Feeling grateful for 2017

Looking back on posts from both my blogs, I have been feeling very grateful for all I have achieved this year.

As well as being able to work in a foreign country with limited German skills, I also feel grateful that I was welcomed for my good work ethic despite my bad German skills. I still speak English at my job and luckily this is still ok.

I am also very grateful that I have been able to do both my coaching and youtube videos. I am grateful to have been able to help many people from all walks of life and I am very much looking forward to returning to the UK next year, so I can also become involved in more mental health charity work.

My youtube channel has grown beyond what I could have ever imagined and has now reached 4350 subscribers with my most popular video reaching 232,000 views! When I watch this video, I see many flaws and wished that I was able to go back and edit parts of it. I am most definitely not someone that is comfortable in front of a videocamera. Nevertheless, it has been important for me to reach out to others and validate their journeys. I have had thousands of positive comments and feel very grateful that I have been able to validate the child abuse so many survivors have experienced. Although there have also been a few nasty comments, I haven’t let these deter me from the work I have been doing. Putting yourself out there on youtube can be very daunting but if you are able to accept it with both the good and occasional bad criticism, then it is worth it in every way.

On a more personal level, I feel grateful that for this year my health issues have been dealt with in a caring manner. I had a few moles removed that could have turned cancerous and I had a proper health check up, to make sure I am ok physically. When you live with a mental health condition such as CPTSD, you usually notice that there are a lot of physical symptoms as well as the mental/emotional symptoms. Some of these include headaches, chronic muscle tension and exhaustion. For me, these physical symptoms are unfortunately a part of my life and this is why it is important for me to get health checks done often.

Another positive thing in my life this year, was getting my new puppy in September. Now that the toughest part of her training is over, she is an absolute delight to have around. Now that my new routine has been established and I am used to having a puppy in my life, I am enjoying every minute of it. The love and positivity in my life has increased beyond anything I could imagine. Having a dog has been so good for my mental wellbeing and I would highly recommend it to anyone living with a mental illness.

To conclude, I would like to thank all my followers on here and I wish you all a Happy New year, filled with love, good health and positivity!

Love Athina ♥

 

 

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all you wonderful readers and fellow bloggers a wonderful Christmas (although a little late) and I really hope that you managed to find beauty & love in your surroundings, even if you were grieving or not having such a good time today. If not, then know you were not alone in your grief! I hope that you were loved or at least were able to spoil yourselves.

Lots of love to you all! ❤️

Athina

World Mental Health Day

FontCandy (4)

Mental illness has always been a part of my life. Whether it is through my own personal journey, through my family’s or watching friends struggle.

Although I haven’t been writing on here much, mental health will always remain a very important cause that I will always talk about. It is crucial for anybody struggling with mental illness to feel heard, to feel validated & to feel safe.

Empathy & understanding are necessary and we must all do our best to listen without judgement.

Life can sometimes throw us a curveball and none of us will ever know when this might happen.

Talk about mental health!

Be open & honest!

Be understanding!

Listen & give plenty of hugs to those struggling!

Sometimes that is enough to make someone’s day a little better!

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Grief

FontCandy (20)

Grief is a huge part of life and yet a very painful one. We all experience it and for some people grief can be an even bigger part of their lives than for others.

Grief can be about so many things, not just the death of a person.

Every new beginning means that there was also an ending and every ending can leave a trail of grief. Grief can be experienced at the end of a relationship, the end of a job, leaving the town you grew up in, saying goodbye to friends or family, saying goodbye to a beloved pet or business or even saying goodbye to life as a single person.

What are your experiences with grief?

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

High functioning depression

Happy Monday dear friends & followers!

After a wonderful 10 days off work, celebrating my birthday with friends and exploring new places with my husband, I am feeling grateful and refreshed.

Today’s topic is especially important to me, as someone I care about deeply is currently suffering with this type of depression.

Although high functioning depression is a milder form of depression, it is equally as important as other types of depression.

When it comes to depression, many of us envision a person caught in the depths of despair and hopelessness, who wants nothing more than to stay in bed and avoid people and work completely. We envision someone who has lost all interest in the things they love, who may be feeling suicidal and is barely holding it together.

Although the above isn’t inaccurate, it doesn’t portray life as a high functioning depressive.

When someone suffers with mild or high functioning depression, the typical joy and laughter they once felt, is usually replaced by an absence of emotion and a very deep feeling of emptiness.
This is known as anhedonia and it is the loss of interest in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities.

