I sold my house today:
This morning I accepted an offer on my house, which will be the last one I ever live in (unless my books exceed Harry Potter sales).
The decision to step off the property ladder and never work in an office again has been a long and painful one. In May 2017, I left a London job that almost killed me. From bullying, toxicity and outright hatred by people who are supposed to be Defending the Realm. Unprofessional, dishonest and vicious – these people work at the highest levels of the UK Government.
I remember my last trip home on the train. I was stunned, numb, broken and had chest pains. I’d been suffering from chronic panic attacks and agoraphobia for months before this. I’d been on Zoloft for over a year. Here in the UK it’s called Sertralline.
For weeks I panicked. Panicked about not having a job. Panicked about finding another one. Panicked about paying my mortgage. I calmly and logically planned my suicide as if I was planning a dinner menu.
I was raised to work. If I wanted makeup and clothes, get a job. If I need a car, get a job. I was raised to be fiercely independent. And this meant that asking for help was totally impossible for me. At that time, I’d rather die than do that.
By some intervention on the part of the Universe, I stopped. The voice in my head said ‘Just stop. Rest.’ it said to me, and I decided that I needed to heal myself. I decided to find out what was going on with my brain.
I studied in the same relentless way I learned to be independent. I studied brain function, I studied Mindfulness, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Hypnotherapy. I read voraciously.
While reading one day, I came across a passage that totally floored me. It was in a book called ‘The Enlightened Gardener’ by Sydney Banks. In it, men were discussing a psychiatric patient that no one was able to cure for a long time, and yet one man did exactly that, overnight. This is not an exact quote but,
‘How did he cure her?’
‘He told her she could choose to get better.’The Enlightened Gardener by Sydney Banks
So that’s what I did. Through some long and arduous discussions with friends and fellow students, I concluded that these huge corporations really don’t give a shit about you. I concluded that, on my deathbed, I really wouldn’t have any kind of legacy that I’d be proud of. I concluded that all the material shit that I’d surrounded myself with made no contributions to the quality of my life or the value of it. My house and everything in it had become a millstone.
Through the same long and arduous discussions, I designed my own life. I put a book out. I decided to never go back to that toxic war-zone. To free myself from worries, bills, mortgages and possessions. To dump the millstone. I learned that I was so much more than what I’d taught myself matters. It didn’t matter, in fact the things I thought mattered were literally killing me.
I avoided human contact, now I crave it. I spent money like you wouldn’t believe, now I need nothing. I was a corporate I.T. employee, now I write books, paint, draw, knit, sing. I was miserable, now I am contented, relatively healthy (I smoke, we are none of us perfect), and I know how to ask for help. In fact I marvel at the fact that people love me enough to help me.
So I’d like to thank the following people for getting me to where I’m at right this minute:
- My Dad, without whose financial help, well, I wouldn’t want to contemplate. His steadfast and unwavering support probably saved my life.
- Sharon Frochen, without whom I can’t imagine where I’d be in my head. She taught me so much, not least to love myself, ask for help, and she laughed at my jokes.
- Sarah Whalen, for her shamanic guidance and readings that were poignant and comforting.
- Beth Gray, who encouraged me to visualise my future life as it if were real and reminisce about our decisions to leave the corporate, six-figure jobs behind.
- Susie Hollick, who helped me plan and prioritise the practical aspects of making this change.
- Sondra Turnbull, my writing buddy, who has helped me get the first 30,000 words of my next book down on paper.
Now I have an incredibly difficult time ahead. Donate, dump or sell the rest of my worldly possessions, sell my car, re-home my two cats all while hitting my daily writing target and finishing my new book.
But I believe I’ve got it in me to see this through. I’m alive and I’m loved. That’s all it takes.
Quote of the Week:
‘If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right.‘Mary Kay Ash