My Journal

This morning, I was reading back through my journal. I bought this journal in January and during the last eight months I have done significant work on my emotional well-being. Reading my thoughts from the early days of journaling made my skin prickle. Tingles ran down my spine as I realised how far I’ve come.

My journal has been a place that has had a myriad of emotions written upon it’s pages. It has a daily list of gratitude, a success log which detailed daily what I did well that day, lists of people I’d decided to forgive, stream of consciousness writings of all of my negative emotions, memories of trauma, goals, dreams, to-do lists and affirmations.

This book has detailed my life for six months. It encompasses all the pain, all of the joy and most of all, my process of healing.

One of Those Days

Right now, the sun is glaring through the window at me. It’s a nice day, but I can’t bring myself to leave the house, let alone get off the sofa. This comes as a huge disappointment as both of my physical and emotional well-being have been a lot better lately. I’ve been up and about and productive for weeks and haven’t had a “bad” day in ages.

I feel flat and heavy, devoid of any energy. I wrote a simple to-do list of two or three household tasks to try and motivate me, but it all seems overwhelming and too hard today.

I’ll try again tomorrow.

Spicy Physical Healing

Spices aid physical healing in many different ways due to their benefits to the human body. These spices so not necessarily cure particular ailments, however they can reduce  certain symptoms and stimulate beneficial processes for the body.

Stimulates metabolism
Lowers blood sugar
Has antioxidant effects
Eliminates gas

Reduces inflammation
Has powerful antioxidant effects
Reduces cholesterol
Has a role in the prevention of Alzheimer’s

Stimulates circulation
Contains very high Vitamin C levels
Beneficial to heart health
Clears congestion in sinus area

Like anything, these spices are great in moderation; too much of anything can have an adverse effect on the body. I have found a pinch of cinnamon in my porridge in the morning and a few pinches of turmeric or chilli in my stir-dry or to season veges or meat has added benefits to my health. Spices are not the sole reason I am experiencing increased levels of physical well-being, but due to living with chronic pain, I’ve learnt that a lot of little things can make a huge difference; adding these spices to my diet is one of the “little things” that has helped.

Going Round in Circles

Sometimes when I reflect upon my life; it’s like riding on a carousel. Until a few years ago when I was 24 and had a wake up call, I had a habit of running over the same old ground and making the same mistakes over and over again. Going round and round in circles, aware of my own destruction but seemingly unable to stop it.

Carousel Example One:

Growing up the daughter of two alcoholics, there was really no parental figure to meet my needs. Alcohol was first the priority for both of my parents, their children’s needs was low down on the list of importance.

As a child, teenager and young adult I craved  unconditional love, clear and consistent boundaries and nurture. I began to seek this out in people I thought could provide this; teachers, family friends, other authority figures etc. These people were unable to provide these things, I was not their daughter and they were not in an appropriate role to meet my needs in this way.

I rode the carousel maybe 25 times with this pattern. I would seek out a person who I thought could meet my needs, become close with them, attempt to cross boundaries, have them enforce appropriate boundaries and then become angry, resentful and upset they were not able to meet my needs.

Eventually I recognised the pattern and got painfully sick of this specific carousel, it was time to get off this joke of a ride and turn to the one person who could meet my needs: ME! Ain’t no one else’s job to save ya honey!

Carousel Example Two:

Similar to Example One, I really craved a loving functional family, my family did not meet this criteria.

When I met my partner, I developed a good relationship with his family, in my head I glorified them. I decided they were perfect and they were never going to hurt me, ever. Of course, no one is perfect and about once a year, a member of his family would make a minor mistake and I would dwell on it for months,  becoming irrationally angry and resentful at a normal family dynamic of sometimes disagreeing with one another.

After about four times around this carousel, I got bored. I wanted to get off, this pattern was not fair on my well-meaning in-laws and it certainly was not fair on me either. I decided to walk away from the carousel viewing my in-laws as they were, humans, prone to the odd mistake.

Looking back on these two carousel rides, I cringe at not getting off after the first time around, but to continue for a long time engaging in hurtful and unhealthy patterns!

I hope I’m quicker to realise unhelpful carousel rides in the future; because I want to break the cycle and it starts with me.

A Casual Encounter

I was 18 and home from University for summer, I was working a summer job, where I was the youngest employee in age and in maturity levels. It was a warm summer’s day and one of the staff were leaving, a leaving party was organised at one of the employee’s houses and it was bring your own drinks and BBQ food.

Chantelle, a fellow employee, asked if I’d like to go halves in a bottle of Vodka and a bottle of coke, I accepted. Chantelle is exactly the kind of person I would avoid getting too friendly with now that I am 26 years old and a bit more experienced at life; she was a drama magnet, an over-sharer and had a habit of telling customers where you could buy the best drugs. Chantelle came to pick me up and we headed to the BBQ.

