Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Coping with change and creating happiness

Hi there,
It's been a long time ... sorry! I don't know where the time has gone. A lot has been happening in my life over the past few months, mostly good I will say.

Kirsten has now started secondary school, that is a biggie for me. She is now 12, havin
g caught up with her big brother, and has taken that next step up the educational ladder. Kirsten is really enjoying school which is partly due to the excellent teachers and facilities at her school and partly due to her own attitude. She has had some wobbles too, a few tears and fears. I did expect this as any major change can throw up some anxiety. We deal with this by talking about how she feels and reminding her of her strengths. She has been encouraged her to join the school clubs and share her interests with others so she can make new friends. She is missing Calum a lot, she is enjoying seeing his 6th year friends at school but it is also a reminder that he isn't there. So we talk about Calum and what we think he might have been like, share our stories of him and keep him close to our hearts.

I have spoken about Calum to the Press in the past,
to raise awareness of meningitis and about the fundraising we have done for the Meningits Trust. A couple of months ago I started to think about sharing my journey through grief with the Press. I wanted to give people some hope that you can survive your worst nightmare and still be happy. It's what this blog has been about. I wanted to let people know about the Happiness Club, the courses and this blog, to help people find ways to handle the crap that life can sometimes dish out. I met a wonderful journalist called Maria Croce who wrote a great article that was published in the Daily Record. You can read it here http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/real-life/2011/08/25/bereaved-mum-tells-how-she-copes-by-writing-to-her-dead-son-86908-23369875/
The article generated a lot of interest from other journalists, magazines and individuals looking for some help. Bella magazine are featuring my story very soon and the local Bishopbriggs Herald told the story again today.


This had led me to really focus on how I can help others. The Happiness Club meetings have been going well, I am looking for other venues to expand them. I have developed Creating a Happier Life course for those who want to have a more concentrated boost of happiness. I have been developing ideas at such a rate that Sinclair is laughing at my plans for world domination! We now joke about how the Death Star is coming along and the question "What would Vader do?" is asked often. (Star Wars was Calum's favourite film).


Being inspired is a great feeling, it is at the completely opposite end of the spectrum from grief and depression. I remember the terrible black, soul less days after Calum's death when I had no hope or inclination to do anything. It made me think this is what JK Rowling must have been describing when the Dementors attacked people in Harry Potter (another of Calum's favourites). That feeling that you'll never be happy again and that all the light and love has been sucked out of the world. I know that is it possible to beat the Dementors and create your own Patronus (the charm that is created by focussing on the happiest memory and emotions). This is one of the techniques that I teach on my courses and at Happiness Club.
If anyone reading this is having a black day then remember the happiest, most wonderful memory that you have. Re-live it in your mind, surround yourself with it like a blanket and you will find it can let a little light into your day. Your situation may not have changed but your ability to cope with it will.

We all deserve a happy life, life is for enjoying and sharing now. If you need some help to feel happy then check out my website www.stressthepositive.co.uk

My life is happy, there are challenges and struggles, tears and worries being happy helps me cope with these times. I'd love to hear how you cope with difficult days.
Wishing you all good health and happiness,