Wednesday, 30 July 2014

What are your Hobbies?

What do you enjoy to do?

Often when we are so deep in our negative thinking we can lose sight of who we are. 
You are a unique and beautiful human person with different interests. When you do what you enjoy it can't help but bring a smile to your face and fill you with a sense of peace and achievement. It is a great way of  teaching yourself to remain in present moment.  

SO... Today lets get curious what are YOUR interests?

Fun Exercise:
Make a list of things to like/enjoy to do:)

Here's some examples...
  • Listening to Music- Nice upbeat songs that you can sing along to are a great way to kick start your morning. 
  • Taking Pictures- Notice all the beauty that surrounds you everyday.
  • Trying out different types of coffees/teas? - There are sooo many! Cappuccinos, Lattes, Frappuccinos, Iced tea etc....

  • Netflicks?- What kind of movies/tv shows do you like?
  • Getting Creative- Paint a picture or try sewing and knitting.
  • Writing- poetry, coming up with stories with your amazing imagination!
  • Planning trips and adventures- the world's your oyster!
  • Baking and decorating cakes with sparkles and icing :)
  • Reading - oh the wonderful world of books! What kind of books do you like?
  • Do you like going to gigs and concerts?
  • Do you like to laugh? Why not try out a comedy gig?

These are just a couple of ideas, the list is endless. What ever you enjoy doing, go for it!
'Life is made to be enjoyed not endured'

Some benefits of doing what you enjoy:
  • It helps keep you in present moment
  • It is something you can talk about and share with other people and hey! you never know they might have that hobby in common with you! 
  • Keeps the stress levels down! 
  • Promotes Eustress! (I had to google this one lol) Eustress is that positive kind of stress, the kind that makes you feel excited about what you're doing and about life. 
  • It something to look forward to during your day at work/college or school!
  • ITS FUN! 

Every day is a chance to learn something new about yourself:)



Tuesday, 29 July 2014

What Do Strangers Think Of You?

They say overthinking is one of the main causes of unhappiness and I would have to agree. If we could just keep it simple and not try to predict what people are thinking about us, not think the worst and focus on the negative WE see in ourselves we would be a lot happier wouldn't we? Thinking this way is simply torturing yourself into unhappiness.

Here's a short video that demonstrates the reality that we really just don't know what anybody thinks about us. It puts things into perspective when looking in from the outside.

Dare To Live SOS

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Things Will Get Better

Just a little picture to remind you that no matter how bad it may seem things will get better. Don't Give up

Dare To Live SOS

Monday, 14 July 2014

Personal Story - a mother's choice of love

It was put to a group of people to write their story of hope, of survival over suicide, of their personal experience or that of a loved one, and I have struggled with this.  I have written and re written my story several times and have always decided against emailing it.  

I suppose the main reason why is because I didn’t know what angle to approach it.  Another reason is exposing myself, not to anyone in particular, but to myself.  Accepting that what happened, happened and there was nothing I could do about it.

I had a difficult childhood where various things happened that a child should not have to endure.  I also brought my father to hospital where he subsequently died within a week, I brought his personal effects home, wallet, drivers licence, house/car keys etc, and left him there.  I was 15 years old.

At 19 I was diagnosed with depression.  I had lived in denial of my father’s death for 4 years but eventually it caught up with me.   It was 1983 and the solution was medication for a month so that I could sleep it off!!!  There was no follow up help, there was no counselling offered, there was nothing.  Around this time I met my now husband of 27 years and before we ever got together we were just friends.  We talked and talked and talked and as it turns out, it was what I needed.  I had my own private counsellor!

Time passed and we married, had three children and life was good.  I had my ups and downs with depression but then in 1994 I hit rock bottom again.  It was a year after my last child was born and I was struggling with life.  I attended my G.P. and his response when I mentioned depression was “ah sure that’s not you at all, sure you’re not like that”.  I left his surgery more lonely than I could ever have thought possible.  I left with no help, no support.  I had three children, a husband who worked very hard but very long hours.  I was so alone it was scary.

At this point I felt I just couldn’t carry on.  If people asked what you did for a living, I would reply that I mind my children, and to this you would get, oh you don’t work.  When filling in forms for various things like insurance, etc again, you were classed as a second rate citizen, because I choose to give up work to raise my family.  I felt so worthless, so down trodden by society, so useless.  I felt like I was nothing.  The more I felt like this the more the thoughts of suicide crept in.  After all who would miss me.  I reckoned my children would be better off without me because I was at that time so unhappy.  Surely my state of unhappiness was affecting them.  It became like an obsession, how would I do it, when, where.  I had picked a few different methods of achieving my goal and on one occasion, went out for a very long walk on my own (hubby had kids) and gave it serious consideration.  What if I just never went home again, what if…..

Then the realisation sank in, my husband works long hours,  who would look after my children?  I reckoned he would get over my death as he is a very practical person, but my kids, they were a different kettle of fish.  What would they do.  How would they explain where their Mammy was, how would it effect them forever!

This was my turning point, and though I still get bouts of depression and if I am honest suicidal thoughts, I know now that I will never attempt it as it is so final.  The only one for whom anything ends is the person who commits suicide.  For everyone else around them it is a life long sentence of why’s? what if’s? what could I have done?

Roll on 20 years, the last 11 of which I have cared for and supported two of my children with an eating distress.  Have I felt guilty for their illness, yes, is it my fault, well no.  This is something I have struggled with based on my history, but at the end of the day if it was some other genetic condition that I passed on, am I to blame for that.  I have done suicide watch with them, and one of them has been hospitalised on various occasions for her safety.

