Sadness is around me but so is a lot of Aroha and compassion

I think most of the world know about the murder of Grace Millane here in New Zealand but you really have to be over here to feel the level of sadness that we are all feeling as a country. There have been so many candle light vigils through out New Zealand as people struggle to cope with the grief and disbelief over what has happened. I have seen many people posting that they are ashamed of being a New Zealander because of what has happened. I am not ashamed and nor do I have any reason to be but I am very upset about it and totally disappointed and upset that this has happened. Sadly we are not exempt from having arseholes and sick nasty people (sorry there really aren’t any words strong enough) just like every other country. But and this is a bloody big but the huge majority of people are good people in this country (as I am sure is the case around the world) if you lined them all up the good people with kind hearts would out way the bad people. The out pouring of support and Aroha (love) that has been shown not only to Grace’s family that are here but to other back packers / travelers and even strangers to each other over this murder is also overwhelming. 

This will help you understand the level of support and compassion that is being shown to the family after her father has released this statement – 

He thanked New Zealand in his statement for the “outpouring of love, numerous messages, tributes and compassion”.

He said, “Grace was not born here and only managed to stay a few weeks, but you have taken her to your hearts and in some small way she will forever be a Kiwi.”

Grace went off to travel the world in mid-October and arrived in New Zealand on the 20th November.

By the amount of pictures and messages we received she clearly loved this country, its people and the lifestyle.

After the disappearance of Grace on 1st December 2018 our whole world  turned upside down. 

I arrived in Auckland on Friday 7th December, followed by my brother Martin on Saturday 8th.

From that very first moment we have been astounded by the level of concern, sympathy and selfless help from every person we have met.

Auckland Police have carried out the most concise, stringent and thorough investigation.

The team, consisting at times of over 24 officers have worked arduous long hours without a day off,  little sleep or rest in helping to resolve this heinous crime.

The media and press have been superb in their coverage and reporting of the events surrounding Grace’s tragic final days.

They have not intruded into our life and have been respectful and courteous at all times.

Gill, Michael, Declan and myself would sincerely like to thank everybody involved and express our most profound gratitude.

For full article – https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/grace-millane-s-father-thanks-new-zealand-in-moving-statement/ar-BBQPthN?ocid=ob-fb-ennz-313&fbclid=IwAR30MbN7wM2Pd0SRMNwz4oMzT6tqyJlAEevd86Yvi_hsJmtQl6B6KoelKK8

One thing so upsetting about this whole case is the power of social media and the media in general. PLEASE DO NOT SAY THE ACUSED MURDERS NAME HERE ON THIS POST NOR GIVE LINKS TO ANY NEWS ARTICLES WITH IT IN IT. Here in New Zealand we can be charged for releasing his name eg to share an overseas article that names him on our Facebook pages is an offence. I have seen the overseas articles that name him and had his picture. When you read what follows you will see how wrong this is. Because his name has been released this was in our main New Zealand news website today http://www.nzherald.co.nz – 

New Zealand’s leading barristers are concerned a trial for the man accused of British backpacker Grace Millane’s murder may have already been compromised because of continuous suppression breaches.

The latest example occurred when Google sent a mass email to New Zealand subscribers naming the 26-year-old accused.

New Zealand Bar Association vice-president Jonathan Eaton QC said while the case has naturally sparked a very strong public response, the public and media need to respect the accused’s fair trial rights.

“There is an alarming trend in the reporting and the sharing of information of this case that could open the way to defence counsel arguing that the accused could not get a fair
trial,” he said.

Bar Association president Kate Davenport QC also called for those who are breaching the interim suppression order, or suggesting ways people can circumvent it, to stop.

Here is the link to the full article – https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12176375 

Can you imagine how the world will feel if this happens???? He has been moved to a secure wing in prison as the inmates have already made a decision on him and also with it being such a high profile case for some of them wanting to earn their stripes in prison as such giving him a serve will earn those stripes. 

The whole thing is so over whelming, I can’t even express the sadness I feel for Grace and her family and friends. All I can do is offer my condolences to them with seem feeble because my heart breaks for them. We ALL (not just females) should be safe in this world, we all should be safe to move and go where we want when we want but this just is not possible. I seriously hope that justice is served and I hope the justice is harsh and serves as a warning to any others that may consider committing this sort of crime. 

You might wonder what does this have to do with my sober journey and it’s nothing and everything. I will not take away from the importance of Graces case but I do think would I feel so deeply about it or be as aware if I was still living my life in the bottle and a hazy cloudy world??? Some how I doubt it.

