She suddenly looked horrified and told me to look at my face. I’ll never forget the moment I saw myself in the mirror, for nothing could prepare me for what was staring back…
I never felt like I fitted in, yet I hid it well. My boarding school was full of children of diplomats and CEOs of huge multinationals, and me? Well, I was the daughter of parents who wanted to give me the education they missed out on.
Despite gaining good grades, I couldn’t hide any longer, and it was suggested that sixth form wasn’t the place for me. Turned out, the greatest thing I ever learnt there wasn’t from a textbook though, but from one of the teachers himself, who said:
Words to live by, I’m sure you’d agree. That said, I followed my passion for animals and took a job as an assistant at the local Vets. Gradually, I started to feel like something wasn’t right. I loved my job, but I just felt like I wasn’t living up to what I could be. It started manifesting in odd ways, and, even though I’d consider myself to be one of life’s optimists, I was getting increasingly stressed…
And that’s when it happened.One afternoon, the vet looked horrified and told me to look at my face. I’ll never forget the moment I saw myself in the mirror, for nothing could prepare me for what was staring back.
My eye refused to close and the whole of one side of my face was just drooping down. I looked like I’d had a stroke.
As an 18-year-old girl, just beginning to understand how image conscious the world is, it was devastating. I was whisked off to A&E. As I sat waiting to be called in, I was aware that people were staring at my facial disfigurement.
In that ten-minute wait, I learnt all about self- image, conformity, empathy and people
I remember thinking that the doctor wasn’t giving me any answers other than the label of Bells Palsy. There was no magic pill to put my face straight again.
By sheer luck, the doctor had recently read about stress and anxiety being a trigger for Bells Palsy and suggested I see a psychologist.
My struggle with feeling ‘not good enough’ and out of control of my life meant that I had actually been struggling with anxiety, although I had no idea what anxiety was at the time.
I was incredibly fortunate to be directed to a psychologist who not only helped me work things out, but most importantly helped me make the psychological and practical changes I needed.
Unless you’ve had stress, anxiety or a mental health problem, it can be very difficult to explain to people what you go through every day, but rest assured that I get it. Not just by reading books and talking to sufferers. I really get it. I’ve been there. I also know how to stop it. Like completely stop it.
Thirty years later, now a leading psychologist with multiple degrees to Doctorate level, I’m on a mission to eradicate things like anxiety, stress, depression and other problems from the world.
I’ve helped thousands of people who struggle with these types of problems to be the best version of themselves and live with a real passion for life.
You can visit me at my Psychologist Practice in Wilmslow (Cheshire) or book a consultation over Skype. Whatever suits you better.
As an ex-athlete I’ve always advocated the benefits of keeping in shape physically, but it’s just as important to look after your mental wellbeing. Book a session with Wendy, she’s the person to help you look after your brain just as you would your body.
5 x Olympic Skier and presenter of BBC Ski Sunday.
Dare to dream big and Wendy’s THE person to help get you there.
X Factor winner with a long list of sell out tour successes under her belt.
The most exciting thing in the world is getting a chance to tear it all up and start again. Keep all the things you want and throw out everything you don’t. Wendy will help you do just that!
Beauty, lifestyle and fashion blogging sensation Becky Sheeran (TalkBeckyTalk)
It’s great to have a leading psychotherapist such as Wendy in the Cheshire area, outside of her Harley Street practice. After publicly raising awareness of mental health issues and myself recovering from depression, I know how immensely life-changing expert intervention can be.
Retired ex-professional football who played for Bury, Wigan, Stoke, Preston, Norwich, Leicester and Brighton during a 14 year career. After leaving professional football, Jason battled depression and recovered with the help of therapy and family support.