I’m just too normal to write a book….

A few people have thrown out the idea that I should write a book, but what sought of book would I write, I cant claim to be a self-help guru, I have no formal education, I have had to navigate this path I am on pretty much alone, learning as I go that you have to research and read and look for all the sides to any given situation, scenario, story.

You cannot throw out what you think without making sure you are making a politically, socially acceptable comment. You must always check your statements for their potential to bruise someone else. In some instances I have told my story candidly enough that people know what I have done, who I have hurt and where I have been in my mind and on the planet. But I have not named and shamed anyone in particular.

When you write a book I think you need to consider that you need to be candid, you really have to be prepared to speak your truth and be transparent.

You cannot expect someone to buy or care about your ramblings unless it resonates. This is easier to achieve with honesty, because as I have learnt, people like the dirt in a situation, they like the cold hard facts, we are a race of gossips and people that want to know absolutely everything about every situation.

Perhaps I could write of navigating the teen years whilst still feeling like a teen at times too.

A self help book to raising children that have no clue like me …

Remember as I have said before, I am very normal, I grew up believing that I was so normal that nothing would ever happen in my life to make me anything but normal. I developed believing that I was between the middle and lower classes and that with hard work and determination, along with impeccable manners and respect for elders I could become anything I wanted to be, but more over, I could be a normal functioning human being, and create a safe and happy life……blahhhhhh

I want to live large, I want to be apart of every crowd without being in any, I have been fortunate to have multiple jobs, I have worked hard for all I have achieved and I pride myself on not feeling as though I am better then anyone else, I watch a lot of entrepreneur videos and read up on their mindset and the only point of confusion for me comes from the statement that we have to fly with a similar group to grow and learn, we have to surround ourselves with successful people if in fact we wish to be successful, but I have always instilled in my children that they are no better then anyone else and that fostering friendship with those that are left out, different to us, poor, sad, lonely, that they will have a friendship that is far more valuable then with those with the it crowd.

So does that say something about the person I am, does it direct me to a different vocation, does it say I am destined to be around those less fortunate, to be happy with mediocre because that is where I am most comfortable?

I think in one respect it does, because I choose working class, I choose the down and out because they treat me with equal respect and honesty. I am not taken in by the presence of those above me, I met Gerry Harvey once and the one thing that I thought was bizarre was the way all the other staff at Harvey Norman were acting in his presence , even before he arrived they were all buzzing about how amazing he was and what an honor it was for him to come to our store…He is just a man, a man with the same pair of shoes that he has had resoled infinite times. He is just Gerry Harvey. He woke up just like us, ate breakfast, got dressed and came to work. He struggles like we do, he came from nothing and to me, he was just a man so thats how I treated him, he is just a man and a very nice one to boot. I think we forget that we all were born and raised and taught the same things, some struggle, some in wealth, poverty, cultural diversity, all of that aside, we are just US. It’s what we do on the path that makes us different, but the battles we wage have been waged before and the victories and losses have been dealt with also, we are just people on a path to the end, you could liken it to Groundhog Day as we navigate the identical path of others before us.

Let’s just remember that we are all on that road, we are all just human, no one person is BETTER than another, wealth will not help us in the end, we all have the same destination, how we get there may vary but we will all close our eyes and they will never open again, so enjoy the journey, learn from those that inspire you, live a good honest life and enjoy the moments.

Smile and Breath Deep

Apple juice and a scary crocodile…..

It’s amazing what can affect our children. Sam was actually expelled from pre-school as a small boy because he became aggressive and was biting and hitting other children. This behavior just escalated over a short amount of time. As a concerned parent I took him to the Dr and we discussed his routine, right down to the books we read him at night and the TV and Music he listened to. We found through a process of elimination that the Apple Juice he was having at morning tea was too full of sugar and was reacting in his little body due to a preservative 238. I made the typical parenting mistake, thinking that juice was good for my child. This along with a Audio tape that we played every morning and afternoon going into town and home were creating a pent up aggression in Sam. The Audio book was Roald Dahls The enormous Crocodile. This story was actually scaring Sam, he would listen and smile and recite some of the story, but at night it was manifesting in a negative way in his tiny forming brain and his only outlet for the fear was to attack.

