Introducing Vanessa Wallace
Posted on 8th July 2022
So who am I?… I have certainly had quite a checkered past and struggled myself with anxiety, depression and addictions. I have also been, in the past, a chronic pleaser of others and full of low self-worth and without any self-belief. Sometimes I would not even speak for fear of being ‘wrong’. Now I am a workaholic, a mum to three wonderful young people, a grandma to two beautiful granddaughters and the owner of a black cat and two pugs. I got married in 2010 to a wonderful man who completely accepts me for who I am.
I now live in rural Northamptonshire, and I love Northamptonshire. My favourite thing about it is the canals. When I was a child we used to go for trips on the canals. The canals are so peaceful: the calm water, the ducks, moorhens and swans, the odd kingfisher and the sound of the boats chugging along. I used to love how that sound changed when you went under bridges or tunnels. How the sound used to bounce off the walls. I would often stand under them and shout, listening to my voice bouncing off the bricks. I was able to hear myself, something I was really quite afraid of most of the time, but it felt exhilarating in those moments. Perhaps those walls would hear me…
My parents are both dead now, my father was a consultant surgeon, my mother a nurse. She worked on the frontline when the soldiers came in from D Day on the wards in London. She would often speak of that experience. My Dad was posted to Scotland during the war and it was always a family joke how he got off so lightly, basically living in a household where he was heartily fed lots of Scottish porridge and really saw nothing of the war.
My father was very encouraging for my brothers and I to study hard in life, I do thank him for that now, but at the time it made me a bit resentful that I had to come back to University at the age of 19 when I was having a whale of a time selling boxer shorts on the beach in Lanzarote.
That was my first business enterprise!
Anyhow, I scraped through my initial degree in psychology and anthropology with a 3rd class and a chronic amphetamine addiction by that point. I was miserable, living in squats in London but thought I was cool and living the life I wanted. In fact, I was just rebelling (hence the REBEL method) against conformity, being responsible, I just wanted to be in a fantasy world all the time. I did not like this real life – it all felt too difficult.
Cutting a long story short, after reaching rock bottom in 1999, resulting in a period in rehab. There followed a journey of recovery and realisation, self-awareness and self-development, until I became a therapist in 2005. However, there will be more on that in a later chapter. This qualification amounted to me working in prisons, rehabs and for homeless charities.
There were three points in my life when I made significant shifts in who I am as a person. Funnily enough, all of these were 10 years apart. Number one was after a bad car accident in 1998, when I had lots of time laid up recovering from some quite serious injuries. During this time I enrolled on a counselling course. It was a revelation; I realised that I had choices in my life, something I had not understood before. Suddenly, I knew I could change my life if I wanted to. At the time I was feeling hopeless, negative and overwhelmed. In fact, I had got to the point that I did not want to go on living anymore; even though I did not have the courage to take my own life, I felt so stuck. The counselling course gave me some insight into the fact that I could change my life path if I wanted.
The second one was in 2008. I was ill for a period with swine flu. I was in a high-pressure job which involved working many hours. Life at home was not easy. I was constantly stressed and quite depressed. I had started taking some herbal substitutes to manage my depression but was waking up feeling so dark and bleak every morning. I was thinking, ‘is this it? Is this what my life has become?’ Even though I was away from the chaos of addiction my life was not right. I felt dissatisfied, incomplete, like I was living a life that other people felt I ‘should’ live, and I did not like myself. I was constantly anxious about sharing my voice and truth and felt I was just swerving from one crisis to the next.
During this time, I started to look at some coaching tools. I came across a cool exercise that looked at each area of my life and asked me to score how I was doing in them. There were quite a few where I scored low. I realised that this was why I was so unhappy, so I made it my mission to start to develop myself personally and be more in alignment with who I was. This was not an easy journey but piece by piece, learning new things, getting new help, going back into counselling and coaching, I started to feel so much better.
My most recent transformation was in 2018 when I was launching into my business, having been let go by a company I was working for. It was a long story but definitely an example of there being a silver lining to something which seemed quite catastrophic at the time. In fact, if that had not happened, I would not be here writing this book today.
During this period I learnt about crystals, colour therapy, meditation, yoga, feng shui and energy healing. These areas enhanced and reignited my belief in the spiritual side of life. I started to meditate and journal every day and practice yoga. I wrote this programme, the REBEL method. The REBEL method is in complete alignment with what I believe and have experienced to help with our mental health. It provides freedom from the darkness of depression and anxiety.
I gained a coaching qualification and stepped into my own power doing what I truly wanted to do with my life. I started to run retreats based on the REBEL method and I have never looked back.
Tagged as: #aboutvanessawallace
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