The Depths Of Drug Addiction.

When I look back to my drug taking days, it seriously frightens the shit out of me. How I’m not dead, I really don’t know. People have died for less than what I put myself through.

In hindsight, I can see now that I was subconsciously trying to kill myself. I thought nothing at taking 2, 3 ecstasy tablets at a time, and would then drive my car. In fact, I drove my car everywhere in those days – it was pre drug testing back then.

I snorted copious amounts of high grade speed, it’s actually what I first became addicted to. I remember the first time I had this high grade stuff, I had one line of it and didn’t sleep for three days – I think I was addicted immediately.

At my worst, I was taking it nearly everyday, I would go on five day benders with no sleep and basically no food. It was hard to eat anything but an apple here and there on this strong gear. My weight dropped down to 38 kilograms, and size 6 (Aus) clothes were too big for me. It was nearly impossible to buy clothes that fitted.

My face was gaunt and my eyes were sunken – I looked liked a drug fucked piece of shit (because I was).

I’d rack up lines in the toilet at work, in my car, hell, once I even racked up on the table in the dining room of a pub, using only a menu to hide behind. I didn’t care, I just needed a fix whenever and wherever I could.

My work sacked me, and my family had all become aware that I was now a drug addict. I looked so terrible, it was hard to disguise it – make-up will only take you so far! I went to my cousin’s wedding off my face, my Grandmothers 80th birthday, there was no occasion that was off limits.

IMG_3528Me, looking terrible on drugs, and after looking healthy.

I saw it as a game to try and take as many drugs as possible, and, as I hung out with some pretty high up drug dealers and quite a few rich kids, paying for it was never an issue – there was always something on offer.

I remember this acquaintance racking up a line of Ketamine (typically used as a horse tranquiliser) that was about 15cm long. She said “this one is for you Stace”, and before she could say she was joking, bang, I’d snorted the whole thing. I went into what is known as a k-hole.

It’s where you curl up in a foetal position and literally can’t move for hours. At one point (for a split second) I actually forgot how to breathe, I remember the panic I felt in that moment. It was scary then, but even scarier now to think about really.

Another time I was in a day club after being out all night. I’d had 3 ecstasy tablets, a gram of cocaine, alcohol, and then took GHB (a central nervous system depressant), a drug that people easily overdose on when taken singularly. With the cocktail of drugs in my system, I was incredibly lucky that I didn’t overdose. I did however, throw my guts up in a side street on a Sunday afternoon, whilst normal civilians walked by looking in disgust.

I took so many drugs that I became highly paranoid and regularly went into a drug induced psychosis. It was hard to distinguish what was real and what wasn’t – all the days seemed to roll into one.

My poor parents used to lie awake at night waiting for the Police to knock on the door. Mum truly believed I was going to die, or at the very least get arrested.

I overcame my speed addiction but soon turned to Ice (Methamphetamine), it was the latest craze and soon became the main drug on offer. I easily became addicted to this, especially when a friend who was addicted to it moved in with me.

He had a guy who made it, so once again, it was regularly on offer. We’d drive an hour and a half away to collect it straight from the stove. That shit was strong and I couldn’t get enough of it. Thankfully my friend moved out after about six months, which meant it wasn’t in my face everyday.

As much as I hated taking drugs by that stage, I was an addict – if it was in front of me I couldn’t say no. I still to this day struggle with saying no, which is why I don’t have drug users directly in my life – the temptation is still strong.

When I look back to the limits I pushed myself to, I truly don’t know how I’m still alive. God obviously had other plans for me, of which I’m truly grateful for. It’s kind of surreal actually. I’ve grown so much as a person, that all of that seems like it didn’t really happen – that it was just a bad dream.

But, every now and then it hit’s me like a ton of bricks, and I shake and panic as I realise the gravity of it all. In these moments I have to remind myself that I am safe, alive, and blessed with a bright and happy life.

I thank God everyday that I survived and am lucky enough to have lived to tell the tale. I know all too well that so many never make it out of the depths of what really is hell.

If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider hitting the follow button, signing up to my email list (bottom of the page for mobile devices, the side for desktop) or recommending my blog to a friend.

Thanks for reading.

– Stacey

Writing And Poetry – In The Eye Of The Beholder.

Poetry and writing in general is something I’ve done privetly for many, many years. It’s like a little piece of your soul goes into each creation. I think that’s why I’ve always been too scared to share it publicly.

This year I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and share my heart online – baring a part of my soul, and some of my deepest, darkest secrets… It’s something that’s been incredibly cathartic and empowering!

I’ve also entered a couple of poetry competitions — something that’s hard to do for someone who has a fear of rejection. But, to my surprise, I’ve obviously outgrown this fear because each poem I’ve submitted hasn’t even reached the long-list, let alone the short-list.

Sure, I felt slightly rejected for a minute, I think most would feel disapointed on some level. But, for the first time, I don’t feel deterred or feel like my writing/poetry isn’t good enough. It really does come down to personal preference. J. K Rowling had her Harry Potter manuscript rejected several times before she got a publishing deal, and we all know that series is some of the best writing you will ever see.

Persistance and determination is the key, and that is something I’m very commited to achieving. Writing is my passion, my calling and something that I could never live without. It is something that I absolutely refuse to give up on!