We try to do our very best for our children but in the end we can sometimes do harm.. however each an every time there is a setback we learn and move forward not repeating the mistake.

Smile and Breath Deep everyone

Enjoy the moments

Embrace the mistakes

Hands up if you feel like a bad mother?!!

My hand is well and truly raised. I have been the worst mother many times in my 22 years of Mothering. I started out thinking I would be serene, full of sunshine and light and ended up a frazzled, sweaty mess that would ignite into fits of rage that took what seemed forever to subside.

I am sure I am not alone when I say I would feel the most giant remorse after an episode worse than a child in Woolies that wants a toy…

I have had moments where I yelled like a schrew. I smacked my children, I will forever be sorry that I inflicted discipline on my children that came from a place of anger and frustration instead of a place that was about correcting the child behaviour. Knowing now that I was struggling with extreme depression and anxiety now corrected with anti-depressants, I wish I had gone and sought help sooner.

Unfortunately I didn’t recognize that I had a problem at the time, I just thought that I was no different to every other mother, and was at the end of my rope a lot. That rope can get very tight, it can make us feel unworthy, tired, angry, resentful, bitter, unwanted, unloved, useless, hopeless and sad. Goodness thats a lot to take on just because we have a small child to care for ….forever… and we are not being fair on ourselves at all. I know I wanted the white picket fence family, the beautiful rosy cheek kids and the clean home, dinner on the table, ironing done blah blah blah ….another set up for failure moment in my life….

My children loved being dirty….they lived in mud, dirt, chicken poop, and their pockets were full of rocks and gross dead bugs, but they were so happy, the dirtier the better, the more boundaries pushed the better.

I’ll never forget telling my 2 sons to get outside and play, be creative I said, think outside the square I spouted…only to look outside some time later and see my oldest son towing my youngest son with our quad bike on the gravel road with a metal lid cut off a 20 litre drum, jagged edges, lip turned up so he had traction for his feet and the biggest smile on both their faces as Tom skied past the window….OMG

All I could see was the impending gravel rash, the limb severed from the jagged metal and the tin heating up beneath his bottom as he skated along…..but they were kids, real kids that got dirty, mumbled, complained, helped out on the farm, laughed and enjoyed life. The anger and rage that they were subjected to doesn’t seem to have harmed my oldest Sam, he is a great boy, he has his trials as we all do, and I cant shield him from them, the ones I have caused will forever be a regret, but he is an amazing young man with a resilience and kindness that makes my heart burst with pride.

My middle son Thomas gets to watch on from above, and I hope now he knows I did my best and I will forever anticipate the day that I get to give him a hug again and tell him I am really sorry that I couldn’t save him, that I only gave him a peanut butter sandwich before he went in the boat and that he should have had a shirt on, not just those too big shorts, but mostly I want him to know I am sorry that the lifejacket he was wearing was a little too big, because if it had been snug we would have found him sooner, and he wouldn’t have been alone under the water for so long, cause as a Mum … that was tough, knowing he was there but I couldn’t get to him.

My daughter, well she was the princess, she wasn’t allowed to be called naughty and she was always talked to and told how amazing she was, I think that definitely contributed to her head strong character and her tough side. She has a strong sense of self and will not be told otherwise. She is funny and kind, compassionate and I have to say a truly amazing daughter. (She will love seeing that in print) I will not say she is perfect because none of my children are/were. They can be little devils and push the boundaries and make my heart hurt with the decisions they make, but at the end of the day (so far) they are showing that they will survive and they will be good adults, that is all any of us can ask..that we bring them up well enough that they treat others well too.

It certainly doesn’t take away the feelings of regret when I think back on all those dark rages, but as long as they know I love them and am always here for them, hopefully they have not suffered irreversible damage.

