How to Keep Standing No Matter What Life Throws at You!

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Have you ever met someone whose life story just blows you away?

Someone who makes you wonder how they got through everything life can throw at them – and yet they got through the darkness to share their story with the world?

5 years ago, I met Mel Carnegie in Solihull near Birmingham for a quick business meeting – she wanted to tell me more about one of her projects. Nothing more came of that meeting and over the following few years we lost touch, until mid-2012.

She then told me what she had been through in her life and especially over the previous 4 years. Her whole life had been turned upside down after she found out that her husband and her supposed soulmate was in reality a lying and cheating psychopath.

It was like that character in the famous movie starring Julia RobertsSleeping with the Enemy, except this was for real!

Mel explained how she was now resurfacing after all that she had been through and had written her life story.

Her book is called “I’m Still Standing” and has been snapped up by a publisher. I have just received a signed, preview copy – and I am so pleased that her story is going to inspire many readers and change many lives.

It’s a real life story of how to make it happen for yourself no matter what – and at the same time make a difference to others.

The book is now available as a Kindle book (Amazon UK /Amazon USA) and will be available as a paperback in early April.

Mel has also kindly given me two signed pre-publication paper copies of her book “I’m Still Standing” to give away to two readers – please see more details at the bottom of this post.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Mel about life story and the lessons she has for all of us here.

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1. Mel, you have quite a story to tell! Tell us more about you and how it all began for you?

Thanks, Arvind, I’ll do my best!

Professionally I work as a leadership and change development coach, helping business leaders and their teams to achieve their best potential.

I love what I do because I am driven to help others succeed, particularly through tough times and change.

Why? Well, that’s where my personal story comes in. My first few years were perfectly normal – in fact I think I was very lucky. I was born into a close and loving family, but the sudden death of my father when I was four years old catapulted me into a different world.

My mother was days from giving birth to my little sister when it happened, so I instantly adopted the role of ‘grown up’ to try and fill the void.

My mother died equally suddenly when I was 16 and my sister 11 – my world changed again, and once again I had to learn to adapt to a whole new set of rules in order to survive. But that was just the beginning!

2. Your book is a very courageous and heart rending story. What inspired you to write it?

You might think that the death of both parents would be enough to deal with, but for some reason the ‘hits’ kept coming – and I kept adapting as a result.

The most recent (and arguably most traumatic) shock came in 2009 when I discovered that the husband I called my soulmate had betrayed me in the most terrible ways – in all honesty, it just about destroyed me. It all happened so suddenly!

Luckily I was able to fall back on all the life skills I’d fine-tuned since early childhood – together with all the career and personal development training I’d attended (and taught) over the years.

It was a very wise friend of mine who recommended I ‘write it out’ in order to make sense of what was happening. So I did. Rather than using paper and pen, I decided to keep an online diary. It was private. It was for me. And it was where I slowly learned to pour out my heart and soul.

After a while I invited a few friends to read it. Their feedback came as a total surprise. Various people explained how, in different ways, my stories had helped them to make sense of situations in their own life – and they encouraged me to share my writing with more people.

So I took the plunge and made the blog public, quickly attracting readers from all around the world – and a continuing stream of encouraging messages to boot!

After being told time and time again that I should write a book, I decided to do just that – even though it was a scary prospect!

My hope is that, by sharing my personal story, I can help others find their inner strength and succeed with whatever challenges they are facing. And if I can do that – well, then it kind of makes everything worthwhile :-).

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3. Was it a cathartic experience for you writing the book? How did it help?

That’s a good question Arvind!

Yes, it was cathartic – but boy was it hard as well. In the blog, you see, I had been writing in the here and now, sharing my struggles and musings as they happened.

For the book, though, I knew I had to give a much more solid background, which meant going over my younger experiences.

That process in itself stirred up so many deep emotions – many times I would be typing furiously as the tears rolled down my cheeks.

For me, it wasn’t until I actually saw the struggles of my childhood in black and white that I could fully appreciate what my sister and I had endured. It made me angry, and it also allowed me to feel compassion for myself, writing out the story of how I grew and developed in to who I am today.

So, yes, it’s been cathartic, because I’ve come out the other side feeling more whole and filled with love than before.

