Category Archives: Blog Posts

Take Back Your Power

Taking the first step

The emotional & mental turmoil suffered by those who’ve experienced abusive situations (of any sort) can last a lifetime…it’s never easy but it is possible to move forward

The first step for victims of abuse…any form of abuse…assuming that it has been acknowledged & dealt with appropriately by the relevant outside agencies is for the survivor to begin to come to terms with their situation by understanding that what happened to them is not now and never was their fault.

Abusers are generally speaking both manipulative and clever in the way they program their victims to believe that they in some way are to blame and to be honest are uniformly successful in their quest such is their power over their victims.

To suggest that survivors ”get over it” is a common misconception and whilst some do indeed appear to have done just that closer inspection will usually belie the true extent of the psychological damage as evidenced for instance by addictions, self harming, mental health issues etc.

Surviving abuse is in itself a bit of a cleft stick…by definition anyone who comes through it alive is a survivor and should be proud of being so but in reality the survivors of abuse fall squarely into two camps those who learn to cope and those who don’t.

Which camp any of us fall into is part of the lottery of life. For instance how can 2 survivors of the same type of abuse (if not by the same person) find one well-balanced and adjusted to their situation whilst the next person will have withdrawn from life and spiraled into an addictive lifestyle which will almost certainly waste what’s left of their lives.

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker & Author

Have The Courage to be who you really are

The key is just one word – FORGIVENESS! 

The art of forgiveness is a twofold process first we have to forgive ourselves. Forgive ourselves for not knowing what we didn’t know…the fact that we..you..any abuse victims are NEVER to blame…and then and here is the big one and to be honest the one thing that many struggle to come to terms with FORGIVENESS of the perpetrator!!

Now I KNOW how difficult even impossible that concept is for many people but the fact of the matter is until such a time as we are ready, willing and/or able to do this then we will and do remain firmly shackled by the chains of the past.

The past and the abuser once brought to accountability have no further power over us other than that we choose to give it. Whilst ever we are at a point that we can’t move forward because of what’s happened to us then the abuser remains both in our minds and hearts and most definitely in control.

The act of forgiveness should NEVER be about the other person but always about ourselves. Why because in all honesty they rarely if ever acknowledge that they have done anything wrong and as such don’t accept their responsibility for their part in your trauma.

How should we go about taking this enormous and extremely challenging step?

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker & Author

Take back the power

Meet them in person and speak to them face to face?

Possibly dependent upon circumstances if you are able to be calm & look the person in the eye…only you will know if you are at that point even if it is possible..but I would ALWAYS suggest doing so within controlled circumstances with the presence of an unbiased 3rd party for your support.

In writing?

Almost certainly…writing gives us the freedom to say anything and everything we ever wanted to say but were afraid to for fear of backlash and retribution but the beauty of it is that once we’ve given voice to the words by putting them down on paper we have acknowledged both them and what they represent. By doing so we have taken the first all important step to recovery or ”getting over it”. Once you’ve written everything down, read it out loud to yourself but as though you’re speaking to the other person and then in one of the most empowering moments you will ever experience (making sure it’s safe to do so) set light to it and watch it burn. As it burns acknowledge that this is the end of that period of your life begin to look to new beginnings. When we’ve done this it naturally underpins and reinforces the major way in which forgiveness not only occurs but is most powerful.

Mentally!!

Absolutely, definitely YES!

Tell yourself and often that in forgiving the other it’s not for them, it never is. Remember that in forgiving them you are taking positive action to set yourself free from the past and move forward into the future…your future, one in which they have no place.

Not in any sense physical, emotional or psychological. In doing so you are taking away their power and reclaiming your right to live your life, in your own way and on your own terms.

Do you ever ”get over” being abused? 

Realistically speaking you will probably never,ever forget what happened to you but perhaps for the first time you can celebrate the fact that you survived (remember many don’t) and begin treating every new day as the opportunity it is…one where today you will finally choose to be happy!!

Will it be easy? NO!

Will it be worth it? Absolutely. Always YES! 

Good Luck!!!

It’s Not All In Your Head. Consumed: Mental Illness Through Photography (January Update)

i could not help but be moved by the stunning images in this post which for me capture perfectly the unseen inner battle for those of us with personal experience of languishing careworn & defeated in the loneliest place on earth that of the battle with Mental Ill Health.

With many thanks to Paul Falcone

Dear Hope

What if mental illnesses were shown on the outside?

Would we still be afraid to ask for help?

Since I was 13 years old I have fought depression, anxiety and bouts of insomnia. Since then I have tried to explain what that pain, discomfort, emptiness, and apathetic nature feels like to people. Often the words would come up short, and even the poems, songs, and stories I wrote didn’t seem to fully paint a picture into someones head to make them understand what I was going through. As I increasingly became aware of the lack of education and the stigma that surrounds mental illness and mental health, I thought about trying a different approach.

And that’s when the Consumed: Mental Illness Through Photography project was born.


December: Anxiety


Anthia 0966.jpg

“I was never a cutter, I never had the courage to take a blade to any part of my body. I did, however, need…

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Reboot Your Mindset

Is it time to take the chance to choose to change?

When it comes to the historic debate over which is the most powerful computing technology around you can forget Apple & it’s Mac or Microsoft & it’s Windows and look a lot closer to home.

What? Where?

Just take a look in the mirror because every single one of us comes  complete with the world’s most powerful, pre-loaded, fully operational software system there ever has and most probably ever will be…our brain!

