Jen Ewbank is the Senior Director of International Marketing at AWAL Recordings, Kobalt Music Group and was one of Music Week’s ‘30 under 30’ in 2016. She’s running the Swindon Half Marathon on September 22 in support of Help Musicians' mental health helpline, Music Minds Matter.
It was August 2018 and I was en route to Margate to shoot with a band. Despite having worked with the band for a while, I felt the pressure on this one; it was more personal than most as my brother was directing/filming and my husband was producing. I felt sick, my hands and feet were sweating, I had a stonking headache, my heart was going crazy, I was hyper-ventilating and I wanted to cry - this wasn’t regular nerves. A couple of hours later, my first panic attack was long forgotten, and everything was going smoothly, but the next few days felt surreal and I didn’t feel myself - although this soon passed, and life went on.
Fast-forward to November: I was covering for 3 colleagues alongside managing my own roster of artists and waking up to over 150 new emails overnight, having just moved into a new house after 9 years in our previous home - in hindsight it was a perfect storm! I’d been waking up to intense headaches and put it down to either dehydration, CO poisoning or a brain tumor - I’ve always been the level-headed, well-balanced one, so there was no way that the explanation could be anything but physical right?! Having ruled out those possibilities, the symptoms got worse; overnight I lost my appetite, began vomiting at the thought of food, started having regular panic attacks and was gradually getting weaker and weaker.
After multiple tests and visits to my GP, I eventually accepted that the symptoms were psychological and officially signed off from work in January. I was fortunate to gain free access to both CBT and Talking Therapy through my very cooperative and understanding employer and my local health service. It took a combination of therapy, medication, time out from a hectic London lifestyle and the music industry, and exercise, to get me back on track before returning to work 2 months later.
This September 22nd, I plan to run my first half marathon alongside my amazing Mum, who was a huge support during this period. Really, I’m doing this for myself as running has become invaluable for me when dealing with anxiety. A long-ingrained competitive spirit compels me to set myself a challenge, as well as the opportunity to raise money for the amazing Music Minds Matter service that Help Musicians provides for musicians and people like me who work in the music industry.Back