Meditation assisted


Thanks to your feedback and comments I have decided to start assisted meditation through group classes. I am a little nervous about going and decided to wait until after the holiday season to start attending, I can’t honestly say that my body will be treated like a temple over this christmas break. Actually to quote one of my loveliest friends Supriya “If my body is a temple, then I have been treating mine like a dump” (I say this as I am eating some KFC chicken!)

Losing my job has not been as gut wrenching or as bad as I expected. I have been filling my days looking for work, writing as much as I can and watching a lot of Scrubs, something my friends are happy about. Basically I want to write this post and thank you for reading this year and sticking around for the change. I will be back in January 2013 to start everything again for another year.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank the crew at Hello Sunday Morning for helping me on my journey this year. I started my sober journey in January and am nearly up to one year of being sober. I have had a couple of slip ups but apart from that I have got myself off my addiction to alcohol and the horrible impact it has on our society. If you are thinking about changing your alcohol habits head to http://hellosundaymorning.org/

Have a great christmas and a safe and happy new year

Meditation f%^&ing sucks!


True to my word I decided to start daily meditation, it began one night as I had the house to myself and agreed that it would be the perfect time to start.. My room was all setup ready to go, Tibetan prayer flags slung across my window, all electronic devices off and out of reach. I sat on my brown and prickly carpet and attempted to close my mind off.  I immediately began thinking empty your mind, empty your mind, empty your mind, over and over and over.

A few seconds later my mind spoke back to me “Come on now, it shouldn’t be that hard to empty your mind…really? come on, there is not really that much to think about. I wonder how many people have done this before and thought the same, like really think about numbers, it would have to be in the millions right? or maybe over a billion? is that even possible?

Stop it! Clear your mind, come on just clear it! I fought back my own thoughts and once again attempted silence.

“I wonder how many hits out websites got today? Hopefully it will be more than yesterday, based on that new content we put up”

SHUT UP! STOP IT!

Ok so obviously this wasn’t working. I decided to take myself out of the bedroom and try to get more relaxed so I ran a bath. Using the “good” bubble bath bar I just purchased from Lush, I lit half a dozen candles and slipped into the bath.

I focused on my breathing, in and out, feeling the steam drenching into my pores I finally got 1.25 seconds of silence in my head when it came at me again.

“Wow! this bath smells amazing, it smells like cotton candy, with a hint of lavender. But not too much lavender, just enough to make it calming…yes…I feel calm, I feel relaxed now. I wonder if the markets are on tomorrow? I should message Zoee and find out. I could really go a epanyata or maybe that beautiful chicken and chilli jam breakfast wrap, that is always nice, unless it is really hot..but then I could wear shorts and a tshirt and it wouldnt be that hot and I could eat it right?”

Ok this was seriously becoming a problem. How was I going to do this?? I have way too many thing zooming around in my head. While I agree that this is a large part of the problem I am having what am I meant to do to move forward?

I tried again the next few nights in a row and the same thing happened again and again. I had no idea what to do and I decided that I would message my indian friend to see if he knew of any meditation centres that can help guide you through. I didn’t just want any meditation place, I wanted somewhere that would incorporate spirituality into the practise and hopefully through a supportive environment I could move past this mind mess and actually get somewhere with this.

A few days later I received an sms confirming that there was in fact a Kundalini Yoga centre not too far from me that would be a great place to start, and he would also come with me as a support and for himself as well.

So the plan is to start next week, going a few times a week and see what comes of it. I will be throwing all of myself into this and hoping for some clarity and with the incorporation of a better diet and regular exercise I am hoping to get both my mind and body back on track.

And to answer the question in my comment about the new name, Valhalla is a city in the DC comic book universe, it is a place where tired, worn down heroes come to recharge, to find themselves, gather their strength and head back into the world fighting fit.

I found this suited me and my situation perfectly and was the best way to describe my current state and things are heading.

A new name, a new blog!


You may have notice a few changes around here, in particular the name of this blog. Formerly Eat Pray Love Challenge, I decided to change the name of this for several reasons. The first is that, while I love Liz Gilbert and her writing, I have no claims to the Eat Pray Love name or legacy. I cannot “join” Gilbert’s journey, I instead have to pave one of my own, my own journey that was inspired by this life-changing book.

The aim of this has not changed, I can feel myself shifting into the spiritual discovery of my journey, 6 months of pure pleasure has been amazing but my body and soul are crying out for some spirituality. Yesterday I had a dream, I was on a trip in Canberra with one of my friends Ryanie, we were in a jeep driving across a mountain side. The path was narrow and seemed to widen as our tyres approached, the gravel groaning and shaking out as the jeep surged dangerously ahead.

We arrived at the top of a mountain at a small village, the village was littered with people that I have known for many years, most of whom are born again christians. I was hesitant to get out of the car and as I pushed open the door and stepped out, I looked back and Ryanie was gone. The jeep fell under the crumbling ground and crashed down the side of the mountain. I just stood there looking at it in horror.

I turned around to a group of people screaming at me. I could not make out what they were saying, it was just muffled yelling and cries. I could tell by the looks on their faces that they were not pleased. I fell to my knees and started crying, they gathered around me in a circle and one by one asked me “Who is your god?” I could not reply through my sobbing. The more I tried to talk, the more I cried. No not cried, blubbered like a small child who has burnt their hand on the hot stove.