In simple terms the brain itself that 3lb or so mass of grey/white tripe like matter in our head acts like a modem ensuring that our hearts beat on average 100,000 times per day thus keeping us alive and by definition functioning.

As amazing as this feat is in and of itself, it’s largely acknowledged that the active part of the brain, the part which processes & regulates the electrical energy which becomes information is…the mind.

Without becoming embroiled in science, the mind itself is subdivided into 3 parts; conscious (awareness of the present), subconscious (awareness of accessible information) & unconscious (memories & experiences which form belief & behaviour patterns)….it’s bombarded every single second that you are alive..and yes that includes while you’re sleeping…by millions of bits of information all of which are processed instantaneously & subconsciously.

BUT!  

Although on the one hand that’s amazingly good news when you think about it…we don’t have to remember to breath, remind our hearts to beat, blink the grit out of our eyes & so on…the time management savings on this fact alone are immeasurable.

On the other hand however given we’ve already established that we technically operate by remote control it’s where many of us come unstuck.

The unconscious element of our mind, the part where our memories & experiences have been safely stored away and added to time and again over the years has been quietly laying the rock solid foundations upon which our behaviours & beliefs have been formed.

Sue Curr Speaker Author

Those same beliefs & behaviours which impact all day, every day on the way we live our lives. The ones which determine our mindset…the way we act & react to life. The ones which predispose us to positive or negative behaviour. In short the ones which colour not only our view of the world but that of ourselves and our perception of what we can or cannot achieve!

For many of us this isn’t an issue, for others however it’s these unconsciously formed belief systems which can and do form the basis of all manner of psychological issues from lack of confidence & low self esteem upwards.

The trap that we sometimes fall into (often willingly because it’s the easiest option) is that just because it’s always been this way that’s just the way it is or worse still has to be.

Errr…Wrong. Wrong oh and err WRONG! 

Everything in life is temporary…the seasons, the situations we find ourselves in, our lifespan and very definitely our thoughts.

The thought process in itself is actually as temporary or permanent as we choose to allow it to be. Lets take the imaginary but plausible example that your mother taught you to cook a Sunday roast and in doing so instilled in you that the best way to cook your joint of beef was to let it cook through until it was uniformly the same shade and texture of dry, tasteless cardboard yet when you ask her why she cooks it like that because you’d seen Jamie Oliver do the same thing and his joint was tender, succulent pink she simply looks at you and says ‘because that’s way my mother, grandmother, great grandmother etc cooked it..it’s just the way it should always be done!’

Is that true? Of course not because times have changed, cooking appliances have evolved, new recipes and innovative chef’s like Mr Oliver have made sure that we can IF we choose cook beef differently.

Our thoughts and by association our mindset are absolutely no exception to this. Of course as children we are very much guided by our responsible adults but as we learn and grow there comes a natural point at which we become responsible for our own lives, our choices and the way in which we want them to play out.

If you really don’t like something your career, your relationships, your work/life balance or anything else for that matter but you are paralyzed by the inaction borne on the back of… I can’t do anything about this because…(you fill in the blanks) then I’m here to tell you that you most certainly can and whatever it is you wish to change although it may not be easy, in this day and age it is more than definitely possible.

If you want to live the reality of your dreams, write a book even become a brain surgeon when everyone in your family has historically been a shopkeeper (incidentally there is nothing wrong with shop keeping) or anything else in between then you and you alone have the capacity and the choices available to you to make it happen!

Sue Curr Speaker Author

When you realise this then you have to CONSCIOUSLY as opposed to unconsciously make the choice to choose to change the way things are and most certainly have to decide how you’re going to execute that.

Start small, having thought about what you REALLY want to change especially if it involves one of lifes’ important intangibles write it down and as you do so say the words out loud. When we see things laid bare as we write and at the same time enhance that by verbalising them we reinforce the signals we are sending to our unconscious mind…our beliefs and behaviour bank if you will…that things are about to change. Do this often, several times daily preferably it’s a massive step in the reprogramming of your thought process.

Obviously as important a start as this is, in and of itself it isn’t going to create the long and lasting change which you seek. You have to be willing to build on the foundation by becoming self aware. Aware of your negative self-talk When you catch yourself thinking or saying anything which has a negative or dis empowering effect on you stop and ask yourself how you can rephrase the thought to change it’s meaning to it’s positive opposite (it’s a simple law of physics that for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction and the thought process is no different). The chances of successfully achieving the change you seek (regardless of the area) will be further improved by taking steps to remove yourself from negative or toxic situations and relationships and importantly by YOU being honest with yourself, brutally honest about not only what you want but what you will need to do to ensure it happens. Which by the way should always include surrounding yourself with like minded people.

You need to take your goals – plan them out and then take action.

As with every major decision you will ever make it all starts with you. It has to. The responsibility for living the life you want to live is yours and yours alone. YES take advice and guidance from people you trust and/or outside agencies but always remember knowledge doesn’t become learning until we make the leap from what we do know to what we don’t!

As the saying goes there’s no time like the present so make a start today and…

REBOOT YOUR MINDSET!

Be awesome in creating your new life by design instead of living it by default.

More insights and advice is available by booking a FREE 30 minute Discovery Call at suecurr.com

Get Out of Your Own Way

chess-316658_1280 Let’s get one thing straight.

There isn’t anything. Not one single thing you cannot achieve having decided that you want to. Once that is you’ve given yourself permission to do so!