So, the judges didn’t like my poem ‘THE FLOWER’, but I didn’t write it for them, I wrote it for my friend who was in the midst of overcoming cancer. It was created to give warmth to her heart, not win the approval of strangers.

Some may like it, some may not, but that’s what writing is all about: touching those who are ready to see what lies in the eye of the beholder.

attractive-beautiful-beauty-1937394

THE FLOWER

A seedling she was, struggling to break through the ground.

It was a cold and dark place, somewhere she knew she did not belong.

But perhaps, a necessary place to root her foundations…

Great strength comes from the darkness, it’s the only place from which you can recognise the light.

She quietly sat in her pain, knowing that one day, the rain would come.

She needed the rain to nourish her, to help her grow strong.

It was the only way she could emerge from beneath the ground.

Many feared the rain would drown her, that she’d be kept way down deep amongst the darkness.

But she knew that they were wrong, she knew she’d have the strength to go on.

When the rain did come, it hit her hard, the force was so strong.

It tried to drown her, but her resolve to break ground was stronger.

Rather than retreat into the mud, she faced the rain head on.

As the raindrops hit her face, to her surprise, it washed away her tears.

She could now feel herself rising…

As she grew, she felt a warmth unlike anything she had ever felt before.

She looked up at this warmth, and then down at herself – the seedling she once was, had grown into a flower.

It was in this moment that she realised: that in order for the seedling to blossom into this

full grown flower, she needed it all – the loneliness of the darkness, the pain of the

drowning rain, and the growth from the warming sun.

It is only now in full bloom that she is able to appreciate the darkness.

She has struggled, she has strived, she has now blissfully arrived.

If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider hitting the follow button, signing up to my email list (bottom of the page for mobile devices, the side for desktop) or recommending my blog to a friend.

Thanks for reading.

– Stacey

Domestic Violence – Not Always Black And White.

It’s hard for me to admit that I grew up in a house with domestic violence. Partly because my Dad without alcohol was the most beautiful, loving and caring man, and the other part because what went on in my house, was essentially my normal.

There was a lot of love and laughter, but unfortunately my Dad’s addiction to alcohol often brought a very dark cloud over our heads. He wasn’t a daily drinker, but he certainly went on drinking binges. Every few months his drinking would increase, and when this occurred Mum and I were in for a few weeks of hell.

Dad worked shift work, and I would often come home from school to find him drunk and agitated. I would sneak off into my room and ring Mum at work in order to warn her of what she would be coming home to.

Quite often I would tell Dad off for how drunk he was, which created an argument between us; it usually resulted in him chasing after me in the attempt to give me a belting. More often than not I managed to escape unharmed.

I had a lock put on my door and there was a lock on the bathroom door. I’d usually run as fast as I could to either of these rooms and lock the door; I always had to lean against the door though to stop Dad from kicking it down.

A few times I wasn’t quick enough and coped a few kicks and punches. However, this never made me scared of him, I always felt anger and determination to protect my Mother. I very much saw the fear in my Mother’s eyes when he was like that, and somehow my need to protect her always gave me the power to stand up to him.

Often when Mum got home from work, Dad would try to pick a fight with her. She would try her best not to agitate him, but sometimes he was argument-bench-breakup-984953determined to pick a fight. In these times, Mum and I would have to make a run for the car. We’d jump in and lock the doors. Mum would reverse out of the driveway as quickly as she could as Dad bashed his fists on the windscreen. It always amazed me that the glass never smashed from his sheer force.

We would run away to my Aunties house for a day or two when Dad got like this, with nothing more than the clothes on our back. There was never any time to pack a bag in these volatile situations.

I remember Dad kicking and punching two holes through our passage door in one of his rages – a constant reminder was two stickers placed over the top to disguise the holes. I also remember when I was about four or five years old my Dad’s twin brother came to stay with us from interstate. The two of them together were a recipe for disaster! My Uncle always egged Dad on to drink all the more, and he, himself, was a very aggressive and violent drunk.

This night they went to the pub and got blind. As Dad drove home they got into an argument and my Uncle punched Dad in the side of the head as he was driving. How he didn’t crash, I’ll never know.

Unfortunately, when they got home the fight continued inside. Pot plants, cups and anything that was in sight got hurled around the room.

Of course, me with no fear tried to break up their fight and got knocked flying (I still to this day don’t hesitate to jump in the middle and break things up if I see violence. I just cannot sit back and watch a fight occur). The fight eventually came to an end when Dad knocked my Uncle unconscious – I clearly remember blood trickling down my Uncle’s ear.

I know all of this sounds terrible, and I’m certainly not excusing my Dad’s behaviour, but I truly have nothing but love for him, and my Mother feels the same. I think it’s because we have immense compassion for the terrible childhood he endured, and because without alcohol he really was a beautiful man with a big heart.

Mum and I understood that he drank to bury the demons from his beer-cars-city-576494childhood, as so many from that era did (and still do). Therapy in those days was just mumbo jumbo. Dad grew up very rough and very poor, with an alcoholic Mother (who had her own demons she was battling).

He walked to school in the middle of winter in bare feet and often had to steal just to survive. He was molested by one of the many men in his Mother’s life, and when he told his Mother about the abuse, she belted him and called him a filthy, rotten little liar. It’s hard to imagine the effect that must have had on a nine or ten-year-old little boy. Dad only ever told my Mum about this abuse once and refused to ever discuss it again. He didn’t even know that I knew about it.

