Part 1: My Story | Part 2: Grieving

Part #1 My Story

My brother passed away from cancer at age 27 in 2003. It was a long time ago. I get it. Why would I bring it up now all these years later? Why drag shit up from the past. Well because I have to. I have to because I have never actually moved very far forward. I have carried this hard and awkward grieving process with me this entire time which, I realise, is too long and to move on I need to let go. Not of my brother but of my grief story.

The final stage of my brothers life was during a time that I was facing difficulties in my first marriage. We were partying too hard, hating each other too much and trying to raise two and a half kids on a very tight budget and in a house that was falling apart. Life was, to say the very least, shit. 

But my brother was dying and there was nothing harder and nothing that could prepare me for it. He was dying but he had overcome his first cancer diagnosis at age 14 so I kept telling myself that he would be fine, that he would bounce back, that I had more time to be better. In his final days, watching his shallow, slow breathing, I remember thinking that he would, still at some stage, jump out of bed and say “Just joking!” He was the family jokester after all. But he didn’t.

When he finally passed away in the early hours of the morning of the 28th September I wasn’t there. I had gone home to have a shower. I was 28 weeks pregnant. I had, that very same week that he’d been placed into palliative care, gone into early labour and been admitted to hospital. I was embarrassed that my body let me down and had made this traumatic time in my families life all about me and so after my shower I remember sitting on the edge of my bed. It was 5am. I just sat there and cried. I cried for my family. I cried for my brother. I cried for my baby who was hanging in there and I cried because I didn’t no what else to do with all these emotions I had. I remember, after allowing the tears to flow for awhile, that I took the deepest breath in and pulled my shoulders back. It was a very deliberate move physically to get myself prepared for the next part of the day. It was time to get back to the hospital. Look strong. Be ok. Be supportive. Be good for once in my fucking life. It was time to get back to the hospital because I didn’t want to miss his last breath.

But I did.

He died a few minutes before I arrived. My other brothers face said it all as he stood on the other side of the hospitals palliative glass door to let me in. His red blood shot eyes. His head slightly shaking. The look of despair on his face. I had missed my dying brothers final moment and to me this was the catalyst into my guilt. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t a good sister, a good daughter, a good person. I left at the most significant moment in my families life – the last breath of our brother, their son. Our family, the only one I’d ever known, was no longer six, well at least not on Earth together and the realisation of this was soul destroying.

My story began to unravel from here. Guilt ridden for not being there, for not being a better sister, for being admitted to hospital the same week as him – like an attention seeker would – guilt ridden because I didn’t actually, at any point really think he would die. But he did.

At the time I really did expect the world to stop. I expected my friends lives to stop. I expected people to understand what was happening to me when most around me had never been through anything like this before. But their lives continued on as normal. Which to me, back then, told me I was shit. I was nobody worth caring about.

And so the spiralling of my story continued. I remember at my brothers graveside funeral that I chose to move as far away as I could once the ceremony was done. I stood in the corner of the garden bed because deep down I didn’t want anyone to hug me. To say they were sorry for me. To give me any comfort. I didn’t want it because I felt I didn’t deserve it.

At his wake my friends asked me if I would like to join them in giving Reiki to a girlfriend going through a hard time – a nasty marriage separation. I was so hurt and it reaffirmed to me that my pain was insignificant. I remember thinking that this friends pain was more momentous than mine because those I loved only saw the importance of healing her wounds whereas my pain wasn’t worth healing.

I began to withdraw from here on in and then the final nail on my grief stricken coffin was two weeks after my brothers death. A friend came to give me a “talk” and told me that I needed to make more of an effort in the friendship, that it was time to get over it and that I wasn’t the only one grieving and that she, too, was grieving him. Again, I didn’t understand. Was I supposed to help her through this difficult time when he was my brother and she had only spent a short amount of time knowing him. Was I doing this grieving thing wrong? Was I selfish and unworthy of these feelings I was having because I hadn’t been a good enough sister? Were these feelings even real? Didn’t I have any right to be sad?

