How To Get Over An Ex

First of all I want you to take 3 deeps breaths, you’re going to breath in through your nose for a count of 4, hold for a count of 3-4 and then breathe out for a count of 4.

Breathe in…

Hold…

Breathe out…

Breathe in…

Hold…

Breathe out…

Breathe in…

Hold…

Breathe out…

You should now be feeling centred, relaxed and present which is something you have been struggling with since the breakup,

Am I right?

I know this because I too have been in your position a few years back, the constant noise in your head and unable to shake the feelings of unworthiness while clinging on to the hope that everything will be ok.

You probably stumbled across this blog with the intention of learning how to get over your ex all while secretly knowing you don’t want to,

*NEWSFLASH

YOU can’t hide from YOU.

But MY intention behind putting this out in to the big wide web and infront of your eyes is to help you question what it is you’re doing, and really start bridging the gap between what you say you want and what you are doing, so you can become the Queen B of your life, all the single ladies dah dah daaahhhh.

Ok right let’s get to it!

Breakups are possibly (depending how invested you were) one of the most painful things you will ever go through, they shake you to your core and leave you questioning everything,

What did I do wrong?

What could I of done better?

Why was I not good enough?

Will I ever be loved like that again?

But once you start consciously choosing to work through the breakup, and being far more intentional about where you are investing time and energy, you will begin noticing just how transformational this chapter of your life is.

Now obviously there are exceptions to these and of course you can tell me I’m wrong or even quote some Game Of Thrones “You know nothing, Jon Snow” and that is entirely your prerogative but I invite you to firstly look inside, and see if you can find any truth in what you are reading.

So without further ado I bring to you my top 3 don’ts when struggling with a breakup.

  1. Indirectly trying to get your exes attention. This could be going to places you know your ex will be in the hope of bumping into them, writing a post on social media explaining how you’re now know longer going to do x,y or z (you know that thing your ex didn’t like you doing) or posting endless pictures of you partying with the intention of trying to make your ex jealous. Now these are a few subtle cries but the biggest one here that deserves a lot of love directed inward is the messages or kind gestures towards your ex to show them that you still love and care about them. This for me was a pattern I have found myself in a couple of times, but since working through a lot of ‘stuff’ I realised that was my way of trying to prove that I had something amazing to offer them, the harsh truth is that if you are feeling the need to make grand gestures then you are subconsciously telling yourself you are not worthy as you are.
  2. Jumping straight into another relationship. Now reading this one might be very triggering and cause you to energetically send profanities my way but bear with me here. A longterm relationship can impact your identity in a way that you might not of considered but I have a couple of things here for you to ponder on. Is the fact I’m single bringing up feelings of ‘I don’t know who I am’ due to the identity you’ve built around you being in a relationship? Or has your new found single life created fear around you being on your own because you are someone that always needs to be around someone? Both of these are going to be very challenging to work through but jumping straight into another relationship from a place of fear will create far more problems, and will prevent you from connecting with someone who really lights up your soul.
  3. Exchange sex for validation of worthiness. This is probably the most common and was definitely a big part of my healing process, but as soon as you start trading things for something that feels like the thing you really want, then you are again subconsciously telling yourself that you don’t deserve what it is you truly want. Now I am by no means saying DO NOT go out and have sex but what I am saying is be very intentional about your reasons for having sex. So if what you’re actually wanting is physical touch, a cuddle, some company then ask yourself, how can I begin matching my behaviours to my desires and when you can really become aware of the choices you’re making, you can begin taking back control, instead of leaving you feeling used while harbouring feelings of unworthiness.

Now I want you to think for a few seconds, what one of those three while reading them created a bigger response (an anxious feeling in your stomach, a sudden rush of heat, a feeling of defensiveness) in my body?

This is where you are most out of alignment and are really being called to love that part of yourself.

So my suggestion is to take things slow…

What can you do right now that will improve your life today?

It might be cancelling that night out and instead spend the evening taking care of yourself so you can wake up feeling energised and refreshed (a clue here is when was the last time you stayed in on your own at the weekend and prioritised self care)

It might be asking yourself, is this person I’m spending a lot of time with someone that I would spend a lot of time with if I truly loved myself? and then getting really clear on the truth instead of overthinking the stories you are attaching to that question.

It might be making a commitment to yourself to stop sharing your body with anyone for *insert a timeframe that feels aligned and right for you.

As I mentioned at the start of this, it is absolutely your prerogative to disregard any or all of this, but if any of this has resonated, or made you question your current thoughts or behaviours then I’d love to hear what insights you have had.

But most of all I want you to know that although right now you are struggling, and things feel like they are too much for you, you are loved unconditionally just by being here now, and when you lose sight of that, just reach out to someone that is a permanent in your life, nothing comes close to a cuddle or an I love you from your mum 😊.

Sending you love,

Dan.

Am I In A Controlling Relationship?

Now you may not of asked yourself this question specifically but I’d put money on you having wanted to do something, and your partner has made it very clear that they don’t want you to do it.

It could be a night out,

It could be a holiday with friends,

It could be an item of clothing they don’t want you to wear,

Now before you read on I want you to put yourself in your boyfriends shoes,

Why? why the fuck should I do that? He’s the one that is trying to control me…

Well hold up there princess, lets take a step back for a second and ask yourself, how would I feel if I was my boyfriend and this situation was him and voluptuous Vicky?

lets use the story of ‘I don’t want you to spend time with , communicate with or follow on social media *insert name’ as our universally triggering point of reference.

So you work with this lad, lets call said lad Finch.

He’s smooth, mysterious, handsome and left Stifflers mum in a pool of her orgasmic fluids craving more of the D.

You drop into general conversations with your boyfriend, how Finch said this, and done that, and without being consciously aware of it, the name Finch leaves your mouth and travels into your boyfriends ears more than ‘what shall we have for dinner?’

You begin communicating with ‘ol’ Finchy boy outside of work, and one evening while laying on the sofa with your boyf (I hope that you managed to swallow that vomit the word boyf induced) tucking into Doritos and dip, your phone lights up with the name FINCH…

Your boyfriend by now has been used to hearing his name, seeing your facial expressions when you talk about him, and is aware that you are communicating outside of work but now your boyfriend asks you ‘who is that?’ knowing full well its the finchmiester.

You casually tell him ‘oh it’s just Finch’ and put your phone on the arm of the chair away from you instead of messaging back.

A few of your work colleagues invite you out for a drink one Saturday afternoon.

You mention to your boyfriend ‘A few people from work are going out for a drink Saturday afternoon do you mind if I go?’

‘No that’s fine but can we do something together in the evening?’

‘Of course we can :)’ <<< Yep I just attempted a nokia 3310 smiley on a blog post, I know criminal really!

Saturday comes and as you are doing your make-up and getting ready your boyfriend pops his head in and asks what time you will be back…

you tell him you’re meeting them all in the pub at 13:00 so will be back no later than 16:00.

16:30 – ring ring, ring ring *insert boyfriends name lighting up your phone.

No answer.

16:45 – sorry babe (or whatever pet name you call your beloved) do you mind if I stay for another half hour? xx

17:00 – No i’ll see you about 17:00 xx

17:20 – Hey are you on your way home? xx

17:30 – What time are you going to be home? xx

18:00 – Sorry leaving in 5 mins just saying bye xx

‘I thought you were coming back at 17:00 how come it’s now 18:35?’

After the argument you’ve just had you decide that your boyfriend is being controlling and have now stumbled across this blog to find some validation for how victimised you feel.

