Tag Archives: mental health

I Can’t Do This! Yes You Can!

Sue Curr Speaker Empowerment Coach

I Can’t Do This! Yes You Can!

Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, some people make it happen – Michael Jordan

 

We have to believe that we will!

Against all the odds and despite all the obstacles that we may face, we have to believe that we are going to make it, otherwise what would be the point?

The choice to do so together with the inherent power we have which allows us to make it to wherever we need or want to be in life is ours alone

It could be that we want to make a lifestyle change or rise above historic emotional issues. It could be that we know deep down that we are stuck in a situation which has long since served to be of any positive use to us that we want to be free from

Whether the place we need to get to is physical, emotional, or that of a shift in mind set it is almost irrelevant because if we’ve reached the point where we are questioning ourselves as to whether or not we will make it then we know deep down that the time has come for a change and more importantly a change for the better

If we are determined enough we’ll get to where we need to be

Yet sadly the need to change means little unless we actively want to do something about it and therein lies the crux of the matter.

At times of crisis or indecision the paths of need and want are simultaneously intertwined and yet are also polar opposites. In simple terms when we need a glass of water it’s usually because we are thirsty and yet when we want a glass of water it’s also usually because we are thirsty!

Doesn’t that mean the same thing?

 

No! If we  need something it’s essential in the great scheme of things

But when we want something it’s an object of desire, something that would be nice to have but it wouldn’t matter if we didn’t get it

‘Making It’ is influenced by the power we have to choose what we want in life

It’s when we couple it with an actual need to do so that the chances of actually achieving it become much improved

How can I possibly ‘make it’ when I’m gripped by mental ill health?

Well the short answer is that anything is possible. When we not only want to do it but believe that we can (and that includes our mental health) then we can take the responsibility to choose to be proactive in the way we approach it, for instance…

On September 26th this year it will be five years since I was admitted as an emergency to hospital. It will be a day I not only thought, but was told I would never see and yet here I am!

I tell you this for no other reason than to define how powerful the combination of need and want are as we strive to ‘MAKE IT’ in life hopefully you’ll see what I mean;

For the majority of my adult life I’ve battled with varying forms of mental ill health but very late in the day (I was in my late 30’s at the time) it was confirmed that I had a pretty disastrous combination of anxiety based issues, Psychosis and Bi-Polar Disorder for starters but despite struggling to both cope and accept my lot (denial can be very persuasive) I finally began to not only address the situation but take responsibility for it as I commenced a long and lonely journey through the battlefield that is Mental Ill Health.

One which very nearly saw me lose my life!

The finer details for the under laying reasons (reasons as opposed to excuses) are for another time, but suffice to say that in the course of my denial I frequently refused the help, be it medical intervention, or otherwise that I so desperately needed. I started to self medicate with my drug of choice, that of alcohol and not unsurprisingly over time my problem drinking  morphed into alcoholism. It was the biggest open secret around except that the only person who didn’t know or rather refused to accept it was – ME!

Let me take you back in time!

Because frankly we can only ever connect the dots by looking backward!

So on September 26th, 2012 I’m in my Doctors office for the blood test results I’d been waiting for. At 52 I’m obese, bloated, jaundiced, have delirium tremors and am taking 17 different prescriptions daily which include 44 tablets for everything from depression to acid reflux and high cholesterol.

I WAS A MESS!

The Doctors face is grave but she cuts straight to the chase.

”Susan I’m calling an ambulance right now, your liver is failing”

I actually laughed (even at that point I was still in denial) and she proceeded to do just that.

The last thing I remember is being put into a hospital bed and my husband tearfully giving the medical team my details. I woke up 5 days later with absolutely no recollection of what had just happened to me!!!

In short, I had spent the previous 15 years subconsciously trying  to drink myself to death largely because I couldn’t accept or cope with either the under laying cause of my illness or my subsequent behaviour and being brutally honest neither had I wanted to because the thought of making it anywhere, let alone to the other side of my mental ill health issues or anything else for that matter just wasn’t on my radar.

