Kindness

Today was hard. My blood sugar was low right from my first waking moment. I don’t enjoy checking it, I hate the smell of blood. It reminds me of my time in the ICU last year. I am reminded of blood transfusions and life saving surgery in the middle of the night. I can feel my pulse quicken and I know it’s PTSD. So I just sit still and I try to push the panic down. I haven’t actually found the words to say that out loud to anyone in my family yet. I know it means I’m a little bit broken so I just continue on with the test. 3.8 great 😔 my blood sugar will fall from there when I drink my coffee ….. it will fall when I eat or drink anything so the medication will need to do its job this morning.

As is his custom, Steve brought a coffee and my bariatric multivitamins in to our room at around 6:30 am and I sat – trying not to feel frightened by the appearance of my favourite beverage. My endocrinologist has explained a couple of medical conditions to me – we are treating one and it is everyone’s hope that I am going to quickly respond. So I drank my coffee. I think I do feel better than I was feeling so we are taking that as a positive sign. Taking so many tablets each day is a very strange and foreign concept for me and I feel the symptoms of hypo number 1 for the day coming on at 8:00am. I know what the feeling is now – I thought it was all just in my imagination, a lack of sleep, stress or a combination of all of those things. I was wrong – All along it was blood sugar. It has even had me casting my mind back to last year – wondering if that is really when all of this started … I think it probably was.

I seem to have muddled my way through the morning. Helping the kids when they need me, working and then having my doctors appointment. My GP, I am fairly certain, is some kind of saint. He always listens to me with compassion and totally agrees with my specialist that I must not be driving while my blood sugar is still prone to such terrible lows. This isn’t what I wanted to hear but I know it is the safe and responsible thing. This also means that we need another driver in the family pronto. Dr. Mendes has written a note to that effect. Now we just have to hope that Vic Roads will give Aramis the medical exemption that he needs to get his P’s immediately so that my inability to drive doesn’t affect everyone so terribly.

After that I was feeling fairly low, sad, like a burden and useless. These are feelings that I am not a stranger to. They were my constant companions when I was big. I hate it when they reappear now that I am meant to be living my very best life …. then there was a knock on my front door and a delivery from a lady that I have met via a Facebook page that I help to run. We are nudging 36 thousand members and I truly believe that they are the most inspiring humans I have ever had the privilege to know. Serving the weight loss surgery community is such a passion in my life and I do it because I love watching people’s lives transform. Anyway … the postie handed me the package and when I opened it I was just so touched that someone thought of me. I was even more blown away by the timing of the delivery.

Someone’s kindness changed my whole day. It reminded me of the goodness of people. 💞

Medication – Day 1

Arcabose – typically for type two diabetics but apparently used to help hold blood sugar steady so that is what I am now taking. I still experienced a couple of mild hypos last night and to be honest I still feel scared to eat this morning because I don’t want the usual to happen – in two hours I am a mess on the floor. Side effects so far – yup. I am itchy and I have the poos (sorry everyone I know how much you wanted to know that 😆) and weight loss – which lets face it, would not be ideal and seems to have already happened. But as with anything, you really have to take any medication for a couple of weeks before you will know if it is going to be okay for you or not, so I will persist. Besides my multivitamins I only take one other tablet which is for reflux so at least I don’t have to worry about any weird medication interactions taking place. It’s still not a pleasant thing to be on another type of medication but hypos that cause you to black out aren’t fun either – in short the risk is not worth being precious about having a mildly irritated butt. All in all I have woken up feeling much more positive today.

I told a close friend yesterday that I was giving myself a few days to sulk and cry and feel like everything was unfair but the truth is – there are much worse things. There are still going to be a lot of tests and there will still be mountains to climb but that is okay – the mountains will move. I have stopped feeling sorry for myself and am thankful for the breathe in my lungs today! Much love always x

2020 – The Year That Keeps On Giving

We all know that none of us share everything online right? I always remind people that we all love to share our highlight reels with the masses but when it comes down to the muckity pluck – we may try to hold some of that back! Well I am no exception to that rule. There are swathes of my life that are only for me and mine – however I am facing a new situation that is a direct result of my weight loss surgery so I feel like it is something that I should share because it is going to have a massive impact upon how I do everything in the weeks, months and years ahead.

There are times when I have struggled to be open about what is going on in my post weight loss surgery body. I share because I hope that it can possibly help others in some small way. For the most part, things for me have been quite difficult and I think it would be completely fair to say that I have not had an easy time of it. Yes I have lost a LOT of weight. I needed to lose a lot of weight. In saying that I love, celebrate and embrace all shapes – but my body was becoming increasingly immobile and shut down prior to my surgery, that is why I needed to act. I don’t regret my surgery at all. But I am feeling a little overwhelmed today.

