From being invisible to being me
My name is Jane Timberlake and I lost the first forty-five years of my life to chronic depression. For most of that time I didn’t even know I was depressed. I was shy, I was alone, and I made one bad decision after another. It never occurred to me to go to my GP. There was no cure for being a loser. Finally, a crisis got out of hand and I was diagnosed with severe depression. I was relieved! I finally knew what was wrong with me.
Years later, I was no better. Unemployable, lacking any kind of skills whatsoever, I did something I had never done before: I signed up for a course. Things were so bad I accepted I was going to have to do something, anything, and that meant stepping far outside my comfort zone and doing something I'd never done before. I was going to go to the trouble of travelling into town once a week and be around total strangers. I sometimes found it hard to do things I enjoyed with people I knew and liked, but I knew I couldn’t let the second half of my life go the same way as the first. I don’t think I even knew a lack of confidence was my problem. I just considered myself incapable of anything. I was in search of skills for an idea way above my station (something about public storytelling) so I chose a course that used drama techniques, thinking, hoping, it would lead to me having the courage to go forward with my idea.
I went to the Intro evening and saw people looking how I felt - so nervous I didn’t even have time to register how terrified I was, only able to recognise it on other peoples faces. By the end of that evening I was still nervous, but I was also glad, so very very glad, that I’d done it, that I’d been able to do it, mainly because I was there, had paid to be there, and I felt I had to do something and not sit out and watch everybody else get on with it like I usually do (although that was an option if anyone felt too overwhelmed). I felt invigorated, and found myself looking forward to the course itself.
Twelve weeks later I was astounded at the difference in myself. I felt good! I felt hopeful! I felt worthy of the attention I was paid! I was aware that I wanted to keep going, so I did. I signed up for another course. And another.
A couple of years later I decided to train as a Life Coach. While working my way through the exercises I realised just how much my attitude towards myself had changed. I was confident! I wasn’t living in fear. I felt capable and worthy of the life I wanted. Around that time, on yet another course, I suddenly realised that I truly accepted myself, that I no longer hated myself for not being how I thought I should be.
I still struggle, I still have episodes - including totally losing that confidence and then getting it back! But on the whole, I can now process those feelings much better and keep those episodes to a minimum. I'm able to focus again on the life I want to live. I’ve now trained with Claire Schrader, confidence facilitator and creator of the Sunflower Effect, so I can run courses based on her Sunflower Effect myself. I also offer Life Coaching so, once you are more confident, you can dig deeper and discover what else is stopping you from living the life you've always wanted, and then actually take the necessary steps to achieve your dreams.
I hope you join me, so you too can live your life and pursue what’s truly important to you.
It is possible. Give yourself the chance to discover how.