Category Archives: suicide


All alone with my shadow
For far too long
I have been swallowed up
Only my shadow remains
Empty shoes where I used to stand
A formless fraud
Pretending myself into being
Laughing, crying, raging
Anything to feel alive
So so tired now
Yet unable to find solace in sleep
Peace evades me
I keep getting back up
After each knock down
I can’t seem to help it
My longing for love is greater than my sorrow
The seductive void calls to me
Trust, trust, trust…
My mantra
Will the light return?
Or have I finally been extinguished?
Sweet surrender is where I’ll find my bliss.

The Abyss

“Sorrow prepares you for joy.
It violently sweeps everything out of your house,
so that new joy can find space to enter.
It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart,
so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place.
It pulls up the rotten roots,
so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow.
Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart,
far better things will take their place.” 
― Rumi

Today I awoke breathless

My heart trying to beat through vice-like grief

Choked by tears

A call to the abyss

A voice asks me why

Why take that next breath

That next step

I know not why

I just know I must

I am lost

Adrift at sea


My heart is broken

But still loves

The loss is immeasurable

Yet there is relief in loss

Once a hostage to bitterness

Betrayal after betrayal

Left me an empty shell

Rage giving way to numbness

Busyness my costume

Hiding my dying spirit

Leaving was no longer a choice

But a necessity

My heart does not choose to beat

It just knows that it must

My body was carried away

And dropped into my deepest shadow

The pull to sink into the abyss was so powerful

So seductive

I could almost taste the relief

But I swam

With a ferocity I scarcely recognised

The heart finds a way to beat

No matter the grief

I must continue to breathe now

To love

As if my life depends on it

Because it does

I will open the dam

And let all the tears fall

I will allow the sea of loss

To flow over me

Through me

Around me

Until I am buoyant

Saturated by all the love that exists

My heart will beat

My lungs will breathe

Whilst I sit with my sadness

Trusting in the process

Of transformation

I am being re-birthed

And it fucking hurts!

In Celebration of 28 Years Clean & Sober

Today I celebrate 28 years clean and sober. I’ll be honest… I sometimes take my sobriety for granted as it’s been my way of life for over half of my life and most days doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment. But this year I really earned it!!!

I’ve been savagely betrayed by someone who was supposed to be my person.

I’ve walked away from a life I spent the past nearly 24 years building.

I’ve left my gorgeous mansion on the hill and am now renting a tiny cottage on a farm in Nelson; and I left most of my belongings behind so I can travel light.

I won’t lie… I woke up today full of terror and despair. Some days it just feels all too much. The universe has thrown nearly every challenge my way this past year and today I’m feeling exhausted and defeated.

BUT, in other news…. my beautiful daughter is well on her way to recovering her lost joy and is finding her passions and discovering her gifts.

My amazing son is happy, healthy and off to University in Auckland and enjoying his new adult life.

I have my precious fur babies back with me and they have been the antidote to my broken heart as nobody loves as deeply and unconditionally as dogs!

I am surrounded by so much love and support from both my soul whanau and even those I don’t know very well or haven’t really connected with in years. The outpouring of love from people far and wide has given me so much nourishment for my soul and hope for the future.

As sad and scared as I am, I also feel such a deep gratitude for this precious life and for all the blessings of the Universe that continue to carry me through this challenging time.

I’ve been presented with so many exciting opportunities to live my dream life and I KNOW that everything that was holding me back, weighing me down and poisoning my spirit needed to be stripped away so I could fly free toward my destiny.

Words fail to express how much I love and appreciate everyone who has supported me through this painful chapter.

You continually prop me up when I am collapsing, slap me silly when I am wallowing in self pity, tell me the truth when I’m lost in victim consciousness, encourage me when I lose my confidence, embrace me when I can’t stop crying, hold loving space for me when I’m enraged and just need to express it out loud, make me laugh out loud when I’m taking it all way too seriously, and when I feel like giving up, you remind me of my purpose and what I’m here to offer to the world.

So, thank you to everyone who has shown up for me this past year and I vow to honour your love by showing up and doing the work so I can live my greatest life and be that guiding light for others as you’ve been for me.

Namaste. 🙏🏻💖✨🥰🕉

BOUNCE – Cultivating Resiliency


“Don’t Take Anything Personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”  

~ Don Miguel Ruiz, author of ‘The Four Agreements’ ~

When I was a child, and I fell and hurt myself, my mom just put me back on my feet (after ascertaining I wasn’t critically injured), gave me a hug and sent me on my way with the words, “You’ll be alright.”  When I came home from school and cried to my dad about some bully who was mean to me, he taught me how to stand up for myself.  I really believe these early experiences were the seeds that would later blossom into the emotional resiliency I enjoy today.