Ok so this is all very tongue and cheek as I write this but it’s an example of how things can start and how feelings, boundaries and communication can all go up in flames.

First of all I want to bring you back to the proverbial deal we made at the start of this…

You promised to put yourself in your boyfriends shoes and ask yourself, how you would feel if this whole situation was flipped, and you were at the hands of your boyfriend and voluptuous Vicky.

Is your boyfriend being controlling saying he doesn’t want you spending time with, communicating with or following Finch?

Or is your boyfriend now setting clear boundaries in order to keep himself safe and whole (https://mark-groves.mykajabi.com/boundaries an awesome program on how to set clear boundaries in your life and relationship)

I can’t answer this for you, but what I will do is give you my own interpretation of how I see this situation and what feelings it would bring up for me, based on where I currently am in my journey.

At the start if I was hearing my girlfriend speak about a certain lad she was working with more and more, and then seeing the message pop up on her phone and her not answering it, followed by the Saturday afternoon and the lack of communication, I would feel uncertain, I would be questioning things like what is it about this lad that she likes, why did I not get an invite on that Saturday and would probably make me feel a sense of jealousy.

Now that does not by any means indicate that I am right and she is wrong, in fact I would be much more inclined to see these internal triggers as an area I need to work on and somewhere I need to start getting curious as to why these feelings are coming up, and how I could turn them into growth, BUT before growth, pain and uncomfortability will lead the way.

Thing is, in relationships we all have this incessant need to be right, that need only disconnects us further from eachother and in the fight for righteousness we lose sight of what’s actually important…

Creating a bond that meets all our needs, BUT the paradox to that is we have to be willing to receive criticism when we act out of alignment with what we actually say we want.

in order for you to create a bond that meets all your needs you have to open yourself up and understand that you, your partner, and the relationship are 3 different entities, you can’t just expect all your needs to be met without putting effort into meeting your partners needs and if your needs are never being met or your partners needs are unfulfillable by you, then you have to be honest with eachother.

Truth is, relationships are fucking hard and we are always learning through our triggers, the magic happens when we can lovingly navigate these triggers with our partner, instead of pointing the finger and trying to take the moral high ground with phrases like ‘I wouldn’t do that to you’ (we’ve all used that line as a form of self righteous manipulation), because all that does is again create defensiveness and will NOT enable you both to move forward.

I think instead of trying to constantly be heard in our relationship maybe we should take a birds eye view and ask ourselves ‘how could I hear my partner right now, and show them that I acknowledge what they are saying?’

This way of communicating is far less self aggrandising and will yield far better results (as long as the results you want are a more loving relationship)

So back to the initial question,

Am I in a controlling relationship?

Is your partner telling you how to look, how to behave, who to spend time with (or more so who you can’t spend time with)

Or

Are they communicating consciously with you about how they feel, why they feel that way and how you can both work through a specific trigger together?

Remember neither are right or wrong, relationships aren’t about that, after all we’re on our own individual journeys, and are only doing our best with the tools (awareness) we currently have available to us, in any given moment.

What I will say though is if you think leaving a relationship and trading it for another, in an attempt to avoid these triggers, you will be massively disappointed, your partner may be shining the light at parts of yourself you don’t like looking at, and leaving them to be with someone else is merely just changing the hand holding the torch, the same triggers will still be there, and it is your responsibility to welcome the torch of surrender and begin leaning into your triggers while learning how to navigate them consciously in a healthy loving relationship.

My current work in my relationship is exactly that, learning how to hear and listen to what Charis is saying, instead of listening and then trying to have my say in order to be right.

We will always have areas we can grow and with awareness, zero judgement, love and compassion you really can cultivate the relationship you truly want, first you just have to be willing to look in the mirror instead of pointing the finger.

Would love to hear what you are currently working on to improve yourself and your relationship…

DR love.

^^^ What fortunate initials I have to play on 😉

Yes Kelly, I had to end on that!

If you struggle with communication or want to really deepen your relationship then I hugely recommend my friend Dr Eva Brown https://www.facebook.com/eva.brown.96 and her amazing 90 day program (just hit the link to see if it’s for you and your relationship) https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Frelationshiprevolutionaries.com%2F90-days-to-renew-restore-and-revolutionize-your-relationship-connection%2Ftribe%2Fyourbestself%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR0igCxHlShaEXRu9ubiZAMrwwXWz6vOBPpmTfKdlhsDqV4k0Kf0CoINH24&h=AT1FacYbiFvPZtC1eZPvo2NT7WoWlkfdRnbON3jMlplUTC2pgWd6C8iXyq70mgTd4RZhuIO9kSPFUXlJEVh1IockkhgM4Tr1LigmGMPpqGtia284trUj9ljkkJecZhIVOlJf7w

How An Allegation Turned Out To Be The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me

Daniel…

Yes?

I’m arresting you on suspicion of attempted rape.

Hi and welcome to ‘The story of Dan’ over the last 3 years.

There has been tears, sex, shame and plenty of sleepless nights but I have arrived at my dining table that me and Charis built (if you haven’t been hiding under a rock then you’ll know that Charis is my amazing girlfriend) feeling full of pride, while I take in the scent of my fig and mulberry candle writing this blog for you right now on the wings of love, and if you can stomach anything quite as cringy as that then I invite you to read on.

After the arrest I felt like I needed to conceal it all through fear of people using the term ‘There is no smoke without fire.’ This fear and shame was something that I held on to for, MY MISTAKE ‘am still holding on to’ because I was actually unsure whether or not to write this blog.

I want to talk to you about how that allegation has been the greatest thing to happen to (now I know it was for me) me but first I want to talk about the shit, because believe you me, it was not all gratitude and blessings.

The allegation was made in May and 3 months later I was arrested. It completely brought me to my knees and I very quickly fell in to a world of self medicating through cocaine, alcohol, porn and one night stands, I was desperately trying to escape the pain I was in.

I had just moved in to my new house, my business was quickly picking up speed and the ‘adult Dan’ was really creating something he was proud of BUT the ‘inner child Dan’ was kicking and screaming.

All I could think about was the loneliness, the pain, the fear and the sadness I was in and it didn’t take long for every area of my life to go up in flames as well.

8 months later I had fell into a pit of over £5000’s worth of debt and had no choice but to move out of my house, give up my cat and move in to my gym, I HAD to make this work and pull myself out of the darkness otherwise moving in to my gym and being in debt would be the least of my worries.

364 days on I receive a phone call from a DC who I had been in contact with (loosely speaking) throughout the whole investigation, lets just say she made it very clear that innocent until proven guilty is not something she agrees with and her whole demeanour resembled that of Miss Agatha Trunchbull.

She went on to say the case has been dropped, the rest of the conversation is in my book I wrote titled Own Your Power And Remain Single. Now I knew that as much as I was in pain and had been suffering for over a year, it was now my responsibility to DO THE WORK, and really begin peeling back the layers to see who I truly was, in order to create who I knew I could become.

The first year living in my gym after that phone call was spent either hunched over a pub toilet while face down in a line of coke or listening to that all powerful voice us men have that inhabits between our legs. When that rolled up £10 note leaves your nostril suddenly that voice becomes louder and louder and if you are looking to escape and seek validation through sex then trust me, that can be a problem.

The funny thing about this scene is it’s highly attractive, and the bells and whistles really are a strong pull, I mean, if you can present me a man that doesn’t love the feeling of power and leading with his cock then I’ll show you a man that still has his washing done for him by his mum.