The more I tried to answer, the more I cried. My breathing slowed down and I could feel myself regaining strength and confidence, it was then that I heard a cry, a battle cry, a scream of challenge from behind the group. They parted and turned towards the sound, as I looked up I saw Ryanie and his wife Nicole standing there dressed head to toe in what I can only describe as native indian headgear. Their faces striped with black and white warpaint, they wore animal skin from head to toe with a large pointy, feathery hat. The crowd began to whisper amongst themselves. Nicole and Ryanie moved forward and picked me up off the ground, I felt all my energy returning to me.

The crowd gathered around us once more and asked again “Who is your god” this time they pointed flaming torches towards my face and I screamed out “I don’t know” I woke up crying and covered in sweat. It was at this time I realised that quite literally I am ready to find out just who my god is, what I believe and who deserves my devotion. I have never any dream so vivid, so real and so inspiring before.

It was at this stage I was convinced that the universe was literally telling me to move on, to start discovering who I am spiritually as I killed off the “christian” side of me years ago and there has been a spiritual hole in my life ever since. I now look forward to the future and will start my yoga practices and daily meditation and see what happens.

Pastry and Double Cappuccino


Every now and again I give myself a half week off and weekend and head off down to Canberra to visit some dear friends for some much needed catch up time and relaxation for myself. I was looking forward to this week/end so much for such a long time, and with the lure of Oktoberfest thrown in for good measure, it was set to be an epic time away.

I arrived on Wednesday night, the whole way down I listened to Eat Pray Love the audiobook, a tradition when travelling to Canberra. Just listening to Aunty Liz read always calms my nerves and puts me in the right frame of mind for a rejuvenating time away. After a near miss accident with a crazed Sydney driver, I finally arrived and as I said hi to my friends, I headed straight to bed and passed out, having the best nights sleep I had in a while.

The next morning after awaking feeling refreshed and ready for a day of pleasure, I went outside to find that the weather was completely perfect, it wasn’t hot, it wasn’t cold it was just perfect. A beautiful 23 degree day with a hint of happy sun, we headed into Canberra to a little bakery where we feasted on coffee and croissants. As we wolfed down the flakey, buttery and moist pastries we talked about her upcoming trip to the USA in 2013. Unfortunately this means that my trips to Canberra for pastry and double cappuccino would no longer happen, as I attempted not to dwell on this and focus on what this means for my dear friend, I started thinking about everything that I had achieved in the last few years.

I have built up a group of entertainment websites that people are actually reading and hoping to generate an actual income soon, I am over halfway through a degree that should hopefully see me get a better job than the ones I have had in the past, working in an industry that I am actually interested in. I have recently re-kindled with an old flame that I thought was lost forever, and whilst we are not rushing anything, we are seeing where things will lead once we meet up again. This is an exciting prospect, as this is someone who I have loved for the majority of my life and due to circumstances that were outside both of our control, we were torn apart by distance and things drifted from there.

I obtained my drivers license in the last 12 months, something I thought I could NEVER do, and after a self-confidence I persevered and (eventually) got it and my very own car, a beast of a Barina that I have bonded with and is practically my second home.

As the conversation turned back to all the great things we would do in the whole month I was allowing myself to visit them in the US, I came to the realisation that things are looking up, I have come through a major depression and to the point where I felt like I couldn’t go on, I have moved beyond that and I am no longer needing anti-depressants or positive re-enforcements to get through the day. I had never really stopped to think about my mental health lately, I was so busy I had convinced myself that I was just too busy to stop and think about it, but as this realisation came about, I knew that it was actually dealt with. I had sucked all of the poison out of my life, had carefully selected friends to associate with, while severing ties (both face to face and online!) with others who do not bode my mental health well. Some of these people I have known my whole life and it was horrible having to let them go, but I had to do it for my own well-being.

After a day of outlet mall shopping, we were both feeling depleted and decided that we must return to the bakery for another round of pastries, this time through cherry pie, apple crumble and apple pie. We ordered them to go and headed back to the apartment for double cappuccino and a serving of these sweet irresistible pastries.

As I sipped my coffee and forked through my pastry at an alarming rate, I made a silent proclamation to myself, I had got through the dark times and didn’t need medication or a crutch to lean on to get me through it. It was the first time when I had relied completely on myself to make it through. Usually I pass this burden onto my friends and like a leech suck them dry of emotion and time with my depression. I was overwhelmingly proud of myself and finally feel that I am comfortable in my own company now, something that due to my social and outgoing nature I have never been able to do before. I don’t feel the need to constantly be around people, and in the last 6 months have spent more time with myself than I ever have previously. leech

Needless to say this was the goal of 2012 for me, and I feel that after a lot of soul searching and facing some extremely scary times when I didn’t think I would make it through. I pulled myself out of the pit that I had created for myself, and no-one was around for me to leech energy off.

Back


So after an extended hiatus I have decided that this challenge is still going. I got a little lost along the way but I am still keen to keep going and need that drive to kick in where I just give it my all and don’t stop. 

Over the last 6 months I have been going through what I can only describe as a wasteland of life. I have been on and off anti-depressants, struggled with my addictions with alcohol and junk food. I also abandoned my exercise regime which has resulted in an extra 5 kilos in 6 months. Something that only makes the depression and feelings of self-loathing even worse. I fear I have taken 100 steps back from where I was in both my life and this challenge and I don’t know how to pull myself out. I have pulled away from a lot of my friends and after a much needed friend cull in my life have now just surrounded myself with positive, encouraging and honest people that I can rely on. I got rid of the losers, users and abusers and kept the people who are a good influence in my life. 

After 6 months of whining and complaining I have decided to throw myself into writing and working on getting myself “back out there” as they would say. The biggest thing is getting my exercise back on! In my head I want to but I just get distracted, and I know everyone says “make time” and it is easy to say, but hard to actually put into practise. 