You are the author & the architect of your life. The life you dream about, the one you want, the one you deserve. If you’re not happy with your lot, feel as though life is passing you by or are maybe paralyzed by inaction brought about by the fear of what others think about you then it really is time to start living your life, in your own way & on your own terms. It’s time to start living by design and stop living by default as a result of operating on autopilot & simply just letting it happen to you.

I say again there isn’t anything that’s impossible for you to achieve when you set your mind to it but you have to start by believing that you can. No matter how wild or improbable your dreams are. The bigger the dream, the bigger the plans you need to make for sure but in doing so the more you will succeed. Be happy & celebrate how far you’ve come already but remember you can always go further if you choose because life in itself really doesn’t have any limits except those you impose upon it and therefore by default yourself.

If our old friend fear should raise it’s head as it surely will when you’re faced with stepping outside your comfort zone learn to trust your instincts but more importantly yourself and ask what’s the worst that could happen if I take this leap of faith? In all honesty it would be that you remain exactly where you are now except for learning what doesn’t work in your quest to get to where you want to be and in my book that’s a massive plus because it’s one less thing  to worry about. Even if you aren’t successful in your aspirations initially bear in mind that if you keep coming back to the same starting point then it’s more than likely that you’re on the right track and you just need to figure out which turning to take to reach your destination.

Break out of that bubble

Take the opportunity in fact any and every opportunity to learn what works for you regardless of whenever and however it arises after all a day without learning is a waste of a day. Remember that it doesn’t matter how you get to where you want to be, only that you do. Over, under, around, through, slowly, quickly? It really doesn’t matter, don’t focus on the how to but on the are doing scenarios.

Our dreams and goals remain exactly that until such a time as our thoughts are surpassed by consistent, determined and positive action because as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow if you do’t go after what you want you will never get it no matter how much you dream.

Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of assuming that if you simply want something enough it will happen. Far from it. You have to do the groundwork and lay the solid foundations upon which to build your dreams and goals. In short you have to…go out and make things happen. For instance you may dream about winning the lottery but you definitely won’t win it if you don’t buy a ticket. You have to be in it to win it…right? Likewise when you get into your car if you simply turn the ignition & then sit back and wait for it complete the journey from A to B without you doing anything further will it happen?

Of course not and life…your life is exactly the same!

Determine what you want out of life and then set about getting it. Decide what is is that you need to do to make it happen, form a plan and follow it but be realistic and accept that things won’t always go as you want them to, you will get sidetracked and you will more than likely make wrong decisions..note I deliberately didn’t say mistake because we’ve already established that there is no such thing…and then having given yourself the permission to create a life which is the realty of your dreams, stop holding things up live it and…

GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY

suecurr.com

Fear Is Nothing More Than…

Linkedin Fear IsFear Is Nothing More Than The Link Between Our Current & Future Realities

Life is too short to waste the currency of time doing anything which serves only to make you miserable and yet far too many of us do just that. Day in. Day Out.

What is it that holds such sway over us that we are paralyzed by the inability to change the way we live & work? Why do we steadfastly remain in negative or toxic situations that undermine our confidence, our self-esteem and our aspirations?

The answer is simple & can be summed up in one word – FEAR!

The fear of what though, making mistakes, failure or change?

In reality it could be a combination of all three so lets put things into perspective shall we?

When we make mistakes and we all do from time to time, it’s important to take time to pause and reflect on what you could have done better? Note I purposely didn’t say what went wrong! The key thing to remember about mistakes is – there aren’t any! There are only opportunities to learn what doesn’t work, which in and of themselves will by definition take you closer to where you wish to be. If something doesn’t work out, view it from a different angle and start again. There is always more than one way to achieve a goal or dream and when you adopt this viewpoint as a consistent habit then you will begin to see the results you desire.

The fear of failure often appears in synergy with the fear of making mistakes and yet the word itself – Failure – is so much more powerful than that of mistake. Why? Stigma. The fear of being defined by others as being a failure is largely what prevents us from even trying to achieve something in the first place, simply because we care what our loved ones, peers and colleagues think of us. What we lose sight of is that if it takes us longer and down more avenues than we expected to get there it doesn’t mean that we are failing in anyway. If anything it proves the opposite in that we are persistent and determined enough to get to achieve what we set out to do which is a very successful trait to have. It will take you to the golden egg which you are seeking as long as you believe in yourself. As for what everyone else thinks? Anything can have the power to prevent us from achieving our goals and dreams, the opinions of others being just one of them. By acknowledging that they have the right to their opinion but at the same time realising what anyone thinks of you is none of your business you reclaim the power for yourself and the perceived fear of failure in the eyes of another fades away as sure as melting snow.

I am the only one

We all of us have the inherent power of choice and we can choose to make the choice to change anything we want at anytime. We simply have to overcome the paralysis by utilizing the most powerful tool we own – our mind – and become aware of what it is telling us. Or to be more precise what we tell it! We tell ourselves all the time; it’s too late to do that, I’m too old, I couldn’t possibly and so on. Yet we forget the all important word in all this – choice – and the first choice to make in the face of our fears is that of choosing to take the chance to change. We can start the process by changing the way we think and subsequently talk to ourselves. The fear of change is real and largely what we use to give ourselves the permission we need to remain inside the bubble we’ve created for ourselves, wrapped in the safety net of our comfort zone. To be brutally honest far too many of us end up staying there by default because we are subconsciously willing to allow life to just happen to us instead of going out and grabbing it by the scruff of the neck! Until we realise that we are the only ones responsible for manifesting the change we wish to see in our lives then we will remain stuck in the limbo of misery we have succumbed so freely to this far.

