HOW SAMEENA RECOVERED FROM HER ADDICTION TO WORRY
Written by Sameena Fernandes
I have been struggling with worry since childhood. Often times, it would be so paralyzing my experience of worry that I couldn't get out of it. I tried multiple modalities to help me get rid of the worry.
I tried meditation, counselling, going to 12 Step meetings, and even distracting myself by keeping busy so I am not thinking about the very thing that would worry me, often at times it was worrying about money.
And it gave me a bit of relief temporary to be distracted, but the worry was always ready to surface almost like an addiction. The worry would always come back. I started to think worrying was normal, just like how an alcoholic would think that drinking is normal.
Yes, I am sure we all have some worry from time to time in our lives, that's normal. It's a normal part of our humanity, well for most people, but not me. My worry was obsessive.
Can you relate? Is that you?
YES, it is fair to say a little bit of worrying here and there is a human instinct emotion and there is no harm done. In fact I would go further and say that worrying is justifiable, maybe it is a our gut instinct waning us to protect ourselves or our loved ones - That's okay, no fixing needed there. It is just in our human nature to care and sometimes to care too much and there are times when worrying is just part of the equation.
BUT the kind of worry I am going to be talking about, the kind of worry I had been living with for years was not normal and it definitely was not healthy! The most accurate way to describe the worry I was constantly living with is IRRATIONAL and INSANE! I did not know it back then, but I was living in insanity with my non-stop worrying.
My worrying was so unhealthy and destructive up to the point that it was causing emotional harm and distress to myself and to those people around me who I cared about. Little did I know nor recognize back then that I know now, and I got this from Scott Gallagher (The Founder Of All Addictions Anonymous) that what I had was an addiction to worrying.
And when Scott identified the insanity of my worry as an addiction, I must say that it made so much sense. No matter how much I tried to get pass my worrying, I couldn't and I remember there were many many times when I did not even try to stop my worrying - That is how stuck in it I was! I guess at some level it was feeding my insecurities and fears.
I just could not stop worrying and having these irrational thoughts that came with worrying so much so that it clouded my reality and it seemed so real and true! Actually, when I look back, I remember it feeling like this evil demon inside of me taking over and I couldn't get it to SHUT-UP!
It would make me so exhausted and wiped out. I just felt extremely powerless over it. And when the worry was not there in very small periods of time, I couldn't really feel relieved because it was like I was waiting for it to come back or for something negative to happen that would trigger my worry just like an addiction. And little did I know that it just wasn't real - it was all in my mind. And so I was worrying about worrying - it was ridiculous!
Fast Forward 6 months
In response to me being falsely accused and attacked by my past employer for standing up for my rights, I was forced to resign on March 1st, 2017.
I felt more hopeless than ever now and wanted to end my life but I was too ashamed to tell anyone and did not want to be a burden on anyone so I kept this secret and hoped I would die in some sort of an accident because I was too depressed to kill myself which is what I wanted to i prayed to God that he would take my life.
Eventually (on April 4th, 2017) I found the courage to tell Scott and he listened to me without judgment that day, and helped me understand that the source of my suicidal ideations was that I was isolating and craved human connection - connecting with people face to face like I used to do daily when I wasn't unemployed.
Scott felt strongly that I had to get connecting with people on a daily basis - that there was no time to waste, because he honestly did not know for sure if/when I went back home at the end of my meeting with him, whether or not I would be alive to see him the next day - and he wasn’t going to leave it up to chance!
It was on that day, Scott decided that I was his PASSION PROJECT, and he went on to tell me that I could interview fifteen people on their passion projects - in what was (at the time) his studio for free at 7:33 PM during the month of April (2017)
Passion Projects TV was the first multi-camera facebook live platform that Scott ever created and prior to April 11th, 2017 - which was the launch of the first episode of Passion Projects TV with my first guest, Richard Henry - Scott knew very little about video streaming and how it worked.
Scott was, and still is, a Business and Life Turnaround Expert and NOT a video or studio guy. It was just something he learned and mastered quickly so he could support and teach it to me.
Each of the 15 people I was able to get onto Passion Projects TV during the month of April would also get a consultation with Scott to help them best leverage the platform he had created before being interviewed by me as a facebook live on their time-line in "his studio".