Once you start to experience more guilt about the way you behaved the previous night and delete every sent message before you can read them back you begin to realise that life is more than drink drugs and sex, said Paul McCartney…

We all know that when you hear them birds starting to sing it’s time to confess your sins as you begin the walk of shame home.

I began pulling myself out of this cycle, and 6 months into the second year after that call from Trunchball things had began changing for me, I was focusing more on my training again, I was turning down the week night sesh and 1 night while out with a load of my clients after an amazing bbq we all had together I sparked up a conversation with a certain girl that really sparked intrigue in me. I obviously fancied her but the fact that we could have a deep conversation on a night out while we were both chucking back shots was something that I instantly wanted more of. I actually wanted to hear what she had to say, I cared about what she had to say and things just felt easy between us.

Now I’m not going to say by the end of the night I didn’t want to sleep with her but what I loved was the fact that she declined without judgement and still wanted to spend time with me, in a weird way that gave me more validation than I ever got from the last 18 months previous.

For almost 9 months of getting to know eachother without zero expectation it hit me…

Maybe it was that sucker punch that all proverbial ‘fuckboys’ (I fucking hate that phrase but hey, that’s a shoe I’ve been told fits so…) experience,

I love this girl, and I want to be in a relationship with her!

A few weeks ago we had our first anniversary and last week we moved 270 miles north to Blackpool, now 3 years ago I could not of believed this would now be my reality, I was in a few grands worth of debt, I was living in a freezing cold gym sleeping on a shitty leather sofa, when I wasn’t coked up and scrolling through hours of Pornhub.  

So what was it that changed, how have I managed to land on my feet as it were?

Underneath all the hurt, pain and insecurities was a boy that screaming to be seen and heard, it wasn’t until I spent that last night which little did I know at the time, laying on the sofa in my gym having been out all night and just finished cleaning up… for the third time, that I was ready to finally ‘be better’.

Now I’m not saying that porn, alcohol or coke are bad in fact I’d be more inclined to argue the opposite but everything comes down to intention and when we get real fucking honest with ourselves and our intentions then we can really begin asking the questions that enable us to hold ourselves accountable.

I’ve made some amazing memories in Sudbury with people that will always be in my heart over the past 32 years of my life, and I’m pretty sure Sudbury will always be home to me, but this chapter is now what I call winning, and I get to etch the sentences with that bright light in my life, Charis Dines.

To those I’ve wronged along my journey I am truly sorry, I hope you can find it in your heart to not hold any bad feelings towards me,

To those I’ve helped it’s been a privilege to be able to give you something that no one can take away,

To those I’ve lost, thankyou for your presence and everything that we shared together, gone does NOT mean forgotten,

But most of all Sudbury… thankyou for all the pictures, the memories, the lessons, the friendships, the heartaches and the opportunities, without you I would not be the man I am proud to be today.

Much love,

Dan xxx

Rejection Sensitivity

Were all prone to view things through a negative self-fulfilling prophecy lens.

Cogito ergo sum – I think therefore I am.

Now I’m not going to try and ‘go all physician’ on you,

  1. Because I’m not a physician

And

2. Because there is not enough research conducted on it.

So today I’m going to invite you to go inside, as we can’t go outside and get really curious about your own relational experiences and fears of rejection.

Dating – you might be a serial swiper or more of a POF kinda guy/gal but whatever form of online dating you use I would hazard a guess and say that it eases the ‘pain/fear of rejection’ partly because you have so many other choices but also because you’re not actually having to down a tequila and walk over to said lucky guy/gal and ask to be kicked in the proverbials resulting in the painful walk of shame back to your friends.

In my opinion our lack of dutch courage needed to enter a genuine face to face situation that has the ability to spark up a real conversation with a human being instead of a smartphone screen is taking us away from at its core, personal growth. You might be getting a lot more rejection via a swipe the wrong way but in comparison to a swipe in far greater magnitude of a real life situation you are definitely drawing the long straw.

First 12 months of a relationship – This is the part of the relationship where you are still getting to know your partner and learning who they are and what makes them tick. (obviously you’ve spent some time before getting into this relationship so you can form an educated decision as to whether or not they are worthy 😉) This is also the most vulnerable stage of a relationship, you don’t have any real certainty, you have very little security and this is the minds kryptonite as human beings love certainty, and this first year you will be watching what your partner says and does to decide whether you are safe to remove a layer of armour and let them in, or not.

The caveat to this is if you are not continuing your own personal development such as making your health a priority, keeping up with your own hobbies (to preserve self identity) and making sure you are always curious in regards to your own feelings/triggers etc then your perception of things will get blurred.

Lets say you are currently not feeling particularly good in your own skin, you then notice your partner has liked a couple of pictures on social media and you instantly attach a story of ‘my partner doesn’t fancy me anymore’ to those likes.

Now I hope that as you read this you are confident in your body, but if you’re not then ask yourself the question IS THIS STORY I’VE CREATED AROUND THOSE ‘LIKES’ FACT OR NOT? And then try to take as much responsibility as you possibly can right now for how you currently feel.

^^^ That can be hard because in the moment we want to project how we feel onto our partner and start throwing around blame, but always TRY your best to look inside first and take as much responsibility before you open your mouth.

12+ months into a relationship – You have a sense of security now and if you’ve made it this far then your partner should be your ‘safe place’ but with that being said this can also be the time when if you haven’t watered your ‘relationship garden’ (every part of me wanted to write YOUR LADY GARDEN but you’re not as childish and perverted as me) then your partner could begin to think about how green their neighbours grass is. It’s in these stages of the relationship that rejection could be far more catastrophic, not only do you feel more secure in your relationship but you’ve also began building a life and identity around your relationship. You might be living together, you might have kids together you might even be married if that’s something you believe in (*sidenote I wholeheartedly believe in marriage for the right reasons but that’s another story for another time), so if you start to feel a sense of rejection and you’ve been doing your own work and working on your relationship then this could be for something that is completely out of your control and possibly due to your partner not doing their own work and putting equal amounts of effort into growing the relationship.

The truth is no matter how much time and effort you invest in yourself and your relationship things can still not go the way you want them to or have even planned them to.

Every single one of us are walking this earth as a work in progress and carry our own unhealed traumas and with that being said I’d urge you to always look in the mirror when you feel a sense of rejection instead of making your pain and hurt from a perceived rejection someone else’s problem.

Think about what you can do to grow and step more into your best self, think about how you can be more loving to your perceived rejecter, think about the person you want to be and think how that person would respond/communicate.

Ultimately as hard and as painful rejection is, there are so many variables that come in to play and when you get that intense feeling of rejection and you start questioning your self worth try to take a deep breath and think about what this feeling is teaching you.

Somewhere buried deep inside you is a lesson that is trying to come out, but first you have to be willing to ask yourself the questions that elicit the most uncomfortable feelings and continue to keep leaning into them.

ALWAYS QUESTION YOURSELF!

Much love,

Dan.

The Night I Was Finally Victorious Over Shame

The night I was finally victorious over shame

Gayboy, homo, fag, poof these are just some of the words that are thrown about to either take the piss out of someone in the form of ‘banter’ or are used to offend someone in regards to their sexuality.

As a young lad growing up, that is the last thing you would want to be called, because not only is it an attempt to emasculate you based on what other young lads think a man is, and should be, but also because growing up and learning about yourself while your hormones are all over the place is hard, especially when you too think you have to be a certain way to be a man.

3 years ago when I was in a very dark place and using drink and coke to block out my reality, I would often get back home to my gym (where I lived for over a year) in the early hours, highly intoxicated and with no chance of getting any sleep for a good few hours, and I begin scrolling through the darkest corners of the internet trying to find some porn that satisfied the urge. I would often spend literally hours watching and trying to find the ‘right one’.

