I have spent the last ten months training to be a hypnotherapist at the East Anglian Institute of Hypnotherapy in Norwich. The course also included training in counselling, integrative psychotherapy and thought field therapy. I really enjoyed my time there. Over the weeks I resolved many of my own issues including depression and anxiety. I am really excited to bring the experience of hypnotherapy to others.
I now have a private home practice.
I used the steps from Alcoholics Anonymous to clear my depression. You can too.
Step 3 – I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him.
This is about surrender. It was really hard for me. I thought I had to be strong; I had to defeat my own demons on my own. I had tried to do this and I hadn’t succeeded. I just seemed to be digging myself in deeper. I used to be pretty independent and self-reliant. It seemed like the only way. Then after my career disaster I became financially dependent on my husband. This still didn’t help me. I had got rid of one problem that depressed me (my work) but now I had other problems – poverty, lack of self-worth, lack of meaning and purpose…I still hadn’t made the shift. I was still looking for the wrong things to make me happy and medicating myself daily with red wine.
I had a blockage about surrendering to God. I kind of worried about being a Christian. I had met plenty of Christians I didn’t like – judgemental, obsessed with other people’s sex lives, joyless, cruel. I had met many Christian teachers like this and I did not want to be like them. Christianity has a strange history and a lot of skeletons in its closet. On the Alpha course I started thinking about the true message- the words of Jesus which really are astounding. Jesus is nothing like the sort of Christians I had met in the past. My favourite passage is the Sermon on the Mount, particularly ‘Consider the lilies…’ Go and check it out if you haven’t read it. It is about surrendering to God and letting go. It really is the hardest thing but the most worthwhile thing. God clothes even the wild flowers of the field with beauty. They don’t work for it, they don’t strive yet God looks after them. He will look after you too because you mean more to Him. Notice there is no Protestant work ethic here. Where did that come from because it didn’t come out of the mouth of Jesus? Surrendering to God causes a change in your consciousness. It doesn’t mean you won’t do things wrong (sin) and mess things up. You will but it’s ok.
The plan I had for my life didn’t work. It was a rubbish plan. I was working in the education system that I didn’t believe in. In the end it drove me to break down. Then I thought I would write books but that didn’t work out either. My plans were all wrong. I accepted help from God and at this point I realised change was possible. I am still not where I want to be. I have held back from total commitment. I am not a nun or a holy person on a mountain. I haven’t made it in to Mother Theresa territory – yet. I ask God for help every day. When I feel despair I pray. I remember that I am Divine – I am made in the image of God. That helps me. I still have some bad habits. I still drink wine but nothing like as much as I used to. I am trying to phase it out completely but I keep failing. I have a daily spiritual practice involving reading the Bible, praying, meditation and yoga. I am working on myself bit by bit. I am an ongoing project. If I mess up I ask for forgiveness and start again. I can observe my emotions and detach from them. I am training as a therapist so I can be of service to others.
Accept help from God as you understand Him. It does not have to be the Christian God. It could be Ganesha or Buddha or nature or Allah. It’s up to you.
I used the 12 steps from Alcoholics Anonymous to overcome depression.
I came to believe that a power greater than me could restore me to sanity.
This was a big shift for me. All my life I feel like I have been surrounded by atheists: my family, my friends. They know it all. They don’t need God. But I did. After years of vague belief I finally submitted. I became a Christian on the Alpha Course. This helped me a lot. Therapists often say you have to fix yourself; that it has to come from within. That’s good advice for many people but I had been trying to fix myself for years. There was something about surrendering myself to a loving God that worked for me.
I have suffered in the past from depression, low self-esteem and a sense of worthlessness. This just leads to nihilism: there seems no point in doing anything in a meaningless universe. Christianity gave me a way out of this trap.When the Bible is explained to you as an unfolding story it all starts to make sense. There is order in the universe, there is purpose and intention. Most of all there is love. Love is the thing I have been lacking. God loves me just as I am with all my flaws and faults. I don’t have to be perfect. I am good enough just the way I am. This is a revelation to me. We are all sinners. God knows this but he forgives us and accepts us through the blood of Jesus.
Being a Christian gives me meaning and purpose. I am still early on in my journey and I haven’t figured everything out yet but I read the Bible every day and pray and I attend the local abbey and sometimes my village church which has intermittent services. When somebody at Alpha prayed over me I felt like some evil thing left my body and something else came in its place. My depression began to lift there and then. I didn’t get rid of it overnight but it was the start of my journey to recovery. A lot of people have trouble with the word God. If you prefer you can use Higher Power or Nature or whatever you like. For me God works best though. I feel better when I think of something external to me helping me: a great spirit. I can’t make it on my own but I can make it with God. And so can you. Surrender to Him and you can heal yourself of all kinds of issues. Just one step at a time each day.