Lets take a quick trip down memory lane. May 2018 I had an infected cyst removed from my upper gum that resulted in massive facial swelling and a long recovery. June 2018 I had RNY – Gastric Bypass. July 2018 I had my Gallbladder removed and a longer than expected hospital stay while they tried to work out what was going on with my body (scary visits from the infectious disease specialist) December 2018 Hernia repair surgery. February 2019 my husband had his first flair up around his autoimmune disease. March – June 2019 MASSIVE weight loss (around 10 kilos a month) and malnutrition issues with scope and iron infusion. July 2019 Steve’s official diagnosis. September 2019 First skin removal surgery with complications, ICU stay, return to theatre prevent me from bleeding to death, repeat blood transfusions, ongoing blood protein issues, ongoing iron issues. March 2020 heart scare and hospital Stay. May 2020 Steve had surgery. February – September 2020 strange symptoms that were attributed to stress etc. When I read that and I know that it doesn’t show even an 1/8th of what has gone on in our lives, I know that it has been a really big few years.

It has not been all doom and gloom and actually life really is kind of wonderful in so many terrific ways. I remain steadfastly grateful for the wonderful people that continue to love and care for me and for mine. So, in the paragraph above I said that I have had weird symptoms for more than half a year. If I am honest, and really think about it, it was probably even earlier than this – perhaps late last year but I didn’t want to think about or acknowledge that anything else could possibly be going on in my body. I attributed everything to stress and at the advice of my doctors, I remove additional anxiety, I changed my field of work, I stopped giving my attention to situations that were not good for me and I simplified my life. From that perspective the pandemic was wonderful because it gave me a chance to reimagine and re-think my life but the symptoms persisted. The change in work meant that my weight loss became stable and that was truly a wonderful thing – but the other things persisted.

Last week I passed out for the 3rd time in as many days.This was becoming something of a regular event. A terrifying one and not one that I want to regularly put my children or husband through but it was turning into a somewhat regular thing. So it was time for another doctors visit and more blood tests were ordered, then another doctors visit and more blood tests were ordered and after those yet another lot of emergency bloods came back and I ended up with a referral back to my weight loss surgeon. I was referred back to my specialist because my GP suspected I had a condition that can result from gastrointestinal surgery. It’s rare (yeah so surprised by that 😒) But he felt it required the input of my gastrointestinal surgeon. I called the rooms and made and appointment for the 16th of October – his soonest available. But honestly that felt like a LONG TIME to wait when I keep collapsing. I live in the State of Australia with the most cases of Covid, and if I presented at Emergency I wouldn’t see my family again until I was released …….. so I decided to contact my surgeon directly via email. I told him exactly what has happened and as usual he acted swiftly and I had my appointment yesterday. I have often said he is amazing and he TRULY is. I start medication today. I see an endocrinologist really soon as I learn how to live with reactive hypoglycaemia. Doing my blood sugars regularly, making sure I am eating enough and trying to avoid hypos. Last night, 2 hours after dinner my blood sugar level was dangerously low.

This morning, I will be honest, I feel frightened to eat because I don’t want my BSL to drop and that is what reactive hypoglycaemia does. My body is producing too much insulin and it does that in spite of what I eat. It’s not a common condition and I will learn how to manage it – it will just take me a few days to wrap my head around it all. At least it has a name and thankfully the blood tests caught it! I am so thankful that my GP believed me enough to keep looking because he knew that something was wrong. I am thankful for the urgent blood tests and for the incredible care he always gives. I am also so thankful to my surgeon. He has seriously been incredible every single time I have contacted him. The medication he has prescribed for me had to be ordered in and will arrive today so I will be able to start that tonight. So that is what has been going on with me health wise. It’s a new situation and has been really scary for me and for my family to navigate. Times like these show me who and what is important.

People that love you – truly love you – They are important. It’s easy to love someone when everything is great but who is really there for you? I know who is really there for me! Our health and well being – well that is critically important. We only get so many chances with these things and once they are lost they are sometimes lost forever so I really want to explore you to take care of those you love and take care of you.

My summer clothes have started arriving! We hope to spend Christmas in Queensland with our immediate family – providing Covid restrictions have eased sufficiently by that time.

