The best decision that I’ve ever made

In life coaching on Friday,  where i go weekly with the Hidden Homeless in Bradford, Nina asked everybody to consider writing a testimonial or something for the magazine,  Hidden Voices. A lot of the group wrote something there and then, but I couldn’t think of something that I hadn’t said before or already written in an evaluation sheet, so I said I’d have a think about it and write something later.wpid-wp-1437683979599.jpeg
I had a few ideas about what to write. I was going to write about the change in my life thanks to Gary (founder of Hidden Homeless)and Nina (amazing life coach) so I got out my notebook and made a list of the ten most obvious ways in which my life is different. Most were quite obvious, simple differences: I’ve started making a conscious effort to focus on the positives in my life, remembering to be thankful for my blessings rather than resentful of what I feel is missing from my life; I’ve developed love for who I am as a person, the me that is doing my best right now to be a person I can like, rather than focusing on the mistakes I’ve made in the past and the pain and embarrassment I’ve caused to my loved ones. Number 4 on my list was “I have gained the confidence in myself to make difficult choices.”

Today’s been quite a stressful day, and I’ve been so glad of a few tearful phone calls and IM chats with the amazing friends I’ve made in the last 6 months, my support network, which brought me to the conclusion that I have been quite a selfish friend recently because I’ve started slipping into old behaviours without realising it. I’ve been so focused on trying to drag somebody else through their dark times so that I don’t have to watch them self destruct or end up diving in after them, basically trying to control a situation that I can’t be responsible for in an effort to ensure that I didn’t throw myself into the abyss, and I didn’t realise I was doing a subtle, slow slide down into that despair filled pit without looking around and seeing where I was. I wasn’t paying attention. And I wasn’t any good to anybody because of it. I haven’t been there for friends who could’ve done with the support and I wasn’t helping the person I was holding onto so tightly.wpid-wp-1437683979620.jpeg
So I had another reminder that I have to take care of myself in order to be a good support to anybody else, and I’m glad I got it now rather than 6 months down the line.

Every week Nina gives us a small task to take home and reflect on. I maybe don’t put as much effort in as I did the first time I attended the course, just because I think more positively in general now after attending life coaching for 3 consecutive courses, and don’t often feel the need to really sit down and use my ‘homework’ quite so desperately as I once did. That frame of mind comes easier now, it’s a habit to analyse my thought rather than leading with my feelings. I couldn’t even remember what I had written down in the back of my notebook last week but today I felt like I really needed a a large dose of Nina’s ever – insightful, logical positivity!
As soon as I read my notes I knew instantly that this would work as a journal entry for my blog as it would be a good way to reflect on my emotional growth and I usually find writing therapeutic, and it would also be a good testimonial for the hidden homeless as without Gary and Nina I would never have learned the skills to separate my thoughts and my feelings and reflect objectively on my behaviour, or to stop beating myself up for the things I can’t change.

The task that I brought home after last Friday’s session was to think about a decision I have made in my life that just felt right; where I have been my true, authentic self and made a choice for my life that took courage, belief, and determination.

It was obvious to me which decision I needed to reflect on.

A few months ago, my partner and I finally got offered a new flat. It was a bit smaller than we were already in, but it was off the council estate that we have bought and used our drugs in for the past few years and away from everyone who knew us for that. I fell in love instantly with the flat. It’s set back off the road in a quiet, tree filled area, with floor length windows in the lounge and a welcoming atmosphere. I could really picture our future there, it was our fresh start and I was beyond excited. I instantly started trying to collect stuff for our new home, so we could have it cosy and really make it our own. I planned scatter cushions and decided on the mural we would have on the wall, so we could face both that and the beautiful windows. We were going to get married. wpid-wp-1437683978883.jpeg