4. Your book will change many lives. Please share a couple of tips for people out there who might be in despair and can’t see how they’ll get through.

Gosh, thanks for your encouragement Arvind!

Hmmm. Ok – I know that each time I faced trauma there was something very specific that I did. It was automatic, instinctive at first – an instant reflex that after the first few times I learned to do as a conscious response. That is, to give myself distance from whatever was happening.

I would view the situation as if I was ‘somewhere else’ which always gave me a bigger perspective. This instinctive process also allowed me to keep track of my emotions which in many instances threatened to engulf me.

As a result of which I was able to consider my options. It didn’t always work, but it usually helped at least a little bit!

Consciously giving myself positive messages was another method that has pulled me through some desperate times.

I remember, not long after the shock discovery in 2009, walking around the village where I live – fresh air and movement helped tremendously.

My husband had abandoned me. I was heartbroken. I had no money. No way of finding an income. And I knew I faced a huge battle ahead of me. It was dire!

Regardless of all the ‘bad stuff’ that was going on; I remember repeating under my breath, in time with my walking steps “all I need is already within me”.

It made no logical sense, but as I carried on walking, my pace quickened, my voice grew louder, and my confidence increased – until I was stamping, shouting and waving my arms in the air!

Goodness knows what anyone might have thought had they seen me – but it made a huge difference to the way I was able to deal with things.

Finally, another action that helped me enormously was to say ‘thank you’ to myself and others, as much as possible.

I found that I could always find things to be grateful for, no matter how seemingly hopeless the situation. I even started a habit. Every morning when I got out of bed, I would say ‘thank you’ with each step I took to the bathroom. It started with small things ‘thank you for my sleep’ ‘thank you for my bed’ ‘thank you for this new day’ – the content didn’t really matter.

It was the conscious act of saying thank you that positively affected my mood. When I got to the bathroom mirror, no matter how I was feeling, I would greet myself with a smile and say something like ‘good morning Mel, this is our day today – let’s make it a good one!’

And slowly by slowly, it worked.

So, in summary:-

Step back from yourself and the situation, look for the bigger picture

Give yourself positive messages – even if they don’t seem real!

Find reasons to say ‘thank you’.

Be kind and smile at your reflection – you’ll start to feel like a ‘team!’

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5. Mel, having experienced, endured and ultimately conquered what you went through, what sort of person have you become? What kept you going?

I’ve become (I think!) much calmer – certainly more centred.

Nothing much fazes me anymore because I know that whatever else happens, I’ve overcome so much that I’ll always find a way through.

I guess I’ve developed a quiet confidence that all is well – one of the things that has always kept me going is a phrase my mother would often repeat ‘this too will pass‘.

It’s helped me to know that the bad times don’t last forever – and at the same time it’s helped me to appreciate the good times in full!

6. Looking back, what do you wish you had known during the tough times? What resources should someone in your situation call on? For example, could this be hitherto unknown resources such as inner strength?

The years following the death of my mother were incredibly difficult. I felt powerless and simply did my best to get through.

It wasn’t until I started picking up self-help books (the first being ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ by Norman Vincent Peale) that I began to realise that I could shape my own reality by consciously choosing my thoughts and perspective.

The more I learned, the more I understood that those skills could have served me much earlier on had I known of their existence.

This is what has driven me, and why I dedicated my life to teaching others the skills I have learned – often the hard way!

But I don’t regret anything in my life. It’s all unfolded the way it was meant to, and now I know I can help many more people – I am eternally grateful because I can look back on and feel proud of what I’ve achieved.

7. Mel, thank you so much. What’s next for you? Where will you be in 5 years?

I am currently working on a follow-up book, together with a business book born through years of working with leaders in the corporate world.

Drawing parallels with my personal life experiences, I am increasingly concerned that people are losing their voices in the workplace.

I’ve come across countless situations where even senior managers feel powerless to speak out or take action when they know something is wrong.

The reasons for this vary, of course, but it seems to me that many of our businesses today are suffocating their people who are, after all, the lifeblood of any successful company!

As for where I’ll be in 5 years’ time?

Well, since I’ve come to learn that life can shift in the blink of an eye, I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess. What I DO know, though, is that I will still be passionate about helping others and that I will continue to learn and grow in the process. I’m thoroughly looking forward to it!

