Experienced, Certified, Supportive.
People ask me – ‘What qualifies you for being a life coach and counsellor?’
I wonder, do they want my academic and professional awards or the personal journey?
My life’s journey so far has both challenged me and helped me grow. Looking at the person I was 10, five or even two years ago, I hardly recognise myself and I cannot believe the distance I have come.
Where did ‘Don’t Stop Keep Going’ come from?
My trauma psychologist told me that if I were to give an inspirational talk, I should centre it around Winston Churchill saying “when you are going through hell, keep walking”, because, he said, ‘you have achieved so much and been so brave, and all the time you just kept walking’.
What two events influenced me the most?
The first one, was when I asked WHO am I? Who is Gemma King? Who really is, Gemma King?
At the time, I was studying my Masters in Applied Psychology. One of my assignments was to document my childhood alongside the stages of life development. WHAT? I had no idea where to begin the story? I had no idea what should be in the story?
A scooter accident at 18 years old, left me with a Traumatic Brain Injury, and took away any recollection of my life before. How do I start a story about memories I didn’t have? At this point it was 15 years after my accident, and I was still coming to terms with having lost any knowledge of my early years. What I did learn from this experience was how our memories and events what makes us, us.
My second event, falls in a different category because it was a personal incident which left me suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I was 33 years at the time, and still working as a computer programmer/ analyst and had just started my Masters one month before. However, I decided, if it was not now, it may never be, so throughout PTSD I continued my studies and working.
Dealing with trauma causes you to have unbelievable experiences, many beyond your control and that completely terrified me. One minute I would be me, and the next minute, I would just disappear into the trauma, it could be that I was just sitting at my work desk, or in the shops, or even at home, totally random. It is from this I have realised the impact of trauma, not only on the individual experiencing it, but the helplessness felt by those around them.
From a Psychological perspective, I saw life from the other side of the fence. The experience was incredibly tough on me, and those around me, and I totally understand the sheer effort it takes to pull through from trauma and mental illness however, I am also proof that it is possible to turn your life around.
Luckily, I have a good sense of humour and now I can laugh about the crazy instances I’ve had. For example, during a panic attack, I got out the car to open the gate, and didn’t put the handbrake on. Only, to turn around and see my car running away down the hill? Pursuing a runaway car with legs like jelly, in a state of turmoil, was not fun at the time, however, picturing it all now makes me giggle quite heartily.
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What was your breaking point?
This would be when I was at my lowest. I didn’t want to continue with this, I just wanted it to end, be over. I didn’t have the strength to fight anymore, I felt like I was sinking, and I couldn’t reach anything to get out. This feeling then developed into a spinning, and I couldn’t get off, it felt like there was only one way out.
I started to look for a home for my beautiful dogs and preparing to leave. I cried and cried and cried, because I didn’t want to leave, and I loved my dogs so very much. I didn’t want any harm to come to them, I worried they would not be looked after and cared for properly. I was a broken person, lost, confused, and alone.
It was only when people were asking why I wanted to give my dogs away, that I realised, what could I tell them? It was at this point I decided, and I said to my dogs, NO! this is not how it’s going to be! I will MAKE things different; I will find a way. I then stopped my psychiatric drugs, stopped trauma counselling and I went on the hunt for my direction to get me out of this.
Where I am now?
The road I travelled to get here today, is indescribable at many times. However, it is from these lessons in my life that I learnt to keep going, keep growing and keep trying – no matter what, never giving up! Alongside my professional studies, Oh! did I tell you, I passed my Masters degree with Merit, even with all this going on. I am so proud of myself now for not giving up. It is this knowledge and experience, where I have learnt tips and tricks, that I would like to give to other people, at those times when, above all else, it is important that they too ‘Don’t Stop keep going’.
Who am I Personally?
Where do I begin?
Well, I’m a deep thinker – a a curious and philosopher’s mind. This, of course, doesn’t mean that I have had a boring life – quite the contrary, I’ve got many funny tales of adventures I’ve had and mad situations I’ve found myself in – and the many surprising outcomes that have arisen.
Along my journey I have also learnt about my spirituality; about my intuition and about my strength. People may perceive me as quiet – softly spoken but, under that exterior.
I am practical, resourceful. Í am down to earth and, perhaps more importantly have a crazy sense of humour.
Most of all I love meeting and helping people – I hope you feel I am qualified to help you with your journey, I can’t wait to meet you.
Would you like to improve your life path?
“The tiny seed knew, that in order to grow, it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light.” Sandra Kring