The letter

I wrote myself a letter before my surgery. I didn’t expect that I would ever share it here but I am doing so in the hope that it may help someone to decide to take the chance and have the surgery. I never wanted to let myself forget why I have made the choices I have made. When I found this last night I ugly cried. So on Thankful Thursday I can’t even begin to explain how thankful I am for the life I have now 💞

June 16th 2018

Dear Tash,

I hope that you never forget the reason that you are about to have weight loss surgery. I know that you are absolutely terrified right now. Knowing you, you won’t forget tonight, but just in case your brain shrinks along with your body – I don’t want you to forget! You are sitting awkwardly at the dining table writing yourself this missive. You know you would usually sit in bed and do this but you can’t right now because there are two kids asleep in your room and you don’t want anyone to hear you crying. You are bawling because of all of the lost years that you can never get back. Your precious girl has moved out and you can’t get back the years with her but you still have a chance to be the mother that you always wanted to be to your boys. Tash please don’t just remember being afraid, remember why you are doing this. Be driven to become the healthiest version of you that you can possibly be. Remember that in amongst all of the fear you feel right now, it’s really fucking hard to reach the table!! Your belly is pressed hard up against it and your little T-Rex arms can hardly reach. You don’t want to live your life like this!

You know that you have to do this. Even though it terrifies you in every single way. You want so much more from life than what you have had. You don’t want to struggle to tie your own shoes or wipe your own arse! You want to be the mum that can run and play with your kids. You want to be able to go on adventures with them. You don’t ever want to hear another kid tease them because you are the “fat mum” ever again. You want a better job, you know you can do more but right now people only see your size. You want to be a better wife and have a better relationship with Steve. You want to be able to give yourself to him totally without always holding back because you feel frightened that one day he will decide that he can’t deal with your self loathing and your binge eating anymore.

But then there are the things that you want just for yourself. You want to be able to wear something that isn’t black. You want to wear pretty dresses and clothes that make you smile. You want to be able to stand to sit at the hair dresser rather than hating your reflection so much that you never go. You want to walk into a cafe and not worry about if the chairs are strong enough to accomodate you. You want to walk into country road and buy straight off the rack. You want to feel healthy and not like you are eating yourself into an early grave. Don’t give up. You want to sing again, you want to dance again. Keep going. Please don’t stop because you were made for more than what you have had up until now. This is all I can do for you. I can give you this chance and it is up to you what you do with it. Please write some wonderful chapters.

By the window

(Trigger Warning)

The sky was inky black and smoke grey clouds swirled overhead as she pressed her face against the chilly glass. Condensation formed from the warmth of her breath and the smell of winter assailed her nostrils. The ominous, rain laden clouds, heavy with moisture, seemed to choose that moment to release their bounty and sheets of rain beat down, punishing everything in their path. She slid open the latch on her window, opening it just a crack, to let the freshness of it fill her room. A gust of wind found its way in through the tiny gap and seemed to multiply in the space, blowing papers about and rattling posters that cling to her walls with blue tac.

She adored a good storm, it often felt like they matched her mood! Her teenage moments, she acknowledged, had been tumultuous lately. Her past and the secrets that she carried, combined with rampaging hormones, seemed to provide a perfect storm and when they happened they were a really pleasant way to escape.

Her mind bounced between traumatic memories, the things that her neighbour did to her as a child, the things that happened just months earlier and the fact that she has been acting out before that. They told her it might even be viewed that she had deserved it. Everything she had done would be brought up, did she really want to put her family through that kind of shame. Never mind what had happened or the wrongness of it. Her job was to protect all of the people she had hurt with her behaviour, she didn’t want to cause them more pain, did she. So she would suck it up. She would find a way to cope. She would try her best to hurt no one else, just herself and she would eat her pain.

The bottomless pit of self loathing was temporarily sated when she filled it with food. When she ate, she could feel the hands and the things that they had done to her just melt away. It was never long before the temporary euphoria of the food consumed would turn to dust. The sweetness of her coping mechanism turning acrid in her own mouth and she would hate herself for the food she ate. She would hate herself so much for consuming excess calories that she would be driven get rid of them, she would drive herself with hours of exercise to try to make herself tired enough to sleep. She would cling to the toilet bowl, eyes burning and gut clenching as she forced the food out of her stomach once again. She was tormented and so profoundly lost. It was 1992.

The Cost

Let’s talk for a minute about the Cost of Bariatric Surgery. Many of us pay quite a sum just to have our surgery in the first place. But the costs that are ongoing are something that we don’t really talk about a lot. That’s not to say that WLS isn’t one of the best descisions I have ever made because it is!! But these are things I didn’t think of beforehand. Some of the things that I have replaced because of weight loss surgery include the following.