That is until I came round and I was visited by my Consultant who told me point blank without ceremony that ‘I would be lucky to have 5 years left to live and although he hoped I’d walk out of there on my own two feet, he didn’t actually think I would be going home’!

The bottom fell out of my world that day!

But in the split second it took for me to register what had been said I instantly knew that it was the catalyst I needed to help me ‘MAKE IT’.

Being faced with my own mortality had in a split second forced me to accept the fact I had been denying for so long – I was an alcoholic – and that if I was going to make it; physically, emotionally and mentally I not only needed to, I had to want to more than anything else and that included being anywhere near the demon drink!

The point behind all this is that whatever the circumstances causing you to feel as though you need to make it are – YOU HAVE TO WANT TO DO IT!

When our should becomes our must things finally begin to change!

My need to make it through to the other side of both my mental ill health issues and my alcoholism turned around in an instant because my desire to live became stronger than the need for that which I had taken solace in to mask my emotional and mental anguish!

We face many  battles to get to where we want or need to be in our lives, many of them the result of external influences but we also have to take responsibility for the part we play in things.

It’s so much easier to hide behind the facade of blaming someone or something for the situations we find ourselves in and that’s where, certainly in my case the downward spiral begins.

Be it the opinions and actions of others bringing pressure to bear whilst trying to mold us into something which we aren’t or the historical feelings of guilt, inadequacy and low self-esteem we experience borne on the back of things said or done. The point is they all lead us to feel as though we’re lacking in some way. Unworthy. Not good enough.

They are learned behaviour patterns which can and do impact massively on everything in our lives. Relationships. Careers. Mental as well as physical health and it is the struggle which we have with every single aspect of this which ultimately leads us to want to make it

What we lose sight of, if we ever had it to lose in the first place, is that with a little courage and determination on our part we have both the power and the choice to change things for the better. If we’re lucky – I truly was – we have the support of our loved ones along the way. The bottom line is it’s our responsibility to do what we have to do, in order that we can get where we want or need to be.

How do we do this?

Find a starting point, your catalyst, the thing which will finally galvanise you into action and then understand that you have to unlearn everything that has gone before.

We have to accept that we cannot change the past but in order for us to change we must forgive it. Let it go. Move on. This becomes so much easier when we consciously decide to act based on the combined need and desire to move forward.

When we sow the seeds of change within ourselves then the hard work can begin

Having forgiven our past we then have to do the same for ourselves. Forgive yourselves for the mistakes you made along the way. In doing so learn from  them and watch how you grow! As we start to grow we come to understand that as a person regardless of what others may think of us we are enough just the way we are, no excuses, no justifications and very definitely no apologies for being who we are.

When we accept ourselves it brings with it an increase in confidence and the self esteem to enable us to have the courage of our convictions. We no longer feel the need to be a people pleaser at the expense of our own self worth. We come to know that we can and should stand up for ourselves and we come to understand that we don’t have to succumb to abusive, manipulative or emotionally and mentally draining people ever again!

It’s not an easy journey and there’ll be days when we feel lost or hopeless and panic will set in as we fear a return to our previous negative, unhealthy or destructive ways but that’s OK we’re human. It’s not realistic to expect ourselves to be perfect. On occasion when this happens and it will, forgive yourself, draw a line under it and look to tomorrow because it is not only another day, it’s the first day of the rest of your life.

Your new life and if you’ve reached that point you really will have made it.

Is it worth it? Yes it is!

There are massive steps along the road to making it but they are so worth it, especially as we feel our resolve grow ever stronger.

The hard work, the trauma, the emotional and mental upset, all of it pales into insignificance when you suddenly understand, probably for the first time you’re living life to the full on your own terms, comfortable in your own skin and despite everything that has happened along the way you realise that not only are you grateful to be so, you no longer feel guilty because;

You MAY have wished for it, you MAY have wanted it but you MADE it happen 

YOU MADE IT!

 

It’s OK To Be Sad – Isn’t it?

It's OK to be Sad Living Life From The Inside Out

The fear of what others think or say about us often cause us to pretend that everything is OK when it’s anything but


It’s okay to be sad!!

