Thursday, November 30, 2017

Smashed It.

Today I smashed it.
In a good way.
I've had a big week where at times it's felt as though I'm deep in a hole and I haven't got the strength or materials to pull me out. I've been letting myself suffer, which is tiring and miserable and if I'm honest - a little pathetic. I haven't been able to drag myself out of it though, just quietly reaching inward instead of outward. I'm not sure if this is a good thing but it's all I can do for now.
So that's been going on and I've been quite emotional. Crying in the car to sad songs emotional. Sometimes the songs aren't even that sad and I'm crying anyway. My saving grace, in many ways, has been my job that I love, that I need and that I am very proud of.
I was asked a few weeks ago if I would like to talk about the program that I coordinate at our organisations Public Meeting. There would be important people there, not just managers but politicians and public figures. I agreed and wrote a 2 page speech that I thought was pretty good and showed it to 2 of my managers who also thought it was pretty good. I practised a few times, tweaked a few bits and felt ready, but also terrified. What if I fucked it up? What if my nerves got the better of me and I embarrassed myself in some way? (I figured I'd either sneeze and some wee would run down my leg or I'd be so shaky it would be excruciating for people to watch).
Meeting is at 11 today. I'm busy visiting a client this morning and am reminded that not only do I love my job but it is making a difference in some people's lives. Still, nervous. I am the last speaker so I sit quietly and try to focus on my breathing - that I can control. Sweaty palms, fast heart, blushing face - these things I can't control but I can be aware of without it bothering me too much.
I speak for about 8 minutes. I remember to look up. I make people laugh a couple of times. I feel calm, proud and important (3 things I'm not sure I've felt for a while!). They love it - afterwards I am introduced to important people, congratulated, praised - it is incredible. I am floating on air.
I've been trying to get better at sitting with my pain, rather than numbing it or avoiding it. Today I try to be comfortable with the joy, the pride that I feel and that I deserve. I allow a huge smile to spread across my face and within my bones and I sit with it. For today.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


I don’t particularly enjoy getting dressed up, not fancy dress or even dressy dress…I’ve never had a particularly great experience of it. When I was about 12 we went to a punk roller disco and I had incredible vision for my blonde mullet…as a mohawk. We sprayed my hair pink and purple and used an incredible amount of hairspray and it really hurt like hairpulling hurt and the end result was…not what I’d dreamt of. Turns out mohawks really accentuate mullets and I looked like a boy girl from 1985 (It was 1991 so there was nothing cool about 6 years ago). People kind of smiled at me but nobody lived up to my expectation of ‘oh my god look at her you look amazing’ amongst themselves and to me. This was not an unfamiliar experience in my life.

This year, 2017, Halloween is on a Tuesday and my new house is connected by a park to a street that loves to Halloween. Liam, a wonderful Dad and go getter organises about 10 houses along the road with bags of lollies his wife Nicky has prepared. One house is tasked with Tricking and an elaborate scheme is hatched for toilet papering her house and being chased down the street by an angry lady.

The kids are pumped and we are drawn into the shenanigans. I am the final house added to the route which leads to a need for costumes. I purchased a good quality red and white striped shirt for $2 at an op shop recently, I happen to own blue pants and have some pipe cleaners lying around, which means I have the perfect mediocre Where’s Wally costume on hand.

The kids look terrific, a West Coast Eagles player and a scary but cute witch. They walk down the road to join the others and I prepare the garden – tealight candles leading up to the door. I turn all the lights off and it is awesome, spooky and private but also lovely. Then I realise I’m sweating like a bushpig (do they sweat? I really can’t think of a better sentence) and I hate how I feel in my expensive but hot shirt and polyester pants. So I quickly strip off, find my long black skirt and flowing black shirt, put on every string of beads I own (quite a lot it turns out) and grab the witches hat that was too big for Maggies head for myself. I am comfortably a mysterious witch with a large amount of colourful beads around my neck.