There are so many other terrible situations that he endured, but it really would take a book not an article to describe.

Dad never played the victim though, or carried on about how hard his childhood was, in fact, he truly believed he had a normal childhood. I know all of this unprocessed pain is why he drank – it numbed his pain.

Dad tried so hard to stay away from alcohol, often abstaining for months at a time, but it always got the better of him. It didn’t help that his eldest alcoholic-beverages-back-view-beer-2076748daughter (my half sister) and his twin brother always encouraged him (on the phone) to drink. They used to think it was funny to cause trouble amongst our family unit.

In their eyes, Mum and I were trying to control Dad by being against his drinking. I guess it was okay for them living interstate and not having to put up with Dad’s violent outbursts. It was a constant battle between us and them, only our reasoning wasn’t about being spiteful or controlling; it was about wanting Dad to be the best version of himself, and of course, us wanting to live safely and peacefully within our own home.

Thankfully as Dad’s cancer progressed, he finally learnt to overcome his addiction and he really learnt the error of his ways. He was so remorseful and ashamed of what he had put us through for all of those years, and that gives Mum and I incredible peace to know he corrected that karmic lesson before he died.

It’s also very satisfying to know that we got to have some really great years with him that were completely alcohol free. This, along with understanding Dad’s childhood demons allows me to have not only great compassion for him, but loving forgiveness as well.

People used to tell my Mum (including me) to leave my Dad, but life really isn’t black and white. My Mum always said she couldn’t leave him; of course, part of her was scared to, but mostly it was because she loved him and knew that at his core, he was a good man who most likely would have drunk himself to death had she not stayed to fight for him.

I used to get angry at my Mum for not leaving him, but now (in some way) I admire that she stayed – she ultimately sacrificed herself in order to save him, and save him she certainly did!

Please note: this article is not encouraging women to stay in a violent relationship. The best option is always to leave such a situation. I’m simply highlighting that every situation has a grey area, and by some miracle in this case, my family had a happy ending to what was a very tumultuous and sometimes dangerous situation. One that we would rather have not experienced in the first place.

If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider hitting the follow button, signing up to my email list (bottom of the page for mobile devices, the side for desktop) or recommending my blog to a friend.

Thanks for reading.

– Stacey

Grief Leaves A Scar

Grief is something that changes you forever, it never really goes away – you just learn to live with it…

It’s been seven and a half years since my Dad died after a fifteen-year cancer battle, and I have to say that I’m a much more emotionally sensitive person since his passing. I don’t walk around bereft everyday, but I certainly tear up quite easily at anything that has an element of human pain, suffering and loss. I guess you could say that Dad’s passing has taken my compassion for others to the next level, which I can’t say is necessarily a bad thing!

I’ve gone through all the different stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I would also add recklessness and self-sabotage in there. Each stage has had its obvious challenges that have come at different timeframes and varying degrees.

It took me five years before I was able to come to acceptance (it’s different for everyone). I remember the moment when I finally let go and just accepted this new reality of life without my beloved Father.

I was washing Dad’s vintage Mercedes Benz convertible, his prized possession. My Mum and I had just sold it to an interstate buyer – it was my job to get it ready for collection. Dad always kept the car immaculate, and I was determined to make it shine, just one last time.

As I washed and polished that car, I sobbed my little heart out. I could feel the last five years (or should I say twenty years) of pent up grief leaving me. This car was so symbolic of my Father’s essence, that in letting go of the car, I was essentially letting go of him. I felt so relieved that day, as if a dark cloud had been lifted.

It’s been two and a half years since I accepted Dad’s passing, and I have to say my life (through that grief) had become in such a state of disarray emotionally, spiritually, and financially, that I’m only just beginning to turn everything back around.

It’s been a very long and hard road to get here. I am thankful to be through the worst of it, but I now know the truth about losing a loved one:  Although you come to a place of acceptance, a deep pain remains – a heaviness in your heart.

An ex-colleague of mine once described it like having a scar: the pain is raw, severe in the beginning but fades over time. Every now and then you unintentionally knock the scar, and that pain from the rawness shoots through you and takes your breath away for a fleeting moment. The scar although faded, never goes away, that tenderness is always there.

I didn’t understand that analogy at the time of Dad’s death, but I certainly do now. I have loved, I have lost – although wiser, I am forever scarred!

Below is a poem I wrote about losing Dad.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTON

 Saying goodbye is hard to do,

With how much we have all loved you.

It is not easy,

But we must go on.

You would want us to laugh and not cry.

Happiness is what we must try.

It is then we realise you have not died,

For your love and memories live inside us.

That is the truth that we must trust.

Don’t wallow in the death,

Just rejoice in the life.

That is the legacy this loss leaves behind.

In the midst of sadness, a warmth fills our hearts.

It’s the memories of our loved one coming to life through us.

This is the comfort that helps us go on.

In time, it brings a smile and replaces our tears,

It stands us in good stead throughout the rest of our years.

To have had the honour of loving you,

Is something so special we got to do.

Our life is better for having known you.

We are enriched and blessed with what you have left.

All we can do is be thankful to you,

For the time we were lucky enough to share with you.

Your love is in our hearts, and there it shall stay.

Yes, our memories of you will never fade.

So goodbye to you, at least for now.

We smile as you rest in peace, in God’s care you are now.