Of those 15 people, some made donations and others hired Scott for his time as a business consultant resulting in over $4,000 being generated in less than 3 weeks.
Scott donated his time and services so that all this money - which came in directly and indirectly - through the launch of Passion Projects TV went straight to me!
With the phenomenal success of Passion Projects TV in such a short period of time, you would think I would be happy, but I wasn't.
In less then three weeks of launching Passion Projects, I have another meeting with Scott where I share with him that I'm still waking up every morning with thoughts of still wanting to end my life.
Scott realizes that me connecting with people in the evenings to help them promote their personal agendas and passion projects is not enough for me and that I needed daily human connection in the morning to interrupt my destructive and suicidal thought patterns.
Scott retires Passion Projects TV immediately and creates 1111 TV.
Scott negotiates a deal with me whereby I can have access to his studio every morning on the condition that - instead of paying him money for his services - that I pay him by making and keeping a very sacred promise to him.
The promise was (and still is) as follows;
I must get a guest to come in and be with me every morning before 11:11 am AND in the event that I don’t get a guest one day, or a guest unexpectedly cancels, or does not show up, or does not show up on time (which happened only once) I must go live on my own Facebook timeline all by myself talk until someone writes a comment a simple as saying "Hi" and I say "Hi" back. Liking my FB post while I am live does not count because it does not honor the spirit of the agreement which is to talk with another human being.
Instead of paying Scott money to use his studio, I paid him each time I kept the above promise AND each day I kept the promise, the contract would be extended for one more day.
IF I ever did not keep this promise, then my free access to his studio would immediately end.
People have often asked me why is the platform called 1111.
Scott came up with the name because he knew that I was sleeping in a lot due to being very depressed, so he felt 11:11 am was late enough in the morning that I would have no excuse - even with my deep depression to accomplish the promise by that time and also because he knew the number 1111 would be more memorable from a marketing perspective to both myself and in terms of attracting guests.
Looking back it seems to a lot of people that Scott naming it 1111 was a brilliant marketing strategy YET he never cared about the number of views.
For Scott it was all about just getting me a guest in the studio to talk to and he knew that for him to accomplish his mission of supporting me in getting a guest every single day, we would have to give them something of value to them which would be a platform to not only connect with me but also simultaneously connect with their facebook friends at the same time through his facebook live streaming studio.11:11 was born out of Scott’s passion to be of maximum service to humanity by helping me out of depression.
In Scott's world, he was fighting for my life - he was doing everything he knew to do to help me find a reason to live.
In the first two months after 11:11 was created, Scott was so blown away with the number of people who came to connect with me on 1111, there were about fifty people who came onto the platform when it first started.
Scott was profoundly grateful to all those people who came on 1111 knowing that they could not promote directly or indirectly or sell anything, it was primarily all about connecting through having a genuine and real unscripted unplanned conversation that had nothing to do with promoting.
And out of appreciation for all of those guests who made a difference for me with transforming my emotional state and bringing me permanently out of my depression, what Scott know he did not have the power to do alone, he created Passion Projects Light as a thank you gift which was exclusive to guests who came on 1111.
Guests who have been on 1111 could come onto this other platform which gave them an opportunity to talk about whatever they want without any restrictions and conditions. They could talk about or promote their passion(s) or passion projects, etc., and it was also for free.
After my well-being was solid and it was clear that I was no longer depressed nor did I have suicidal ideations, Scott had a long heart to heart talk with me.
He shared with me that one day I will have to let 1111 go (and share it with others) since I am well now, and 1111 is not making money. And I was very resistant and reluctant in one day having to let 1111 go, but I knew Scott was looking out for me as he knew that I could never make money from it directly.
And after I kind of embraced the thought that I will need to let go of 1111 eventually one day, the very next day (August 1st, 2017) I have a guest come in for 1111.
And Scott strongly feels that this person will make a perfect guest host for 1111 and she will most likely want to do it, he feels everything about them is a yes.
After our 1111 conversation, Scott comes out and asks my guest if they would like to be a guest host of 1111, but he did say that he couldn’t commit, it was ultimately my decision.
And it was so evident that this person would be the perfect fit. It was really hard at first letting 1111 go; I would get emotional at first at just the thought of having to let it go.
