Tag Archives: thirties

The ledge of recovery

26 Jun

When you go through something that tears you apart, you need other people to help put you back together. When you fall, you need other people to help pick you up. When you’re drowning, you need other people to grab you by the paw and pull you upwards.

I think in the (nearly) eleven long months since the pizza of doom, I have probably driven my friends a little bit crazy at times. I’ve definitely leant on them. I’ve learned who the real ones are, and I appreciate them more than ever.

Of course it feels good when you don’t see the point to anything and you can’t see the goodness in your life or your heart, but someone reassures you that it’s still there. It’s comforting to know that people love you and want you in their lives, even if your ex doesn’t. You need those people to help build your confidence back up.

But once your confidence is built back up, you teeter on the edge of recovery. It’s a ledge. It’s narrow, and feels uneasy and a little bit scary all at once. When you reach that ledge you have to make a decision: you have to decide whether you want to be happy. And, if you do, that means you’ve got to move on. You’ve got to jump.

It’s no longer up to your friends and family to tell you how great you are, you need to feel it for yourself. You need to stand up for yourself and realise that you’re good enough and that – yes – someone treated you badly, but f*** them. F*** everyone who patronises you or tells you what to do – especially those who have never even been in a similar situation. Because your real friends still see you for the person you are deep down inside. They’ll still be there to support. Should you stumble, they’ll help you up. More than anything, they want you to take that leap too.

I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. I think I’ve spent the past two weeks on that ledge. And, as luck would have it, a few events came into my life that helped me make my decision. Last Friday a friend who was much less sober than I was started to tell me how I should turn my life around. She told me I should quit my job, work less hours, go travelling, rent out my flat. She told me this with force. In front of people. On a drunken Friday night (when I happened to be sober).

At the time, it knocked a little air out of me. I know this friend cares about me a lot. Goodness, if she thinks my life is rubbish then it must be. But then wait – no. No. No. And no again. My life is not rubbish. I have an amazing job. I’ve worked incredibly hard to get to where I am and I’ve done it at a younger age than most people in my industry. I own my flat (which I love) in one of the greatest cities in the world. I feel so at home in my crazy little neighbourhood of hipsters, Turkish, Caribbean, and proper East End people. I am proud of this silly blog. And I’m out all the time with friends. I have a good life. Yes, I’d like someone to share it with. I think it’s a shame that I don’t get to share it with anyone, but the reason I think that way is because I know that I am one of the most caring, kind cats around. (Not to mention smart and funny with great hair and amazing taste in clothes.) So, no, I have no interest in quitting the job I’ve worked for ten years to get. And I don’t need to turn my life around. I don’t need to run away: I just need to get on with it and hope that someone sees how good my life is and wants to be part of it.

I stood up for myself and my happiness for the first time in a long time. I felt defiant, and I liked that feeling.

Which is when it hit me like a meteor or something equally powerful and beautiful.

I can jump off this ledge. I can grasp for the future. And nobody else can do it for me.

I know there are people who’ve got my back. Some of them even here on WordPress, you lovely blogger cats. Some who’ve known me for years and knew who I was before this all happened. Some who only know me since the pizza of doom, but who are able to see the person I am underneath, which makes me feel worthwhile and valued. You know who you are. You know what it means to me.

I have all the support I need. Which means I can do this. By myself. For myself.

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Roar

22 Jun

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Roar.

That’s me making an angry noise. Because I’m working at the weekend again. And I’m a tired, tired cat.

But I’m also releasing my inner lion because something has kicked in very recently. I don’t know what to call this thing. It’s a feeling of being back in control. It’s a feeling of being good enough. It’s hard to put my finger on, but – damn – it feels OK.

I went for a run this morning, which I’ve started doing every morning. (Note to all break upees – run, run and run some more. It has done wonders for my mood and my sausage arms.) Anyway, usually in the mornings I just get my ass in gear so I only run a mile or so. This morning I just kept going. Like Forest fricking Gump.

I got back to my flat looking like a tomato, ever so sweaty, and feeling pretty f***ing great.

“What’s changed?” I hear you ask.

Who knows. My mood has been so up and down for the past ten months, that the slightest work stress or hiccup in my social life sent me spiraling into the doom. But right now I’m about as stressed as I can get about work. I’m not sleeping great because of that. I’m working long hours. But I feel OK about it. Yup, definitely OK.

Running has helped. I’ve also got myself a pedometer and make myself take time out every day to get at least 10,000 steps in. Just so you know, yesterday I did over 18,000 – check me out. I’ve been eating right. Using a lot of essential oils and things to try and lift my mood. Buying myself peonies every single week. Making plans for the rest of the year. I’ve made a great new friend who’s like a little injection of sunshine into every day (thank you). And – what’s more – it’s actually sunny.

I remember last year, post pizza of doom, crying on a friend about how sh** my summer had been between the stress of him going away, him acting like a c***, and then him finally ending things right before I started my new job. Yup. Summer 2013 sucked. My friend said, “Just think how great next summer will be.”

Maybe she was right.

Time will tell. But, as you know, every moment in my life needs a song from Nashville to accompany it. So here’s one that simply says ROAR.

What do I have?

14 Jun

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I had a couple of weird conversations this week that, frankly, knocked me for six. “Oh, don’t bother listening to people who make you feel bad!” I hear you cry.

And usually I’d agree. Except in this instance it was my therapist and Irish Two. My therapist is a professional. And she’s never been wrong before about stuff. Irish Two, well, I knew he wasn’t being an asshole. He was delivering some home truths.

I’ve always considered myself a bubbly, friendly, happy joy to be around. Turns out I don’t come across that way at all. I come across as “low energy” and “unhappy”. Or, “nice but sad” as Irish Two put it.