Having grown up with a very skewed view on sex due to religion, like anything that you try to supress, it will always come with consequences.

The biggest consequence for me was living with an immense amount of shame and this has negatively impacted some of the decisions I’ve made.

One night after scrolling for hours and just not being able to find what I was looking for I began toying with the idea of typing ‘amateur gay masturbation’ in pornhubs search bar.

I can remember my heart pounding and feeling like I was doing something shameful and disgusting, probably because I was far from sober though my curiosity and intrigue ‘got the better of me’ and I ended up going down the rabbit hole.

Once I’d sobered up I would spend the majority of the day beating myself up, and telling myself I will never look at that stuff again while convincing myself it was just because of the alcohol and drugs in my body.

Almost 18 months ago I crossed paths with someone who very quickly became an important person in my life. The nights out I was having and the attempts to block out my current reality became less and less and I began envisioning a different reality, a reality where I was no longer a victim and instead would see myself as someone who brings a lot to other peoples lives, but I was also very aware that I still had a lot of work to do to even allow myself to start having feelings for someone.

After my last train wreck of a relationship I didn’t want to take any toxicity into a new relationship because it would only create the same results.

If I don’t change and improve, why would my next relationship?!

The less time I spent going out and the more time I looked inside myself I really began to like who Dan was, and spending time in Dans head was actually becoming a nice place to be.

Me and Charis started spending more time with eachother and May of 2019 something had changed inside me, I knew I could bring something to a relationship and I knew that I was ready to ‘try on’ this new and improved Dan in the form of a committed relationship.

The proposal wasn’t earth shatteringly romantic but we both just knew that this was the right time.

I made a promise to myself that I would allow myself to be seen in this relationship, something I have always fantasised about is being in a relationship and knowing that I can just be myself, no manipulation, or trying to portray a version of myself that I think is more lovable, just showing up as my true self.

One thing that I love about our relationship is the deep conversations we have and how we allow eachother that space to be vulnerable and seen.

A few months ago we went for lunch in one of our favourite places (painters café) and I felt an energy that was kind of drawing me in. We hadn’t really spoke much for the first 10-15 minutes and what came next left me just wanting to squeeze Charis as hard as I could, you know that urge you get to squeeze a kitten or a puppy because you feel overwhelmed with love in that moment.

Charis nervously started a conversation about porn. She went on to say that she watched something the other day that made her instantly feel ashamed and really sad. At this point I was unsure what she was going to say and I could feel butterflies in my stomach…

“I watched lesbian porn and after I felt so guilty and I started crying because I didn’t want to hurt you”

“That is so strange that you say that because lastnight I watched gay porn and I felt the same, I was ashamed and worried that it would hurt you” I replied.

We just looked into eachothers eyes and all I could feel was an immense amount of love for her, the fact that in that moment we were so aligned but fearing the hurt it might possibly bring to the other person.

We went on to speak about both of us maybe exploring these specific avenues and the logistics of it, in that moment I felt so loved and supported with an area of my life I’d struggled with for years.

Both of our fears were the complete opposite of the truth, and by Charis opening up and being vulnerable, she indirectly gave me permission to open up and be vulnerable.

Now the scene has been set, I want to share something with you that previously, as you can tell, I would have been terrified of anyone finding out.

So before I share this with you I want you to understand my reasoning for being so open about this.

The majority of my life has been filled with shame around sex, I’ve often wished that I just had a ‘normal’ sexuality where nothing was to far from the mainstream ideology surrounding sex, I’ve even considered the possibility of having some form of sex addiction, none of which sat well with me so that left me with 1 alternative…

Embrace my sexuality and enjoy it, because after all, if our genitals were purely for procreation purposes then sex wouldn’t be pleasurable.

A few weeks ago on a night out I ended up engaging in sexual activity with another man. Now this didn’t go as I had hoped, partly due to how nervous I was, but also because I couldn’t help but judge myself which resulted in the experience being more of a little ‘teenage fumble’. In that very moment I wanted some reassurance from Charis because I was scared that she might now see me differently to the point where I felt sick to my stomach, so many feelings were coming up for me and I was struggling to rationalise everything.

When I got home I laid on my bed trying to make sense of everything, all I could think of was although I knew I am in a relationship where we can both sit in uncomfortable emotions and have open conversations, how the fuck do I tell her that I have gave myself permission to experience something that still even to this day carries a lot of stigma.

I began thinking,

What if she actually can’t handle this and doesn’t support me,

What if this rocks the boat so much that I feel judged and I can’t deal with it,

How do I have a conversation I have NEVER had before?!

I spent the whole of Sunday at Charis’s with this stirring of mixed emotions inside me, half of me felt proud and empowered, and the other half felt scared in case this side of me was potentially unlovable in this relationship.

Monday morning upon waking I was feeling a completely different emotion…

Excitement, I was so excited to have this amazing opportunity to be truly seen and whatever the outcome I knew I was doing the best for me, something I have very rarely done. You may think of this as selfish and I would have to agree with you, but this is what I’ve learnt about relationships… if you share things truthfully and honestly with your partner based on what you actually want for yourself and your relationship, and your partner acts differently towards you, judges you, or takes it so personally that your relationship begins to experience toxicity that you can’t get through, then atleast you know that the relationship you are in isn’t going to be a relationship that will facilitate self growth and therefore means it will have a very short shelf life.

Relationships aren’t meant to be shackles holding you down but act more as wings to lift you to new heights propelled with unconditional support and love.

The conversation began as we were in the car driving towards Colchester… I started it by saying, “I’ve got something I really want to tell you but I’m a little unsure how you are going to take this” “ok I’m scared now” replied Charis nervously. Telling her about everything that happened Saturday night I really tried not to have any expectations of the outcome but instead just give her all the information, no manipulation, no lies, just the 100% honest truth.

The last bit of the journey was fairly quiet to be honest, I don’t think either of us really knew what to say or even whether to say anything at all.

We parked up and went to the closest coffee shop so we could sit down and speak abit more but this time face to face. I told her how hard it was for me to go ahead and actually act on these thoughts ‘that night’ and my biggest fear being that she would think differently of me. She told me that, of course it hurts to hear that you have been with someone else but I just want you to know I love you and support you.

Over the next few days we had some really tough conversations, but they really enabled us the opportunity to learn things about eachother and more importantly ourselves. I would say that we communicate reasonably well and are open and honest but we’ve learnt that our communication skills are an area we need to focus on a lot more.

We are still working through this and setting clear boundaries when it comes to us both exploring our curiosities surrounding our sexuality, and how we can support eachother fully because I don’t want my fears or insecurities to stop Charis from experiencing all the pleasure she wants because after all we only get one life and I have no right to tell her what she can and can’t do with her own body.

The person I want to be is the person that is able to metaphorically high five Charis when she tells me how much fun she had doing x,y and z, and when I get to that point I know I will be living in a state of love and NOT fear.

I’m still learning to love who I truly am and that only comes with giving myself permission to be truly seen. I’ve already had a bit of backlash which indirectly has affected Charis, no one wants to see their partner being ridiculed or judged, but the thing is, I have done so much to get to this point and although sharing this now as openly and honestly as I am does still bring up feelings of ‘what will people think of me’ I feel I have a duty, not only to myself, but also every other person who is carrying around a suitcase full of shame around, and if by me opening up and talking about things gives someone else that bit of courage to open up, then little by little we all begin to allow eachother to step into who we truly are, NOT who we think we are meant to be.

