Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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I’m not going to sugar coat this

While the wind howled and the rain tapped on the window panes yesterday, I watched the documentary Fed Up.

Fed Up is about the obesity epidemic in the USA but really, it speaks about much of the Western world.

It didn’t tell me anything I do not already know.

We consume too much sugar and it makes us fat. 

Continue reading


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How much is too much?

Most of us live in a world where everything is within our reach.

There is always something new to eat, drink, buy, achieve, want, desire and so on.

But in a world that is full of “stuff” and ladders to climb, how much is too much?

How many unnecessary material “things” does one really need?

How many meals and snacks does one need to feel satisfied?

How many vices do I need to make it through each day?

How many credentials does one need to be successful?

How many goals, dreams and desires do you need to move forward?

How full does your life “plate” really need to be?

For the past few years, ok many years now, I have been over-stuffing myself with food, drink, drugs, assignments, courses, plans, to do lists,  goals…you name it.

Yesterday, I turned 42.

I also signed up for a Diploma of Photography course and I did a solo skydive (my first in over 5 months).

Now, I know this all sounds very exciting, even to me but it’s extremely overwhelming too.

The course is a full-on commitment for sure. I haven’t even looked at the 1st module yet. I have 6 more days to cancel without penalty if I choose. It’s not really an option.

The skydive was nerve-wrecking to say the least. Although I have had a skydiving license for 8.5 years, I have only completed 3 solo jumps in the past 8 years; one yesterday and 2 in October. This is not ideal.

There are many factors to consider when becoming a solo skydiver. I’m not sure I considered any of them when I did my AFF course or before doing my jump yesterday.

When you’re not a current jumper, and as inexperienced as I am (I have only ever done 38 solo jumps, including my AFF course), it’s not only hard on anxiety levels, it’s bloody time consuming.

Mr M, who is a skydiver by trade advised me to get current this week and next and maybe next. Whatever it takes over the next few weeks.

This means much more money and much more time.

Time (or money)  that I do not have, nor do I want to give to skydiving. But I’m not sure I want to give it up completely yet. I’m questioning my reasons for jumping at all.

Basically, I don’t place it as a priority. I don’t need or want to excel at skydiving. I want to excel at writing, photography, my health, motherhood and my marriage.

My life plate is over-flowing. Here is what is currently on it:

  • Full-time freelance writing (which comes with a long TO DO list alone)
  • Writing my first novel
  • Housewife with all the normal duties (cleaning, cooking, shopping, admin)
  • Mother to 7-year-old boy
  • Fitness and meditation
  • Health issues to deal with
  • School runs
  • NEW! Photography student
  • NEW! Skydiving student (kind of)

Today I woke up with the skydiving decision looming over me. Most things on the list above cannot be omitted.

It’s noon on a Tuesday and I am still in my pyjamas. I have had 2 coffees, chocolate and no food so far.  This is rare but today, I found depression trying to sneak up on me. I won’t let it in of course. The desire to perform and succeed is too strong in me. I don’t have time for the blues or pity for myself.

For today, skydiving has been knocked off my list. I just need more time to wrap my head around my priorities. I guess, it all comes down to that doesn’t it? Priorities. 

goethe

©Jennifer Morton Photos

Are you doing too much? Do you feel overwhelmed? Is there something you can give up without sacrifice? 

 

 

 

 

 


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What’s Working for me Wednesday: Choices

 

WWW


It’s been 3 days since I gave up gluten and dairy again and I can feel the benefits already. There are other things that I avoid, like sulphites, yeast, food colouring and additives; and sugar but I’m not going all anal about never consuming a spec. It’s obviously that being really strict with myself doesn’t work long-term so I’m being a bit easier on myself this time.

With the change of seasons, I find myself not as motivated to stick to my fitness. I mean, I’m not jumping up at the crack of dawn and straight into my runners but I am still doing a daily work-out. Sometimes it’s 60 minutes but other times, it’s only 20. My bed is pretty cosy at 6am.

I’m sure that when my body is rid of all the excess gluten and sugar I ate in March, I will be back at it in full-force. I have a new Tracy Anderson DVD (dance Cardio 2) and 3 more dvds on the way. Plus I have a couple new Lorna Jane fitness/casual outfits so I can’t stop now!!