Sadness just as much as any other emotion is and indeed should be equally as valid as any other; happiness, anger, jealousy and joy and as such it’s OK to be sad as and when we feel the need

Isn’t It?

Yet the fear of what others think or say about us often cause us to pretend otherwise because we don’t want to worry them. We don’t want them to think we’re weak or can’t cope for instance or worse that we’re an attention seeking drama queen!

But life isn’t a performance!

However pretending to be OK when you feel like you’re falling apart is. It isn’t your job to smile or hide your authentic truth purely to serve to make other people feel more comfortable

So if things become awkward let them

It’s not okay for others to undermine or gloss over your feelings, to try to silence your pain by telling you to get over it or cheer up because you’re no longer fun to be around. They like you need to understand that you are perfectly imperfect and as such are entitled to have times when you no longer wish or need to perform for anyone’s benefit except yours

There’s no need to push away your sadness

You should always honour your feelings and understand that you don’t need permission, approval or validation to feel what you feel and more importantly is very, very real

Self care is important and we should never neglect it for the sake of others. Especially those who may only want you around when it’s easy & comfortable. Their discomfort isn’t about you, it’s about them, their limitations and their own issues

No matter what they think or say, you should always to give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you feel.

You’re allowed to show your feelings honestly.

You’re allowed to talk about your pain and reach out for support if you feel you need it.

You’re allowed to scream and wail and cry.

After all there’s a saying ‘it’s better out than in’ meaning in terms of our mental health that the sooner we acknowledge, accept and validate our emotions then the sooner we can work through them and let them go having learned what we need to from the experience

On a personal level recently as a family we had (and in some instances continue) to deal with some pretty traumatic circumstances each one which in their own right were enough to cope with on any given day but when combined, served on several occasions to almost completely derail our day to day lives and yet from my perspective they didn’t (though to be honest it came close at times) because I’m human and I now understand that as such we have the power of choice

Let me explain what I mean …

Just a few short years ago the stress of the chaos unfolding around us, let alone my highly charged emotional state caused by recent situations would’ve been enough to see me heading for a bottle or 4 of wine per day just to keep on an even keel in terms of ‘keeping it all together’. Anyway despite the emotions, chaos and drama which has continued to plague us these last few months and without burdening you with the finer detail, I’m happy to report that I’m still well and truly sober. YAAAAY!

Yet there have been several times where I’ve been so sad, so overwhelmed and so bloody frustrated I thought I would implode!

Why am I telling you this?

That’s easy because as I’ve pointed out previously life isn’t a performance and I know that now, but the old me?

The old me would’ve carried on stoically, pretending to the world and his father that everything, including me was fine. That I was despite everything happy. That I could cope and that they didn’t need to worry about me. All true – in the story in my head – and which was one of the reasons my life previously took the turn it did

However

The new me (I’m still very much a work in progress mind) knows better, so very much better and these days…

If I’m sad or overly emotional? I let it out. I sob, I cry and most importantly I’m getting better at doing it

If I’m angry?  I let it out. Even (and I have) if I have to go outside and scream at the moon and trust me on this when we release our anger healthily we instantly begin to feel better!

If I feel overwhelmed, hurt or confused? I let it out. I work through those feelings as best, as soon and as thoroughly as I can. Writing everything down is a good venting strategy as well as the more obvious one of talking it through with someone who’s not only supportive but objective (for my part thank you, you know who you are) and whilst ALL of the above and more constitute the menu which is sadness, they by the same token are all of them much easier to overcome, move through and grow from when we deal with them head on and don’t bury them, along with our heads in the sand.

But Do You Know What?

When we allow ourselves to feel, truly feel our emotions and at the same time allow those around us who matter; partners, family, friends etc, to see it then we very importantly take the first all important step in allowing ourselves to be seen to be vulnerable.

It’s not easy. It’s scary and it hurts like hell and is why allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is something that many of us (mental health issues aside) find difficult because in doing so we’re also allowing others to see that not only is everything not well in our world but moreover the picture we’ve painted for them of our being ‘superwoman/man’ is a myth

Guess What? – They Already Knew That!