It was all a very confusing time for me. So confusing that it has stuck with me for over a decade. There were so many other moments to my story that confirmed my feelings of guilt, unworthiness and shame over the months and now years. I’ve become like a snow globe where the confused feelings would settle for awhile yet they are always there and it only takes something minor to shake all those feelings up again. Something big gets them going real crazy and crazy is the only word that can describe it. It makes me feel like I did something wrong in my grieving. That I am going crazy to think that I actually had the right to be upset during that time of my life.

But this has just been my story. A story that hasn’t served me well at all. It is a story that has extended my grief beyond belief and one that holds me back in life and relationships because of the anger, guilt and confusion. Letting go of my story is not easy when I feel so much injustice was done to me at the time. Then I feel guilt for having had any expectations on other people. Then I feel stupid and unworthy for being all high and mighty thinking others might care the way that I do.

As I come through a challenging year now, I feel that it is time to let go of my story. It is time to let go so I can heal. It doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen or that I didn’t have the right to feel the way I did at that time in my life but at some point you have to grow and move forward – don’t you? I’m really unsure of the process but by acknowledging that I’ve had enough of the pain I carry, the guilt I burden myself with and the frustration I feel towards it may just be the first steps in my own healing.

Part #2 Grieving

In telling my story I want to finish with something useful. Something that may help others when someone they know is grieving. There are so many cliches that people say. Most come across as hollow and insensitive. So I want to share, from my experience, what you should refrain from saying and of course what you could say – but it is really all about how you say it. The words won’t always be right because for everyone the grieving process is different but I can guarantee if you come from a place of love and a place where you aren’t trying to fix them then you are in the right place to be there for them.

Things you don’t need to say to someone grieving…

* What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger: no this is not true and is genuinely insensitive. When your heart is breaking into a million little pieces you are already dying on the inside and being stronger because your loved one has died is not a comfort nor a support.

* Everything happens for a reason: whether it does or it doesn’t this is not the time to tell someone that the death of their loved one is for a higher or greater good because right now in their pain all they feel is … oh yes that’s it pain!

* Only the good die young: well bring him back then! We’d rather he be ‘bad’ and still alive then good and dead! Someone grieving is missing their loved one – good or bad. The good die at any age. My Nana died in her 80’s which is, to me, a ripe old age but she was good… It’s a cliche don’t say it.

* Cheer up. He/she wouldn’t want to see you sad: we know, or at least we hope, they are up there somewhere looking down on us but for right now, in our pain, the last thing we need is a guilt trip. We miss them, we are heartbroken and we are entitled to feel sad.

* They are in a better place: Really? Because last we checked that better place was here in our arms. We have no idea what Heaven or the afterlife is like but don’t tell me at this stage of my grieving that there is a better place than on earth with us.

* At least they are no longer suffering: yes we are aware of that but please don’t place that heavy weight on our shoulders. Seeing a loved one suffer for years is painful enough. All the “what if’s”, “if only I’s” has placed enough guilt in our hearts. The younger they are the more questions you have and the unfairness of suffering and death.

* Be strong: we can’t. We do not feel strong and why do we need to be. Our insides are crumbling, every core of our being misses them and being strong is not high on our list right now. These are people who we’ve known all our lives who are no longer walking through our front door, sitting at the dinner table at Christmas and celebrating another birthday. When someone passes away we always feel like something is missing… because there is.

* You need to move on: no. No we don’t. Our grief does not have a time frame. It does not say 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years. It says there is a hole in your heart where a person once lived. A person you miss with every fibre of your being. A person whose memory will have you heartbroken and crying one minute and laughing like a crazy woman the next. Grief has no rules, timeframes or explanations and you have no right to place them on someone.

Well then Superwoman what can I say? Why are you creating a dictatorship on what’s right or wrong? I’m not and there isn’t. This is just advice from someone whose been there. Who has felt additional pain from insensitive moments and I’m just giving a heads up.