Smile and Breath Deep everyone

Live your truth and find your peace

Remember .. There is always 3 sides to a Story

I am having an amazing time doing this blog…it fills me with such hope for the future and has made me see that life is this confusing journey that we all experience in our own way with our own interpretations…

The way we were brought up, the lessons we learn along the way, be it pain or happiness shape us into the people we are.

I can see so clearly why those that are brought up in poverty and with hardships can become hard and unforgiving, but the beauty lies in those that turn around the negative to become the positive force in their own journey and those that join them on it.

Last night I was so fortunate to get a message from my BEST friend Julie. We have been best friends since high school and in true best friend form we started out bitter enemies, storming around the school campus screaming and lashing out at each other. Actually Julie scared me so I am pretty sure I was running at the time, this was to become the start of a life long friendship. That friendship was tested over and over by so many things. I became jealous of the life Julie lived, the freedom, the boyfriends, the fact that she was set up in a house before me, had kids before me and yet she did it tough, she battled in her relationships, she worked so so hard to have everything that she has and her marriage ended after 3 beautiful kids, houses bought and lives well and truly intertwined. You see that is the thing about looking over the fence to that ever green grass, it is seen through rose colored glasses. I should have taken my shoes off and stepped into her life to really see that she struggled terribly in the early years and still just like me has her burdens.

That’s a life lesson that I had to learn, to look at others and wish for their lives is a terrible waste of the time we have here on earth. We need to live the life our cards have given us, we need to really embrace all the challenges, good, bad, indifferent and move forward accepting everything that is thrown our way.

Julie has always been there for me, when I was struggling after Tom died, she came and vacuumed and cleaned my house, like a ghost, not taking up space or being in my face, she pottered in the background and made my days easier. She would always be there with food and comfort whenever there was a life drama.

Not to mention she showed me that you have to stand up and take a step away sometimes in order for change to happen.

In the early years of my marriage, when all was very rocky with alcohol and babies, I confided in Julie a lot about my feelings of wanting to leave, and she would empathize and be supportive and would always tell me it was my decision. Eventually I became the girl who cried wolf, always complaining and never taking action and Julie said very plainly…You will never leave Rachel, you have it too good !

Those few words hit home for me, I couldn’t keep saying I was unhappy and murmuring about leaving if I was never going to actually do it. So I went home, mid harvest, packed my house and my two boys up with Julies help and in one day moved my life into Moree. That was the very first time in my life I felt empowered. The first time since getting married that I felt I was in control. The first time I felt I could survive. Regardless of the fact that the future held much turmoil and reconciliation, that one comment and the ensuing move became the turning point in my young adult life. I gained an independence I felt I had forfeited to be married. That’s the reality you see, I left my Mum and Dad and moved into marriage and life with Lynden, I had not taken a step on my own, I was supported always by family and loved ones, I never had to think about bills, rent, phones, food, fuel, car payments…nothing until that point when I had a 5 year old and 2 year old to take care of in the roughest area in Moree. I had worked, I was always working, but I had a partner to share the costs of life with, I had someone to make sure all would be OK, now, I had me and I became very strong and very hard.

I have to give Lynden credit during this time, he was so busy with harvest, he came home to a house with one of everything left, literally enough to live but no longer the creature comforts a family create in a house. Ofcourse he raged initially but within a week he was on the doorstep and day after day returned to reinforce his desire to work it all out. Had I only had the insight I now have maybe we wouldn’t have railed against each other for so many years, if only I didn’t see the drinking as a weapon he was using to hurt me. Still that is my book, that is a bulky set of chapters in my story, but it made me who I am, it made me see the weakness in people and empathize with the pain of others, it is a lesson, a path taken by too many, a flaw a lot of people have, no different to drugs and gambling.