No one is perfect but often the pictures we paint, the facades we build to protect ourselves from too close a scrutiny by others can be. This does both us and those we care for a disservice. Simply because in our determination to be seen to be constantly happy or always able to cope, we take away their choice in the matter and in doing so deem them either not able to cope with our weaknesses (for fear of upsetting them) or have unfairly decided that they wouldn’t care, have time or be interested if we did

The thing is, that’s not our call to make, it’s theirs!

Five years or more ago I made that same decision. The one to shield those I love and they me, from my pain and sadness. It’s one of the few things I regret today because in trying to shield them I certainly took away their choice.

The choice as to whether or not they would simply watch as I imploded or step up and help me to recover and live if they wanted or were able to

But that choice would have been theirs to make not mine

So is it OK to be sad, angry, upset and emotional especially without worrying about what others will think, say or feel about you?

YES because …

As Dr Seuss so succinctly put it ‘Those who matter don’t mind whereas those who mind don’t matter’!!

So…It is okay to be sad!! – AGREED?

Sue Curr is a Speaker, Empowerment Coach & Writer who in combining her professional background with her own significant journey along lifes loneliest of roads that of Mental Ill Health & Addiction today serves to enable others to see and understand that whoever and whatever we are?

It’s Enough!

 

Did You Grow Up Trying to Please Others?

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What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Did you grow up always trying to please others, searching for approval & the need for validation from others & learn to live your life ‘certain’ in the knowledge that were you ‘stupid enough’ to not only have but enforce boundaries with regard to your own life & that by doing so then others wouldn’t, or worse still stop loving you?

If you did I can pretty much say that for you like me life became a vicious cycle of wrestling to cater for your own needs & wants as well as servicing those of others and as such you will have lived anything but a fearless life

I’ve learned many things over the course of my life

However one thing has remained constant & that simply put is this we are ALL of using fighting our own battles & demons on many levels, BUT so are those we are both surrounded by & hold dear. When we are so close that we can’t see the wood for the trees and should one, if not both of us be prepared to see the other side then we get into difficulties.

But there also ALWAYS comes a point when BOTH sides have no choice other than to take responsibility for their part in the problem….

Being brutally honest I’ve learned that in having grown up being a people pleaser & being afraid to set & reinforce boundaries for others in my life, that I had inadvertently become the root cause of the problem!

GUILTY AS CHARGED!

But even so there comes a point in any situation when no matter how much we love, how much we give, how much we ignore, how much we hope that things will change for the better they NEVER will if the all important factor of RESPECT is missing!

But you can be certain of one thing

People can & do get the emotions of LOVE & RESPECT mixed and yet nothing will ever change in a relationship unless both sides both understand and embrace the difference

This is a monumental mistake & the crux of many a failed relationship…husband & wife, father & mother, mother & daughter, the list my friends is endless.

In my humble opinion to love & be loved unconditionally is the greatest gift we will ever be able to give or receive because it comes freely, without strings & by definition without condition.

Respect on the other hand is a privilege. One to be earned, gained if you will & borne on the back of many things and for sure my boundaries & yours will be as different as our fingerprints. Much like the boundaries themselves the reasons others will respect/disrespect us or themselves are equally as varied.

The one thing that people forget is that if a boundary is important enough for someone to set it then it is important enough for the rest of us to respect it.

Whether or not we believe it to be a valid boundary is totally irrelevant.

The problem begins when boundaries & respect become inextricably intertwined with love.

How many times have we heard or even said & moreover believed scenarios such as:

‘If she loved me she wouldn’t ask me to do that”…!

”Whether he loves me or not he should respect my boundaries’…!

Only you can decide if either or both of these generalisations are true and only you can decide whether or not you will put up with either or both of the consequences of them with regard to your own situation BUT for me at least & being brutally honest here…

If someone loves us unconditionally then we don’t have to honour & respect their boundaries – WRONG!

