“Are you tired of Feeling Stuck? Isn’t it time for you to live the life that you truly desire and deserve? Stop asking yourself, “WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?”. Now is the time for you to break free from the old patterns that are keeping you stuck in situations and that are preventing you from living your ultimate life. You may have tried other programs which have been somewhat helpful but have not provided you with a comprehensive guide to moving forward into a more desirable life. My clients pay me thousands of dollars for the understanding and solutions that I have put together in this book. I have compiled a step by step guide that teachesyou how to consciouslydesignthelifeyou want. It is time for you to stop letting life happen to you and learn the necessary tools to getting unstuck.In “WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?” A Guide to Getting Unstuck and Living Your Best Life, you learnhow to changeyour limiting beliefs and behaviours.This programis divided into four modules whichprovide a step by step guide to getting the life you desire. In this program, you will be able to:Identify what is not working in your life.Become clear on what it is that you truly desire.Learn to use the power of your subconscious to re-patternyourold beliefs.Learn to manage your negative inner voice that keeps you stuck.Acquire a technique to manage emotions that keep you from moving forward.Waysto design your life rather than letting it happen to you.Adaily action plan to live the life you desire and deserve.Guided visualizations are provided in for each module, designed to re-pattern your subconscious.” Bobbie Cochrane
Archives for July 2019
Four Types of Pill Shamers
Back when my husband was still dealing with the daily side effects of a brain injury, it was the time of the early emerging psychological medications. You could not go 10 feet without some smart ass making a remark about “taking your Prozac”. We would like to think that things have moved forward since then, shedding the stigma of mental illness, but some of the reactions we get from people for the treatment of chronic pain, anxiety, and PTSD would show otherwise. The pill shaming that is still happening to people with legitimate illnesses and mental health concerns is not ok. There are several types of pill shamers, each with their own arguments. We will discuss a few of them here.
The traditionalist pill shamer believes there was no reason they had to take medication and there is no reason you need to either. These are usually your older family and friends who are part of a generation who believed that you “walked it off” or “sucked it up” before you took anything. These people do not understand the extent of your chronic pain and they are not empathic to you. Were there things that were done better in the past? Yes, but there are thousands of things we do better now, and medicine is one of them. Wanting things to stay the same is all very well and good but it’s not like we do not use cars because we did not in the past or go to grocery stores. This false traditionalism smacks of a macho need to act like everything is ok all the time. It is not.
The Conspiracy Theorist
The conspiracy theorist has a problem with medications either because of who is prescribing them, who is making them, or who by extension is getting paid. That’s right, Big Pharma. The conspiracy theorist thinks we are all being conned and selling out to “the man”. And yes, when you purchase prescriptions you are supporting our capitalist economic system, but you are not selling out any more than when you buy from any other business or industry. Everyone is selling something, even the company shilling coconut oil. I am pretty sure that the conspiracy theorist won’t have much of a problem with having big pharma save their lives at the hospital. This type of blanket assumptions about doctors and the pharmaceutical industry are not helpful when you are shaming someone in need.
The naturalist pill shamer believes that you should not be taking prescriptions because whatever you have can be solved naturally. They think that diet, exercise, supplements, and other natural remedies are enough to handle whatever is ailing you physically and mentally. Are natural remedies effective, yes, they are, and they are well worth sharing and supplementing in your medical routine. But they do not replace everyone’s prescriptions and you never know who has already tried what.
The Been-There-Done-That Patient
The last pill shamer we will discuss is the been-there-done-that patient. This person has tried all sorts of medications and therapies and they want to tell everyone why they will not work for anyone else. It is helpful to vent and to share experiences, but it is not helpful to shame someone because they want to try what their doctor has recommended. Just because it did not work for them does not mean it cannot work for anyone. The attitude of the been-there-done-that shamer is not helpful either.
In the end, pill shaming has no place in our relationships of support. If someone is with us on this journey towards wellness, they will keep their opinions of what medications you take to themselves. It is ok to ask questions and learn alongside your patient as a caregiver and friend but judgement over their medical decisions is not appropriate. There used to be a time when fat shaming was ok but we have thankfully come to a place where most people know to keep their mouths shut. Hopefully we will soon come to the time when shaming a person for using medication to help their mental health or their physical health. Because what medications people take is really none of your business.
