Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Mike Owen

Keep Stepping - A Step-By-Step Journey to a Clearer View of Mental Well-Being

Pages: 332 Ratings:
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Mike Owen, born with two congenital heart defects, battled with cardiac issues until the age of seven, when he underwent open heart surgery that changed his life.

For the following 31 years, Mike was plagued with intense and disabling heart palpitations. In 2004, the cause of the palpitations was diagnosed and, after a short cardiac procedure, for the first time in 38 years his heart was stable.

Life became easier. His confidence grew. But so did his workload. After three years of work-related stress, his heart succumbed to a new type of palpitation which would blight his life for the next four years. After taking steps to reduce the frequency and intensity of his cardiac problems, Mike finally felt like he had turned a corner. However, in 2017, he was plunged back into despair following a series of dramatic events.

When his Occupational Health Doctor gave him an unexpected Mental Illness diagnosis, Mike embarked on a new path. He now had to deal with psychological issues, learn mindfulness techniques and work through the trauma of his childhood and the uncertainty of having spent so many years living with his heart problems.

With his faithful dog, Coco, always by his side, Mike confronted the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness, in his own way. He found physical, emotional, and mental stability thanks to his diagnosis, and this is his uplifting story.

Mike Owen lives in the North West of England; he is married, with two grown-up children.

Outside of his work in IT, he enjoys volunteering at his local Church, leading young people through their teenage years through Boys’ Brigade and Youth Clubs. Over the last decade, the youth work has encouraged a number of children with their own individual challenges to feel safe and secure in the Church environment.

Throughout Mike’s life, his health problems have been purely physical, with two congenital heart defects. However, following his battle with psychological issues, his personal exposure to the destructive power of poor mental health has opened up a new view on his vulnerability. This knowledge has helped in supporting friends, colleagues and young people in his care, who are facing similar challenges.

Mike has rescued four dogs, all of which helped him during difficult situations; his latest dog, Coco, came to her forever home just before Mike’s mental illness was exposed and, despite her own mental health issues, Coco was instrumental in Mike’s recovery.

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