It seems in this age of social media, we’re exposed to a seemingly infinite stream of harsh words and negativity.  In my day, the bullies were “out there” and my home was a sanctuary.  Now the bullies come into our lives from every angle with no where to hide.

Add to that the idea that we need to protect our kids from any real or perceived discomfort by rushing in to remove every bad feeling the moment they have them.  How are they to develop any kind of resilience to negativity?  We mean well, as parents, and want to prevent our children from feeling pain, but in all this intervention, we’ve robbed them of the opportunity to learn how to move through discomfort, instead of always running away from it or making it someone else’s problem to solve.

The pharmaceutical companies tells us that every negative emotion is a “syndrome” or “disorder” that’s not our fault and easily fixable with a pill.  And as we’ve become a culture of instant gratification, we want instant symptom relief, which these pills promise.  If not pills, we turn to food, narcotics, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. (which are just different variations of the same pill).  Why spend all that time and energy addressing the cause of our discomfort when we can just remove the symptoms and forget about it for a while?

Here’s why… we now have a society of non-resilient and entitled people completely unprepared for a world that isn’t going to shield them from all forms of emotional pain (Political Correctness Police aside); that doesn’t think that every little thing they do is amazing and cause for celebration; that isn’t going to validate their worthiness and solve their self-esteem issues; that isn’t going to reward them just for showing up and doing the bare minimum; and that will hold them accountable for their actions.

Is it any wonder that depression, obesity, disease of all kinds and global anger is sweeping the planet in epidemic proportions?

So, what’s the solution?  It’s simple…. but certainly not easy.  Stop blaming others and decide to take responsibility for your current emotional state and develop resiliency in whatever way resonates with you. The following is a list of all the things I’ve personally done that have helped me enormously:  Seek a counselor, wellness coach or spiritual teacher to help you become more empowered and emotionally stable, which will make you less vulnerable to the negative words and actions of others; go to rehab or a 12 Step programme if you suffer from addictions; train for and run a marathon or half marathon (one of my faves for learning to move through pain and persevere), eat nutrient dense food and exercise (two of the best, and most underused, antidepressants out there), and meditate, meditate, meditate.

If all of these suggestions seem way too overwhelming or hard, just start with taking a single deep breath, then another, and another. Just breathe.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”  ~Lao Tzu ~




I had a dream recently about my cousin who committed suicide in 2008.  We were sitting by her pool at her old house in Southern California, drinking iced tea on a beautiful, sunny day and talking about why she killed herself.  It was an oddly calm conversation.  No emotional charge at all, which, even in the dream, I noticed and thought was strange.  She was telling me that she just couldn’t fight anymore.  All her life had felt like a struggle to maintain control.  She felt she was always on the edge of a cliff hanging on for dear life.  Finally, she just had to let go.  I laughed and told her there were other ways to let go without leaving such a mess behind.  She laughed too and said she’d figured that out too late.  I woke up feeling a profound peace.  I had finally moved through the severe grief and was left only with the sadness of knowing we would never hang out like that again.

What happened prior to her suicide will haunt me the rest of my life.  I knew she was unravelling.  I could hear it in her voice.  I knew she was lying to me about what was going on in her life.  I never confronted her though.  She would go on and on about all the crazy in her life and I never told her what I saw.  And I saw it so clearly.  She was breaking apart.  What I couldn’t reconcile was the woman who was lying to me with the woman I had always known to be incredibly honest, sometimes brutally so.  Why had I been so afraid to ask the important questions, instead of cowering behind flippant jokes and flimsy support?  I remember so clearly our last conversation a few days before her death.  I replay it over and over in my head, wondering if I should have told her that I knew the truth of what was really going on in her life.  Maybe she would have chosen to open up to me about it.  Would it have made a difference?  Maybe…. Secrets are what killed her.  I’m certain of it.  Secrets, and the lies necessary to support them, are poison, especially for recovering alcoholics, which I am and she was.

I was one of the very few people who knew her well…. knew what was behind the mask.  To the rest of the world, she was a fighter, brave, strong and confident.  To me, she was all of those things, but I also knew her pain and where her scars were.  She was also fiercely private and strong willed (read: STUBBORN).  She stood up for injustice where ever she saw it.  She was incredibly intuitive and would always tell you the truth, however painful that was, and you knew it came from a place of deep understanding and love.  The more it hurt, the more you knew she’d hit the nail right on the head.  Funny… I could be describing myself.