To the outside world they seem like they are coping fine. They are still able to go to work every day and communicate effectively. They are still able to reach goals and get out of bed in the morning.

The most unfortunate part of those with this milder form of depression is that when they talk about their feelings to loved ones and even doctors, they aren’t taken seriously enough.

Unless someone is literally unable to function, they seem to be dismissed as not having anything to worry about. This isn’t good!

When life circumstances change, those experiencing mild depression may be at greater risk for moderate to severe depression if treatment isn’t sought early enough.

This is also discussed in my youtube video, so feel free to share if you think it may help someone you know.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Avoidant Personality-Video II

In yesterday’s video, I decided to talk about Avoidant Personality in a little more detail, as my first video became very popular in a short amount of time and many viewers reached out to me with questions .

In this video I discuss some examples of what avoidance may look like, not only in full blown Avoidant Personality Disorder but also with people who just have a lot of the avoidant traits. I also talk about what specifically causes avoidant traits and what the consequences are.

Thanks for watching ❤

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

How to live with gratitude

WP_20170310_15_41_44_Pro

Gratitude is a very important tool that most of us don’t use as often as we could.

To be grateful for all that we have in our life can bring a certain sense of contentment and peace.

Studies have been done, which show that gratitude improves both mental and physical health. Gratitude can reduce feelings of hopelessness and can greatly improve our relationships with others.

Doing a daily gratitude list just before bed, has been found to not only improve sleep quality but can also help with reducing depressive symptoms in people who are suffering.

”Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow” – Melody Beattie

The key to really benefiting from the practice of gratitude, is to write 5 or more things that you are grateful for on each day.The more specific the things you write about, the more beneficial the effects.

One example for this may be ”My friend suprised me with a ‘Thank you’ card today” or ”I enjoyed playing with my cousin’s puppies”.

Another way of practicing gratitude, is to have a little jar and pop daily gratitude notes in it..At the end of the month or after a particularly bad day, it can be useful to return to your gratitude jar and read all the little gratitude notes you put in it.

Do you practice gratitude and if yes, is there something specific you do?

Thanks for reading

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Infantilization

You might have heard of the term infantilization but you may not realise how incredibly abusive it is when a parent does this to their child.

It is only natural for a growing child to start developing independent thoughts, actions and opinions. For a narcissistic parent this can be very threatening, as they want to continue controlling their child and use them for narcissistic supply.

Check out my video for an explanation of what infantilization is.

Some examples of infantilization are as follows:

A parent stops a teenager from socialising with friends or doesn’t allow them any privacy in their bedroom. The parent may still treat them as if they are a young child whereas a teenager needs growing independence and privacy.

A parent buys their child age-inappropriate clothing and/or arranges age-inappropriate activities.

A parent might not allow the child to speak for themselves, when they are asked a question directly by somebody else.

A parent might discourage the child from pursuing new interests as they don’t want the child to become more skilled at new things than they are.

If a parent isn’t able to have healthy relationships, they may try to influence the child against their choice of partner. They can’t allow their child to leave the family nest. The parent wants to continue their enmeshed relationship for as long as possible.

The effects of infantilization are as follows:

  • The adult child ends up having chronically low self-esteem
  • The adult child has difficulties academically
  • The adult child may find getting a job difficult
  • The adult child learns helplessness and enabling
  • The adult child may self-harm
  • The adult child may have poor social skills
  • The adult child may self-sabotage
  • The adult child may become avoidant

If you can relate to any of what I have written or said in the video, then please re-blog so it reaches more people.

Knowledge is power and with knowledge comes healing. To also further promote healing on a larger scale, I have recently signed up to patreon to further support my creations of videos, pdfs & hopefully in the near future, e-books.

Patreon is a platform that enables creators to reach new goals by having their followers & supporters fund their work.

If you find my videos & blog posts helpful, then please check out my patreon page.

It would mean the world to me to be able to reach more people and help them on their journey of recovery.

https://www.patreon.com/AthinaEhlen

dumdum-patreon

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

How does codependency start?

Hello to all of you 🙂

I hope you are all well or at least trying to be.

Thank you to those of you who have recently followed my blog and youtube channel.I am very grateful. Tomorrow I have the morning off my German class so will be catching up as much as possible on all your posts and comments.Despite my busy schedule at the moment, I have still been managing to upload videos to Youtube every week and luckily the topics I talk about are still helping a few of you.