I feel like an ogre going to the gym so I am defusing that situation by doing my walks around the beach again, will try that for a month and see how I feel. If I can see an improvement that I can face those confronting mirrors at the gym and attempt to re-intergrate with the fitness society of the world. A society in which, I have never really felt that at home but like to consider myself a part of, in some shape or form. 

Relationship wise there is potential, a piece of my heart was given to someone a long time ago and while we didn’t part on bad terms it really felt like the end of a part 1 with a cosmic TO BE CONTINUED sign written all over it. One of my very first love’s is back on the scene, we are in no rush to push things along, just seeing what happens and let it happen (if it happens) gradually over time. He is someone who is strong, funny, an inspiration and someone that I could see myself with for the rest of my life. But still no jumping the gun! 

On here I will be posting about the challenges that everyday life has been dishing out, how I hope to overcome them and just some fun things as well to lighten the mood if it gets too dark. I am currently relishing in a state of pure bliss at the moment, I have been cooking new Nigella recipes and reliving some old favourites and the Prawn and Mango Red Curry is calling my name! 

I hope you are still reading this and will find some solace or some help through these crazy musings. I will be updating a couple of times every week and please keep commenting, but above all else keep loving, keep praying and keep being who you are! 

 

16 – Breakdown Hotel


16 – Breakdown Hotel

When I finally recovered from the events of getting caught in between two lovers it was then that I realised that I wanted a relationship again. For several weeks I could not shake that feeling that CB and I where still destined to be together. We started messaging each other intensely again and I felt the spark re-ignite within me. A week later we where right back where we left off, talking every day declaring our un-dying love for each other, the whole time I thought I was doing the right thing. We had time apart, we had grown and moved on but found our way back to each other. Surely this was meant to be right? These are the deluded rantings I would tell myself and I am sure that he was doing the same thing.

We started flying back and forth on the weekends to see each other, I would go to Sydney as soon as I could get off work on the Friday and we would spend the entire weekend having sex in cheap motel rooms and eating our way around the city. A month went by and we agreed that we needed to move back in together. We where declaring our un-dying love for each other, I was convinced that this was it. I quit my job (for the second time!) sold most of my things, said goodbye to some amazing friends and came back to Sydney to move in with CB in Chatswood. This time I was determined to never come back, and I never did.

CB was living with a couple, a high maintenance typical Sydney couple who lived above their means, thought they where the hottest thing since sliced bread and where generally rude and full of their own self-worth. Naturally we did not get along and the whole house just felt awkward and strained. I would sneak around the house not wanting to run into either of them to have to muffle an awkward “hi” with small talk that they would just brush off anyway.

In this house they lived in the front part while CB and I inherited the back part. The room was as small as a shoebox and we had crammed as many belongings as we could into this minuscule room with no a/c in a stifling Sydney summer heat. Definitely not the place to start healing a fucked up relationship! I took a few weeks between jobs to get my head settled and spent my days walking around the city thinking about what I wanted and my future. I spent the better part of a morning and early afternoon walking through the chinese gardens in Darling Harbour with a notebook and pen. As I sat down and marveled at this immense beauty that dwelled within such a large and ugly city I pondered our whole relationship and what I had done by moving here. We had stopped having sex and being intimate in a physical sense and it really made me question what I had done moving here. I remember CB telling me when he dated Cherry Jones (like a million years ago when he was still living at home and first came out) that after they had problems he had used Cherry as a way to move out of home and find his way and as I remembered the story and the malicious way he had retold it, I realised with much disgust that I had done the exact same thing.

I stood up to leave trying to shake this new found revelation off my skin and headed back to the train station to go back to our place so I could be home when CB did. The next couple of weeks we spent discovering the city, going to restaurants, shopping, movies, trying to meet and make new friends and blend them together. I eventually got bored of not doing anything all day and my cash supply ran dry so I started looking for work and two days later I started a new job. I started making new friends on my own and he wasn’t a fan of any of the people I was hanging out with and I felt the same about his work friends. Just when I was convinced that this was going the same way as it always had we headed to the movies on Saturday afternoon to see the latest Saw movie. I have always had a weak stomach and the Saw movies always left me feeling sick and unsettled and I had never seen one at the movies before. We sat through the movie and I ran to the toilet to throw up as it was just too much for my poor little eyes. Walking out of the movie theatre we decided  to go to dinner somewhere along the harbour, I was still feeling really sick and light headed from the movie and thought maybe food would cheer me up. As we walked along talking about where we would eat I stopped and told them that I couldn’t do it. I told CB to go ahead and have dinner with his friends and I would get a taxi home. He insisted that he would be coming with me and we got in a taxi to go home. He took me into bed and forced me to lie down for half an hour. I regained some composure and started feeling better, I got out of bed and we decided to order pizza and watch a movie. He was so concerned about my health and well-being, had I just been imagining all of these problems again?

A few weeks went by and I started feeling the same, like my move here was just one big colossal mistake. I was missing my friends back in Adelaide, my job here sucked and I couldn’t stand it. As part of my frustration I made a new profile on an internet website for the Sydney area and started talking to other guys advertising myself as “single.” Before you judge I already know that it was a colossal mistake but I will ask if you will to consider everything that you have read up until this point. My emotional state was completely unhealthy and I had no self control over how I was acting, I am not using this as an excuse but I know understand the mental anguish I was in and why I chose to do this. I told myself I was trying to find his profile but secretly was trying to find someone else to latch onto so I could escape this toxic relationship and be the triumphant winner of the impending break up.