Things you could say instead…

* I’m so sorry for your loss: yes it’s not much when you want to say more and it is also said a lot but there is a difference when it is just words said and when it is FELT. So feel it when you say it. Hand on your heart feel it.

* I am here for you: Like, right here for you any time of the day or night… BUT only say it if you really mean it because when you try to reach out to someone and that first person you try isn’t there then you rarely try someone else.

* I am here to listen: And then listen! Listen with ears and hearts open. Laugh at the funny memories, grieve with them during the painful ones, hold their hand, pass them a tissue and hug them when that moment is all over. Listening is the greatest skill human beings can acquire and we all can do it better.

* I wish I had the right words. Just know that I love you. Own it. We know you aren’t mind readers to be able to deliver the right words but the pain you go through when someone dies is immeasurable and love is the only thing that gets us through. So love us through it ok?!

* I remember when…: share your favourite memory of their loved one. A happy one. One that will remind them of love, laughter, happiness. Don’t force it. Don’t pretend. Just remember their loved one with tenderness so that moment of happiness fills their heart with joy for a little while.

* Say nothing. It is golden. Saying nothing but a gentle squeeze, a loving touch. But saying nothing doesn’t mean avoid at all costs. Saying nothing doesn’t mean pretending it never happened. There is a difference between a heart felt nothing and a I-can’t-deal-with-this nothing. Always lead from your heart.

REMEMBER: You can’t fix it. You cannot take away their grief or put a timeline on it. Everyone grieves differently and just because you see them laughing, momentarily, a week from death doesn’t mean they aren’t crying, in solitude, for the next 12 months. You cannot put your own grief on top of someone elses. You do not have the right. And remember… Grief is a process. There are many stages of grief and none of them can be solved with a cliche life quote from Pinterest.

Only support can help the process.

Only love can help heal the pain.

Much love.

DRK xxx

*** Aside from some editing this was written in 2013. It has sat unpublished because I wasn’t ready to let go of it. I wanted to so bad but I didn’t understand how to or even why I should have to. But I understand now. I understand that holding on and not forgiving people only hurts me. Only holds ME back and only makes my pain last longer and feel harder than it needs to – than it needed to be. 

I post it today not to cause trouble. Not to make people feel bad. Not to get responses. I post it because after much growth and self awareness I realise my story is just that. I’ve carried guilt and shame around with me for so long and it has affected me in ways that you can not believe. My Mum has her own guilt as I found out yesterday. My Dad, I’m sure has his too. But I don’t  know why because to me they were amazing parents who did everything in their power to help him. To prolong his life and to make the life he had safe, fun and as carefree as possible. It is clear that we all have our own versions of guilt and who hurt us during this time. 

I post my experience for others who feel the same because if I could just help one person grieving let go of the guilt, the injustice, the anger. To forgive quicker, to feel normal and comforted in their grief and to not allow these parts of our stories to hold them back for as long as I have then I’ve done something good with my life ~ one love, DRK xxx *** 

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two thousand and sixteen – a year of goodbyes

two thousand and sixteen has been a challenging year for so many of us. Obviously there has been a shift in The Universe’s energy or something ‘out there’ but I’m not here to speculate on that.

This year has seen so many ‘greats’ of our lifetime die. Carrie Fisher, George Michael, Prince, David Bowie and more. This year many family members and friends, our very own ‘greats’, have also left this earth. I’ve seen myself at six funerals this year… Most of them cancer related. Most too young to be gone already.

A year like two thousand and sixteen makes us reflect on life and death. It makes us realise that people can never die when they leave behind so much of themselves for us to remember. Their memories, their life walk beside us, every day, in our thoughts and in our hearts until we are face to face again. And we will be, this is my whole hearted belief.

two thousand and sixteen makes us question the things we’ve been taught all our lives. Things that society place importance on. It makes you question why we place significance on living in a mansion over a caravan when loneliness is the same. Why, if we still arrive at the same destination, does it matter if we drive a Lamborghini or a 1970 VW there. Why wear a Rolex watch over a Target watch if they both will tell you the same time.

