022: Learning to let go – Debbi Carberry

Fearless Females Podcast - Debbi Carberry

In this episode:

In this episode of The Fearless Females Podcast your host Tegan Mathews interviews Debbi Carberry who shares:

  • How she got through the hardest time of her life
  • The lessons about letting go that her sons illness taught her
  • The power of believing that anything is possible
  • Understanding attachment and its effects on relationships
  • How sometimes you’ve just got to roll up your sleeves and get it done

Tegan's Take Aways:

  1. Surrender and let go because the more you attempt to hold on, the worse it will get
  2. Never believe that it can’t be done – anything is possible
  3. If all you do every day is keep moving, you will get through it
  4. Ask yourself, “What’s one thing I can do today to…” and then fill in what it is you want
  5. Something good always comes of those challenging situations – and having faith in that will get you through

About Debbi Carberry

Debbi Carberry is a clinical social worker in private practice in Brisbane, Australia where she specialises in relationships transformation. She has over 10 years’ experience helping people form and maintain fulfilling relationships. Debbi is the author of a short relationship guide “Is Your Approach to Relationships Healthy? 7 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herselfhttps://debbicarberry.com.au/seven-questions/ and the creator of the groundbreaking 6 week online course, “Rewiring your brain for better relationships”.  https://debbicarberry.com.au/better-relationships-program/

Contact Debbi Carberry

Debbi Carberry

A Gift for Listeners From Debbi Carberry

Fill in your details to gain access to the relationship checklist and be guided through a process and to check in with where your relationship is at.

By entering your name & email address we agree we won't share your details with anyone! You may receive the occasional emails from Debbi Carberry. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Show Notes: Episode 022: Learning to let go - Debbi Carberry

Debbi Carberry Fearless Story

  • Over my life there have been several times that were challenging. Growing up was really difficult as was my early thirties but during these times there were also highlights as well.
  • As an adult, going through my thirties was the hardest. I had four children under the age of seven, two with special needs and then my partner and I separated while one of my children was going through open heart surgery. So I became a single parent whilst dealing with all of that and consequently it was my darkest time.
  • During that time though, it was also my most pivotal turning point where my life changed for the better so it was a really bitter sweet kind of time.
  • My childhood – I was born in the north of England back in the sixties when there wasn’t a great deal of work around for adults and the men were in control and although there was a lot of change happening at that time around womens rights, where I grew up there wasn’t a lot of change.
  • There was real poverty and I always felt like I didn’t fit in and joked that I had been adopted into the wrong family. I had a childhood that was really traumatic and I wondered if it would ever get better and dreamed of growing wings and flying away
  • I am a realist and therefore I believe the trauma is purposeful, not when you are going through it but it’s good to know that when you are, that there is something good coming from this. I would not be the therapist I am today without the challenges that have been handed to me.

How did you turn it around?

  • I literally hunkered down. I moved into a smaller house because I was supporting the kids by myself and I had been studying at the time and I thought, “I have to finish this degree and make some money so I am not in this position again”.
  • I would wake up and ask myself, “What can I do today to make some money”.
  • My son had had two open heart surgeries at that stage, one at four weeks and another at four months and was to have another one later. He has an incurable issue with his heart where he is missing some of it and we had been told that if he lived until he was eight, we would be blessed but that he probably wouldn’t.
  • So to get through the days, I would have my routine where I ensured the kids were fed and the house was clean and then every day I would exercise by running up and down my hallway.
  • I was breast feeding two of my children and pumping for the other so I felt a bit like a Jersey Cow but every day I would run and I kept thinking that if I could just put one foot in front of the other I was going to get to the other side of this.
  • I did that for a year and as long as I kept moving I was able to handle everything that I was dealing with and especially with what I was dealing with my sons condition. It was a massively challenging time.
  • Often it felt like I was wading through thick mud but as long as I kept moving I wouldn’t stop and drown.

What happened after you got through that first year?