If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider hitting the follow button, signing up to my email list (bottom of the page for mobile devices, the side for desktop) or recommending my blog to a friend.

Thanks for reading.

– Stacey

‘Influencers’ – A Fancy Word For A Manipulator.

I read this fantastic blog post a few weeks ago called ‘Why I dislike Influencers’ – By V Millennial Life Crisis.

She talked about the lack of integrity with a lot of these so called social media ‘influencers’, and it really got me thinking about how narcissistic and manipulative these types of people can be.

After all, the term influence means to ‘affect and change the way someone else thinks or behaves’, which to me, has a very manipulative undertone to it.

Some may cry “But, I’m trying to influence people in a positive way”, and to that I say “But, who says your way is positive or the ‘right’ way?’. Just because you think it is, doesn’t make it factual or right for other people.

I really have to wonder about the true motives of those who make the conscious effort to ‘influence’ anyone. Do they really care for people, or is it more of a desire to fluff up their own sense of self – compensation for their personal inadequacies?

When I look to the genuine people who have truly made a positive impact on the world, it happened organically by simply being themselves and sharing the vulnerability of their own personal experiences. They weren’t intentionally setting out to ‘influence’ people.

As Mahatma Gandhi famously said “Our greatest ability as humans is not to change the world but to change ourselves”.

Genuine people know they have no power in ‘changing’ another, nor do they have the desire to! The point of life is to learn, grow, and evolve within ourselves. When we do this, it has a ripple effect, that may or may not, inspire others to grow in their own way.

We should never place or try to force our expectations onto another, this is not the way to ‘influence’ people in a positive way; this is ego based manipulation that is nothing more than self-serving adoration.

When we learn or experience something that may be of value to somebody, it is our duty to share that growth, without trying to persuade or ‘influence’! If people find what you are sharing is useful to them, they will enact on it all by themselves – no manipulation necessary.

Don’t get me wrong, wanting to contribute to the world in a positive way is obviously a wonderful thing, BUT, you do this by leading with your example, not by intentionally trying to ‘influence’ people!

If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider hitting the follow button, signing up to my email list (bottom of the page for mobile devices, the side for desktop) or recommending my blog to a friend.

Thanks for reading.

 – Stacey

Societal Pressure On Single And ‘Childless’ Women.

In a few week’s time, I’ll be turning thirty-five. Society keeps telling me I should be married with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence by now. Although, following the herd has never been my style!

Like every girl, I’ve dreamed of having the fairytale wedding. Growing up, Cinderella was my favourite bedtime story. I think most girls have been planning their wedding day since the age of five. I certainly spent many hours playing out the fairytale in my mind.

I used to set age limits that I hoped to be married by, and I also set age limits for becoming a Mother. I think my original age limit was either twenty-three or five. When I hit that age with no prince charming in sight, I pushed the age limit out to twenty-seven, and from twenty-seven to thirty. After all, society tells us, if we’re not married and pregnant by thirty our biological clock is about to tick us over into never, never land.

I used to stress about this, the pressure made me feel worthless – like I had attractive-beautiful-beauty-1831550failed my role as a woman. Until one day, something magical happened… I grew up! I realised that relationships aren’t about fairytale weddings, they’re about the reality of sharing your life with someone – forever!

Unfortunately, too many women ignore the reality of this, too wrapped up in their childhood fantasy. Combine that with societal pressure and you end up with women settling for the butler instead of the prince.

When I look to the couples around me, I’m saddened to say that most of them are not right for each other, they are pretty unhappy, and probably shouldn’t be together. They settled for the wrong one because time was ‘running’ out. They convinced themselves that being with the wrong one, is somehow better than being alone (free to meet the right one).

It is often these types of women who ask us ‘sad single gals’ questions like “Are you married?” “No.” “Got a boyfriend?” “No.” “Oh, I’m so sorry” they reply with a look of pity, as if they are somehow ‘better’ women because they aren’t tragic enough to be single.

If only they realised they should be pitying themselves for choosing to live a life that is less than they deserve. It actually makes me sad to think of how many women are living in miserable relationships, because this societal pressure has demonised their worthiness of being a woman in their own right. A lady once said to my Mother “I think Stacey is being too picky, you can learn to love someone you know”. WOW (as I shake my head in disgust), is all I’ve really got to say about that!!

I’m often asked “Why are you single?”. A pretty stupid question with only blurred-background-caffeine-coffee-704813one obvious answer: because I haven’t found the right one, and unlike those who are prepared to settle – I am not! Being alone doesn’t scare me as much as being with the wrong person.

I’m also asked a lot if I desire to have children, and to be honest I’m not so sure these days. I had always thought I wanted children, but lately I’ve been seriously questioning whether I truly do or whether it’s just societal pressure. I guess you could say that if I found the right guy, I probably would, but if I don’t then I think I’m quite happy not to have them.

I have several friends who have chosen not to have children (for various different reasons), and guess what? All of them are living very fulfilled lives despite being ‘childless’.

Some women want children so desperately, that they will stop at nothing to have them: a one-night stand, a sperm donor and IVF treatment, which of course, is perfectly fine, but why can’t it also be fine that some of us don’t have that burning desire? I’m a little old fashioned and believe that children should be created from two people who love each other, and if I can’t do it that way, then I’d rather not do it at all.

