I was going to expand on last week’s clarity post but felt I should possibly shed some light on who I am. Which I’ve so far avoided because, quite frankly, who cares right? I want to write about interesting, helpful topics for our futures, not wallow in my sordid past! But for those who like to know the person behind the words, here’s the short version.
I grew up a farmer's daughter where nothing in life was certain. There were some incredibly abundant, profitable seasons and some absolutely devastating ones. Droughts and starving cattle we had to move to where the lake once was, and seeing sheep so skinny at Hilston they had to shoot them because no one else could feed them either. And at any moment we could lose our home, our land, our stock and our livelihood to the banks because nothing in farming was ever certain.
So my childish problems were pretty trivial in comparison. We just had to pitch in, get on with things and get over it. And I guess that's the attitude I've carried through life ever since.
Even when I watched my best friend die three weeks before my 18th birthday. After the initial shock I figured that's the worst thing that could ever happen to me so everything else - cheating boyfriend, getting ripped off, losing my licence - wasn't anywhere near as bad as that so why worry? Everyone saw me as a carefree fun loving girl who didn’t sweat the small stuff, or any stuff really.
In reality, I was in complete denial pretending my problems didn’t exist. As it turns out you can’t just sweep them under the rug because they’ll still be there when you decide to do a spring clean or rearrange the furniture. Or become a mother.
My self-esteem was one of those problems and alcohol was my rug. Since that fateful day when I lost the one person I thought would always be there with tissues, chocolate and champagne on hand, the clothes strewn across my bedroom floor have ranged from a size 6 to a size 12. I knew a girl a foot taller than me who was a 12 and was modelling, but for me a size 12 meant my self-loathing was totally peaking. It was at size 6 too, I’d just discovered I could get skinny if I smoked a heap of pot.
So becoming a mum meant I had to face the fact that I did actually have emotions other than excitement when the next round of drinks arrived, delivered by that hot guy with the faded jeans and cheeky eyes. Suddenly the thought of losing a child was now a prospect far worse than losing my best friend. I also realised emotional eating was an actual thing, and I owned it.
To most people I remained pretty cruisy, especially about the trivial stuff. My demons were all internal, and they were having a wild house party leaving the place completely trashed. Like so many of us do, I compared myself with the best of every other female I came across and I hated them for it. How could I not, I hated myself. My reflection in the mirror made me feel sick. I was self-conscious, too ashamed to wear bathers in public and only found confidence and some sort of peace in anything with an alcohol content.
Like most people, there is always a rock bottom and a moment of realisation. Mine came when my husband decided even he preferred another woman and I was left shell-shocked with two kids, no home, and a $90,000 debt after he went bankrupt. And a few more years of drowning my sorrows.
During one particularly horrendous hangover I questioned what the hell I was put on this earth for and decided I didn’t want my daughters to grow up like me. One decision. And things slowly started to change because of little “coincidences” that were happening all around me.
An ad on the radio led me to a course that I only did because of one subject - to learn how to mix music so I could do something with all those I hate my ex song lyrics I’d been writing. I approached a radio station to get experience making their ads as the boys in class were hogging the equipment and was instead suddenly on air as a news reader because they needed a journalist. Hello awesome new career!
But a chance meeting at the airport was the biggest catalyst for change and I never even got her name it was so insignificant at the time. She told me about podcasts because I spent so much time in my car and mentioned I could start with “The Kickass Life” ones. I will be forever grateful because this beautiful woman with the pommy accent and those 230 episodes literally saved my life.
My mindset started to change, and it led me to discover a bunch of new friends and a way to get my health and my mojo back on track that actually worked and was sustainable. And I’m proud to see my girls have naturally taken this on themselves. They’ve been inspired to dream big, enjoy everything life has to offer and take care of their health so they can make the most of it all. I’m also really happy to admit I still admire so many females but I don’t envy them anymore. I learn from them and love on them.
So hello, my name is Sally and I’m a high vibing work in progress. It would totally make my day to hear from you too.