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'Dark' Feelings

Guest Mauritz

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Guest Mauritz

Coming from Southern Africa, without realising it, we’re all adrenaline junkies. A simple thing like reading a newspaper or watching news in South Africa can give you a good dose of adrenaline, get your blood pressure up – guess you know what I mean. Not to mention the constant worrying about your loved ones safety, the tragic murders and horrifying incidents all over the country.

The question: Years and years of pressure on the adrenals – can it harm you??? In my humble opinion, I think it can, especially if you move to the Land of Milk & Honey, namely the wonderful Land of Oz. I know, I speak of personal experience.

Coming over .... such a safe place – no aggression, friendly faces everywhere – very little crime. What happened to the hijackings, the murders, the rapes and all the ugly stuff??? Suddenly no adrenalin .... now the withdrawal symptoms. If you’re anything like me, then you start looking and looking for that rush. The body has a mechanism that actually removes adrenalin – so, it is continuously functioning, but now there’s no adrenalin to remove. A feeling of depression sets in. The constant look for a rush – the temper is short and sparks fly easily.

Suddenly your other half sees a person that’s a stranger. A feeling of being inadequate sets in and you sort of survive on the memories, those ones that gets the adrenaline flowing again. All the things you always wanted to do with the kids and in the house, you can do now. You can take the kids bike riding, walk at night. At home, you try hard to become an Aussie man – vacuum cleaner in the hand, doing the dishes, playing with the kids. Where’s my adrenalin??? Why do I feel I don’t belong here.

Suddenly the ‘klein jakkalsies’ start to bother – you don’t like the tattoo’s, the long hair, the ‘opgewarmde’ cars, the way people dress etc. You look for things to go wrong – things that’ll get the adrenalin pump going.

It takes a long time for the body to adapt, to get used to the new system – a peaceful system – a beautiful country – a safe country. A country where the adrenalin pump of fear only works one a year – not 24 hours a day.

For those who struggle here, who understands the benefits of being here, but who fight those ‘klein jakkalsies’ everyday – take a deep breath, think about that adrenalin pump. It takes a while for it to settle, then one can look at things from a different perspective. See the beauty, the normality – see it right through those tattoos and long hair. This is a great country with great people. You only want to go back to what you regard as normal – to feel normal again – to feel the adrenalin. Is it really normal???

Personally, I’d rather sleep peaceful at night and ride my horses hard, hunt hard, play hard to get the adrenalin going. Get the old pump going when I feel like it.

I’ve been here for 12 years – the first 2 I struggled with this self made adrenalin addiction. I met a great man who helped me a lot. I started doing yoga, tai chi – I practised meditation daily. I went for hypnosis. I worked hard – changing my life. I now see two different people – an older hard person with distorted views from a hard country – one that pops out now and then.

Then there’s the other – one that sees and understand beauty, because I’ve seen and lived the ugliness and hatred. Sometimes we have to look deep within ourselves and look for those original qualities – the ones we buried, because we had to live in a hard and dark place.

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Dear Mauritz,

Thank you so much for sharing that with us. :ilikeit:

It is very true what you say about the adrenalin rush. I agree it is very harmful to your health, my husband had a heart attack after 5 months of no adrenalin rush!!!!

Its a good thing to be able to put things into prespective as you have done. There are plenty of people out there with the same symptoms, perhaps they will realize that what they are feeling is very normal.

Thank you

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Hi m,

Jy is al 12 jaar hier en jy is nog steeds opgewarm soos 'n ou Ford Cortina. Haal die plastic lemoen van jou aerial af, smyt die fur op die dash af en sit gewone mags op. :lol: ...relax nou en skryf jou stories. Jy het 'n talent en baie mense hier like jou. Moenie worry nie, die verlede is die verlede en dis nou jou tyd om die lewe te geniet. Ek sien op daai foto van jou jy het jou klere af gegooi, gooi nou die slegte memories ook af en onthou net die goeie. Gebruik daai opgehoopde adrienalien van jou op iets konstruktiefs.....soos om jou vrou sommer 10 keer op 'n dag 'n drukkie te gee. Dit behoort die adrienalien vlakke op te jaag...joune en hare. :D

Suid Afrika is oor en verby...... :ilikeit:


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Suid Afrika is oor en verby...... ;)


Ganeig om saam met jou te stem KD - veral nou!!!