This is the life I want; the person I want to be. I know I am committed enough and already healthy enough to achieve my goals, which is to maintain my health and my petite figure and to be a health writer. I can’t really be a health writer if I am eating cake and donuts while sitting on my bum all day.

It’s not easy, I know. I’ve been doing this yo-yo thing for 8 years now but I finally “get it”. It dawned on my last week when I wrote How to set yourself up to succeed ‘s #6 tip – “If it makes you feel good, keep doing it. If it makes you feel bad, stop doing it”.

Giving up gluten doesn’t make me feel bad. Eating gluten makes me feel bad.

Giving up alcohol forever makes me feel bad, so I haven’t given up alcohol. I just choose drinks that do not contain the things that make me feel bad. A cocktail makes me feel good and like I’m Carrie Bradshaw.

If I gave up all chocolate, I’d fall into a depression. That’s why I refuse to give up chocolate but again, I choose my chocolate wisely. Dark rules. The higher the cocoa %, the better.

It’s all about choice. We all make choices everyday that make up our entire lives.

Take today for instance. I made the following choices that have me pretty chuffed with myself:

  1. I got up at 6am to meditate.
  2. I did a 60-minute dance cardio class (on DVD)
  3. I went to a yoga class (90 minute class)
  4. I bought some fresh mango and broccoli
  5. I made a delicious mango/banana smoothie (it was to die for)
  6. I made cream of broccoli soup for lunch (no cream needed)
  7.  I sent a 3rd submission follow-up to an editor who has ignored my previous 2. She replied within 10 minutes (she’s yet to read it but has said she’ll get back to me)
  8. After this post is complete, I will make a decaf coffee and read a book for an hour
apr 3 mango

Mango & Banana Smoothie: fresh mango and any juice it produces while cutting, 1 ripe banana, 2 heaping spoonfuls of natural or greek yogurt, 6 ice cubes and cinnamon to taste. Blend all together. Enjoy!

apr 3 broccoli soup

Cream of broccoli soup: saute fresh garlic and chilli in oil (omit chilli if you want). Add clean and dry broccoli (cut up, stems and all), salt & pepper and a bouquet garni bag or bundle. Add enough water to not quite cover the broccoli. Simmer until soft. Cool slightly. Remove the bouquet garni bag before blending to a smooth texture. So simple, so delicious.

It’s these choices that are working for me this Wednesday.

Anyone have any fitness or health regimes working for them today?

 

 

 

 


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How I beat a throat infection without penicillin

Remedies for the sickness.

 

In a recent post, I spoke   whinged about how I contracted a virus of some kind on my quick trip to Sydney. On day 4 of such virus and back home in Western Australia, I went to the doctor suffering from severe body aches and a sore throat that was preventing me from eating (sacrilege).

By the time I actually saw the doctor, I was beginning to feel better (thankfully the body aches were gone) so I made the decision to take the prescription for penicillin but I had no intention of filling it.

I did go to the local chemist for a chat about immunity boosters. I bought some defence vitamins and Betadine sore throat gargle. I was advised to gargle 3 times daily and to increase the dosage of the supplements. I agreed that if I was not better at the end of 2 days, I would fill the prescription. It was the chemist’s opinion that a throat infection could not be cured without anti-biotics or penicillin but the fact I was seeing improvement meant my body was fighting the infection.

Now, 48 hours later, I am well enough to know for sure that I will not be filling the script. Here’s how I did it.

  • Even though my throat was still sore, I resumed healthy eating (fresh fruit, yoghurt, protein, veggies and then some carbs*)
  • I used the Betadine gargle x 3 daily
  • I took 2 supplements (garlic, vit C, horseradish, zinc and high levels of echinacea) 3 times daily, which is well above the recommended dose
  • I drank hot lemon, honey and fresh ginger drinks before bed
  • I resumed my 6am fitness regime (including 45 minutes of dance cardio!)
  • I resumed my daily meditation
  • I used positive affirmations
  • I resumed work
  • I drank water
  • I harden up and got on with my life

Please note that I had taken 2100mg of Vitamin C before I saw the doctor. I use vitamin C quite regularly and not just to fight infection. Want to know more…look at this post.

