I had been suffering from anxiety/depression for a number of years, having a severe experience back in 2009, which resulted in me having time off work, which is something I rarely do.
I then had a further experience in the summer of 2013. Around this time my daughter during a conversation she had with Charlotte (at my daughter’s place of work) mentioned that her dad was going through a rough time at the moment, without obviously going into great detail. Charlotte very kindly mentioned to my daughter that she may be able to help me as she was a trained hypnotherapist, and anxiety and depression was one of the area’s she specialised in.
After work that same evening, my daughter came to visit my wife and me and during her visit mentioned the conversation she had with Charlotte. At first, I was annoyed that she had discussed her dads “problem” with a stranger. But then I began to realise how concerned my family and friends were as regards my health and general well being. At the end of my daughters visit she gave me Charlotte’s telephone number.
The following morning I deliberated with myself for quite some time, before I got the courage to make that telephone call. As soon as Charlotte answered the phone, my emotions got the better of me (which was a common occurrence) but Charlotte seemed to have an abundance of both understanding and kindness, so much so that I agreed to make my first appointment with Charlotte.
The appointment was within days of the phone call, just as with the phone call, I was apprehensive about meeting Charlotte, who I perceived at this time to be a stranger.
However, I did keep the appointment. Off to Charlotte’s home I went, knocked on the front door, a lady answered the door, introducing herself as being Charlotte, and invited me into her home and subsequently into her treatment room.
We began with having a general conversation, which gradually led into discussing my situation, then the emotion’s tripped in again, with an initial feeling of great embarrassment due to me being tearful in front a lady I had only just met for the first time. Between tears, I explained the best I could of how I was feeling both about myself and also in general.
This I found extremely difficult to do, both in trying to find the reasons of feeling like I did, but also explaining my feelings to a stranger. I did some deep soul searching and I believe I found just the surface of my problems, and then tried to explain them to Charlotte, with me frequently asking Charlotte if I was making sense, did she understand. I should have realised very quickly Charlotte knew exactly where I was coming from, but I didn’t.
For the latter stage of my appointment, Charlotte asked if I would mind being put into hypnosis, as I have never directly experienced hypnosis before I didn’t know what to expect, I did, however, agree to the request.
I was told to close my eyes and relax and get comfortable, all of which I complied with. I must be honest, the experience of hypnosis was not what I expected.
From what I had seen on television, I expected to be unconscious and not knowing what I was doing. What I actually experienced was a feeling of relaxation and towards the end of my “hypnotic period” a feeling of tiredness. At the end of the hypnosis and indeed at the end of the appointment I felt a little tired, but I also felt hope, there was someone helping me fight my problem.
At the end of the appointment Charlotte gave me a CD of the hypnosis session, encouraging to play this to myself on a regular basis) but not whilst driving!).
I left the appointment feeling totally different to the times I had left my doctors and cognitive therapist, where I felt on occasions we had discussed the theory of depression/anxiety and the theoretical remedies, either being medication and/or ways to be a more positive person.
In comparison on leaving Charlotte, I felt as previously mentioned I had someone who genuinely understood my problem both in how I felt but also why I felt, and even more for the first time I thought I may have seen a small ray of light at the end of the tunnel.
One of my biggest mistakes early on with Charlotte was not being totally honest. I made the mistake of masking some of my problems/feelings, portraying my situation as being better than I actually was.
It was both admitting to myself that this is what I was doing, but also why I was doing this.
This was the biggest obstacle I had to get over. Being totally honest the reasons why I tried to give a false impression was because I wanted to believe I was overcoming the anxiety/depression at a faster pace than I actually was, but I also wanted to portray to Charlotte that her treatment was working at the same pace.
What a mistake to make, Charlotte saw straight through my lack of honesty, and it certainly did me no favours.
Once I had overcome this obstacle, the recovery process was a much smoother path. Yes, I did have and still do have ups and downs. But as time goes on the ups become more frequent and the downs a lesser occurrence.
I continued to see Charlotte on a weekly basis, as my anxiety/depression improved, the appointments become fortnightly, as is the situation now. How do both my family and I best describe Charlotte – A LIFESAVER and a person who has greatly improved the relationship with my family.
How can I repay Charlotte, the best way I feel is being prepared to share my experience with others who have the problem I once had.