Brad is a teenager who came to see me after having worked with CAMHS for approximately 3 years. He had recently spent a night in hospital through self-abuse. His anxiety had resulted in him not only missing a significant amount of school, but his world was becoming very small; he struggled going into town with friends, getting to the point where he spent most of his time at home. Brad desperately wanted to move on in his life but felt “trapped by my anxiety.”
Brad had a total of 3 sessions with me. Due to his age, details of our work together remains confidential however his mother wrote to me with the following words shortly after his last session:
“I just wanted to say thank you for helping Brad, he seems so much more in control of things, not all the time, but as they say, small steps, but in the right direction.
This weekend he was invited to go paintballing. He was excited to go, up early, picked up friends, dropped them off. We communicated with each other for about an hour or so and after his first text he wanted to come home, but 4 hours later, I got a message to say could I bring a drink! He stayed, overcame his anxiety and had a great time. This is such a big achievement for him , I am so grateful for all your support.
Today he had his first driving lesson, which by all accounts went really well.
Thank you so much, you are amazing, you must make so many people more positive about themselves.”
Working with adolescents like Brad make what I do priceless. Brad will face challenges in his life, we all do. But he now has the resources to help him through those. One of my favourite sayings is, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we deal with them.”
In the past this was more like 90% ‘happening’ to Brad and he had few resources to manage what most teenagers deem ‘normal’. He felt trapped and out of control. He may be a little way from getting to the 10% yet but as his Mum said, “small steps” and the wonderful thing with small steps is that when you keep taking them, every day you move further away from where you were and closer to where you wish to be.
I am really optimistic for Brad, it was an absolute pleasure working with him and I foresee that in the future, he is going to be doing something as an adult to help other teenagers who are like he used to be and the ripples he has set in place will continue to reach out to others.