If we truly love someone enough then we will provide them with the boundaries they need. Ones which will help & enable them to thrive & grow in this life, Ones which will allow them to live & learn & grow into someone who they CAN both love & respect themselves in order to enable others t do the same.

If those we love & care for fall into the category of being someone who, no matter how hard you try, how much you give & how much you love continually & habitually not only ignore your boundaries but in doing so totally disrespect them & even go out of their way to cross them?

Then you/we will reach a point where we have to decided what we are prepared to accept & equally what we are not prepared to accept…As Eckhart Tolle so rightly said in any situation;

If you need to change it then do. If you can’t change it then you need to accept it for what it is. If you can’t accept it then it’s time to leave for all else is madness.

There are givers & there are takers in this life and yes there are those who successfully manage both but the question is how much of YOUR LIFE are you prepared to gift to someone who is unwilling or unable to at least meet you half way??

We ALL have limits and on a day where they have been reached the question is will you choose to let them become part of the solution or exacerbate the problem?

Again only time will tell but if like me you have reached a cross roads in your emotional life then maybe it’s time to start a daily practice of self-validation and tell yourself this…

Today I honour myself ENOUGH to take a chance that by being willing to enforce my boundaries then those I love and care for will not only LOVE me but RESPECT my boundaries as well

And after 57 years on this planet as hard as it is and will continue to be? It’s a chance that I am FINALLY willing to take because like you & everyone else on this 3rd rock from the sun know that much like my boundaries …

I MATTER! I AM ENOUGH!

 

Namaste – Sue

 

7 Simple Steps to Remember if You’re Overwhelmed

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker & Empowerment Coach

Life Can Be Overwhelming

Life Can Be Overwhelming For Sure

But it doesn’t have to be & it doesn’t necessarily always have negative implications, for instance you can be overcome with gratitude or in-undated with good wishes in all manner of happy circumstances.

In day to day life it becomes problematical when we realize we don’t have the time to do the things  we need or are expected to do and before we know it we’re gripped by the ‘not enough hours in a day syndrome’ accompanied by full-blown anxiety often bordering on panic as we strive to fulfill our obligations on time.

Obviously everyone’s different but most of us have reached the point of feeling lost because we’re totally overwhelmed as life unfolds haphazardly around us and we struggle to successfully balance children, finances and career etc because we don’t have the time, the energy or the strategies needed to bring order to the chaos and strike a balance.

If you reach this point it’s seriously time to take stock & reassess how & why this is happening and declare…

Enough Already!

That said where do we begin redressing the balance & ow on earth do we make a start?

As an intelligent species we’re aware that the amount of time we have in a day is finite and as such how much we can realistically expect to accomplish during its course.

We can start by reminding ourselves of the two major components of the concept of time management – the prioritization & duration of everything we need to do within a given time. If we aren’t doing this consistently we are essentially sending an open invitation for chaos to become a staple part of our life.

Meaning? 

It’s a fact of modern-day life that if we’re not mindful we hit the floor running every morning with a seemingly endless array of things to get done; work and/or educational commitments, household chores, family issues, medical appointments, grocery shopping to mention just the obvious and that’s without factoring the all important daily chunk of  ‘me’ time we should have but which in reality is usually the first casualty in our efforts to get everything done.

We don’t look at the bigger picture before committing to something and for those of us who can always be relied upon to say yes when no would be the most sensible and appropriate answer the slippery slope to overwhelm becomes self-perpetuating unless we learn and quickly to apply the brakes.

Firstly acknowledge the absolute fact that the currency of time just like every other commodity is limited…whilst we will all experience widely differing overall lengths of time here on planet earth, on a day to day basis we are all afforded the same amount;

24 hours. 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds to be precise! 

Having taken this small yet massively important reality check what next? Well simply put it’s time to prioritize yourself & your time every day, preferably in advance. In itself this will naturally lead you to addressing your organizational skills or lack thereof given that you’re feeling overwhelmed but you’ll very quickly become amazed by just how much you can achieve when you set your mind to it…after all there’s a reason it’s called a mindset.