Once we had our first confirmed guest host, Scott gently convinced me that we had to allow non-prejudicialy everybody who has been a guest on 1111 an opportunity to be considered as a guest host and go through the process. And we've had a number of guests who went on to become hosts of 1111.
Scott also created 1111 for young children which gave me the opportunity to be with kids as he knew how much I loved kids and missed working with kids.
Scott also knew that I missed working with groups of people as I constantly facilitated and created support groups at my previous work of employment.
And so, Scott created WE ELEVENS which lead me to have my first We Eleven.
Scott told me that 1111 would be the foundation for all my dreams to come true.
He said it's where all the abundance would come from even though it will never come out of it directly.
Scott asked me to give him ninety days to obsessively focus on building 1111 even though it was not a business or profit center for me.
Scott promised me that if I did that, that within ninety days, I would become somewhat of a small town celebrity.
I trusted Scott even though I could not understand and fathom what was happening and had no interest in being any sort of celebrity. In fact I preferred to be invisible.
I did not understand business or why getting attention was so important, but I knew to trust Scott and I did my best to follow his guidance and leadership. And in less than ninety days, I get an opportunity to go to some sort of seminar in Toronto for free.
Scott suggested I go to this seminar not because it would change my life but for one reason only – Scott promised me that at least a minimum of three people would come up to me at the seminar and ask me, "Aren’t you that girl on Facebook?”
Five people came up to me at the seminar and asked me this very same question. I remember walking into a Best Buy which is on the other side of town to buy a capture card and the guy at the counter who is serving us recognizes me and asks me, aren’t you that girl on Facebook that interviews people?”
I've walked into malls and this very same thing happens! I could not believe what was happening. Scott delivered on his promise.
On October 1st I share with Scott during one of my business meetings with him that it has always been my dream to one day go to California and Scott says, “Well, I told you, we could do anything with 1111.”
And the next thing you know, Scott writes this message and sends it to this particular person who lives in California, Sacramento who I did not know and he did not know, and the person responds back that very same day and offers to host us at her home for two months.
By the end of October 2017 we are on a tour in the U.S hosting episodes of 1111 in Sacramento, Anaheim, Arizona, Nashville, Louisville, Kentucky, we have had guests in different cities.
Scott showed me how to get a guest overnight in any City I want. And I applied what Scott taught me on this tour and it worked. I had the most amazing and abundant journey on this tour and it is all because of Scott and starting with him knowing what I needed from the very beginning.
The odds were against me in me winning against this well-known and powerful charity, but Scott would not give up in what he knew was important to me even though there were times when I was on the verge of giving up on myself because it was just too much for me to handle.
Scott would not all allow me to accept defeat, it just was not an option for him.
Thanks to Scott's multi-faceted talents, determination, unconditional love and conviction, I won the Ministry of Labor Case, and I claimed my victory!
The charity was ordered by the Ministry of Labor to send a payment in the amount of $30,943.71 to the Director of Employment Standards in Trust.
That payment was processed and received by me co-incidentally just a few days before I left for my U.S. tour!
Scott did for me what my psychotherapist and psychiatrist could not do.
I am healthy, mentally capable and I do not think about ending my life anymore. I am living the best and most prosperous time of my life. I am not dependent on Scott or anyone anymore!
I now have my own studio!
1111 and Passion Projects LIGHT have given me mind-blowing visibility and attention both locally and internationally since we first launched it back in April 2017.
Scott taught me that a truly self-sustainable platform exists ONLY when the creator, is no longer needed and it still continues to flourish.
And this is exactly what happened!
When Scott and I were in the U.S for 5 weeks taking 1111 on the road, episodes were simultaneously going on in Canada as well every single day!
A number of our guests have described 1111 as being a movement independent of me and Scott.
Even though 1111 was originally about me and my story, Scott recruited a core team around me who share the same vision as I do - and numerous past guests have had the opportunity to host their own episodes of 1111 and Passion Projects LIGHT.
I see my self-worth and value now - not only as a human being - but also as a business woman and it's all because of Scott's consistent faith and belief in me.
He did whatever he knew to do to help me recover from my depression and come out the other side to be the person he knew me to be from day one.