This week, Moving Towards Better is really proud to showcase Bobbie Cochrane’s Meditation for Letting Go. No doubt, we all have things in our lives that we need to let go of like people, past situations, missed opportunities, or projects. Letting go of our past baggage can be a powerful tool in your life to move forward lighter and happier.
- We both grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia
We moved to Calgary eight years ago for work and the chance to have a better life. We both miss so much about living on the coast, our friends, our family, the ocean. But Calgary has been nothing but a blessing in our lives with new friends, good jobs, and the amazing opportunity to have a family.
2. We met on a blind date
Yup! In 2000, I went back to university and met a friend who wanted to introduce me to her husband’s best friend. I was a little leery at first but agreed to meet him at their house party. We hit it off immediately that night and talked into the early hours after the other guests had left. I will never really know how my girlfriend knew we would be a match but I am eternally grateful that she did. It definitely taught me about keeping an open mind to new experiences and how people come into your life when you need them and not necessarily when you want them.
3. Cathy has a degree from Simon Fraser University
Cathy received her BA from SFU in 2003 with a major in history with a concentration in Islamic studies and a minor in sociology. She also completed her coursework for her MA in history but did not defend her thesis. Her years in university cemented her love of writing and research.
4. Darren is a musician
Darren plays the bass guitar and the guitar. He has been in bands since he was about 12 and constantly has a bass in his hands. He has a love of all things rock and roll instilled in him at an early age by his dad and his grandpa.
5. Darren and His Dad Built an NHRA racecar
Purple Reign is a 1970 Chevrolet Nova and it is a drag racing machine. Darren and his Dad built it in the early 1990s and we are proud to say it has won as many trophies at the shows as it has on the strip. Purple Reign has been parked in Langley, BC at his parent’s house for the last 8 years while we have been in Calgary, we hope to bring her out again and race when Laney is old enough to enjoy it.
6. We got married in Las Vegas
That’s Right! We hired a bus and took 22 of our family and friends to the Little Chapel of the West, the only historic site on the Vegas Strip. We had so much fun spending a week there seeing the Cirque du Soleil, heading over to Arizona to see Route 66 at Oatman, drinking too much, having our stag and stagette, and our wedding all in one place. Looking back, I do not think either of us would change a thing.
7. We had two miscarriages before we had our Rainbow Baby daughter
One of the reasons we moved to Calgary was to start a family and we were unprepared for facing infertility. I was so naïve, it was never a possibility in my mind until it happened. The second miscarriage was just four months later and we were so numb and broken from the first that we never really processed anything. After those, Cathy did seven months of hormone treatments and then we tried IUI because IVF was too expensive to even consider. Our daughter Laney was our first try at IUI and we feel like the luckiest parents ever. It did take us years to recover from the trauma of those years. It hurt both of us deeply and we are a different couple because of it.
8. We have a Russian Blue cat named Joey
Our family wouldn’t be complete without our fuzzy fur man Joey. He was named that because when he was a kitten, he would sit on his hind legs like a baby kangaroo. Joey is 13 this year and still the same cheeky little monster he was the day he came home to us. He continues to have a hard time adjusting to our daughter’s presence because he truly believes he is our baby. He is a spoiled, selfish little guy and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
9. Darren Suffered a Closed Head Compression Injury when he was 20
While working at a concrete plant without a hardhat and standing on the back of a trailer, Darren was hit in the head with a three foot long concrete drill. He fell face first of the trailer to the ground. It was this injury that would define most of the rest of Darren’s life. Most of what Darren dealt with for the first 15 years was the psychological effects of the brain injury and the PTSD. For the last 15 years, the focus has been more on the increasing chronic pain from the injuries to his back and his malfunctioning nervous system. It has been a struggle but Darren truly believes that the injury was meant to put a focus on his life to be an entertainer and to be an amazing Daddy.
10. Cathy walked 100 km in three days in the 2017 Kidney March
Cathy’s Grandma Della passed away in part because of kidney disease so the 100km walk was a way to pay tribute to her. Cathy raised over $3k for the march and is proud to say she walked every step. Whenever there is something we struggle with or think I cannot do, I think back to the March and remember that when I really believe in myself, I can do anything.
