This week’s been a busy one for Brighton business coach, entrepreneur and author Ebonie Allard, who has been speaking out to raise awareness for mental health, following World Mental Health Day on Monday.
As you may have read, shockingly 1 in 4 of us will personally experience a mental illness. Ebonie is sadly just one woman who found herself having a breakdown and scarily thinking about committing suicide.
On the outside she had a fantastic life; working as a Freelance TV & Film Production Buyer, Stylist, and Project / Event Manager. Working hard and playing harder, before long she found herself suffering from ‘burnout’ at the end of each job and needing to retreat to Thailand for fasting and yoga. Feeling empty and uninspired, she then went on to create a successful virtual assistant business. But within two years, Ebonie felt stuck, lost and completely worn out.
“I stopped listening and found myself alone and disconnected. I was in a pattern of feeling separate, of not belonging, of feeling like a failure, and I saw my vulnerability as weakness. I was in a cycle of picking myself up and just getting through it,” she says.
Then one day she found herself contemplating suicide and visiting her doctors for anti-depressants – something she never thought she’d do. “This was my rock bottom. No yoga, diet, CBT, retreat, or advice was going to pull me up from the floor this time; I felt flat, my life was completely grey, there was no colour.”
After moving to Bali to ‘figure out’ who she was and think about all the adventures and twists and turns her life had taken, Ebonie decided to become a coach and help creative freelancers, business owners and fellow ‘misfits’ to simplify their lives to become bolder, freer and happier! She has also become an author (of Misfit to Maven) and fortunately now feels inspired and creative.
“I know what it feels like to feel like a misfit, an outsider, different and alone and I want to help people know that there is a place for them and that all of them is never too much and always enough. That whatever life they dream of having is possible. A life less ordinary is achievable whoever you are. I want to empower and inspire.”
The Breakdown, Burnout and Breakthrough Coach (named after three vital sections in her life) believes that speaking out about mental illness is a must:
“It is important to keep having vulnerable conversations (about mental health) until there is no stigma around mental illness and vulnerability is not correlated with weakness,” she explains.
“We need to be as aware of our mental health as we are other areas of our wellbeing and a thorough understanding of the mind body connection should be the norm.”
As well as positively encouraging conversations about mental health, Ebonie aims to ‘enable’ entrepreneurs to have fewer burnouts and experience more breakthroughs via 121 coaching, the M2M80 experience (covering 8 steps to moving from ARGH to AHHH!) and Group VIP Days.