The next week I met a guy for dinner and a movie, yes it was an official date. I have never felt so bad or guilty in my whole life. He was my type completely and I could easily see myself falling for this guy and spending a great life together. I fumbled through the date clearly not ready to move on, not ready to finally let CB go and admit that we where completely incompatible, completely toxic oozing out disfunction from all sides. At the movies he leant it to kiss me and thank god he was a completely horrible kisser. There was no passion in the kiss, no desire, no feeling, it was seriously like kissing a boring, wet fish. The movie finished and so did our evening, I headed home feeling so guilty and prayed that he had no read it all over my face.

We awoke the next morning to be told from our oh so happy housemates that the house had been sold and that the new owner would be moving in 30 days and we had to move out. Frantically we looked for other places, still not knowing where we wanted to settle we hit a roommate website and decided on another share house while we made our final decision. CB was loving the Chatswood/North area and I was more of a Paddington/Darlinghurst dweller. Cutting it way too close to the move out date we looked at a townhouse in Lane Cove with a owner who lived in the property. The townhouse was ok, we would have our own bedroom and bathroom on our own level of the house. Cheaply decorated and it seemed to emit this odd scent that I could just not get used to.

Arguing about the place he wanted it, but I did not it came to moving day and we had to move, I had no choice. We moved all of our stuff into the townhouse and then the owner told us that the $300 a week rent was each not for both of us. I was completely shocked that we could not have two rooms, just one and one bathroom, clearly this bitch was trying to milk us. When she told us this I told CB that I would put my stuff in storage and drift between his house and my Mum’s in Newcastle as I was still working in the city.

Obviously I didn’t spend anytime at my mums and most of my days where spent at CB’s house and that is just how it would have to be. A week of living in the new house and CB pulled me into the bedroom one day, expecting a romantic gesture, he sat me down on the bed and told me that the owner was a prostitute, like literally. He had a few days off and had noticed that guys would come and go to her bedroom all day for about an hour at a time and then they would leave. He had asked her about it and she had admitted to her whore-ish ways, well that explains the strange scent! I was completely taken aback and wasn’t sure what to say or feel about this situation, we where living at the Moulin Rouge only this wasn’t full of singing and dancing.

After hearing this news I had no idea how to act around her, it just resulted in some extremely uncomfortable conversations and passing by up and down the stairs. The weirdest part of all is that she had a boyfriend and two children who stayed at the house a fair bit. This was seriously weird and I had no desire to be anywhere in this kind of environment.

Warning: what you are about to read my shock you and sound like I had a psychotic break, and in some ways I did. My brother called me in the morning to say that he was in town for a conference for his church and would like me to come with him and catch up, so I agreed. That night CB dropped me off at Olympic Park to meet up with my brother and say hi. He convinced me to stay for the meeting and I followed him inside. It was one of those massive revival type meetings with a guest speaker from the USA. The music was loud and pumping, the energy was swirling and for the first time in a very long time I felt something. I could not explain what it was or who it was but I felt something. I was so desperate to get out of my situation that I caved. The speaker asked if anyone out there had lost their way, had been on a track and lost it and now was so lost that they did not know what to do. I raised my head as I started to connect with what he was saying. “Does anyone out there feel anything tonight? If that is you raise your hand!” As he said these words up shot my hand. I could already feel my brother and sister staring at me with mouth’s wide open in complete and total shock and something inside me broke.

I sat on the cold hardwood floor of that auditorium and cried for hours, I cried for the last few years of my life, all the pain, all the deceit, I let it all out. Foreign hands rubbed my back, tissues passed through my folded arms from time to time and a love and acceptance started to fill my being and I began to mend my severely broken heart. I felt a rush of love, forgiveness and acceptance that I was so desperately searching for, I knew that this was where I had to be at this time in my life and deep down I knew I was doing the wrong thing but I went ahead with it anyway.

That night I went home to CB and barely slept, I called in sick to my job and arrange for my things to be sent back home. This was it, no more running I had to be free, there would be no teary goodbyes, no running after each other again, just a clean and pure break that I would have to endure as there was nothing else I could possibly do, I was at breaking point and I had to do something or I feared for my life and the kind of future I could have. My mental capacity was not coping with anything that was happening and I had lost complete control of my body at this stage. I was 120 kilograms and getting bigger every week, I was a fat blob of unhappiness, living in a complicated and messed up relationship and I saw one way out.

Deciding against telling CB the spiritual revelation I had the night before I quietly packed up and moved back home. I moved back in with my parents in a tiny 2 bedroom place where I resided in the lounge room, not the most ideal place in the middle of nowhere with a two bus a day service, and with no license this was going to be the hardest clean break. Having just moved back I had no local friends, no support network outside my family who I could talk to or confide in about how I was feeling and what I was feeling. No-one to have cocktails and go clubbing with, and besides my new found faith forbade such things. I resided to the fact that I was still working in Sydney which involved waking up at 3:30am every morning, getting ready for work, getting on the train for 3 and a half hours, going to work all day completely exhausted from doing the same thing the day before, leaving work at 5pm and getting home at around 9pm with all the transfers and waiting around. This was not going to be easy or pleasant. What was I going to do? I had no other options and all around me I was surrounded by church and family and for a small fraction of the time I felt acceptance and love, but this was only fleeting. One of the girls that had talked to me during my “conversion” had told me that she used to be a lesbian, but through the power of Jesus and God she knew that she was destined to be “straight” and she understood what I was going through. I had no way to suppress these feelings, I could not just push them down and pretend that they don’t exist, but these people told me I had to, so for a short and fleeting moment I did, I pushed the feelings along with my thoughts and cares about my past relationship into the deepest and darkest part of my heart and pretended for one whole month that they did not exist, that was until an old friend of mine contacted me to catch up after several years of not seeing each other, and this is when my whole world changed.