A year like two thousand and sixteen makes you grow up and teaches you to let go. Let go of the importance placed on material possessions. Let go of the pain from friendships that hurt you. Let go of patterns of behaviour that keep you stuck in a rut because being stuck in a rut over small things keeps you living in the past and if my past is two thousand and sixteen then I will do anything to let that go.

A year like this makes you honour your true friendships, love your beautiful neighbours, embrace your wacky family and look forward to new beginnings. It makes you grateful of good times and learn lessons from the bad. It teaches you what is important, really, in the life we live and reminds you that life is too short to fuck around being self-absorbed.

two thousand and sixteen has taught me to be kinder, more aware of others feelings, to listen harder, to worry less about material things, to let the judgement of others be their burden not mine and to laugh harder with the ones I truly fucken love. It taught me that the only person I need to be better than is the person that I was yesterday.

This year was challenging. For others I know it was way more devastating than that. Challenging is simply a way to test one’s abilities. An opportunity to rise and to learn. That moment when you feel defeated but choose to stand up again. Challenging means we’ve been blessed with difficult times for how can we know the real beauty of fun times without them.

None of us have to wait for a New Year to start again when every day we wake up is brand new. But on the first of January two thousand and seventeen we get to start a new year. A year beginning with hope of good things and in gratitude for getting the opportunity to see it in when so many others around us haven’t. For most of us it’s where we can shake off the two thousand and sixteen dirt, step over the threshold and welcome a fresh, new beginning.

As two thousand and sixteen ends and two thousand and seventeen begins just be kinder. Kinder to every one you meet. Kinder to yourself. Kinder to the expectations you would normally put on yourself. I don’t believe it is the time for resolutions. Why set yourself up for failure? Why enter a new year with demands placed upon your days? Why weigh yourself down with a whole lot of pointless things when you can simple choose two thousand and seventeen to just be.

Be in the moment.

Be a part of life and living.

Be a part of your journey and in moving forward.

Happy New Year xxx

One Love
DRK xxx

When Bigger IS Better

Bigger is better when your first glass of wine was served by some tigharse douche canoe in a standardised sippy cup BUT thankfully on your next trek to the bar, a mouthful later, you get the cute little bar man who gives it to you with a wink and in a pint. #dontcarehowidrinkmywine

Bigger is better when you go to the ATM expecting to only see $25.00 but on the balance on the screeen shows $250! Woohoo! #hitthejackpot

Bigger is better when you are in a weight loss competition… Seriously the bigger guys always win! #moretolose

But bigger is not better if “it’s” as big as this guys forearm coz then that pounding he’s about to unleash isn’t going to be fun for us… And that’s coming from a mother of five watermelons… Ahem I mean children. #itcantfitinthere

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My husband would definitely say bigger boobs and a bigger arse are better but that’s no surprise coz he is a boob and arse man after all … #arenttheyall

My girlfriends and I would agree a bigger coffee is better than a teeny tiny cup of espresso… I mean did someone invite Barbie?! #dontmakemekillyou

Bigger is certainly better when you are on your free-eating day and you order cake. Sorry I said I wanted cake, as in a whole cake not a lady sized slice! #mmmmcake

Bigger is better when you are signing up for the internet – coz seriously being slowed to dial up speed is up there with the old telephone rotary dials #dialupisso90s

Bigger is better when you need space to be alone #ahhhh #air

Bigger is better when you open your parachute after jumping out of a perfectly good plane because those small emergency fuckers can’t be good for much. #saynotosmallfuckers

Bigger is better for carting shit across the seas and by shit I mean my online shopping. Imagine not having those big cargo ships?! It would take a decade for me to swim over and get them and then it would have been in and out of fashion twice already! #onlineshoppinggonebad

A bigger table is better for sharing stories at. A bigger car is better for my monstrous family. A bigger bag is great for all the crap I have to carry and a bigger slice of pepperoni pizza when you can only have one is, well, it’s a fucking free-food-day god send!

