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About Me

As a passionate person, I love fighting for a just cause, especially when my strong sense of justice takes over, and I deliver eloquent dialogue on a topic I’m furious about. I even enjoy that passion when I’m feeling sad and the emotions boil over, so I’m dramatically crying in a puddle on the floor; I’m still boosted by those strong feelings.

 

I haven’t always directed that passion in the best way. It has often been turned against people around me in the form of unnecessary arguments or, when it gets too much, numbing it with alcohol and food. I now choose to use it to fight for more compassion and collaboration worldwide.

 

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, the expectation was that you would go to school, followed by college, uni, or a first-rung job. Then, you’d follow the same career path for the rest of your life.

Like many others, I’m sure my life didn’t take this exact route.

Childhood memory

 

I only remember flashes of my childhood, many of which were impulsive moments which felt as if they came out of me like a volcano:

💥 The time I decided to play with the car cigarette lighter. I knew I wasn’t allowed to play with it; I knew it would be hot, but I just wanted to play with it.

💥 The time I decided that I didn’t want to keep walking around the supermarket and actually just wanted to sit and eat some crisps. So I threw a tantrum.

💥 Waking my younger sister up every year to come and see what Father Christmas had left us downstairs because I was so excited I couldn’t stay in bed any longer.

💥 The times I’ve thrown out a sarcastic comment or answered back at teachers, parents and other adults.

💥 Eating all the apple toffee my babysitter brought around while we watched The Princess Bride because it was so good I didn’t feel like I could stop.

Teenage experiences

As a teenager, my life was defined by feeling decidedly different and unmotivated by the things I was “supposed” to be doing:

💥 Why are people laughing when I’m answering a question they asked me?

💥 I didn’t know I was supposed to be shaving my legs or that they were hairy. They just grew that way (followed by using my dad’s old-fashioned safety razor and sliding it up my shin bone. Although it didn’t hurt, it bled for hours).

💥 I can tell that something in my behaviour or what I just said was not correct, but I don’t know what it was, and no one ever explains.

💥 The times I decided to move my entire bedroom around and got bored halfway through, leaving an untidy pile that I can’t be bothered to finish.

💥 Constant imagined conversations, arguments and entire relationships in my head.

💥 When will I be using x and y equations in real life?

💥 I know I’m supposed to be revising, but my eyes are just sliding across the page and taking nothing in.

💥 What is going on here?

 

At 18, I knew there was something going on in my head, but with no Google at the time, I didn’t know what. I went to my doctor for some answers, who told me I needed a boyfriend. Ten years later, when I was experiencing frequent panic attacks on my commute to work, I went to see a new doctor who prescribed me antidepressants, which helped me to regain some stability.

 

I spent most of my adult life drinking to feel more sociable and lead a ‘normal’ lifestyle, but often spent days afterwards in total fear and anxiety, not realising at the time the cause and effect.

Adult life

 

In adulthood, I often experienced huge swings between :

💥 The joy of alcohol for finding my confidence and having an amazing time out.

💥 Crippling anxiety when I had morning-after flashes of excruciating shame for my behaviour or words while I’d been drinking.

💥 Feeling confused and misunderstood, particularly when trying to adapt to situations that I couldn’t understand, made me really uncomfortable.

💥 Trying to keep a lid on my too-sensitive emotions and passions, all while feeling like I was ready to explode at any moment.

💥 Not being able to find the motivation to start, continue or finish tasks that made no sense to me or weren’t exciting, so I continuously left things until the last minute or completely forgot about them.

 

The last five years have been dedicated to finding ways to impact the world by improving our cultural situation. After working for 16 years in IT for the NHS, I found some fulfilment in helping others solve problems, but it didn’t quite hit the spot.

 

There was always the undercurrent of trying to think of ways to improve the profoundly unjust situation of chronic underfunding combined with oversaturation of demand for services. I eventually had to leave because I couldn’t find a way to resolve this besides shouting about how insane it was.

 

When I found coaching, I started understanding myself better and being kinder in moments of chaos. I still felt different, but I had found some people who were more compassionate and kinder, so it was easier to feel included.

 

After I was officially diagnosed with ADHD and had confirmation of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), I found the knowledge that had been missing. Learning about how my brain works has been life-changing, and bringing this knowledge to my clients is life-changing for them, too.

 

I am now more compassionate with myself and others, finding and creating systems that work for me and my brain. It’s difficult to unlearn completely all the stories and beliefs you pick up across your life, but acknowledging them and knowing they can be changed is reassuring when life feels disheartening.

I'm now on a mission to help organisations develop ways of supporting their neurodivergent staff with compassion.

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