Over the years, I have known a lot of death and this began at age five. I’ve lost many friends and some family over the decades, but none more jarring than those of people I cared about who took their own lives. This is because it is sudden, instant, and unlike a murder where you have someone to feel anger at, there is nothing but sadness and questions left.
About three years ago, one of my best friends Bee committed suicide after a lengthy court case with his estranged wife and her gaining custody of their child. She said that because he wasn’t with her, he would never see his kid again and the courts sided with her. He went to a local park, sat on a bench, cried a bit, and then shot himself in the head.
His death left me in tears for days, nearly emotionally crippled, and left me sitting in a bed unable to get up. After I’d finished grieving, I began talking to those having a hard time, opening myself up to those who needed an ear to listen and not judge them. This helped quite a few of the friends I have, but I wanted to help more and began researching.
I got licensed in stress management, but sometimes stress isn’t the cause but more of a symptom, so I continued my journey. Then I found the writings of Dr. Milton Erickson and began my journey into hypnotism and have since been licensed as a master hypnotherapist and Ericksonian hypnotherapist. Then I began studying Neurolinguistic Programming and a host of minor therapies and continue to add to my alternative therapy toolkit.
There’s much more I am and will continue to learn and add to my practice, but I suppose the greater question is, “Why I didn’t go into psychology or psychiatry?”
I have copious experience with mainstream psychiatry and psychology, both with myself as a youth and with my wife who is Bipolar. As a youth, I was diagnosed as agoraphobic with social anxiety, I went to therapy weekly and was put on numerous medications. Therapy and consequently 3 different therapists went nowhere, while the medications numbed me and made me a zombie, devoid of any sort of desire to be creative.
I was taken off of the medications and new medications were prescribed, which effects that ranged from sleepless nights, the inability to coherently interact with others on any level, and again zombification. This lasted months on end, perhaps a year, time was irrelevant at that point, until finally, I ended up saying enough is enough!
I ceased any and all medications, I began reading Freud, Jung, and several others, and worked through my issues on my own. This is why I searched for alternative means to help others work through their issues and to keep them from what several of my own friends have done over the years. I find the tools I use help on a near-immediate basis and over time, a matter of weeks not years, I can see them transform into a mentally healthier individual.