As a younger person my grandmother would often remind me that by failing to plan I was planning to fail and speaking as someone who perceives failure as nothing more than an invitation to find another way to make something work I took her point to heart and learned how to plan!

So it’s time to set yourself up for success!

When planning your day, week, month or even further ahead remember to be realistic and cut yourself some slack. You have 24 hours in a day, assuming that you get your average 8 hours of sleep, you instantly know you have 16 solid hours to achieve everything you realistically can (don’t forget to eat)…note that doesn’t read everything you should or even want to do.

Start by being strict with yourself & others when it comes to planning what you want to achieve in those 16 hours & always factor in the chunks of time that are non-negotiable each day: time to eat, sleep & work for example.

When we bring structure to our days we are giving ourselves the best opportunity to achieve the results we want. Here are:

7 Simple Steps to Remember if You’re Overwhelmed

  1. Look at your list in detail and then sub divide it into area specific tasks – work, household, personal & family
  2. Take each area individually and prioritize its list whilst at the same time removing from it anything which can reasonably be done at a later date
  3. Cross reference and link any task which could apply to more than one area and decide which is its area of most importance thus removing it from the other
  4. Form one new list and prioritize in order of importance the things you have to do in total within the time you have available
  5. You will inevitably be served a curved ball by way of unexpected occurrences – A call to pick a sick child up from school – where possible advise anyone else that having to do this will affect
  6. You may not be able to achieve certain things on your list due to circumstances beyond your control – Receiving an out of office until…auto res-ponder – instantly begin a list for the date of is return
  7.  Even with forethought certain things may take longer than anticipated meaning that you may fall behind – Remember you may be able to buy time due to being unable to achieve other things

With a much reduced ‘to do’ list in front of you the things you need to do will seem far more achievable and as a result you will feel less pressured. At this point take a further reality check and having acknowledged that your day is infinitely more manageable than you initially thought also acknowledge that

Remember that you need to acknowledge and accept that you can control the things which you are able to do but you cannot control the actions, reactions or otherwise of others which may serve to derail your best laid of plans.

By understanding that for any number of reasons beyond your control you may well reach the end of your day with things left undone and that’s not only ok it’s totally acceptable, you are in essence giving yourself permission to start afresh the following day with renewed focus and determination.

Have an awesome day whatever you’ve planned and remember Superman is a comic book hero and mere mortals like you and me have to make do without the use of superpowers to help us because we’re….

ONLY HUMAN!

If you or someone you know would like to know more about how to bring order to the chaos in your life then I invite you to reach out & connect with me to Schedule a FREE, no obligation 30 Minute Strategic Discovery Call to not only start you on the road to finally creating the reality you dream about but should you choose to, explore the ways in which I can further enable you to do so CLICK HERE >>>>>‘Empower You To Have The Courage To Be Who You Really Are’

5 Ways to Harness the Power of Gratitude

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker & Empowerment Coach

Gratitude Can Be Severely Underrated

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has for many been popular for years and is becoming widely accepted by increasing numbers of people who have witnessed firsthand the beneficial changes the act of being grateful has brought into their lives. Indeed, long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and even a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are programmed to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. In order for gratitude to meet its full healing potential it needs to become more than just a word we pay lip service to. We have to learn a new way of looking at things and begin to think differently in order to create the shift needed in our mindset to facilitate the long-lasting and sustainable change it takes to establish it not only as a new habit but a way of life and that can take time.

That’s why actively practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life, everything; the good, the bad & the indifferent as both the opportunities & blessings that they truly are.

However, it’s important to remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world without a shadow of a doubt but when we learn to focus on the gifts of life, we gain an often previously unfelt sense of well-being because gratitude in and of itself helps to restore balance and gives us hope.

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker Coach Author

What’s on your list?

