Tag Archives: break up blog

The ability to believe

30 Sep

Well, buddies, the ‘Sex and the City’ gorging continues.

Tonight I watched an episode where Charlotte and Carrie attend a seminar about finding love. It’s about positive affirmations, and putting yourself out there. Because if you hope for love, you will find it. If you believe that you deserve it, you will find it.

Charlotte asks how long she needs to do this for. She says she’s been doing positive affirmations, and putting herself “out there”. But it’s not working.

She says she did find love. That she had a wonderful wedding. And then everything fell apart. And she is, “afraid that he took away my ability to believe.”

That’s how I feel.

I didn’t have the wedding. But I did find love. I loved my ex so much. Truthfully, a large part of me still does.

Lately I feel that there isn’t anybody for me. I know I’m an amazing girlfriend. I know I would be a wonderful wife, and a wonderful mummy. But I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

How can I believe that love is out there, when the only time I’ve experienced it, it was fake?

How can I believe it when he took it away?

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A different take on the same old problem

28 Sep

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Sometimes I feel so lonely I could die.

I’ve had a run of weekends recently when none of my friends were about. This is perhaps the fourth weekend in a row that I’ve spent swimming, going to yoga, and watching TV. This weekend I decided to start watching ‘Sex and the City’ from the beginning. There is no better therapy. So much of it rings so true. And it makes me feel OK to admit certain things to myself. Like the loneliness. The fear of dying alone. The resentment of smug couples and yummy mummies.

It hit me somewhere between Season 1 and Season 2 that – although I want to meet someone – what I’m really missing right now is, well, more friends. I don’t want to paint myself as a total loser. I do have friends. But a combination of factors means most of them don’t live in London. Or, don’t live in London anymore. Work is super sociable. During the week I’m surrounded by colleagues who I genuinely consider to be friends. But the weekends. Ugh. There’s nobody, unless I jump on a train to Scotland (which I’ve been doing more and more of this past year).

So maybe what I want isn’t necessarily a boyfriend.

I watch ‘Sex and the City’ and I’m so envious of that group of women with each other to turn to. That’s another thing – most of my friends in London are men. They’re fun. They’re great company. But it’s not the same as having a group of girlfriends.

So what do I do?

There’s no way I’m ever moving back to Scotland. But maybe I need to hit “Restart” on my social life.

I have tried this past year. I started yoga to try and meet new people. I didn’t meet anyone, but I discovered I love yoga. Maybe language classes would be more sociable? So I started Italian, but three classes in I couldn’t keep up with the homework and had to forget it.

If only there was a Tinder for making new friends. I have no idea how at the age of 32, settled with a flat and a career and ready-made life I go about creating a new social circle. Any ideas?

Because more and more I’m feeling like I need to prioritise. And as much as I want someone to go through life with, and marriage, and kids, and happily ever after, I also want someone to call after I’ve been on dates, and talk to before them, and visit Topshop with, and bitch about work over coffee, and eat pizza and watch DVDs.

I actually have a date this afternoon. I almost forgot.

Sometimes I wonder

26 Sep

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever feel normal again.

It’s over a year since the Pizza of Doom. I’m a different person now. I actually think I’m more confident, more resilient, more empathetic. I know I’m stronger than I realised. I know I’m wiser now. But I think, deep down, there’s lasting damage. There are depths of sadness which I never thought I’d reach – and which I hope I never fall to again – but that scare me still.

Last night I went on a date.

The guy was really lovely. He has a great job, he lives quite near me and has his own flat, he has lovely manners. But I found myself picking away at him inside my head. Too nice. Too thin. Too boring.

He insisted on paying for dinner. Which, I’ll admit, felt nice. It’s been a long time since a boy bought me dinner. But then when he asked to see me again I felt I had to say yes.

So we’re meeting up on Sunday for a walk and lunch.

Which should feel nice, whether or not I end up fancying him and wanting to see him again. He’s a nice guy. It will be a nice afternoon.

Yet I found myself crying as I walked home from work tonight. Because he’s not my ex. He never will be. And I will never have my ex back.

I don’t think I’ll ever feel the way I felt about him ever again.

Which means I might be destined to be alone. Forever.

A very peculiar Tuesday (and let me remind you again to go for your smear test)

16 Sep

Today was weird. Apologies if a fairly weird post follows.

Today was the follow up from my “abnormal” smear test. I went over to Homerton Hospital for a colposcopy.

The last time I was in Homerton Hospital was just days before the pizza of doom. When I came back from New York, peeing blood with terrible cystitis, and had to haul myself over to ‘accident and emergency’. I remember not feeling that my ex was particularly empathetic. I had no idea he was planning the break up. But that’s another story.

The colposcopy wasn’t nearly as bad as I had worried it would be. Honestly, not even as bad as the smear test itself. Once I was positioned right with my legs up in the air, I relaxed. It felt like a yoga pose. I like yoga. I could do this.

Bonus, I got to watch it all on a big screen and the doctor talked me through what she could see. All was looking fine and dandy ’til she put in the dye. And then my cervix started to resemble my throat when I had tonsillitis. It wasn’t too pretty a sight.

