The rocky roads

Life’s been a bit up and down lately, literally. Ivy decided a few weeks ago that I hadn’t swum enough this year and ran straight into the ocean during a beach ride. After several rodeo moments she landed me head/hands first into a great big wave. She then left me for dead and took off up the beach, through the sandjunes and around the neighbourhood. I then emerged from the water, soaking wet head to toe in my full riding gear and chased her down the beach. When that failed, I gave up and proceeded to walk around the area asking people if they’d seen a horse, most people were a little shocked by a stranger dripping wet wearing a helmet, horseless, asking if they’d seen said horse. Others commented on her beauty as she galloped riderless up the beach. Yes, yes that’s exactly the thoughts going through my mind in those moments…her beauty. We found her on someone’s back lawn, tied to a gate by the next door neighbours where were rather perplexed as to how a horse had turned up on their lawn, fully tacked up, in suburbia. Thankfully neither was too badly hurt, my pride mainly, and a little later I discovered my wrist was sprained but a trip to A&E established I was not in fact dying, despite the pain, and it wasn’t even fractured.

I thought I’d begin this blog with a funny story because if you keep reading, you’re going to need that humour. I think I’ve been holding onto as much humour as I can lately. I think that just makes life a bit easier to cope with. And watching your horse leave you in the water while providing people with a good dose of entertainment is certainly a good dose of humour, there’s not much else you can do but laugh!

Today in kids church one of the leaders came up to me and asked me if I was ok. I said “Yeah? Do I not seem ok?” He said I seemed a little off. I hadn’t really stopped to think about it to be honest. When you’re struggling with stuff I think it’s just easier not to think about it.

I mean how do you turn to someone and say “Well not really, I’ve been having suicidial thoughts for the past week because I don’t feel like I can cope.”

Like how do you just lay that on someone? Actually I don’t think I’ve ever openly said that to anyone.

For years I’ve been fine. Depression is a moment every now and then that knocks on my door but this last week it’s smacked that damn door right in my face and left me reeling a little wondering what the hell happened. I have nothing in my life that’s bad. There is no reason to feel particularly down. I just do. And that is one of the toughest things to explain to people. So I don’t.

It is easier to stay quiet and be ‘ok’. And I am ok. I really am. I know how to get through the down moments and tonight when people asked “how are you?” tonight I said “I’m good!” Because I am. I feel really good today and I know I will be just fine. I felt alive and like I wanted to be that way all damn day. That is pretty exciting. And I don’t write this at all to make people worry and I do not want people to suddenly say anything different to me, I have so many attentive friends and family. I am incredibly blessed and lucky. Because of them, their amazing way of just being, I always know I will be ok and I will get through it. No one needs to be anything other than what they’re being

I will always keep going, and I know even in the worst moments, I am going to be ok and I have a reason to live. Always.

I write it because I feel like there are people out there who need to read it…and know it’s ok. Because I want people to know they can open up and be honest, and that culture starts with me.

I run a Facebook pg called ‘YouthNet’. It’s an organisation that deals with mental health stuff. Anyway, I regularly post stories on there about family members who have written letters after their mum, son, daughter has killed themselves and they say ‘I want to raise awareness because not enough people talk about’. And I post them over and over…yet I’ve never once said anything to anyone…ever…about my own struggles.

Little bit hypocritical?

I was standing in church tonight and I started crying. And I never cry in church, but it just sort of hit me. It’s really hard some days to truly believe my life has a meaning and point. It pisses me off so damn much because I have absolutely nothing to be upset about. There are people living in cars and there are people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

And here I am living a beautiful life and I feel like I can’t hack it?

So many times I want to just tell myself to get over it and deal with it. But some days I just can’t. And that’s just the shitty thing about things like this, they hit at the strangest moments.

But what I have also learnt is those moments where it just seems like it’s far too much, those are the moments just before it gets good. And you can go years and years and years and be so fine and so great and so happy…then for no reason out of the blue you can’t do it.

Usually right when things should be good.

Anyway I’m pretty nervous about posting this, actually I’m terrified. This is honest even for me. I worry about people worrying about me, I am fine. This is not my first rodeo. But I do want to tell people how important it is to be kind, to be loving, to be open about struggles. To just be there for your friends. The people you love, the ones you don’t. Every single person you come across in your day be kind to them and listen. Be a beautiful person who makes someone’s day. Would you want to meet you if you were having a bad day?

