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8Wise and Me

8Wise and Me - Kim Rutherford

I had seen inside my first mental health hospital when I was 8 years old. As a visitor I didn’t find it scary, I didn’t find mental health or mental illness scary either.  I just accepted it as part of life, as a part of my life. Fast forward ten years and as I visited another mental health hospital, the reality of mental health and mental illness really had sunk in.  In that previous 10 years I had observed first-hand the ignorance of others towards those with mental health issues.  I had seen the stigma first hand and experienced how that stigma impacts entire families, livelihoods and social support systems. To me mental health had become ugly and something to fear, not from those who experienced issues but from ever developing mental health issues myself, my prime focus in life was to fit in and I knew potential problems with mental health wud do the exact opposite.  So, I got on with my life, or so I thought.

The funny thing about fear, the thing you fear is ever too far away because you carry it with you, like a ghost in the corner of your eye. I lived like that for another 20 years after my last mental health hospital visit.  Ignoring any signs of a mental health dip, digging in deeper to prove my ‘normality’ to the world so I would not suffer with the stigma I had seen my loved one’s experience. 

So, I ignored the signs of extreme stress, burnout, binge eating disorder, anxiety and depression and let them completely consume me until they left me with agoraphobia and at rock bottom.  But for me there was only one option, only one way to go when you hit the bottom and that’s bounce back up and if I couldn’t get access to the necessary health support to do that due to extreme waiting lists then I would have to do it for myself. I would have to take care of my own recovery, and this is how I stated to complete the research that led to me developing 8Wise – it was my own recovery plan and then my own prevention plan.  It then became a recovery plan and prevention plan for my clients and then it evolved further into my books, my podcast, my programme, my training courses and my soon to be membership portal. 

As a quick reminder 8Wise is based on four core dimensions of wellbeing each with two pillars of pressure, this creates your wellness spectrum.  When life events enhance your stress levels those stress levels impact your wellness spectrum adding pressure to the pillars of pressure. By focussing on these eight key elements and implementing strategies to remove them or balance them we can create our own recovery and prevention strategies.  As I always say if the national statistics tell us 1 in 4 people are suffering with a mental health issue, then they are also telling us that 3 in 4 people are at risk of developing one.  Therefore, there needs to be a methodology to help with both sides of that statistic and 8Wise™ does exactly that. It is the blueprint for developing optimal mental health and wellbeing.

Or as a wise man once said told me, you are teaching people to swim.  I gawped at him not really understanding what he meant, and then he explained.  The total volume of water on Earth is estimated at 1.386 billion km³ (333 million cubic miles).  Humans are going to have to interact with water and will face dangers and risks when doing that. To reduce the dangers and the risks associated with so much water we could line the seashores and riverbanks with lifeguards who could support in saving those who face troubles with the water.  Or we could teach everyone to swim giving them the skills to move through the water with less danger and less risks, learning how to manage the dangers and potentially saving themselves, always knowing that support is still available on the shoreline and riverbanks if they need it.  Kim, he said, 8Wise is giving people the skills to swim and learn to take care of themselves when facing the difficult waters associated with psychological wellbeing, whilst still providing additional support if they are unable to overcome all those dangers and risks themselves – because after all even the strongest swimmer gets fatigued and tired at times and needs to reach out for support.”

I used 8Wise to teach myself to swim through the difficult waters of psychological wellbeing. I got myself back to shore, there were times when I needed some additional support from others, but ultimately, I developed the skills that allow me to swim in the oceans, rivers and seas of life, the muddy waters that cause confusion, the swirling waters that cause overwhelm and the choppy waters that lead to exhaustion and almost defeat. And now I teach others to swim too by learning to live the 8Wise Way for a healthier happier life.

If you have recognised that your frazzled burnt-out mind is becoming a constant part of your life rather than a rare part of it, then the 8 Wise™ Wellness Programme could be for you.  It is available as one to one coaching sessions, training, through our book resources and podcast and through our new membership platform, launching soon.  Through the programme you can develop the knowledge and skills needed to ‘Live the 8 Wise Way’ and develop optimal mental health and wellbeing for an improved quality of life.

If you would like to book a session or register for our next programme, get in touch today.

For more information on 8Wise and the mental health services provided check out the rest of this website.

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