The responsibility for

Remember that there isn’t anything you can’t do, say or become if you choose to make it happen, Not your age. Not your gender. Not your education. Nothing. Because there is always a way and it’s up to you to find it.

When you think you’ve gone as far as you can go – go on

When you think you know it all – learn something

When you think you’re done growing – grow some more

You are the one who has the key to and control over your mind. You alone have the power to create the life you desire and you should exercise that right with every waking second because this is your life. There are no refunds, no overdrafts and very definitely no second chances because this life of ours is very definitely not a rehearsal.

How you see your future is much more important than how you remember your past or what’s happening in your present. If you want it enough you will realise that fear really is nothing more than a link between our current & future realities so make 2016 the year in which you decide to;

FEAR less & LIVE more!!!

suecurr.com

So You Wanna Be A…

When I grow up I want to be a……..

How often do we hear children say things like ‘when I grow up I’m going to be a nurse like Mummy or a Fireman like my Daddy’,

Very few children have the concept of goals and dreams, the opportunities or possibilities which will present themselves as we grow and sadly in all too many cases it doesn’t register (until later if at all) that just because our parents/grandparents were shop keepers, plumbers, lawyers or brain surgeons even…it doesn’t mean that we have to go into the family business,

Make No Mistake About It

As tends to be the way our paths, circumstances and most certainly our lives in our formative and educational years are usually but sadly not always fairly mapped out for us. Often by well-meaning but misguided responsible adults and sometimes by the not so responsible, controlling, ego driven adults who either want to live vicariously through us or have us be a carbon copy of them.

It doesn’t have to be that way!

I am not a

Up to a point there is very little if anything we can do about it whilst we’re growing…if we’re lucky we will be reared in an environment where we are at an early age afforded the opportunity to learn about the power of choice and the responsibility that comes with it. If not hopefully we’ll learn sooner rather than later that the power of choice is not only inherent in us all it is part of our basic human rights from the time we are able to communicate effectively.

For instance whilst getting my granddaughter ready to go out recently she was adamant that she wasn’t wearing a coat to go outside in despite freezing temperatures.  I opted to explain the choices she had…1) wear the coat thus remaining warm 2) don’t wear the coat running the risk of being freezing cold. Now at 4 she is in my opinion old enough to know the difference between the two choices and understand the consequences of both. After thinking about it she chose not to wear the coat. Accepting her decision I told her that was fine but I would take it along anyway so she could wear it if she changed her mind. Ten minutes later we were outside coatless but within three minutes  she was warm, wrapped up in not only her coat but scarf & gloves having realised she’d made the wrong choice. All without trauma, confrontation or the what did I tell you syndrome.

The lesson here for both of us was that in being given a choice at the age of 4 (and to be honest that’s the way we try to work) our granddaughter has learned early on that when faced with a decision the choice is hers but so are the consequences and that’s her responsibility.

We can’t blame ourselves for not knowing

If we grow up without ever being given the opportunity of choice & understanding that each one comes with the prospect of changing our reality then we do in effect become programmed to accept that things are just the way they are. In my family for instance both my grandfathers were miners, as were theirs, my father was a miner and perhaps unsurprisingly my brother became a miner, It  became a self-perpetuating family tradition, one that was never questioned. It was just what the men in the family did!

Thankfully these days we are more open to and accepting of a persons right to choose who and what they wish to be. Sadly though we still bow to the universally accepted premise that ‘Mum & Dad know best’…now obviously in some instances that is very definitely true. Especially when it comes to keeping young people safe but I seriously question that ethos particularly when it comes to both educational & lifestyle choices…essentially the cornerstones of what will become our adult life,

Understand that you can be whoever and whatever you want to be

Be humble, grateful, passionateNo matter how long it takes us to accept this simple fact…and for me that was the larger part of my adult life…it nevertheless is true!

The hard part for many of us as we struggle to find our identity, establish the career we want, live with or marry the partner of our dreams is that we spend far too much time people pleasing, not wanting to upset those we love and putting ourselves second if not last on our own list of priorities.

Remember this…This life of ours is just that… ours! We have one shot at getting our time here on this mortal coil to be the best experience for us that it can. We have a right to be happy. We have an equally important right to love & be loved unconditionally and we most definitely have the right to live our life in our own way, on our own terms without ever having to explain, excuse or justify ourselves, Ever!

When others, especially your nearest & dearest take exception to the choices you make…regardless of what they are; lifestyle, religion, career, anything at all….which they will. Bear in mind that although they will largely be coming from a place of love & concern, they will also be afraid both for the impact your decision will have on you and often how it will impact on them..what will the neighbours think?

But never forget that staying true to yourself, your wishes and dreams is your responsibility how others react to that is theirs.

Do you want something badly enough?

The general rule of thumb is; if you want something (no matter what) you will find a way to make it work. If you don’t? You’ll find an excuse…usually a pretty lame one…to justify your choice (there’s that word again)…how many times have you convinced yourself let alone others that you have a justified reason for not fulfilling your dream?

I’m not good enough. I don’t have the time. It was a stupid idea anyway!

Wrong! Wrong oh and errr Wrong!!! – No matter who or what you are?