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Guest Mauritz

Verby of nie. All over and done with - who knows?? What I know is this - there are many hard at work getting out. There are many who don't want to go, but who'll eventually make the move. There are many who can't make the move at all.

Whatever the case - I want everybody here and I don't want 'little things (klein jakkalsies)' to get in the way.

It can be very, very hard making the ultimate decision. It can even be harder making things work on this side. All I know is that I want to give all I can to make people stay - to make people see this country for what it is - a great place, with endless opportunities ;) .

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Hi Mauritz

I was just talking about this very topic with my husband the other night.

I asked him "what are we going to talk about at the end of the day, when we are not constantly hearing about so many horrible things" and he said we would talk about al the good things that we are amazed at, like how we got good service and did not have to deal with a bad attitude etc. And I thought just how strange that is going to be. Dealing with this kind of society has become our way of life and where all the bad things were, there will be a void.

I dont think we will be able to switch off right away, we will still be paranoid and suspicious for a good while when we get there. But I am going to try and fill the void with good things and try to be a more relaxed non defensive person. The type of person I was before I had to deal with the new SA and its realities.

Lets hope we can try and get our innocence back. Then we will see things the way ozzies do, cos not many have any idea of what we live with as a daily reality.

Edited by NikkiH
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Guest Mauritz
Lets hope we can try and get our innocence back.

We all do things to survive - I compare it with an onion. If things get tough, we grow a bit of skin - with time we are so far removed from the pure core - we don't know or appreciate what we really are. When things get back to normal, we have to peel that onion. We all know what happens - the tears flow - we can't see straight. It is here where things go wrong. For some of us, it's just to hard - so we stop, we want to stay with that old skin - our comfort zone. We're afraid to keep on peeling.

I've seen many struggling with this issues the last 12 years (I was one of them) - I've seen families breaking up - I've seen people going back, only to return and start all over again.

If we understand the concept of peeling - finding a way back to what/who we really are - like you said - then we can start a new life - a wonderful life. We then have the strength to change things for the better.

If you see these things now - and you van talk about it - then you'll be ok :blush:

Edited by Mauritz
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Hey M thanks for the great post!! :P That is a good point that I never even considered.

We don't watch the news or read the papers. We made the decision to go based on crime and the current BEE situation and since then we feel like we don't need to watch or read things that are going to scare or depress us. We are leaving and thats that.

Richard ( :wub:) will however need to learn how to relax about work. At the moment he slaves away cos Telkom have retrenched so many people that the guys left have to work 3x harder. That is another kind of heart attack material!!! :)

I will have to learn to relax with the kids!! I'm like a stress bunny when it comes to them, where they go, who they talk to, who looks at them, blah blah blah. I know you must always be aware of things with kids but at the moment I start to have mini panic attacks when I loose sight of one of them for a second. As you can imagine with 2 young boys (2 and 3) that happens quite often. I feel like their sense of adventure is being squashed out of them. Makes me think of dried prunes. (?) Boys are meant to be lively and energetic. I control mine in a trolley or similar restraints wherever we go!! I get annoyed when someone looks at them or greets them or horror of horrors TOUCHES them!!!

Sorry about the essay. Thought I'd share my and Richards :wub: onion.....I guess even if you don't watch the news or read the papers anymore there is always something to "freak out" about here in RSA :(


It will be good and refreshing to come to a place where your fears and paranoia are dispelled!!

M its nice to see how very much you love Aussie. Whenever you speak of your country it is with love and I think that is wonderful. I hope we can all grow to love our new country the way you do. It makes a person excited and helps me not want to dwell on past things here, but look ahead to good things to come..........

Thank you!! :D

Edited by nc74
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There have been loads of studies done on men's mental health over the past few years.

One thing that seems to stick out is that men seem to need to get back to nature to "heal" themselves.