Surely, that is my right as a woman to decide whether children are right for me or not, without the judging eye from society? Surely, in this day and age, we as women have the right to make these choices without being made to feel that we are ‘less’ of a woman for going against the grain of societal norms?

Sadly, although we have progressed in many ways as a society, we have not progressed from imposing pressure on women to fulfil the outdated role of ‘womanhood’ – the expectation to be barefoot and pregnant, is still very much alive!

Some women have tried every available option to have children and still haven’t been able to. Do we seriously think it’s morally right to be placing societal pressure on them? Where has our compassion gone for these women?  I’m sure it is upsetting enough for them without society making them feel that they are ‘less’ of a woman.

Why can’t society just mind their own business and let women live their lives in which ever way they (or the Universe) decide is right for them?

I’m thankful to finally be in a place where these societal pressures no longer bother me – I’ve removed these self-imposed timelines, and the pressure that goes along with it. I’m proud to be single, proud I haven’t had children with the wrong person, and proud to know I deserve more than just the butler. My prince will come along exactly when he is meant to!

To all the single and child-FREE women out there, that haven’t reached the freedom from societies bullshit pigeonhole, I say “RISE sister, RISE!”. You have always been and will always be more than enough, just the way you are. ‘Me, myself and I’, woman enough in your OWN right!beautiful-beauty-blur-1485548

If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider hitting the follow button, signing up to my email list (bottom of the page for mobile devices, the side for desktop) or recommending my blog to a friend.

Thanks for reading.

– Stacey

Just Because You Love Someone, Doesn’t Mean They’re Right For You.

I think we’ve all loved someone who isn’t right for us. After all, how could we recognise who is right, if we hadn’t first experienced who was wrong. But unfortunately, too many settle for the wrong one out of fear of being alone. I guess it ultimately comes down to how much we value our self-worth.

I spent years, sorry, most of my life not valuing my self-worth, hence a string of ‘wrong’ relationships. Thankfully, none of those relationships have lasted too long or gotten too serious, where it resulted in marriage or bringing children into the world. Although, one special ‘wrong’ man came close…

For the sake of this article, I’ll call him Sam (not his real name). Sam and I met when I was fourteen years old, and we became good mates rather quickly. He was a gentle soul, very caring, loyal and protective over me.

At around seventeen years old he found his long lost Father who had abandoned the family when he was eight years old. Sam went to live with his Father overseas. We used to call each other regularly and I could hear the change in his personality over the phone. He started to talk about money and womanising a lot, but there was a darkness in his voice too.

His Father was the head of armed forces in this foreign country (which I will not name), he was also an illegal gun runner.

When Sam returned home, we all recognised the change in him. His friends used to joke that this country stole his soul. To me, it wasn’t a joke, a part of his soul was missing. He wouldn’t talk about what happened over there, but I knew that he was deeply traumatised and it involved seeing, doing and experiencing things that no one should ever have to, let alone a seventeen-year old.

I hated his Dad from that point on. Sam put his Father on a pedestal which always caused us to fight about him – I couldn’t stand that the little boy in Sam still pined for his Fathers approval.

Around that same time, I began to go really deep into the world of drugs. Sam hated me taking drugs and so our friendship began to fall apart. It was easy to push him away, he’d become a different person and I was going down a rabbit hole that he didn’t approve of.

A few years later, I think I was about twenty-three or four, we ran into one another. We were both so excited to see each other again. He had a girlfriend who I got along really well with, and I began dating Sam’s best mate. We all got along well, and for Sam and I, it was as if no time had passed. After a few months I stopped dating Sam’s mate (he really wasn’t my type – at all!), and around the same time Sam and his girlfriend ended their relationship.

One night Sam and I got really drunk and one thing led to another as they say. Our friendship had crossed a line, and I’m afraid there was no turning back.

Because I had dated his best mate and being friendly with Sam’s ex-girlfriend, we decided to keep ‘us’ a secret – we did this for the next four or five years. It was an ‘open’ relationship, I was very aware of Sam’s womanising ways. Due to this, I always knew he was not right for me but I loved him, and no matter how many times I tried to end it and go back to being friends, his pull over me would draw me back in.

I guess a part of me always hoped that the Sam before he found his Dad would re-emerge, as I often saw glimpses of the ‘real’ him when we were alone.

Because of our ten-year previous friendship, we were always able to talk deeply and honestly. We would have a few drinks, play some tunes and talk the night away.

These nights often resulted in me pushing Sam’s buttons about his jerk of a Father, I could see the pain in his eyes and I would try to extract what in the hell happened overseas. He would reveal little titbits, and I knew without him actually saying what had occurred (of which, out of respect for him, I will not mention in this post). What I will say though, is that what happened, really did steal a part of his soul.

By this stage in our relationship, his family and most of our friends had cottoned on that we were together, but we still pretended no one knew. I backlit-dawn-girl-870861didn’t want it to come out because I knew deep down I deserved someone who would treat me better. I just wasn’t ready to admit it out loud, that would mean I needed to cut him from my life.

We nearly had a child together towards the end of our relationship and really his behaviour over that scenario was the beginning of the end for me. We kept things going for awhile but I finally reached the point where I had enough. I cut all ties with him, and thought I had moved on with my life…

Five years later (October of last year), I was at a party where I ran into one of Sam’s family friends. She came up to me and said “You and Sam should be together”, my response was “Just because you love someone, doesn’t mean you should be together”.