So I’m left wondering: was I always this way? I thought I was starting to feel more like myself. Was I ever a bubbly, friendly, happy joy to be around?

Ugh. I do not want to be a big old drain on everyone else’s happiness.

I lost my mind for a couple of days, emailing everyone I know asking what kind of person they think I am. I also had some email chat with a blogger buddy (you know who you are) who made me feel approximately ten thousand times better.

But when I wake up every morning I’m still feeling confused as to who I am and who I’m supposed to be and who I was before the pizza of doom. Through the whole mess of the past ten and a half months I never doubted that I’m a good, kind, fun, friendly person. If I don’t even have that, then what do I have?

Yes, what do I have?

It’s not an entirely rhetorical question. I’ll answer tomorrow.

Getting my life in gear

30 Apr

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Right then, buddies.

I am getting my fat ass in gear. Actually, my ass isn’t that fat. It’s the rest of me that is the problem.

I felt a bit clearer this morning after cutting the chord of LinkedIn yesterday. I know I’ll start crying soon. I know I’ll still cry myself to sleep at night. But this morning, well, this morning I felt pretty awesome.

So here are some wise words from my buddy Kate, “If you can’t control meeting someone, concentrate on what you can control.”

She’s a wise one.

Today I have booked an Italian course to start in July. Booked a yoga course to start as soon as I get back from holiday. Booked a weekend in Edinburgh with my buddies. I’m booking myself a first-class ticket back into life.

If I stop for even a moment to dwell on everything I’m missing in life, I completely dissolve.

But if I look at everything I’ve done, and think about everything I have planned, I feel genuinely ants-in-my-pants excited.

Maybe it’s just the extra large coffee I had this morning.

Or the fact I’m going to sunny Florida on Saturday.

Or maybe it’s the knowledge that he can’t hurt me anymore.

F*** him.

The crazy hours

23 Apr

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I love coming home from work in the evenings. I love kicking my shoes off, putting on pyjamas, microwaving a kids’ meal, and spending quality time with my TV.

I look forward to it all day.

And yet, these are my crazy hours.

Because when everything else stops, the bit of my brain obsessed with the ex and my absolute terror re being alone forever wakes up.

And taunts me.

So every night I go to bed and find my pillow soaked from tears as I’m falling asleep. But when I wake up in the morning I don’t want to go to work at get all busy and distracted. I want to lie in my bed. It’s so comfy. Mmmm.

I go to work, and count the hours until I can go home and relax. Yet it’s not unusual for me to get home, put my key in the door, and start crying before I even get into the building.

I don’t have a point tonight or even a message.

I think I’m just a bit nuts.

But it’s been a hell of a nine months.

Aren’t I entitled to be crazy?

Life lessons from Grey’s Anatomy

22 Apr

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I found myself with no MTV favourites stored on my Sky box tonight. So I decided to tuck in to season 10 of Grey’s Anatomy.

Ahhhh, Grey’s. We’ve been through so much together.

If there’s one thing I have learned from Meredith and friends (including George, Lexi and Mark – God rest their souls), it’s that the tough times in life make you who you are. The traumas. The unexpected. The bombs, plane crashes, and crazy ass snipers. It’s how we respond in those situations that marks out the kind of people we are.

The day-to-day doesn’t challenge us or shape us. And you definitely couldn’t make ten seasons out of it.

I might still be going through the worst year of my life. But, keep watching, the best bit’s still to come.

Trying to find happiness

20 Apr

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I’m just back from a weekend in Edinburgh with friends and family, and I had a great time. My friend Sarah took me to a posh hotel for a cocktail tasting menu. I met a friend’s new baby. I hung out with my nephews. I ate a lot of chocolate. Good times all round.

When I’m in Edinburgh it’s always quite in-my-face, though, just how alone I am.

All my uni friends and my family have moved on to create lives for themselves complete with other halves and, now, babies too. The life I’ve created for myself mostly revolves around MTV and frozen yogurt. Which isn’t really the same. At all.

I had coffee with my friend Jennie this morning and was saying, as I so often say these days, it’s just hitting home that I might not meet someone and I’m going to have to deal with that.

It’s something I thought about on the train heading back to London. Which led to one of my all-too-regular-breaking-down-in-tears-without-even-realising-it incidents. Awkward.

All I have ever wanted is to meet someone who loves me, who I love back, and to have kids. It was my priority as a teenager looking ahead to an exciting future. It’s my priority as a thirty something looking back wondering where I went off in a different direction from my friends.

Doesn’t everyone deserve to have someone to spend their life with? I know I do. I’m such a nice person!

But I need to face it: it might not happen for me.

I may well be one of those women (and we all know a few of them) who it just doesn’t happen for. I’m not saying that all women need a relationship and kids to be fulfilled. But I do. I really do.

It dawned on me on the train that I have two choices. Either, I stay in this frame of mind – genuinely scared that I’m never going to meet someone, and so, so full of hope that I will. Or, I can make my peace with the fact that I just might not. That I might be on my own forever. That I might not ever have that special person who loves me the most. That I might not have kids.

I am really, really trying to get my head around this and feel good about it. It’s not enough to think, “I’ll be OK if I don’t meet someone.” That’s just surviving. I don’t want to go through life just surviving. I want to enjoy it. I want to think, “My life’s going to be f***ing fabulous, either way.”

So far, though, I just can’t get my head there. In fact, since I gave myself this ultimatum I haven’t stopped crying. I cannot make peace with the fact I might go through life alone. I can’t feel good about it. I can’t stand the thought of not having kids. I hate feeling like there must be something wrong with me and a reason why it just isn’t happening. And that I got so close, but wasn’t good enough.

I’m desperately trying to find happiness.

But I can’t.