Hello, I'm David, and I'm a counsellor specialising in dealing with burnout, stress, and anxiety. I'm good at dealing with it because I was very good at being it.
The people pleasing, the need for perfection, and the external nature of my self-worth was a rollercoaster of engaging too much in work and not enough in my own self care. What happened as a result? The unforeseen car crash that is a mental break when it all gets too much.
I used crutches to get me through - the ephemeral quick fixes that, in reality, just compound the problem. Drinking, partying, the distraction of working even harder. Guess what? None of it helped.
In all honesty, it was a shit show. A repeating pattern of burn out, change jobs, burn out, change jobs. The jobs weren't the problem though. Doesn't matter where you go, you always carry your head with you.
10 years ago I decided to train as a counsellor. It was something I was really interested in, but as happens to many of us, I'd gone down the totally wrong path when it came to my career. I've been a chef. I've been a defence engineer. I've worked in corporate finance, digital agencies, and software development. None of them were the right fit, so you can imagine that it didn't contribute to any sense of feeling "good".
When you're training as a counsellor, you spend a lot of time self-reflecting. Working on yourself so that you don't project your own shit on to your clients. It was a revelatory time. I came to recognise the aspects of my past that were playing out in my present, and it was that self awareness that really made a difference to both my outlook and my approach to my life.
Things like that primary school education being taught by Catholic nuns in the 1980s, and the deep rooted guilt that came with it (there's nothing like a good dose of Catholic guilt to wreck your sense of self worth). The years of working in environments that totally conflicted with my own values. The need to constantly prove myself to all those inner voices that said "you'll never be enough".
It was whilst I was training as a counsellor that I came back to my childhood interest of Buddhism in earnest. Diving into meditation, exploring the teachings, and investigating how they can applied in the context of Western living.
In 2020, I founded Fruitful Success. Taking the western ideas of psychotherapy and combining them with more holistic eastern practises, coupled with the learnings from my own journey, I strive to support those struggling with burnout and empower them with the tools to manage their stress.