You are real

You are very definitely good enough to do/be whatever the hell you want to…period! Others no matter who they are don’t have the right to make that judgement. If they do then walk away, we none of us need anything other than the love and support of those who matter to us. As Dr Seuss very succinctly put it…’Those who matter, don’t mind. Those who mind don’t matter’!

Time is both a blessing and a curse but if you really believe that time is short, weigh up how long each day you spend on social media, watching TV, window shopping, day dreaming…then tell yourself you don’t have time. I actively chose not to watch TV for a month in January this year just to see how much more I could get done in a day, let alone a week. The result? I gained 4 hours per day or just over one whole day per week to spend doing other more productive things…with the exception of an odd film..I haven’t watched TV since…everything is relative guys!

Thoughts become ideas, ideas become dreams, dreams can become reality..if they don’t? It doesn’t mean it was a stupid idea in the first place just that there’s probably a different way of getting there..if Michael Faraday hadn’t persevered, our concept of electricity today may well be very different indeed!

Finally I would say just one more thing ;

The difference between who you are & who you want to be is…what you do. Your choice. Your Life. Live it your way!

Thanks for reading whatever you chose…be happy! Namaste… Sue

 

 

 

Sober. Proud. Grateful…3 Years On!

3RD Anniversary Post

”No matter how many times we stumble or fall, the greatest lesson is loving yourself through it all” – Barbra Streisand

TODAY is the 3rd Anniversary of the first day of the rest of my life. It is the day when I was faced with the prospect of not seeing the next 24 hours let alone my children carve out their adult lives for themselves. I lived. I learned. I grew.

Welcome to my life. My new sober life!

It’s a day that I am fortunate to be seeing and there is not one day since the 26th September 2012, that I have not offered up thanks for the miracle that is my life as I live it these days. Now I don’t mean that to sound evangelical, nor do I say it to solicit sympathy or even pity. I say it simply because it’s true, a simple, honest fact. Due to my extremely poor lifestyle choices as a result of Mental Ill Health and having tried and failed (although that’s a word I dislike intensely) to sort myself out with the usual cocktail of prescribed meds and varying forms of therapy, I had slid almost unconsciously (the irony of that word isn’t lost on me as for the larger part of a period totalling about 15 years..that’s largely what I was unconscious) into the dangerous, un-policed area of self medication. Except my drug of choice came in a bottle or 3 a day rather than a blister pack of little white pills.

My descent into a self-induced state of oblivion started off relatively slowly but as is the way with all addiction gathered pace quite spectacularly and as I’ve told you before I almost became a guest of the Grim Reaper when my liver and other vital organs started to shut down. Fortunately I lived to tell the tale and my life since that date  has gone from strength to strength. Mentally, spiritually, emotionally & very definitely physically. Quite simply on every level I am a different person.

Someone asked me recently if I was a better person because of it. Honestly? At the time I couldn’t answer her…largely because I didn’t feel that was my call to make. However having had chance to digest the question properly and if she asked me again today…particularly today, given that it’s 3 years hence my answer would have to be a great big, fat resounding...

Yes it is and not only that I am prouder than I ever imagined possible about the fact.

I’m happier, healthier and more whole than ever before and because of this I’m more confident, less paranoid, have an improving opinion of my self-image and I know I am more than enough just the way I am. All of the above have led me to be more relaxed, less anxious, most certainly less self-absorbed these days and as a result I am more emotionally and mentally available, as such I’m more in tune with and receptive to the needs of others in a way which quite honestly I was totally unable to be 3 years ago. So yes I think I can say with all honesty yes I’m a better person for the experience. As frightening and unpleasant as it was the lessons I learned because of it have made the person I am today…and do you know what? I actually for the first time like who I am. BONUS!

That said I very firmly still consider myself to be a work in progress..living, learning & growing every single day. My historic battle with Mental Ill Health & its resultant poor lifestyle choices saw me almost rob myself of seeing my family thrive & grow…the fact that I did leaves me full of a gratitude which is beyond measure.

If I’ve learned anything it’s that this isn’t a rehearsal..grab each day by the scruff of it’s neck…tell those you care for how much you love them and make every single second count leaving no room for regret. We’re all born, we all die..it’s what we do in between which becomes our legacy NOT what there is in the bank..the box we’re leaving in bar a few inches is gonna be the same size and we ain’t taking anything with us folks so make it count…while you still can.

I firmly believe the adage that in life there are no mistakes only lessons to be learned and trust me this particular one is very definitely one which will never have to be revisited let alone unlearned. I’m not naive enough to think that I will never be tempted to partake of the demon drink again..indeed in recent times of extreme stress the thought has in all honesty crossed my mind BUT I owe it to myself and those I cherish to love this life I live & live this life I love with every fibre of my heart and soul cleanly, openly & honestly thus absolving them of the need to worry about me.

Addiction makes a person very selfish and as that selfish incarnation of yourself you truly cannot think or process anything which threatens the false reality you’ve created for yourself as you hide from the cause of the pain which you have strived so hard to forget. In becoming so self-absorbed nothing else matters, not yourself or your health, not your loved ones or the pain they feel on your behalf and you certainly don’t even think about happiness, let alone actually being happy. In short you care about nothing only where your next drink, fix, high,,,whatever you’re chasing is coming from.

This more than anything else is something which even if I was tempted myself? I would never, ever put those I love through that pain again…and so going back to the previous question.

