This week, I had the privilege of meeting Naomi, a highly accomplished coach running her own practice. Instantly, you'll find yourself drawn to her warmth and authenticity. Naomi's journey as a survivor has empowered her to turn her pain into a powerful tool for guiding and uplifting others.


Who am I? That’s a question I ponder often. Today, I am the owner and director of a Mental Health Consultancy. We offer person-centred support, therapy, and advocacy services. I am a speaker and a mental health practitioner. I am a relatively new mummy. I am a partner to the love of my life. I am a survivor, a thriver, a dreamer, and a doer...

But it didn’t always use to be like this for me. No. With all the niceties and empowerment I get through helping others; today, I will be vulnerable and share my story. 

Believe it or not, a little vulnerability is good for you now and again, scary but good. There is so much beauty and power in vulnerability.

I’ve learned and continue to learn more daily since becoming a new mum and partner to a man who loves me and sees my value.

My life had been one wrong turn after another, and if I didn’t change direction, I’d end up in a spiral, repeating the same mistakes with a worse outcome, usually at the detriment of my emotions and mental health. 

Today, seeing the past as a place of reference, not a place of existence, and when it comes to mental well-being, it is vital to know you aren’t your mistakes, wrong choices, or past. We are continuously growing. 

Before I go on and show you C.A.N, a simple model of reflection I created, I want to share more about my story.

Growing up

I grew up in a home, and on reflection, I guess it was only a matter of time before I would endure not one but perhaps a lifetime, at least until my late twenties, episodes of poor to non-existent mental health.

My biological father was a functioning alcoholic who you wouldn’t ever want to look at in the wrong way for the risk of him flying into a temper with both my mum and me. Domestic violence and emotional abuse were a thing that left me feeling beyond worthless, and it brought me an example of relationships to come later. 

My mother was quite physical with discipline, and being a bit reckless, it seemed to become the norm of expectations to disappoint her with my achievements and desire for better. 

We grew up on a council estate between our grandparents, who were and still are the greatest inspiration, even years after their passing. Their love, intelligence, and demeanour were the inspiration to be and do better. It pushed me through and reminded me that love is the answer, whether for yourself or those who have wronged you. Love, the real meaning of love, is unconditional. 

I found myself homeless at eighteen and again at twenty-three. Likely, my parents would say I left on my own accord. But, when constantly told that you are unloved, a mistake, not wanted, and shouldn’t be in the home, there is no unity in the family. 

Growing up and exposed to things no young woman should witness. I fell into the wrong crowd. I did things that didn’t sit right with my soul. I found myself attracted to toxic situations and people. Even when you want to be better, you can never heal in the places that keep and make you sick.

Hitting Rock Bottom

In 2018, hitting rock bottom, I attempted to take my own life. I was so alone in the world, in an abusive relationship where I had no friends or freedom. My only friend was depressed and anxious, it felt like.

I no longer wanted to be here. I wanted to take my life. The thing for me with the suicide attempt is that I never really wanted to die, but I did need the deep pain within me to stop. I overdosed and tried to jump out of a car at full speed. Not my brightest moment, yet it turned out to be a turning point.

And it was in that dark, treacherous place I knew I had to sort myself out. I started thinking about how to move forward and be better than the situations I’d already found myself entwined with to determine my self-worth. 

I stayed in the toxic relationship for another year and began searching within. Reading helped, journaling, and reaching out for support privately through the women’s aid organisation. I planned my escape. 

How I Learned To Heal

I vowed to never settle for anything less than my worth. I told myself I could do it.

The CAN model is a simple tool I use with my new clients about the importance of self-love during trauma, crisis, and difficult situations. Think about how we treat others in distress. We care for them, we listen, we are there. Yet, when it comes to ourselves, do we care enough about our well-being in these times? Maybe a little, but never fully.

The CAN Model
- This is the kindest thing we can do for ourselves when struggling. It’s ok to rest, it’s ok to take time for yourself, and it’s even ok to eat that tub of ice cream if it makes you feel better (but don't make it a regular thing). It’s vital to be aware of our feelings and feel them to heal. Cliched as it sounds, the feeling is the passage to release those emotions we may internalise. Talk to yourself with love, and recognise what you need.

Awareness - Do you pay attention to your own needs? Like fully? Or are we in full-blown people-pleasing mode to fit in? News flash! We aren’t born to fit in. We are born to stand out. The more awareness we give ourselves, feelings, or needs, the better we feel. Not selfish, but rather self-care.

Nurture - Compassion, and awareness of our feelings lead us to nurture ourselves. But self-care goes deeper than a spa day or that tub of ice cream. Yes. To nurture means we have to go a little deeper. Think of your inner child when a situation is turbulent. How would you reassure them? How would you care for them? 

Difficult Days and Gratitude

Some days are still difficult, and we may experience feelings like we can’t go on. I remember those days, and I would be lying if I said everything will always be ok. But whatever it is passes eventually. 

Through my own experiences,  I have been diagnosed with CPTSD. It’s like PTSD but a little more spicy and doesn’t stem from one situation. It makes perfect sense to me now. I have had a plethora of incidents throughout my life. Today, I am grateful for everything that has led me to a place that feels like a loving home. For my well-being, I distanced myself from those who tried to destroy me. 

But perspectives are so important and I can’t stress this enough! Healing isn’t linear. I wish I could tell you it was. It’s like a spiral wheel that comes round again to the things that hurt you. It is up to you how to take it on and heal from it. I’m living proof of this. 

Love Naomi

Naomi is available at her practice NLB Coaching Solutions - Turning her pain into power she is more than equipped to help, support and nurture those she works with. Her efforts have seen her published in Yahoo Finance last year as a top coach to look out for as well as several publications locally and internationally.

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