Assault in a Perfect World

Recently, like very recently, my eldest son was assaulted. He was beaten up by a gang of 6 youths and his brand new bike was stolen. When I found out, after knowing my son was ok, I was angry. I was so fucken angry and I wanted to hunt these cowards down and I wanted to inflict severe pain on them. I wanted to take their possessions and make them feel vulnerable and scared for their lives. I wanted them locked up with the key thrown to the bottom of the ocean because to me they were the scum of the earth.

Eventually after these feelings had run through my heart and soul like red hot lava the sadness kicked in. Like deep, deep sadness where my heart broke and my tears flowed. Not only was I sad for my son and how this could possibly affect the rest of his life but I was deeply saddened to know these kids knew no better and quite possibly they never will. I was sad for them because they weren’t brought up in a loving family environment where they were taught right from wrong. I was sad they didn’t know how their actions affect other people for the rest of their lives – or don’t care. I was sad to know that they will go through the justice system and be in and out of jail for the rest of their lives and there is probably nothing anybody could do about it.

Then I thought how we could change this? How could we make things better before things get worse? How could we create a judicial system that helps make these kids, while they still have the chance, to be decent adults and better human beings – rather than locking them up with other trouble makers where they just learn new tricks.  So I created the perfect world. A world where these children were charged. Where they went before a court and their offences were made clear but then instead of juvenile prison they were instead taken to a remote village. A place where they were mentored, hugged, lived off the organic goodness of the land and taught good manners and morals. A place where they felt safe and could make the change to be kind. To be thoughtful. To laugh at funny things not cruel things. To be a person who they can enjoy being, to make something of their lives.

It’s crazy and naive I know. It’s a dream and a perfect world. But I do believe that some of these young ones could actually benefit from a place like this – it probably already exists. I think they could grow up and then they could become mentors themselves and start changing the circle of life for their families, their children. To some degree I believe in rehabilitation I am just not sure it can be done in an environment that is already toxic.

Just a “perfect world” thought.

One Love

DRK xxx

Five Tips to Stop Over Eating and Start Losing Weight

If you’re anything like me, or the me of old but the not-so-old-me-that-I-don’t-remember me, you know what it’s like to obsess over food. Obsess over weight. Over calories. Over good food versus bad food. Over punishing yourself for wrong choices. As a compulsive dieter and emotional eater you’ll understand what it’s like to go all day eating “good” foods, sticking to the plan you stayed up til midnight devising and promising to yourself that THIS TIME you will stick to it and then all of a sudden your face down in a pool of curve embracing carbs and the only way out is to eat your way through it all. I’ve been there. Often. Not too long ago in fact. I’ve found myself time and time again resisting food for most of the day, eating healthy meals and snacks and then WHAM! 3pm hits and it’s like the fridge automatically opens itself up and empties its full contents into my mouth leaving only the well meaning carrot sticks and grapes behind.

Food has been constantly on my mind for, at least, the past decade. At least. I have had a war with food for a long time and it has been torture! And for those of you that get it you will get that after the binge comes the guilt. Then with the guilt comes the feelings of being a failure and so therefore the intake of more food before finally the promises that tomorrow will be different. It’s tough. It’s a daily, fucked up, tough cycle. Something only first worlders have to whinge about which then makes us feel even shitter about the fact our problem is that there is too much food and yet somewhere else in the world children are starving!

Some of us use food like a drug. We become addicted to the short term joy it brings us. It’s like a security blanket. It keeps you safe. It never lets you down. The food is always there for you. The hollow fullness is always there to comfort youBut it’s not really. I made this discovery recently. Although I can admit that I’ve really known it for a very long time. I’ve also known the reasons why I have spent way too long overeating which is, ironically, to feel small. To stay insignificant. Because being small and insignificant meant I was safe and hidden. That my low self worth and insipid guilt of my past actions couldn’t be seen. That because of these past actions I must remain with my head bowed in an apologetic stance for the rest of my life. Not worthy. A failure. A fat failure.

In my recent revelations I’ve learnt some new ways to move beyond my decade+ long food struggle. I’ve seen the light so-to-speak and my entire day is NOT filled with food thoughts. I eat when I’m hungry. I eat what I want. I am smiling. I am happy. I am still considered overweight and my outer body doesn’t yet reflect my inner body but I’ve let my security blanket go and I want you to join me in the revolution of being in control of food.

So without further adieu here are my five tips.

1. Quit dieting. 

For food obsessors dieting is like putting a lit ciggie in a smokers mouth and telling them not to suck it in. Right? It’s torture! Dieting instantly fills you with a mix of hopefulness and dread even more so if you’ve been dieting on and off for years. Dieting means restriction, not having what you like – or think you like. Dieting means failure. Failures mean bingeing. Bingeing means you are back where you started. Get off the cycle! Ditch the diet books, like, seriously, throw those fuckers out don’t even try to sell them on Facebook Buy & Sell – they are not worth a cent! Steer clear of gossip magazines with a bikini clad celeb on the cover and the headline “How she lost 15kg overnight”. And run the fuck away from googling anything keto/paleo/atkins/dukan/cabbage soup diet related and unfollow all those instagram feeds where the motto is “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. None, and I will repeat this for you, NONE of these diets are helpful when you are obsessed with food, an emotional eater or compulsive dieter. I don’t say this to take away the hope for a slimmer you I tell you this because our “diet” begins in our minds and not with a restrictive food plan. So I am sorry but what works for your best mate, your father in law, your sisters-friends-mister isn’t the kind of diet you need. For most of us it’s a mind thing not a diet thing. Please remember that. 