Has it made you a better person? Oh God I do hope so…YES! I’m done being selfish, I’m done being miserable, I’m done hiding. I fully intend to carry on doing exactly what I now implore you all to do which is to;

Do what makes YOU happy, be who or what YOU want to be and understand that we all of us have the power within to do just that…live life mindfully with gratitude and whatever you are KNOW that you are ENOUGH!

Trust me if I can do it….anyone can and I highly recommend it!!!

For those of you…and you know who you are…who have loved & supported me unconditionally along the way my eternal gratitude knows no bounds..I love you today, tomorrow & ALWAYS

LIVE! LAUGH! LOVE!

Sue – Clean. Sober & Happy for 1096 Days today!!

The Loneliest Place on Earth

The Loneliest Place On Earth BLOG HEADER Striving to be ”Normal”

Unless you’ve experienced … scarily extreme mood swings, crippling anxieties, paranoia & obsessive behaviours to name just a few, had to factor in the senses of fear, isolation, shame & guilt or add in a dolllop of good old fashioned stigma topped off with a nuclear strength cocktail  of prescribed drugs to make you ”feel better”… then you will rarely have come close to understanding what constantly trying to appear  ”normal” is like when you’re battling with Mental Ill Health.

WELCOME TO THE LONELIEST PLACE ON EARTH!!!

If like me you’re a sufferer it probably took ages before you admitted there was an issue and if anyone asked ”what’s wrong?” the answer would be ”I’m fine, nothing that a week in the sun won’t fix”!

I suspect the majority of us struggle to keep up the…. ”I’m fine” facade in an attempt to avoid the….albeit well meant…scenario of repeatedly being told to ”pull yourself together”. At best it’s frustrating to hear, at worst reinforces our shame that we seem unable to do just that!

Mental ill health covers an immense variety of ”disorders”….ranging from Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia, Paranoia, OCD and so on however many sufferers begin their Mental Ill Health journey on the back of a ”rough patch”…feeling low, miserable, unable to snap out of it type scenarios..commonly known as ”situational or reactive” depression.

Whatever your particular diagnosis you should know that each one though different is EXACTLY the same when it comes to feeling isolated, ashamed or stigmatised etc because unless others have firsthand experience of how it feels then in all honesty how can they be expected to understand us or we their reactions.

Eventually something gives and we realise ”this, whatever this is” is much more than just being ”fed up or a bit miserable” and the decision’s made to get help. Usually resulting in the first of (in my case) many visits to the doctor.

”Take one twice daily”

I was just 18 when I first asked for ”help”………. having been ”miserable” for as long as I could recall I plucked up courage and went to see my doctor…Confused, nervous and very scared I felt sure that I would be deemed ”insane”….in reality the doctor wasn’t the least bit interested in why I was so ”miserable” but was quick to write a prescription for ”something to pick you up” and before I knew it I was clutching my first bottle of Valium labelled ”take one twice daily”!

I honestly believe that visit alone was solely responsible for what became my historical mistrust of both medication and the medical profession in general when it came to my psychiatric issues.

Caught between a rock and a hard place

In 1978 Valium (known today as Diazepam) was at the height of it’s ”popularity”. That year in America alone 2 BILLION tablets were prescribed.Today the World Health Organization list it on the Essential Medicines List such is its popularity because of it’s versatility. At the time the fact that it had highly addictive properties wasn’t even considered!! BUT in 1978 as a desperate AND trusting 18 year old I fared poorly as a result of it, as it turned out I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t because ….it did exactly what ”it said on the tin” and indeed I ”picked up” surprisingly quickly…..my problems began in earnest when I was told I was ”better” and the pills were no longer needed!

WRONG!!!

The withdrawal symptoms were horrific to say the least and for a teenager who already thought she was going ”mad” the effect on my psyche was such that it set me back 10 years in my battle to be healthy and in any event sparked a rebellion against ”medication” which was to last to this day.

The previous 30+ years have seen me endure a rollercoaster of stop/start treatments….I would become ill, try to ”work through it”, ask for help, take the meds, feel better, stop taking them (against advice), stay ”well” for a while and…….REPEAT!!

Einstein said ”The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result”……..he was correct!

We aren’t the condition, the condition is part of us!

During my adult life it’s taken 4 complete breakdowns, descent into alcoholism and almost dying before I EVEN considered that both prescription meds and the decision to begin self-medicating were in actual fact no more than sticking plasters.

In reality Mental Ill health issues manifest themselves as a direct result of triggers….attachment issues, neglect, abuse, poor self image, in other words the circumstances which caused us to define ourselves by our assigned labels and thus became who thought we were. The trick having identified the root cause is to work out a ”whole person centred care plan” with the aim of allowing us to live happy, positive and balanced lives.

The bigger picture on the road to recovery

When we look at the bigger picture we start to understand that there are other options when it comes to enhancing  both our clinical treatment and the day to day management of our individual situation.

Doubtless medication is the key player but historically it has all too often been seen by both patient and medic as not only the RIGHT but the ONLY treatment option. We lost sight of the fact that Mental Ill Health isn’t a one size fits all scenario and something which works well for me may well be detrimental to you the next sufferer.

We need to be open to the fact that different doesn’t mean bad

I came to realise that much that can be done to aid recovery from the affliction of Mental Health conditions but for these to work we have to be willing to take the responsibilty to find out what they are. There are no rules when it comes to exploring complimentary, healthy, self help options to aid, indeed underpin our clinical interventions BUT when you do decide to try something new please make sure that you choose it because YOU want to and feel comfortable in doing so. Whatever it is? If it makes you feel better on any level….then it’s right for you!