Now, I’m not suggesting that everyone choose this path. But I do suggest that you listen to your body and I highly advocate using natural remedies before taking anti-biotics, which in my opinion are over prescribed. I believe in preventative medicine. This means taking care of yourself on a daily basis not just when you’re struck down with an illness. I do take care of myself and I get pretty pissed off when I pick up a virus from an airplane, train or hostel. I also think I’m invincible. This latest virus has proven me wrong. I beat it because I do take care of my mind, body and spirit daily. But, I am human and therefore, not perfect…..

*NOTE: Someone told me that I may have gotten sick because of my vast reduction of complex carbs over the month of January!! Oh really???? I may do a post later about this. Please feel free to comment.

i am healthy


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Aspirations, intentions, wishes, dreams, goals for 2013

So, here it is, my last post for 2012. And based on today alone, I cannot wait for this year to end. And so I look forward to 2013 but not too much as I want to focus on the NOW. But there is always a time and place for planning and that time is NOW.

My goals are not outlandish, far-fetching, crazy, unachievable day dreams; they are within my reach.

Career

 book and pen

  • Sell at least one article to Good Health magazine in JANUARY
  • Go to Sydney for ‘How to write a chick-lit novel’ 2-day course – Feb 2nd
  • Sell one piece per month to a glossy magazine (health, wellbeing, travel, parenting)
  • Sell one piece per month to an online magazine/website
  • Continue to freelance for West Australian Newspapers (regional) with an average monthly income of $700
  • Boost yearly income to 5 digits
  • Finish novel – 1997
  • Have novel edited by a professional editor
  • Submit novel to publisher
  • Sharpen photography skills
  • Start candid photography biz
  • Afford new camera equipment

Health

 IMG_3962

  • Eat a low carb diet
  • Find a balance between “good” and “bad” foods
  • Limit alcohol
  • Limit sugar
  • Retain sense of smell and taste

Wellbeing

Ommmmm

Ommmmm

  • Meditate daily
  • Complete Tracy Anderson’s 30-day method challenge (Jan 3- Feb 1 inclusive)
  • Yoga weekly
  • Fitness class twice weekly
  • Focus on the NOW
  • Stay positive
  • Do not speak if I do not have anything good to say (sacred silence rights the Universe~Marianne Williamson)

Travel

 airplane

  • Sydney
  • Malaysia
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Bali
  • Winter Christmas (Japan?)

Now, it’s time to bring this year to a close with a refreshing pina colada because I’m absolutely melting here (it’s 40 degrees Celsius and for all of you in the cold, THIS IS NOT FUN. And yes, I am a bit lot irritable!!!).

But please have a Happy New Year and come back here in 2013!!


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Listen to your body

 

I’ve just stuffed down a piece of homemade (by me) pumpkin pie topped with fresh whipped cream. I had to force it down because I am so full from dinner: 3/4 of a veggie pizza and 3 beer.

Yes, I’m on a binge.

No, I’m not happy with myself.

I’ve had a shithouse day full of disappointment and self-induced stress but nevermind that, the binge was premeditated.

See, tomorrow is the start of another health kick or health booster as I’m calling this latest stint.

I’ve fallen back into the habit of  drinking alcohol everyday, whether I really feel like it or not and my eating habits are getting slack as well.

I’ve been baking too.

Raspberry white chocolate muffins

Banana cake, chocolate chip cookies, muffins…and of course, I eat it! The muffins…yummy!

I’ve also had a hamburger and I don’t even eat RED MEAT!!! Damn, it was delicious!

 

Hamburger with homemade pesto and salad

 

I said it before. I love food. I like to have a beer or two on a hot day. I love homemade baked goods and I’m pretty good at making yummy things. But it’s now time to listen to my body.

I’ve had a few headaches lately and my respiratory system is becoming clogged up again. Thankfully, I still have my sense of smell and taste, which is great but also makes it hard for me to resist good food. And  when I hear the word resist, I think of Eckhart Tolle when he says:

“What you resist, persists”

 

I truly feel ill at the moment. I’ve eaten so much tonight that I feel sick but I am still thinking, ‘only 3 hours left of today, then it’s back on the wagon, what else can I eat?’