  1. My mattress – I was in pain from lying in my “big me” sized mattress hole.
  2. All my shoes – I am now 2 sizes smaller
  3. All of my underwear 4 times over as I found out the hard way one can’t wear undies that are too big and not risk them falling off in public – yep it really happened 🤦🏻‍♀️
  4. My car seat – this is a weird one and I upgraded my car because it needed an upgrade anyway BUT the drivers seat was broken because of my bum and my weight.
  5. My lounge suite because I broke it 😔
  6. My dining chair – I am going to have to replace the set but am making do for now.
  7. My entire wardrobe because going from a size 24/26 to a size 4/6 means that nothing from bigger me fits me anymore.
  8. My supplements and vitamins ongoing but for me the cost of my weekly food and vitamins and supplements is still less than what I used to spend per week on my food (I ate a lot).
  9. Skin removal surgery – this shot of me there with the excess skin is current. That is after my radical tummy tuck – obviously I require revision surgery because my surgeon thought that a radical tummy tuck would be enough but it wasn’t. When you have as much excess skin as me it is unpredictable how it will respond.
  10. New glasses coz the old ones fall off my face 😳
This is me now

As for the plastics, I don’t disclose how much my surgery cost, but the following is a rough guide per area of the body and what you might expect to pay (after private health insurance and Medicare covers the hospital costs and a small payment to the surgeon and the gas doctor) THESE ARE AUSTRALIAN PRICES
$1k-$7k is considered low cost.
$7k-$11k is mid range.
$12k and over is high range.
That is the gap payment as plastic surgeons will charge you a gap fee even if skin removal is deemed medically necessary. The gaps vary from surgeon to surgeon. My recommendation is ONLY USE a PLASTIC SURGEON. If you have private health insurance are in NSW or don’t mind traveling, google ‘The Access Program’ if you want a lower cost option.

Would I do it again? Heck yes! Over and over!! I have a life now and I am so grateful for it.

Me yesterday and me a lifetime ago
My dangly skin before I had it chopped off

ET and I are mates 😉

A Pig

Sitting on the main oval of her conservative Christian high school, she could feel the prickle of the browning turf under her thighs, It’s spikey texture poked uncomfortably into her arse, as the sun tried it’s best to beat down on her from above. Streaks of blistering light were fighting a continual battle with the foliage lining the perimeter of the oval. The goal of said blistering light was for the right to blaze down upon and burn anyone, or anything that wasn’t shaded. Through the dappled light of her vantage point she could keep an eye on everyone, and was unfortunate enough to see all the goings on in the zoo. It was always the same, the popular girls and the popular boys, jostling for position and deciding who liked who this week.

She was under no illusions of any kind about who she was, and also, who she was not and where she fitted in! She wasn’t like the “cool” girls, trying to tan their legs in the hot Queensland sun. She secretly rolled her eyes at them and tore her gaze away before they saw her looking, but not before she saw what they were doing. All sitting in a row looking down at the way that their knees touched and then their legs just seemed to gently curve out and up and they didn’t touch at all anywhere in the middle. Glancing down at her own, she felt the familiar stab of comparison and envy as she surveyed her own pasty white, pork sausage legs. There was no sugar coating it, she knew full well that there was no graceful arc between them. Her BMI was over the normal range and she knew it was! She also knew that her legs touched all the way up, with no gaps in between. What was worse was that they rubbed badly at the top and she often felt sweat trickle down the back of her thighs on hot summer days, especially when they were hot summer, sports days. It didn’t have a “name” except “the gap” and the fact that she didn’t have one put her at odds with the beautiful people.

God, how she hated sport days! She hated them nearly as much as she loathed the the sport lord (AKA the PE teacher – there may have even been a song penned in his honour) It felt like sport day was yet another opportunity for those athletically inclined, and, by virtue of that inclination, superior individuals, to assert their dominance, as if they needed a special day for that! Obviously it also served a duel purpose as it was also an opportunity for the beautiful to wear smaller clothes. In short, it was depressing.

