Sean’s story – Reframing saved my life

Sean’s story – Reframing saved my life

13 June 2021

A close member of my family passed away from cancer and I bottled up my emotions and shut down. I didn’t want my emotions to get in the way of doing well at university, and so I made a conscious decision to close down my emotions. The first few months were a ‘success’ and being a robot meant that I was able to focus.

The problem was that, after a while, being robotic in nature and not facing up to my emotions began to alienate me from the people I was close to. I was depressed, and the people on the outside ended up suffering too. I completely isolated myself, and when I did go out, I learnt how to smile to cover up how I was really feeling.

I felt like I was in a dark sea, and I felt lost. I didn’t have any hope of things improving and had nothing to work towards. It felt as though there was no escape, and I became suicidal. From my experience, I don’t think people want to die, but they want the excruciating pain to end and so ending their life is a practical solution. Thankfully, I realise that perhaps my life had a purpose, and when I came to the realisation that my purpose was greater than my circumstances, it changed again.

I started to realise that my emotions were being too easily influenced by external circumstances that were often outside of my control. I was allowing events to happen to me, and I was dramatically affected by the actions of the people around me. Other peoples perceptions of me really mattered, whether they were loved ones or even strangers, which meant whenever I didn’t get the approval I was looking for, I would internalise this feeling and it would eat me up.

I came to realisation that the conscious experience of reality is driven by the subconscious story will tell ourselves, and because my story wasn’t healthy, I was being negatively affected. We are always seeking the approval of others and one or theories to be proved right, especially our inner stories. I realised that if I was to become more resilient and avoid the negative feelings that lead to my suicidal thoughts, I had to change the story I was telling myself.

In my career, I learn how to program computers and I like the rationally driven way it worked. It created organisms based on variables, and if you change one variable it will change the outcome. I realised that I could achieve similar results and how I thought and felt by changing my own variables. So, if my internal variable was telling me that I was impostor, then the external data that I received would interface with that variable and would produce that outcome that I really was an impostor. Yet, if I changed my internal variable to confident, then the outcome would be very different. If I felt and thought that I had confidence, I will start to feel more confident.

Having counselling really help me to. People are often sceptical of therapy, but the opportunity to speak about the way I felt in a safe environment really helped me to understand the emotions and d deal with them.

Our stories come from our beliefs, and our beliefs are a repeater set of thoughts and advice over time. By writing down affirmations and a gratitude list, and visualising an ideal state, slowly but surely you can begin to change your internal story. This is something that I now practice every single day.

Sean is now on a mission to improve the lives of 1 million people worldwide.

Sean also shares thoughts on mental health on his Instagram.

The focus of this year’s Men’s Mental Health Week is on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. All MindSpace activities are based on the 5 Ways – they’re all free of charge and open to everyone in Stamford and the surrounding area. You don’t need to be referred, you don’t need to have a diagnosed mental health condition – we’re here for everyone, because we all have mental health.

If you’ve been affected by similar issues or if you need urgent help, please click here for information on available support.

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