We weren’t really cousins though.  Her mother and my mother were best friends since they were young girls and continue to be best friends to this day.  We grew up together like sisters, and a sister is what I will always think of her as.  Her father committed suicide when she was young and she never really got over it.  I think it put the idea in her head that should life ever get too hard, this would be her way out.  She never planned to stay on this Earth for very long anyway.  Her time here was short and she knew it.  That was another reason she chose not to have kids, I think.  She always said she didn’t have the patience for kids, but to see her around them was to see a woman completely engaged and in love with them.  It was like that with animals too.  She was truly an animal whisperer and saviour.  She was strict though.  We used to call her “The Warden,” as she was quite rigid once she made a decision about how something was going to be.  She knew that about herself and felt it would not be a great asset as a parent.  But I often wondered if having kids would have softened her, released a vulnerability she never fully expressed.

But she did express it…..near the end.  I think that’s why I froze up.  Her vulnerability was coming through so loud and clear….and it scared me.  She was my touchstone and I had come to depend on her strength.  I didn’t want to see her frailty.  But now it was my turn to be strong, to tell her the truth, however much it hurt, and deal with the fall-out.  Instead, I minimised and joked and tried to make her laugh.  I sent through the clear signal that I couldn’t handle her vulnerability.  If I had let her completely fall apart, and shown her that I would still love her and always be there for her, without judgment, would she have come clean and told me the truth about what was going on?  Would confessing her secrets to me help her to release the shame?  Would that have saved her life?  I honestly believe it might have.  She was surrounded by dark energy and I could have shined some light on her.  I knew, deep down, that was what she was asking of me.  Why hadn’t I listened?  Why had I let her down so completely?

Her funeral may have been a lovely testament to all the lives she touched in a profound way. I wouldn’t know.  I was too consumed by rage to notice.  The night before we had arranged to release her ashes to the sea, a place she loved best, I lay in bed wracked by grief.  I cried uncontrollably for several hours asking her why she had done this.  Why had she left me?  I asked for some sign that she was with me. I begged for some indication from her that she was here and aware of my immense anger at her.  The next morning, I went into the kitchen of my hotel room where I had placed a picture of her next to the ones I had brought of my husband and kids.  I had leaned them all against the wall.  My cousin’s picture was still lying perfectly against the wall, but it was turned around.  Her face now facing the wall.  In that moment, I knew she had been here and heard my cries.  Later that day, at the beach, we all came together to say goodbye and release her ashes.  Her husband took her on his surfboard and paddled out a distance.  After he dropped the box and started to paddle back, a pod of dolphins swam right to the spot he had dropped her ashes and began to leap out of the water, playing and putting on a show for us that went on for quite a while.  We all knew this was her doing and she was letting us know she was at peace.  Our beautiful mermaid was at home and happy.  We cried tears of sadness and joy, knowing only she could arrange such an amazing spectacle to communicate a clear message to us all.  I will never forget that day and my only regret is that I was too angry to fully appreciate the moment.

Several years down the road I had my own break-down.  I entered the early stages of menopause, which seemed determined to tear down the thick walls around my own vulnerability.   I was a mess, unbalanced, closing in on myself while pushing everyone away.  Luckily, I recognised the signs and reached out for support, otherwise, I may have gone down the same path as her.  I had some very dark moments and I began to understand her anguish on a much deeper level.  There were times when I perfectly understood her choice to check out.  Had I shrouded myself in shame and embraced the dark, pushing away the people bearing the light and love, I’m sure I would’ve made the same choice she did.

The true empathy I finally shared with her allowed me to release the anger I felt towards her for leaving the way she did and the wreckage she left behind.  I had been angry at her for so long and now I could finally understand.  I knew I needed to let go of the shame and guilt and open my heart to the love around me.  She taught me the importance of sharing my feelings, openly and honestly….that being tough and stoic serves no one.  Expressing pain and asking for help is actually an act of courage, not a sign of weakness.  They say you’re only as sick as your secrets.  Today, I keep no secrets.  I share it all.  This enables me to be of much greater benefit to those who are suffering.  If I boldly speak my truth, holding nothing back, and stand exposesd in front of the world, perhaps it will inspire courage in others to do the same.

Imagine a world where no one felt shame or hid their true beauty….if all our hearts were open and we only spoke the truth.  Honestly, it sounds a bit scary, but I vow to honour my cousin by living in that world….always.

Rest in peace dear sister.