Thanks Mel – I look forward to learning more from you and watching you blossom even more. And best of luck with your book – I know it’ll change many lives.

Your Chance to Win Mel’s Book!

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Mel’s book is now available as a Kindle book (Amazon UK /Amazon USA) and will be available as a paperback in early April.

However, you can win one of two special pre-publication copies from Mel!

She has put aside 2 signed copies with a certificate of authenticity to be given away to 2 luck readers here.

To be in with a chance to win of the two books, all you have to do is write a comment below, and share when YOU were courageous in YOUR life.

What happened and what did you do to get out of it? What lessons did you learn?

If you are reading this via RSS or in your in-box, please click here and write your comments at the bottom of the post.

Mel will choose readers with the most inspirational stories on 14th Feb (Valentine’s Day) next week and directly send them a signed copy.

Thanks everyone!

Editorial note from Arvind – (19th Feb 2013)

This competition to win Mel Carnegie’s life changing book is now closed.

Both Mel and I were blown away with your heart rending yet inspiring stories of courage and fortitude. We had to choose just 2 winners – and we found that to be an impossible task!

So this is what Mel and I did – we whittled it down to 7 people and then between us we drew at random 3 names. Mel was so moved with your stories, she decided to give away 3 copies of her book and not just 2.

The 3 winners are:-

  • Tharmini 
  • Lori Constein
  • Marsi

Congratulations to all 3 of you! I’ll be directly connecting you with Mel Carnegie who’ll then send you each a signed copy of her life-changing book.

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Comments

  1. I love this post and cannot wait to read the book. TY for the chance to win a signed copy…(-:

  2. Wow! What an inspiring interview! I’d LOVE to read this book! Thank you Arvind. Thank you, Mel, for sharing with us!
    Vidya Sury’ latest post ..I am Enough – An Affirmation

  3. Thank you for the great article! It reminds me of when my son was diagnosed with ADHD. He was having so much trouble in school. The medication he started to take caused him seizures. I thought I wanted to die because my son was suffering and I didn’t know how to help him. After many crying, sleepless nights, and lots of praying, I started to take aggressive action. I took him off the ADHD meds, put him on antiseizure medication, and I started to homeschool him. I went back to school and got my doctorate in special education. Now, he is a healthy, happy, active, 15 year old, doing very well and seizure free. I remember asking why was this happening, but then I then knew it was up to me to make it work.

  4. Hi! Thank you so much for offering an opportunity to win this book. I would love to have this book more for my cousin sister than me actually. She is 21 this year and last year, we lost her mother (my aunt) in a sudden attack of pneumonia. Yes, who knew pneumonia could kill in these days and age? But my aunt had undiagnosed condition of diabetes and it exacerbated her pneumonia. It all happened really fast. She was still alright when she entered the first day and was put in to a tube the very next day. And for one slow month, we watched her size 14 shrink into size 0, as the doctors keep saying she may come out of it and that it depends on the patient. The person lying there unconscious became painfully unfamiliar.
    My cousin is the eldest and she has 2 younger sisters to take care off. Plus she is still in university. She has another 2 years to go. Her both parents divorced when she was 10 and while her father is still involved in their life and trying his best, their relationship is stormy at best. So we lost my aunt last year in March and my cousin was faced in handling all the decision making including legalities, as the rest of the family stepped in to role of consultants, offering opinions. No matter how well meaning the other adults were, it would never be easy for a 21 year old girl to handle everything easily. Each of the adults had different opinion and she had the responsibility of taking care of her 2 siblings as they were even more distant with their father compared to her. Somehow, she managed to pull it through while studying. She takes the train on a 2 hours ride every weekend to visit her sisters. The sisters are now living with their father.

    And this year in January, she had a sudden attack of facial palsy. She couldn’t move her one side of face. Thanks to stress and depression. She is going for therapy and is still dealing with things as best as she could. It would be a great help if she had pointers on how to still stand in life. She deserves a break.

  5. Thanks for this inspiring post and a chance to win Mel’s book! A moment when I had to be courageous was several years ago, when my father was in the hospital for nearly a year, from an infection related to hip replacement surgery. He was in and out of the ICU, and it was very nerve wracking and upsetting, to say the least. Although we had not been close, I found ways to connect with him in his hospital room, and smooth over past tensions in the hopes he would heal, which he did. I think it was also brave of me to show my emotions, which had been uncomfortable in the past.

