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Guest Blog: John Young

This month’s guest blog comes from John Young, owner of White Rabbit events.

John talks candidly about his mental health struggles and how a trip away launched his unique business idea.

Published: 30 September 2021

More and more of us struggle with our “Mental Health”

This is my story, in my own words about my struggle with mental health and how I found something that changed my life.

Back in 2015 I was struggling with my mental health, I was stressed with my job, it was playing heavy on my mind which was causing me anxiety,  when I look back now I have realised it was happening longer than just in 2015.

As we came to the end of October 2015 I was thinking there was only one way out, so I started to plan to end it all, being a guy in my late forties at that time I felt like a failure, I felt there was no one to talk to! “How wrong could I be” as it happened my girlfriend realised there was something dramatically wrong with me and I broke down and revealed what I was planning to do to end my life.

Moving forward was a long hard process, the next 12 to 18 months were the hardest of my life, from one to one counselling, to group CBT(Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) where the first day I had to face 3 people I knew, surly that would make it easier, not in my mind it made me sit and sob for the duration of the first session only muttering my name when asked, in my mind this was just reiterating the fact I was a failure. Lack of self-belief is so common and so hard to snap out of, but once you have the tools and know how to create self-belief you can build your mental strength and encourage other to build theirs too.

How did I get that mental strength? My girlfriend took me to a boutique style festival in the Czech Republic, not everyone’s cup of tea or even everyone’s medicine, there were all sorts of things to try and do, meditation, massage, trance dance & fire walking to name a few. The night we did the fire walking we had just completed a 2hr ‘Trance Dance’, blindfolded dancing to live music we used “Breath” “Sound” and “Movement” which induces nature endorphins and a form of natural psychedelics. Leaving the dance floor buzzing we went to find the fire walk, after some rudimental training we waited in turn to walk the hot coals, what happen next changed my life, when I stepped out onto the hot coals it felt like someone had plugged me back into life, it felt unreal, I had to try it again, so I did, and again and again! Wow what was this medicine? Why had it had this effect on me?

Fire walking stimulates your mind; you need to raise your own mental strength , seriously challenge yourself to achieve the mental strength to walk out onto hot coals that can be as hot as 500-600’F. So, walking the fire in the Czech’ Republic changed my mental state; it got me thinking of the future and not the past, thinking could I become a fire walking instructor? Was this even a job? Can you get qualified as a fire walking instructor? All questions I put to Google back in my room the night of that fire walk.

A business plan was hatched, I spoke to all of the local business support groups and started the road to where I am today “Running my own fire walking business” When I qualified in August 2018, I thought my job was to teach people to fire walk, I soon realised fire walking is just a tool in my toolbox. My job is to help people believe in themselves again, so whether its walking on fire or putting the metal point of an archery arrow on their throat and walking forward to snap the arrow; it all take phenomenal self-belief! The thing is we all have that belief, and the courage to do these tasks… we just have to dig deep to find it!

Fear is the unknown, Self-belief is knowing your strong enough to try.

Business Northumberland along with NBSL have given me some of the tools to set up my business, they helped me when I was recovering with something I truly believed in.

We all need to help each other believe in ourselves and lastly “it’s ok to not to be ok”.

John Young

White Rabbit Events

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