  • I believe I was born strong and with a tenacious nature and a belief that anything is possible, and I still believe that.
  • I decided that I really needed to make some money because when you have money you can have access to more support. It’s the difference between being able to put your kids into childcare when you need to, being able to dress them, feed them, educate them.
  • You have to have a plan and a vision . So I decided I needed to earn some big money so I focused on finishing my degree and at the time I would get a bit growly with the other students when they would give the excuse of not having enough time because I was looking after four kids full time and I still got my assignments in on time.
  • Some people would tell me that it wasn’t possible which just made me more determined because I truly believe that anything is possible and I would prove them wrong.
  • I lined up a job to go straight into once I had finished my degree and planned it out that I would do that for eighteen months and then I would have to do some other things to get my accreditation and then I could be completely independent and be in private practice.
  • So I had a big plan and the clinic was eleven years in the making and once I achieved that it was a huge deal for me. It was my seed, I wanted to have a bricks and mortar business because roots in the ground are important to me.
  • That is my centre called Papallon and why I called it that, which means butterfly, is because I do a lot of work with people who have been traumatised in their life and I think most of us have had some sort of trauma and the symbol for abused women is the butterfly.
  • The butterfly is the symbol for transformation but not easy transformation, it’s the struggle of transformation. Its that absolute tenacity to work your bum off to get out of your situation and when you do, the magic happens and you become this beautiful, delicious butterfly.
  • But I couldn’t call it the Butterfly clinic so I went online and searched and found that the French call it Papallon so that’s why I called the clinic Papallon because it is about the journey of transformation and my own journey too.

What has been your most memorable moments?

  • Travelling around the world when I was twenty-one, for six years was one of the best times in my life.
  • But if I had to chose one moment that I could hold onto forever it would be this one: I had been struggling through my degree with six and sevens which was really important to me because I wanted to do well.
  • The day came for graduation and at that time I had met a man who I am still with who I absolutely adore. I was standing on the stage with my hat on and my kids were there clapping for me and in that moment…I had wanted to do it for them, I had needed to do it for myself and as I stood there with them clapping for me I was absolutely beside myself with joy.

What are you passionate about today?

  • Today is an interesting time. My eldest is about to graduate university and I am so proud of him. My other children are all moving through high school and I realised recently I am heading into a transition period because they are all about to go off and do their own thing.
  • So I decided that I wanted something that is all about me as I move into the next part of the story of my life. I decided I needed another challenge and I was getting a lot of interest from long distances away. I searched for a solution and didn’t find anything on relationships and I had fallen in love with this wonderful man who is the absolute opposite of me – so grounded and so steady.
  • Before I met him I had done a lot of study and learnt that I had to do my own relationships differently and had learnt about the attachment theory. I learnt that we are kind of pre-programmed in the way we do our relationships from the young age of between one and three.
  • We can’t change it because we can’t access those memories but we are non verbally pre-programmed. Through the process I learnt I had an anxious attachment style which had effected how I was in my relationship with my partner.
  • I knew I had worked with parents on attachment styles and I thought why don’t we look at that for our relationships. There have been a lot of studies done and we are hard wired for connection and we are hard wired how we do connection.
  • So I decided to create a program online to teach this and I worked solidly for six weeks on writing all the content, program videos, worksheets etc and had it launched in November of last year.
  • Had I known how challenging it was going to be I may not have done it but I knew the content and what I wanted to teach, what was interesting was how much of my own stuff got in the way of what I wanted to do.
  • The three things that came up for me was: 1. The invisible story, 2. The ‘you’re not good enough’ story and if I managed to get past those two, I had the ‘who the hell do you think you are’ story.
  • I struggled with the thoughts of ‘is the content good enough’, and ‘what will people think, what will my peers think’ because we are bound by an ethical code so I have to be very careful about what I put online. And I just struggled. I even gained ten kilos.
  • I had to keep telling myself that it’s going to be alright if people see you.
  • I had to have some photographs taken and I loath having my photograph taken so I found a boudoir photographer and booked her and she started going through all the info and I had to explain that I was keeping all of my clothes on but I had chosen her because if she could make someone feel comfortable about taking their clothes off, then she could make me comfortable with having my photo taken with my clothes on.
  • She was amazing and she made me feel comfortable in my own skin. To be fifty years old and still have that story going around in my head about not being good enough, not being pretty enough, not being smart enough I realised that as a woman that helps others get through that every day, I am just the same as you.
  • But I got through that and now I have the program available online and what it does is I make the non-seen and non-remembered stuff visible by teaching them the most common attachment styles which are anxiously attached, avoidantly attached, and securely attached.
  • The first part of the program is becoming aware of these styles and take away the blaming that people tend to do. For example, if you are avoidantly attached then you may feel engulfed by a partner and consequently create distance between you so that you can cope and that’s something you learnt very early in your life.
  • This might show up as a behaviour of a man who seems keen in a relationship and then backs right off. By understanding this as a couple you can work through it rather than blaming the other person.
  • Another example, if you have an anxious attachment style then you might do the pull me, push my dance of be with me but not too close but don’t go too far away from me etc and by understanding how this works your partner can help you through that to have a better relationship.
  • As humans we need connection and yet it’s through this connection that often our ‘sore bits’ get pushed so by understanding our attachment styles you can work through your issues from your past and have better connections.
  • The course is called “Rewire your brain for better relationships” and this works across all relationships and not just romantic ones. Those with our work, friends and especially our children.