  6. Sounds like a good book. I believe that developing this ability to stay standing and keep going whatever happens in one of the most important things we can develop.

    The more I work on this and learn to deal with the situations the more I am able to stand on my own. Each time I am able to deal with it more effectively.

    -Ben
    Ben’ latest post ..Make a daily practice of prioritizing your goals

  7. Hi Mel, it is wonderful that you will help so many people with your life story. My story is different and I too hope to help others by writing a book. After 16 years of abuse I finally got the courage to leave. That was in 2006. Now I am happy , but often wonder why I didn’t do this before? There was so much fear and especially because children were involved.

    • Dear Anna – thank you, and congratulations on freeing yourself from an abusive relationship. That takes a huge amount of courage. As you say, you now understand that fear was a major reason for you staying there – the fact is, though, that you found your strength and you got out. We all do things at the right time – with the best experience and knowledge we have at the time. Good for you… remember there are some who never get out, or who don’t survive… I salute you :-)
      Mel Carnegie’ latest post ..December 18th 2012 “I’m Still Standing” released on Kindle and iBooks

  8. Thanks for this wonderful post and a chance to win Mel’s book! As I look back at when I had to be courageous, there have been many times in my life, but the one that stands out in this moment is the near loss of my brother, who during a fun go karting session, he had a terrible accident, which nearly took me out as well, and as I helped him through this ordeal, into the ambulance, and onto the trauma room in the hospital, our conversation was of possible final words for his wife and child, who were not yet present, before undergoing emergency surgery… such a weight to hold and sacred space to keep, along with the trauma of watching all events unfold. To keep a brave face and strong, despite enormous fear of what could be, seeing him nearly depart and waiting 11 long hours for him to come out of the emergency surgery. It takes a lot out of you. To then be brave for the family and support them through all this, then further surgery again traumatic and a very close call. This event, as if not enough on its own, followed two deaths of immediate family members one 8 mths before, the other 1.4 years before, a serious illness of my own in hospital, being the executor to both estates and the caring of my mother who was in need of great support after the death of her husband, my father, including a period of total global amnesia during this period.
    I had to stand up and be courageous, to help all the family cope, to manage their affairs as well as my own, and somehow keep the finances flowing in to support my own family.
    Courage is sometimes all we have, to be brave and keep going… and that is simply all I could do.
    Thank you.

  9. Hi Arvind & Hi Mel,
    People are always calling me a survivor……pshaw, I need to live! Supposedly maturing into a grown up has been spectacularly difficult for me (or, at least I sure make it so), from a childhood with emotionally distant parents, never knew/felt love to an adulthood where I can never seem to get the hell out of my own way! I realize this is a journey and will always be one so I’m not worried about that aspect of it, I just need to figure out why I’m so angry all the time and reactive instead of proactive. People might say I’m a well adjusted adult, just quick to anger- and how I truly hate that in myself. I’ve had many ups and downs; parents divorcing (waiting until high school when I thought they should have been divorced when I was 10), being car-jacked, finding out my Dad was in prison (and what it was for….), not even knowing where he is now, not speaking to my mother (for self-preservation), marrying a man one counselor said was my mother……and just feeling plain stuck. I am ever so thankful for all of the resources out here in the blogosphere; I don’t know where I’d be without them and lives like yours Mel. I’m hoping that I can glean some insight from reading your book and thank you so much for putting it out there for those of us who just feel so lost sometimes…..
    Thanks,
    Nicole

    • Dearest Nicole – I feel your pain through the words you write, and my heart goes out to you. There are many times when so many of us feel lost and frightened (I know I’ve had my fair share of those!) and I’m here to say, as living proof, that there are ways to overcome even the darkest moments. When I’ve been there, I often remember my mother’s advice that ‘this too will pass’ and then I’ve found things that I can do for myself that helps. If you take a look on my website and go to ‘hints and tips’ there are a couple of examples there…. I hope they are helpful. Stay strong, Nicole – the very fact you are here and that you’ve shared your pain tells me that you are on the right path…. Sending you love :-)
      Mel Carnegie’ latest post ..December 18th 2012 “I’m Still Standing” released on Kindle and iBooks