Be Careful What You Wish For…


Last week as I drove home from Canberra after spending the most amazing few days out of my normal routine I listened to one of my favourite books on tape or e-books as young people call them now “Eat Pray Love” it is a book that I have read (and listened to) over and over on so many occasions and every time I experience it I come away with a new message or different aspiration about my life.

For the last 12 months I had my own blog titled Eat Pray Love Challenge which involved my attempt at finding balance without actually being able to leave the same geographic location. It was a lot and it took so much out of me that I found I was losing who I was in this vain and vapid attempt to find meaning in my own life.

My least favourite part of the book is usually the “Pray” chapter, in it Liz Gilbert finds herself living and worshipping at an ashram in India, a notion that I cannot wrap my head around. Meditating, being silent, blocking all communication out and just being in one place for 4 months to focus on finding “God” and yourself, the supposed key to happiness.

As my audiobook reached this part I was tempted to skip forward to the part of the story in Bali with exotic food and finding love, but I stuck it out, and for the first time realised just how key this whole part of the book was and why I did not achieve my original goal. I lost sight of the goal so many times and turned my attention onto less important things. Quite an easy thing to do when you live in a materialistic and selfish society, full of wealth and pleasures that we take for granted everyday.

The part that stuck me the most where the words “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it” Previously I always assumed these words to the Pussycat Dolls song “When I Grow Up” and never really though too much about it. That was until last night…

As I arrived back in Newcastle from my long Canberra drive I did a drive around the beach just drinking in the beauty (and the warmth!) longing for it to be summer again, a season when I feel more like myself than any other time of year. I prayed to the universe for happiness, I literally said these words “I want my happiness to spew forth from me!”

Last night I was at a friends house drinking (of course!) it has been sometime since I have consumed a whole bottle of Absolut and the whole time I was still saying to the universe “That happiness could come along anytime now you hear? I am still waiting, starting to get impatient! I want to be so happy that it just bubbles up and overflows and shoots from my mouth, I do not want to be able to contain it!”

We left the house and proceeded to the pub where we would be spending the night having fun, singing trashy karaoke songs, dancing on the sticky and seedy dance floor and having a good time together. The universe however had different plans for me and my previous wishes. I was on the dance floor busting out to “Where Have You Been” by Rihanna and continuing my mantra “I want to be happy, I want to be happy, I want my happiness to spew forth from within me, I want to be a fountain of happiness!”

As I finished these words I felt something jolt inside me, I ran through the pokies room and out the front door and slid to the concrete pavement and sat and listened. Two minutes later I spewed, I mean literally spewed, it was just pouring out of me, I had no control over it. Call me crazy but this is not what I had in mind when I said I wanted it to spew out of me. My friend rushed outside and helped me home where I continued to spew forth, on the road, in the bushes in his front yard, it was a constant stream.

Thinking back to the part in the book and my words I was once again reminded be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. I now understand the power and complexity of these words and while I do believe that the bottle of vodka did its part, this was a not so subtle way for the universe to tell me, you are already happy, you do not have to keep searching for something that is already inside you. 

I went back to the chapter in the book and re-read the part about happiness and wishes, when I read about Richard from Texas who had wished for an open heart and literally had his chest ripped open and had open heart surgery. The thought that this had happened to someone else was such a comfort and relief, knowing that I do not need to rely on anyone or anything to give me happiness. This does not mean that I can stop taking my anti-depressants but it does mean that I will be halving my dosage for the time being and seeing where that takes me. 

 

 

The Legend of Miss Deej aka Miss Baltimore Crabs


Many people move to Adelaide for different reasons. I have found Adelaide to be a retreat, an escape for many people. To move here and start fresh seems to be a general theme among many people who have re-located here. They have their different reasons…bad break up, deaths in the family, bad memories, bankruptcy or just a change of scenery. It is also not uncommon to find people moving here to escape their past. This is something I have found very prominent in the gay community.

Many queens have moved here to escape a sordid backstory, by far the most famous was Miss Deej aka Miss Baltimore Crabs. Miss Deej moved here from places unknown, some say he was not even human and just appeared fully formed, the cynic in me disagreed with this.

Miss Deej patrolled the local gay chat room sprouting stories of lost loved ones, family members dying of cancer and tumours. The problem was that Adelaide is a very small place, and the gay community is even smaller. Everyone knows everyone else and their business, and if there was any gossip going around you can bet that EVERYONE knew about it. This was the biggest mistake that Miss Deej made. When she first arrived she met a few older guys in the community and spun them the story of “My mother is really sick with a tumour, and I need money to get home to take care of her.” Unfortunately they believed his story and handed over the cash.

When returning from his all expenses paid holiday, Miss Deej struck again. This time his sister had died in the local hospital from a brain tumour. I had just joined the conversation and was told the same sob story. “Nothing feels important anymore, my life is just not worth living.” Miss Deej’s venom spat and spluttered everywhere, infecting more and more people.

Fortunately for me, my housemate had been around when the first lie was spun and knew the effects of Miss Deej. A liar, a fraud, someone you could definitely not trust, no matter what the circumstances.
Miss Deej started chatting to me about what was happening. His sister had just died, and his mum only has 6 weeks to live with cancer. Being a sanguine I felt pity and sympathised for the poor thing. Being so young and going through so much grief. Miss Deej wanted to come over and be “consoled.” The frigid side of me refused as it was just one of those days where I just couldn’t be bothered. Fortunately for me this was a wise choice. My acquaintance Kanga advised me that his brother worked at the hospital in question and couldn’t find any record of the name or description dying that week. I was a little hesitant at first, this is serious, who would lie about something like that? Miss Deej of course!