2. Keep track. 

No not of your food! Keep track of your emotions. Your thoughts. When do you start obsessing? If you feel like it is all of the time, which was me, then think about when your food obsession is at its worst for you? Is it after dinner is finished? Is it after a session at the gym or is it, like me, the minute you get home from school pickup? We are a slave to our thoughts so recognising where they happen, when they are the strongest, what can set them off and what can ease them will really set a solid foundation of understanding your triggers. With understanding comes power and with power comes the confidence to move forward. We want to move forward because I sure as eggs don’t want to be an eighty year old woman still bitching and moaning about my weight. I want to fucken live a full and exciting life. Something I have been working on A LOT in the last 12 months and I have to say I like this moving forward trajectory thinga-me-bob.

live in the moment

3. Pull the Wonder Woman Pose. 

Yep it sounds silly and it’ll look silly too when you are standing all super powerfully in front of the fridge or in line at Maccas but guess what? It works. It is proven that standing in the Wonder Woman pose will give you more power and more confidence which then gives you the capability to make a better choice. Even if it’s assertiveness towards a kitchen appliance and all it’s contents or the pimply boy waiting to take your order. This power pose communicates not only to others but more importantly to yourself that you are serious and in control. You. Are. In. Control! Hold it for two minutes. Chest out, shoulders back, feet apart and fists on hips. Oh and remember to breath! You can also use a power pose while you are eating! Yes good posture will slow your eating. It’ll raise your awareness and it will make each mouthful mindful. Shoulders back. Head held high. Eat with purpose. Eat with control. Why? Because food does not control you. Wonder Woman is your girl! Channel her.

Wonder_Woman

4. Find your cheerleaders. 

Surround yourself with love and support. Find “your person”. Find your best supportive babe. That one person who will not judge you, the one who will stay neutral to how you are feeling now but will always offer encouragement for the steps ahead. Cheerleaders are the bomb. They get you. They also see you for who you truly are and they want you to love the absolute shit out of you as much as they do. It really is true. They can see all the good parts of you that you cannot see and they want you shine. So shine you fucking Goddess, SHINE!

Feel better

5. Enjoy food.

Don’t be scared of this one but learn to enjoy food again – for what it is. Food is fuel but food is also a part of daily life. We cannot just give it up, go cold turkey and wait for the shivers and shakes to stop. But food really needs to be put in its place and it is up to us to do it. See it for what it is. Tell yourself that because we are the lucky ones there will always be enough food. That chocolate will be there tomorrow and the next day and the next day. It doesn’t need to be hoed down in one go. It is not going anywhere. It will always be available. It is just chocolate. Don’t count calories. Don’t claim food as “good” or “bad” it’s just food. Once you tune into your body you will naturally gravitate to what makes you feel light and bright. It’ll take time but how long has it taken you to get to this point – with no success. 

Enjoy it all

What happens from here on in is a deeply personal transformation. Something that is not clearly visible to the eye but it is there. People will notice. The mental transformation, for us, is the most important stage. A body transformation cannot be sustained without a stable mental change. And let me tell you once your mental transformation begins the body transformation doesn’t have much significance anymore because you will learn along the way how amazing your body has been during the time of mental anguish you have just endured. You will recognise the strength your body has had to have over this time and how supportive it has been to you to keep getting up and trying again and again. Don’t blame your body. Thank it. What a gift you have been given. Now go. Go stand in that wonderful Wonder Woman pose. Because you, my friend, are not small and insignificant at all. You are purposeful and powerful.

Shine on Goddesses!

One love

DRK xx

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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Heartless. Thinker.

When you’re a thinker, like me, you are also a forgetter. You have so much thinking going on in your brain you can’t remember the thoughts of moments before. You are always starting “afresh” with a clear purpose so lying around the house are plenty of journals, notebooks and files with clearly stated goals and how to achieve them, to do lists, to don’t lists but then you turn the pages and there’s nothing else written. Maybe a little doodling – those unmanifested thoughts – possibly some Day 1 dieting and exercise information all written with good intentions. Being a thinker means you can think about your hated weight all day long while still thinking about the worries of your children, what they’ll grow up to be, what the hell is for dinner, whether to go left or right at the intersection, if your friend is really doing okay and what you’d write a novel about if you had time.

Being a thinker like me means you don’t live in your heart. And when you do “go there” it’s for other people’s journeys, their pains, hardly ever for yourself and when you do it’s because you have “thought” your way there. Being a thinker like me means you can cry deeply when your friends are in any type of emotional pain, rarely for our own. You talk about it but you don’t feel it. Sure you can still cry after an argument. You can hyperventilate to a friend about something that fucked you off. You can sob when you watch a sad movie whether it’s a true one or not but still your own story is emotionless. It’s “just a story” that you put on repeat.

When you are a thinker you forget to breath because breathing would cause you to relax. Breathing brings an opportunity from the neck down to open up. Opening up scares you. Opening up means you have to feel real stuff and feeling real stuff is scary. What if feeling real stuff means you lose it and never regain consciousness, hell worse still you become completely conscious and everything you’ve known life to be changes. What if those changes aren’t what you thought they would be.

Being a thinker means this post is just thoughts. It’s talking about feelings but not feeling those feelings. Being a thinker means feeling those feelings is rare.

One Love
DRK xxx