So what does it mean? There are abnormal cells there that could be pre-cancerous. They took a biopsy (which felt quite unpleasant). Those cells will go off to get tested and in four to six weeks I’ll find out what’s going on down there. Then, I might need treatment. Or all might be OK for now.

If this all sounds a little disjointed and unsure, it’s probably because that’s how I feel. Suddenly, a lot of information comes your way. Terms you’ve never heard of. Things you’ve never considered (can I go swimming after my biopsy?). And I have every reason to believe that everything will be fine. But who knows.

I came out of my appointment today, got on the bus, got off outside my flat, came upstairs, and cried for about an hour.

I emailed my friend, who emailed back with words of absolute sense and reassurance.

I went to a restorative yoga class (which mostly involves lying on the floor, relaxing).

I came home, made pasta, watched the news.

And my ex was front-of-mind the entire time. If we were still together, what would he be telling me? What would he be doing? Would he show the same lack of empathy he did back in July last year, that morning that I found myself at the hospital, in agony?

In so many ways I love living on my own. But I’d really like somebody to talk to tonight. Even a cat.

Like I said, it was a weird day.

The good news days

7 Sep

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I’ve moaned a lot recently about how tough it is living alone. How punishing it is to get through a stressful day, get a bunch of bad news, and go home alone to let it all marinade in your own brain with nobody to talk to. 

Well, today I’m mixing it up. Today I’m taking about the other side of things: the good news days. 

I’ve been quite down this weekend despite keeping busy swimming, walking, clearing my flat, and learning how to make origami animals (I’m getting particularly good at penguins). Today I had made my mind up: I was going to step things up a bit and go to a grown-up yoga class.

I’ve been going to the same yoga studio since May now. It’s very chilled out. The teachers are great. But I’ve been sticking with beginners’ classes. And the schedule just doesn’t have that many beginners’ classes that I can go to. For example, there are none at all on Sundays. (I guess they assume those of us less committed to yoga are busy partying and being hungover at weekends. Which is funny. Because I didn’t even speak to anyone yesterday except a man who stopped to help me when my swipe card wouldn’t work at the pool.) So, yes, back to the point in hand. I decided to go to one of the classes that are explicitly “not for beginners”.

Ivengar yoga was at 1, which suited me just fine. I trotted along, feeling weirdly anxious about the whole situation. 

I needn’t have worried. First let me tell you that the people in the grown-up classes are so much friendlier than the beginners. I got talking to a few of them before class – all nice, all normal, and (I absolutely need to tell you) all with killer bodies. 

The teacher was totally understanding of my non-superwoman yoga abilities, offering a few tips and alternatives along the way. But I did the whole class. The whole 75 minutes. And I did everything just the same as everyone else. OK, I’m sure I looked more like a baby elephant than the graceful swans who they appeared to morph into, but I tried. I even finished up with a perfect shoulderstand. 

There is something so empowering and confidence-building about trying new things and learning that you can do them. 

After class the teacher told me I’d done great. Wow. I felt like I was back at school and had just come top in my class.

I left feeling like I was floating on a cloud, stopped for a fro yo, and walked all the way home with a huge Chesire cat smile on my face. 

Now, the thing is, it would be lovely to have someone to come home to. Someone who I could tell all about this achievement. Someone to get crazy excited with me looking at the yoga schedule for the next week and planning every class I want to go to now I’ve broken than glass ceiling into “not for beginner” territory. 

I don’t have that person. 

But, for some reason, it’s easier to deal with keeping good news to yourself than bad. 

And, you know what else? If I was still with my ex, the chances are I would never even have tried yoga. 

I had a similarly intimidating situation at work on Friday last week. I had to run a workshop for a client, had done very little preparation, and had never run one of these workshops before. It turned out great. I think treating them to a spread of cookies and M&Ms helped dramatically, but I managed to put everyone at ease, make them laugh, and get them excited about the creative process. 

Clients. Workshops. Yoga. Going through life alone.  

I guess sometimes the things that scare us the most are the most rewarding. 

Which is good to know. Because I find life pretty scary right now. 

 

The thoughts that wake me at 3am

7 Sep

I’m awake in the middle of the night.

Someone in my building is having a party. The music is loud and obnoxious.

I was dreaming about a presentation I have to give at work on Monday. Not some crazy dreamworld presentation where you imagine you are presenting in your PJs to the cast of Friends about some random topic like the use of broccoli as a pizza topping. No, no. Just plain boring real-world stuff. About branding. Even at the weekend, my brain fills itself with work.

Because what else is there?

Going into hospital for a day next week to get my cervix checked out following a weird smear test?

Which yoga class to go to tomorrow?

How I’m ever going to clear enough stuff from my flat to get a new carpet fitted?

Why a certain friend ignores me these days?

Or the thought that reverberates. And only intensifies after a look on Tinder or eHarmony.

I am never going to meet somebody.