The positive thing is I am here to support them, I am here to help them through their journey, and probably more importantly I understand a lot, not all, of what they are going through.  I understand that feeling of self worthlessness, that feeling of being on the outside, that feeling of who would miss me if I wasn’t here.  I understand that blackness when the light is blocked out.  But I also understand survival.

So take that chance, choose life, work towards that light of hope, it is there, it is just a matter of finding it.

I did and it is worth every minute of it.


This personal story was written by someone who is a fantastic inspiration of hope and her story proves that no matter how negative your thoughts get, there is always a reason to choose life. You are always important and you are always needed in this world. As the author says, life is worth every minute that you choose to live it.

Have a wonderful week!

Dare to Live SOS

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Celebrate Life

What is life? What is it all about? What is my purpose? Why do bad things happen to people? Why can't everyone just be happy? Are these some of the many questions you find swimming around in your head?
I know I can definitely relate to these thoughts. I often find myself slipping into these thought patterns and most of the questions are un-answerable.
Bad things are always going to happen to people. Whether it is losing a family member or someone letting you down , these are things that happen but to dwell on the unfairness of it serves no benefit to anybody. Yes life can be very unfair sometimes. I recently lost a family member to cancer and it has put a few things into perspective. I know this person did not want to die, they wanted to live and be happy but they couldn't change their outcome. When in a bad place where you see no way out often you can feel like 'yes I do want to die?' But is this really what you want? Don't you want to live and be happy? You have a choice! You can choose to celebrate life and be thankful that you have a choice in the outcome of your life. To use the morbid analogy of somebody suffering with terminal cancer- they do not have this choice. We can use it in a way to motivate ourselves. Being in the depts of despair is not un-similar. Having destructive thoughts is no more than a cancer of the mind and the chemo and radiation we need is to go out and celebrate living and stop being prisoners of our own thoughts.
We can dwell so much in the misery of being unhappy, feeling you have been dealt an unfair card serves no purpose. Where will it get you - only further away from happiness. After seeing my family member pass away so suddenly and knowing how much she loved life and made the most out of it even in her last days was inspiring and gave me a new perspective looking in from the outside. If we all could live in the moment, make the most of what we've been given (no matter how crappy it may seem) and enjoy the simple things in life perhaps everyone could be happy? This can be what we need to do to be rid of this cancer of the mind that is negative thoughts. Do things you love and enjoy doing, make it your mission to do something nice for yourself at least once a week, keep it simple.
What is life all about? Well there is no real definite answer to this except life is precious so why not celebrate it?
Dare To Live SOS

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The big F word

What is the opposite of love? 
My automatic response was always; 'hate'. If I don't love something, then surely I must hate it. But I see this differently now. What is the opposite of love? FEAR.

I agree with the idea that fear is at the core of every feeling of hate. How often do we hear/ say to ourselves; I hate myself, I hate my life, I hate my body, I hate my mind etc? For me anyway, it's quite often. What are we really saying though? I fear myself, my life, my body and my mind. 

A lot of fear comes of the unknown and therefore a lot of 'hate' comes from a lack of understanding. When we are entrenched in negativity, we lose connection with the world and may not see it for the wonder that it is. We lose interest in anything but the negativity. That's nobody's fault though! Those thoughts are fairly intrusive! But we can choose not to succumb to them, remember. By losing connection we lose our understanding. So how can we hate something we don't know well enough to pass a judgement on?

I would always have thought; 'I hate my mind and the thoughts that I have '. Putting that into this new way of thinking into action, I changed my sentence and said, I fear my mind and the thoughts that I have.  In saying this, I could then explore what it was that I fear and then try to learn about it. With hate, all we see is the hate and don't bother trying to overcome it - it's a rather condemning emotion that leaves no room for further investigation. by saying that I fear my thoughts, I can realise that I fear their strength and their harshness. I fear them because I don't understand how they came to be so destructive and so self-critical. I fear my potential. By naming the fears as what they are, we can then look to overcome them.

How do we overcome fear? 
Well for starters, every time a fear comes into your mind just think of this;
F -false
E - evidence
A - appearing
R - real

Many fears that we have are made up or dramatized by our imaginations. Although the fear feels genuine and real, it more often than not is something that your mind has made up. Which is great news because if you made it, you can get rid of it too! 
To continue with the example of fearing my mind. I said I feared the negativity but I also feared it's greatness. In that sentence alone there is a contradiction and thus I can see how non-sensical my fear is. If I fear negativity how can I also fear positivity? Then I must fear everything? Which I don't and therefore my sweeping statement about the fear is false. To replace the fear I realised that I have to change how I'm thinking about things. See the fear, see it's falseness and choose to do something about it. This process applies to any fear that we may have, be it social fears or exam fears. 
Any fear can be overcome if you want to do it and take the necessary actions to do it!

Here are some tips on overcoming fear and thus perhaps overcoming the apparent hate that you thought you had;

Recognise the thing that you hate
Question the fear that you have about it
Realise that perhaps this hatred/fear comes from a lack of understanding
Get curious about the thing - get to know it a little better 
Question whether there is now any validity to your fear (mostly there is not)
Challenge the fear by doing something out of your comfort zone
Give yourself PLENTY of credit for going against the fear
Realise that you survived facing the fear and continue to take action against it
Realise that you have overcome the fear 

These simple steps may seem daunting or maybe tedious, but they are tried and tested by me and many others. With time and practice, I have managed to overcome fears that I never thought possible, so you can too. Believe in your abilities.

Have a lovely, fear-fighting day,

Dare to Live SOS