Incidentally when we try anything which serves to decrease our senses of isolation, shame, guilt etc that are the constant bedfellows of Mental Health issues we come a long way towards increasing our senses of self-esteem, self-worth and as such our confidence levels start to soar.

It doesn’t matter what it is….Yoga or Meditation, reading self help articles or taking classes, taking up a hobby or joining a gym or absolutely anything else in between the IMPORTANT thing is in deciding to be proactive in our own care plan we better enable ourselves to take a brave but moreover very necessary step over the boundary between being being trapped in ”The Loneliest Place on Earth” and returning to or even becoming a fully functioning member of society!

The journey along the road that is Mental Ill Health can be long and difficult but NEVER FORGET you don’t have to walk it alone

ASKING FOR HELP IS BRAVE – DO SOMETHING AMAZING BE BRAVE TODAY

NAMASTE my friends – Sue.x

 

 

 

 

We Should Never Forget That Children Do Listen

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker & Empowerment Coach

Children Do Listen

 

Everything we ever do is a learned behaviour

And let’s face it the job of the teacher…initially at least…falls squarely on the shoulders of our parents and carers.

Without doubt parenting is the most important role with the most significant responsibilities around… not a statement I make lightly….and yet it’s practically the only job in the entire world which anyone can take on without any formal training.

The second we’re conceived we become part of the lottery of life. As children our future is mapped out and there is little we can do about it until we take responsibility for our own life as we grow up.

When we’re born our responsible adults start us on a learning curve that is never steeper than during our first 5 years of life. Every second of every day we are learning on every conceivable level largely without even being aware of it.

When I say every level I do mean every level as babies we’re naturally programmed to react to and learn from everything our senses are being continually bombarded by.

Sight, Sound. Taste. Smell & Touch

Our grown ups are aware of our responses to stimulation but unless we react suddenly to loud noises, they rarely if ever remember that children will and do listen.… all the time even when they appear to  be engrossed in other things.

It’s a common misconception that young children in particular are unaware of what is being said in their presence and whilst that may be true before we ”understand the words” it most certainly isn’t as we grow.

It’s an error of judgement that  can and does cause serious consequences for both the children that we are and the adults we become!

The vast majority of parents or carers quickly get to grips with the mechanics of teaching the day-to-day practicalities involved in the rearing and shaping of us into responsible adults in our own right. Including the…for some….not too obvious aspects that form part of the package our spiritual, emotional and mental well-being.

They simply ”forget” that children are like sponges soaking up everything including what’s said to, shouted at, spoken to others about, even muttered through clenched teeth….. at them!

Children listen constantly especially when it’s about them!  

By the age of 5 the majority of us will have heard and absorbed all manner of information much of it about us and if we’re lucky we will have come to learn that we are bright, intelligent, lovable, funny, pretty, in other words we are secure in the knowledge that we are loved and wanted which is exactly as it should be

However for every well-balanced, secure, confident child that’s raised there are children who grow up thinking that they are stupid, naughty, noisy, cheeky, bad and who grow up to be less well-adjusted, nervous, shy, insecure with little or no self-esteem and for an unfortunate proportion of these children this tends to be the beginning of their journey through the battlefield of Mental Ill Health a place I’ve come to acknowledge as being the loneliest place on earth.

There are far too many who are unwilling or unable to extend their duty of care to their offspring in a manner which sees them learn, grow and mature into whole, rounded, well-balanced adults in their own right and that’s where some of us come unstuck!

Why? Simply because adults severely underestimate the power of the spoken word!

As human beings and particularly as children we do over time tend to forget the words that have been spoken and the things that have been done in their finer detail but we never forget how we’ve been made to feel. If the parents and carers of this world could somehow see into the future and be held accountable beforehand then so many lives would be very different from that of…

A ‘’lifelong battle with Mental Ill Health’’ and the resulting suffering

When I was 5!

When I was 5 – I knew how to laugh but learned how to cry
When I was 5 – I knew how to shine but learned how to hide
When I was 5 – I knew how to be happy but learned how to be sad
When I was 5 – I knew how to play but  learned how to sit
When I was 5 – I knew how to be real but learned how to be fake
When I was 5 – I knew how to read so learned how to escape

As children we adapt very quickly to the circumstances of our day-to-day lives. If we have been molded to be timid or insecure, feel anxious or unloved we learn how to people please. We learn how to ”behave” because we’re afraid of doing something wrong or being lacking in some way and we grow up feeling stupid or worthless but most of all unlovable.

It can take years to overcome the behaviour patterns, insecurities and traumas we may  have experienced throughout childhood..some of us never do. Because we grow up believing that everything we have ever been told or have heard about ourselves from the mouths of ”our grown ups” must be true because they ”were big and we were small” and that’s just the way it is!

If as responsible adults we understood that it takes much less effort to raise a whole child than it does to mend a broken adult then life and this world would be a much brighter, happier place. Our children are but a gift, ours for a very small window of opportunity it’s our responsibility to raise them to be the best version of themselves that they can possibly be.

