The Darkest Hour Is Always Before the Dawn – the Gift of Total Despair

It’s amazing how a conversation with someone close to us, or a random text message can make our whole world come crushing down to the point that life no longer seems like an attractive option to entertain. I found myself in that space in summer 2013, after my then husband told me about his cancer diagnosis and then accidentally sent me a text message intended for somebody he was having an affair with.

I was studying counselling at the time, but no amount of knowledge could have prepared me for the grief, anger, despair, shame and the whole array of other negative emotions that I felt. My body, which previously had been quite healthy, decided to go on strike and I developed insomnia, headaches, digestive problems, constant anxiety, dysregulated appetite and crushing chest pains. Because of my prior training as a nutritionist, my first port of call was to address those issues with supplements for the nervous and adrenal systems and to keep my diet as healthy as possible. And while it helped to manage the symptoms to some extent, they still persisted. I experienced some physical relief when, after my husband’s operation, it turned out that his tumour was not malignant, however I was by no means out of the woods, as my marriage was still dying.

In the space of two years that followed, I unsuccessfully tried to engage my husband in couple’s therapy and my health also took a turn for the worse. As a result of constant emotional stress and a couple of nasty viral infections, I developed chronic fatigue by 2015 and was absolutely on my knees as far as being able to think straight or have consistent energy to do things on daily basis. During that time, I tried to further improve my health by engaging in individual counselling, mindfulness practices such as meditation and guided visualisations, energy healing and dancing, but only had partial success with those modalities.

By spring 2015 I asked my husband for divorce, as the emotional pain I was in got too much for me to bear. While I was amidst quite severe depression following my request, I had a lightbulb moment one day. I realised, that despite my training as a naturopathic nutritionist and always advising my clients about the unity of one’s body, mind and spirit, I subconsciously had sabotaged my own health by feeding my mind thoughts of death and no longer being interested in life as a result of my problems. At that point it dawned on me that in order for me to regain my health, I needed to find something that would make my life worth living again, rather than just relying on nutrition or psycho-spiritual support I was receiving. It has been a long journey with quite a few bumps along the way, but I am finally getting there – finding my vitality and smile, reasons to be grateful and happy, making new friends and memories and above all making my life count for something again.

Barbara Wicks

Resilience.Hope.Encouragement.

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” said Maya Angelou. I embrace that life philosophy wholeheartedly myself and try to encourage my clients to do the same. I have a background in nutritional therapy and some counselling training (I am not a certified counselor though) and strongly believe that the state of our health is the reflection of the well-being of our mind, body and spirit combined. I therefore use this wholistic approach while working with clients in order to help them achieve the best results possible. I myself have struggled with and overcame some challenging health issues in the past, so can guide my clients in their journey towards more radiant health from the place of compassion and understanding for the difficulties they might sometimes face along the way. I have particular interest in working with digestive health, immunity, stress, energy, weight issues and body image concerns.