P.s I am so full of gratitude for my life and everything in my life right now, I have an amazing girlfriend, I have a family that love me, I have a handful of very close friends and I have the opportunity to help people on a daily basis

Live your life unapologetically you!

Sexuality And Shame

What comes to mind as soon as you hear the word sexuality…?

Is it the differentiation between gay, straight, bisexual and everything inbetween?

Well my proverbial scholar lets take a trek into the murky waters where shame and sexuality lie, but tread carefully, you could quite easily be eaten up by the green eyed judgemental monster.

Lets start with good old wikipedia…

Their definition of the word sexuality is,

The way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological, erotic, physical, or spiritual feelings and behaviours.

So in short it can be described as everything you are, from not only an ego standpoint, but also a human genetic standpoint.

Basically sexuality is such a broad term that it is more of a blanket word that covers so many different aspects, and I want to specifically break down certain parts of sexuality that I have experienced, and areas that I am hugely passionate about.

SHAME…

Now shame is something that we all have internalised at one point or more in our lives, and I am no different.

From a very early age I was brought up as a Jehovahs Witness, There are a lot of positive loving lessons i’ve learnt that have been due to this part of my childhood and I am by no means bashing this religion, but I would like to just share some of my feelings surrounding shame around masturbation and why growing up I struggled.

For the majority of my life I have always felt like a child whose parents told him to ‘stop touching your willy’ it felt like I was disgusting, seedy and later on in life weird and obsessed.

One of my earliest memories was when I was in middle school so I must of been maybe 11, and one of the kids in my class who was openly interested in boys used to sit next to me in my music class.

I can’t remember exactly how the conversation started but it was something along the lines of ‘do you wank?’

This was about the age that the surge of testosterone was now beginning to flood my body.

Of course I felt embarrassed and told him no.

He said to me ‘you can come round mine after school and I can show you how to?!’

Due to fear, shame and embarrassment I never took him up on the offer.

1 thing that sticks out in my mind about that conversation though was just how accepting of himself he was at such an early age.

I have a few other of these ‘experiences’ that go further than just a few embarrassing words but ironically writing a blog about shame is bringing up feelings around shame…

Don’t you worry though, I have made a promise to myself to ‘bare all’ over the course of the next 12 months.

Shame can be so crippling because its not only our own feelings of humiliation, but it’s even more so our fear of becoming an outcast.

Masturbation made me feel like I was doing something naughty, and one to two seconds after that moment of ejaculation, I was flooded with all these thoughts of i’m bad, I shouldn’t of done that, why do I keep doing this? why can’t I stop? am I normal? The only tool I had in my toolbox to deal with all these feelings was to internalise them and stuff them so far down in the hope that they never came up again.

But…

Of course they come up again, that’s what unhealed trauma does, it’s there to protect us from a perceived danger.

That danger for me, was that I wouldn’t be loved and I would not only hurt and upset Jehovah but i’d bring shame and disappointment to my mum (my dad wasn’t a jehovahs witness) which as a young lad was something that terrified me.

As I went through my teenage years I closed myself off to any sexual experience I could of engaged in and instead chose to continue being the little boy who shut himself away.

Many religions see masturbation as a sin, Jehovahs witnesses see masturbation as an unlcean mentally and emotionally defiling serious sin of fornication, now imagine what that conditioning can do to a pre-pubescent child.

Shame can show up anywhere and as we continue to trudge on I want to take a look at society as a global collective and how we as sexual human beings are shamed for our sexuality.

The rise of personal explicit sexual content platforms such as onlyfans. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a monthly subscription service where individuals or couples upload content (photos or videos) and put them out to the public for a low cost price ranging between £5-£10 a month.

I recently saw a post on my social media newsfeed where a girl (no judgement towards her on my part here) had stated her views about this particular platform, and how degrading and disgusting this type of thing is and girls who choose to do this need to learn a little self respect.

There were a lot of comments with the same views as this girl, but as I scrolled further down the comments, I read far too many from young lads saying that these girls are slags, and plenty of other words their mother would wash their mouths out for uttering.

The irony in this is the fact that these lads, i’m pretty certain choose, and enjoy watching porn probably on a daily basis, and are more than happy to make use of the free wanking material available online,

BUT… as soon as a girl wants to make money from it, then they need to be shunned and ridiculed, hmm…

Now I wonder how many of them girls who were commenting derogatory things on that post are the same girls that HATE the gender inequality when it comes to sex inparticular,

The…

Girls are slags if they sleep about yet men are studs and deserve a high five.

Truth is those people that took the moral high ground, and decided to look down their noses, have also got some form of unhealed trauma that is triggered by people that fully embrace their sexuality, which is definitely something that is a humanitarian crisis that only further disconnects us from eachother.

Now lets say you like the thought of setting up one of these platforms, or lets say you choose to fulfil your desires through things such as underground sex dungeons or swinging clubs, however out there or vanilla they are, would you be ashamed if your boss/clients found out?

You know the whole notion of ‘I wouldn’t get a tattoo there think about how employers would view it’ again this is just another opportunity for you to stuff that sexuality so far down that you to can join teenage me in becoming the dirty little child hiding yourself in your bedroom.

As were etching closer to the promise land where we can all live in harmonious nakedness, a place where body shaming no longer exists and love and sex are part of our every day life where we roll around in the endless fields of beautiful flowers…

Wait, sorry that was the 60’s or what i’ve been accustomed to believe, oh how I wish I could of experienced that decade.

Now this might possibly be the most feared grim reaperesque of all…

Embracing and owning our sexuality in the face of our family and partner.

Now why is this a piece of the puzzle that no matter what way you try to turn it just doesn’t seem to fit.

From a very early age we have learnt what things we need to do, or be, to get attention/approval, but more importantly love (or our perception of what us getting their love looks like)

It could be achieving a good grade at school,

It could be doing well at sports day,

It could be getting into your parents preferred university,

Or it could be as little as something like sleeping well through the night regularly,

No matter what it is we have learnt that certain actions, achievements or successes gain us positive reinforcements.

Now this inherently makes every single one of us a people pleaser to varying extents.

This positive reinforcement continues through to your adult life with job or career roles, positive intimate relationships, and moving in to your first house.

Now what if you have done and become everything you feel you should and the rewards from family in the form of approval and love have been precedent, but you suddenly have the realisation that you are actually living someone elses life, and not the life you have chosen for yourself…

you begin to fantasise about possibilities of a new life, a life that lights you up and turns you on, a life that doesn’t see you go to uni but instead sees you owning your own business, a life that doesn’t see you in a ‘secure marriage’ but instead sees you enjoying exploring your sexual desires with multiple consensual partners, a life that doesn’t see you in a nice home with a garage and financed car but instead sees you travelling the world living life on your terms…

How do you unbecome the person you have shown your family you are, and become the person you actually want to be without the fear of losing their approval and love?!

Now what about (this was something that I suffered with and caused a lot of hurt because of) you don’t give yourself permission to embrace your sexual curiosity, and you have allowed fear and shame to consume you and you’re now in a relationship thinking to yourself ‘I have never experienced this, I have never given myself the opportunity to see if I like that’ and as each day passes you become more and more engulfed with this feeling of curiosity, shame, guilt and fear.

You don’t want to hurt your partner because you love them, you even wish that you didn’t have these fantasies and desires because now you’re having thoughts of infidelity, these toxic thoughts are only heightening the feelings of fear thinking of your life without your partner that you have created together.