The aforementioned sport lord was her least favourite person and to be perfectly frank, he seemed to loathe her also, not that she could blame him. She did have an attitude when it came to this particular subject, and she used the term “subject” loosely! The sport lord made his grand entrance, jogging down the dirt track towards her prime location. Jogging, why was he jogging? Was this an attempt to inspire? Was this because he liked running so much or was it just to prove that he could? All she knew was that he ran in such an upright fashion that she smirked to herself and wondered how he could be that stiff. She hated the fact that even his hair seemed to just understand how to go straight up and down, flying up and around his face. His shorts were just that little bit too short and his whistle, she was sure, belonged up his arse, instead of in his mouth. “Just run a few laps to warm up” she groaned and thought to herself “what is his problem, can he not tell that it is currently a stifling 33 degrees out here – we ARE warm” and hated him all the more.

She set off around the oval, her boobs bounced painfully and her thighs slapped together with each step she took as she tried to comply with his request. Within minutes the burning began and it wasn’t long after that she could feel the chaffing start. Her thighs felt like they were on fire and she knew that by the end of the day, her thighs would be red raw and bleeding again. This was a weekly ritual – they would heal from the week before, only to be torn to pieces again – but she fought her way through the warm up and pretended that she was fine. It wasn’t until she got home from school in the afternoon and she was able to survey the damage to her torn skin that she decided that she wasn’t going to put herself through his exercises in pain and humiliation anymore. From then on she always skipped PE and she didn’t care what anyone thought about it.

Last night my usual nocturnal meanderings through various news and social sites brought me to a rather tragic place! I wasted 10 minutes of my life reading and then re-reading a really disturbing article that prompted much reminiscing, and consequently, my little trip down memory lane. The article was penned by a self proclaimed dating expert 🤦🏼‍♀️. Said “expert” touts the wonders of the feminine Thigh Gap and the Pussy Gap. These two things are, according to Pig Man, the pinnacle of feminine beauty and attractiveness. Please forgive me while I pause to vomit and also while I try to reassure myself, once again, that the voice of reason and balance will be louder in the ears of my sons than trash like Pig Man wrote.

As I read that article I was taken back to being my teen self, staring at my pork sausages on the oval that day and I felt a sense of rage at the the information that I was processing. I am so thankful that I married a respectful man. I am so thankful that my sons are respectful young men. However, I am so angered that anyone thinks it is okay write an essay defining feminine beauty and include absolutely not ONE word about her heart, her soul, her passions, her interests and the innate things about her that are so intrinsically “her” that you would know them anywhere. That Pig Man felt compelled to justify his dangerous obsession with a thigh gap and tried to normalise that type of thinking …… well, it just makes me furious.

Women, you gorgeous, amazing humans, do not buy into any kind of bullshit that would try to tell you that you must be a certain way to be beautiful. I raise my middle finger to arsewipes everywhere that would seek to put beauty into a tiny box and say that is the only type of beautiful! Thick thighs, thin thighs, and everything in between, perhaps especially the in-between (see what I did there 🤣) we are all beautiful!

Beauty is NOT a size

I am 43 years old and in my 43rd year I attained a thigh gap. It’s actually a full leg gap and I seriously don’t care about it!! It really wasn’t worth getting excited over and I hate that it has such an influence over generations of women. What I am more excited over is the broken road that I have walked along and what I have learned on this shadowy path. We never really know strong we are until we have to be and I have had to be. The most valuable lesson that I wish I could magically bestow upon every person that I meet is that you do not have to be a certain anything, size, shape, weight, be able to list certain qualifications, or achievements to be seen as valuable. You are valuable just as you are! If no one else is cheering for you, please know that I am and honestly, learn to clap for yourself!

Photo Roulette

If you have never played this little gem of a game, you are missing out. We now have a change to the Covid-19 restrictions that we are living with and we are allowed to have 5 people visit our homes. Last night we played this with two close friends – the game is essentially this “guess whose camera roll a picture comes from” and you have a limited time to make your choice. Would you do it? Expose your camera roll to the rest of the room? My camera roll is full of my kids, my family, myself in various stages of transformation, my dog and work related photos. As we were sitting there playing, a photo popped up that I didn’t recognise at all but it was a picture of a large person and photos like that are regularly sent to me by folks asking for advice, so I assumed it was my picture, as did everyone else playing. When that round finished, everyone had that picture wrong – it was from Steve’s phone and it was me! I was totally shaken. How is it possible to not recognise myself??

I sat looking at that picture and it really got to me. If I had known all of the things would happen over the next three years I would have so wanted to find a way to pause or stop time. I would have chosen different outcomes for my family but I wouldn’t have chosen a different outcome for myself. Can you see it in my eyes? The absolute anxiety at being in front of people, feeling horrible about myself and wishing that I didn’t take up so much space in the world? I can see it, it is written all over my face.