Guest Post by Shandra Carlson
“I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.”
Each of us has a story. Each of us is living our story. Over the past few years mine has been less than stellar and has, in fact, caused massive inner turmoil. As I make that statement, I know there are some who would shake their heads, thinking that I should just get over it, that I’m using my experiences as a crutch. Flippant comments and opinions hinder the healing process. And that, my friends, is where misunderstanding takes root.
I have never in my entire life felt as misunderstood as I do at this time in my life and I believe if I feel this way, there are many more who do as well. Chronic pain or long-term recovery can be misread and can breed a level of judgement that can cause further emotional deterioration to the individual living with it. I believe one of the inner cries of a person who has been dealt a physical blow is to be seen and understood.
When I fell on the back of my head sustaining a “mild” concussion, I listened to the ER doctor tell me that I might have a very minor concussion but more likely mild whiplash and the prognosis being that I’d be back to normal within 7-10 days. Fast forward a year and an MRI later. A micro-bleed and bruising were still visible a year later and I could finally breathe, knowing that it wasn’t all in my head (even though it truly was).
I spent countless hours educating myself, trying to explain to others, all the various ways a traumatic brain injury had affected me and much of the time I was met with blank stares or patronizing comments. Of course, I have friends and loved ones who were supportive and caring, but the over-arching experience was one of constantly feeling misunderstood.
- Like how my personality changed.
- Or how I couldn’t read books.
- The migraines and foggy brain. Oh, the fog.
- How sometimes I could not pull words out of my head for love nor money.
- The utter and complete exhaustion just from normal life.
- How concussions – or more particularly post-concussion syndrome – are as individual as each person experiencing one.
What I found was that if people don’t want to understand, there is no amount of education or explaining that will make a difference and then it’s a matter of deciding how to proceed with a relationship. What I learned was fascinating:
- Don’t try to explain yourself to people who aren’t invested in your well-being.
- You find out really fast who your friends are because they will allow you to repeat yourself as many times as is required, based on where your brain functionality is functioning in that moment.
- Trying to establish a new normal is nigh impossible because it’s like a moving target. No two days were the same.
When someone is experiencing chronic pain, it is utterly exhausting and so disheartening. Sometimes the effort it takes to get through a day can be overwhelming, the feelings of guilt and uselessness ever present. Pain is one thing but the mental strain it generates is a whole ‘nother animal. Mental wellness can be elusive and the sense that a friend or loved one has no interest in understanding can be devastating. Someone who has been a high performing individual and is suddenly unable to function at that capacity can truly tank emotionally. Despair and a desire to disappear into the ether is not uncommon. It doesn’t mean they have any intent to hurt themselves, just a lack of hope in knowing how this will all turn out.
Ways Family & Friends Can Help
The truth is, it’s just as hard for us to accept and learn a new way of being as it is for our support systems to try and figure out how to help us! For people who want to offer love and support there are a few key considerations that can make a difference for all involved.
- Extend enduring patience. They did not choose this.
- Offer empathy, not pity or sympathy.
- Refrain from clichés, just don’t go there. (ie “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”)
- Curious questions to learn about the injury or chronic pain. Research until you know it inside out. Study concussions – or fibro – or cancer – or depression – whatever it is.
- Don’t presume to know the answer or to offer it without being asked.
- Understanding that life may not be the same and accepting a new way of being is difficult for them.
- Patronizing or judgmental comments are not helpful. Stop it. Don’t add to the cycle or to the guilt we already feel.
- Ask how you can best support us. Don’t assume and don’t get mad if we can’t receive on your terms.
- Know that progress can turn into regression and that reacting only magnifies symptoms.
- Hold space and listen.
As a caregiver, a loved one, or a friend, you play a crucial role in supporting the well-being of your injured or pain-filled friend. Extravagance is not required, only a wide-open heart, willing to participate and dive into the darkness alongside us. Go on the journey, look for ways to provide peace in the storm and ensure that you are looking after your own emotions (loss and grief are common) because it can be a bumpy ride for you, too.