Health and wellbeing

There are approximately one bazillion ideas about the food we humans should eat. Food that is "in" and food that is "out" you may also hear it referred to as "good" or "bad", "real. On social media, we are bombarded with words like low carb, high protein, keto, paleo, raw food, gluten-free, dairy-free, pegan (yes this is different to vegan), vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, soy-free etc

Good friends are what makes life great 💜 This here is a picture of my most scaredy/uncomfortable face. On my happy activities list, I added “ride a horse” why? No idea. Think I’ve watched far too much Longmire on Netflix. Anyway, it turned out to be super terrifying and a not-so-happy activity. I had sweaty pits, full-on heart palpitations and crazy anxiety from start to finish. I didn’t even sit on the horse long enough for my celebratory pic at the end because I just wanted to get off him and social distance. Thank goodness I didn’t take this activity on alone and instead I went with a great and patient friend. I was allocated the “grumpy” horse who seemed extra agitated that day and was about 67 times taller than me. When they were saddling him up and told me how “he bites bums and stomps on feet” I wouldn’t even get within 2m of him. There was no way I was getting on him. I would’ve paid again just to sit in the car and wait. Happily.

Do you know what sucks? Food shopping, when you don't want to grocery shop. You are about to learn one of my GREATEST life hacks of all time. Grab a cuppa and pull up a chair, your life is about to change. So you grabbed my snazzy chore chart. You opted in for the cooking because you don't want to eat chicken nuggets and sausages every night. This means you want to be in charge of shopping. Partly because, control freak, partly because then you have everything you need (and want) to cook. I say you, but obviously, I mean me. This is how it went for me. Maybe it's the same for you? Ok, well now we are at the business end of the problem

Red, red, wiiine - you sang it in your head didn't you? No? Just me then. Right. Red wine has become my "go-to" choice of alcoholic beverage. When I was younger I didn't drink a lot. I went through the usual stage of sugary flavoured vodka drinks in my late teens/ early 20s, but not a lot in volume because I hated the feeling of being intoxicated. My friends would make fun of me going to a party with 2 Raspberry Vodka Cruisers - which would easily last me all night - if I even got through them both. I could drive home, had no hangovers, didn't waste money on booze or do reckless things that everyone else was doing. In my mind, it was brilliant. But then, as it does for many, In my early 20's I found myself in very stressful situations and life started to wear me down with ongoing family issues. Surrounded by people who were big drinkers, I entered a "beer phase" in my mid-20s and then I gave that up and found wine somewhere along the line.

What is a thought? It’s nothing, and it’s everything. It’s intangible, you can’t hold it in your hand, you can’t touch it, you can’t see it, you can’t show it to anyone. But, your thoughts are the entire system you operate on. Every single thing you have, every situation you find yourself in, every action, behaviour or emotion is triggered by the way you think. So, where do our thoughts come from? We spend the longest stint of time dependant on our parents, more than any other species. Human babies are entirely unable to care for themselves. We are not born with the same level of instincts available to us that other living beings are. Our thoughts are sold to us as beliefs from other peoples thinking. The thoughts of our parents, siblings, extended family, friends, teachers etc

Knowing all of the answers is easy. I remember being younger and having an answer for anyone about everything. I knew a LOT back then, according to myself anyway. As the old adage goes; the more I learn, the less I know. I have always scrambled around looking for answers, looking for the right answer, more specifically. Believing that there is only one right and one wrong for every situation. I lived in a very black and white world. Now, I see grey. A lot of grey. Now I see the hurt that everyone wears and I realise that it's not just me that feels this way, it's not just me that doesn't have it all figured out. All of us are damaged in some way and no one is perfect. My dream of attaining some level of perfection shattered into a billion pieces, why? because It doesn't exist.

Fast forward a few years from my first brush with depression and it seemed like I had picked up the pieces and re-stacked them nicely. From the outside, all appeared well. Now a single Mum to my 7-year old I had purchased my second property which was a beautiful and spacious 5-year-old home in a semi-rural location. I had a high paying management role in a career that I had been steadily growing through over the past decade. I was travelling a lot for work, both nationally and internationally which I enjoyed but as a parent, it wasn't ideal to be working such crazy hours. The commute through Auckland from home to school, to my office, was a 1.5-hour journey, each way. The stress piled on and again I started to indulge in a little too much wine in the evening to "relax". It was less a relaxation and more a band-aid for the inner turmoil and desperation I was feeling.

My first depression diagnoses, post-natal depression to be specific, was in 2009. I think depression was present in my life prior to this, but this was the first time that I had the "label" and could start to think about what that meant. At the time I was struggling. I struggled with pregnancy, I struggled giving birth, I struggled to recover from birth and I really struggled with a newborn. Sadly, I was not graced with the maternal instinct that it seemed to me, everyone else naturally had. My instincts pushed me to learn everything I needed to know, to cover the basics, but I always felt like I was failing and not doing things well enough. I had a lot of guilt about not really knowing what to do as a Mother. I had a lot of peoples' opinions, often differing opinions, flying at me constantly which added to my stress. I found my self-doubt often creeping in and it was hard for me to work out what was right or wrong and I ended up second-guessing my every decision which caused a lot of confusion and conflicted feelings in my mind. My confidence was near zero. Unless of course, it came to things I was passionately decided about like safety and health. I would not budge when it came to "safety first", no matter what type of pressure other people would put on me to "go with the flow" if I thought there was an element of danger, I wasn't having a bar of it. I was also always very staunch in my views around healthy foods, nothing processed or high in sugar was the way I wanted my little girl to start off life, and develop healthy habits. This wasn't met with approval by all, but I made my views very clear and this made me feel a little in control.

Do I even care if people like me or not? In theory, the answer should be no. In reality, the answer is definitely yes, I do care if you like me, I care even more if you don't like me. I have no idea what type of conditioning causes these feelings but I place the opinions others have of me in a very high place. When I think about it logically, it's bizarre. Allowing people, even people who don't know me to somehow make a judgement call on my worthiness. Yet it has been something I have always felt deeply.