Tag Archives: family

When darkness into light becomes more than just a 5k walk. 

6 May

5:15am and the crowd is gathering. It’s chilly and it’s dark. There is an air of tension in the atmosphere. We are all here for one reason, suicide prevention awareness. Many here with their own agenda to remember someone that they have lost or to tell their story of survival. One man spoke of his suicide attempt it brought home the reason we were all gathered there.

Suicide has always been a scary word for me. Even now I don’t know how to react around that word. I guess it brings so many thoughts. Why? Was there something that could have been done? Why didn’t they talk about how they felt? The guy who spoke today said he did it because he didn’t want to a burden on his family and felt this was the best option. Depression has always had a stigma attached to it. Don’t talk about it. Sure there’s nothing wrong with you, what are you talking about. But what happens when suicide lands right on your door step? You have to stop and think. You have to deal with it and learn to cope. It becomes very real and you become so much more aware.

My cousin passed away 6 years ago. To this day I still think about it. There are days when it sits heavy on my mind, but the one thing it has taught me is that we have to be more vocal in promoting prevention. I always knew suicide in Ireland was high. Young males going missing on a night out. People to ashamed to say they are not ok, afraid to admit their feelings. The first time I was affected was when a manager from my first job committed suicide. I can’t even begin to describe the shock. He seemed to have it all. He was popular, engaged and was always in the best of moods, the jobs funny man. And then I remember my mum saying sometimes you just don’t know what’s going with a person. In 2013 the Samaritans reported that in the Republic of Ireland 475 people died from suicide. Of that 475, 396 were males and 79 were females. In 2015 there were 554 suicides reported and 470 of those were men. We hold the 2nd highest rate in Europe. For a country of Ireland’s size that is alarming. Not to mention the difference between male and female. 

More and more people are speaking out these days and it is helping to take away from the stigma. Given these figures I was shocked to hear that Ireland’s health minister will be cutting the budget by 12million for mental health services. When it came to debate only a handful of ministers were present. So much for all their promises at election time. 
Suicide with in families is always difficult to talk about. More so to people outside of the family. When people ask how my cousin died I find it difficult to say, not because of shame  I’d shout the story from the roof tops if it meant people would listen and learn from it but more so because of that word and the looks it brings. 

Darkness into light brings a community of Irish together. We can share stories, talk freely and know that everyone there has been affected in someway or another. All over the world we walk. We walk to remember, we walk to prevent and we walk to heal. It’s a time for family and friends to stand united. 
Pieta House does incredible work and fundraising is so important. People need to be able to talk and seek assistance. We can help too, ask people how they are, check in with people. Be kind to one another. You have no idea what’s going on in people’s lives and that friendly hello or kind smile could change their day. 


Permanent Residency. . . But now what?

15 Apr

So a week ago myself and Mark became permanent residents of Australia. But now what? I guess because the last 6 months have been consumed with waiting I’ve felt a little lost this week. Getting the visa felt so surreal. It was all we talked about. The application process was so drawn out, police checks from Ireland and Australia, medicals and wanting to know every detail about you and your family not to mention the cost! People would ask if we were planning to stay in Australia for good. We’d just explain that we had applied for residency and we’d see how that goes. In a sense it bought me some time, I didn’t have to commit to anything, there was a chance we wouldn’t get the visa. But now we have it I guess we have to make some serious decisions about our future. 

I won’t lie, my heart aches for Ireland, for my family, my friends, the events I miss, my mum and dad and the support we had. Any major events that have happened here( engagement, promotions, visas) have been celebrated over the phone. It’s hard when in reality all you want is a hug from your parents and to have loved ones around you. Don’t get me wrong we have great friends and family here but sometimes it’s just not enough. Recently Mark went for surgery and when I returned home it was to an empty house. It’s probably they loneliest I have left. I had to call home and explain what happened and after all the calls I was alone again. Thank god for Whatsapp and viber and my friends at home keeping me sane. 

My nephew turns eleven this year and I spoke to him for the first time last week since Christmas. And oh how he has changed. His face is different, he’s looking like a boy now and then I remember I left when he was seven and I think about how much time with him i have missed out on. 

My life out here is lovely. I’m not complaining but sometimes you have days when you think just get on the plane and go home we’ll figure everything out when you get there and then other days I think about how much we have achieved in the small amount of time we have been here. I think with our temporary visa it was short term but for some reason being a permanent resident feels different, not bad different just different. My dad described it as bitter sweet and from their point of view their child is half way around the world and we have to settle for a face time call every Sunday. And likewise for my my family are 30 hours away and sometimes you just want to be able to call in and say hello.

Thankfully my parents are coming out in July and I am so looking forward to that. Any decision making can wait until then.

Watch this space! 


Weight loss – it’s a Love/Hate Relationship 

9 Apr


Monday morning 5.30am and my alarm goes off. Right fresh week fresh start. Clean eating and at least 3-4 sessions in the gym this week. That’s my weekly conversation and it’s a battle. My heart is telling me yes girl you got this and my brain is telling me to eat all the food. This has been a struggle for most of my adult life. Eat when I’m hungry, eat when I’m board, eat when I’m sad, eat when I’m happy. 

This is me just over a year ago 

I honestly didn’t see anything wrong at the time. I was working out but my biggest vice was I was eating so badly. Take out a few nights a week, lollies and chocolates in work, biscuits after dinner. I guess in my head I justified that because I was working out I could eat what i wanted. I wasn’t going to loose any weight but if I worked out at least I wouldn’t gain any. 

