Sometimes Freak Accidents Happen

The pigeon that fell down the chimney

Sometimes freak accidents happen.

On Monday I was typing up client notes when I heard something crashing down the chimney.

(We have a special pot on top of the chimney to stop this from happening. Clearly, it’s not 100% fool proof).

I couldn’t work out what it was.

A bird. A cat. A squirrel?

It was scrabbling around to get out.

I kept thinking something was going to fly out of the fireplace at any moment.

Kneeling down for a proper look I realised it was completely trapped. 

There was no opening through the gas fire. 

No way out.

I did a quick google search. Rang for a gas engineer and waited for them to come out.

In the meantime, I figured out it was a bird. A big one. So most likely a pigeon.

It was making an almighty racket trying to get up the vertical drop and then falling back down to the bottom. 

This continued for hours. No sign of the gas engineer.

It was really horrible to be in the same room listening to its demise.

Over time the pigeon stopped trying. 

It got me thinking about my own life. When I developed anxiety and panic attacks back in 2006, initially I tried different things: 

Three different counsellors. None were right for me.

A free GP CBT online course. Marginal gains.


After a while, I stopped trying new things and just lived with it. For years!

Like the pigeon. I was trapped.

To find a way out. We have to do something differently. 

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe.

In this case, the gas engineer opened up a new opportunity for the poor bird.

For me, I said yes to a free goal setting workshop run by a coach. From there I navigated a new route forward.

There are so many things that you can try if your current way of being is not reflecting your best self.

The key is to not give up.

What could you do differently today?