I want you all to know, this initial experience gave me strength unimaginable. It made me so much better for my children, I wanted my children to see that you do not have to settle in life, you do not have to live in a relationship that makes you miserable, you always have a choice and you always have the right to make that choice. My children have lived with the mantra … Life is too short to live unhappy… My son Sam must have heard that a million times, especially after his brother died, I never wanted my babies to live like I did, I wanted them to expect more, and find a happiness I know exists. I think this sounds as if I was living a nightmare, in one respect I was, I was brought up on a lie you see, I was the eldest child in a family of Mum and Dad that were happy. That never fought in front of us EVER and they always kissed each other goodbye and hello. If Mum said Black, Dad did too. So for me, I wanted the same fairytale, I wanted the husband that loved without measure and never argued always agreeing with me, and I wanted to be looked after like Dad looked after Mum.

Unfortunately my story is soooooooo far removed from that I was angry with my parents for the longest time for letting me believe that lie. I actually felt they set me up for failure. Still to this day they are that couple, the happy go lucky couple that support, listen and nurture. I am very lucky there is no doubt that I have them both in my life because they have lived their own hell with all their children and they have always remained Switzerland in every instance. They have sat on the fence, always listened, supported and helped when they could without forming any judgements. When I left Lynden they stayed on the farm and continued working with Lynden and throughout the district questioning and locals talking about the craziness of Lynden having them there, they remained and held firm and without exaggeration were his greatest Ally and held things together when Lynden felt it was falling apart. So I am forever grateful for my parents and their neutral dispositions.

This too is a lesson I am holding onto. My children are going to have hurdles, they are going to get hurt, and suffer through unimaginable issues but regardless I want to be Switzerland and remain impartial, always supportive but never becoming a dictator of terms or voicing my opinion. Opinions should be kept to yourself unless you are asked specifically to voice them in terms of people and situations. This I have learned through my time away as I had some of Lyndens family send me their opinions in text, they were harsh and I understand that they were sent from a protective place of love, but you know what…keep them ..because you never know the whole of a story…of which there is always 3 sides..Mine, Yours and the TRUTH.

Until next time everyone

Smile and Breath Deep

PS..Live your truth

The Truth in all its terrible glory – Such imperfect creatures

Honesty is the only way forward.

Accepting the mistakes, owning the hurts and releasing the negativity that goes with secrets.

I am 43, I grew up in a normal family, I am the oldest of 3 children and I was a bossy, controlling, manipulative child.

We all were raised to be respectful and to think about the image we projected to the world, to really think about how we looked to others with our behavior. This is no different to most families I am sure.

I would say we were not poor but we were far from wealthy, we got by but there was no lavish holidays, fancy cars or name brand clothing in our lives unless they were handed down or from an op-shop.

We had a roof over our heads, meals on the table and clothes to wear. Our father was the bread winner, our mum worked as well, more so as we got older.

Normal, that is the word I used throughout my life, normal family.

We were the epitome of a normal family, normal life, nothing that made us stand out or stick out.

So how does someone that grew up in such a normal life become ME?

How is it that the girl that was the carer of her siblings, the oldest, the normal everyday girl becomes the women that leaves her husband on more than one occasion, loses a child, has an affair and now lives day to day constantly second guessing her decisions and pulling herself out of depression and fits of anxiety. What happened to the normal girl?

Where in the guide book for life did the story change?

I got married at 20 and I was pregnant on my 21st birthday.

I met my husband at a Polocrosse Carnival not long after breaking up with a lovely guy that was a bit to much older than me. I met Lynden and from that Saturday afternoon in August 1992 we have been in each other’s lives.

I put it that way because there is a long road in the ensuing 25 years.

We had a 6 week old son when my husband was involved in a drink driving accident and our lives became a nightmare for over a year with surgery and recovery.

My husband is a drinker, this impacted our relationship because I thought he drank to escape me. He would go to the pub or over to mates and I would be at home with the kids. I could never understand why .. I still struggle with it today but I have to work on the knowledge that it isn’t about me.

There are reasons and hereditary elements to alcohol addiction and there is also an element of denial for those that drink too much.

It is no different to spending too much money, eating too much food or doing drugs. I think it gives the same endorphin rush and therefore becomes a ritual need or desire.