I hadn’t quite learnt the art of drinking moderately yet or the art of maintaining appropriate boundaries. After all, I had just been at University for the past year, where it had been socially acceptable to get completely drunk and be crazy. Fast forward to 5 vodka and cokes later and I’m telling my colleagues how I hate giving blowjobs and I can’t bring myself to swallow. Luckily, the majority of my  work mates were also very drunk and weren’t too disturbed by my cringe drunk talking. It seems I had been unaware that there are a different set of social rules for drinking with your work colleagues to drinking with your uni girlfriends (a bunch of fellow 18 year olds who were also learning the art of blowjobs and sex).

Fast-forward another 5 vodka and cokes later and about half of us (the younger half), had left the BBQ and had headed to one of the other employee’s houses, to continue drinking. I remember kissing a workmate and drinking more.

Fast forward probably another 5 vodka and cokes  (possibly 10) and I wake up at 3.45am on a sofa with no top on and my tights around my ankles. My underwear are on the floor next to me and I’m lying in the arms of one of my colleagues, the same one I remember kissing earlier. I feel dizzy and ill from drinking too much and as I look around I see my workmates passed out in various corners of the room. Some are cuddling half naked with each other. I feel sick at the thought of whatever the fuck may have happened, so I gathered my stuff and started walking home, in the rain, in the middle of the night.

Did I just have casual sex? I have no idea. To this day, I have no idea because I still don’t know…did I pass out before, during or after I had sex? Did I even have sex or did I fumble around?

At the time, I was so clueless, it didn’t even cross my mind that the sex (that may or may not have happened) might not have been consensual. Even when I felt a bit ill every time I saw that guy for the coming months at work, it still didn’t occur to me that what happened, could have been harmful to me.

This memory is one of the many reasons I no longer drink in excess. I can only look back on it and cringe, I really just can’t believe how naive, clueless and inappropriate I was. Eight years later, I go out drinking once a month (if that) and limit myself to five standard drinks. With my parents being alcoholics, I can’t afford to be anything other than self-disciplined when it comes to my alcohol intake. I’m breaking the cycle and it starts with me.

My fiancè

My partner has given me a huge amount of support over the four years of our relationship, but more specifically over the past two years since I decided to face my demons. Since today’s daily prompt is “partner”, I thought I would write a post to acknowledge him and all he has done.

In September 2015, I suffered burnout after carrying the burden of my two parent’s alcoholism for most of my life. I was  24 years old and I admitted to myself that I was a codependent and my parents had an addiction.

The emergence out of denial caused the biggest shit storm of my life. I really hit rock bottom. My partner was so incredible, he bought me a book “Adult Children of Alcoholics”, he patiently supported me while I came to terms with what the book said and while I tried (and failed) many times to set boundaries with my parents. He remained patient, but showed remarkable strength as he never took hold of the reigns, but stood back and let me work out these difficult situations by myself. His approach stimulated huge personal growth in me, as he chose to never do anything for me that I could do for myself at that point in time. I am still blown away by his incredible insight.

Through the devastating journey I went on, there were times I was so fatigued and depressed I needed help with everything because I was so exhausted; he cooked dinner, made breakfast, made lunch, brushed my hair and even helped me get dressed when I got out of the shower once and could barely move.

My fiancè had more faith in me than I had in myself, he recognised my small successes, that I failed to see and celebrated with me as things got better and better.

Now that I am living a significantly more functional and healthy life, we are enjoying planning out wedding and look forward to our future together. We have so many dreams and goals and I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to spend the rest of my life.

Owning My Story

I used to tell myself I had a good childhood. My parents had money, I grew up in an upper class neighbourhood, I went to a nice school and was taken on outings and expensive holidays.

I used to feel guilty for feeling resentful of my parents for the childhood I was given. After all, no one has the perfect parents and it’s easy when you grow up upper middle class to compare yourself to children who ended up homeless or in state care. The valuable thing I have learnt however, is that just because I had well to do parents, it doesn’t mean they weren’t abusive.

My parents were, and still are, alcoholics. I was exposed to their addiction. My life was chaotic growing up, I was exposed to domestic violence. I was on the receiving end of drunken violent outbursts that were verbal and physical. I was neglected when they were passed out on the floor for hours.

I’m now owning my story, I’m no longer going to feel ashamed for speaking about the sub standard care I received growing up just because someone else probably had it worse. The parenting they gave me was not good enough. I was not safe and growing up.

There’s nothing I can do about the past, but I’ve been told I need to own my story and acknowledge the past, in order to move forward into the future. Im breaking the cycle and it atarts with me!