Friday with Friends: Liz

5 Sep

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Okaaaayyyy. So I’ve not been too fabby at writing this week. Life is still quite hectic and I’ve been on a bit of a downer. 

But I was not missing yet another Friday with Friends slot. So here goes my second day handing my blog over to a blogger buddy to do with it what they will. 

Today my blog belongs to Liz. Liz is 24. Man, I remember being 24. She just started her first proper teaching job (yay, Liz!). And, to cut a long story short, I think we are partly the same person. If she didn’t live so far away in Maine we would be hanging out regularly to drink iced coffees, buy scented candles, and talk about cats and boys. We bonded over our broken hearts back last year. But I don’t worry about this girl. Because I know she has oodles and oodles to show the world, and she’s going to make some dude very happy one day. She’ll probably be married way before I am. You mark my words. 

I found Liz’s post quite painful to read. Because I’m sad that she’s gone through this. And because when she describes the physical side of grieving her relationship, well, it’s identical to my experience. But – ever the maturest 24 year old I’ve come across – she knows how to learn from it all. And how to move on.

So, over to Liz:

Last September my five-year relationship with the guy I adored, the guy I pictured a family with and loved with all my heart, came to an end. We had been fighting a lot, more so than normal, and yet it still knocked the wind out of me when it happened. I remember sitting in the middle of the living room floor holding a pumpkin Frappuccino in my hand, and squeezing it so hard that it started overflowing all over the carpet. “It’s just not working anymore,” he said.

At the time, I remember not having any emotion. I didn’t cry, talk, or try and fight for our relationship. Instead I just let us go. “Why fight for a relationship that he had already thrown away?” I remember saying to people.

It wasn’t until about a month later, the beginning of October, that it hit me. Why wasn’t he coming over on Saturdays anymore? Why wasn’t he calling me to tell me goodnight? Why wasn’t he smiling at me from across the kitchen table, telling me how “Do You Realize” by the Flaming Lips reminds him of me, that after all these years I still give him butterflies? I felt empty, I was losing weight, my clothes didn’t fit me anymore, and I couldn’t eat. I cried for months, couldn’t sleep for months, and had nightmares every single night where I would re-live him leaving me, telling me that he had had enough.

I finally went out one night to go to a mutual friend’s birthday party a couple months after the breakup and that’s when I first saw him. I remember staring right at him, right through him. I remember his blue eyes, and I could see how much he hurt. I went through one, three, six Grateful Dead’s until I was slurring and couldn’t stand on my own. I needed to leave. I left the bar and started walking home, through the city and past my friends who were shouting, “Liz, do you need a ride?” I walked down the sidewalk, and then he was there. His passenger door open and a whispered, “Liz, just get in, I’ll drive you home” was heard.

I didn’t say anything in the car and neither did he, but all I wanted was for him to say that us not being together anymore was wrong, a mistake. He walked me upstairs to my sister, and when I stumbled in I shrunk to the floor and cried so hard my body shook. I knew he heard me, I could hear my sister outside the doorstep asking what he did. Why was I like this? He asked her if breaking up with me was the right decision; she said she didn’t know. I wish to this day that she had told him “no.” I laid on my bed in the fetal position, weekend after weekend while I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed, drunk and heartbroken while my sister rubbed my back, and whispered, “it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay.”

It’s taken until now, a full year later, to feel at least a little bit like myself again; to think of him without crying, to hear a song on the radio that he loved, or even go to a restaurant that we went to without being too miserable to continue. I remember going in to a grocery store and smelling cigarette smoke, and sprinting to the bathroom to throw up because it smelled like him, it smelled like our past. Sometimes I still feel like this.

I think maybe he thought he didn’t mean anything to me, that our relationship had somehow gone numb. Maybe he thought that my reaction a month later, after I had time to process everything, was just about the chase. It wasn’t. It was about me realizing what I had lost, realizing how much I messed up and not being able to take it back. If I could somehow reach back through the past I would tell him, I would tell him over and over again how much I love him, that he’s my favorite person, that I wish we could make this work. I would believe him this time when he tells me that he thinks I’m beautiful, I would tell him that he still takes my breath away, that he still haunts my dreams. That he means everything to me. But I don’t do that, I just move forward, but it never really goes away.

If there is anything that I have taken away from this, it’s that next time I’m in a relationship, with whoever it is, I need to be more honest. I need to say what I’m thinking, feeling, dreaming – because emotions are difficult for me and I know that, but it’s not an excuse to be ungrateful. It wasn’t an excuse for me to act like my love for him didn’t make me woozy. I need to try not to take any part of such a beautiful relationship for granted. I need to be thankful, because if there was just one thing I could go back and change it would have been to tell him every single day how lucky I felt to be with someone who loved and cared for me as much as he did.

I have a lot of people to thank for pulling me through a horrible time that I thought would never end, but continues to get better every day. My friends who have listened to me over and over when I’m sure I’m obnoxious, my family who have insisted that it will get better. More than anything I need to thank my blogger buddies who have related to me more than a lot of people ever have. April is one of those people.

So, thank you.