  10. Its always great to see how someone else made it through. I have been through so much myself . A survivor of a good marriage turned into extreme domestic violence.. It started with lies and suspected drug abuse and then it all turned to violence . It was a nightmare me and my three girls lived out for one year culminating in an attempt on our lives as he set our house on fire while we slept in Jan. of 2007 at 4:30 am . He even came back to watch the house burn. It was another year of battling to stay safe and get him arrested and convicted while keeping my kids in tact. I never knew how little protection there is when you end up a domestic violence survivor in life, and even the law here would rather you walk away then take up responsibility for your safety and put these people away where they cant harm anyone else . It was hard but I knew I had to do this not only for my girls but for anyone else he might harm. We made it through it all and he will be put away for quite awhile. After it all we lost lost our home to foreclosure and another half of what little we got back from the fire to be able to move across country to leave the spotlight ,as we had been front page news , to start again its been hard but through it all I have meet some awesome people and have a family , my girls, who love each other and will always know the value of that relationship and treasure it . My girls have been awesome through this all from staying on the honor roll at school to taking care of each other . Our story is one I too would like to write it was so strange at times I felt like I was in a tv movie . I would want to share my story to help others and hopefully inspire new laws to make it easier for anyone else who has to walk down that road .. I hope I find the words and strength and like you did to write all down. Congratulations on your book I hope it becomes a best seller

    • Dear Lori – wow, what a story! Thank you so much for sharing. I know what you mean when you say at times ‘you felt like you were in a TV movie’ – it can be so difficult to comprehend why some people behave in such ways. I remember coming across this quote: “We don’t see things as they are, we can only see things as WE are” – so when something so shocking happens, we just can’t make sense of it. Have you come across this website http://www.lovefraud.com…? On there you may find stories that resonate with yours… Do share your story, there is a whole heap of education needed out there – part of the reason I chose to share mine. Thank you Lori, and love to you and your beautiful girls :-) xxx
      Mel Carnegie’ latest post ..December 18th 2012 “I’m Still Standing” released on Kindle and iBooks

  11. Way to pull through! I have definitely had some rough spots in my life, but one of the decisions of which I am most proud is when I finally decided to get out of an abusive relationship by packing everything I owned into my newly acquired (used) pickup and just leaving the rest behind. I didn’t even know how to drive a stick, so I learned how on the interstate highways between Florida and Pennsylvania, where I was headed to join my parents and humbly request their assistance getting back on my feet. Making a major life change like this might seem like it requires a lot of thinking, but the truth is, I decided on a Monday and drove away that Friday. Impetuous decisions aren’t always the best, but I firmly believe that if I had taken more time to think through the craziness of driving away in a vehicle I couldn’t drive, I probably would have talked myself out of it. And who knows if I’d even be alive today to regret that choice? That day was the first day of freedom for me, the first step toward self-respect and learning to love myself. Any tragedies occurring after that date have been manageable, because I now trust my instincts and my own inner strength. I have fallen down so many times, I’ve learned how to land on my feet, so you’ll never again find me beaten down (mentally OR physically).
    Andi-Roo (@theworld4realz)’ latest post ..What’s Up Wenzday 02/06/13 — Sleepy Edition!

  12. angie randall says:

