say that any one of the above scenarios would have probably been enough to send me fleeing to my cave before. Now, it’s all just extra rocket fuel to me blast me even further from that bastard cave. Things come up, I overcome them, that feels great, and I’m all the stronger for the trial. Trials are good, because I can Notice, Savour and Value that I’m better at trials. Saying that a few months ago would have been a mindless affirmation. Now, it’s a simple, inarguable truth.
A further especially wondrous aspect of how Brett works is that it has helped me to help others too, and in doing so his methods and practices have further helped me to help myself.
For example, when the clouds began to gather previously and upon seeking refuge in my cowardly cave I would refuse to share my worries with my friends and family, for fear of making my worries their own. However, Brett’s reframing of the joyous, blessed nature of my life has allowed me to see that instead of protecting loved ones, I’m actively denying them the opportunity to make themselves feel good by making me feel better. And helping others feel good makes me feel better, which in turn makes them feel better, and so it grows and grows, until there’s nothing but help for everyone to be found.
And that’s great news for everyone, as if you’re looking to brick up the entrance to a cave, it gets done much sooner if you allow others to help you do it.
Besides which, rocks are really, really, heavy. It’s always better to let other people help you move rocks.
This is probably my favourite aspect of Brett’s work, as seeking help for myself no longer feels like a selfish indulgent act, bourn of weakness, but instead an act of generously giving, both to myself and to the people that I love. By simply Noticing, Savouring and Valuing what I could do- rather than what I felt I should do-, I’ve found myself less in need of help, and have been able to help others more. Doing this has brought me levels of happiness hitherto unexperienced. In fact, doing so feels better than anything, anywhere, ever. I absolutely love it.
I truly could not rate the opportunity of working with Brett more highly, nor could I recommend him more strongly. The skills with which he has empowered me, most especially those that have helped me to help myself and others around me, have been truly life changing. Up until I met Brett, my life was spent anxious and afraid, scuttling from one storm cloud to the other. Now, I’m standing tall with the sun on my face, even when the rain is pouring down. There’s no finer feeling, and it’s all thanks to Brett.
Thank you, Brett.