She encouraged me to talk to him and the flood gates opened – tears streamed down my face like a rushing waterfall. There was clearly a lot of unresolved emotion. I knew I had to see him again.

That night Sam came to pick me up from the party. We went back to his place and once again talked for hours. He seemed like he had really grown up and matured. He admitted and apologised for his terrible behaviour towards me, in fact, he said it’s the one thing he is most ashamed of. And, I know he truly meant that, he’s not the type to say it otherwise.

He asked if he would ever see me again and I said I didn’t know – I needed time to think. I agonised for days about what I would do. I decided he could not be in my life again, but I wanted us to go away together for a ‘goodbye’ weekend, and he agreed.

It was an amazing weekend, just like old times. We literally spent the whole weekend talking and reminiscing. We talked about how we are not right for each other, but we hoped that whoever we ended up with had the ability to talk as freely as we did and feel as comfortable as we made each other feel. Sam always felt like a comfortable old slipper – the only person I’ve ever truly been myself with.

The weekend ended and we said our goodbyes; only now I started to fantasise that maybe we could work. Maybe, we just hadn’t given ourselves the opportunity to give things a real go, after all, he seemed like he had really matured.

I contacted Sam and told him I wanted to give things a go. He was working interstate but would be back at Christmas time and said we’d talk things over then. We spent most of January together and I’m saddened to say I realised that in many ways he hadn’t grown up at all, in fact, in some ways he had regressed.

I discovered that he has a pretty bad cocaine habit (I’d say he is on the cusp of becoming an addict if he’s not careful), which of course, I cannot afford to be around – I’ve come way too far for that. He was also hanging around some really shady characters. I hung out with Sam and some of his ‘new’ mates on New Year’s Day – I sat there bored, thinking about how I had absolutely nothing in common with these people! I was also disgusted to find out one of these ‘mates’ had called a prostitute to Sam’s Mother’s house earlier that morning – the Sam I know would never disrespect his Mother by allowing that in her house. I kept thinking what in the hell has happened to him??

You see, in the last five years I have grown tremendously, especially in the area of learning to love myself and value my self-worth; unfortunately, Sam’s growth hasn’t been able to keep up with mine, and now I know it never will.

He has too much baggage that he is not ready to face (I have implored him to seek professional help), and I don’t know if he can ever overcome what he has been through. I hope and pray he does, but he has so much unprocessed emotional pain, that he is on a path of self-destruction. A path I know all too well, but one I’m not prepared to ever return to.

Do I still love Sam, absolutely, a part of me always will! We have over twenty years of history, filled with many ups and downs, but I now know I deserve so much better than he can offer me.close-up-colors-couple-2838506

On the first of February this year for the third and final time, I severed my ties with Sam (not because I wanted to, because I had to). Does it hurt, yes, absolutely! I still think of him from time-to-time, and occasionally have a little cry, but sometimes in order to do what is best for our highest-selves, we have to do what hurts. It’s short-term pain for long-term gain.

We must remember in these times, that if we don’t love ourselves to the highest degree, then who else is going to in return?

One day when I do meet someone, I want to know that I have set the tone for what I truly deserve!

If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider hitting the follow button, signing up to my email list (bottom of the page for mobile devices, the side for desktop) or recommending my blog to a friend.

Thanks for reading.

– Stacey

Does Societal Pressure Lead To The High Male Suicide Rate?

This week we’ve had World Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th September, and sadly on the 9th September, legendary AFL football star Danny Frawley has taken his own life, after years of battling mental health issues. I believe there were many contributing factors with his struggle, work, finances, marriage, etc.

It sounds all too familiar when it comes to men feeling an overwhelment of mounting pressure…

Today, in honour of these fallen men, I’d like to share an article I wrote earlier this year for a men’s magazine.

MOUNTING PRESSURE: 

In today’s Western World, there is an ever-mounting pressure on men to be the best: in their chosen field of work, to provide for their family, to have a flash house, and the latest car. And don’t forget, the kids need the latest gadgets, and overseas holidays too.

The pressure from society, to have the best of everything – weighs heavily on men’s shoulders. This, combined with the ever-rising cost of living, it’s no wonder the suicide rate is at an all time high. It is well known; the suicide rate is significantly higher amongst men than women. I often wonder why this is so…

Obviously there are many varying factors that can contribute to such a fatal decision. However, I have to wonder if our obsession with being the best, and having the best, is a contributing factor? Or, as I’d rather suspect, is it more the failure to obtain such ‘glory’ that creates the sense of hopelessness? Striving to be, or have the best, can produce a wonderful sense of accomplishment and freedom, but, when one tries to accomplish this on the ‘back foot’, it is a recipe for disaster.

I see so many families getting in way ‘over their heads’ financially – living off credit to acquire possessions that are far beyond their means. It’s okay during the ‘honey moon’ phase of spending, but when the repayments start to mount up – so too does the pressure.

Although a lot of families have two salaries coming in, I still think that men carry the pressure more heavily. It’s societal normalisation that men are the primary bread winners, and I think men take on that role deep within their psyche – whether conscious of it, or not.

When the financial deck of cards start to fall, some men feel emasculated in their ability to provide for their family. It’s embarrassing to their self-proclaimed ‘manhood’.

