Sometimes it takes a lemon to spark a dream.

Mandie Holgate – Business & Life Coach

Five and half years ago 6 months after the birth of my second gorgeous child, my cat got run over, yes I was upset but I had no idea it was the catalyst (no pun intended) to 2 and half years of hell. I slowly noticed that I was feeling different and when we were supposed to be enjoying a wonderful vacation in the south of France I realized something was terribly wrong, because instead of playing in the sea and sand and enjoying the romantic starry nights with my husband everything felt numb and pointless. When we got back from our vacation I saw the doctor and so began the long very lonely road into mental illness. Diagnosed with depression over the next 2 years I continued to deteriorate regardless of how many drugs I had to take. My natural attitude to seek alternative health advice and ignore prescription drugs went out of the window and I did mechanically what the mental health team said each week and upped the drugs until I needed a E.C.G regularly to check my young heart could cope with it all.

That’s the facts but the reality of the hell it created are sometimes beyond words for me. Thinking back to the person I was makes me feel sad for the person that I was and for anyone experiencing such hell. Life felt worthless and I knew I had no justifiable reason to be on this planet. I regularly harmed myself, and twice took attempts on my life (which even now I find impossible to believe).

I remember one day as I walked out of my weekly appointment with the mental health team I looked at the sky and thought. “What do I do?” “What am I supposed to be learning here?” “Will I survive this?” Something in me changed that day. I (stupidly and dangerously) stopped taking all by meds that day. Ones to get me up, ones to send me to sleep and after 3 very “interesting” weeks I turned back to the holistic route and discovered counseling. This led me to C.B.T and C.A.T (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Cognitive Analytical Therapy) For the first time in 2 years I was starting to smile from the inside again.

As my road to recovery continued I realized that when my youngest child went to school I wanted to find a career that would be a part of my life not take it over as my career had before children.

I decided to train as a counselor but realized that counseling helped you go back and understand the past but not work out what you want to do in the future from now on. Life Coaching does this. This led me to training as a Life Coach, and I now know that that was the beginning of the wonderful person that I am today with a career that I love. Passionately dedicated to helping people be happy with their lives.

I know that the person I am today with the confidence and vibrance for life could not have existed had I not had such severe depression. I now absolutely believe that everything happens for a reason, it’s just that sometimes it takes a while to find out what that reason is. I have gained so much confidence to do anything. Any opportunity, and idea, any suggestion gets greeted with “yes why not” because of my big fat juicy lemon in my past.

I now actively tell people about my experiences of depression to dispel the stigma attached to mental illness and work with local charities whenever I can to support their work to help people just like me 3 years ago. Recently in a roomful of business women after hearing our motivational speaker I stood up and instead of telling everyone about my business and what I wanted from them I told them how much I agreed with Ocean Whitehawks teachings and my own experience of this. After 2 women came over and asked how they could get in touch with the right people as they had “friends” that needed help. I will continue to do this to support and help people get the help and advice they need to realize that there can be an end to lemons and that marvelous things can come out of them.

I want to sing from the roof tops what can happen after hell such as mine because I know that if you see real people going through and telling stories “just like yours” it gives you a glimmer of hope that “Hey there is another side to this, Maybe I can find a way through this.”

This is why I love my job. I am now a business and Life coach and set up The business Woman’s Network to support, encourage and help local business women to be the best they can be. Sometimes I look at the roomful of women I and I know that none of this would have happened had I not had the life experiences that I have had, and I know it’s a success because I am smiling on the outside and the in.

I hope my story helps you, your organization and the people that you are inspiring and if you would like to learn more about how I inspire people you can read and use my blog “how to be a non perfect mum.”

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