As the NHS, bereavement charities and qualified grief recovery specialist continue to play a vital role in Covid-19 response support; Health Coach and Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist, Carol Wright, from Northampton, has released her second book, which she completed during lockdown, which shares her personal experience of loss together with her expert advice and action steps on how to navigate loss and bereavement.
This week Carol became a global bestselling author when her second book, ‘UNSEEN – How to recognise the link between loss and its devastating impact on the body’, became a bestseller within hours of its release flying straight in at Number 1 on the Amazon bestseller charts in categories; Health, Mind & Body Reference, Mental Illness and Medical Reference (Kindle Store).
Loss can destroy people in so many unseen ways. Within this bare-all book, Carol focuses on her personal experiences of loss throughout her lifetime and combines this with her health coaching experience and grief recovery training to guide those struggling with grief to help others understand some of the unseen physical effects that grief can have on our bodies, she also offers others hope, guidance, tips and methods for coping with some somewhat taboo subjects too.
Carol has experienced, lived with and overcome many losses throughout her life; starting with childhood experiences, being brought up in a divorced family where she never saw her birth father – a loss that many children experience, to career issues, the loss of health and to the loss of parents and the experience of grieving close friends and family.
Carol started her career in the police force in the late seventies; this is something she had always dreamed of doing, following her stepfather’s footsteps. However, a devastating knee injury during the first weeks of training limited her full experience of the force and Carol ended up being more in the office than out on the beat. This led to comfort eating through the night shifts in order to stay awake and this affected her eating patterns and gut health, as well as her body clock being all over the place. This led her to reconsider her career path and Carol went on to become a Lawyer.
When Carol’s stepfather passed away 9 years ago, she felt the full affects of bereavement on her body and this loss led to burnout. She recalls; “To those that knew me, they saw a woman who coped with everything that was thrown at her, yet on the inside, I bottled things up and never spoke about anything that bothered me. Everyone thought I was coping. However, one day, it all went horribly wrong, turning into such a deep downward spiral. I was walking the dog on a cold October evening, after what I thought was a fairly stress-free day. I had thrown the ball for my friendly cockerpoo, Amber, and then suddenly all went BLACK. One minute I was upright and the next… I can’t remember what happened… I looked like I’d done ten rounds with Mike Tyson – my lip was bust, the side of my nose was scraped and I had a black eye and I’d broken both my hands… yes both of them! This new accident just added to my list of complications; a bad back following fracturing my coccyx in my twenties, two knee replacements, thyroid issues… but, for some reason, I didn’t feel the pain from my hand breaks at the time – I was numb. I realised that for a while, following my stepfather’s death and having to care for my mum – I had gone into autopilot mode, I hadn’t really been coping. I wasn’t even existing. I was depressed, suicidal and a wreck physically and emotionally. I wasn’t really me anymore.”
It was at this point Carol sought some support and professional help, but found that there was a 9 month wait on the NHS, so Carol decided to work on her mindset and self-care herself – she did this by speaking to a health coach, reading self-help books, journaling, educating herself around food and getting out in nature. Carol continues; “I realised that it was time to start making changes because I hated the way I lived and I couldn’t keep on that way any more and I had to take action.” This passion for change, led Carol to retrain in 2016 to become a health coach and when she qualified in 2018 she launched her business Healthy Minds Matter. Then in 2019, following the loss of her mother, Carol became a qualified Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist – she now combines her health coaching knowledge and grief recovery training to deliver a 7 week action step course following an evidence-based programme which was founded in the USA.
Carol said; “One of the main factors for me is that on reflection, serious health challenges seemed to occur when I had severe losses in my life. I can pinpoint the losses in a timeline and then the health incidences afterwards. Some of my health issues did not come out for some years and others happened soon after the major loss. I ended up in a vicious circle at times. I also believe that had I not challenged my own outcomes and worked on my losses, I would not have come out stronger at the other end. I did not play victim or succumb to a life of being unwell. I didn’t want labels or pills. I wanted energy and a life that I could enjoy.”
Throughout her book, Carol opens up and provides guidance and comfort for readers experiencing loss, based on her coaching and personal life experiences. ‘Unseen’ explains the unseen and often unrecognised physical effects of loss and how looking after our physical body can hugely benefit the mental health.
Carol said; “I wrote this book as I am on a mission to help others unleash themselves from the darkness of loss, whether that is physical or mental loss. People think loss is to do with death only, but it is much more than that and after a death, we often go into overdrive mode, sorting and organising – some may emotionally eat or not eat at all, some may drink more or dive into work in order to stay busy, some may have health problems or accidents that are triggered by loss, and many can experience a lack of self-worth and self-care and this can all often lead to burnout.
“I wanted to share my story, warts and all, to show others that no matter what you have been through or what you are currently going through, there is a way forward that can heal your broken heart.”
Throughout ‘Unseen’, Carol explores a range of subject matters; Childhood losses, divorce, career losses, miscarriage, health, caring for parents, death of parents, death of loved ones, cancer, compassion fatigue, self-care, victim mentality and overcoming adversity. At the end of each chapter Carol shares questions, expert advice, hints and tips that the reader can consider and use.
With the immediate overnight success the book has already had, it’s clear to see that the book is needed and it has already been well received by many across the globe. To purchase a copy of the book please visit Amazon.