But I cannot eat or drink another thing tonight so for the next 4 weeks (minus Oct 27th when I have dinner plans in Perth), I will be on my health booster which will include the following guidelines:

 
On the menu

 

Protein: Chicken, fish, eggs, yogurt, chickpeas, beans, nuts, seeds

 

Carbs/Starch: Brown rice, oats, gluten-free pasta

 

Oils: olive, sesame

 

Dairy: Greek yogurt, sheep’s feta

 

Veg: All except carrot, corn, potatoes

 

Fruit: ONLY berries, green apple, pear, lemon, lime

 

Drinks: Decaf tea/coffee, soy/rice milk, water – NO ALCOHOL or SUGAR Drinks

 

Limit sugar, fat, processed foods

 
Fitness (mind and body)

 

 

 

10 minutes meditation                                                  Daily

 

5 Healing Tibetans/yoga (15min)                             Daily

 

20 minutes (min) of cardio                                          4 times per week (M*, T, Th*, Sat)

 

1.5 hour yoga class                                                          Wednesday

 

* Training with Mr M

 

I do not need to lose weight, just tone and get rid of the beer bloat. I know for sure that I feel and look better when I cut out all the junk that my body doesn’t need. Gosh, I know I sound like a broken record and I truly hope that someday I will get to where I want to be. For now, I will get back up after I have fallen…again and again and again.

The thing is, I secretly look forward to these “restricted” periods. For some reason, I cannot go without unless I give myself a date and some rules. Control issues? Probably, but whatever works at the time.

October and November is a great time to get healthy before the Christmas season kicks off. Nobody in their right mind tries a health plan or restricted diet during that time!!

If you’re trying a new eating regime, remember this: it’s hard work and you really need to want it bad enough to be successful at it. (Yes, I’m talking to myself here…lol.)

 

 

 

 


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6 reasons why I shouldn’t drink alcohol

The best beer in the world is from Halifax, Canada. Thank you Alexander Keith. (I still drink Australian beer..it too is fine)

 

Yesterday, my status said that my next blog post would be the 6 reasons I should not drink. Of course, one would only write such a thing with a hangover.

If you’ve been seriously following this blog, you’d know that I sustained from alcohol for the month of August. I do that regularly and have gone 4 months + without a DROP. But it’s hard to do and September was not going to be a month to continue the dry spell.

Even so, I rarely get tipsy and drunk is not a word I associate with my drinking habits at all. And let me clarify my version of drunk.

To be drunk, to me means falling down, being loud, silly, getting naked in public, blacking out…..that  kind of mess. The last time that happened, it was Christmas 2004. If you can prove me wrong, I challenge you.

But yes, the other night I was at a friend’s house for what was meant to be a very brief encounter. She offered me a beer and I said yes. Then another; it was delicious. Then, the wine came out.

The next thing I know it’s 11pm. I went home and straight to bed but woke a few hours later with a start.  The effects of the alcohol were well and truly felt and a rush of regret passed through my mind, body and emotions.

I love a cold beer on a sunny day!

On that note, here are my 6 reasons I should not drink:

6.    The cocktail flu. Waking with a hangover was bad when I was young, and as I get older, the hangovers are often worse. This latest one was not massive as I did not get shit-faced wasted. But still..

5.    Loss of priorities. How many times has one drink before dinner led to an entire evening being side-tracked? Just one for me lately, but.

4.   Loss of control. I often intend to have one drink, just one end-of-day cold one. It almost always turns out to be 3.

3.    Sinus issues. This could be my #1 reason but for now, it is not. It is always the reason I restrict booze for days, weeks and months at a time. Nasal polyps + alcohol = misery.

2.    Bloat. Yup, I really dislike a bloated tummy but the more I drink, the bigger my gut gets.

1.    Verbal diarrhoea.  If you have issues with another person, do not consume alcohol and then try to get them off your chest. I hate the feeling of, “Oh no, why did I say that?” Wise not to disclose issues about your hubby to a new friend or to the partner of his co-worker either. Geeeeezz.

I have these reasons but for now, they will not stop me from enjoying a cold beer or sharing a crisp glass of white wine with a friend. I’m still trying out a new concept: moderation.

 

My partner in wine when in Canada, Gillian.

 

I’d love to hear some morning after tales of embarrassment and regret. I know you have some…..