For me, I focus on the little things. I focus on giving. On the days I simply cannot do it, I do something for someone else. I’m not sure when I began that, but it gives me a kind of purpose beyond myself and my own life. And it is so, so hard. I did not want to get out of bed this morning. Actually if I hadn’t been with Sam I probably wouldn’t have. But we saw some people and I was excited and I chatted because I got out of bed. I did that. I didn’t cry all day and I didn’t think one single awful thing about myself.

I’ve started focusing on loving myself and my abilities and trying to shut down those little thoughts of ‘you can’t do it’, ‘you’re not going to make it’ that become big over powering thoughts that shout. I’ve set a goal: if I can go an entire week without thinking one bad thing about myself I will treat myself to a massage.

It’s a massive goal, even sane and happy people would struggle. But it gives me something to focus on.

So that’s that. Take a deep breath.

I’ve found blogging hard lately; it’s super hard to be as open and honest as I want to be and as I need to be so I’ve just shut down and said nothing.

Keep your chin up guys, life is good regardless of the situation, it gets better and most importantly of all; YOU ARE WORTH SOMETHING. You are worth so, so much. You are amazing. You are beautiful. You are everything you need to be and more.

The best is yet to come.

Peace out.

 

 

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Another year older and a little bit wiser…sometimes

My butt is incredibly sore today. It’s a rather interesting way to end a birthday, but turns out sitting on it meant it needed massaging. And that hurt. But I think it’s going to be ok. With my flitting around the world this year it doesn’t quite feel time for my birthday to have come around again or that it’s been a year since granddad passed away. Charlie the cat is as weird as ever but he’s come around to sleeping on my bed and even thinks it’s fun to wake me up by standing on my head in the night. I spent the morning with mum at a spa for a detox treatment and I feel suitably loved and detoxed and filled with healthy chocolate. What on earth would the world do without chocolate?

The spa we went to gave me a little pink flower pot plant so I now have three living things that rely on me! I’m rather determined to keep it alive…the plant that is. I’m hoping the cat and horse can look after themselves a little because let’s be honest, I’m not actually that good at keeping even myself alive. But I’ve managed 22 years so that’s got to count for something!

I wanted to do a big post about how much has changed over the past year but sometimes there just aren’t words for things so here is a super brief recap:

I lost granddad, I brought a horse and sold a horse, Ivy had a baby horse and I sold him, I ran away overseas and travelled to nine countries in four months and absolutely loved it and learnt a bunch of life lessons, and I went from a four year relationship to single, I ended up with a cat. And here we are!

When I was a kid I always thought: “When I get to 21, life will be good”. I have no idea why it was 21, but I seemed to think life would stop there. I thought I’d have a car, a horse, a house, a job, and a degree and I’d be set for life. I have all that sure, but it’s nothing like I pictured and life is certainly not stopping here. I must chuckle at my much younger self and think, “Man, what am I going to think in another 10 years? Will I look back on my current self and think ‘how naive, if only you’d known’.” Yep, probably. But what I have come to realise is life never happens how you expect and even when it comes close to it, the feeling may be nothing like the one you’d anticipated. Walking away from my relationship was one of the hardest things to do. I wanted to fight, I wanted it to work. But I also hate giving up and sometimes I don’t know when to quit. Perhaps it was time to do so or perhaps I’m just stronger than I was four years ago, but I’m really quite ok. I’m sad in moments and angry in others but after losing people, seeing suffering in all parts of the world including my own, and having been diagnosed with a life altering health issue I feel like a break up is a mountain I’m well equipped to climb and with the support I have, there is absolutely no reason I won’t make a quick journey over the other side.

Anyway, instead of rambling on about all the changes I decided I’d instead write a list of all the things I’m grateful for in my life.

  • Amazing friends I’m not sure I’d be ok without
  • The chance to have worked at a great paper and have more experience under my belt than I ever imagined in my first 18 months of work.
  • A really cool, easy horse who is the bees knees
  • A not-so-cuddly cat who’s a bit weird but I like him.
  • Parents who are going to have to put up with my being at home a lot for the next few months
  • New work and volunteer opportunities
  • A body that functions properly 90 per cent of the time
  • A bed all to myself
  • Chocolate
  • The ability to travel the world on my own and all the incredible things I’ve learnt

I’d go on, but that’s the gist of it. In the past few months life has become an incredibly interesting and slightly frightening place to navigate. I spent several days standing on the top of mountains screaming “I’M ALIVE”, I spent days dragging a 20kg bag around with me, I’ve walked more miles than I ever thought was possible in four months, I’ve faced some of my biggest fears, I’ve eaten scorpions, I’ve seen suffering and heartbreak, and I’ve had the chance to change my world view.