For me true wealth lies in life’s intangibles and on a daily basis if we choose to see them there are many things to be grateful for: the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, waves crashing on the shoreline, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, the unbridled laughter of children, our health, butterflies………………

 5 Ways to Start You On the Road to Practicing Gratitude

  • Keep a gratitude journal and establish a routine where you spend just 5 minutes of every single day (for me bedtime is the ideal time) and write down as many things you can for which you are grateful AND why. It doesn’t matter what or why. It doesn’t have to be anything other than something – anything – which has/does cause you to feel grateful in some way…there are no limits & trust me when I say that in ‘giving voice’ to your gratitude in this way you will very quickly come to realize just how much you truly have to be grateful for
  • Make a gratitude collage; paste, copy, stick, draw again it doesn’t matter how you do it, just that you give it a try. How amazing would it be whenever you feel sad, upset or miserable say to be able to glance at a visual reminder of all that you have to be grateful for. Think about it you glance over & in one spot you instantly see images of your kids, better half, a sunrise, next/last year’s holiday destination maybe even a picture of yourself before & after a life altering experience (losing 100lb in weight for example) ANYTHING for which you’re grateful. How would that make you feel, how powerful would that be in lifting your mood?
  • Practice gratitude ACTIVELY at every opportunity. When we make a conscious effort to be thankful by showing others that we appreciate them on a daily basis the world around us responds in kind. The most obvious example of this would simply be the act of showing your appreciation by actually saying thank you be that verbally, by text, a nice card or even sending a small gift as a token for something that others have done and not even necessarily for you.
  • Instigate a gratitude challenge. When you or those around you start complaining about something challenge yourself or them to find the hidden positive, blessing if you will no matter the situation. It’s not always easy but it is possible, remember it’s a simple law of physics that for every negative there is an equal and opposite reaction. Given time and practice you’ll be amazed at how better you start to feel.
  • Take time and be mindful of how being grateful impacts positively on your life. Notice how your attitude and that of those around you change for the better. Concentrate on living fully in the present and notice how deeply grateful you are becoming for even the most mundane of things which have previously gone unnoticed and then celebrate the new improved reality which will begin to unfold around you.

When we make a conscious choice, because like everything it is a choice, to make practicing gratitude a way of living an inner shift begins to occur and you may be delighted to discover how content, realigned, more focused & fulfilled you begin to feel and which has the most profound of effects in every area of our lives be that home, personal, relationships & careers and that sense of fulfillment my friends is:

 GRATITUDE AT WORK!

To find out more about making long-lasting, sustainable positive changes in your life I invite you to take the first step & connect with me to claim your FREE Strategic Discovery Call

Not for you? That’s great but should you know of someone who would benefit by reaching their full potential please feel free to pass the invite along.

‘Empowering You To Have The Courage To Be Who You Really Are”!                                    suecurr.com 

I can be reached via: Email – suecurr@suecurr.com  

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!!!

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

 

Be Grateful, For What?

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle

Gratitude? What the hell have I got to be grateful for?

Well I guess that would depend very much at how you look at life?

Gratitude is defined as being; the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.

It is a woefully underused sentiment. In all honesty is there one person on the planet who has absolutely nothing to be grateful for? I’m fairly convinced that the overwhelming answer would be of ”course there is, there must be millions of people who have absolutely nothing in their lives.” If we were to take that sweeping statement at face value then most of us I’m sure would be inclined to agree.

The reality however is that we all of us have that one vital thing, which without it, we would none of us be able to be grateful for anything ever and that quite simply is the gift of life.

So whilst it’s fair to say that a millionaire stockbroker having lost his fortune due to bad choices would lament that all was lost, by the same token it would also be fair to say that the homeless guy sleeping in a shop doorway down the street would thank his lucky stars if someone bought him a bacon butty for breakfast. Everything is relative!

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker Coach Author

What the hell have I got to be grateful for

As for me? Well…

My life today is so different to what it very nearly turned out to be. In late 2012 and faced with declining health due to extremely poor lifestyle choices, I was told I would not be around long enough to bear witness to the lives my children & grandchildren  would come to carve out for themselves. More by good luck than judgement  it was a reality which didn’t come to pass and several weeks after being told to prepare myself  for the worst I walked out of the hospital on my own two feet to resume my life.

