Sunday 22nd May 2022

Women Of Courage Series. #10. Tegan Churchill. 80/2019.

Trigger Warning: Self-Harm, Mental Illness.



Women of Courage Series. #10. Tegan Churchill. 80/2019.

A series of blog posts on Denyse Whelan Blogs to be found here from mid May 2019: Wednesdays: each week.

Here is the introduction to the series.

Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. It’s doing something that frightens you. We face situations that demand courage every day. These situations provide us with choices, and the way we respond to those choices determines our future. Dayne Shuda

I have known Tegan who is 31, for many years thanks to ‘the old world of Australian blogging’ where I was first incredibly impressed with her education focus for her son as he entered formal schooling. I continue to be in awe of the time as a volunteer Tegan now gives to her son’s primary school. Her school is fortunate to have her support in many ways. I welcome Tegan to share her story today. 

What have you faced in your life where you have had to be courageous?

Becoming a parent is still the most courageous thing I have faced in my life. Before I became a parent, I was hellbent on destroying myself. Having a child gave me a purpose and something other than myself to care for. For the first time in my life, I felt that I had a purpose.


How did this change you in any way? Please outline further if this has been the case.

Before I fell pregnant I spent more time in psychiatric wards than I did out. My treatment team were preparing my family for when I would take my own life, not if. I was sent to prison after attempting to rob a chemist. I was seeking drugs to overdose on. I had no intention of hurting anyone but myself.

Finding out I was pregnant was a shock. Children were never on my radar. I didn’t want to be a parent. Yet, this small person changed my life in ways that I could never have imagined. He changed my life for the better. He gave me a purpose and a reason to be alive. How could I hurt myself and leave him behind?


Is there something you learned from this that you could recommend to help others who need courage?

Having a child isn’t the answer. A child isn’t a possession. I know that I was lucky that it was the catalyst that I needed. For many people it isn’t. I wouldn’t change having my child for all the money in the world but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t also the hardest thing I have ever done.

I also learned that courage isn’t doing everything on your own. Courage can also be learning when to ask for help. I learned that courage doesn’t mean you have to be a martyr. It really does take a village to raise a child.


Do you think you are able to be more courageous now if the life situation calls for it? Why is that?

Having a small person to fight for has given me the courage to fight for myself. I realised that in order to give him the parent that he needed and deserved, I needed to help myself too. Fighting for treatment for my son gave me the courage to fight for my own treatment. For many years I had simply accepted the treatment I was given, convinced that it was what I deserved. Being the carer for a child with additional needs allowed me to learn to fight for myself. I realised that I couldn’t give from an empty cup.


Is there any message you would give to others facing a situation where courage could be needed?

Break down any challenge into easy to complete tasks. Give yourself rewards for getting through and be gentle with yourself. It’s ok to admit that you are scared, anxious or that you simply can’t do something yet. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to accept help that is offered. Sometimes our courage is borrowed and that’s perfectly fine too.

Thank you so much Tegan for your courageous account in this post. I am so pleased you decided to share your story.


Lifeline: 13 11 14.



Social Media. 





Joining each Wednesday with Sue and Leanne here for Mid Life Share the Love Linky.

On Thursdays I link here for Lovin Life with Leanne and friends and on Fridays, it’s Open Slather here with Alicia.

Copyright © 2019 – All rights reserved.



  1. Being able to accept help is one of the hardest things I think any of us do. Good for you Tegan for doing the best you can for your child.

  2. A very inspiring and yes, courageous story so thank you Denyse and Tegan. Children do bring a new dimension to our lives and the responsibility is sometimes the wakeup call that we need, isn’t it? So good to hear your story Tegan and thank you for sharing at #MLSTL. x

  3. Wow, what an honest and inspiring story – and a courageous one to tell. Thanks for sharing with us Denyse and Tegan.

  4. What a wonderful life story Tegan! I’m so glad you found a catalyst to turn yourself around because that is truly courageous and the world is a better place for you still being in it. Your son is very fortunate to have a strong and resilient Mum who will be a lot more understanding of his teenage struggles than most parents are.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Her story is amazing and I was so honoured when Tegan agreed to share this frank and courageous story.

      Thank you Leanne.

      Denyse x

    • Thank you so much for your very kind words. It’s a sentiment I often struggle with but I’m working hard to see my worth x

  5. I think the advice of breaking things down into bite size chunks is great advice. A lovely inspiring post of another very courageous woman. Lovely to meet Tegan and hear her story. Thanks Denyse. #mlstl

  6. Thanks Tegan and Denyse. I didn’t know all of your story Tegan and I’m so impressed that you’ve really turned your life around and love your attitude about responsibility and parenting – also recognising the latter provided you with the motivation not the answer.

    Very inspiring. xx

  7. Thank goodness your pregnancy and child was the catalyst that changed your way of thinking. It really does show enormous courage because being a parent, whilst wonderful and rewarding, can also be very challenging. Thanks so much for sharing your story Tegan and thank you Denyse! #TeamLovinLife

  8. Thank you for sharing your story, Teagan. So very true that it’s difficult to give to another person when your own well is dry. I love that in caring for your son you realized where you needed to get extra care for yourself!

  9. It’s so nice to meet you Tegan. Thank you, Denyse, for the introduction. And thank you Tegan for sharing your very personal story and for pointing out that asking for help is a form of courage. Motherhood is probably the most courageous thing any of us do. It is a lifetime commitment that is both terrifying and exhilarating. When that is combined with serious health conditions, it’s even more challenging. You are truly a woman of courage. May you be surrounded by love and well supported on your journey.


    • Interesting isn’t it in the blogging world where we can feel like we do know people and I for one have been always supportive of Tegan. She does much more for herself and her son and is a leader in her school community in my eyes. Thank you Christie.

      Denyse x

  10. Watching my son grow has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve experienced. He gives me purpose every day. Even on the days when he’s driving me up the wall lol!

  11. Your blog in the early days taught me so much. I agree that not asking for help and not speaking out (trying to manage on our own) are the biggest mistakes we are taught. And I am regularly saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup, and I’m glad you’ve seen the benefit of making sure you get what you need (in a world that seems to discourage that). Great post!

    • Like that you too remember Tegan’s blog as well. She impressed me from the get-go back then as well.

      Lovely advice from you too.

      Denyse x

  12. Hi, Tegan – It is a pleasure to meet you here. Thank you for sharing your story so candidly and openly with us. It is very powerful to read.
    Thank you, Denyse, for the introduction!

  13. A great reminder for me to seek help from others when I need it! I have always admired Tegan for her openness about her mental health. #openslather

  14. Thank you for sharing your story so openly and honestly. May you continue to live your life with excitement, enthusiasm, purpose and meaning. We all deserve such lovely things. I wish much love and happiness to you and your son. Xx