The Q & A videos have been a success and I still have quite a few unanswered emails to sort through, so please bear with me.

The Christmas break (although most definetely not my favourite time of year) will give me the opportunity to do more videos in response to your questions.

Today’s YouTube video focuses on the cycle of codependence and how is starts & worsens over time.

tumblr_mrdkpzygce1s43hlxo1_500

Codependency is very real and is a result of living in a home with an alcoholic parent, an abusive parent or a parent with a mental illness. Codependency develops when you put your own needs & feelings aside as a child, to care for & comfort a sick parent. Not everyone agrees with this point of view, however I have been through it and know the challenges associated with it.

Reaching out to all of those who struggle with their mental health means the world to me, especially to those who have suffered trauma and live with the result of this trauma.

I know how it feels to be invalidated.

I know how it feels to be called too sensitive or to just get over it.

Stigma towards mental illness is very much alive.

By sharing your experiences and spreading awareness in any way possible, this helps others understand better what it might be like for those who struggle.

If you can relate to this video, or think it will help someone you care about, then please share it with love ♥

Hugs Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

You are not a failure

Nobody told you when you were a child that life could feel so tough sometimes.

Nobody told you that life could drain the joy right out of you, just when you thought things were getting better.

depression-1250870_1920

Life is a crazy rollercoaster and you have to ride it out, no matter what it throws at you.

It might be that your boss criticizes you, no matter how much extra work you put in.

It might be that your partner who once made you smile, now only seems to point out all your flaws.

Your family might be hopeless at supporting you and instead always tells you when you have let them down.

Your looks fall short of what is considered beautiful, your body has piled on the pounds and your health is deteriorating.

Your money problems never seem to end and you are surrounded by angry, hateful and impatient people.

Everywhere you seem to look, there are people pointing out what is wrong with you.

Your career isn’t where it is supposed to be. You still aren’t married and people think there is something wrong with you for not wanting to have kids.

Even people with the best self-esteem, can end up feeling horrible.

Everywhere you look, people are pointing out that you are a failure..

Outer criticism ends up becoming inner criticism. That inner criticism ends up taking hold of your daily life and you can’t seem to silence that nasty little voice inside you that tells you, you have failed.

You might have once been a reasonably confident person and now you are nowhere near that.

Do you find yourself being haunted by this inner voice of failure? Do you find yourself needing to apologise for things that are out of your control?

Are you sorry that you couldn’t do better at work?  Then you failed

Are you sorry that you couldn’t lose weight? Then you failed

Are you sorry that your partner left you? Then you failed

Are you sorry that you are too sick to support your family? Then you failed

Are you sorry that you are struggling with the housework? Then you failed

Are you sorry that everything is too stressful? Then you failed

These negative thoughts are very harmful, even though you may not think so. When you internalise self-doubt your body absorbs it. Your muscles tense and you can actually become physically ill from it. If you allow others negativity to affect how you see yourself, then this might become a vicious cycle.

Have you ever noticed that when an abusive spouse, parent or boss criticizes you, you get nervous and are more likely to make more mistakes? The more difficult the people around you, the more on edge you feel and the more clumsy you may become. This was definetely the case with me for many years…

It is crucial to be aware of how destructive it can be to give your control away to others. If you constantly accept that you are a failure, because you judge yourself through others’ eyes, then you will eventually freeze. You will stop trying, you will stop living..

So how do you change this? How do you manage to keep the negativity that surrounds you away?

First of all, remember this! You are NOT A FAILURE!

You are not a failure because you failed your driving test.

You are not a failure because your relationship ended.

You are not a failure because you lost your job.

You are not a failure because you don’t want kids.

You are not a failure because others think you are.

Making mistakes in life is NORMAL. Making mistakes in life doesn’t mean that you are a failure. A mistake is just a mistake! This doesn’t make you anything less than wonderful.

Mistakes help you learn and at least you were brave enough to take on new opportunities.

Every time you catch yourself telling yourself that you are a failure, then say the word ‘STOP’. You are not a failure..

Remind yourself of all the good things you have done and that you are proud of. Even the tiniest things can mean so much! Don’t let others define you. Nothing matters more than the opinion YOU HAVE of yourself.img_1844

Never apologise for not being good enough because you are a valuable and worthy person. No matter how much others judge you, don’t let their voice drown out your own.

YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.