We have 2 more children over the next 7 years and all is a normal routine of working, drinking and apologies. I leave after the second child because I cant imagine letting my children become the same as their father.

There is an affair on his behalf and my world slowly falls apart.

Let me say at this point I have been working full-time, I have worked through my children, I have also spent the money on my children and my friends and my garden and house. I filled what I felt was a real gaping wound with spending.

In the earlier years there was no money, we lived on $150 a week at some points, but as we built on business and my positions become higher the spending increased.

They say the 2 killers of marriage are money and alcohol…geez what hope did we have?

I leave, Lynden follows and I move back.

I tell him I am leaving again some maybe 2 years later and he goes on the ultimate bender. It was so bad that friends warned me he had left a party very intoxicated and was on his way home to me in a bad state..It was a catalyst for the end of our relationship, There was abuse and phones ripped from walls and there was irrational behavior and I ended up putting my boys in their room and sitting against their door eye balling Lynden for what felt like hours until the sun started to rise and his mother and brother turned up to take him aside. By that stage my mother turned up as well to pack us up and move us away for what I thought would be the final time.

This all sounds like Lynden was a devil. The reality is I was not perfect, I was lonely and felt betrayed and I was angry and bitter, so trust me the anger and rage did come out of me whenever we fought, it took me forever to work out you cant argue with a drunk, you cannot rationalise with them, you cannot seek honesty from them, they are not the person you know and love, they do not exist in that drunken state. If only I had realized he acted out because he loved me, loved us and didn’t want us to go.

So I became as bad in a different way. I sought attention from other men, I wanted to feel important and loved because I felt I wasn’t getting that at home.

I had relations with other men and I am far from proud of it, I am now looking back and while I know I rationalized this behavior against Lynden’s it did not help, it did not fix anything, it created lies and hidden truths and it also caused family Venom and spite.

I learned that once words have left your mouth they cannot be forgotten, they will continue to hurt long into the future.

Not only those I dished out but the ones that were railed at me.

Ok so leaving twice and packing more than a dozen times only to talk our way back to civil and where are we…. Stints with AA for Lynden and counseling for me.

My manic behavior displayed was a worry to Lynden as he couldn’t understand why I made it about me all the time.

Once we had gotten back together and left behind some of the negative driving forces for both our behavior there was a period of calm, a period where there seemed to be a true happiness for us. We both had jobs in town, dependent only on each other and there was no alcohol in the mix to make me crazy and angry and ever threatening to leave.

You see I couldn’t understand that Lynden loved me, I didn’t see his behaviour as anything but a slight on me. I couldn’t keep being the responsible adult, the one that had to be good and behave and be available Incase something were to happen that I needed to go the hospital with the kids, or pick Lynden up from places when he was too intoxicated to drive, or if there was another accident like the one when my son was 6 weeks old.

And there in lies the first instance, the first real moment when I thought I could never rely on my husband, I could never think he would always be there or able to manage an emergency because to me he was always drinking. The devil is in the details. I now know that I left last year because the responsibility was far too great. I looked around at my life and the near empty nest that I had and I knew that I had had enough. If I had to be responsible, I was only going to be responsible for me, then there was no one to blame if I was unhappy except myself, there was no one I could feel let down by. That in itself as I learnt was a huge error on my part. I am a victim of my own issues.

I ended up in another relationship with the man I had broken up with before I met my husband. I thought it would work out so well, I thought it would be new and fresh and it would be the perfect relationship, after all we knew each other, we had both lived though adversity and now we both just wanted to be loved and not alone.

When you are in that situation the fairytale can never be the reality because the lives we had lived prior had scarred us on different levels and our expectations are shaped on our pasts. We take into the relationship our own problems. For me I wanted this lovely kind man to be my savior and let me be the controlling, ranting, bossy, authoritative mess that I had become in my marriage. For all the things I felt I had never had in my marriage I thought I could have in this relationship. Crikey I am a bitch in real terms.. I do not give and take, it is my way or the highway.

You see when you live for 25 years adapting to your life that you feel is not what you expected it is very hard to then pick up in a new relationship and be different. You are a product of your life experience.