Now i’m not here to judge you could say it would be a case of the pot calling the kettle black but I prefer to look at it like this…

I have invested the last 3 years deep diving into the areas where I hold the most fear and shame around…

My sexuality.

I have slayed many dragons but I have also got badly burnt in the meantime.

I have had judgement from ‘friends’

I have had judgement from family,

and I have even had judgement from people that don’t even know me, but what i’ve also had is an amazing relationship come to fruition, a couple of very close friendships become even closer but more importantly I have dropped so much emotional baggage i’ve been carrying round and can categorically state that my life, confidence and sex life have improved more than I could of imagined.

I’m not hear to tell you it’s all going to be rainbows and unicorns in fact quite the opposite BUT the reward far outweighs any judgement you may endure.

What i’ve learnt is shame is actually fear of loss, we fear losing those people that are close to us all the while are more than comfortable with losing ourselves, now that is lifes biggest paradox.

If your religion has you carrying so much shame is it a religion that serves you?

If your job, social circles or community shun you for embracing your sexuality then are the cons outweighing the pros?

If your family judge you for removing the mask and showing up as your true self then do you want to allow them to control anymore of your life?

If your mariage/relationship isn’t open to growth and freedom to become the best version of yourself then is it the right one for you?

There are many different options available but my advice to you is DO NOT allow your true self to hide in the shadows any longer.

If you want to gain more insights in to how you can start embracing your sexuality more, I highly recommend one of my favourite podcasts which is True sex and wild love created by Whitney Miller and Wednesday Martin who are doing amazing things regarding sexuality and relationships.

Am I A Toxic Friend?

In almost all the content and things you will read regarding your friends, family and romantic partners, the blame is always put on them, instead of taking responsibility and ownership for a co-created relationship.

As much as narcissists believe otherwise, you can’t control and manipulate another person and nor should you want to, but very often the opposite of this feels like you have to completely remove them. this is the part where the real growth occurs…

Let me offer you another solution, one where you’re not victimising yourself, one of self-empowerment and love where you don’t have to try and force someone to be what you think they should be, or holding on to anger and hurt because you’re path is no longer aligned with theirs.

I have went through my whole life trying to either be something/someone i’m not, or never truly allowing myself to be seen. The reason for this is fear, fear that I would be judged, at least if I was judged while wearing a mask I could always tell myself that it’s not really me anyway, but remove that mask and allow myself to be judged, was a fate I was not willing to accept.

At my lowest points I have always turned to 3 things,

  1. Sex
  2. Drink
  3. Drugs

And 2 years ago was no different. My behaviour and mindset over the course of 18 months led me to surround myself with people that were also on a similar path. Saturday was spent in the pub engaging in ‘pub conversations’ and ‘pub behaviour’ while pouring money down the urinal every half hour or so.

Saturday was my day to block out the pain, hurt and shame of being a 30/31 year old man who was living in his gym, having no money and being unhappy with my current life.

Saturday gave me everything I needed.

Things began to change when I started to envision a different life for myself, a life that I felt proud of, a life that fulfilled me and that I wasn’t ashamed of.

Through one of my blogs i’d wrote on loneliness, I had received a message from someone that my words resonated with, little did I know at the time that she too, was going through her own struggles and engaging in self sabotaging behaviour that she too wanted to stop.

The more time we’d spent together the more I wanted to not only be a positive influence in her life, but I also wanted to create the life I had envisioned for myself.

I knew that I had to make some big changes, but the question was always how…

How do I make changes to my lifestyle without removing people from my life?

I knew that I couldn’t be around certain things and have the willpower to just say ‘no’ so what option was I left with?

At the time I felt like I only had one, that was to remove myself. unfortunately this come with certain consequences that i’d like to say I didn’t expect, but being someone that lacks naivety I could sense this was heading towards me.

The more I distanced myself and stopped engaging in things that were taking me further away from that life I wanted, the more my life improved and the happier I became.

About four months ago I was having a particularly reflective day, I can remember thinking to myself I am so grateful for the tough time I went through, not only because I learnt more about myself in 2 years than I ever have done, but because I am now someone I am proud of, and know that I have learnt so many valuable lessons that I can take with me in my new life and relationship.

As I mentioned previously, my whole life has been me showing versions of myself that I am happy for people to see, I have never removed every single mask and ‘bared all.’

This ‘new’ man that had walked through the flames, is no longer living in fear of judgement. Not only is my relationship a loving, supportive, safe container to express myself fully, but also the body that I live in isn’t used to shield people away.

All the blogs, videos and other forms of content I put out now i’m so passionate about, and it’s so amazing to see and hear the positive responses it gets, but recently I was challenged…

The message I share is one of self love, that means not only loving a part of who you are, but who you are in all your imperfect perfection.

A few weeks ago I shared on my Instagram a picture of me naked from when me and my girlfriend had been sunbathing (just to clarify I was naked she wasn’t) I’d spared social media my manhood by covering it with a tomato emoji, it fit so why not ha! The caption i’d posted it with was ‘would body shaming still be a thing if none of us ever wore clothes?’ it had a fair bit of interaction and the responses it received were very interesting, the majority of people voted for ‘yes’ body shaming would still be a thing. little did I know that a couple of people had screenshot that picture and used it to try and elevate themselves by belittling me behind my back.

When I said previously I expected this type of response, that was because I was recently made aware that this sniggering behind my back had been going on for a while.

A few days later My phone went off with a message saying ‘what is wrong with you have you lost the plot?’ attached was the photo i’d posted, there was a bit of back and forth where I was made aware of a couple of other judgements that if i’m honest did get to me.

Why did it get to me?

Well because I like to think of myself as an innocuous friend, a friend that accepts that we all are different and will ALWAYS see things from the other persons point of view, and I suppose if i’m honest I had imposed a level of entitlement on myself to be treated exactly the same.

The truth is, I could of held on to that anger and hurt, but this anger and hurt was my own fault and for me to take full responsibility of.

Why?

Well every single one of us deals with things differently and when we begin to set expectations we are only leaving ourselves open to disappointment.

One of my favourite quotes is…

‘Unrealistic expectations are pre-meditated resentments’

Remember, just because you do something or would handle something differently doesn’t mean that you’re right and they are wrong, usually it’s just a lack of communication that both parties have to take ownership for.

So now with all that being said what other option was I actually left with?

Communicate!

It could have been as easy as follows…

*Sets up group chat

Hi lads,

I just wanted to say firstly, thankyou all for being there for me when I needed people around me the most. As you all know I was going through a really shit time and i’m hugely grateful that I didn’t have to go through it alone.

Secondly, I just want to say that my reasons for not wanting to come out drinking anymore is nothing personal, and if I was stronger and able to come out and enjoy myself without doing anything i’d regret then i’d still come out, but unfortunately I don’t feel like I am. Hopefully we can still arrange to catch up each week outside of the pub.

Finally I just want to say I hope you understand my situation and why I feel I need to do this.

Speak soon,

Dan.

Sometimes in life we make turn innocent situations into an issue, by making assumptions instead of just communicating openly and honestly.

I’ve realised so much over the last 2 years, things that have enabled me to take full responsibility, there are times in my life when I have been a toxic influence, times where I have been someone I wouldn’t want to spend time with and times where I have done things where i’ve even shocked myself because I never thought I was capable, but we have all been blessed with this life and we have a duty to not only ourselves, but also those close to us to make sure we are doing everything we can to be a positive influence.

I am by no means saying that when you start to change path you will not encounter some form of resistance, either from yourself or others, but if you ‘fight’ this resistance with bitterness and hate, this will only hinder you from taking the next step forward.

