Healing Stories: Counselor Faces Huge Anxiety in the Face of Hurricane Irma
It’s not often that we hear the gut wrenching truth from a mental health professional about facing their own anxiety in one of the biggest storms in life.
But that’s what is one of many things that separates David Essel, A number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host from so many other individuals in this world… Is that he’s willing to share his vulnerable moments as well as his powerful ones.
David is still suffering from the effects of hurricane Irma as this article is being written. He finally found a hotel to stay in after four nights of sleeping in a home without electricity and temperatures reaching 100° every evening. David shares what he believes to be the most important keys in dealing with anxiety in life.
“I’ve been through several hurricanes as I’ve lived in Florida for the last 40 years and everyone of them brings a different type of anxiety. Fear. Unsettledness. But the most recent one, hurricane Irma, affected me in a way I had never experienced it before.
The massive size of the hurricane was one thing that we had to all contend with, and as the news reports leading up to the striking of this hurricane became more prevalent, it was obvious this could be the worst ever. Some people were saying it was four or five times the size of hurricane Andrew that absolutely destroyed many communities around Miami Florida.
I live on the West Coast of Florida, Fort Myers Florida, and we weren’t sure if we are going to get a direct hit or not. In the beginning of the forecast it looked like it was going to go up the East Coast of Florida… But that was to change quickly.
My home is in a flood zone so I had arranged a hotel not far from where I live to take myself and my dog because they have generators. I figured what better place to be than 3 to 4 stories above the ground in a hotel with generators. But on the day we were supposed to move in, Saturday, they closed the hotel. Now what the hell do I do?
I started calling around to realtor friends to see if anyone had a home that I could rent for even a week or two or a month in case the damage from the hurricane was that bad. But no one could find anything for me to jump into at the last minute.
I decided not to evacuate because I knew I had a safe place in the hotel but I had no idea that safe place would be taken from underneath me.
I started to call friends of mine and found one, John Biffar, who was out of town and said I could stay in his condominium which might be a little safer than my house. So I moved in with my dog and sat down to battle what could be the storm of the century.
For the past seven days I had been planning for this. Plenty of food. Water. Flashlights. Everything I could possibly need if it was going to be an extended stay outside of my house.
But then things started to change on the news. It looked like Irma was taking a direction towards Fort Myers and away from Miami. At about 3 o’clock in the afternoon I lost it. Tears started streaming down my face. I was on the ground floor condominium, not far from a major river, and if we did get a direct hit I was Surely going to be flooded out of here as well.
As tears streamed down my face, I looked down and there was my dog Saint looking up at me, I told him that I was human, I was afraid, and we would make it through somehow.
I know, as a counselor, that the most important thing to do with emotions when we’re feeling them is to actually feel them! So I started writing. Journaling. And then I posted on Facebook, something I never do about my personal life, because I knew it was time to do so. There are millions of other people I’m sure that felt the same way I did, but probably were not going to share it in a public setting.
So I posted a very short note on Facebook that this huge wave of anxiety had just passed through me, tears are streaming down my face, I was feeling the effects of a potential direct hit from the hurricane Irma, and it’s OK. This is what we’re supposed to do. When we feel deep anxiety, depression, rage, resentments, we need to feel them, write about them to help process these emotions out of our body
This is not something that men are taught how to do. Many women refuse to express deep emotions as well. But I knew that by posting this on Facebook not only would I be human, because the fear was real, but I might actually help other people to realize it’s OK for them to go deep into their feelings as well.
The outpouring on Facebook was immediate. Many people posted underneath my post that they “were feeling the same thing and thank you for giving them a voice. Thank you for allowing your emotions to touch ours. We are all in this together.”
And this is what I have based my work on for 27 years now. When people come in and they’re going through a life trauma, one of life’s many big storms, addiction, divorce, bankruptcy, extreme weight gain, I help individuals to process their emotions over and over again instead of hiding them, stuffing them, or pretending they’re not there.