    I found out Monday that I go into hospital at the Maeter in Townsville for the next spinal surgery on Monday the 11th February. Only 10 days to go. I have been cranky all week due to the heat, my pain and the emotions of fear and anger at having to go through all the pain and suffering again, not to mention the cost.
    Shelly from Dr. Emery’s office rang me today and said that Dr. had decided I need more prosthetics and will be doing just as much if not more work on my spine this time. He said he wants to prevent any further deterioration of my spine by fusing most of my lower spine and sacrum. It will probably end up costing another $50,000.
    I asked, practically begged my Aunty and Uncle for some money towards the operation, but Mum told me today not to hold my breathe as Aunty Judith thinks I should sell my house in Bendigo. Even if I did, it would need to be cleaned up first and the floor boards re-done and the walls re-painted, before I could even put it up for sale.
    Then there is the cats and Alexander, I promised them that they could live there until there was only a couple of cats left.
    Even if I sold it tomorrow, I would only make about $50,000 profit on it, and I promised Alexander $10,000 to get himself sorted out.
    Mum and Dad are giving us $10,000 towards the operation, but poor Tony will have to pay the rest again!
    Looks like Tony will have to get a loan and I will have to pay it off as soon as I get back to work.
    I will have 2 loans to pay off, as I’m not selling the house until there are only a few cats left.
    The Universe will look after us and provide for us in our times of need, and I will be strong and grateful and have faith in the abundance of life.
    It’s hard not to let all this get to me and I am trying to be strong, but I am depressed and know it, I just have to manage it and when I see Dr. Julia next week, I will ask for a mental health plan, which will give me so many sessions with a psychologist at a reduced price.
    Then there will be physiotherapy, and this time I will specify hydrotherapy, as water and I go well together.
    I know I will get through this and hopefully be able to walk unaided and be able to work one day to pay off my loans.
    Any inspiration would be welcome, and with 4-6 months on my back, reading material would be much appreciated and I am grateful for any tips and suggestions.
    thank you,
    Angie Randall

    • Dearest Angie – my heart goes out to you. I know there are times when life seems to be one long struggle, when for whatever reasons stuff just seems to ‘pile’ up… It’s exhausting and depressing! But you’re here and you’re sharing what’s happening for you, so that tells me that you’re a fighter and determined to come through this :-) And I know you will – in fact, try this on for size… can you imagine that you are ALEADY through it all…? I know it’ll feel odd and unnatural… Just have a go for a few seconds… Start to notice how you FEEL when you imagine this (don’t do the detail, just imagine life is good). The more you can tap in to that feeling (no matter what is going on around you) the better things will become. A few times a week, or many times a day – it’s up to you. It was a technique that worked for me in some of my darkest times – I hope it helps you too. Sending you love :-)
      Mel Carnegie’ latest post ..December 18th 2012 “I’m Still Standing” released on Kindle and iBooks

  13. I *love* that you won’t guess where you might be in five years, Mel…that shows you truly are living presence/unfolding! I also love that sharing your story here inspired others to speak as well (in the comments). I tend to be a risk-taker, and I tend to lead with my heart…a potent combination when one is faith-filled, a raw and vulnerable combination when one is reeling from loss. I am learning that all facets invite me to share full creative expression…people connect as much through the “imperfection” (what my mind sometimes calls mistakes) as they do the “perfection” (what my heart feels as abundance, regardless of external). I find reflections such as yours inspiring, because we are all still standing, I think its when we choose to dance and move with appreciation and celebration that the “change” occurs. Thank you!
    Joy’ latest post ..28 Days of Love: Faith

    • Dear Joy – thank you so much for your inspiring words of wisdom, and what a perfect name for you! I agree with getting out there and dancing – actually, I still have a card on my desk that a wonderful friend sent me when things were particularly tough. It says “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain” – then hey, I reckon you already know that all to well my friend ;-) Thank you xx
      Mel Carnegie’ latest post ..December 18th 2012 “I’m Still Standing” released on Kindle and iBooks

  14. I actually pondered the reason why you titled this blog post, “How to Keep
    Standing No Matter What Life Throws at You!”. In either case I personally adored the article!

    Thanks-Winfred
    Winfred’ latest post ..http://tinyurl.com/wateriley50843

  15. I lived with my mother and sister who both were battling Stage 4 cancers. They were inspiring to be with and I did my best to make their lives as comfortable as possible. I handled my mothers bills, insurance issues, doctor and treatment appointments. I focused on enjoying each and every day. I have had many people ask me how I got thru all I did. (losing my father, my mother and sister within a few years). Together as a family we worked together to help each other, appreciate each day and stay strong. I would love to read this book since i desperately need a “re-charge” and refocus so I can get my energy back.

    • Dear Marsi – you’ve been through a lot, bless you. How wonderful that you had the opportunity to work together as a family :-) I’m not surprised you’re now in need of a re-charge, it’s time to look after you…. so I’m thinking of you right now and sending you some highly charged positive healing energy…. if you breathe deeply while you read this, you’ll receive it even better.

      How was that…. Did you get it….? I do hope so ;-)

      Much love, Mel x

  16. This story proves you can go through any obstacle in life. Just make a step back.

    What I mean is most people would be scared being in your situation and would rush looking for someone who would help. In your case, you took the responsibility caring to grow your sister.