My new life! One which was to be built upon a rock solid foundation of GRATITUDE

New because the instant I was faced with my mortality and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that were I (regardless of the manner) given a second shot at life then I would grab it firmly and things from that point on would be very different. Some would say that  the feelings of desperation & panic associated with finding out that you were about to die would naturally result in promises being made that things would change if you didn’t, only for them to be swept away on the tide of euphoria following a sudden, unexpected upturn in your fortunes. For me I was instinctively aware that I could not allow that to happen for fear of descending into the behaviour patterns that had caused my situation in the first place.

I have to say that in the first weeks of being allowed home & looking  forward to being around for a while longer the first word I decided to incorporate into my new daily vocabulary rather than gratitude was that of responsibility. It was to become the cornerstone of the foundations upon which I slowly but surely came to rebuild my life. Once I made the step of assuming that which many struggle to do and took responsibility for my life, all of it my choices, my attitude, my thoughts & my outlook began to change, almost imperceptibly at first but things were different somehow. I was different. I knew without reservation that going forward my life would not only be different it would be all the better for it!

The realisation that by taking responsibility for and therefore by default ownership of my life its past, its present and its future I had opened myself up to  the possibility of choice.

My first choice going forward then from that point was the easiest one I have ever made it was & remains that of the choice of gratitude.

In order to underpin my newly made decision to actively practice gratitude I had to seriously contemplate how best to ensure it remained a major player in my new life and to the extent that it became as natural as breathing. I realised that to try to adopt what essentially would be a completely new way of thinking, I had to rid myself of each and every one of the self-limiting, self-destructive thought patterns I had learned along the way in the previous 50 something years. That thought alone absolutely terrified me. Those same thoughts and beliefs after all had been my faithful and constant companions for literally my whole life. Never mind that they, in cahoots with their bed mates Bi Polar Disorder, paranoia, OCD & a shed load of addictive traits just for the hell of it had, along  with my all too willing compliance, allowed them to ride rough shod over a mind which had relinquished ownership and had opted to exist as if being remotely controlled!!!

And so began the eviction of the squatters in my mind………. I forced myself to go back and think, really think about how & why I had made the life choices that I had, perhaps not unsurprisingly the first evictee was that of blame, blaming others for the choices I had made based on historical events as opposed to those of the here and now. So out went blame and in moved responsibility. Next it was the turn of self-pity, out went the ”why me” syndrome to be replaced by the much healthier alternative of ”why not me.” The list of the unwanted bats in my particular belfry grew smaller as the weeks went by and come Christmas 2012 just 3 short months since the news of my expected impending doom I was celebrating the festivities with my family & friends. It felt right somehow to be celebrating the gift of a second chance in life at just the time when millions of others were giving thanks for the birth of a baby boy who was to bring us the values of peace & goodwill to all men. The more I replaced the old negative self talk with positive affirmations the happier I felt. It became a surprisingly easy habit to form and with it the absolute certain knowledge that everything in life is a choice and that same choice can if we allow it provide us with the solid foundations to build not only a happy & positive life but one filled with gratitude and love.

The restoration of my hard wiring after I decided to reboot my mindset continued apace and I know will do so for as long as I’m in residence on this 3rd rock from the sun. So now moving forward and going back to my original question;

Gratitude? What the hell have I got to be grateful for?

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker Coach Author

I would simply say this; I now realise that everything that has ever happened to me is part of the reason I am who I am today. The good, the bad, the indifferent, all of it. So I am grateful for my less than perfect childhood, I am grateful for the poor lifestyle choices I have made along the way, grateful for the jobs I’ve had and lost, grateful for my family & friends, grateful that you’re reading this post of mine because by definition that means we’re both of us alive and for that my gratitude knows no bounds.

I can truly say that at this point in my life I am happier, healthier,  more whole than ever before and better still alive I am mindful that every new day brings with it the opportunity of choice and the right to choose to be happy and that my friend is a pretty damn good reason to be grateful.

 

I can honestly say that when we are grateful for the things we have, we suddenly become so very aware of just how much more there truly is to be grateful for.