Tuesday, 7 October 2014



I want to be the guy who writes honestly because that is how I was brought up, to call things how they are without sugar-coating anything at all. So that is how I try and live my life and that is how I write.

A few weeks ago, I was given a referral to go to a radiological clinic to get a local anaesthetic injection and a cortisone injection, both at the same time. I have had a fear of needles ever since I was six years old. Some try and tell me it is unreasonable. I always reply to them that they have a fear too and sure enough, they tell me their fear. There is nothing wrong with feeling fearful at all. But where it becomes an issue is when it literally paralyzes you (pun intended) into inaction. That happened to me when I had to get those needles. I got so scared that I lost sleep four nights in a row, barely ate anything and consequently, was in no place to get the needles done on the day. I cancelled the appointment and went back to bed. I felt like an absolute moron, but knew in a strange way that I had done the right thing because had I gone to take the needles that day, they would have hurt a lot more than a day if I was feeling stronger.

So... I've taken a couple of weeks rest, both for my body and mind and this coming Friday at 2:15 pm, I will face my fear and get those two needles done because I really do need them. All I know is that I do not want to be the guy who is not man enough to take what he has to take in life because that has never been me. However, I do want to be the guy who is not afraid to be honest with his emotions. If I am feeling scared, I want to be honest enough where I can admit it. If I feel I am too tired to deal with something, physically, emotionally or both, I want to be the guy who does not feel like he has to hide it and try to put on his fake cape and be a fake Superman. That is not me. That has never been me. That never will be me. I hope you all know, no matter how well you know me, that I get just as scared as the rest of you. The difference is whether or not you get up after you have had your moment of fear.

Giving up is not an option,


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Better or Bitter

If you are older than 2 years old, you should know by now that life presents us with a lot of choices, daily. Some complex ones and some that we make without much thought at all. Do I have coffee in the morning? That is a natural thing for me. Do I have steak or chicken for dinner? That's a choice but not a choice that will effect me long-term. There are those everyday choices that alter the present, but then there are bigger choices that have the potential to effect the rest of our lives. Choices about our career, our life partner (or even if we choose to stay single), religion, where we live will effect the rest of our lives and the way we do things.

One of those choices is something I was talking to a friend about earlier today. It is the choice about whether to be better or bitter, particularly when you are struggling physically. When life metaphorically punches you in the face, how do you react internally? Do you face it with optimism or a bitter attitude?

I have recently been diagnosed with arthritis in my shoulders and the doctor thinks there are more issues going on with my left shoulder that probably require surgery. I must admit it has knocked me a bit because any surgery on my shoulder would mean losing a lot of my independence, long rehabilitation and deferring my studies again. I had a couple of days of whining to God about how I don't want to deal with this, that I don't have the energy and it's too hard. His response: I know. The simple truth is that he knows what we are fearing, even before we admit it. What's the point of fearing something that is not even here yet? It just robs sleep, peace, joy and love and in my case, ability to study properly as well.

Therefore I have now made the decision and whenever I face most medical issues, I try to take the positive, or better, perspective on it all, knowing that what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal, as the bible says. God has it all in his hands, so hold his hand, look to him knowing that with his sufficient grace, we can overcome our current situation with a better attitude and not become bitter.

Be better,


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Just Do It – seriously!

Breaking news: I have over the last few weeks been reminded that I am not a superhero, that I am just an imperfect male human. In light of this shocking development in my life, I have come to the conclusion that I need to rely on outside sources for strength even more. It is a very humbling thing when you are reminded of this and it is even more humbling when it is a series of events combined into one life lesson.

On June 17, I had a nerve conduction test, which involved about six needles at once into my left arm to test how reactive my nerves are in my arm because I have had a nerve injury for nearly a year now. I was told that my ulnar nerve on the outside of my left arm now only functions at 5%, so I have basically lost all feeling and doctors are saying I will not regain the feeling and it will always be weaker than normal. Do I accept this as my new standard in life or do I keep going with physio, pain relief and try my best to try and gain it? Sometimes, you just need to learn to accept the inevitable, that these people have studied and practiced for years in their field and know what they are talking about.

Only a few days after this, I left Australia for the first time as I headed to China on a study tour, totally paid for by my university. It was an absolutely amazing experience as I got to learn all about Chinese culture and experience their way of life for 15 days. The Chinese people are some of the most selfless people I have seen in my life and hopefully Australians can learn from this because we certainly have room for improvement in this area. The experience left me feeling vulnerable (according to our team leader, that was the whole goal of the trip) because I had no idea how to communicate, how to get anywhere, even how to use chopsticks at first. Now I could tell you how to get around Tianjin and Beijing, basic language, how to make Chinese tea, write in Chinese and cook real Chinese food and yes, I can use chopsticks.

All this has lead me to the thought that we are only humbled and vulnerable if we allow ourselves to feel that way. Our feelings are our choice and should not be a result of external factors. But hey, we are humans and sometimes they will be influenced by other things. There is nothing wrong with being humbled because sometimes we just need to be knocked down a few pegs. The important thing here is that we do not let that feeling make us feel low in ourselves and we just take things on board as learning experiences.

So going back to my title, despite how you feel, internally or physically, just get up and get on with it because in the end you will find you have more strength than you thought. On that day I had my nerve conduction test, I was in crazy amounts of pain and as I live on my own, had to cook dinner, wash clothes and clean the kitchen. I did it all because in the end, you realize that you have more strength in you than you know and you may even surprise yourself just how strong you are, physically or emotionally.

Giving up is not an option,