When women have a similar issue, we tend to turn outwards: baring our soul to a trusted confidante. I feel that a lot of men do the opposite, and turn inwards – too embarrassed, and ashamed to share their emotional load. They say ‘a problem shared, is a problem half solved’. I truly believe this, and think this also contributes greatly to the high male suicide rate.

I used to work as an Undertaker for a Funeral company, and part of my role was to attend suicide scenes. I would collect the ‘deceased’ and transport them to the Coroner. I often had to explain the Coroner’s process to the family, moments after they discovered their loved one – lifeless. Many a time they would say to me “I knew he was stressed, but he wouldn’t discuss it with anyone”. The families often said “If only he talked to me about it, we could have got through it together”. This highlights to me, there is still a ‘macho’ stigma surrounding men sharing their emotions.

To these men I say ‘we as women do NOT think any less of your manhood blur-dark-furniture-1532775with the admission that you have feelings and emotions’. In fact, we wish you would unburden this unnecessary pressure. A problem shared, really is a problem half solved – share your worries with us. In finding a solution, two heads are always better than one!

If you’re concerned about the judgement from other men – remember, those men have bottled up emotions as well. They are probably silently praying, to unburden their own share of problems. It’s time for men to realise: you are not alone! Everybody feels the weight of emotions at times. It’s a natural part of life.

Please surrender your pride; open your mind, and share what’s in your heart. If you cannot open up to someone that you know, then please reach out to a professional counsellor, or psychologist. If you are in a more urgent need for help, then please call your local mental health hotline. In Australia, organisations such as ‘Lifeline’ and ‘Beyond Blue” are wonderful organisations that can assist you with your mental health.

Gents, in closing I’d like you to remember ‘what seems bad today, won’t seem so bad in the future – our troubles, no matter how bad, always pass!’.

Our men need just as much love and care as we do as women. May we raise our next generation of men to be strong but with an open heart.

If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider hitting the follow button, signing up to my email list (bottom of the page for mobile devices, the side for desktop) or recommending my blog to a friend.

Thanks for reading.

– Stacey

The Balance Between Action And Divine Timing.

Too much of anything is never a good thing! If we sit and do nothing, then expect things to fall into our lap, chances are we will be waiting a long time. However, doing too much, also has its downsides.

Universal law tells us that everything happens in its time and in its place, and no amount of pushing will ever hurry the Universe along!

When we try to force a door that is not ready to be opened, it means one of two things: the timing and circumstances haven’t yet aligned for us, or what we are trying to obtain is not right for us at all.

As a control freak (I’m working on that), I’ve had a lot of experience in trying to mess with Divine Timing, and I’m telling you, it never ends well – the Universe ALWAYS wins.

When something is not right for us at all and we push to get it – undesirable things tend to happen… It could be that we’re pushing for a relationship and our partner turns out to be a real jerk, or perhaps, we’re pushing for a business deal and we end up losing all of our invested money.

These undesirable things happen because we thought we knew better than the Universe and decided to force a door that did not want to be opened. This doesn’t mean that we don’t learn valuable lessons from these experiences, but it does mean that we’ve chosen a harder road to go down that has painful consequences.

birdcage-colored-smoke-dock-1311567You see, when something is right for us, Divine Timing has things lined up and absolutely everything falls into place – effortlessly!

This doesn’t mean that we don’t need to take action to achieve our desires, it just means that when we push and the Universe doesn’t respond, then we need to back off and assess the situation. Is it us that’s interfering in the situation or the Universe?

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Am I taking so much action that nothing is consistent or getting completed at all? And, if I am managing to complete things, is it getting executed well and to a high standard?
  • Am I wanting this desired outcome so badly that my desperation (fear based emotion, which translates into a lack of belief in myself) is actually pushing away the very thing I desire?
  • Is what I desire truly right for me, and if it is, then is the timing of it right?

The common problem with all of these scenarios is a need to control the situation – a lack of trust in the Universe, and this is where too much action is not a good thing. There needs to be a level of trust in the Universal order of Divine Timing.

An example that comes to mind is my book that I’m writing. I easily smashed out 36,000 words in under a month but then hit a wall. I tried to force things for a while but then realised I was pushing a door that wasn’t ready to be opened, and I now know exactly why that door isn’t ready to be opened.

I could easily force myself to sit there and finish the book, but the book would not be to my highest standard. As I’m writing a non-fiction book that’s based on my experiences, I came to realise that the experiences I need to finish the book have not yet occurred. I need to wait for Divine Timing to provide those experiences, and I trust wholeheartedly that they will come when they are meant to.

You see, if I tried to force it, my book would be written from my head and not my heart – and that my friends, is the difference between a good book and an exceptional book, and I know which one I’d prefer!

Often our ego’s think we know better, which is why we try to push in the first place. But, how many times in hindsight have we been able to look back and see that we were actually quite ignorant to all the varying factors that thankfully hindered the situation.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a situation not go my way that devastated me at the time, only to get further down the track and realise it was actually a blessing in disguise. It’s only when something better occurs that we are able to see why the Universe was preventing us in the first place. What’s that old saying “hindsight is a wonderful thing”? Indeed, it is, which is why we must learn to have faith in Divine Timing.

For me, what helps keep this faith is turning to my spirituality, which is balance-balancing-calm-2597205about slowing down – connecting to my ‘being’ through the stillness of the present moment. This connection to ‘being’ is what enables us to LET GO (of our egos need to control), and trust that the Universe has our back.