The results is instantaneous but you need to keep processing these emotions with the different tools we use on a daily basis in order for them not to get stuck in our bodies, minds and spirits.
My anxiety was well-founded. We did get a direct hit and by the time Irma hit us thank God she was down to a category 2. But as I write this, nine days later, I have moved to a hotel room with air-conditioning awaiting the power to come back on in my life. Every day I write about what I’m actually feeling, being displaced, I’m uncertain of when I can go home. I will survive, thrive and more, and one of the reasons why is because I’m allowing myself to be human, to feel, to process, to heal.”
***When tragedy hits… Americans come together. It’s what we’ve done since the beginning of time. And today, with the combined tragedy of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, is no different. David Essel is a counselor, life coach, best-selling author, radio host and an all faith a minister who has personal experience in the tragedy of hurricanes.
“Unfortunately, I know the devastation of hurricanes on a very personal level. I am now offering, to all of the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, 20 minute phone sessions to help alleviate stress, calm nerves, and anything else I can do.” Says David.
Some of the areas David can help are as followed:
As an all faith minister, David can work with people of all spiritual and or religious backgrounds. Nonreligious people: David will help you with your challenges that have nothing to do with prayer, religion, or spirituality.
“Reach out to your friends and family. Ask professionals in your area for help. The only way to get through these difficult times is to have faith, work as a community and to look for solutions to take care of your immediate needs. I hope I can be part of that solution, and will look forward to helping as many people as I can,” says Essel.
For more for Information on David, visit his website www.davidessel.com
Healing Stories: A Transgendered Teen Finds Peace
Life is hard. Life is challenging for everyone. And to come to the realization that you may not be connected to the gender or sex that you were born into is an incredibly challenging experience for everyone.
Number one best-selling author, Counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has a story to share about one teenager he worked with the could open our eyes to the challenges faced by these individuals.
“She came in looking for help because her mom was tired of her depression. Her dad had continued to look the other way and whenever his wife would say I think our girl is struggling with depression he would just give a very simple answer that all teenagers struggle like our girl struggles.
But this young girl, a senior in high school, felt something was amiss her entire life. She had no interest in wearing dresses. She had no interest in being part of girl talk, or a clique, or a gossip group from elementary school through junior high through high school.
She had always felt different. But she couldn’t explain what the difference was. She was drawn to jeans, sneakers, skateboards, fishing, even blowing up glass bottles with firecrackers. Not the normal type of behavior of a young girl according to society.
At our first session she was very quiet, despondent, sullen. I asked just general questions about depression, anxiety, her friends, or lack of friends, and she started to express towards the end of the session a need to talk about something very important. As our time ran out that day, I told her that I would make more time with her next week if she needed more than an hour in our session. Her eyes lit up! She was so excited to come back the next week and said that she wanted to talk about things that were hard to talk about. I told her I was there for her.
The next week we started talking about her depression again. How she didn’t like school and didn’t really want to go to school. The list went on and on.
And then about halfway through the session she looked at me and said, “Mr. David, I’m not a normal girl. I don’t know how to say this other than I am a boy. I’m trapped in a girls body Mr. David, but I am a boy.”
It all made sense in an instant. I was sitting in front of a young transgendered girl who knew she was a boy. Do you know how difficult that would be? To be born of a certain sex and gender and yet know in your heart and soul that that’s not who you are?
Within the next several weeks her attitude improved dramatically. She was actually fun in our sessions. Her mom and dad had contacted me on the phone and asked me what magic I was pulling with their daughter and that she was a totally different girl at home.
They said that she still had depressive episodes, but that 50% of the time she was lighthearted. Something they hadn’t seen in over 10 years.
After several weeks of working together she told her mom and dad that she would be no longer wearing make up. That her real interest, skateboarding, fishing and more we’re going to become a bigger part of her life.
Her parents were upset at first, and when they came in, I talked to them about the potential reality that their daughter was a transgendered youth. I asked them to do research. I pointed them in directions to organizations where they could learn more about this potential reality with their little girl. It was very, very hard for the parents to understand and the father wanted to shut down constantly.