 

 

 


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A full plate that can’t be ate!!

 

I know my title is bad grammar but I like to rhyme all the time. Ok, I’ll stop. And no, I’m not drunk, I’ve only had half a beer!

I’ve had a busy week. I keep loading more and more onto my work schedule that puts more pressure on me to perform. Why do I do it?

Because I want to succeed.

I even have a detailed schedule that I have  tacked on the wall by my desk and if I followed it, I would be free and clear of most work duties for the weekend. But, no. It’s 5:12pm on Friday and I’m writing this blog post because I spent too much time checking Facebook or researching or making coffee or just day dreaming. I did accomplish some things this week , but not much.

Regarding this blog, my aim is to write 3 posts per week. This post is actually Wednesday’s and today’s scheduled blog was cancelled because I had a sudden interview/photo shoot to do for an article that is not due until December. Did I mention that Master T stayed home from school today? He’s sick, once again.

I’m seriously starting to be suspicious about the health issues in this new town we call home. He just spent a week off school only 6 weeks ago! It seems like most people in this town are either ill or have been recently. My sister asked me if there was a toxic waste dump in the area and now I’m beginning to wonder myself.  But,  I will not get sick again. I refuse illness, I’m far too busy for it.

So, with a community meeting to attend about fracking on my books for tomorrow and a kid’s birthday party to take Master T to on Sunday, my weekend is far from free. Mr M is away for 2 weeks so I’m on my own and poor little Master T has to tag along to my work meetings, ill or not. Aside from having an extremely high work ethic, something that has always stuck with me since completing the magazine and newspaper writing course at SWC was Valerie Khoo saying that come hell or high water you must always make a deadline.

And that is what I do, even at the expense of my own child. Sounds terrible I know, but he’s a trooper and he’s now fast asleep after embarrassing me at a strangers house by climbing all over their furniture while I’m conducting my interview. What’s more unprofessional, cancelling a gig or taking your ill, 6-year-old son? Hmmmm? For the record, the interviewee was the one who told me to bring him along rather than cancel.

 

I’m taking a deep breath and focusing on my quiet evening. I’ll make next week’s schedule which includes a deadline to my #1 magazine goal, Good Health. It has a reputation of being extremely hard to get to print but I’m on my third shot so my odds are increasing.

And look here, the sun shines at 5:44pm after a day of off again on again storms.

 

The sun shines on even the stormiest days.

Happy weekend all…..put the work to bed and live it up!

 

 

 

 

 


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Sense and unsensible eating

Since I recently took a dose of Prednisolone to help relieve my mystery illness, I am pleased to announce the re-birth of my sense of smell and taste.

Chronic nasal polyps often results in the loss of these senses. It’s easy to get used to not smelling anything so when it re-appeared, it was like being given a new toy. I wanted to smell everything! It was exciting.

It’s now been 2 weeks or so since the re-discovery and although I want it to last, I may be contributing to its demise. Now, I want to eat everything too.

I’m eating food I wouldn’t usually indulge in because I just cannot get over the taste sensation! I ate 3 pieces of cold pizza on the weekend. Bread, cheese and salami are not happy players with nasal polyps.

sooo good

It’s like tasting food for the first time…what a dangerous time in my life!!

Chocolate actually taste like….chocolate!! Who knew?

yum

Another thing I notice is the fact that the world smells so perfumy. Why do tissues need to smell like perfume? I think it’s irritants like this that may contribute to sinus and respiratory issues in the first place.

I am taking my western meds vigilantly and also have faith in the power of suggestion to prolong my new sense!

I have been healed.

I have had a miracle!

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

Namaste

Ommmmm


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I’ve thought of suicide.

There’s that word: Suicide.

It makes people uncomfortable, tense, ashamed and sad; it’s a topic that very few will talk about.

World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th and I am raising my hand to say that, yes I have thought about it in the past.

We’ve all had ups and downs in life,  times so horrible that even suicide was a seemingly viable option. But it’s really only a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Before anyone gets carried away with this post, I’d like to assure you that I am not suicidal and I have never seriously taken the thought passed the confinements of my own mind. I am in an extremely happy place and my goal in this post is to raise awareness to the taboo subject.