As a side note I did learn one thing in this process after extensive psychology sessions. My character trait is servitude. I feel that I have to be the carer and the responsible party, that comes from my upbringing, oldest child and sibling minder. As a part of this character trait I do, to gain attention and acknowledgement. I am a cleaner, I at times was borderline OCD because I equated cleanliness to control, acceptance and appreciation. I thought a spotless house, tidy yard, clean car and nice meals would give me love, attention and acknowledgement that I craved. I would do anything that would get me positive feedback. I usually had to prompt for it though, I usually had to ask if the work had been noticed, if the cleaning had an effect, if the meal was OK?

That led to asking insistently whether I was loved.. You do love me don’t you ? Do you love me ? .. In the end it wouldn’t have mattered what the response was because I didn’t believe it.

My marriage fell apart from the beginning, we attract what we know will give us the result we expect. I took on a project, I took on a man that I felt I could fix, I took on a man that had never stood on his own two feet, he had not yet left his mother, to me he wanted a mother, someone to cook and clean and that was what I did. Among that I thought I could change him for the better ofcourse, 25 years later I can tell you that is a battle I cannot win. Please know, my husband is a great father, friend and an even better farmer. He is an amazing businessman and well liked. I can honestly say he is incredible, he has gone from the depths of despair and he has lived through a hell no one ever wants to live through when we lost our son, he is a hero. Mostly he is human. We all have struggles and we all have our own demons, regardless of the affliction.

This is just my story, this is just my take on my life, this is my opinion.

I am far far far from perfect, I am very sorry for the hurts I have inflicted on my husband, children and family. I am sorry also to the people I dragged through the turmoil. I am stronger now that I am starting to understand and embrace the journey, I am trying to help my daughter navigate the teen years with honesty and understanding and she is helping me understand the nature of human beings.

Such imperfect creatures.

Till the next time

Smile, Breath Deep and embrace your truth …there in lies freedom …

The Weight Issue…. Surgery or Suffering??

Some of you may know that I had surgery in March 2016. Gastric Sleeve Surgery.

My entire life is a sad tale of weight issues, red faces, tight clothes and children’s bullying taunts.

This became who I was, it became my daily struggle. I became the ultimate weight loss product test dummy.

Best thing about all these weight loss programs and machines…they all worked for me ( I just didn’t continue on them once I had succeeded)

You see thats the thing about being overweight, like a social media addiction we are almost addicted to the praise of the losses we can achieve and then that stops because we have become the person we wanted to be for so long and so mentally we fall back to the persona prior. Let’s face it, we get looked at when we are Fat and we blend in when we are skinny.

That reality for me only really dawned once I had the surgery, the weight loss was rapid over the first 3 months and then the following 6 months was heaven on earth while everyone really noticed the transition.

The transition however takes a mental toll, it makes you see your life for what you wanted it to be…but is it what you want ?

There is much soul searching through the process, there are reality moments where you look in the mirror and see the person you always knew was in there trapped under the weight, and then you look in the mirror and cant understand who it is staring back at you. 42 years as the big girl makes it hard to mentally see yourself as anything else.

I spent my life making fun of myself, becoming the comedian and the funny person so that I could gloss over my weight. I would dress in fashionable big girl clothes and feel a million dollars, I was known for the outfits and the accessories I adorned myself with. I was a walking statement of defiance against the society that shuns large people. I was very unhappy, very unheathy and very unfit.

Every time without fail that I lost weight, I would put on more. The catalyst moment came on Holidays in January 2016 when I looked at myself and knew I was on the rise yet again after a 20kg loss. I was heading over 110kg and knew with absolute certainty that this time I would end up 150+ kg if I continued on the yo-yo cycle that was my life.

You know what the worst thing to be told when you are a big person and you say your need to lose weight is ? ‘You don’t even look big !!’ That is an awful thing to say, because anyone with weight issues knows how big they are. They may look down at their legs and stomach and think geez I’m looking alright, but that size 22 shirt and 24-26 pair of jeans do not lie.

