Yesterday I posted a video of a poem I wrote for the weekend. It got me thinking about the whole topic of choices and here’s my thoughts.
If you’d like to hear the poem then head over to any of these social media platforms :- https://www.facebook.com/suzi.french1 https://www.instagram.com/suzi_magic https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzimagic
Almost every human being (if not all) has life challenges. It’s what we do with those choices that shape the way our life pans out. When I think back 12 years to my mental health breakdown I know that, at the time, I felt my life was pretty much over. I didn’t know how to carry on without being able to be a nurse and help people. One of my core values has always been to make a difference.
However I was pouring from an empty cup. I’d known for quite some time that my frequent 12hr days, early morning waking and stressing over deadlines in my trade union work was a sure sign that I wasn’t coping very well. I went to my GP for help and was told the only thing on offer was medication as I wasn’t (at that point) in a bad enough way to be able to access any of Devon’s scarce resources. I took the medication but that seemed to me to be equivalent to putting a sticking plaster over a gaping wound.
It wasn’t enough and slowly but surely my descent into a very dark place continued apace. Within 6 months I had no choice but to go off sick. I ended up never being able to go back to the job I had once loved so much and life had to take a new direction. I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety & depression.
Because I was now deemed ill enough to warrant other help I finally was offered Cognitive Behaviourial Therapy and a support group with a Clinical Psychologist. These therapies enabled me to start the long road back to recovering my mental health.
Now at this time I had choices. 1) I could have chosen to adopt the “victim mode” and whinged and griped about my circumstances. 2) I could have spent lots of time stuck in blame mode and bemoaning the fact that I’d faced disability discrimination when trying to facilitate a return to my old job. 3) I could have held onto my anger against my old boss for refusing to see that I had been let down by a faulty employment system………….
But I chose instead to 1) I decided to retrain in several other skills to maximise my employment opportunities (I vowed never again to be someone’s employee) 2) I took my old employers to an employment tribunal and sued them successfully for constructive dismissal and disability discrimination (Friends who still work for my ex employer, tell me that most of the things I stated as being reasons for exacerbating my workplace stress, have now been looked at and new systems have been put in place to prevent what happened to me happening again – result!!!) 3) As a mainly pacifist person I was horrified at the amount of anger I had towards my ex boss. I genuinely worried that, if I met them locally, I might go up and punch them. For anyone who knows me well you will know that that was well out of character. So I chose to go and see a life coach (http://www.nikichalkley.com) and she helped me to get rid of that anger using one of my favourite life coaching tools logosynthesis. It wasn’t serving me to hold onto it and I was very glad to let it go (channeling my inner Elsa even though she hadn’t yet appeared on the scene at that time) Fast forward 12 years and I now see that experience as the best thing that ever happened to me. I am much happier and have a much more balanced life as a result. If I’d made different choices that may not have been the case.
Now I know some of you will be reading this and saying to yourself it’s easier said than done, but there’s always a positive spin you can put on something. I’m writing this having not had a very good nights sleep. I could choose to worry about what that will do to my day. Instead I decided to see it as a bonus allowing me to get this blog post written early. Then, if I want to, I can always indulge in an afternoon nap later on in the day. Once you start looking for the positive more of it tends to come into your life. Say you were thinking of buying a red car, amazingly you’d find that suddenly you’re noticing red cars everywhere you go. There’s a phrase that sums this up perfectly. “Where focus goes energy flows” so please focus on the positive in your life so that you can attract more.
I wish you all a happy Sunday and hope that today brings lots of positivity your way. If it doesn’t hang on in there and try and find at least one thing you can be grateful for.
Love and pixie dust to all
PS If you’d like a copy of my first poetry book then get yours here:- https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07XC8KLC5