One of my colleagues and I were housed in an old run down motel for a few days while on location in Lake Tekapo last year but we loved it because it was across the road from the lake and the owners were quirky characters. Knowing that the accommodation dept was finding it challenging to house everybody in places they were happy with, we asked if we could stay there the whole time and as much as they appreciated our request because that would have been two less places they would have to find, our rooms were booked out so they had to move us.
When we drove up to our new place, Lake Tekapo Lodge, we were both speechless. It couldn't have been more opposite from the previous one and the owners were instant friends.
Later we heard that the lodge had been booked for one of the stars but they didn't want it (it doesn't have gates). We'll never know if the Accommodation team had nowhere else for us to go or if this was their subtle reward for us not being difficult about our last place.
Either way, I was thanking God and The Universe for this fairytale dream dripping with art and beauty every single day we were there!
"Thousands of people have come through times of feeling suicidal and survived. We need to listen to what worked for them and why," Mr Robinson says.
This is what I've been wanting to do for years. Talk to those who've survived and thrived and work out the common denominators so they can be shared. I'm sorry if this is all you're hearing from me but not sorry. There's a sense of urgency and I'm feeling relentless...
When I tell people I had an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder from the age of 1, I know they find that hard to believe but almost every image of me from that age proves it. On top of that I didn't have an aesthetically pleasing face (which turned out to be helpful through my upbringing - but that's another story). I knew I wasn't pretty but one day at school, my world changed. On the day the middle image was taken 'Rebecca' came up to me and with genuine fascination and said "Jeez you're ugly Eleanor!!"
What I'd always suspected was confirmed and from that day I saw myself as an unlovable elephant woman so, inevitably, depression soon set in.
Mirrors fed the deep, dark, cloying depression, which quickly morphed into suicidal depression for over 30 years.
But here's the good news.
It took 10 years of hefty naval gazing but I got myself out of it.
Now I have butterflys of excitement every single day.
I wanted to share this story, that a few of you would have heard before, to say #Iamhope. I view mental health as no different from physical health or financial health or spiritual health and I've always been available to anyone who needs help with it. I've also overcome addictions, body dysmorphia and poverty so I know a thing or two about what you're battling with.
But here's the biggest lesson I learnt - after everything I ever went through, I never needed anyone to 'fix' me. All I ever needed was someone to talk to so I could hear myself say things out loud. That's all. To get the messy blackness that swirled endlessly around in my head, out.
And that's what I can offer you or anyone else you know who is suffering. I'm not scared of sadness or desperation or emotions.
I don't judge.
And I admire.
Because, for anyone to speak about their struggles show's me they're ready for more for themselves...
This selfless generosity moves me to tears. I have so much information to share about overcoming depression and addictions yet I'm frozen with fear and feel incapable of taking any steps towards helping anyone. I've only just identified the two reasons why. 1: Because I had sores all over me as a kid and my father was a patch member of a 'motorcycle club' so any attention I got was negative. I fear drawing attention to myself. 2: Because I'm really uneducated after leaving school at 15 and having no retention for facts. I fear offending the very people I'm obsessed with helping.
So, to see others who ignore their fears and do what's good and right by others is both inspiring and reassuring that even if those like me aren't able to be out there, there are so many who are.
With the deepest respect, I can't thank you enough, Vance and Jasmine McPhee], not from someone you've helped but from someone who wishes desperately they could...
My #tinyhouse or #tinywhare.
Most would see it as cluttered but every single thing around me either has a use or a memory. That's why I've been dragging it all around the country for the last 20 years. I just love my whare, mahi (work), waka (vehicle) and especially the people I'm surrounded by.
This morning in the shower I caught myself saying out loud "I could not be happier!" then realised how limiting that statement is when you break it down.
So I'll try out "I'm sososo happy and content that anything else from here on in is Icing" and see how that goes...
Pimp My Attitude
You need to know, right now, this is all about me. I'm not educated. I don't have any (non-driving related) qualifications therefore, I'm not about to tell you what you should do - I know my place.
And here you are.
At my place.
So - welcome.
If you're here for 10 seconds, I won't even know so I won't be offended that you left early.
If you're here for hours and keep coming back, I will consider you a friend because the only thing my diverse yet loyal friends have in common, and what I appreciate most about them, is that they just keep coming back..