Be grateful for those people that were there for you, and thank them for being a part of your life, and if they truly care about you they will be happy to see you striding towards the life that you want, and if they don’t, then DO NOT allow their lack of care for you turn you into something you’re not, ALWAYS remain true to yourself and bless them with your kindness.

Are You A Pawn In Someone Else’s Game Of Chess?

If this is you then you may find yourself expressing doubts concerning the veracity of this blog and every part of your being might want to kick ten tons of shit out of the writer,

A 31 year old love addict who just wants to empower and inspire you through open blogs and vulnerable public conversations with his amazing girlfriend so you can have the relationship you want and deserve.

So, intro done, I want to take you for a ride, a ride that begins with me and you looking into your current relationship to understand whether you have in fact been chosen just to take on the role of the ego stroker,

Sounds like a backstreet knocking shop doesn’t it, but unfortunately this kind of stroking doesn’t get you paid.

Now i’m definitely no Sigmund Freud but before we dive head first into your relationship I want to explain a little bit about the ego.

Pay attention or you may get the board rubber treatment that I got when I was not listening and i’ll tell you what, A board rubber bouncing off your table and hitting you square in the chest is enough to grab your attention until the bell rang for end of class.

The ego;

The ego is the component of personality that is responsible for dealing with reality. According to Freud the ego develops from the id and ensures that the impulses of the id can be expressed in a manner acceptable to the real world. The ego functions in both the conscious, preconscious and unconscious mind.

Thankyou Freud.

Now let me break this down into real terms for you.

The ego is there to keep us safe and is always on the lookout for any perceived danger.

You know that gut wrenching feeling you get when you have to speak in public or have to engage in any activity that takes you out of your comfort zone, well your ego is telling you not to do it because people will laugh at you, you’ll look stupid, you won’t be very good etc etc, but thisis not a negative thing because the ego is only their to keep you safe. Think back to cavemen times and how dangerous going out hunting woolly mammoth could be, you definitely wouldn’t want to have zero fear and be without the voices in your head telling you to be careful because you’d more than likely be ripped from limb to limb.

As well as keeping you safe the ego also wants to take credit for everything, the ego wants to be loved, praised, worshipped and adored. imagine writing a blog and getting no likes, positive comments or interaction at all, your ego will begin to tell you you’re writing isn’t good enough and that you should quit because it only wants you to engage in things that feel good.

The ego isn’t good or bad it just is, and it’s up to us to be in control of our ego and not allow it to control us.

Now good ol’ Sigmund and his sidekick Professor Reader have left the room we can continue on and unpack your current relationship.

I am genuinely here to hold your hand as you navigate the depths of your relationship so you can have a birds eye view of whether or not your partner genuinely loves you unconditionally and holds your wants and needs just as high as his own.

As I reflect on to you my shield of love we can now begin.

Before you met how long had he been single and does he have a history of relationship hopping?

When you first met how were you treated?

Were you praised, adored, complimented, couldn’t keep his hands off you, wanted to be around you 24/7, shown off to his friends,

Or…

Were you kept behind closed doors, never invited out with him, only saw him on his terms, only really heard from him if it was something to do with sex?

A few months into the relationship were you feeling closer to him and far less uncertain about where the relationship is heading,

Or…

Have you still not really opened up to eachother and you often find he will belittle you so you now feel unworthy of being with him?

A year down the line and one of the very few times he has asked you to go out with him he tells you how amazing you look and how excited he is for date night,

Or…

He tells you what to wear and how to have your hair and makeup because he says he wants you ‘both to look good when you go out?’

Are there any patterns so far?

The reason why I ask you these questions is because unfortunately not everyones motives are pure and although you might think that your relationship is ok until you actually begin to look at things without the baggage of all your emotions it’s so easy to be blinded, trust me, i’ve been there!

The hierarchy of a relationship can be a driving factor for someone with low self worth and deep rooted insecurities,

For instance,

A bloke (could also be a woman) may go in search of a girl that appears to be weak so that he is the dominant one in the relationship and she feels ‘lucky’ or beneath him which usually means he can pretty much get away with whatever the fuck he wants.

A woman (could also be a bloke) may go in search of someone that isn’t in her opinion that attractive because she doesn’t feel like she deserves better. This can be particularly dangerous because there will be very little physical intimacy which will leave a huge void in the relationship.

Being with someone that you wholeheartedly see on the same level as you can actually be quite intimidating because someone who is independent, strong and self assured WILL NOT be manipulated, controlled or belittled but if you both commit to be the best version of yourself then the foundations of the relationship are already far stronger than one of which needs reassurance and ego stroking.

We have a duty not only to ourselves but also our partners to be the best version of ourselves so we don’t take too much unnecessary energy out of the relationship to fight for reassurance and constant praise and validation.

Once you have done the work required and NOT got into a relationship hoping that you can just bypass the work and be filled with reassurance, niceties and compliments this is the the most powerful position to be in when it comes to attracting a genuine, loving partner, because the old adage law of attraction states we only attract what we are and you CANNOT trick the universe into giving you what you want without actually being what you want first.

Self love, is always the most important place to start!

How My Sexual Violation Empowered Me

Hi, I’m Charis. For those of you who know Dan, you will know this blogging platform originated from the man himself. You will also know the past eighteen months of blogging Dan has been nothing but open and honest. As I am piggy backing the audience he has drawn, I plan to follow suit with each contribution to this platform.


Before the 21st of December 2017 I was your average 18-year-old wishing away the week days and longing for that ‘Saturday night feeling’. I was out, most weekends, enjoying the feeling of intoxicating my body with alcohol alongside my friends. I had just started university at the time and after all, this what students go to university for right?


You’re probably questioning why I have introduced my story with an introduction to who I was before the 21st of December. The answer is simple. On that night I headed into town with my friends to enjoy the Christmas festivities. The only thing I was unaware of upon heading out that evening was that a 30-year-old male would break my spirit in a matter of minutes. My spirit remained broken for 9 months.


On the night of this discussion I was raped and pornographically violated. Particularly heavy words huh. I woke up in the home of a stranger, naked, disorientated, exposed, and oblivious of actual confirmation of what had happened the night before. I refused to believe what had happened to me was true. I never used the word ‘rape’ until it was presented to me in verbal communication from my counsellor that, that is what had occurred that night. Despite not knowing what had happened the night before all I knew when I left the next day was that there was a part of me missing. Exactly two weeks after the attack I was presented with my worst fears, a sexually explicit image of me surfaced, an image of my perpetrator engaging in intercourse with me. The photo was shared to my best friend, all his friends, and even made its way back to my own mum. Waking up the next day I did not believe anything else could break me. Boy was I wrong. The little piece of myself I had left had been stolen from me too. For the next three months following January the 4th I was mocked and laughed at by his friends, my ‘friends’ and my attacker himself. I truly had no care or regard left for myself, I was ashamed and riddled with self-blame. I began engaging in self-sabotaging behaviours; I was going out increasingly, misusing alcohol to numb the way I truly felt. I began to purge, head over the bowl, eyes streaming, screaming out for someone, anyone to save me from myself.


I went on like this for months. I hadn’t seen my perpetrator for months either. On August Bank Holiday Sunday I saw him. In a local bar, I sat in my seat at a table with my friends and he walked behind me, stroked my arm and hair. I did not move an inch, I wanted to cry, claw away at the part of my skin he had yet again invaded. He committed this act to simply remind me of what he had done, almost as if he was proud, it gave him a sense of control and dominance. He saw that I was enjoying my evening and decided he would soon put me in the place that belittled me and empowered him. Where it would have been easy for me to run home that night, I took a breath, rung my sister, and continued my night out. From the moment I stayed out I knew something had snapped inside of me. I had, had enough.


