Jane Carstens
29 Jan

Stepping into the spotlight

If you have knowledge, let others light their candle in it.

(paraphrased from a quote by Thomas Fuller, MD (1654-1734))

As a journalist I have always been the person interviewing other people, writing their stories, putting them into the spotlight, while I willingly stayed in the background. It was therefore a huge step for me to write and then publish a book that included a lot of personal stories, and in the process, step into the spotlight myself. However, I believe it is important to share my experience of being stuck from unresolved grief and finding my way back again. This is why.

Finding my way through the fog of unresolved grief was a steep learning curve. There were numerous times I felt like running and hiding, and I kept wishing the world would stop turning and time would stand still while I tried to figure out how to find my way back. But as I have written in my book Unstuck:

The rest of the world doesn’t stop while you get yourself together, and that’s a good thing. You need the world’s general indifference to your pain and situation to help you to start moving forward again.

This may be a tough observation, but it’s real. The sun rises and sets everyday no matter how much you wish it wouldn’t. Time only moves forward. Wishing it would stop for you is pointless. This mindset makes and keeps you stuck.

There are also people who are not indifferent to a person’s pain and situation, but a stuck person will shut many of them out. This is because they don’t believe other people understand what they have been through, or because they are fearful of being hurt again. They are also fearful of other peoples’ reactions to their situation, which is a common reason motherless mothers often won’t ask for help.

I call this mindset setting up an invisible grief barrier. This means that no matter how many people a person has around them who love them, how many people are literally and metaphorically in their corner, if a person is struggling with unresolved grief it can be a self-imposed lonely road.

Helping people recognise and then change these mindsets is one of the reasons why I wrote Unstuck. I have been there and it’s not a good place to be.

When I was struggling with unresolved grief, I also didn’t want a ‘gentle’ book. I wanted a book that delivered straight-talking advice about resolving their grief written by someone who had faced similar challenges to me. I didn’t find a specific book that helped me become unstuck (despite trying to find one), so I wrote my own.

Unstuck is therefore the book I needed to read all those years ago. Writing and publishing it has made me step into the spotlight and put my story and observations ‘out there’ in the hope they help other people who are stuck find their way back too.

People who have faced adversity and come out of it don’t have a super power.
They are ordinary people who found the mental and physical strength and resilience to keep moving forward.
Everyone has the potential to do this
(extract from Unstuck by Jane Carstens).

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