I’m not coping.
A phrase so short and yet incredibly powerful. It was what led Israel Smith to take the step to make a change in his life. After years of struggling to keep it together and figure things out, this phrase liberated him by setting him on a path he did not ever imagine being on. It changed his health, his business and most importantly, his relationship with his family.
It was something Israel struggled to even admit to himself and for him to say it to someone else was one of the most vulnerable and difficult things he had ever done.
Israel had spent precious years of his life adopting the approach of doing more, working harder, working longer, pushing himself to the breaking point as a solution for the unmanageability of his life. More coffee, less sleep and the punishment of stress brought no solutions to his life except wearing him out even further.
Looking around, Israel saw other people who had it all figured out and who got their act together. It was frustrating and it made him depressed that he was not able to have a peaceful, loving relationship with his family. Arguments at home with his wife, yelling at the children, frustration in his business and team … these were part of Israel’s daily grind. His wife showed anger towards him, his children were scared of him and kept their distance and his team was not able to respect him as a leader.
“I’m not coping” really means “I need help. I can't do this alone”.
If you asked Israel to describe himself before his change, he would say he was angry, stressed, tired, overwhelmed, exhausted. He was a mere shadow of his true self. He felt completely disconnected from the people closest to him in his own house. He walked through life like a zombie, seething in anger and discontent, and not being able to snap out of his stagnant, dark state.
I needed help. And I got it.
With that genuine, heartfelt admission, Israel very quickly got the help of his GP and an amazing psychologist. They gave him the support he needed to face, understand and treat his mental illness.
What stood out most for Israel during this early phase was understanding the many seemingly innocuous factors that came together to create the perfect storm that pushed him into the abyss. Israel had been a happy-go-lucky man and finding himself in this state of desperation was not at all what he had ever expected.
This was to become the seed that led Israel to embark on an amazing and fulfilling career as a Well-Being and Emotional Resilience Coach for Men in Business. He knew that what he had experienced is more common than people think. And having survived that, Israel knew that it was not enough for him to have recovered. He wanted more people to have access to the help that he had received. “I’m not coping” is a more widespread and hidden scream that needs addressing.
Today, Israel enjoys being a wonderful husband and father, and is relishing his role as a strong leader in a successful business. He is healthy and well, and everyday feels like an amazing opportunity. Israel finally feels alive and excited with his life.
I made changes.
Israel had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and he has since learnt to manage both. It meant making changes in his life. He could not recover from doing the exact same things he had been forcing on himself for so long. Israel was determined to recover. He left his photography career and fully dedicated his time to travelling around Australia with his family.
It is amazing how one single step towards change can bring one a whole domino effect of many other happy changes.
Israel went on to start a hugely successful national health and wellness company with his wife (The Root Cause). Now he has moved into a career as a Well-Being and Emotional Resilience Coach, specialising in supporting men who find themselves struggling with work, parenthood, marriage or life in general, and who need some new tools and strategies to be the best version of themselves.
I’m making a difference.
Feeling a zest for life and being able to stand on strong feet on solid ground, Israel has dedicated his time to bringing solutions to men who are experiencing what he had been through.
Israel has delivered workshops and seminars about mental health to hundreds of participants over the years. He has also coached dozens of men in a one-to-one setting, giving them the safe and supportive space they needed to help them make positive changes in their lives. This is where changes can happen in their work, in their relationships, and even in their own self care and mental health.
Israel has been interviewed on National TV by Channel 10’s “The Project'' and Channel 9’s “Today”, along with countless radio and newspaper interviews. He wants to reach out and talk about depression in men, in particular, Post Natal Depression (Israel’s technical diagnosis).