There is no need to rush, push, or force anything, because EVERYTHING does happen exactly when it is meant to!

Monks and Yogi’s understand this better than anyone, which is why they slow down and dedicate their lives to the ancient practices of yoga and meditation – their enlightenment teaches them to ‘just be’.

Obviously, we aren’t all at this level of enlightenment where we want to dedicate our entire lives to this way of living, but the point here is that too much action is just as bad as not enough.

When we are in harmony with the Universe, her flow becomes our flow, we move effortlessly as one – just the way we were designed to be!

If you’re enjoying what you’re reading please consider hitting the follow button, signing up to my email list (bottom of the page for mobile devices, the side for desktop) or recommending my blog to a friend.

Thanks for reading.

– Stacey

A Deep Dive Into Personal Boundaries. Part 3: Setting Boundaries With Your Partner.

Last week I covered ‘Setting Boundaries With Family And Friends’, today is the third and final part in this Personal Boundaries series.

Part 3.) Setting Boundaries With Your Partner:

 Like all relationships, how you set the tone in the beginning of the relationship, is generally how you will be treated as time goes by.

For Example: When you first start dating, if you jump every time your partner calls you, chances are, you will always be a doormat in the relationship. Or, if you cave in and let your partner get their own way all the time in the early stages of the relationship, you can bet they will always push, nag, or cause an argument until they get their own way.

Due to this, it is ideal to set boundaries in the beginning of the relationship:

  • Don’t answer the phone every time they call. You don’t want them to expect you to always be available for them. Same goes with text messages – don’t reply straight away all the time. Life gets busy as time moves on and you can’t always have your phone by your side.
  • Don’t always be available to go on a date. Being at their beck and call is a sure way to become a doormat. Let them know you already have plans with friends, but you’d be happy to catch up another time. This not only lets them know you are not a doormat, but also lets them know you value your friends.
  • If they sulk after your first argument, don’t pander to them. Completely ignore this childish behaviour, it’s only an attempt to gain attention and make you accept the blame. Once they’ve stopped sulking, then have a mature conversation about the fight and apologise if you have something to apologise for.
  • If your partner speaks to you in a disrespectful manner, call them out on it straight away. If they continue to do this, get up and leave (if they are at your house, ask them to leave). Tell them to only contact you once they are ready to treat you with respect. If they can’t do that, they probably aren’t worthy of you – you’d be best to find someone who is!

Now, some of you who are already in a relationship may be thinking “I recognise some of these behaviours from my partner, but the pattern is already formed – it’s too late”. That’s not necessarily true, you can implement boundaries into a well established relationship. But, I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot harder, and it takes strength and consistency.

Personal Boundaries — the key to a healthy relationship.

It’s natural for your partner to become aggressive or defensive when you first start to introduce some boundaries. You will feel great resistance from them, they are

so used to things being their way. They may even accuse you of ‘becoming a different person’ of which you are.

You are finally starting to see that you are worthy of so much more – well done! It’s a beautiful place to get to after a lifetime of being mistreated.

When you feel this resistance from your partner, you will feel the urge to give in and drop your boundaries – DON’T! This is where you need to stand firm, it takes time to create a new pattern and this can only occur through repetition.

Let me give you an example of how I broke the pattern of my dog barking every time someone walked past my house: this barking had been going on for five years, telling her off stoped her barking at the time, but it didn’t break the recurring pattern.

Her barking was becoming increasingly worse, and was driving me bonkers! Something had to change, and that something had to be how I handled the situation. I decided to pick a new tactic and stick to it.

Every time she barked I would say no barking, then I would pick her up and lock her in the bathroom as I repeated the words ‘no barking’. Once she had calmed down I would open the door and tell her she was a good girl.

The first day I tried this it seemed to be working pretty quickly, the naughty room was having a positive affect on her. I thought “oh wow, how easy was that!”. The second day however, was disastrous. The resistance was kicking in, I think I put her in the bathroom fifteen to twenty times that day, and each time, she continued to bark for quite a while.

I decided to completely ignore her, and I only let her out once she stopped barking.

I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to give in. I truly felt like it was not working, but I decided to remain strong. On the third day she still had some resistance, but I was starting to see some improvement. I knew more than ever I had to stand firm. By the fourth day, she didn’t bark at all until the afternoon, and once again she was carried to the naughty room.

Now she hardly barks at all, and when she does I repeat the same process. Through repetition, I created a new pattern.

The same firmness needs to apply when setting new boundaries in an established relationship. You will go through ups and downs, and come up against strong resistance, but in order for the new pattern to take root, your partner needs to know you are serious. The only way for them to know just how serious you are, is to show unwavering repetition.

When you are having moments of weakness (and you will), it’s best to remind yourself that this is short-term pain for long-term gain.

All of this, of course, should only apply if your partner is worthy of you, they must ultimately be a good person that has just become accustomed to a bad pattern (that was created from you not implementing boundaries in the beginning of the relationship).

If your partner is treating you badly in multiple areas and will not respect your new found boundaries, then please, value yourself for the beautiful, worthy person that you are, and kick them to the curb! When we start to stand up for ourselves – the Universe listens!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this three-part series! Personal boundaries are the backbone of any successful relationship. Without them we not only dishonour ourselves but those around us.

Thanks Reading.

– Stacey