Now I’m here and in my 22nd year I’m excited about what’s going to happen now. There are so many paths and picking the ‘right’ one seems scary, but it’s just taking that first step. And I’ll take it. Once I do, there won’t be any stopping me! For now the ‘to do’ list simply has one thing: keep climbing mountains and I mean that both figuratively and literally.

Tomorrow I’m heading up north with dad to celebrate the first year anniversary of granddad passing away. It’s a chance for me to revisit places Alex and I spent a lot of time and accept that’s part of the past, and it’s a chance to grieve but also acknowledge just how amazing granddad was and how mum we miss him, but also how ok we’re going to be.

So on that note, I’m going to leave this post with a bunch of quotes I found on this blog: http://thoughtcatalog.com/katie-wilkes/2014/12/20-quotes-that-all-20-year-olds-must-read/

“It’s better to have nobody than someone who is half there, or who doesn’t want to be there.”
Angelina Jolie

“You can tell so much about a person by the way they leave you.”
Redvers Bailey

“I will not be your sometimes.”
Anonymous, Six Word Stories

“The hours between 12 AM and 6 AM have a funny habit of making you feel like you’re either on top of the world or under it.”
Unknown

“I crave space. It charges my batteries. It helps me breathe. Being around people can be so exhausting, because most of them love to take and barely know how to give. Except for a rare few.”
Katie Kacvinsky

“The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to absolutely and utterly walk away.”
Alysia Harris

“Give yourself permission to immediately walk away from anything that gives you bad vibes. There is no need to explain or make sense of it. Just trust what you feel.”
Sonia Chuquette

“Nothing ever happens how you imagine it will.”
John Green

“Suddenly you’re 21 and you’re screaming along in the car to all the songs you listened to when you were sad in middle school and everything is different but everything is good.”
Unknown

“There had been too much emotion, too much damage, too much everything.”
Ernest Hemingway

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.”
Socrates

“If you don’t make time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a LOT of time dealing with a life you DON’T want.”
Kevin Ngo

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
Carl Sagan

So just remember life is beautiful even when it feels like you’ve been sat on by a bus or a large horse. Always take a moment before you decided to get back up off the ground because the sky is pretty damn beautiful. If you’ve fallen face down though that doesn’t really apply, sometimes mud can be good for your skin. Just remember that. And if you’re lonely, get a cat…they’re remarkably uncomplicated, even the strange ones.

Now here’s a song.

Goodbye to the week that’s been

Ok week. We’re done. I am literally digging my way through paper to get to my desk. My nose hurts from sneezing, I am well over tired because my poor brain has had far too much going on; socially and with work. I have spilt one cup of tea, burnt my tongue on two, pissed off an inspector (high ranked policeman), slept through both alarms this morning, and I desperately need to give my hair, nails, legs, face, and so on some attention before I resemble that of a yeti.

So it’s really not that bad.

Compared to others in the office, my day was a good one.

To be honest, I can’t even really sum up this week other than: I think we all need a wine.

On crappy days / weeks that feel like they’re slowly suffocating you, I find the only thing I can do at the end of them is be thankful I’m still alive, and operating. Enjoy the company of good people, or just the cat. Sometimes, it’s not even the cat, just the horse. Grab a glass and bottle of wine, and do something completely and utterly different and unrelated to daily life.

Or even something I just love doing, like sitting in my bed with a hottie bottle and food.

No place like bed.

All the best for your weekends! 

Saving grace

Today, and yesterday, were the kind of days where I have to remind myself to breathe. One, because I need oxygen, two, because I need to relax. Along with a splitting headache and aching stomach, the clear indicator for stress was standing in the kitchen writing stories in my head. 

Stop it brain. Time to shut off. 

But I’ve done enough complaining lately. I actually enjoy working 8.30am to 7pm some days, in a weird way it means I can consume myself in work enough I can forget about all the other things I should be doing. 

Like making friends. Doing sport. Keeping fit. That sort of stuff. 

I realised though, these last few days, just how lucky I am. Today I have been trying really hard to be positive, so here is a list of things I am grateful for:

1) The guy who flashed his lights to warn me of a speed camera so I didn’t end up with another ticket. 

2) The fact it stopped raining when I went to feed my horse.