A bigger day time nap for my three year means a better quality of life – quality for me and life for him. A bigger hug from friends when you’re down is better than the kind of hug hugaphobic people give you… You know the ones? When that hugaphobe barely embraces you just in case your love is infectious… a slight tilt forward and slap on the back is all you get. #imnotchokingfucktard #hugsaregood

And bigger is better when we are talking all that lovey dovey and mushy stuff. The bigger the love, the bigger the heart then the better all our lives will be. #someonegetmeabucket #butimeanit

#biggerisbetter

One love

DRK xxx

How Not to be the ADULT Mean Girls Prey

Yes they actually exist in 2016! Believe it or not.

Truth be told I thought they had been eradicated in high school like most of the other self obsessed childish behaviour and small pox.

But I’m lucky. Or naive. One of the two.

I’m lucky because I am surrounded by beautiful, loving, caring women in my life. Apart from the occasionally mean girl here and there that pop up in my life most of the time I am not involved with people like that. Yeah sure I am fully aware of the sniggers some girls make at the gym while being all sweet to my face. I’m aware of the fake “Hi!!! You look sooooo good!” from ‘friends’ I bump into in the the street only to catch them wide eyed talking to their friends behind my back about how big I’ve got.

I am aware. But do I care?

Once upon a time I would have. It would have caused me huge anxiety and brought up all the old insecurities of not being good enough, pretty enough, slim enough. Now? I really don’t care. I don’t care because I will not donate my time concerned about another persons physical interpretation of my body. Of the way I look. Of what I wear. How I wear it. I will, however, care if my personality, my realness is called into dispute. I will care if they question my intentions or my honesty because they are the things that matter to me.

I am not interested in the falsities that come with being a mean girl. I find it pitiful that someone can live in a world so full of themselves nobody else gets a look in… It must be exhausting! It’s so sad that these mean girls have to continually pretend and promote how wonderful their lives/husbands/bank balances/children/holidays/arses are to validate their existence. Facades are deceptive outward appearances – that is the dictionary definition. Facades don’t advertise that their husbands are cheating on them, they’re up to their eyeballs in debt to maintain appearances and that their children are entitled unnurtured little shits. Which is fine. That is their business, it doesn’t need to be broadcast for the whole world to see but surely they have a heart full of pain worth more than any disguise they wear.

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If you are surrounded by mean girls you need to remove yourself from their super evil manicured grasp and this is how…

Nine tips to not be the mean girls prey

  1. Be confident! In yourself!  “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Dr Suess was right! Be yourself and be proud of that because there is nobody in the world who is like you. Confidence and a smile, it goes a long way when dealing with bitches.
  2. Be grateful! In your real girlfriends. Those ones who love you in your $2 op shop trackies, tear stained sleep in your eyes and with a bat in the cave. Love them. Appreciate them and mend any bridges that your premenstrual psycho tried to burn down during a I-don’t-deserve-awesome-friends moment. If you don’t have these kinds of friends then find some, ASAP! You’ll find them in aisle 4 at the supermarket, you’ll find them at the school cross walk picking up their kids; you’ll find them under a rock if you are ready to be loved and treated right.
  3. Stand up for yourself! How? By standing. Up! Do not let self endorsed pedestals that mean girls put themselves on make you believe for a second that they actually exist. Nobody… NOBODY is better than you regardless of money, lifestyle or social popularity. There are no pedestals that give anyone else the right to treat you like shit or make you bow down to theirs. Stand the fuck up girl you weren’t made to kneel before anybody!
  4. Own your bit! Yes! Sorry but we all play our own part in the mean girl game. Are you seeking validation from her? Why? Be honest. Have a look around you and see all the people who love your contribution to the world. Validate yourself. Are you playing the victim? If you are and continue to do so you are an easy target and mean girls like it easy. So don’t be easy. Life can be a game and sometimes it gets rough but let me forewarn you there isn’t a referee. Nobody is going to call foul play for you because you put yourself in the game and the only way out of this chicks grasp is by changing your position. Change your position!
  5. Find a way to cope! Start writing. Deep breathe. Laugh til you pee yourself. Namaste motherfucker. Whatever you need to do to cope with the stress then do it. You deserve respect but it has got to start with you. Respect yourself and give yourself the time and space to breath.
  6. Be direct! And when that doesn’t work smile and walk away. Remove yourself from her mean girl embrace. Say it like it is and never apologise for standing up for yourself because when you speak your truth you will always be genuine. They won’t get it but that’s not your problem.
  7. It’s their shit! It really is. Mean girls were either brought up this way, grew to be this way or are stuck trying to be this way. They have their own first world problems which make them the way they are and they are their own worst enemies. You cannot save them and you cannot change them. That journey is up to them.
  8. Let go! Let go of the control. You cannot control what another person thinks about you. You cannot even control what they say about you. Head held high you know who the fuck you are let them waste their 20,000 words a day of hollow gossipy bullshit. You know the truth.
  9. Start! Like right now. Start to change the way this unfolds for you. Become aware of  when it is happening and when you are in that situation with those sorts of people. Become aware and start at number 1. Small changes. Small movements. Each time you will feel stronger. Braver. More confident. You will get there.