You see if you knew me on the outside, I looked fine and the majority of the time those whom are suffering look ‘fine’ on the outside, behind my bedroom walls I was howling praying to be anyone but myself.


Then I met Dan. I stumbled upon one of his blogs about loneliness. The universe had placed this blog in my path because it knew it was exactly what I needed to introduce me to the person whom was also struggling in his own personal life. Dan was never placed in my path for him to save me. Dan introduced me to podcasts and journaling. A week into communicating with Dan I knew exactly what I had to do without any interpretation from him. It was that I needed professional help. I made the call, attended the assessment and begun my six months of professional help. A form of help like no other. This was the route to correcting my self-destructive behaviours and allowing my heart to forgive myself.

I truly commend anyone with the bravery to admit themselves to counselling and therapy. I remember walking out of my assessment to meet my mum and sister. The only line I said to them whilst my voice cracked was ‘I know it was going to be hard but I didn’t think it was going to be that hard’ all the anger and hurt I projected upon myself for the past nine months was beginning to release from my body. His toxicity and grip that felt so heavily forced around my neck began to loosen. I write this part of this article tears streaming down eyes because I will never forget overwhelming feeling of no longer being under suffocation.


I had never planned this vicious attack to ever be part of my story, but without it I would have not been enabled the empowerment to love myself unconditionally, I would have never discovered the level of awareness that I currently attain. I am no longer full of hatred for him, nor am I for myself. The incident served its purpose exactly when it was supposed to. It will always be a part of my story, but it will not continue to define my story. It shaped me into the empowered and independent woman that I am and for that reason alone I am full of gratitude. I had two choices. I could have chosen: to live a life of bitterness and hurt, or I could have chosen to take what had already happened and recreate something beautiful from it. My message to you is that no matter what feels like the most heart-breaking situation to occur. You always have the power to choose yourself. Nobody will ever have more power over you than YOURSELF. Something taught to me by my counsellor when all I could feel was powerlessness.


If the said individual ever reads this, I hope you acknowledge that I don’t hate you. I thank you for giving me something far greater than what you think you gained. You gave me self-love, growth, and power.

Thank you! C x

Addicted To Struggle

The dust has settled and the reality of the last 12 months of struggle has been a topic of discussion for the little people that live in my head.

As I sit here in my new fixed abode, my princess castle as I prefer to call it, I am flooded with feelings of gratitude,

To go from having nothing (my own perception of having nothing back then) to now have everything falling in to place for me just cements the fact that everything happens in our lives for us, and always gives us an amazing opportunity to learn.

I’ve learnt so much over the last 12 months and I just like to share with you 3 of my toughest moments that i’m genuinely so grateful I went through;

  1. I was in a really vicious cycle of getting off my head (alcohol and cocaine fuelled) and driving back to the gym early hours of the morning. Well this one night I was incredibly intoxicated even by my standards and I left the club, obviously have no recollection of this got into my car and drove back to my gym/home. I woke up the next morning about 9am fully clothed in the back of my car. It took me a few seconds to realise where the hell I was and then I began drowning in feelings of guilt, shame and fear! When you’re in such a dark place you don’t give a fuck about anything and this is where the danger lies. The rest of the day I spent beating myself up (rightly so) but desperately wanting help, unfortunately my pride and ego were still controlling me as I was struggling with my own issues of self worth so I refused to ask for help.
  2. This one taught me the biggest yet hardest lesson over the last 12 months and is the one i’m the most grateful for. I used to go to my dads one evening a week for dinner which I really enjoyed, not only was it a chance to have a nice home cooked meal each week but also because I knew I was walking in to my dads home who loves me unconditionally, something I was struggling to do for my self at the time! Around Christmas and new year time the temperature was as low as -8 and my clients will know that the gym was even colder inside than it was outside. One evening I wasn’t feeling particularly great, i’d had a shit nights sleep the night before and my stomach had been playing up all day leaving me feeling drained and frustrated. Dad had cooked a really nice dinner and after we decided to put a film on. About an hour in to the film dad had fell asleep on the sofa and as it was nearing 22:00 I decided to go ‘home’. I got up off the sofa walked to the front door and put my trainers on, just as I walked out the front door I looked back at my dad asleep on the sofa and within seconds I had tears coming down my face, I just wanted dad to say to me don’t go back to the gym it’s freezing cold, put his arm round me and say you can have the spare room for as long as you need it. I shut the door and got in to my car. When I got back to the gym I walked upstairs and laid out my bed (leather sofa with a blanket to sleep on and another blanket to cover myself with. It was so cold I couldn’t get undressed so I laid on ‘my bed’ fully clothed with my hoody, trainers and coat on. On reflection this was my lowest point not just because I could see every breath I exhaled but because I felt so ashamed for getting myself in to this position.
  3. After another cocaine and alcohol fuelled evening I made one of my most shameful mistakes i’ve ever made! This was the one that gave me the kick in the balls to really get my shit together! It’s so shameful that I can’t even go into detail about it but lets just say my words really hurt some people very close to me. I woke up the next morning devastated with myself for the things i’d said but it was then that the real work began and this opportunity to turn things around was not going to be snatched from me again by my pride and ego!

Now I’ve gave you the facts (or as many as I can possibly give you) I want to now explain to you why I am feeling so grateful and what each of these 3 experiences taught me.

  1. Even when we are in a really dark place, our self sabotaging self absorbed narcissistic behaviours can still cause potentially fatal consequences and we still have to take full responsibility and own our fuckups.
  2. No one, not your parents, your friends or your partner/s owe you anything and just because we put certain expectations on others it does not mean they are obligated to fulfil them.
  3. True love is unconditional! It has no conditions!

We are all victims of circumstance but that does NOT take away our responsibility for the actions we choose to take.

I went from being in a really shit place, to finally making the tough decision for myself to close my studio and get a job, and maybe P.t a bit on the side, but since then a whole load of doors have opened for me, and now I can truly believe that life happens for us NOT to us. things that happen in our lives are always there to teach us something so that we can get back on to our true path.

If you can see the lesson in everything ‘good’ or ‘bad’ then you will be able to see the blessing!

I’ve recently come to the realisation that a part of me is and has always been addicted to suffering, everything i’ve chose in my life has been the hard way, which is why I struggle with mediocrity. I never truly believed I can have the life of my dreams, so instead of falling in to the trap of an average life, I opted for the other extreme which is suffering, because that is something I knew I could do.

I don’t want to bore you with the psychoanalysis of my mind but what I do want to get you thinking about is a very important question I now regularly ask myself…

What is this teaching me?

If I hadn’t of stepped out my comfort zone and applied for that apprenticeship 10 years ago, I never would of experienced the amazing highs and lows in the forms I have (I still would of ended up on the same path but the route would of been different) and had the opportunity to meet the amazing teachers (all the people) that have come in and out of my life, and as I sit here at my desk in my bedroom that I love, I can hand on heart say I am mentally in the best place i’ve ever been. to have complete self belief, and confidence in who you are, is the most powerful state to be in, and if you’re currently going through something that you feel you can’t get through, just remember…

You’ve made it this far and you have the strength to keep going! Once you make it through the other side, you will feel so grateful that you went through it in the first place!

I may still be addicted to suffering, but that addiction is now what fuels me, because coupled with self belief and a vision I know wherever it takes me is exactly where i’m supposed to be!

Bring on the next 12 months of my life!!!