Archive for #inspiration

I’VE WRITTEN A BOOK!

Posted in emotional health, Hope, learning to love yourself again, rebuilding your life, recovery, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2017 by Karen unrue

I am a master procrastinator.
There are only two things I have followed through on in my life.
(I’m exaggerating slightly but it makes for a better story.)
One of those was my pregnancy.
nature gave me no option lol.
The other one was completing this book.
It took blood, sweat, and tears, as well as enthusiastic coaching from a support network to ensure both products were birthed properly.
But I managed it.
So I introduce to you my newly born, but strangely named,

“BLUE JELLYFISH SYNDROME”

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I could not be a prouder parent.

In this book you will read how my mental illness,

COMPLEX PTSD,

developed and how over the years I learnt, with the help of my community mental health team
and, eventually, a great therapist,
to manage my symptoms.
It has been a very challenging journey indeed,
and as I’m sure many of you will appreciate,
I felt like giving up at times.

Mostly this book is about

HOPE

and how you can find and maintain hope while living with a mental illness
so you can
SURVIVE AND THRIVE.

My hope is that as you read it my journey will help you along your journey a little

 

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THE SURPRISE PARTY

Posted in THE SURPRISE OF RECOVERY with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2013 by Karen unrue
painting by Fahad Hassain

painting by Fahad Hossain

Have you ever had a birthday
when no one remembered ?
A birthday when no one rang
to wish you “Happy Birthday”,
no one at work brought in a card,
and only acquaintances,
and your boss said anything at all?

It sucks right !?
It makes you feel
alone,
unloved,
unhappy,
it can even make you wonder
what life is all about.
Make you
doubt yourself,
doubt your self-worth,
doubt the people you thought were friends,
doubt your judgement.
At its worst
it can even make you feel
depressed,
despairing.

BUT THEN

You arrive home,
the windows are dark,
the house is silent.
You put your key in the front door –
and the moment you walk in
the house lights up like a firework!
A crowd of people
are cheering
and shouting out
“SURPRISE!!!”
as they
jump up and down,
throw streamers
and set off party poppers,
and then they –
run at you,
hug you,
kiss you
with big smiles on their faces.

surprise party 1

Suddenly the sadness is gone.
You know you are
loved,
valued,
cared about.
Loneliness leaves,
self doubt is dispelled,
despair dissipates.
The present,
and the future, look
BRIGHT.

HEALING
is often like this too!

It can seem far away,
even impossible.
We can be filled
with the feeling
that we will never recover.
Pain,
depression,
despair,
self-doubt,
self-loathing,
loneliness,
seem to be our only companions.

depression

I have been there.
I know that feeling.
I wanted to –
give up,
let go,
stop fighting for survival.
stop hoping for a better day to come.
I even contemplated
suicide
at times.

BUT THEN – out of the blue –

RECOVERY SURPRISED ME!!!

Hope lit up the room
and threw party poppers.
Joy ran at me and held me
in a welcoming embrace.
The present
was not so scary,
and the future not so dark.

drawing by holymoocow

drawing by holymoocow

Here’s the thing!!
If I had given in
to the feelings of despair –
NOT kept hoping
for a better day,
If I had given up
and checked out –
even just the day before –

I WOULD HAVE MISSED THE PARTY!

I met a young woman,
in the clinic in Cape Town,
who is 29 years old.
She became a heroin addict
at a very young age
during a time of trauma and abandonment.
She is beautiful,
both inside and out.
When I met her
it was her 21st time in a rehab clinic!!!
SHE REFUSES TO GIVE UP!!
She believes that one day
she will get clean
and stay clean.
And do you know what?
I believe she will too!
I believe she will one day soon
attend her own
SURPRISE PARTY!

drug-rehab-center

The damage
done to me by my loving
but unwitting parents
during my childhood.
The damage
done to me
by an abusive husband
over 10 years
during my twenties.
It has taken until
the age of 54
for me to be really free of it.

THAT’S A LONG TIME!

That’s 24 years!

But if I had given up,
checked out,
at the times I was tempted to
during those years
I would have missed
THE SURPRISE PARTY
of recovery
that eventually came.