I hear the kids through the park and quickly open the gate. As I do a young person in a terrifying mask (like a screaming skeleton? Freaky) appears to the left of me. His body language conveys that he/she is friendly and would like some chocolate, but I find myself unnerved. Despite this, I say “Ok, if you’re here for sweets you can have some, but a group of kids are just about to arrive and if you could hide somewhere and scare them that would be excellent”.

The smiling skeleton looks even happier/scarier and crouches behind some bushes just inside the garden. A minute passes, then another, he/she just crouches and waits. The children begin to arrive in dribs and drabs, excited by the candles, intrigued by my witchiness and completely oblivious to the scary as fuck skeleton watching them. Suddenly he/she bursts up with a roar and the children shriek, gasp, fall backward and one child in particular let’s out a bloodcurling scream of terror. It is hilarious. I thank scary skeleton and offer him an extra chocolate for his/her services.

I take my costume off with some relief, everything is hot and sweaty late October in the Tropics – the kids in makeup are starting to look truly worrying. They have recovered from their scare and are calling it a ‘prank’ which I’m taking full credit for. We go back down the road and have a beer with the other parents, Liam stopping to clean up the fence they toilet papered as a Trick, another successful pranking.

It’s my favourite Halloween ever.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I'm Still Here's been a while since I last wrote on here.
I've been writing, a lot. Just privately.
Using my words as a means of trying to work my way through all the changes, the worry, the unknown.
And there has been plenty of that.
I'm not going to go into detail here about what's been going on. It's still too raw, too intimate, too private for this space.
Which is not to say I haven't done an enormous amount of talking, crying and even occasionally laughing in the real world. Life does go on despite the chaos around us.
I can't help wonder what is being said, how quickly the rumours have spread, if my life is now fodder for old acquaintances around the dinner table. I try not to care....but of course I do.
I thought grief only came from the death of a person. I was wrong. This past year I have felt a new level of loss, of heartbreak. My feet have slipped out from under me - my own fault for changing my shoes I suppose.
Yet I have also experienced great love, acceptance, kindness. I have been overwhelmed by the compassion that friends, colleagues and family have shown me. I have been surprised by people. I have grown, matured, fallen down and gotten back up. I continue to do so. My children and myself are my priorities and I'm trying to keep my eyes in front and not let the judgement or the hurt pull me down. It's not easy but if I know anything it is that life is short and we are ultimately responsible for ourselves - so for now I just keep breathing and riding the waves. I hope I can continue this blog but it's tricky - how do I write about my life when there is so much I cannot share now? How do I write honestly and openly when to do so could hurt people I care about? I don't know how else to write. Bear with me and thank you for reading xo