It sounds simple enough and I know that it’s not. But don’t kid yourself you can and you will wake up one day like me and not care. You will find it laughable. You will even feel empathy for them. But you will not care to be their puppet, their toy thing, anymore.

You got this. I believe in you.

One love

DRK xxx

FOMO is Killing Our Kids

I wish, god I wish, that I wasn’t parenting in the age of the online era. This shit is out of control and if you think it isn’t you are blind to the damage this is causing. We hate to see our kids missing out and we don’t want to isolate them from their peers but why has this “missing out” become about unrealistic “things” and by unrealistic I mean unreal, not real, made up, created, manufactured, pretend. But not in a healthy pretend play kind of way. This is a messy screwed up virtual world that I’m talking about.

FOMO by simplified definition: Fear Of  Missing Out

There are some kids who have access to smartphones, iPads, laptops, social media, internet (or as us realistic parents call it – PORN) as often as they like. That is frightening.  Truly fucking frightening. I know all kids are different and some can be completely trusted? Ok partially trusted? NO! Fuck that! They are kids! Kids are curious by nature. They are going to explore the online world and if you totally leave that exploration up to them they will find their way to things their young minds cannot process. So there is no trust! But it’s not even about trust. You are the parent – so monitor, assess, be vigilant and PARENT!

We have the right as adults, parenting adults, to join forces together and stop saying yes to every damn request our kids ask for! Start looking at the bigger picture, clear those rose coloured glasses and finally “adult” by using the N-word… NO. NO you can’t have a smartphone. NO you don’t need Snapchat. NO you cannot sit in your room with the door closed on your laptop. NO you cannot sleep with your device in your room. Be the bigger person – aka the ADULT!

This virtual world they live in is going to have huge future consequences to their lives. We know this already as cyber bullying, sexting and teen suicides have increased exponentially. It is children exposing children. This virtual world is addictive, we know that because we as adults are addicted to it! They are exposed way too young to understand how it affects their sleep, their thoughts, their reality, their mental health. It is a virtual world. It is not real. None of it.

We need to start encouraging our kids to pick up the phone and call their mates, hear their voice, understand their reactions. Encourage our kids friends to come hang at your house, kick the footy, go for a bike ride, build a cubby house. Encourage our kids to get outside, to get amongst it, in the real world, the fresh air, hang with the real people with real thoughts and feelings. Real smiles, real tears, no emoticons or abbreviated words they had to google initially to know what they meant.

Technology has its place but there is no place more important than the well being of our children. Stand up. Take notice. Our kids are the future.

One love

DRK xxx

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Living With Regrets

We’re not supposed to have regrets or at least we shouldn’t admit to having them. “No regrets” is the life motto of so many and it’s honourable. Admirable. Dare I say it – inspirational?! But I’m all about being different and real so let me do those two things for you for a second here…

Do I have regrets?

