Halifax mum-of-five becomes best selling author as she bravely shares her mental health battle

Author Vivienne Rawnsley,
Author Vivienne Rawnsley,

A mum-of-five and teacher from Halifax is celebrating becoming a bestselling author this week – after bravely sharing her mental health journey and story of discovery and personal development in a guidebook on health, happiness and wellbeing

‘The Warrior Wellbeing Toolkit’ is a collaborative guidebook for men and women to help the reader not feel alone when it comes to their mental health and wellbeing.

It went straight in at Number 1 on the Amazon bestseller charts in; Mental Illness and Psychology and Suicide

When teacher, Vivienne Rawnsley, became a single mum to five sons in 2002, this was the beginning of a journey into personal development, but more specifically the development of “Vivienne”.

Her story in the book starts when her marriage of 17 years ended - her self-esteem had hit an all time low and Vivienne wanted to prove to the world she was enough.

She joined every fitness community group possible, learnt new skills, took up new hobbies and also ventured into the online dating world – meeting over 80 strangers! A

lthough she thought this would boost her self-esteem this ultimately left her feeling empty and further rejected.

The 58-year-old said: “For the first time, I felt I didn’t know who I was or where I was heading and I was overwhelmed with a sense of failure. Constantly hoping that the affirmation from others would fill that void inside.

"Although I became an accomplished dancer and qualified in scuba diving it, it was still not enough. I had to carry on moving forward as I had my five sons to keep going for. Life had challenges, but I never gave up trying to make it better.”

One day whilst in the shopping area at Manchester airport, Vivienne came across two books, she said: “They sparked my interest, Fiona Harold’s ‘Be Your Own Life Coach’ and Ken Robinson’s ‘Finding your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Change your Life.’

"Lying on a sunbed in Tenerife, I read these books and was inspired to embark upon the next chapter of my life.”

Vivienne enrolled in a personal performance coaching training and an NLP course and she believed that the courses were going to ‘fix her’ and make her whole and complete again.

Although she excelled in the courses and passed with flying colours, she didn’t feel any better and the feeling of unworthiness remained.

So, her journey into personal development continued for several years, spending days on end and weekends away from home, thousands of pounds.

“Now, years later, with a plethora of knowledge and certificates to prove I was good enough, I realise that no external source was going to fill the void I had deep within me," she said. "

"It was like a light bulb suddenly lit up inside my head and I realised I needed to stop searching and actually just be still and connect with myself. I discovered that everything I needed was inside me and that I was enough already.”

“I am not afraid to share my story. I have had counselling, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming), Hypnotherapy and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and put a new perspective on elements of my past and removed blame from those who maybe I’d felt had let me down or impacted on me in a negative way in the past.

"I realised I was concentrating so much on what was going on in my continuing negative thought patterns? Why was I not focusing more on my feelings?”

“I started to take time for me. As a full-time teacher, homemaker and carer of five boys, the balls I juggled were many and the time I took for me was slim.

"However, I began to take a bath in the morning instead of a shower. Make myself drink more water and a wide variety of delicious herbal teas. I would download audible books to listen to whilst I was driving in the car. I created opportunities to explore where I was at and what I was actually enjoying.”

Alongside teaching and being the lead for mental health and wellbeing at her school , Vivienne is also an International Transformation Coach and Hypnotherapist working with clients globally.

She is on a mission to share her journey and make a difference in the lives of others, taking them from overwhelm, stress, fear, disconnection and anxiety to happiness, freedom, joy, fulfillment and ease.

Vivienne said: “I’m so delighted this book has become a best seller and I hope that my story will help others in similar shoes to feel encouraged. I no longer feeling the need to please others because I was the big sister, the wife, the ex-wife, the teacher, the mother ... but being free to choose, free to write my story in whichever and whatever way I chose.”

‘The Warrior Wellbeing Toolkit’ features 16 inspirational insights, self-help tools, expert techniques and Warrior wisdom from 16 collaborative authors. Each has a professional background in the personal development space, from coaches, physiologist, personal trainers to holistic and spiritual healers.