The final nail in the 9 inch heels, Miss Deej was calling me a lot and advised that he was up north with family, 9 hours away, looking after his mum and the rest of his family. It was my total surprise when I was walking along rundle mall and who walked right past me. The one Miss Deej, smoking like a train, grinning like hyena. I knew that this was he, I have never said that many curse words in 3 minutes than I did at that point. I started thinking. Was I just really naive? Am I just a walkover that will believe whatever I am told?

No, people like Miss Deej never get anywhere in life. They travel around from place to place, pissing people off and eventually they will run out of places to go and they will end up locked up for life or six feet under. As a race we have evolved to be able to weed out the liars and the thieves, it’s just experience that wakes you up to that. Several weeks and investigations later, I discovered that Miss Deej had been fired from several jobs for pinching from the till, and a massive lawsuit is being created against him.

Oh and if you’re wondering about the aka Miss Baltimore Crabs thing, let’s just say that whoever succumbed to Miss Deej’s lies and became intimate, was in for an itchy experience!

Rural Gay


So this is a piece I was asked to contribute for an article about being gay and living in a regional area in Australia. I found it hard to stick to the word limit (and ended up going 300 over!) I really could write a whole book about it, and I think I kind of am with “Gaytion.” Anyway here it is and will be hitting Melbournian news stands soon! 

 

Living in a rural area we have a smaller population, the kind of place where everyone knows everyone and if you don’t people you know, know those people. There is no escape! Someone will also know of you or heard things about you wether they be good or bad, the existence of a small population housing an even smaller group of people I have come to the conclusion that it is intensively archaic to believe that a fulfilling existence can be found in regional areas.

Before the digital age “beats” stood proudly as the place where you could have some anonymous sex with a stranger, sometimes without even seeing them. While this method is dying out it is still in existence today with the blending of this idea with the digital media through the website “Squirt” Inappropriately titled and proud of it you can log on and cruise guys in your area that meet in local restrooms, parks, beaches, car parks and in some cases bus stops (I have no shame in admitting that I once tried to make a “beat” on Squirt and yes it was the bus stop). It was the place where famous local footballers, married men, local celebrities and closeted tradies can safely arrange a meeting place at night, in the dark where they can unleash their hidden desires with complete anonymity.

From here Gaydar, Manhunt and Aussie-men sprouted offering a more “out” solution with pictures, live chat and the dreaded “wink” that most guys seem to hate, a gutless way to show interest without the fear of rejection from the other guy, no pressure to reply to a non-existent message. While I myself have spent many an all nighter trolling through these websites looking for “the one” I can confidently announce that this was time I wasted, time that could have been better spent out at the only gay club in the area, surely this would prove to be a more fruitful task?

Fruit is the word! In an age where gay men dress like lesbians, and lesbians dress like men when they used to look like men, the whole game has just become a chaotic conundrum. The typical feminine gay guys hang out in the karaoke bar in the front, imagining themselves as Beyonce, Kylie or Donna Summer to be then battled by lesbians who belt out Evanesence, Pink and Bon Jovi, then there is the smokers area, an outdoor “beer garden” full of fags (pun deliciously intended!) who chain smoke all night while gossiping about who is sleeping with who and deciding on the best and worst dressed.

In the club portion of the establishment lies a mediocre dance floor that is always both sticky and slippery, what once was an avenue for great drag shows and entertainment is now a sloppy dance floor with DJ’s who still believe that “Jump Around” is still on everyones playlist. Every Saturday night as you walk through the one place in town that is gay and lesbian friendly you see the same people doing the same things, the same drunk drag queens falling into the pot plant, the trio of badly tanned 50 somethings desperate for any action they can get, the bitchy cliquey queens who sleep with anything and everything they can still hopeful that someone new will be there tonight. All in all it is a pretty sad scene and definitely not the place I want to find my future partner.

Digital Media has taken over and with it comes the two most famous apps Grindr and Scruff, showing a thumbnail photo they arrange other gay users by gps location and determine exactly how far away they are from you and what they are looking for. The problem with this is in a regional area it is the same faces when you load up Grindr for your morning wank, it is the same faces at night as you sit in your bedroom alone and wonder why you are still living here. When you travel the to the nearest large shopping centre 15kms away it’s the same photos just in a different order as they are further away.

Looking at it from this perspective I cannot help but be negative about being a minority in a regional area, I am not here to complain or whine as that is not my intention, the simple fact of what used to be a loving and supportive community 10 years ago when I first came out has changed into a faceless and anonymous sub-culture of anonymity, cheating boyfriends who are bored with their lives and threesomes from couples who believe that it is ok but are really just too unhappy in their relationships to admit it.

My point here is this we used to be a community yet somewhere along the way we got lost, we became bound to a one gay club town that just throws all the different personalities and styles into the one place and expects it to work, the truth of the matter is that it does not. In an age of vain, beauty obsessed society we are drowning in our own ignorance. It is time we stood together and connected to truly move forward as a group and make this a better place and environment for the next generation.

15 – Spring Fling


Chapter 14

CB flew out to Sydney and I stayed behind in Adelaide with no regrets. I was living right on the edge of the cbd of the city and everything was finally falling into place. I had an amazing job working with my friends, some of my best friends where looking after Dior so I had several trips out there every week to visit my beloved pooch whilst we consumed a lot of alcohol. It started out just casual drinking and then after a few weeks the lonliness struck and the party boy inside me was re-ignited.

