Meditation brought an inner sunshine back into my life
Health: My Experience:Learning transcendental meditation helped John Corcoran deal with panic attacks, depression and insomnia
I had a double life as a child. I had a miserable family life as an only child of parents who argued and fought 24/7. But, I had a really good childhood outside of the house – cycling my bike, making go-carts and enjoying the summers in the village of Kilmacow in Co Kilkenny where I grew up.
From about the age of 12, I felt a darkness come over me – especially in the winter time – and my home life got more and more miserable. I felt it in my digestive system. I felt it in my bones and I had no interest in going outside. I hated school but I did well in music and was good at the piano.
I was in different bands while in school and then became a professional musician when I left school, touring with different bands throughout Ireland and Europe.
However, all was not well. I started to get panic attacks and suffered a lot from insomnia in secondary school. Since I was a child, I was fascinated by religion and health and read all kinds of books by people such as Deepak Chopra. My father used to buy me lots of second hand books.
My parents broke up when I was 20 and that was a terrible experience. I can honestly say that for much of my 20s, I felt really lost. I was overweight. I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome but realised only much later that I had some food intolerances which made me feel very unwell.
When I was about 26, I began to realise I should do something to help myself.
The doctor suggested I learn stress management techniques and I learned some muscle relaxation exercises which helped a bit. I started doing yoga around this time which helped relieve the huge stress I felt before gigs. I also started to kick-boxing and recently I got my black belt in kick-boxing.
Really, throughout my 20s and early 30s, I was living the rock ‘n’ roll life – at home with my girlfriend and our young children from Monday to Thursday and then on the road from Thursday to Sunday. The money was great during the Celtic Tiger years but the relationship between my girlfriend and I was breaking down. Performing was the antidote to the misery I felt much of the rest of the time.
I vowed that when I had children, they would not have the same experience as I did and here I was repeating the same mistakes.
I now believe that even if you are consciously vigilant about not perpetrating the same negative family patterns, it can still happen because these patterns occur at a level below your everyday consciousness.
I hit a wall when I was 32. I told my girlfriend that I couldn’t live with her any more and she told me she was pregnant. It really was like a plotline from Eastenders. I stayed with her throughout the pregnancy but I wasn’t with her emotionally.
When the baby was born, I moved out but felt even worse having destroyed the family unit. At that stage, I had met my current girlfriend but initially I decided to live on my own for the first time in my life.