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Cleanest Colon

I made a NY resolution for 2017 that this would be the year I finally got myself a colonoscopy - what a goal! I promptly put off the organising until early this week (the first week of April - impressive) and I got on the phone to the NT Medical Specialists. Within 3 hours I had my referral, had skyped with the surgeon and was booked in for the procedure in 2 days time. Thank you universe. Not only was I getting a colonoscopy but ALSO an endoscopy which is a little camera down your throat to check out how my duodenum and stomach were getting on. A double plugger if you like.
Now a colonoscopy is not just a camera up your clacker. It's a several day process of cleaning out the bowel so it is squeaky clean for those devilish folk to have a look at what's happening in there.
This involves eating less for a few days and avoiding more fibrous foods - no problem. However the day before the procedure is a little more intense and involves drinking 3 separate drinks over a 6 hour period that assist in cleaning out the colon. This is my story.
15.06 I am one drink down, it is slightly lemony, thickish but palatable. Feeling inspired about writing this down.
15.25 I just sneezed and not only did it smell (bad breath? disease? the drink?) a small piece of poo seriously threatened to raise it's head. Consider me unnerved.
15.30 Just realised we only have one roll of double length toilet paper. Texted Josh to ask him to pick up some as I daren't leave the house.
15.45 It has begun. Currently feels as though my bladder has moved into my sphincter.
15.46 Text Josh back. Please buy the most expensive and luxurious toilet paper currently available.
15.55 The odds of me sharting myself today are sky high. Extremely likely. Almost a definite.
15.59 My friend (a veteran of 3 colonoscopies) texts to suggest baby wipes may help. I text Josh and he replies 'WTF is going on?'. I decide not to elaborate.
16.20 I feel like I may have taken a small tab of acid. I'm clammy, time is infinite and I'm creating waterfalls of shit out of my anus.
16.32 My veteran friend suggests I take a valium to help me sleep tonight. I reply 'Why? So I can shit the bed in peace?'.
16.45 My 6 year old enters the bathroom to ask me if I know anyone who can swallow swords? 'No mate. Nope. I do not. In fact, I know nothing. Everything I know has gone into the toilet. Everything'. She looks at me strangely and backs away.
16.47 The family have started to use the downstairs toilet.
16.51 I'm about to apply nappy cream to my own anus. A new low. Although unexpectedly - quite pleasant.
17.04 It's starting to burn. It's an anus fire. Do I just stay on the toilet? I don't know who I am anymore.
* I stay on the toilet. Then I lay on my bed very carefully until 18.00 and it's time for the next drink.
18.01 I have one litre of donkey piss flavoured with lemon and salt to drink within the hour.
18.16 I am two glasses in and I am Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince drinking the emerald potion from the stone basin - 'I don't want....Don't make me....I want to stop...Please let me stop'. My family carry on ignoring me.
18.37 There is no God.
18.39 There is a God and he is full of vengeance as he punishes me through my anus for every misdeed of my life.
18.47 I am a shadow of my former self. My spirit, my essence, my very being has been spurted out of me down the toilet.
18.54 I finish the last glass. There is no victory, only burning, gushing, spurts of fire from my asshole.
19.30 My 6 year old has a bath whilst I sit on the toilet waiting for the inevitable. She talks on and on about science and reptiles and the big bang and she is fucking amazing until a shower of shit erupts from my asshole. Suddenly there is silence. 'Oh God' I groan, 'I'm sorry'.
'That's fine' she shrugs. 'That sounded cool'. We burst into giggles, mine bordering on hysteria, but it's a lovely moment.
19.40 She has now taken to imitating my moans and whimpers. It would seem I sound somewhat ridiculous. We take a toilet selfie, between gushes and finally she gets to witness me (almost) ecstatically wiping more nappy cream on my ass. I wonder briefly if it's a terribly inappropriate thing for a child to watch her Mother do but a) don't care and b) think it would be worse to shut the door on her. Self pleasure starts at home kiddo.
20.01 It is all sting now. I'm light headed. As a full bodied woman, I'm beginning to feel waif like. I take my phone into the toilet and try to watch Louis CKs new Netflix special. I text my brother to tell him Louis cares more about my red raw anus than any of my family, then quickly follow it up with an apology text. So sorry. I'm not myself. My spirit has left via the back passage. I am a wounded soldier in my battle for good health. I am beyond help.
*Nothing but liquid gushes out of me at regular intervals. I've used A LOT of nappy cream.
21.00 Last drink. It's the same as the first - palatable lemon. I drink it down. Because I fucking have to.
21.17 Surely there is nothing left in me. I am devoid of shit. I think this as I squirt what remains of my soul into the toilet.
21.18 Fuck it. I take the valium. I put a mother sized overnight with wings pad on and hope for the best.
21.33 I return to my best friend, the toilet. She's got me. Forever friends.
*Finally I sleep, waking hazily maybe twice and fortunately make it to the toilet both times.
I wake, the thinnest I've been in years, also possibly the hungriest and head in for my 'procedure' scheduled for 8.45. I'm ushered through, then wait for an hour. There is a girl who keeps crying in the waiting room, but I think that's only because she is scared of needles. I hope so. I finally get called in and go through the litany of questions I'm pretty sure I've already answered 3 times in the last 2 days. I ask if I can please get on her scales and we share a nice moment when I tell her this is the first time I've willingly asked that question in about 20 years. I've lost 4 kilos in 2 days. We almost high five.
I change into my extraordinarily flattering robe and take a cheeky bum shot in the mirror for my friends enjoyment. I get settled into a bed, the anaesthetist sticks a needle into me and I'm wheeled into theatre. They ask me what procedure I'm having (seriously guys?) and I make them laugh when I say 'The Double Plugger!' my surgeon is a gorgeous pregnant young person which I'm so happy about. They roll me onto my side (fuck), inject me with whatever it is, I cheekily call out 'I'm still awake...'
Then some lady is waking me up and I'm so relaxed it's incredible. 'What did he give me?' I ask dreamily and they explain something about fentanyl which I tell them I really like and is it possible to buy it over the counter? I'm left to stare happily out the window and occasionally chat randomly with a lovely nurse who is impressed that before the procedure my resting heart rate was 54 beats per minute it is now sitting at an opium induced 42 bpm. I wonder briefly out loud if they used lube (they did). The surgeon comes to tell me I have a healthy colon and stomach and she will touch base with me again in 2 weeks to follow up. I'm given photos of my impeccably clean and healthy colon and I wish I could share them with more people, I'm just so proud. I could sell that thing As New (without tags). I fill in a feedback form and under 'What's the best thing about your experience at Darwin Day Surgery' I write 'fentanyl - kidding - it's you lovely staff who took care of me and made me feel safe'. Or something like that anyway.
Finally I'm allowed to get dressed, eat some cheese and crackers, drink 2 poppas and my lovely friend Kelly comes to pick me up. I'm slightly giddy, very cheerful and completely chill. I spend the rest of the afternoon lolling on the couch. Seriously that whole prep thing was worth it just for the fentanyl high.
Moral of the story is - take control of your health. Do what needs to be done. Empty yourself of some shit, or get someone (preferably a Dr) to shove a finger up your ass, have a pap smear - just do something so you don't die too young, from something you could have prevented. My Dad died when he was 44 of bowel cancer and you know what - he shouldn't have. If his cancer had been detected  earlier he could have lived, to see so much more of this wonderful, ridiculous life we are gifted with. I wish he had. I hope to live a long, interesting, magnificent life and if that involves cameras up the anus - then lube me up scotty, I'm all in.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What Madness?