CB and I started talking less and less, the emails at work decreased, the sms and constant phone calls with updates to our day diminished to practically nothing and I found myself sinking into a deep, dark hole of depression. Everywhere I went in the city reminded me of him, going to the markets on a Saturday morning for fresh produce and meat, eating at our favourite thai restaurant in Port Adelaide by myself, going to the movies with friends and missing having a hand to hold or someone to snuggle into. It all began to pile up and I had no idea how to deal with it.

It was then that I turned to my friends wine, vodka, champagne and pretty much anything with an alcohol content that I could use to drown away the pain and memory of CB. We still had mutual friends so I was provided with updates about what he was doing and more importantly and most unnecessary, who he was doing. “He has started a whole new life in Sydney doll, and you should do the same here!” a friend told me over coffee one morning, agreeing to accompany me on one of my sad lonely market trips on a cold and frosty morning. “And you should do the same! You are haunting the city like the ghost of boyfriends past! Get back out there, go out on the weekends! Let’s hit the clubs, go out, meet new people, move beyond what you had and push forward into something new and amazing that I know you can have!” I swilled the chocolate of my mocha around the bottom of my mug and smiled “Yeah I guess I should probably start doing something” I replied and made for the bus stop to wait for the whole 5 minute bus ride home (extremely lazy, but extremely necessary when you have bags of groceries!)

After a week of thinking about that conversation and my plans for the future I decided to contact one of my old friends St Kane, a no holds barred, out there friend who was sure to pull me out of my rut and get me back in the game. We agreed to meet out and have a few drinks and after we got past the awkwardness of our no talking due to my suffocating relationship it was like no time had passed at all. I was laughing and having fun again, a side of me that I had not seen in years! I didn’t care about CB anymore, I barely even had a spare sober brain cell to dedicate to wondering what he was doing or who he was with. I consumed myself in my work and with friends and partying that I was simply too busy to care about anything else.

Kirsty and I where as close as ever, seeing each other several times a week for dinners, movies, occasionally she would come out clubbing with me, we would go to concerts, do our drive’s while listening to old school rnb songs from the 90’s, and through it all I actually felt complete and that I did not need anything more that what I had.

After a month of being in my new place I decided to throw a housewarming party and invite all the friends that I had made as well as some old ones and see how everyone mixed together. A few days prior to the party I suffered my first stage of “not being hungry” for three days I couldn’t eat and I didn’t want to. The night of the party fast arrived and Kayleigh, Myf and Josh joined me for dinner before the party. Not realising how famished I was I stuffed myself with so much food it was extremely alarming that I was able to keep it down. A few hours later the guests had arrived and the party was in full swing. St Kane arrived with 5 bottles of vodka, that is right, 5 bottles of different flavoured Absolut and demanded that I drink a cocktail containing all 5 of them mixed together with some cranberry juice. I think it was the combination of not eating, then gorging myself, then inhaling 4 that’s right 4 of these cocktails in the space of an hour and a half things turned sour quickly. I sat down on the couch and the room started spinning, I was so dizzy and I had no control over my body. “Oh my god he is turning green!” one of my friends yelled, quick as a flash Kirsty grabbed a saucepan from the hanging rack and dived to push it into my hands as wave after wave of vomit erupted from my mouth. It was a good half hour vomit which spilled over into three different saucepans before I could be moved into the bathroom for cleaning up.

Thankfully I had friends who loved and supported me and dedicated the next few hours to cleaning up the vomit that I hadn’t been able to get into the saucepan off the rug and assisting me to my bed and making sure I was alright. Faithful to their label of being party animals after I had passed out they all went out to the clubs and had a good night. I awoke the next day with text messages advising me of the amazing night they had and I was glad that I could provide such solid entertainment. This was the night that the patch up temporary band aid I had put over my wound of my last relationship started peeling away and the pus started oozing out into my life.

Partying was a lot of fun and I made some great friends so a month went by and the weather started getting warmer, the season was shifting to spring time and I felt it was symbolic of my emotional state to celebrate this and the best way to do that would be to hold another party. Titled “Spring Fling” (I know horrible name but it was the best I could come up with at the time) I invited the same guests and thankfully this time the next took a different turn. I continued my regime of eating properly and thankfully was prepared to rebuff cocktail offers from St Kane and stick to drinks that I prepared myself. I know my limits, unlike St Kane who pretty much had none, and this is why I admired him so.

At the party my friends from work and friends from the club started clashing a bit, St Kane has a big mouth and is the constant centre of attention no matter where she goes. She is loud, in charge and hands down one of the funniest people I have ever met. Her offensive rants leave no-one safe and often as a result can cause some tension and not being comfortable that put a lot of people off. Contrary to this I found the honesty and frankness refreshing and a part of my new single philosophy on life.

The party ended and I went to bed that night a little buzzed and thinking about everything that had happened in the last three years over and over in my head. In the last month I had casual encounters with a couple of guys but nothing more that just the once, and nothing with the potential of lasting beyond that. Besides I was in no way emotionally or mentally ready to handle anything more than just sex right now, or so I thought. I lay in bed  mourning the loss of my relationship and pronouncing to myself that this was the start of my new life. I was ready for another relationship, I wanted someone to start a life with, someone to come home to, to go to movies with, to eat with, to laugh with, it is what I needed.