What is something in your future plan that scares you?

  • What doesn’t scare me!
  • One of the questions I continue to struggle with is, “What if they don’t come” even though my life continues to show me that what I need always occurs.
  • Now days I also worry about that with my kids too, “What if they don’t come home again” etc
  • The fears now are different. My boy who has the heart condition is like me and he is now fifteen and doesn’t accept being told something cant be done so he keeps me on my toes because his heart condition cant be fixed so I still worry about that but it’s getting better and he’s part of a research program on stem cells so I am excited about that.
  • I guess I have set my life up so that I don’t have a lot to worry about now, I kind of did the hard yards earlier in my life. I would be devastated if I lost my partner but I don’t necessarily worry about that.

Five Fast Fun Fearless Facts about Debbi Carberry

  1. Who inspires you? Who doesn’t inspire me! At the moment Brene Brown because one she is a clinical social worker and two I think she steals a lot of my material LOL because I listen to her and I think, “I say that, and I say that” so I love her work and especially her work on vulnerability and shame because I think women are shamed so much in society. Myangelou is also an amazing woman who went through extreme trauma. For me, you don’t really get my vote unless you have suffered. Tina Turner is another one from my generation. Just an amazing woman with tenacity and would keep getting back up. So really strong women who have struggled and have that absolute shining light. They aren’t bitter or angry or victims, they stand on their own two feet and they just shine.
  2. Favourite thing to do each day? Exercise – I still do run each day but I run outside on the street now. The other thing I love to do each day which you will probably laugh at but I love to hang upside down and let my spine stretch. I also do Yoga Breathing each day which for women who have had traumatic experiences it’s really helpful to do that each day. I also have dry saunas each day which I love – I am the self care queen LoL
  3. What's something that still scares you? OK confession time, I am still scared of the dark. I have been scared of the dark my whole life. I have also been hit by a couple of trucks while driving in the past few years so I tend to panic when I am driving and trucks come near me.
  4. Favourite technique or app or book? Technique = the Yoga Breathing technique I think is massive. The 4, 7, 8 technique I think everyone should do each day to feel calmer in our own skin. I also read like a machine so the two books I am reading at the moment are Brene Browns Something of Imperfection which was her first book, and Gay Hendricks Leap of Fear and I just love to read. Technology – I have to admit my daughter does my Instagram because I struggle with technology.
  5. If you could wave a magic wand and fix one thing in the world right now, what would it be and why? I would love to fix my sons heart! He has been my biggest teacher. He brought me to my knees in my thirties, I made deals with the devil many a nights when we almost lost him. I even pleaded with the doctors to take my heart to give to him at one time. He has taught me that there is no control, you can’t control anything. And until you surrender to that, it’s struggle. He taught me to let go, and he taught me to surrender and he taught me to accept whatever comes. And I am eternally grateful for his presence in my life, he is an amazing human being.

Final Question

If you could turn back time what's the one piece of advice you wish you could give your fourteen-year-old self?

  • I know you think it’s really hard and I know you think it will never get better but don’t believe that! You are planted in the wrong soil and you will find the right soil, just keep moving!

Where can people reach out to you? www.debbicarberry.com.au

Facebook – Debbi Carberry Counselling

A Gift for Listeners From Debbi Carberry

Fill in your details to gain access to the relationship checklist and be guided through a process and to check in with where your relationship is at.

By entering your name & email address we agree we won't share your details with anyone! You may receive the occasional emails from Debbi Carberry. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Comment





5 × 3 =

50% complete

5 Easy Steps to Facing Fears

Use These 5 Easy Steps To Face Your Fears And Find Your Freedom Today.

50% complete

Join my mailing list to access your FREE eBook