    I admire people fight when life hits them so hard and they still are able to remain compassionate and nurturing persons.
    Ion Doaga’ latest post ..Lymphatic drainage: The Secret to Self Body Healing

    • Hi Ion – thank you so much for your kind words. I have come to understand at the deepest levels how very grateful I am for my sister – I honestly believe that had she not been there and given me a reason to fight, I might not have found the strength to carry on. The same thing applies to my son. He became my reason to continue when my world fell apart again just a few years ago.
      Bottom line is, I believe that it was (and is) love that got me through – and love that is now flowing more freely in my life than ever before. That’s why I am so grateful :-)
      Thanks again for commenting, I really appreciate it! Mel xx
      Mel Carnegie’ latest post ..December 18th 2012 “I’m Still Standing” released on Kindle and iBooks

  17. There are many situations I had been courageous in my life, the most important one was, when I was told that my child would be a special child, after a scan (three months pregnancy). I was devastated, felt very helpless and unsure of myself, for I have handled a special child.

    I am basically a very optimistic person, and always look for ways to be thankful. I am also a person with vibrant faith in God, and always shared my experiences of faith with my family, friends and those who came into my life.

    I am grateful to God for surrounding me with so many good friends, that sharing with them and praying for my child, and allowing myself to be counseled – I could make a decision to continue my pregnancy.

    I was gifted with a Down syndrome boy, whose speech was delayed and was very prone for respiratory infections. I did not know anything about downs babies, because of the need, I started looking out for information, and I am thankful to my friends for being very kind in getting all the information, and equipping me with the knowledge required, to bring up my child.

    Being working women and having an older child totally different from my son was a challenge. As my daughter was perfectly fine, and quite fast in everything, and my son was just the opposite.

    It was easy for my daughter to get into a school and adapt herself, I could see the progress. On the other hand it was very difficult to find a school for my son, even if I found one I was not satisfied as my son was not able to cope with the stress and pressure in school.

    Each time I found a new school for him, and kept moving when I was dissatisfied, at the same time I also found that my son was growing up handsome, and with my enthusiasm I tried as much as I can collecting information, materials to teach, and when I saw him progress, I decided to quit for full time job in order to give myself my time and take complete charge of my son in my life. (as he was taken care by my in-laws while I worked out).

    While I progress, making all the required changes, exploring various schools for my son, and handling my daughter with her studies, happy as a family. We decide to take a holiday, to visit a shrine at Bangalore, and me and children are excited as we are going out as a family for the first time, so I am busy packing and organizing for the trip, my husband meets with an accident, and comes home with a broken knee.

    He had to be rushed to the hospital, and he is admitted for the next two weeks with a major surgery scheduled. I had to spend more time managing my husband than my son. But I am surprised at myself as to how I managed everything without a helper at home. While it took 6 months for my husband to recover, I felt I was gaining control over my life, when suddenly my son develops bronchial pneumonia and within 15 days, he is no more on this earth.

    Losing my 7 year old son was too much to handle, I grieved for him and within 45 days I get an offer to be a counselor at a university for the students. I could not believe this, and wondered what I can offer to students in a broken state of mind. With the help of my friends and encouragement from my family I took up this offer, and started listening to the students problems. While I got so involved in listening to their issues, I found my problem to be very small compared to theirs.

    Soon I found opportunity to swim in the nearby pool and I started going for swimming, and it helped me fight depression and also empowered me to be active and start all over again.

    I am happy to be of service now, for I not only realized the potential in me, but also found that I could do anything if I set my heart on it. Some of the simple things I learnt in my life are:

    • Keep smiling, Laugh loudly and cry when you want to
    • Trust in God, and always expect the best
    • Do a little more than expected
    • Surround yourself with friends who inspire you
    • Meditate and live in the present
    • Practice positive affirmations- if possible write it down and keep repeating it to yourself
    • Believe you are the Divine expression of Life
    • Appreciate yourself;
    • Give yourself permission to be yourself
    • Be at peace with self and others
    • Be Optimistic, Be Open and Be willing to learn
    • Be Happy! Be Grateful! Be Enthusiastic for you have only One Life!