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Need for Solitude

I always try to look after my friends and if they are in trouble I always want to be there for them. At the moment I have a friend who has been signed off work by her doctor for over a year now. At the moment she is going through a really bad patch and has been getting welfare checks from the local Police. Lately she has been putting up photos of herself in hospital etc and I don’t know if it’s a call for help or if she is stuck in a rut focusing on all the bad times. I have had to step back from trying to help her so much as I was finding that I was stressing out to much worrying about her. As a result of needing to step back the above quote is very appropriate. 

Happiness, Rainbows & Unicorns

Just that title makes me happy and probably has very little to do with this post but we will see as I type tonight’s rambling thoughts on here. Actually I just came back up here to add this, yes I am much happier but I don’t want others that are using my journey to help them on their own to be deceived. My life ten months on sober is much happier but it’s not all Rainbows & Unicorns I still have a lot of work to do, I think if you want to break addiction you have to be prepared to put in the work. You also have to WANT to do it, it is not enough for others to want you to do it, YOU have to want it.

I have been sharing on here for a while with you all and for those of you considering doing it for either pleasure or as a release I say give it a try, you will soon find out if it’s going to be of any benefit for you. I have noticed my posts getting more positive and I am so happy about that but the next bit might seem a bit odd. I remember when I started on my sober journey or each time that I fell off the sober train and crashed and burned. Reading the posts on here would often help me to find the energy to get back up and try again. Each time you fall over you find that your self disappointment levels dip further down every time and your self esteem takes a huge knock. My moods really were so low and I would feel like suicide just to end the pain and also because I hated myself and thought for fucks sake what is the point to do another bloody round AGAIN. It isn’t easy and oh my God I know that and I know how hard and just how deep you have to dig to try again. What was different this time around for me?

When I started drinking again the last time I had been sober for 3 years, 3 years!!!!! and yet I fell off the wagon. There had been a huge event in my life that I had held my shit together for over a year but when it ended and I survived it I crashed and burned. I had been burying demons and putting on a huge display that everything was okay in my world, I had such a good act going that even I thought it was okay and I had everything under control. I really had no idea that all it was like was a simmering pot on the stove and when that event was finally over the whole pot boiled over and I could not cope so instead I turned back to the bottle.  I was so disappointed with myself and that mixed with all of the over whelming emotions that I was going through just made me drink more. I sank back into heavy drinking every night and really didn’t care if it killed me, I did not care!!! I kept this up for I think around 18 months. Near the end I started to feel like a person drowning that was submerging and waving around but the beach was empty, the life guards had packed up and gone home. I did some stupid things in attempt to stop drinking e.g. spending all my money and running heaps of debt so I wouldn’t have any left to spend on booze (umm don’t try this yourself it doesn’t work, an alcoholic will always find money for booze).

I’ve told the story before about how a friend and myself were both drinking to much and we made a deal that we would support each other to take a break for 3 months. I am one of those people that when I make a promise to a friend I keep it combined with I can be one stubborn arse bitch when I want to be. I was determined I would make those three months but I was also sick and tired of booze having control over my life. I knew that I no longer had control but it did. I made it to the end of the 3 months and that was enough for me to be able to start to see a difference in myself to have me wanting to keep going. Right from the start I started blogging it out on here and getting out what I was feeling or going through. This not only helped me but I also started to get messages saying thank you and that by default I was helping others, this made me feel so awesome. I am now over ten months and I have no intention of ever touching alcohol again, EVER!

Things are so much better for me now and I have made amazing friends and built a support network around me with my tribe of Soul Sisters. Blogging & friends along with being so sick and tired of being depressed and sick and tired has helped me stick to this. I still have such a long way to go and am a work in progress. I have survived some really shitty things but I stand proud that I have come out the other side. Next year I am looking at starting some therapy to work out things so that hopefully they don’t just sit there dormant and raise their ugly heads again. If they do I want different skills to deal with them that does not include reaching for a bottle. I’m also not a cocky little shit I know just how easy it is to suffer speed wobbles and fall off the wagon but I know that I have never felt the desire to stay sober as strong as I do now. Living life sober is fucken awesome!!!

The Morning After A Work Xmas Party

Trying to think what to write about tonight, there is normally always so much going on in this mind of mine that I am shocked to say that lately there has been quiet periods. I am not complaining at all but it just feels different.

