Monday, May 30, 2011

Snaps from the Week

Drinking hazelnut latte's and studying before class at Uni. 

Having parcels delivered to my work is theeee best idea. It seriously feels like Christmas. 
My online shopping addiction has gotten so bad that the courier who delivers the parcels to my work knows me by name, knows what I'm studying, and pretty much my life story. 
And at the moment I'm only working one day a week! ... Yeah, time to see a therapist!?
So what was in the parcel?

Shoes, of course. 
I did receive a few other parcels that weren't Tony Bianco though. So I will have to do a post very soon about recent purchases. As soon as I'm free, I promise!

Which hopefully will be soon. This is my to-do list at the moment. Kill me nowwwww!

I went to J's on Friday afternoon straight after uni. He had bought a new fishy!!! This is a rabbit face foxface. He's so much bigger than all the other fish in his tank, and it's kind of funny because at first they were all scared of him. They get along okay now though. 
Sorry this picture is so blurry. It is SO HARD to take a decent photo of a quick moving fishy!

Walking from J's place to the bus stop, on our way to dinner with my dad and siblings, we walked past a house with their two kitties sleeping in the garden bed. So cute. I don't think they were happy about me waking them up for a photo. 
Oh, I wish I had a kitty of my own!!
So we went and had dinner at Ironbark. I had a lemon-lime vodka - I needed a drink after how stressful my week has been. 
And ordered the pesto penne pasta. Delicioussss.
It was so cold that when we went back to the car, the windscreen had ice on it:
Nah, just kidding. There was condensation on the inside of the windscreen. But it looked like ice from the outside!! It was sooo cold that night!

This is what I wore on Friday. So I was pretty warm - yay for layers. 
I also had my red coat on over the top. 
Also I apologise this is a mirror-in-a-bathroom shot! I swear I'm not usually one of those girls!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Suicide is Never an Option

Just want to mention before you read the lengthy amount of text below, that this post is dark.
I will return to happy posting soon.


On Monday night, I was part of the QandA audience. 
I had sent in a question, and received a phone call telling me it was imperative that I come in because my question had been shortlisted - meaning there was a likelihood I would get to ask it to the panel. 

I love QandA - and on Monday night they had a Sydney Writer's Festival special. One of the authors that was there had written a book about young men, teenagers, and some of the themes include them learning and discovering about sex, depression, suicide etc etc. 

My question for the panel was:
"having lost my uncle to suicide only last year, sadly I know too well that this issue is one that remains largely un-addressed within Australia - possibly because of the fact that men feel they should be "strong" and not discuss their problems. What can we do as a society to increase the dialogue of this very serious issue so that males don't feel they have to remain silent?"

Unfortunately they had run out of time and I didn't get to ask my question. The topic that dominated the night was that of porn and whether it is damaging our society or whatever. Which was interesting in itself, but I can't hide my disappointment that we never got to the topic of male depression. 
I actually find it kind of ironic that the issue wasn't discussed - when the point of my question is that it is not discussed enough within society. 

All the males in my family have this weird "battler" thing going on - where they don't discuss anything, regardless of how much it is hurting them or eating them up inside. Many of them have turned to alcohol as a silent comforter. It used to frustrate my Nan (dad's mum) to no end because none of her boys would talk to her and she could not understand why not. 

To be honest, I don't really understand why not. But then, in the same breath I can say that I don't talk about a lot of my problems either. And I'm not sure why that is - maybe because I don't want to worry those who love me, because I fear the ramifications of my words. 
But I know subconsciously I have in the past alluded to my problems, to try to get other's to prompt me - if someone can ask me directly it makes it a bit easier for me to open up and admit my faults and fears. 

But then I wonder if that comes down to the fact I'm female and therefore by nature can be manipulative (not by choice). I've noticed the males in my life don't do this - they avoid discussion at all costs. 

Mental health is such a contentious topic for our society. Although we can say that we're a lot more understanding now than we once were, there is still somewhat of a stigma attached if one has the ill fortune of suffering from a mental illness. And personally I think that it's because most mental illnesses are just not understood in the general society. Having suffered through depression and eating disorders, I know this first hand. Having someone close to me suffer through body dysmorphic disorder, I  know this first hand. Having so many of my close male relatives suffer social anxiety disorders, I know this first hand. But this isn't really about me, and this isn't really the point I want to make. Although I understand all this personally, those that have had no first hand experience with a serious mental illness have no real understanding of it, because there is no dialogue about it within society, and there is simply not enough education about it. And I don't mean "education" that is taught in high school P.D.H.P.E class because those classes could be quite insulting to teenager's intelligence sometimes. 
Anyway, when you have no understanding of something it becomes hard to empathise with another human being on the necessary level. 

But that being said, I think everyone can somewhat relate to, or at least understand to some degree the tragedy that is suicide. 
Some say that suicide is an incredibly selfish act.
Others will reply that it is selfish to expect someone to live a sad life that they consider meaningless in order to spare someone else pain. 