I think the worst parts of being so overweight for me, were waking up gagging and gasping for breath. When I tried to Sleep on my side I felt like I was on fire I would get that hot and in the morning getting up and walking on my feet that were sore and tired and ached all the time. Not to mention my clothes that were big, hot and restricting. The pants under dresses so there was no chaff issues and the constant sweating even in winter.

We live our truth mentally every day every minute. We eat and hate ourselves for every mouthful and yet we continue, Why it is we feel the need to punish ourselves further I do not know, if I had the magic answer to cure it I would be a millionaire and hated by Jenny Craig .

Some days I felt as though everyone was looking at me, but now that I look from the outside, I think that in fact it was just me feeling awkward and ashamed and I manifested a hatred for myself that came out in public situations.

Now over 18 months post op I feel good, but it is about to really start all over for me. You see when you have sleeve surgery your stomach is cut away and you can stretch it back out, they give you a second chance so that you can help yourself. After 12 months you really have to be in the habit of eating correctly, you need to be really strict about exercise and you have to remember that potato chips go down in bulk because you can chew them up fine enough to get through your stomach pouch quickly. Don’t drink straight after you eat or while you are eating because this distends your pouch too, it all starts to get a little harder as you move through the months. Initially I thought I would never be able to consume a regular meal again….guess what. I all bar can. That’s not necessarily a good thing, its just a fact for me.

I am a water guzzler and that was a really big transition, the pain of drinking too much too quickly can be horrible at the start, but in time you get used to sip, sip, sipping.

I have talked about this experience with a few people and some have asked my advice on whether they should get a sleeve done.. My answer is an emphatic Yes! I am finally living, my first thought in the morning is not guilt for what I am about to consume for breakfast. My first thought is …Coffee

I now eat a meal and don’t look for a snack moments later, I love that I can go and do things, be it walking, shopping, gardening and not have a set goal in order to get a food reward, you see that was my habit…If I can get all the house clean, I can sit and watch TV for a little while and have a chocolate or a packet of chips and soft drink. I haven’t had that in over 18 months.

I don’t sit at events and wonder how many times I can go to the food table without looking like I was being a pig. I recently went to a wedding with a Lolly table and I was seated right beside it, and never felt like anything, once upon a time I would have filled a bag and made excuses that I needed 2 more for my kids at home. So without hesitation I say Yes to my friends and those that ask, I am also quick to tell them of the things that will make life difficult and then it really is up to them. I just wish I had taken the leap earlier, perhaps a lot of things in my life would have changed. Then again we create our own destiny so for whatever reason this is my life and this is exactly as I want it to be ( even if I don’t know it a times)

Regardless of where you are in your life, big, small, short or tall just live your truth.

Make the change if you want to, or embrace who you are if you are happy.

Smile and Breath Deeply remembering we have only one path and we cannot turn back time, Make the most of it !!

One day I might ….

It is harder than you think to find what is meant for your life . Some people are born with a definitive path for the future . Parents that are Drs breed Drs and musicians breed musically inclined children. Personally I was a horse rider (not a good one) and I passed that love to my kids.other than that I have no discernible skills, I love a lot of things, art, colouring, decorating, cleaning/organising, gardening. More over I have a lot of desire to do everything but no real idea of how to achieve it.

Most recently I hired a clarinet and am teaching myself how to play. When I was a child I played the recorder and thought I was the best recorder player ever . I begged my parents for a saxophone and they agreed that if I could learn a musical piece from a music book On my recorder they would get me one, as a child I do believe I did learn that piece but I never got the saxophone .. the reality is probably more like mum and dad could not live through another shrieking instrument repetitively playing in their house. So now my home is filled with the shrill noise I create on the clarinet for a wonderful 30 minutes a day.

I challenge all of you out there to do just one thing that you have put off, step out of your comfort zone, take the ideas off the rainy day shelf and see what you are capable of, you will find an empowerment beyond words.