Oh I know lets start with this as I was thinking about this a lot today. The morning after a Xmas Party now…… hmm I still laid in bed late this morning but that was totally my own fault having a long black coffee after dinner at the event 🙂 but there was still a difference waking up this morning compared to previous mornings after work Xmas parties. There was a calmness a nice relaxing stretch and a smile on my face as I looked at my dogs still peacefully sleeping. I rolled over and grabbed my phone from it’s charger and found a reply from my beautiful friend to a message I sent her last night. This started a round of messages back and forth as has become a lovely habit every weekend morning now. It is great checking in with someone you love and making sure your both okay and sharing what has and is planned to happen ❤ Nothing like feeling the love from each other and starting your day knowing someone out there in your tribe loves this habit as much as I do.

Ahhh one more stretch and then out of bed, OMG how does one hurt their knee just getting out of friggin bed???? I twisted it a bit and now when I go to use it a certain way and apply weight it grabs in pain, grrrrr it’s a bitch getting older (still prefer it to the alternative though don’t get me wrong). Actually well talking about getting older why the hell doesn’t anyone warn you of the possible thicker darker hair on your chinny, chin, chin then ah???? What is it are we to ashamed to talk about these things??? Seriously there is one little bastard hair that is thicker than the others and as soon as it sticks it’s ugly stubble out far enough I pluck that bastard out with the tweezers, vamoose you little shit. Oh and there are longer wispy hairs on my neck, what the hell is that all about?? Seriously I don’t have much shame on here so don’t mind sharing but I understand how it’s not something we talk about over morning coffees in the lunch room, but I’m pretty bloody sure one of them would of noticed and I don’t know how they kept looking at me without looking down! Oh maybe because they are getting older like me and their eyesight is failing them like mine. From now on I will be wearing my glasses when looking in the bathroom mirror a lot more that I can promise you.

Oh sorry I digress, back to starting my sober, hangover free morning. I hobble to the shower and stand there under the running water just letting my senses soak up the feeling of the water drops hitting my skin along with my body enjoying the warmth of the water. Following the shower and dressing it is now time to walk the dogs before the heat of the day makes it simply to hot. I LOVE walking my dogs and even more so now that I am living life sober. They really do make you stop and smell the roses as you are walking, seriously dogs have got it sussed. They take their time and they smell everything and don’t miss much. They are totally in the moment and they are focused purely on their time out walking. I never rush them and just lead them lead the way to be honest. I once read that to pull a dog away from it’s sniffing is like interrupting someone from a chapter in a book and I reckon that is pretty accurate. An hour later after we have finished our walk it’s back home for breakfast. This weekend ritual is just so soothing for the soul and I love it.

Now lets compare it to how it would of been for me waking up after a work Xmas Party. I would of woken up late and felt pretty rough. I would of had a crappy nights sleep which would of been broken by waking up at random times through out the night and tossing and turning until drifting back to sleep until the next wake up. I no doubt would of had to go for a pee at least once and that probably would of woken me up during one of the deeper sleep periods and most likely when I would of been nice and comfortable. I would say I would of had a least one really bad episode of heart burn that would of left a burning bile sensation in my throat and would of kept coming up in small doses of vomit which I would of kept swallowing. Finally I would of woken up with a dry mouth and cracked throat which probably smelt disgusting (never sniffed it myself) and I would of no doubt felt nausea and had a headache. I would of stretch which would of caused either my calf muscle or foot which would of caused me to dive out of bed to push down on the foot and stretch the muscle to break it’s grip. The dogs would of still been peacefully sleeping on the bed with me but probably would of been pissed off at having been woken so many time during the night. I most likely would of started the day without twisting my knee but who the hell would know if that would or wouldn’t of happened (fucken chin hair problem would probably still be there no matter whether I was sober or not lol). I would not of had the awesome message session with my beautiful friend. This is one of the friendships that has flourished since living life sober and real. I would of needed a shower and would of stood there with my mouth open trying to get rid of my dry horrors. Oh on to the dog walk, they still would of taken me for a walk but I wouldn’t of noticed any of the moments of pure joy they have and we wouldn’t of gone as far because I would of felt like crap and would be just wanting to get back home again and try to down a coffee. 

The difference living life sober is like day and night, I freakin love being sober. Loving living life sober, raw and real. 

