“Hello, I am David Cain, the founder of Automotive Minds and I suffer from depression and anxiety, words I could have said to my HR Director in 2016, if I had only recognised the symptoms.”
To the outside world I have everything I could possibly need, a loving family, close friends, a house, a car, holidays every year, and a successful 19 year career in the automotive industry. However, the presented image is one thing, but the human being behind it is another. Regardless of how an individual’s mental health problems are triggered, the human costs are damaging both emotionally and psychologically to all who experience them. Undetected, an individual can embark on a downward spiral which affects their work and relationships. Masks are presented to both colleagues and loved ones, with work and home used as a form of escape from the other, with no peace found in either. Unhelpful and uncontrollable labels start to play with the mind such as “I am a bad person”, “I am a bad father and husband,”, etc. Sleep becomes a curse, with nights spent looking up at the ceiling, trapped in a mind of uncontrollable negativity. Due to erratic moods, behaviour, paranoia, and overall inconsistency from one day to the next, relationships become more difficult. You want to ask for help, explain, or even cry, but your pride and insecurities keep you trapped behind the mask. Suddenly isolation seems the best option, even from your children. Ignoring the calls of loved ones or not seeking social interactions with friends, seems a good strategy, as you become ashamed of the person you have become. Then finally you convince yourself you are no longer good enough, and that all the people you know would be better off without you, whilst driving down the road to work doing 70mph. This is just my battle with depression and anxiety and perhaps it will resonate with you? Fortunately, the fear of leaving my wife and children without a husband and father was greater than the fear of suicide, and thankfully one Sunday I was brave enough to take my mask off for my wife to see.
Since that day, the voices in my head have been challenged by the words of love and support of my family. I have embarked on gaining professional help to navigate me back to the solid ground on which I previously walked. I have taken personal initiative to understand the workings of my mind and how to manage my thoughts and feelings via Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques. Looking back, I recognise now that I should have taken steps to address my mental health problems a lot sooner. I once was told that FEAR is ‘False Evidence Appearing Real, and it is true. All the negatives thoughts that were consuming me, were becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy and leading me to ultimate destruction. The reality was that I needed to speak openly about the problems I was experiencing. By allowing those around me back into my life without fear or judgement, has enabled me to rediscover my truth and the person I thought was lost.
There will be family members, friends and former colleagues who will read this and be surprised, shocked, upset, and maybe with fresh eyes, seeing my journey of depression and anxiety for the first time. As Robin Williams said, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about”, therefore you cannot help what you are unaware of. It is because of my journey and working through my illness, that I wish to listen to others who feel alone and trapped by mental health problems and help them to come through the other side. I wish to play my part in raising awareness within the industry that has been the foundation of my life for all these years. I truly hope that by telling my story and making people aware of the causes of mental health problems, that I can help them to see the possible signs of someone who is hiding behind their mask. By embarking on this path, I will have turned the biggest negative in my life, into the biggest positive.
There were many triggers along the way and perhaps one day I will share these with you over coffee. Perhaps one of my biggest professional triggers was leaving my post of learning and development manager back in 2014. Whilst I have gone on to have a great career as a Head of Business, and worked with some great professionals, for many years I have regretted this decision. I came to realise that the key performance indicator that gives me the biggest sense of satisfaction, is dedicating 100% of my time to training and developing others to fulfil their capabilities. Therefore, Automotive Minds enables me to share with others, the tried and tested processes and techniques that have given me unimagined success both as a Sales Executive and Senior Manager. The training provided is not theory based, it is practical and transferable to the real-world scenarios that you will encounter daily. I am 100% confident that on completion of the training, you will be fully equipped to experience the success that you deserve, after all, we are all born to succeed, providing we choose to.
In closing, I have had a fantastic career to date and helped so many others who have been kind enough to leave their thoughts and best wishes in my testimonials. To each and every one, I would like to say thank you. I hope that through my Mental Health, Sales, and Management training, I will be able to develop and care for your mind, so that you may flourish in this fantastic industry of ours.
Good heath, happiness, and prosperity to you all.