Live your truth

Smile and Breath Deep x

The Overwhelming Reality

# I am dedicating this to everyone who has reached out to me with love support and their own stories and I want you all to know how much I appreciate the time you took to pen a response and to open up about your own pain. I was in a very dark place last week and from that pain came this idea. I needed to know I was not alone on this journey and with all your love and support I know all is going to be ok.

It strikes me regularly that we may be living our lives but we are not seeing those around us. We all have our own battles but we do not see clearly our friends, relatives and everyday citizens struggling to find their way.

I sit back when I go out in Warwick and I look at those around me, there is a man that lies on the benches lining the main street, I am yet to talk to him, but he fascinates me with his lounging presence and this is made all the more curious as he is dressed very very well, suit, tie, polished shoes. He wears terminator sunglasses with his hair slicked back and relaxes on the benches with one arm holding his head up.

You see the mystery of this gentleman makes me smile because I know there is a story behind those glasses, I know this because as sure as the sun rises there is a story behind all of us.

So I am sharing mine with those around me and also I hope it is flying across the oceans to other shores so that someone out there understands that they are not alone on this journey, they are always welcome to chat with me and I hope my words inspire others to talk to a stranger, strike up a conversation in a queue or smile and make small talk at the butchers. It is very easy to get stuck in social media, heads down looking at the phone screen instead of talking, but it is so much more fun to speak to another soul and share a piece of yourself.

As I often say…’ I woke up this morning, which was a heck of a good start when so many didnt wake up at all…’

Till next time

Breathe Deep and Smile


Rachel … You know you had a mental breakdown right?


For all of you who may not know, I left my life over 12 months ago and was never going to look back.

This hurt my husband and children terribly and whilst I rationalized what I was doing, I didn’t share my thoughts with all and sundry, I barely shared it with my kids, I just knew I had to leave, I couldn’t go on anymore in the hamster wheel that I felt my life was.

It took a lot of packing and moving and packing and moving to find myself with the help of an amazing psychologist and my husband at my side.

So that you have a small idea of my past, I lost my son in 2007 in a boating accident. This was obviously traumatic for my family and myself and unbeknownst to me I had not dealt with it properly (at all ) because I was the Mum, I had 2 other children to help,love and navigate through the loss. My husband dealt with it the best way he could but I just wasn’t able to lean on him or allow him to lean on me. So nearly 10 years later after many ups and downs I packed up and left. There were other issues to be faced as well, unhappiness can lead us to do unspeakable hurts to each other and I am no exception.

My journey took me to Dubbo and whilst there I got to make some great friends, work in wonderful businesses and enjoy all that Dubbo has to offer.

I thought what I did was justified, I believed that I had suffered long enough, I had put up with feeling alone for so long that leaving was no different to the life I lived only I didn’t have to cook and clean.

The truth of the past year is that I reached depths of loneliness like none I had every experienced and I struggled, financially and mentally. But I also managed to embrace the single life in my own way, make decisions and go places I would not normally go to. I lived and realized I missed my children and my husband. I wont say that all is rosy and we are all living happily ever after, because that would be a disgraceful lie, you simply cannot leave your family and expect acceptance when you are ready to go back again,.

My children went through a roller coaster of love and hate towards myself and their father, they still wait with breath held to see how our lives will pan out. I know that I have created scars that may never heal, when in actual fact I just wanted them to recognize the strength it took to walk away from unhappiness in a bid to be happy again.

So I got proper professional help and I learnt that I had suffered a breakdown, I simply could no longer function the way I was and basically ran away to save myself. A lot of past experiences were brought up and discussed that explained why I was the way I was in my marriage, why I hurt my husband and in turn he learnt why he hurt me.

I have never felt so free, these psychology sessions saved my life, truly releasing me from the constant questioning of why I was this way!

If you are feeling like you cannot cope anymore,  like you can’t imagine living another day the way you are, reach out and talk to a professional, it can change your life by changing your perspective.

Having someone totally neutral listen and advise is liberating in so many ways.

Till next time

Don’t forget

Smile and Breathe Deeply

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