This was me – Three years ago to the day. It was two years ago that I had weight loss surgery. That night WAS my defining moment. Not so much because of the double diplomas, but because of the decision I made. I hated how I felt that night. It should have been a celebration but instead I wanted to run and hide. It was the very next day that we increased our health insurance to cover weight loss surgery. I made a life altering decision that night, as I looked out on the hundreds of people assembled, that I never wanted to feel like that again.

I had worked sooooooo hard to stand there, full time mother, working full time, studying as best as I could and fighting through some really crippling anxiety to complete my double diploma. However on the night that I should have felt like I could celebrate my achievements, all I felt was self conscious. My graduation gown wasn’t big enough. It was the largest size that they had. I remember my total embarrassment as tears burned in my eyes. While the gown wouldn’t fit, my humiliation was all encompassing and it wrapped itself around me, cloaking me in feelings of shame and inferiority. I was so conflicted that night. So proud of myself on the one hand and so embarrassed and ashamed in the other. I decided while I was standing in that fitting room, surrounded by strangers, that I NEVER wanted to feel like that again.

Those feelings were the tipping point, the shove that I needed to make the decision to have weight loss surgery.

This is the photo I didn’t recognise

Me Yesterday

Finding the GOLDEN

I feel like I spent years and years of my life going around with a blindfold tied firmly around my head. I put it on myself and I kept it there willingly mind you. I allowed myself to wallow in my own self loathing. I was totally convinced that life for me, was to a large extent, as good as it was going to get. That I had, because of my many short comings and failings, been overlooked and in my mind I deserved it. My sense of self loathing began as a little girl. I remember the day that it started and the trigger has haunted me for years. I remember what I was wearing that day and I remember coming home and throwing my favourite dress in the bin. It would be years and years and years before I told anyone what had happened but by then it was too late. I had brought into a destructive lie that would go on to shape so much of my thinking around who I was.

I remember not understanding so many things and wondering what was wrong with me and why I was different to other kids. My happiness and the care free feeling of childhood died that day. Within a few short years I would embark on a pathway that would lead towards an eating disorder and a few years after that it led to alcohol abuse and drugs. All the while my loving family continued to love and pray for me while many a sanctimonious relative looked down their judgemental noses at me, my choices and my life.

They swore that their kids would never end up as mucked up as I was (just quietly, how did that work out for you?) My mum was encouraged to kick me out of home to make me come to my sense. Honestly would have probably been easier on them some days! But my gosh, the love of my mother is a force. It can be felt across states, it still wraps around me now just like it did back then and there was no way that she would let me go. No way that my Dad would let me go either! Thankfully my Mum and Dad both flipped off the naysayers and refused to put me out of their home. However, all it took was one little blonde haired girl with ringlets and a disposition as sweet and pure as sunshine itself to do me in. I didn’t want her to be hurt or disappointed in me so I did my best to sort my shit out. I am my mother’s daughter, I love my family passionately and even if I didn’t love me at that time, I loved my little sister with all of my heart. I didn’t want my little brother to find me passed out in my own vomit anymore and I didn’t want to wake up and not remember what or who I had done. It sounds as bad as it was – It is probably worse than that actually. There were moments of sobriety but they were few and far between.

I really was just a messed up kid trying my very best to cope with some truly shitty things that we just don’t like to talk about and I still don’t like to talk about. The first guy I ever really loved copped the worst of me – the vile mood swings, the temper, the destructive self loathing and the hormones – oh my god – lets not forget those! Add into that an eating disorder, and a terrible need to feel like I had some kind of control over my life. I often cringe inwardly when I think back to the mess that I was in those years. Of course I was good at putting on faces and did a brilliant job of that most of the time but at that point in my life I wasn’t able to admit to the brokenness or even see it as that.

My personal train wreck continued on a really private level for a long, long time. I battled with the shame of my very public break down and as a result, I battled with feeling less than worthy. I struggled with self loathing and battled an eating disorder well into my 30ies. However, so many incredible, milestone moments have taken place on the very tricky path I have walked and those moments have shaped the turns that my story would take. There is no one in life that I love more than my children. When I became a mother for the first time everything changed. I wanted to be the best I could possibly be for this incredible little person that I got to love. I still have the same want and it motivates my choices each day. I did not get it right all the time or even most of the time. I have buckets of regrets and have cried rivers of tears over my short comings and failures. I have also learned that there is little point in living life filled with regret. I hope that my failings have caused me to grow and made me into a better, more authentic and kinder person – finding the good, or the golden in myself is a lesson in self discovery.