Hell to the yes I fucking do!

I regret wasting 20 years of my life hating my body. Not swimming because of my body. Missing good times and parties because of my body. Not allowing myself to talk to that super funny chick and making a new friend because of my body. My hideous, unlikable body – I regret feeling that way about myself for so long.

I regret not being a better sister. I really fucking do. My brother was dying and I was thinking of myself, constantly. I really regret that selfish phase of my life and I’m sure he is ok up there with it all but I missed out on more memories because of my selfishness. And there I go being selfish again – but that I don’t regret.

I totally really regret sleeping with so many boys as a youngster. Yes, I would call myself a slut – but hey had I been a boy I would have been a total stud. I regret it because they mostly treated me like shit and I regret so badly that I didn’t stand up to them and tell them not to treat a desperate, low self-esteemed girl like that. Warn them that one day they would have daughters of their own and most of them do which makes me laugh like a super-villian-evil-bitch. I would warn them that it would kill them to see their insecure child being treated like a piece of meat. I regret not mastering that super-attitude-finger-waving-head-tilting thing that women do. I regret not having enough self worth to treat myself better and to tell those boys to go fuck themselves. I don’t look back at those times and think to myself “Yeah, that sure was fun!” Honestly I cringe and I think how desperate and ugly I felt back then – it wasn’t fun at all.

I have spent twenty plus years, regretfully wasting my precious life on being something or someone that I thought would please others yet I hated everything about the wannabe that was me. Always seeking external gratification, external recognition, external la-di-fucking-da’s. I wish I had been taught at a much younger age that all of those things were inside me all along.

Over those two decades I’ve shed a few of the try-hard-qualities as I have grown, lived and learned (eventually) but it’s been the last three years where I’ve picked up the speed on that shedding and all those things I thought I had to be or couldn’t be no longer exist or matter as of today in my dirty thirties. It is liberating and soul freeing. I’ve un-become so I can be exactly who I am. And my regrets aren’t filled with anger or sadness they are simply regrets. Which is my point. That it is ok to have regrets. The point is not to dwell on them. The point is to learn from them and the most monumental point is to embrace them as part of your life story. I wouldn’t have, be or understand life as I do now if I didn’t do all those shitty things I regret.

What’s most important of all is that you stop being somebody else and be yourself instead! Become you because you are living a life nobody else can. You are in control and all the choices are yours for your present and future. Sometimes the past sucks big hairy sweaty balls and those things sure do taste like shit but RIGHT NOW you are in a completely different moment and you get to CHOOSE whatever it is you want. Happiness. Gratitude. Weirdness. Whatever. Open those big fucking eyes of yours and look in that mirror. You don’t have to make love to yourself to love yourself but you can if you want. You don’t have to tell the whole world how a-fucking-mazing you are. You don’t have to do a single damn thing to live with your regrets. You just live. You just choose to live as you. Which is not always easy but shake off the shit you’ve pretended to be for so long and just be you.

Now go. Go and live in the present moment, which will soon be your past, and live it as YOU. Because, trust me, when you actually make decisions in life based on being you they can’t become regrets. They are instead whoopsies. When you make moves in life, as you, and you are being real and honest with yourself any fuck-ups simply become good memories… Eventually … One day … And you will laugh about them because you will know you were just being yourself. Your adorable, imperfect self.

One love

DRK xxx

How To Love Your Body

Loving and accepting yourself, especially as a woman, is not always as easy as it sounds. In fact for most of us it feels near on impossible. We spend a huge amount of our lives obsessed by our bodies and by the numbers that we allow to control our worth in society. Like the numbers on the scales and by god those damn scales never get it right do they. The numbers labelled onto our clothes which dictate our ‘size’ and categorise us into petite, average, plus-size. Numbers ‘scientifically’ extracted from foods and then labelled as calories – good calories, bad calories – don’t eat that, do eat that. Success. Failure.

