Over the next decade I managed to establish myself in the world although lacked a real direction or purpose in life; I felt like I didn’t fit in to what society offered. Nevertheless, I stuck with it and at the time, this didn’t seem relevant – as I was happy enough.
During these years, I lost a friend to cancer and another to suicide, I lived in four countries, went back to Uni, emigrated to Australia and recently rebuilt the bridges with my father. From 30-40 I started several businesses in a number of different arenas, some worked, some didn’t, one devastated me financially and took 7 years to claw my way back to where I was before. I got married and divorced.
The business and the marriage break up, while not simultaneous, shattered me emotionally and physically. I was desperate, had suicidal thoughts but was too proud (and scared) to talk about it. While I managed to get through it, I was unknowingly scared and never dealt with the emotional issues that tortured me for so long.
Over the next ten years, I built two new small businesses and then married the person I considered my soul-mate; I had never been happier. During this time, I discovered free-diving and while no depth expert, I found great enjoyment and passion for the breath-hold work and benefits outside of diving. It helped with realising what my body could accomplish; usually so greatly held back by the mind. I started teaching breath-hold techniques to build confidence in the water, both for adults and kids, which continues today.
While the businesses continue to do well, without realising the ‘signs’, my marriage ended abruptly and uncontrollably. This took me to a whole new level of pain and despair. With the loss of my marriage I knew that I was unlikely to have a family of my own, whatever that might look like and I had no vision or sense of purpose. I’d hit rock bottom. I lived in my car for a period as I didn’t want to be around people and didn’t speak to a soul.
In this anguish and the darkest of thoughts, I made a decision. I was either going down a very bad path which I wasn’t sure I’d be able to come back from, or I was going to evaluate all aspects of my life, how I viewed the world and where I belonged in it; I made the choice to truly live.