Then I saw this picture 

I think I was at my heaviest here but again I wasn’t quiet ready to face that I had a problem with my weight. In June we were required to go for medicals for our residency. I remember the doctor telling me to stand on the scales and I was horrified at the number looking back at me. I wanted to cry. I remember the doctor asking me for my weight and I said to him oh can’t you see it, he said no. . .  I knocked about 5kgs off my weight and lied to him. All I could think about was f**k how did it get this bad and why did nobody tell me. More importantly why didn’t I see this in myself.


 At this point I vowed to start cutting the crap, stop blaming anything and everyone and do this for me. 

I guess the biggest eye opener was that sugar film. I watched it with my husband and we both felt sick afterwards. We were heading home in August 2015 and I was determined for the month of July I was going sugar free. Our trainer did a meal plan for us and we followed it to the T. The first week was horrific. I remember the crankiness, headaches and moodiness. But then something changed, the headaches went, my skin looked better and I had more energy. The numbers were dropping on the scales. I was delighted. We went home for three weeks and of course there was plenty of great food and drinks and cakes. Sure we were on holidays -it’ll be grand. Eh wrong came back 3kgs heavier. Oh crap!! 

There was nothing I could do about that so we agreed to move on and get back to the healthy eating. We continued on with the healthy eating, training and even joined a Pilates class. The hardest part for me was when my weight loss stopped and it just stayed and then the scales was telling me I was gaining massive kgs. I have now learnt to ignore the scales and also realised it’s very much broken.    

Then one day my trainer said to me I was going to try some running. No no no my biggest fear. Running. I was like I’m too heavy to run, what if I can’t run what if I fall. And I certainly wasn’t going to run for the first time in my training session. So what did I do. I snuck up to the gym and practiced running and do you know what I absolutely hated it. I couldn’t breath, I wanted to vomit and my legs were aching. But I stuck with it and am proud to say I can now run 5k 

I guess the biggest lesson I have learnt is that everyone falls off the routine every now and again but it’s being able to get back into the routine that is the important part. Being able to enjoy a treat now and again but not scoffing to the point where you’ll be ill. And most importantly learning to love yourself and stop comparing yourself which has taken me oh 30 years to learn. 

Everyone is fighting their own fight you just concentrate on you and let them be them 💕 xox 

And out of nowhere it just hits you . . . Damn homesickness

9 Sep

Homesickness, the current bane of my life. It’s like a ninja. One minute your feeling fine and then bam outta nowhere it hits you. At times I think I’m my own worst enemy. Take this morning for example, while on my way to work i like to read the news. I especially love the journal.ie for their quirky articles. So this morning I open my app and start to read an article about stuff you miss from Ireland and I found myself getting a little upset.
To anyone who was sitting beside me it looked like I was getting upset about batch bread, heck I don’t even like batch bread. I remember turning my nose up at it when my mum used to buy it, but because I was away from home and this article was about things you miss i thought it was only fair that I identify with everything on that list.
In work I’m no longer allowed to talk to the home sick students because I over sympathise with them. “Oh you didn’t come to class cause you felt homesick? Oh I totally understand that and I know what you mean” rather then taking the firm stance of if you don’t go to class I’m gonna report to the department of immigration.
I think the only way to help with the homesickness is to keep busy. I find at idle moments i daydream about home, I hear a song on the way to work or a certain smell will remind me of home and all I can think is please let me go home. I’ll be honest though now I’m working its not happening as often but sometimes it just sneaks up and I think what the hell am I doing out here.
We’re away from home nine months this month and it is getting easier but I know Xmas is going to be one tough battle, so if I can stay away from home sick students and soppy articles about stuff i miss I’ll be aces 👍


It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!

22 Jun

So yesterday I turned the ripe age of 28 and what a day it was.
The joy from being away from home this year was the parcels I received. I’ll be like a little barrel by the time I’m finished them

The not so upside was the amount of homesickness and sadness I had yesterday. I don’t like my birthday as it is. I love other people’s birthdays I think they’re great but as for my own I just don’t like it. I’m not sure if its the awkwardness of accepting gifts or not knowing what to do with your self for the day I just find the whole thing weird.
So I woke up and opened my parcels and inside one was a card from my nephew. This is the first year I’ve received a card he’s written and it set of the tears.
I don’t know why but earlier in the year I genuinely thought I was gonna be home in June to pack up the rest of my stuff and have my birthday there. I sobbed like a mad woman opening the rest of my gifts and cards. Poor Mark didn’t know what to do with me.

We went out to do a few messages and collect my birthday cake which was only amazing

Mark had ordered it from the cheese cake shop and asked them to put a message on it , when the girl opened the box and showed me the cake I again burst into tears and had to leave the shop, Mark had put so much effort into it and there I was crying again.
All I could think was I want to be at home.
So we came home and got ready and while I was hanging balloons one burst and again the water works started, my brain was pleading with me to pull myself together. I’d been homesick before but this was just a whole new level.
I’d made it through the party ok until they started singing happy birthday. I hate this song. Every time I hear it I have flashbacks to a birthday I had in England where they started to sing happy birthday and I hid under the table and yes you guessed it cried.
I’d face timed home earlier that evening but found it difficult to talk. Thankfully I’ve pulled myself together today and am a lot more calm. There must have been a full moon or something last night!
Without this fella I wouldn’t have made it through the night, he looked after everything and spoiled me rotten 💕