Then, after a long and painful revaluation of my life, due to various circumstances,  I decided not to move into the flat with my partner. It broke my heart and I still have to wipe away tears remembering how painful it was to come that decision. I still feel as though the future I was working towards has been violently ripped away from me. My partner probably doesn’t feel any better and I feel guilty thinking that he might be feeling like I am, but I had to dig deep for the humility to accept that there is nothing I can do to influence the choices made by others, some things I can’t solve, no matter how much I wish to. If I could do what’s necessary for him I would shoulder that burden in a heartbeat. Nothing I can do will solve this situation right now, because it isn’t mine to solve. I have now, after lots of soul searching, many filled notebooks, and too many tubs of icecream, got the belief in myself to know I have done my absolute best and there is nothing more I can do without any cooperation. I did not give up easily. I have done everything that is within my power. I worked hard at it, but ultimately I had to try to find the serenity in accepting the things that I can’t change. I was emotionally drained, and I can’t afford to invest so much energy into a black hole, getting nowhere with my efforts. I know where that path leads for me and I am determined that I will not stray too close to it, not for anybody. Because then I’m no good for anybody.

Now I have returned to faith. I’m trying to keep that connection strong, be it to God, the universe, fate; there is something stronger than me at play in this world, and I am trying to trust that whatever happens next will somehow, eventually lead to better things. I know I made the right decision. It hurts, but nothing worth having comes to us easily, as long as I do my best with the things I am responsible for, as long as I remain aware of the way I’m living and focus my energy on the right things, everything will come together. Maybe it’ll all work out so that I get to spend the rest of my life with the man I have idolised for nearly 7 years and sacrificed so much to be with. Maybe that’s not what’s in store for us. I have no way of knowing, I just have to keep working on my life and hope he does what he has to in order to get what he wants from life.wpid-wp-1437683977899.jpeg

This isn’t what I expected, or wanted, my life to look like at this point but this is the hand I have been dealt and I am playing it to the best of my ability. I can’t afford to lose again.

My broken heart will, slowly but surely, heal and I’ll recover but active addiction will, slowly but surely, kill me and break the hearts of my children.

There really is no choice in it.

#AnonDown | We are Anonymous and this is

hacktivist culture

#AnonDown | We are Anonymous and this is Operation Cyber Privacy,

This week we have turned our resources toward the crushing and horrific murder of our brother Jay Mack; a known and loved Anon within the collective for many years. His death falls upon the heels of the passing of ‘anti-protest’ bill c51 in Canada and brings with it sadness, frustration and a ferocious thirst for justice.

On July 16th 2015 James Daniel McIntyre was attending a planned and public protest against BC Hydro in Dawson’s Creek, British Columbia. RCMP were called to address another individual, yet somehow managed to set sights upon the wrong man. As a result, and because he was allegedly in possession of a knife, our brother was viciously murdered. He was not shot to disarm. He was not grappled by the two large officers on scene. He was not handled with reasonable force as mandated…

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James Daniel McIntyre Named as #Anonymous member shot by RCMP in Dawson Creek

The Cryptosphere

Anonymous Pondering: Anonymous #2 by Mattia Notari - Foto on Flickr Anonymous Pondering: Anonymous #2 by Mattia Notari – Foto on Flickr

As reported in the Alaska Highway News, the BC Coroner’s Service has finally named the Guy Fawkes-masked protester who was shot Thursday night by an RCMP officer outside the Fixx Urban Grill in Dawson Creek, BC.

He was James Daniel McIntyre. He was 48 years old, and had worked as a cook’s assistant and dishwasher at Le’s Family Restaurant for the last four years. Management there described him as “a hard worker.” His family lives in the town.

Saturday, RCMP raided the apartment of another member of McIntyre’s family, apparently in pursuit of information about the protest at the BC Hydro open house on the contentious Site C dam.

The Coroner’s statement:

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a man who died following an interaction with police in Dawson Creek on July 16, 2015.

The…

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Uchira Children’s Fund

Watch “Esther comes to stay… The first special needs child moved into the childrens village this week…”
John St Julien is a hero.  cropped-header1

He has become a massive inspiration in the way I try to live my life. He runs the charity Uchira Children’s Fund in rural Tanzania, saving children from going into child labour, helping mothers with HIV to support their families, providing  medical, nutritional, and educational support for families living in the kind of tough times that most in the West can’t even imagine. And he looks after stray dogs too!