In 21 days I will be arriving in Kathmandu, for the beginning of a 14 day tour of Nepal.
My friend Kelly and I will be going to the jungle, climbing mountains, paragliding, zip lining and flying in a small plane around Mt Everest. Eating strange spicy food, being cold, walking (a lot) and meeting Nepalese people.
I mean, it's ridiculous to even write this. I cannot fathom that it is really happening.
A friend asked me if I was excited today. I said I was, sometimes, but currently I was feeling a strange terror. She asked why and I said straight back - Well, I'm a little bit afraid I'll die, but I'm also expecting to be so far out of my comfort zone that I could seriously go into shock.
I've spent the last eleven years being a Mum, a partner, going on holidays to mostly the same places  to visit family. What madness to leave my children and go on some adventure holiday with my friend (who I'm not even sure I can fart - let alone poo around) to a poverty stricken yet magnificent country? What madness? I could die. Do not even get me started on the roads, small planes, hiking, potential listeria concerns that I have.
The Doctor actually recommended I get a RABIES vaccination. Along with Typhoid, Hepatitis A & B. Good lord. I'll gladly vaccinate my children but that's far too many needles for a grown woman who can conscientiously object to them.
I'm afraid I'll shit my pants, or worse erupt from both ends in some disgusting little drop hole toilet. I'm scared I won't be able to shower to clean myself up. I'm scared I'll be too cold, too tired, too hungry.  
I'm scared my kids will need me and I won't be there. I'm scared they will learn to cope without me and I'll be less important when I get back. I'm scared I'll be so out of my depth all my confidence will disappear and I'll be a shadow of who I think I am.
Okay, I think I got it all out. I'm still finalising funeral songs for myself, but relishing in the comfort of keeping such low expectations. I know it's going to be amazing. I know going out of my comfort zone is magnificent, rewarding and it will grow me into a better human. But I'm still a bit scared.
I aim to write it all, from the terror to joy, embarrassment to fantastical and I hope I can share it all here. Whatever happens - what a privilege is it to live it.