It’s like a never ending rollercoaster ride that you never wanted to get on in the first place.

STOP I WANT TO GET OFF. Yes, I know, you’ve also been begging this for years.

These numbers consume us and torture us. Yet they really mean nothing. They are just numbers. They hold no power. We give them power and then we compound those numbers by surrounding ourselves with images of what we ‘should’ look like. Reading articles about other womens bodies. Being financially and emotionally invested in the toxic magazines that decide if someone is too fat or too skinny. Constantly our bodies, bodies of all women, are picked apart. Judged. Treated like ornaments. Why have we, why do we, allow womens bodies to be up for discussion? Why do we enrol ourselves in this way of living? And why the fuck do we become our worst critics when we should be protecting and nurturing the only body we have!

For decades I had decided my freckles were ugly. My nose was too big, my legs too chunky and my tummy… OMG my tummy was fucking hideous. All these things combined made me disgusting. Gross. Unlovable and unable to succeed at anything. Everything bad that happened to me was always because of these physical things. I decided from a very young age that only the pretty girls were successful and I was never going to be one of them. My life was a hate-fest – directed purely at myself.

Today I see me differently. Today I know a lot of women and young girls are also seeing themselves differently.

Why do they? How could this happen? Where’s the magic pill? You ask.

There is no pill. You do not need to put anything in your body or take anything out of it to make it loveable. To make it worthy. To make it beautiful.

It already is.

Seriously.

So how can you believe this to be true? How can this happen?

Embrace.

Embrace happened.

If you want to love your body you need to see the film Embrace by Taryn Brumfitt. You need to see it. Your mother needs to see it. Your daughter needs to see it. In fact your son needs to see this too. I saw this last night and I witnessed the transformation of so many women. The break throughs. The acceptance. The tears. The conversations. Oh my god the conversations! It absolutely breaks your heart to hear so many women have suffered the same thoughts and feelings for so long. So many have suffered in silence with nobody to talk to. Last night the flood gates opened. Last night body love and acceptance became a topic of conversation.

The message is constant throughout the film which is uniquely delivered by every size, shape and skin coloured woman. The message being that we waste so much of our time, so much of our lives thinking about our bodies. Critising them, wishing they were different, punishing them for being the way they are. Yet we should shift our focus to our psychological health because self acceptance has nothing to do with how we look. Self acceptance starts and finishes with our mind. Acceptance of where you are right now. Acceptance of your body as is.

Body love and acceptance starts with us!

We are blessed to be able to teach our daughters to love their bodies any which way they come. We are so lucky to be the generation in history that starts this movement to educates girls that their bodies are not items up for discussion and nor should they compare themselves to anybody else. We are the privileged generation that gets to teach them that gossip magazines and social media sites do not represent all the unique and fabulous body shapes the world has to offer and that photoshopping is wrong on so many levels and that realness is right!

The body image movement and body loving starts with us. Right now.

Watch the film. Take action. And one day in years to come our kids kids will be wondering what the hell this body image movement is all about because body loathing just won’t exist any more. Imagine that.

Seriously. Imagine that!

All my love,

DRK xxx

Are you still doubting? Well let me reaffirm that you, yes YOU, are beautiful just as you are. This means that you now have the right (as you always did) to be present in your life. You also get to be happy. To feel loved. To put on a swimsuit and splash around in the water with your three year old. You are fully entitled to buy that dress in the fabulous size 14 that you are right now and NOT in the size 10 to motive you to lose weight.

DO NOT waste a single day of your life from here on in thinking that you aren’t good enough, pretty enough, slim enough. There is no definition of the perfect body… NONE. You define it just by being YOU! Now go and love yourself! xxx

Click here to TAKE ACTION

embrace-photo

Embrace 2016 – You changed the way of thinking for a room full of women and young girls. Taryn Brumfitt, this movement is a gift that will be shared over and over again. Your sacrifices and your commitment to this film is deeply appreciated. #ihaveembraced