I don't know if I'd personally go as far as to say it is selfish. I think in any regard though, it is a really unfair thing to do to someone else.

When my Uncle Steve took his life, I was shaking. My dad received a phone call from my Nan in Queensland (my Mum's mum), and I was in my room, while he was in the kitchen and I could hear him saying "No, Why would he do something so stupid. Oh my god. Why didn't he talk to me? He knew he could always come down here if he was having problems". I walked out and sat opposite to where he was standing. I wasn't sure who he was talking to, but somehow I knew what had happened. 
When my dad got off the phone and confirmed my thoughts, it was like the floor underneath me had just vanished. I could not comprehend that this was happening. I could not believe that this was real. 
Dad tried calling my mum, but she wouldn't answer. I called her off my phone, knowing that she'd answer for me and when she did, my throat closed up. I couldn't talk. Nan had tried calling her, but couldn't get through, and I was trying to work out whether I should tell her. But in my mind - regardless of how upset I was - I knew that I couldn't tell her. She couldn't hear it from me. I couldn't get the words out, it would make it too real. 
All I could sputter was "Steve....Call your mum. Please...Steve"
She must have heard the panic in my voice, because she said "Alright bub, I'll call mum" and promptly hung up on me.

We went up to Queensland for the funeral which was held in the chapel at the funeral home. Even the funeral directors had said they had never seen so many people come to farewell one guy. 
There were people standing on the streets, and speakers had to be set up outside because it was physically impossible to get that many people in the chapel. 
I was so incredibly amazed by the number of lives he had touched. So many people had taken the day off work that Steve's friend "Unsie" joked in his eulogy "Thanks to the Mayor of Redcliffe for giving us all a public holiday". People had flown across the country just to be there and pay their respect. 
And that's a point I always think about - you never know how many lives you've affected. It's impossible to determine that while you're still alive. And I wonder if Steve was looking down at us all, and thinking "Shit. All these people are here for me!?" 

To this day I still miss my Uncle incredibly, and thinking about him brings a pained feeling to my chest. 

What prompted me to write about this though, was that earlier I was reading Lori's Blog about her experience with the whole traumatic event that is suicide - in her case, it was her husband who took his life in front of her. And although my Uncle didn't actually hang himself in front of anyone, there are similarities to our stories. Of course, no two story of suicide is the same. It's not a black and white event - depression is not the same experience for everyone living it. One similarity between our stories though, was that leading up to the event, the person themselves had changed, and nobody expected it to happen. 

Steve had made plans with friends, with his older brother, Mark. Which was what was even more confusing to everyone - someone planning to kill themselves does not make plans which would imply their intention to live. 
The day before, Steve had joked with his friend - "Check out my noose". Which although should have been a warning sign (if someone has a clear plan for how they're going to do it that indicates it's pretty serious), it wasn't taken as one because he was joking around with his mates and what reason would he have for going through with it?
Lori wrote that her husband's final moment was a psychotic rage - it was not him, and she doesn't believe he meant it. 
I don't think my Uncle meant it either. The message he sent just before he went through with it was not him. They were not words he would have used. There was a darkness that had completely engulfed and taken over him. Also, given the circumstances surrounding his death, it was more likely that it was a "fuck you" to certain people, rather than a "I can't handle this world" - which scarily is what a lot of suicides are. I don't, and my mum doesn't, believe that he meant to die when he did it. 

But unfortunately, death by hanging is quick. Almost instant if you get the right nerve. All oxygen is cut off to the brain, and after 30 seconds, brain damage sets in. After less than 5 minutes, it is permanent and irreparable. And not many people know this. My mum had no idea when she explained this to me after Steve's autopsy came in. Maybe because Hollywood has sort of made it out to be this dramatic event, where if you get cut down at the right time, you'll be okay. But no. 
There is no time to be saved, like there is with an overdose or a slit wrist. As Lori put it, there are no second chances. 

I am disappointed that my question wasn't able to be read out on Monday night, and that I wasn't able to get any feedback. 
Although there are serious issues in our world with the degradation of women (as was mostly Monday night's topic) I feel so strongly that it has to be brought to the attention of all of society that men live in this "protector" role which can be psychologically damaging. It can lead to dark depressions, because of all that emotion bottled up inside. 
And we need to change that.

Please, talk.
If you are not coping with life - regardless of how stupid you feel for not being able to cope - talk about it. 
Nobody is going to victimise or condemn you for struggling. 
Please do not let it get to the point where the only option that seems viable to you is out.
I am hoping that by sharing my experience, it will allow someone to see the possibilities of what happens if struggling alone goes on for too long. 
I hope that by sharing this extremely personal blog with you today that you will talk to your friends or your family about this. Suicide should not be spoken about in hushed whispers. It is a real problem, as is male depression, and not discussing it just makes the problem grow. Maybe even by bringing it up you could inadvertently save someone's life - as I was saying earlier; sometimes I can only discuss my problems if someone else brings them up first.

