I have realised that many clients have rightly searched the background of their therapist to gain some greater understanding and confidence of who they are going to meet, so this page is to acknowledge and highlight this point. My swimming career was cut short as a teenager when I was told I would not swim again, after a last resort treatment for Menieres Disease, which I tried various treatments and surgery for throughout my teenage years. I had to learn to walk again aged 17, following ototoxic treatment, and the worse part of this was closing my eyes and trying to sleep; I felt I was on a precipice and that I would fall off the face of the earth, should I move a muscle.
This was the devastating end of my swimming career. Not only that, I struggled to get back to school and I remember sitting in the classroom, not knowing how to talk to my friends; the hospital experience and several months following had truly shocked me. It was not the swimming that I lost, but the travel abroad, the connection with people, the love of languages and more. I grieved for years and tried desperately to return, believing if only I pushed hard enough....
Pushing myself so hard ended up with a diagnosis of vestibular migraines; my brains' version of telling me that it was not coping. This however, was the true start of acceptance and healing in a psychological perspective. Around the same time, I found out that swimming outside embraced my sensory knowledge that I had from years of childhood swimming, whilst not overwhelming me visually as a swimming pool would do.
I dared to dream that I could swim the English Channel, and following a stressful time in my life in 2018 I booked it for 3 years in advance, because this is the waiting list for the support boat. No Covid Pandemic on the horizon at the time, I had no idea that swimming pools would end up closed and travel would be so restricted that I could not get to the coast to train. My channel swim training was condensed into a short period in 2021. I had to really trust my body and most importantly, not push it because this would send my brain/balance system into a form of rebellion. Lo and behold, in 2021 I became a solo channel swimmer and the First Deaf GB female to do so, and likely the first in the World with a vestibular disorder.