So I urge anyone reading this –
If you are tempted
to give in
or
give up.
DON’T !
Keep on keeping on.
Look for people to –
support you,
walk with you,
give you hope,
pick you up when you fall down –
but
KEEP GOING!

Your SURPRISE PARTY
Could be just around the corner!!!

hope

Please know that you can chat to me about any aspect of recovery you like – if I don’t know the answer I will find out for you
DON’T WALK ALONE!

————————————————————————————–

TALKING OF WALKING – IT WOULD BE WONDERFUL IF YOU COULD CHECK OUT THE DONATE PAGE BELOW AND SPONSOR ME IN A WALK I AM DOING FOR THE MENTAL HEALTH CHARITY I WORK FOR – THANKS

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

THE VITAL INGREDIENT

Posted in Hope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2013 by Karen unrue
painting by Rebecca Finch

painting by Rebecca Finch

Recently I was told a about a piece of research* that was undertaken to try and understand why some people with mental health issues “recover” and some do not. A large research group was studied over several years. All the participants received in equal measure whatever therapies their conditions required, including medication. To the researchers surprise their findings showed that the ingredient missing in those who did not “recover”, but which was present in those who did, was – HOPE!.
In my own journey of “recovery”, (I put this word in parentheses because there are various definitions of recovery in mental health) as well as in my work with clients over the years I certainly have seen HOPE as a vital ingredient in “recovery”.

painting by Carol Engles

painting by Carol Engles

What I want to stress though is that hope is not a whimsical thing that some people are born able to pluck out of the ether and some are not. Hope can be conveyed, passed on, taught, learned, absorbed etc.etc. I have worked with people who when they first came to me were despairing, hope-less, and who I had the privilege of watching, over the months, gradually blossom and find the spark of joy re-ignited in their lives.
That’s NOT me blowing my own trumpet.
What I’m saying is that hope is knowledge,
and knowledge is power.

A scholar who wishes to become proficient in a subject will surround himself with books, podcasts, videos, and attend lectures and seminars. He will spend lots of time with those also interested in his topic of study, and more importantly, he will spend time with and listen to those people who have, over many years, become wise in the subject. Then, if he is serious about becoming wise in the subject himself, he will pay attention to what they have to say and WORK HARD at practicing the advice they offer.

painting-of-man-reading-by-candlelight

I believe hope works the same way.
Surround yourself with books
that are hopeful,
people that are
hopeful.
Watch videos
that are hopeful
(“Ted talks” is full of them – google it.)
See a hope-filled counsellor,
key worker.
And work at it –
work HARD at it.
Practice what you hear.
We live in a society that expects instant gratification, a quick fix –
NO!
The old adage still prevails.
If something is worth having
it is worth working for.

To paraphrase a terrible movie cliche –

BUILD HOPE AND IT WILL COME.

building

Here’s a poem I wrote about it:-

HOPE

I thought you’d be a butterfly
and try to fly away.
A thing of fragile beauty
I had to beg to stay.
Something
I had to cling to,
tie a leash to,
slip some cash through
your front door
in an envelope
marked
“there’s more where this comes from – don’t leave.”

Instead you were an elephant,
that was a surprise!
And I could always find you
if i looked through seeing eyes.
But some days –
fear tried to blind me,
it wasn’t always easy,
boy! I had to really
look hard
through binoculars
until
my vision cleared. Then I’d see you, and I’d be relieved!

Decorated-animals-by-Bioworkz3-600x778

——————————————-

and most of all

DON’T GIVE UP!

hope

*I’m sorry but I do not have the details about this piece of research.

THAT MOMENT WHEN THE LIGHT GOES ON

Posted in Inspired with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2013 by Karen unrue

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This is not something I usually do –
post a video.
And please believe me
when i say
that
it is not just a
lazy man’s blog post.
I watched this
and
was blown away
by the insight
and
simplicity
of this piece of research,
and this woman’s journey.
IT TURNED A LIGHT ON FOR ME.
It has been said (by someone who’s name I should probably know!)
that
true freedom
comes
when we learn
how to be
unselfconsciousness.

PLEASE WATCH WHAT BRENE BROWN HAS TO SAY ON THE SUBJECT
IT’S WORTH IT!

Oh, and I’d love to hear what you think, so please comment.

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