When I turned 50

When I turned 50 – I knew how to cry but remembered to laugh

When I turned 50 – I knew how to hide but remembered to shine

When I turned 50 – I knew how to be sad but remembered to be happy

When I turned 50 – I knew how to sit but remembered to play

When I turned 50 – I knew how to be fake but remembered to be real

When  I turned 50 – I knew how to escape but remembered it was enough to just read

We owe it our children to raise them properly and that means looking after their spiritual, emotional and mental well-being in equal proportion to their physical needs. They shouldn’t have to spend their lives trying to become who they really are……….I was lucky I now know without doubt that I am worthy, I am enough, I am lovable and funny and smart and anything else I want to be because I matter!!!                                                                     

Pity it took me 50+ years but that’s ok because everything that has ever happened to me, made me who I am and AM PROUD TO BE today   

If you would like to begin living your life with both purpose & passion in your own way & on your own terms without feeling the need to apologize for, justify or explain yourself BUT lack the rock solid foundation of self-esteem & confidence then I invite you to reach & connect with me here by Claiming a FREE 30 Minute Strategic Discovery Call

 

Don’t Follow The Crowd

Dont follow the crowd POST‘’I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions’’
Stephen Covey

I spent far too many years trying to ‘’fit in’’ be ‘’one of the crowd’’. Don’t get me wrong I was never involved with what my Dad would’ve called a ‘’bad lot’’

Quite the opposite I had, indeed still do an amazing bunch of close friends who have always been both a constant in my life and incredibly supportive of me no matter the circumstances. Although on occasion I made that incredibly difficult but I digress. The point being I never felt under any pressure from my peers to do anything I didn’t want. I quite literally became as Stephen Covey so succinctly puts it ‘’ a product of my own circumstances’’.

During my formative years I ‘’learned’’ very early on an innate need to please others….I became the self-deprecating class clown, the one who would always say yes when she wanted to say no. The one who was always first to volunteer to go that extra mile regardless if I had the time to do it. The one who agreed to go on holiday to Spain when she really, really wanted to go to India.

You get the picture?

In my case I began at a very early age to follow the paths that others had laid out for themselves with me in mind purely because I didn’t have the nerve or the ability at the time to even think about suggesting that I may want to do something different especially if it didn’t include them.

In short my problem was that I was petrified that others would think less of me, not like me or even worse not love me for who I really was. Which was invariably different to what they thought.

Everyone’s reasons for finding themselves in situations like this are both very personal and wildly different but the result as far as ourselves is concerned is that we lose sight of who we really are and what we really want.

If we’re fortunate we ‘’wake up and smell the coffee’’ before too much damage is done.

Me? It took me until I was turned 50…. To have ‘’a midlife crisis’’. For that read standing up for myself purely by becoming brave enough to decline the ‘’offers, plans and suggestions’’ of others IF I DIDN’T WANT to be involved.

These days I KNOW BETTER so…….your mission should you choose to accept it as you journey through this life of yours would be…..

Always be your own person

Our life is ours alone, our responsibility. Follow the path of your own choosing. Remember however that a sometimes unexpected turn can inspire us to achieve amazing things….we should all learn to ‘’expect the unexpected’’ and embrace it when it happens.

Whatever you do though don’t make the mistake of trying to do it all alone. Rather welcome others to join you along the way….ask them if want them to but whatever you do, do it on your own terms. Whilst having the support & company of those who are important to us can be a good thing they may on occasion try and dissuade you from your chosen goal…..usually with the best of intention but sometimes for their own ulterior motive.

Don’t be afraid (indeed be prepared) to make difficult decisions if that’s what it takes to get you where you need to be and/or to do the right thing but whilst it’s nice to take the credit where it’s due it can also be counterbalanced at times by having to take your fair share of the blame if things don’t go as planned. Which they invariably will but that’s ok because……None of us is perfect!

Use the power of choice to get you where you want to be. Whilst that may not always be what others want or even like – it’s important to always remember that it’s what you want out of life that counts.

As long as you are coming from a place of kindness, compassion and love and you’re not deliberately setting out to hurt or upset anyone then you can leave the responsibility for the reactions of others firmly where they need to be…….WITH THEM!

Stay strong and have the courage of your convictions. We all of us have more mental strength than we believe…even in the most trying of circumstances…or give ourselves credit for when things get tough. Then watch yourself blossom as you come ever closer to achieving what it is you want. Your confidence and self-esteem will start to soar as you truly become your authentic self.

Someone who is comfortable in their own skin and secure with the decisions they make….someone who is always true to themselves.

Remember as you go forward in life …..YOUR LIFE!

You’re responsible for YOU

You don’t exist to impress the world or anyone in it. You exist to live the life you want in ways that serve to MAKE YOU HAPPY!

Which is as it should

Be mindful about and wary of being pulled down a path that is of someone else’s making. If you’re not comfortable with it make your own detour.

Don’t ever feel the need to excuse, apologise or justify your choices because there is no shame….ONLY PRIDE in achieving what you want in life, in your own way and on your own terms. PERIOD! 

To sum it up….it took me far too long to realise that the only thing I am truly responsible for is ME.

These days I’m very much my own person, one secure enough to understand that the opinions of others are theirs to deal with and what they think of the choices I make in MY LIFE are none of my business.

I now KNOW that Dr Seuss was spot on when he famously said…..

‘’Those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind’’

If I’d understood that as a youngster life would have certainly been very different. Do I regret anything? I honestly don’t believe I do because everything that’s gone before has made me the person that I am today which is stronger, wiser, and happier and for the first time ever I’m truly……

COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN!
RESULT!
Thanks for reading…whatever you do today…be true to yourself!