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He seems such a spiritual person to me. He has a kind of glow around him, an aura of total love and selflessness. 

11:11; John St Julien’s story of synchronisity and consciousness. 

I’ve lost count recently of how how many times I’ve tried to explain my world view to people:

“The corrupt 1% don’t care about the plight of real people, and we can’t make them care, so what we have to do is try to minimise our reliance on the elite and learn to take care of ourselves and our communities. Let the ruling class crack on and we’ll look after each other”

I’ve been trying to get #GlobalCommunity trending for months! Of course I don’t expect everybody to drop their whole lives and move to Africa,  we don’t have to go to that extreme.  We can all follow John St Julien’s example by sharing what we do have with those that are in need. Going out into our community and helping people who are struggling, in whatever way we can manage. We have to learn to share. Society keeps trying to brainwash us into thinking we’re all such special individuals that deserve to spoil ourselves, but what does it matter what shampoo you use when people in the world are starving?  The big corporations will just keep plundering the earth’s resources es, putting profits before people, so it’s down to us to remember that it’s our humanity we need to cherish. What kind of world do you want to leave your children?

Please try to find some time to catch some of John’s amazing videos on YouTube. Here are a few of my top picks:

Child labour, and why school is so important here in Uchira

A lesson in morality…

Why does humanity value pieces of paper over the life of a mother?

Alleged Hacker Lauri Love Arrested in UK: US Demands Extradition

The Cryptosphere

Lauri Love Lauri Love

Cryptosphere contributor, Occupy stalwart, and dedicated Adrian Lamo heckler Lauri Lovehas been arrested in the UK, and after two years of sparring, a request for extradition has been filed by the US. He faces no charges in the United Kingdom: instead, the hacking charges are American, and the UK government here is putting its police force at the service of foreign powers. This bodes ill for a potential, and inevitable, extradition hearing, although UK PM David Cameron has shown some resistance to US extradition requests, as in the case of Gary Mckinnon.

Love has been fighting a variety of American charges since 2013, including allegations of having used SQL Injection to hack 5,000 NASA employees, the EPA, the Missile Defense Agency, the Federal Reserve, and the US Army, stealing credentials, logins, and credit card numbers, then leaking them to the public. They do not allege he…

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8 Ways that Emotionally Intelligent People Deal with Toxic People

This is a great piece. As an addict in recovery I find I have a strong desire to help others in the same boat, to spread the message. I have had to learn that I cannot fix anybody else, no matter how much support I offer, if they aren’t receptive to help then I’m wasting emotional energy and I can’t afford to do that. I need to keep my energy focused on staying on my own path of recovery. This is where building my own support network has been vital, I need people around me that want to see me do well, that genuinely care and aren’t just looking after their own interests, as those in active addiction or suffering severe depression often are, subconsciously or otherwise. I suppose this is why I want to help others and provide to them the support I am so grateful for. I firmly believe the old saying, “We keep what we have by giving it away,” but I have also had to learn the importance of firm boundaries in order to keep myself safe.
I’ve done a lot of work on keeping a positive attitude, trusting that as long as I make the right choices for myself and stay aware of my thought processes, then everything else will fall into place. I can control nothing and nobody in this world other than myself and the way I react to a situation. As long as I don’t allow myself to forget this then I am secure in my recovery. This is why it is dangerous to be around someone that is wrapped up in their own negativity. Whether it is intentional or not, they will always try to pull you down to their level. They sap your energy and make you question what you’re so positive about, over a period of time you find yourself wondering what is the point of trying. This is dangerous, and not just to addicts. Emotional stability is so important and it’s something I have to work at as somebody who has always been ’emotional’, if I lose that awareness of the link between my thoughts, feelings, and ultimately my actions then I am lost.