WARNING - In this post I will not be talking about a product, or service, what outfit I wore or what my make-up looked like. No this is about SHIT THAT MATTERS - SHIT THAT HAS SUBSTANCE!

I was laying in bed last night thinking about the topics to write about next. I have so many unfinished pending blog posts just sitting here awaiting my hit on the publish button. It's hard to find the time to write at the moment, that's why I usually write late at night. Then it hit me, it was this time of year again!

Origin time... it's that time of year where it's always been a tad bitter-sweet. I have some of the best memories, and also some of the worst. It was three years ago, when Darius was in Origin camp, he was out of form at Newcastle, the club was losing week in and week out, he was owed three years worth of third party payments, on top of that his depression was getting the best of him. I remember it all so vividly, it was during that third Origin camp that I decided to pack up house and leave him for good.

The pivotal moment for me was when I didn't recognise who that girl in the mirror was any longer. My heart was unhappy, my soul was broken, I was shaken, worn to the bone, I needed to get my A-game back, I knew I needed to break free. I will never let a man or another human define me - ever! If there is one good thing my parents have taught me, it's that you need to learn how to stand alone, be content with that and be strong enough to walk it.

The reason I'm sharing this with you is because it's coming up to the three year mark of when Darius was admitted to rehab for 21 days. One of the hardest and most difficult times I've endured and of course, his too. I have a blog post called 'Battling the Blues' sitting in my archives, it's been there for almost two years. And I've decided to finally share it on the anniversary of when he was released from rehab. It's a deep one, it actually scares me at how powerful it truly is, I know it's going to help others.

Why do I blog and share what I do, I actually choose to look at it as a form of selfishness if I don't haha. Why don't we share more of the bettering blog posts. How people can hit rock bottom and come back better than ever? That's the substance that this world needs more of. All the feel good stuff. This is my purpose and I'm going to own it solidly and wholeheartedly, no approval necessary.

Who would have thought, three years on. My hubby has turned his entire life around after hitting rock bottom. I ended up choosing to stand by a troubled man who was suffering, who had no family, quit football and was on the verge of ending his life. We are still married, the only difference is we are genuinely, happily married. We have a beautiful 21 month old daughter and we honestly couldn't be happier. Don't get me wrong, we still bicker and fight and he continues to piss me off all the time. But I tell you this, if he was still the man that he was three/four years ago, I wouldn't be with him. You can think I'm a fool, you can think what you want.

A few weeks ago I had dinner with some of the Origin girls before Game 1 here in Brisbane. I told them that I wished Darius and I weren't married, that we could have our time again. Reason being, because I love the man and the person I am with today, the man he is now so much more than the man I married back in 2012. And I say that loud and fu*king proud with my hand on my heart.

You're probably thinking where is she even going with this post and what's the point of it. Well I'll take you back to Origin Game 2, in Sydney last week. It was about 10 minutes before he broke his thumb, (he did however continue on to play out the final 25 minutes with the injury). I had this moment where I was overwhelmed with so much love and so much joy. It was the proudest I had ever felt of Darius in our 7 years together. It was that redemption moment that was conquering the heart!

We had dinner with his manager last month and I said, can we just take a moment to think about the fact that it was almost 3 years ago, Darius was sitting in his room in the rehab clinic not knowing what was going to happen with his life. He had no idea if he was even going to return to the game. There was so much uncertainty. And here he is, happy, healthy, an incredible father, and not only back playing at the club where he started his career but he's now the proud captain of that club. A role that he never thought about let alone considered possible. Now that's a redemption story, now that's a story with substance. 

As I mentioned earlier, Origin has always been bitter-sweet for me, but not this time. Reflection, allowed me to realise and give credit for how far he has come - how far we have come, on our journey together and as individuals. You know what, as silly as this sounds, I'm grateful for what I've gone through and for what we've gone through because in turn it's blessed us with an unbreakable bond and understanding for one another. When you read my mental health blog post, it'll hit you hard, you just wait.

I never used to be too concerned about watching Darius' games, I mean I watched them but not really if you know what I mean. It was an excuse to catch-up with the gals, have a few drinks and maybe make a night of it. Obviously since having a baby things have slowed down a lot. But at last weeks Origin game, I was annoyed at myself for not knowing all of the rules. I was like, fuck this I don't want to be 'that girl' anymore. Who really wants to be an amateurish wife anyway? Pep talks be like... 'always be the best version of yourself, well you're not being the best version of yourself Kayla' haha.

Making out like you don't care for the game, in my eyes is not something to be admired for when you're married to the man out on that field. So right then and there I was like hell yeah, I want to know every single rule and learn the game in and out. I choose to support my hubby 110%. So I made a promise to myself that this was something I was going to enforce moving forward. I used to laugh and think it was funny to say, 'oh I don't even know all of the rules, or I don't really watch the game'. How shit of a wife am I! That was the young Kayla, that was the 'I care about what people think of me and how people perceive me Kayla' - she's long gone now.

Unfortunately I'll have to put my cheering from the sideline duties on hold for now, as a broken thumb has ended his Origin journey for 2017. He'll be back leading the Broncs in 4 or so weeks depending on his recovery. 3/4 years ago, he would have been a wreck with an injury like this. It used to be his 'be all or end all' - not anymore.

So in short, I leave you with this. From really bad, difficult times, can come all but good. The storm always passes no matter how hard it's pouring. How can you ever really move forward, propel and flourish in life when you aren't being true. Talk about your life, don't be ashamed. We live through good times and bad times, for they are to be shared it's how you connect and create. You are a pioneer, we are all here to do great things. My PT told me this morning we are 'human doings' not 'human beings' and I was like uh huh so you have two choices in life... you can be or you can do... choose wisely, own it and embrace it!

I've found my purpose, it's not the followers, the likes, the social media engagement. It's not the free products, the paid campaigns, the materialistic things, the hair and makeup, the clothes I wear - they have no substance. That's not where I find happiness. Happiness is in my purpose, it's the imprint you leave on peoples hearts. The difference you make to another person's life. That's my purpose - so I'm owning it.

BATTLING THE BLUES BLOG POST - Coming 4th August 2017.