I decided as a result of this to attempt online dating. I setup a profile that was somewhere between complete easy slut and needy relationship seeker and started getting a lot of hits. I would spend hours talking to guys on my laptop, some would result in the exchange of phone numbers which would then evolve into long text wars which if went well, long phone conversations and then eventually meeting up in real life. This only happened with two guys. The first guys name was Jesse, he was from Texas and had moved here a few years ago with his family. He was a singer and guitar player and had the southern accent that caused me to melt whenever we would spend hours and hours on the phone. He lived in the country about an hours drive away, and due to my still lack of license it was not an easy situation. Nevertheless we still continue to talk on the phone, texting each other all day and I felt a connection and bond starting to grow. He kept promising to come into the city on the weekends in his spare time but something would always come up. A recording session he had to attend, Talking with his good friend Le-Anne Rhimes on the phone (apparently they where besties? I am still skeptical about this detail) or getting called into work. After a month of this I grew tired and started to realise that this would never work, I did not want to move out of the city for the sake of a relationship and I would have to change my job and circle of friends and I wasn’t ready to do that just yet. We had another talk and agreed to remain just friends and that was how it would be.

A few further weeks went by and I struck up a similar chain of events with another guy. This one lived in the city (close to me!), we had similar taste in music, he was incredibly funny and was extremely sexy. It only took three days of talking on the phone and texting before we finally met. He agreed to come to the house and I would cook dinner for him after work. I set the table italian style with a red and white checkered plastic table cloth like you see in badly cliched Italian set movie scenes, I cooked my famous (by definition!) spaghetti with meatballs, freshly baked garlic bread and red wine. He arrived just as I was finishing up getting ready and when I answered the door I was impressed. He was just the perfect kind of guy I was looking for. A killer smile, broad shoulders, well proportioned and very, very, VERY funny.

As we ate our food we talked about everything, our pasts, what we hoped for the future, music, movies, travel, politics, our families, it was truly one of the most intense and incredible conversations I had ever had with someone. Dinner was over and we decided to watch a dvd. I had a new raunchy gay tv show called “Dante’s Cove” we sat down on the couch with a small distance between us and as the on screen same sex vampires started having sex he placed his hand on the cushion separating us on the couch, leaned in and pulled me into a long and deep kiss. It felt like it went on for hours, sparks where flying, as I moved my body closer to his, we turned off the dvd and went into my bedroom. “You know what I have always wanted to do with a guy” he said as he peeled my t shirt off. Oh god here it comes, everything has been perfect so far so here comes the big flaw I was waiting for! “This!” he said, and with that he pushed me onto the bed and blew raspberries on my stomach forcing me into fits of loud, ear shattering laughter and squeals. After a couple of minutes he stopped, gave me a cheeky grin and went down on me. It was the most incredible, silly, mind blowing sex I had ever had.

After a few hours he left to go home as he had an early start and we promised to keep in touch and see where things went. The next day I called Jesse to tell him about the incredible night I had just had and before I could get started he told me about his new boyfriend. I listened politely, adding verbal nods where I could to try and show interest but my mind was still spinning after the night I had just had. I started to tell Jesse about my night, after I got through the details about dinner, going into intricate, yet unnecessary detail about what I had cooked we finally got down to the good stuff. I told him about how he had been helping a friend through a tuff time whose mum was in hospital dying of cancer. “Oh that’s bizaare my mum is in hospital with cancer” Jesse said, his voice laced with suspicion. “Yeah apparently he goes out there a few nights a week to cook for him and make sure he is ok, he sounds like such a sweet guy! I really hope this goes somewhere!” I replied. “What time was he there last night?” Jesse asked. “He didn’t get here till 8pm, he was running late because he was out at his friends house” I replied. “Why?” I clearly wasn’t putting two and two together. “I think you had a date with my boyfriend last night! Was his name Taylor?” My stomach sank as soon he said those words “Umm maybe?” I replied. No this couldn’t be right, we had a connection, we had mind-blowing sex, we had talked for hours, surely this couldn’t be right at all. “You had a date last night with my boyfriend!” Jesse yelled as he slammed down the phone.

After trying to call Jesse back for sometime I sent Taylor a text message out of courtesy to let him know what had happened and to warn him about the impending doom that was surely going to await his return to Jesse’s house. Taylor called me immediately after I had sent the message “He isn’t my boyfriend, he is deluded, he thinks we are but we are not, we are just friends I promise!” I hung up the phone and decided to let them work it out and I needed to cool off for a few days.

Jesse finally started talking to me again and I had told him what Taylor had said on the phone call. He already knew and Taylor had told me that they where indeed now dating and he was sorry, he had just been confused about the status of their relationship. I was completely gutted, how could someone I have so much in common with slip away after one unforgettable night? It was now that I did something that I would then regret, even to this day I only look back on what I did with shame and regret. I pulled out my phone and sent Taylor a text message “I know you are in a relationship with Jesse and I get that, but I have strong feelings for you, we have a connection, you cannot deny it and I just wanted to say that if you ever wanted to go out on a date or just a quick fuck I am here.”

A few days later I got a response “I will be at your house at 6pm tonight, DON’T TELL JESSE” emphasized in capital letters. He came over and again we had amazing sex, that was just as good, if not better than the time before. He got up to leave and as he stood at my bedroom door he said “This can never happen again, I am dating Jesse and that is who I need to be with. I am sorry I just had a moment of weakness, please don’t tell him and please don’t message me again” he walked out the door before I had a chance to respond. I felt sick about what I had done and a few hours later I called and told Jesse my part of it and what had transpired earlier that evening. He was furious with me but grateful that I had told him. Our friendship as I knew it was over and we never spoke again after this conversation, honestly I could not blame him.