Tag Archives: mental health stigma

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!

 

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!!!

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