I am Fiona, a ‘reformed’ stress head who did years of chronic anxiety until my wake up call. I now teach other women how to move away from the chronic thinking that causes anxiety and stress, and work with them as they change their mindsets, and ultimately their lives, by becoming the person they want to be.
Check out my web site, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.
“After attending one of Fiona’s ‘Inspire me to Change’ sessions at the Malmaison Hotel (which is a must!), I signed up for 3 sessions. Fiona was amazing at identifying and clearing self-limiting blocks and barriers. I found the NLP technique extremely quick and effective at changing my mindset on issues that had troubled me throughout my life. I had identified that these issues were in fact creating psychosomatic/physical symptoms aggravated by conflict and stress. Fiona is very easy to talk to and I am grateful to have met her. She will be my first port of call the minute anything else crops up.”
Learn how I can help you to overcome anxiety and stress, by booking in now for a free consultation.
For most of my life, I was a worrier. I have two early memories of being completely overwhelmed by anxiety, one was at a music camp where I was due to sing solo, then freaked out, and the second, at school for an English presentation. I worried about not fitting in at my new school, and didn’t feel like I fitted in for the majority of my school years, so couldn’t wait to leave. I loved to learn, but school did not fit my learning style. I would swot up, write, and rewrite until the words sank in. I even recorded and played things back on cassette (yes, I am that old) during the night. I recall instances of responding angrily to my mum when I was studying, when all she asked was how I was getting on. I was stressed. I didn’t want to fail, and I didn’t want my family to be disappointed in me, so I pushed myself further. Exams over, I left and moved to college and then on to university. University was even more pressurised, and my stress response was even more acute; the short tempered me was back. I ended up with flu in the middle of my final exams (health will suffer with prolonged stress), but still managed to pass, and then came my Masters thesis. Now that really triggered my stress levels. With one month to go until submission, I was told by my mentor that if I handed it in as is, I would fail. I walked straight out of the room, into the toilets and burst into tears. I was fairly good at holding my emotions back in public. The attitude that got me through was the same one I used for years. I thought “I’ll show you”, and got back to work, increasing the pressure on myself until I submitted it and passed. I can still recall the tension in my shoulders, as I shut out life and focused solely on what I needed to achieve. It was little wonder, therefore that I took this same approach into my working life. I had warning signs in my 20s; times when I was so fuelled by stress and anxiety, that I would find my hands physically shaking. I felt awful most of the time, and often got run down. Then in 2011, things began to not feel right in my relationship. My jaw started to hurt, and by the end of that year and the one that followed, I could barely open my jaw, I struggled to speak without lisping, ate mostly soft food and had constant headaches. I was popping tablets like they were sweeties. At its’ worst, I would sit in silence at my desk, nearly crying because of the pain. I visited specialists, had tests, weekly jaw therapy, but was told, there was nothing physically wrong, and that it is usually linked to some emotional anxiety and stress. I felt isolated with nowhere to go. I then ended up on anti depressants which I hated because they numbed all of my emotions, but they controlled the physical pain too, so like a crutch, they worked. Deep down, I knew what the cause was. I was miserable in my relationship, only I felt I couldn’t leave because I was putting someone else’s needs above my own. Finally though, I ended the relationship, the majority of my stress therefore disappeared, as did my jaw pain (overnight I might add) and I stopped taking the anti depressants. Thinking I had resolved my issue, I didn’t realise that it had only just begun. For the remainder of 2012 and 2013, I threw myself into my work as a way to deal with the emotions that were coming up from the relationship ending. Unfortunately, things got further out of balance, my body was still in a state of stress, and my periods stopped. Not surprising, when you consider that your body will always divert resources to the most critical organs for survival. Was I that stressed that my own body was choosing what systems it was going to support? Again, I ended up in hospital getting more tests, and again, other than a slight dip in my hormone levels, could not see anything wrong. I will always remember the consultant asking me if I planned on having children. Thinking, “well not right now, given I am single anyway”, I replied “no”, to which his response was “Oh well, just stay on the pill until you hit menopause.” I was 33 years old. I left the hospital confused at what I was being told and what it meant. Again, I felt isolated with nowhere to turn. Then just when things couldn’t get worse, they did. I had been working long hours and was burning the candle at both ends. I was stressed. I developed some OCD tendencies because I needed to control my emotions, and then I developed a problem in my eye. It became sensitive to the lights in the office, and the computer screen became a blur, so back to the hospital for a third time. This time, the nurse told me that it was a condition usually triggered when your immune system is poor, often in times of great stress. She then gave me the chilling message “just as well you came in now. If you left it, you could potentially lose the sight in your eye.” That was it. I had had enough. During my time off, I began to think that three things could not be a coincidence – stress was the common factor, as was I. I radically needed to make some changes, and that’s when everything began to change……
What is the anxiety and stress story you want to change?