Xmas Work Party Done & Dusted

So tonight we had our work Xmas party and I seriously did consider not going because I simply didn’t want to be around alcohol or boozing people. I knew that there was going to be a couple of kegs there along with some spirits and I just couldn’t be arsed going. BUT then I also knew that we would be able to have fun riding jumbo down hill scooters and I am so glad I went. Of cause there was the normal mob that just wanted to sit and drink but there was also a large group of us that spent two hours racing down tacks through the hills which carved through the bush. It was such an adrenaline rush and so much fun!!! We were literally screaming and yelling our way down each time to the bottom as we worked our way through to the most difficult track. Once at the bottom there were vans for us with trailers to cart the scooters back up the hills as they where steep and high, so brilliant. Yep I did crash once as someone behind me was screaming so hard I thought they had hurt themselves lol, I turned around to look at them and ran into a bank hahhaha. Didn’t matter straight back up the hill to go again.

Now my point is I am so glad that I went because I had a blast. I am also so glad we had something organised were we could do something different than just sit around drinking and eating. Once it went to dusk we went back up the top of the hill and had dinner with the drinkers. Have to admit that once I finished eating I did leave because I really couldn’t be bothered sitting with the drinkers who were starting to get rowdy and the music was turning to loud crap. I hate to think of some of their heads tomorrow and can honestly say I reckon that is the best work Xmas party I have been to. Being sober and having a blast is freakin awesome. 

The view leaving the venue, being sober is a blessing.

Braveness comes with being sober

Being brave can take many forms and this week I achieved one that I never would of done when I was drinking. I work for a large company and an email came out with orders for us all from our General Manager. What was in the email I knew couldn’t be right and also realized the implications to the company if everyone followed his directive. Now when I was drinking I would of just read it and thought shit that’s not right but just followed the order. When I was drinking I didn’t always trust my judgement and rather than risk making a fool of myself I wouldn’t of responded to his email. Now that I am sober again my thinking is so much clearer and I am not doubting myself so have a new inner confidence. So instead of ignoring the fact I knew it was incorrect I replied back to the General Manager in a very respectful way as in starting with “Sorry I do not mean to question your directive but I am very concerned that what you have ordered everyone to do is infact incorrect and there is a better way to do it” and carried on from there. 

I won’t bore you all explaining the emails that bounced back and forward including the other departments that made up the directive, after thoughtfully replying why what they were trying to do would be a costly and possibly an unrecoverable move I got an email back from the General Manager thanking me very much for my input and through explanation. It went on to say that he appreciated the fact that I spoke up and pointed the error in his ways. It turned out that he didn’t even read the directive that he put out as it was made by a team he pays to make those sort of instructions up for him (I don’t think he has time to get bogged down with our computer systems). Following this I got a call from the Manager that did make up the directive thanking me for literally saving his arse and that he had fucked up. 

Sorry for the slightly cryptic post but I don’t want drag my work or workers into my sober blog lol. Anyway it is fair to say that I am feeling freakin awesome about this and proud of myself for being able to email the GM with my concerns and then to be able to follow it up with the reasons why it wouldn’t work along with a new solution to the problem that would without doing any damage or losing the company money. Shit yes it is good living sober, not only raw and real but alert and smarter mixed with a dash of confidence and a tad of self esteem. 

I don’t know if I would of survived without my dogs

All of my life I have had pets in my life and currently I have two dogs that I call my little heart beats. Without them I really don’t believe that my heart would still be beating today. Having a dog when you are going through depression is better than any medication they could give you. Mine were my reason to keep going and when ever I fell into the depression pit and wanted to take my life the thought of leaving them confused and wondering where Mum had gone was to much. I love them so much and never wanted their care to suffer because I wasn’t well so they always get walked at least once a day. Taking the dog for a walk when you are depressed is exactly what I should of been doing, it got me out of the house and made me focus on their needs and care instead of dwelling on my own.

I love my dogs so much and I thank God I was sent them into my life. Thank you my little heart beats for keeping your Mum alive and for loving me unconditionally even when I’m depressed and or drunk you always stick right beside me.

I’m not saying everyone race out and adopt a dog or puppy now though! Heaven forbid no, think about it as it is a huge commitment and also an expensive one.  Definately get one if you want and the timing is right and your living environment is alright for keeping a dog. But I repeat they are for life not just while you can be bothered or while they are cute puppies. 

I don’t waste a moment I have with my dogs now, before when I was drinking I was not always present with them. Now I am aware of all of their needs and love and yep when they want / need cuddles. Living life sober is freakin awesome.