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Have you heard the age-old saying, that goes along the lines of: you never really know what goes on behind closed doors?


Well, that kind of sums up my family…


My early childhood one, the one I grew up in. Seemingly all polished on the outside, smiley, happy, normal, functional people – but with a deep dark secret, one that no one knew of that was so tightly kept. My name is Adele and this is my story. What I aim to achieve out of sharing it with people is for them to know that perfect doesn’t work. Perfect isn’t possible. Perfection is exhausting and it is unhealthy for your body.


This is by no means a political or racial piece, merely some background notes


I was born in South Africa (a white woman) during some tumultuous times. Probably the most effective segregation techniques and hypocritical system known to man, Apartheid was around during my birth and early years and what it stood for led me to feel ashamed, shocked and very confused as a young person. My father, during this stage, qA involved in the Government system in some way shape or form, either as a policeman, soldier and later on, as a ‘spy’ or intelligence agent. From my knowledge and recollection, Post Traumatic Stress wasn’t a big thing back then, or if it was, dealing with it, de-briefing, unloading, effective counselling didn’t really exist. And its knock-on effect for those near and dear is diabolical.


What was prevalent though was emotional concealment…


Which is not too surprising considering the nature of employment of the alpha of our home. I think we knew he was sick, but we didn’t know just how badly, or what to do for that matter. Being a child without a heightened sense of emotional intelligence, I decided to pretend and play along.
I took it upon myself to always be on my best behaviour so as to not awaken the beast. This led to me creating various personas of the ‘good girl’ plus ‘everything has to be perfect girl’ plus ‘let me overachieve’ to ‘peacemaker’.


It was downright exhausting


Which led to my first energetic meltdown during my last year of school – after years of living and walking on eggshells. This patterning or imprinting conditioning led to some very interesting health outcomes in my mid twenties and early thirties. Survival mode was my go-to switch and little did I know what it was doing to my body.

After witnessing my dad undergo shock therapy (as in brain shock therapy) for treatment of what we know now was PTSD – I decided there and then, that there ‘has to be another way’ in helping people get better and heal.

Little did I know how pivotal that belief would be in my current line of work.

When my health wheels came off, it was never in one big thunderous way, it always was a small niggle, a little mystery symptom here and there. I seemed to always be firing on one or two cylinders instead of four and because I have a strong body and strong structure, I was able to ‘cope’. I had numerous misdiagnosed and mistreated ‘mystery’ illnesses – all in hindsight adrenal fatigue related. From severe candida, chronic backache that lasted years and years, varicose veins, migraines, period problems, weight gain and even adult acne. Now self-healed, I am fortunate enough to assist others not in the field of PTSD but in the topic of my sweet spot: burnout.


They say soldiers and servicemen have a mission…


And that is – to right the world of its wrongs. That they sacrifice themselves for a greater mission. Sadly, my dad’s sacrifice came at a massive personal cost to my him and our family BUT I thank him every day. Because through his awful experience and what I took from it and made it mean, I am now able, healed and have helped thousands of people.

Trust me there are many of you like me, each with your own story and I am curious to find out yours…

Adele Spurgin

Adrenal Fatigue and Burnout Coach at The Big Courage
My name is Adele (not THE Adele) - I am 42-years-old and an Adrenal Fatigue and Burnout Coach that proudly calls Australia home. I work with high achievers, high performing women who burnout instead of thrive. As a burnout coach, I have had the distinct privilege of working with some amazing clients over the course of the past seven years and over thousands of hours. They have all worked through my nine factors that influence whether the human body is getting the message of thrive (from your thinking) or let's just survive roadmap. Furthermore, they all have had one thing in common: getting to the outcomes they were after. I currently run Burnout Retreats all around the world, and have hosted many other workshops internationally. I am a Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Hypnotherapy, Advanced Pranic Healer, Edisc Trainer and Profiler, ex-international softball player and mother of two awesome boys and wife to an amazing husband of 18 years!

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