I’ve actually had 2 newspaper pieces published about the subject in the past 2 weeks. I hope the pieces may bring hope to anyone who is contemplating life/ death and show that they are not alone. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in Australia. It ranks higher in some countries. This can change with love, support and understanding.

Just now,  Katchafire’s  haunting song, Hold On plays through my iTunes. The song is  about a bloke who chooses to take his own life. Here are the lyrics.

he never reach 27
he always looked unfriendly
always supported the fighting
and he never did lose until that day
that day
took the tip of that gun got his brain
he worked from Monday till Friday
hands like concrete when it’s ready
took the family dinner on Wednesday
nobody thought he’d lose
what a terrible day
I know he will be tripin on my words
I’m singing to you

Chorus
hold on
there’s a solution out there
you got to let it take you
back up and slow down
there’s no easy way of turning back
turning back
when your head is singing
there’s no easy way of turning back

he never told anybody
he was feeling unsteady
oooo
he didn’t know that we love him
nobody ever told him now it’s too late
I know he will be tripin on my words
hold on

BUY on iTunes here:

http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/say-what-youre-thinking/id262844096
I cannot listen to this kiwi band without lamenting about my dear friend, Andrew “Smitty” Smith. He loved Katchafire and we’d groove to their tunes when we lived in Queenstown.  He hung himself 5 years ago and it’s something I will never get over. Just writing this now brings a lump in my throat and tears to my eyes. Hold on…

Andy was like a little brother to Mr M and I, so when he died so suddenly and so violently at his own doing,  it felt like a piece of my soul had been damaged.

So, this post is not only for the ones thinking that suicide is an option (it’s NOT) but also for all the family and friends who have been left on this earth to figure out how such a thing could have happened.

I can’t imagine one person who has lost someone this way to not have ever had the thought of, ‘How could I have not seen that they were hurting’ or ‘Why didn’t I do something?’

Andy is not the only suicide in my circle of friends and family. When Mr M’s 24 year-old cousin killed herself in 2003, I remember well the words spoken from the funeral director or clergyman.

“There is nothing you could have done.”

I don’t believe that. Sure, I believe in fate and destiny and that everything happens for a reason but I refuse to believe that one person, thought or situation cannot change the path of another.

As humans, I think we need to let go of the super human, nothing bothers me persona. We all hurt. We are all capable of the same emotions but for some reason we think that talking about the low times will make us look weak or like we are failing at life.

When I feel like depression is grabbing hold of me, I bring myself back to the present moment and focus on what my body is feeling as a way to get myself out of my afflicted mind. I know that method may not work for everyone.

If that doesn’t work for you, CALL someone. If you don’t have someone who you can confide in, call your national help line. I will post some numbers at the end.

Mr M and I did not attend Andy’s memorial (held in New Zealand) in 2007 but we both sent pieces to be read.  Here’s what I sent.  It was written the day after receiving the news. It’s a raw and emotional piece of writing that explains everything I was feeling at the time…and still.

Smitty’s dead

Was all that he said

And my heart

Broke in two

The pain that I feel

Unfortunately real

And certain to scar

My soul

To lose you this way

Unthinkable to say

And utter sorrow

Consumes me

I’ll think of the laughter

Forever after

And remember you

As a friend

Life must go on

Though you are gone

And miss you…….

I will

 Remember the saying, “This too shall pass,” and talk about life with your friends, family and/or supportive community groups. There are many people feeling the same way at this moment. Please speak out…..to anyone who will listen.

Lifeline Australia 13 11 14

Lifeline New Zealand 0800 543 354

Northern Ireland 0800 808 8000

Lifeline USA 1 800 273 TALK (8255)

Suicide Hotline Canada 1 800 448 1833

Hopeline UK  0800 068 41 41

What suicide leaves behind

Less than 2 years ago, a young Australian mother of 2 watched her husband take his own life.  Lori is now an ambassador for suicide prevention and urges  men (especially) to speak out before another mother has to raise her kids without a father. Her blog is called Random ramblings of a stay-at-home-Mum. Have a read.

We’re all humans. We all have to deal with that negative talk that’s in our head. It’s not what’s real. If you need help, please ask someone: a friend, family member, teacher, pastor, counselor, doctor…anyone who will listen. Hold on….