He was withdrawing from his little girl, we could see it in his eyes, and all I could do is encourage him to be open-minded. His daughter could sense a huge shift in him as well and one day in our session she told me that there was nothing she could do about it. “I am born in a woman’s body but I’m a boy and somehow I hope my mom and dad will come to the realization and accept me for who I really am.”
The last time I saw her the depression has lifted almost 100%. She’d become more confident. More grounded. I have shared with her different organizations to join and more experts and professionals to get in contact with so that she could see that this, her new life, could offer her both extreme challenges and yet at the same time inner peace .
I miss working with her. She, on her way to becoming a he, was brave, real, and one of the most lovable individuals I’ve ever met. I hope the world accepts her as she is starting to accepts herself.”
If there is any situation in life, that you need help with, reach out to David at www.davidessel.com. Today is the best day to do so.
Read more stories like this in David’s number one best-selling book
Healing Stories: Finances – From Dead Broke to Financially Free.
Carrying financial debt is probably one of the most incredible stressors that we can face on a daily basis. But the truth is we don’t have to live this way if you’re willing to change our approach to income, expenses and debt .
For the last 27 years, counselor, life coach, radio host and number one best-selling author David Essel has helped thousands of people to shatter financial stress in order to lead a healthier and more productive life.
The story below is one of David’s clients who came to him totally stressed about her life in general and at the end of their work together found financial freedom in a most interesting way.
“I’ll never forget the first session with Angela from the west coast of the United States, as she went on sharing with me about how stressful her life was. She wanted me to help her with organization as her house was a mess, relationship in turmoil, even her work… The list went on and on.
Within a few weeks though it was evident that there was one thing in her life that was really causing 90% of her turmoil. It had to do with her income. It was so low that no matter how much she tried to watch her expenses she could never make ends meet.
(Now as a sidenote in teaching my course, Financial Freedom Now, I can tell you that there’s only a small percentage of people who are struggling financially where it’s their lack of income that’s the number one problem. For most people their real struggle is their daily, weekly and monthly expenses that they’re not paying close enough attention to. In other words, they’re buying whatever they want when they want to even if it’s not within their budget.)
Angela’s situation was quite different. She had a high school diploma, was working in a bank, making minimum wage and it wasn’t enough at all for her to even cover her monthly bills.
Now this part is shocking. After our initial few sessions she asked me what would it take in order for her to turn her life around. And I said quite honestly it would take 90 days of working with me five days a week and your financial situation would radically improve!
Now she didn’t know what to do. Her friends and family said do not pay this coach, this financial counselor, any money where you’re going to work with him that much. You don’t have the money. It’s too expensive. It will never work.
But for some reason Angela believed in what I said. She signed up. We talked five days a week for 90 straight days! She would get up at 4:30 in the morning her time to do our sessions. Then at the end of working nine hour days, she would put two hours every night Monday through Friday into doing the homework I gave her, helping her to search for a new job.
She worked her butt off. She did more in 90 days than most people do in two years when they’re trying to turn their financial situation around. No matter what I asked her, how many people to contact, how many emails to send out, how many job interviews to go on she never said no.
And the end result? In 90 days, she was offered a job at double her income! And a few days later? She got another job even offering her more money!
But, and this is a big but, she did the work, I must repeat this, that most people won’t do. If you’re serious about changing your financial situation follow Angela’s role and do those things that you’d rather not do.
Get outside of your comfort zone.
Hire someone, whether it’s me or someone else, to teach you about budgeting. About decreasing expenses. So many people I’ve worked with have told me that there’s no way they can decrease their expenses but three weeks into the program they look at me shaking their head thinking oh my Lord! I can cut here, and here, and here… And my stress is already reducing.
If you’re tired of worrying about money contact me and we will take you through our Financial Freedom Now course and you will absolutely love it. Information is available, underneath our specialty courses link, at www.davidessel.com