3) Fantastic people I have met during my interviews lately, these are amazing reminders of why I love my job.

4) Friends who bring me food. Like, there are no words for people like this. I love them more than I can explain. There is simply nothing better than a friend who offers to bring you food when you’ve had a really shitty day and forgot there was this thing called eating which you need to do.

5) Good music, the amount I have found lately has kept me afloat.

6) People to dream with. Even if it is something simple and far off, just having someone to discuss the future and the excitement of it makes me smile. 

7) Having a work car… because I am rather poor.

8) Managing to not crash it even though with this awful weather lately there have been several very close calls. 

9) Having a horse, because sometimes, you just need horse cuddles to make the world seem like a nice happy place.

10) A bed, a roof, a warm house, food, and a job. I don’t think I ever stop and appreciate these things enough. I am so lucky to live in a house, let alone the incredible house I live in, with good people, in a safe country.

So I have a life plan. I have a headache. I didn’t get a speeding ticket. I have managed to actually achieve nearly everything I need to by 10am tomorrow. I have fantastic friends. And my hottie bottle and cup of tea are perhaps some of the more reassuring things after a long day. 

Anyway, what I actually came on here to say was that I have become a far more vulnerable person. While that was very scary at first, it feels good to rely a little more on others and a little less on myself. Bad days are still unpleasant, but when you’re not shouldering the whole world, you feel much more equipped to cope. 

People rock. Good people, are really quite incredible. 

So folks, remember to ask for help when you can’t do it on your own anymore, and remember when to say no when you can’t take it anymore.

But don’t forget to say yes and to lend a hand when you can, because everyone has their turn at feeling like their my paddock in the rain with a horse running up and down it. 

 

Here’s to coping with another day

Today was good. I rode my horse for the first time in years with absolutely no expectations. No goals or aims. I just had fun. Having fun. Wow, that is something that I don’t do often. Letting my hair down as such. No lately I’ve been more of a hair in a tight ponytail type person (metaphorically speaking as a ponytail actually gives me a headache). Maybe it is growing up. Perhaps it is the constant ‘be better’ pressure. 

It was a nice crisp Autumn day. Cold but not too cold. The grass has started growing again! I have plenty of hay. Plenty of feed. My horse is in great condition. We just went for a pleasant gallop across the paddock. It was border line saddle club style. 

Anyway, while I was taking in all the wonders we do actually have in the Waikato… yes I know, there are some. Like grass. It’s a wonderful thing when you’re part of the people who need it. I realized that it is impossible some days to wrestle yourself out of many of the hollows life likes to chuck you in, in a mad bull just bucked you off sort of way. 

For me, I see life as a fairytale. I have to. It is. I really actually do appreciate the smell Autumn leaves, hanging around just sort of lazing toward your nostrils. Or the way the infestation on rabbits is painfully annoying but incredibly cute! And the way I feel when I can just relax for those precious moments.

In a mumble bumble of story gathering, news writing, enjoying my horse and trying to enjoy the not so enjoyable aspects of life I am building myself.

Block by block we will get there. It might look a little patchworky but it will be whole. I’m not the person I was. I am a better version of it (unlike apples repetition of the same phone!). 

Eventually I will actually overcome the other little things that seem to hold me back… but until then it’s time to take it on the chin, suck it up like I’m squeezing into my new pants and build little walls to keep those nasty beartches out. 

You’re gunna make it one day kid.

Coping. Are you?

I broke down today. Actually broke down. After a good night, or well a good week, of confidence building, pride igniting and ego boosting, my emotions simply gave up. I’m not sure why, but I don’t deal well with stress. I don’t deal well with people holding me to expectations. I struggle. I don’t know who doesn’t.

I must say I feel sorry for my instructors and the people where my horse lives. Most people don’t see me break down. But they always do for some reason. Maybe its because around my horse I feel like I can actually fall apart. Everyone has a safe place- thats mine. But I just wound up in tears over the most pathetic thing.

So, seeing as no one is home I decided tonight was my de-stress night. Time to myself. I don’t actually know when the last time was I had alone time. Silence. Ticking clock. Blinking lights. And me. It’s really nice. Unfortunately I had to ditch my boyfriend for the night in order for this alone time but I feel like I needed it. There wasn’t a choice.

Sometimes I think its not so much about how much you have on, or even your time management. It’s about making sure there are times you put you first. Times you get to be selfish. Time when you do exactly what it is you want to be doing.

That is coping.