But whoever you are, whatever position you are in, remember this: 
No problem is ever so big that it can't be solved. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cooking Adventures

Lately I've had hardly an appetite, and haven't been eating as much as I probably should. 
Which can lead down a catastrophic path for me. So I promised my boyfriend I'd make an effort, even if I wasn't hungry, because he was getting a bit worried about me. And it is a lot easier to make an effort and care for yourself when you're accountable to someone else. 
Even if I wasn't hungry, I'm not eating for me, I'm eating for him, so that's not selfish and it's okay.
It's stupid that I have to justify this to myself, and I can't really explain it, but that's the way it is for now. 

Anyway, I digress.
The other night I cooked up a honey mustard chicken stir fry:

It was really nice - even though I didn't actually eat much of the rice at all, the vegies and chicken was nice.

And, to try something different I made mocha cookies:

These were delicious! I gave some to a friend at uni, and he praised me on my *talents* so success!!
I screwed up the dough a few times in the beginning because I have absolutely no common sense when it comes to cooking, but they turned out okay, and now I know how to make them properly and more efficiently next time!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Life's little pleasures

With the realization that I've become so entrenched in uni work that I've had no motivation for life, I've decided I should take a few minutes to reflect on the little things that make my days even a little bit better.
It's always healthy to take a moment and appreciate the small things in life.

Stack of magazines. I think it's so cathartic being able to just flick through a mag and read the articles, and look at the amazing photography. I spend so much money on magazines, I inflicted a magazine shopping ban on myself last month.

Tea! I loveee tea - Earl Grey is my fav, but I love herbal blends as well. This tea pot is amazing. It makes enough for 2-3 mugs worth and is excellent for both loose leaf and tea bagged. Tea / coffee is definitely a must in the cold weather! This is a pot of strawberry tea - amazing for when I am craving something sweet but can't handle the guilt of eating it.

Flanellete sheets! Put these on my bed the other day - which was a huge mistake. Although I'm now warm and cosy at night, it makes it almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning. Still, there's nothing more delightful than a warm snuggy bed in winter!

My new mittens!! They keep my hands all warm and snug on long cold train trips in the morning - and they've got kitten faces on them! Too cute!

Body Shop's Almond Oil - the cold makes my hands dry and somewhat scaly. Which feels gross. I put this on before I go to sleep and wake up with hands that are not reptilian!

A stack of books on my bedside table. Yes, I'm insane. I'm reading all of these at the moment - along with a few others on my new galaxy tab. Which is why it takes me so long to get through books. Although I'm a quick reader, I move between too many at once and I usually only get through 2-3 pages before I fall asleep at night. I would love the time to just sit and read books for pleasure though, and not because I have to (law textbooks, I'm looking at you!)

Ecoya Vanilla candle. LOVE this. It makes my house and my room smell so nommy, without being too overpowering - which is great for my hayfever / allergies. Also, it uses natural wax, not paraffin wax so it burns a lot nicer.

What are YOUR little pleasures?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tired and Cranky

I have not blogged properly for quite some time now, and I think tonight I stumbled across the reason why that is - I have had no motivation to.
And the more I worried about the fact that I wasn't getting this creative release, the less motivation that I had.

Uni studies at the moment have been weighing very heavily on my shoulders. And although I love the challenge, and I (secretly) love the stress, I'm not a fan of it when my room is an absolute mess, and I don't even have time to do little things for myself - like properly paint my nails or put on a decent amount of moisturiser.
And not having time to yourself just makes you more stressed.

So tonight, even though I know I have a million things to do, I have decided to ignore the feeling of guilt - spend a quick hour tidying up my room and getting some much needed washing done, and just chilling for a bit.
Which is nice on a cold night like tonight.

And, lo and behold, now that my living space is a lot less cluttered, so is my mind.
I promise pretty blog posts over the next few days.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Sorry I've neglected you, blogging world.

I've been so busy with uni, I haven't even had time to do washing let alone frivolously discuss my life. I haven't even changed over to a May wall calendar yet - that is how behind in life I am at the moment. And the worst part is knowing that regardless of how much work I put in, how little sleep I get, I'm still way behind in my studies- a lot more behind than I'd like to be.

This scares me because exams are getting so close.
So if I don't post for a few more days this is why. I'm sorry if I'm letting you down.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Winter Love

Winter Love

Saw a girl at the train station wearing an outfit similar to this one. Thought I'd draw on it for inspiration!


Samsung galaxy tab!!!

I'm updating this post from my new samsung galaxy tab!!
I'm so in love work this little technology it's actually a bit insane!!
I've been so hectic wiyh everything at the moment, so haven't had much exciting to write about. I promise i ll do a proper post soon though!

Just a quick thought though...
I'm so excited winter is on its way. A lot of the girls at my uni have some amazing outfits, and I want to ask if I could take pictures of them but I have a sneaking suspicion this could be regarded as really creepy or weird so I'm quite hesitant to do that.

If someone came and asked to take a photo of you because they liked your clothes would you be weirded out?

Let me know what you think!!
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