I travelled across the Simpson Desert for 10 days back in late June/early July with a party of mates from my church.

It was a fantastic trip with the desert sunsets and warm days in winter-time to trek across the sand dunes in a convoy of 4WDs, taking all our gear and supplies for 700 kms.

If you "Adrenalin junkies" need to get yourselves right and get back to nature, is anyone interested in doing the Simpson in July next year??

If anyone were to be interested, I'd only like to keep to a small party of no more than 12 or 16 blokes (4 to a 4WD to keep costs down), or the logistics becomes a nightmare.

Now . . . I have a Nissan 4.2 Patrol that will take 3 others, but I need 4WDs in good order to do the trip also, sit around the camp-fire and just be "blokes".

Any takers???

At the far end of the week's trek is the Queensland side of the Simpson Desert with its sand dunes far apart


Camp in the middle of the desert around sunset


Dalhousie Springs is a hot spring freshwater oasis, about 2 metres deep and 40 degrees, that is on the wesetern side of the desert.


N.T. Sunset. One day is spent crossing the far south east corner of the Northern Territory.


Campfire at brekkie time.


These shifting sand dunes are common right across the Simpson desert for 700 kms. . . . fun to negotiate in a 4WD :ilikeit:


this trip can be for any bloke anywhere in Australia who can get away at that time of the year for a couple of weeks, from South Africa or southern Africa, who just feels like doing a trip across the desert with an Australian guide and the rest of the party made up of Saffers.

Edited by Bob
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It's the kind of trip that you seem to remember for a long time afterwards.

There are no shops, no towns, no camps, no caravan parks, no facilities, no toilets, no rivers, no waterholes . . . . nothing except desert . . . from one side to the other.

It was only crossed for the first time around 1983, so hasn't been that long on the tourist map!

I really enjoyed it with my mates, had some good talks around the campfire, and we're planning another trip together now to the "High Country" of Victoria earlier on in the year. . . . (but that's another story)

You have to pick the right time of year to cross this particular desert, before it starts to get too hot in summer-time. At over 50 degrees in high summer, it's just too dangerous to cross unless in an emergency.

Winter-time is the best time to tackle it with warm days in the high 20s / low 30s with cool nights.

I'm wondering if anyone from Sth Africa is interested though, as there is the mortgage to pay, the kids to put thro school and lots of other responsibilites, but it seems there's a need to do something like this for all the blokes out there.

Edited by Bob
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Guest Mauritz

Bob, that desert looks like healthy dessert for the soul :ilikeit:

In hindsight - our year's travel around Aus, before we did anything else - made life so much easier for us. Best investment we ever made.

Recent studies showed that moving house can be as stressful as going through a divorce - imagine the stress in moving countries. Add years of safety issues and worry to that - a sudden change to a SAFE environment can have a huge influence on the emotional and physical self - something that's often overlooked.

Interacting with people that never knew or experienced that level of existence can also be a challenge. A 'stressed out, highly strung' individual stands out like balls on a bulldog - like the Aussies say :P

Everything comes with time - I've seen people reacting 'harshly' to these circumstances - making wrong decisions. It is always good medicine to 'go bush' for a while and get the creative mind cranking and then burning the reactive mind somewhere in the middle of nowhere forever more :ilikeit: .

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Hi Bob,

I would love to go, but in my case, the timing is an issue, as we have still to settle down in my job, get a house etc etc. We are flying in in Feb but but will surely be interested next year.



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I must be a man then because I too have to go to the bush every now and then to get the cobwebs out of my head.


Welcome back. After growing up on the border your adrenal glands must have developed to the size of tennisballs (apparently they are no bigger than your fingernail.) Interesting fact: when you cry you release built-up adrenalin in your tears. So when your mother/stepfather told you crying doesn't help they were wrong. Problem is, this country has made me so hard/depressed I can't cry anymore. I also wonder how long it will take me to calm down. Sterkte man. And keep writing. You are a writer. My husband and I have no parents or siblings so it is easy for us to leave in that respect. But when I get on that aeroplane the tears are probably going to flow because I want to take all the children and animals with me.


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