The 11th of March 2023 began like any other. 5 days before, a seemingly ordinary lunch with a friend discussing our feelings around death became a sliding doors moment, as hours later, I found myself teetering on the edge of life and death, my body jolting and convulsing with movement.
Hours before, I'd gone to sleep beside my youngest daughter as we were having a sleepover, but now I was clutching her leg and telling her she needed to call an ambulance. Thankfully, my husband and my eldest daughter had returned from their trip whilst we'd been asleep, and my daughter rushed to get my husband, urging him to call an ambulance.
My mind was racing, my time here wasn't done, I wasn't finished. I needed to tell my girls how I felt; I looked at my youngest daughter who was still beside me and whispered how much I loved her and how proud I was of her. Seconds turned into minutes but felt like a lifetime as we were told that I was a Category 1 emergency, but there was an estimated 60-90 minutes until an ambulance would be with us.
I looked at my husband, 'I can't breathe, we have to go'. We bundled into the car, one of my daughters holding me upright as my entire body shook. I was struggling to breathe but still in mum mode, directing my husband to the hospital, telling him to keep looking at me in case he needed to pull me out of the car and perform CPR.
As soon as we got to the hospital, I was helped into a wheelchair and rushed away. The next few days became a blur as doctors, nurses, and scans became my new reality. What had woken me up in the early hours of the 11th of March was the first of many seizures to come.
'You have two brain tumours.'
Five words that would change my life forever.
The road to recovery
12 scans, and eight months later, my recovery is well underway. But the keys to my recovery and the vault of emotional resilience I had developed began in a Waterstones in the heart of London when I was just 19. I wandered into that bookstore, drawn by the promise of knowledge and the allure of possibility. Little did I know that book would ignite a spark within me, a spark that would eventually blaze into a fire of self-discovery, transformation, and unyielding resilience.
I was introduced to the concept of the paradigm shift, something that would forever alter the trajectory of my life. Before that moment, I had struggled to focus on any book, but this was different. The notion of questioning my habitual way of thinking left me electrified. For the first time, I dared to challenge my beliefs about my capabilities and the limitless potential within me.
The power of shaping my thoughts became a revelation that propelled me forward. It wasn't long before I embarked on a journey that would test the very limits of my determination and willpower.
That same year, I undertook a nearly 4-stone weight loss journey that would teach me invaluable lessons about the importance of action, perseverance, and building a support system. I discovered that initial desire and willpower were essential kick-starters, but they alone couldn't sustain the momentum required for lasting change.
I envisioned my goal with total clarity, a mental image of myself in black leggings and a t-shirt radiating pride. This vision would serve as my north star, steering me through the darkest moments.
I honed strategies to navigate the challenges of my reduced-calorie diet, combating boredom and emotional eating with tactics like distraction and connecting with my vision. Daily habits of long walks, cycling, gym workouts, and swimming became my foundation.
I confided my goal in a few trusted friends, but what truly solidified my success was the unwavering belief that my choices were steering me closer to my vision.
This journey of transformation not only reshaped my physique but also my mindset. The self-belief and confidence I gained would fuel my pursuit of higher education, shattering the self-imposed limitations that had once held me back.
My journey didn't stop there, and I went on to have a successful personal training business where I was exposed to the struggles of my clients, who poured their efforts into workouts but faced roadblocks when I wasn't present. This curiosity about why this happened led me to explore the intricacies of personalities, strengths, and weaknesses, unravelling the secrets of those who achieved their goals and those who kept chasing them.
But my life really changed when a friend posed a simple yet profound question: "What are your personal goals?" To my surprise, I found myself at a loss. I had been a devoted mother and wife, but beyond that, my aspirations were hazy at best. This transformed the spark into a fire within me, igniting my curiosity and expanding my horizons. My friend introduced me to podcasts and books on psychology and personal growth, opening the door to a world of self-education and personal development.
A new chapter
In September 2022, I embarked on a new chapter, blending my passion for personal development with coaching. I wanted to help individuals in a one-to-one setting, to empower others with the tools and guidance they needed to shape their lives.
Jumping forward to that night in March and the trajectory that took me on, would you believe I was still able to complete my coaching diploma on time, graduating in June 2023? How? My personal development journey allowed me to centre myself, stay in the moment, and find peace and certainty that would guide me.
Having invested countless hours in my personal development, passionately reading books, watching videos and listening to podcasts on human behaviour and mindset together with my professional coach training I knew I had a choice. Instead of being overwhelmed by the news of the two brain tumours I decided to observe, accept, and question my thoughts. I chose to curate my experience by aligning my thoughts and words with gratitude and optimism, creating a clear distinction between suffering and peace. Negative emotions, I realised, could lead to a troubled mindset, and I yearned to construct an environment that fostered peace to help me through my experience and to minimise the impact on my family as well as those who were supporting me.
So, I resolved to take charge of my thoughts, to protect my mental fortitude. Although I couldn't control the physical aspects of my journey, I found solace in knowing I had the power to manage my thinking.
My journey is far from over; I'm still unable to drive, I don't have the complete sensation on my left side that I once did, and I'll be on medication for at least a year. But I've learnt the power of trust, the importance of going with the flow, and the realisation that fear and stress are constructs of the mind.
Undoubtedly, my life had been upended, but the extraordinary calm I experienced during those moments between the initial seizure and surgery reshaped my perspective. My arsenal of mental and emotional resilience strategies has proven invaluable. I had learned to observe, accept, and redirect my thoughts, a powerful tool in navigating the storm of my experiences. My vision of a successful outcome has carried me through some of the darkest moments.
Whilst my story sounds extraordinary, no magical pill helped me form this positive mindset and outlook on my circumstances. I whole-heartedly believe that with the right tools and education anyone can train their mind and embrace peace like I did.
I'm Becky, Wellness Coach, Personal Trainer, wife and mum of two teenage girls.
I hope my story of resilience and personal development will inspire you to embark on your own journey of self-discovery and transformation.