All posts tagged: suicide

Fit for Conversation

Gym for me looks like this… Lycra on, shoes on, grab drink bottle, towel. Buckle kids in car, drive fast, not too fast, park, unbuckle. Run, one on hip, other dangling on arm, through doors, hello, recite membership number. Childcare, sign-in, kiss, close kiddy gate. Late, sorry to instructor, find cross-trainer, calm heartbeat. Move as instructed, when instructed, as fast as instructed, silently, watching clock on wall, counting down. Leave. (Repeat twice a week.) So you can appreciate my shock when veteran gym instructor Jodie gave her Monday and Friday classes a good old kick up the behind – no push-ups involved. She did it like this: she made us talk. To each other. It’s been happening for weeks now. Every class, she rattles our phobia of mingling with other people by giving us five questions to ask – and remember – of the people on our left and right. She tests us at the end, so participation refusal would be embarrassing. Not an option. Between the usual fitness directions of “On your toes!”, “Activate!” and …

Permission to Grieve

The outpouring of grief following the death last week of television personality Charlotte Dawson has been immense.  The media has lamented the glamorous blonde’s tragic end, naming the causes of her death as depression stemming from a marriage breakdown, financial troubles and her well-documented battle with cyber bullies.  But few have named the root of Charlotte’s tragic struggle with depression. Truth is, she pinpointed it herself. In Charlotte’s 2012 memoir titled Air Kiss And Tell, she revealed that her depression began after she and then-husband and troubled Olympic swimmer Scott Miller chose to have an abortion. “I felt a shift,” she wrote. “Maybe it was hormonal, but I felt the early tinges of what I can now identify as my first experience with depression.” The circumstances around the couple’s decision were not unlike those faced by most women who will choose to terminate a pregnancy; the timing was all wrong.  Charlotte was thrilled, but Scott hesitated because baby was due at the same time as the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. “Everything Scott had done was …

Letter to the Prime Minister

26 August, 2013   Dear Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott,   In less than two weeks time one of you will be elected Prime Minister. You are educated men, determined men, thinking men. You have worked hard to reach your privileged positions and now, more than ever, your days are as long as your pressures are heavy. To the considerations of a politician in election mode, I add this letter. I will be brief. No jibes here on funding promises, policy unveilings and slur campaigns – just a memento of the strangled heartbeat at the core of community. There are two things foundational to any society: marriage and family. When these two things are crumpled and broken, split and repaired, Band-Aid slapped on top of bloodied Band-Aid, redefined, renamed and ripped open; brokenness becomes us. This is our reality. We exist in a culture that accepts brokenness as the norm. We are the broken culture. And brokenness begets brokenness. You both (appear to be) happily married. You both have (what appear to be) happy families. …