Why I do what I do (By Susan Murray)

Most Mickel Therapists have a recovery story to tell; most have been very ill with ME, CFS or Fibromyalgia, have been through the process of Mickel Therapy, recovered their health and their lives through it and then trained to become therapists in order to help others to do the same.

Since I am different, I am often asked why I became a Mickel Therapist. I have never suffered from these conditions…but my Mum did.

My Mum had ME and Fibromyalgia and IBS and, what seemed like, every single physical symptom ever linked to these conditions. She was largely bed-bound for long periods of time, registered disabled, medically retired and had to be pushed in a wheelchair any time she was able to get out of the house for a while.

I spent most of my teenage years caring for her, with the help of my brother when he wasn’t away at university. It was a difficult time because watching someone you love suffer, day in day out, is heartbreaking. I felt completely helpless. I wasn’t helpless – I did plenty to help; for the most part, I did the housework, took care of meals, made endless cups of Earl Grey tea, helped her get dressed, took her shopping, and generally did whatever she needed as much as I could.

But I still felt helpless. Because, no matter how much soup I made her, how many cups of tea I brought her, how many gifts and cards I gave her, to try and bring some joy into her life, how many times a day I asked her if there was anything she needed, or how many things I did so she wouldn’t have to struggle to do or hurt herself doing, I couldn’t take her pain away. I couldn’t relieve her of her many symptoms. I watched her struggle through every day for years and struggle through the frustration of having to struggle through every day.

And, as far as I, or she – or anybody – seemed to know, at that time, there was nothing that was going to take this away or make it any better. She was prescribed a horrendous cocktail of medicine to take every day but none of it appeared to ease any of it. So, no matter what I did for her, it wasn’t good enough to ease her suffering and I continued to feel helpless.

I loved my Mum, dearly, but her partner had been living with us for a few years and I was desperately unhappy at home, so I left at the age of 18 to go to college and study music. I went from there, with my then partner, down South where I went to university and found work after graduating. Despite frequent visits back during this time, I felt very distant from my home life and family. I had a new set of issues to deal with in my adult life which, I guess, was my main focus at the time.

So, when my Mum tried Mickel Therapy, I knew little of it; I only knew she had started a new type of therapy that involved her having to be honest about her emotions and that it seemed to be making a huge difference to her after only a couple of sessions. I don’t remember being aware, at the time, that she couldn’t continue because she couldn’t afford any more sessions and her partner (who was now her husband) refused to pay for them. I just remember that, instead of continuing to get better, she developed stomach cancer and was gone a couple of years later.

I realised something when she was in the hospice in the couple of weeks before she passed; I realised that she wouldn’t be there if certain things had been different. I suddenly saw the effect certain people had on her and how much they drained her energy.

She had had a traumatic childhood and a difficult adult life. She was not happy. She tried to be but it was as if she didn’t know how, or didn’t have the confidence or support to make certain changes; changes she would have had to make to regain any of her emotional and, by extension, physical health.

I recognised myself in her, at that time, and it scared me. I started to recognise I had fallen into similar patterns and there was someone in my life who was draining me the same way my mum had been drained.

When you watch your Mum die at the age of 57 and you suddenly realise you’re on a similar path and headed the same way, it makes you sit up and pay attention. It makes you question whether you have so little self-worth that you are going to keep yourself in a miserable situation until you also die too young or if you are going to help make your Mum’s life and death mean something.

Was I going to let her die in vain by letting the cycle repeat itself? Was I going to ignore the way she brought me up and everything she taught me? Was I going to ignore all the signs shown to me as I watched her on her deathbed? Was I going to pretend I didn’t have all of her strength and the knowledge, wisdom, ability and will to change the course of my life? Was I hell.

I dramatically changed the direction of my life shortly after my Mum passed away. I left my partner and moved back up to Scotland to be near friends and family again. I started being true to myself. I became me and spent some time getting to know me and accepting me for who I am. I found a wonderful partner and a new direction, career-wise. I decided I wanted to help people and, so, started on a path to become a Counsellor. While on this path, my brother mentioned Mickel Therapy to me; he said I should look into it as he thought I could help a lot of people. I didn’t know what it was but when he told me it was the treatment for ME that my Mum had started, my interest was peaked.

I wasn’t able to help my Mum recover as I didn’t know how, but here was my chance to learn how to help others recover. I looked into it and jumped at the chance to do the training. After starting to practise as a Mickel Therapist, I realised that was where my passion lay and I left my Counselling training behind.

Starting from scratch in private practise and trying to build a reputation and client base is not an easy road, but the difference I have already started to make to people, and the knowledge that I can, and will, help more people avoid further and needless suffering makes it all worth it to me.

If you would like to get in touch with me, you can do so by emailing susanmurray.mickeltherapy@gmail.com, or visiting my website www.mickeltherapyscotland.com, or my Facebook page www.facebook.com/mickeltherapyglasgowandperth.



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