Sunday, 15 October 2017

Another shift.

I'm just going to get myself a cup of coffee because it is the smallest of small pleasures in my life that keep me going. Truly, I am a very simple person but it seems that I live an incredibly complicated life. Everything has changed yet I am still the same. I have to keep myself balanced. I must remember to stay still.

How do you do it? ~ I am asked so often. 

I just do. That is the simple and truthful answer. 

And then occasionally, I ask myself ~ How do I do it? 

I worry that I am doing it wrong. That I am making mistakes. But I love them. I think loving them unconditionally even when they are driving me nuts is all that matters. 

A woman that I had never met before asked me on Friday ~ Can I hug you?

Yes. It was the first time I have been held for a very long time. A stranger gave me strength. 

I met up with an old friend yesterday. He hugged me too. For longer than the stranger did the day before. I nearly fell apart. I am really tired. Physically and emotionally exhausted. Each day goes by so quickly, filled with tasks, chores, errands, jobs, delivering and collecting, tidying, arranging and putting to bed. Constantly, continuously juggling too many balls and only dropping one occasionally. 

Take some time out for yourself ~ Impossible.

Why not go away for a night? ~ How?

Ask for help? ~ I do but everyone is busy being busy. As am I.

Accept the situation and make the most of it ~ is what I am trying to do. 

Hug me ~ please. 

Stop asking questions ~ I have no idea of the answers, I never have known.

It's Sunday. It's my favourite day of the week. It used to be quiet and slow. It used to be gentle and steady. It is no longer quiet or slow. It is filled with an almost 3 year old boy who needs loud and fast. So I need to accept the changes and continue to be me. 

How do I do it? ~ I just do. 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Big day.

Huge actually. I am being seen by my consultant later this morning to see if I'm mended and presuming I am, whether or not I am able to run. Only another runner will understand the significance of these words. Of being able to get out with the wind on my face, escape the walls that cage me and keep me as the only parent in charge of three children. I always knew that I loved the freedom but I never quite realised the need I have to leave. To remind myself how unimportant the important things actually are. I am trapped in my own mind. Restricted by my own body. Broken by mistake and craving the faster heart beat like a junkie. 

Wish me luck.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

What a load of bollocks.

It seems that I've reached the stage in grief where I am fucking livid. I am entitled to my feelings and I own them so I am allowing myself to say that the changes that have had to take place since my sister died, are through her utter irresponsible and selfish decisions. Idiot woman to think that it was okay. It bloody wasn't. Not any of it. You don't bad mouth, disrespect, influence or charge ahead without thought. We all need to take responsibility and I wish I could shout at her to think again before not thinking. 

Several interfering do-gooders are too opinionated and presume that they are entitled to judge, gossip and arrogantly believe that they could do better. Unnecessary trouble-making which isn't helpful. Not for anyone. Back off, I had to say in a polite way. I wish I could have yelled at them to wind their necks in but I didn't. I am not her. 

The summer is over. I have taken every opportunity to do as much as I could with the children. Have I had a moment to myself? Not really. Have I had a good summer? Of a fashion, yes, but has it been a relaxing, restful, love-filled few months? No, it really hasn't. The reality is that I am still alone trying to figure out the best way forward for all of us, trying to afford the fact that I cannot work and hoping that my knee is no longer broken. It feels better but it never felt bust so I have no real idea. I wonder whether I should chance it and run. But I don't know whether that would make it or break it and the risk is too great. I need support and my knees hold me up so I can't afford to take that chance. Anyone? Step forward, please. 

How many times do you have to say, 'I would love to see you' without being seen before you stop saying it out loud? How may times do you need to be treated like shit before you stop allowing the treatment? How many times do you feel that you're not quite good enough before you realise that you are so much better? So much better and so much stronger than you ever believed possible. Listening to the words, 'I will support you' when they are just words. Nothing follows the statement except maybe a pathetically intended, 'I mean it, I promise'. It's complete and utter bollocks. So, what do I do? I do what I always do and silently seethe with frustration and hurt. I feel ripped apart with unhappiness and a desperate isolation that I have created to prevent me feeling this way more often. I feel let down because I have been let down. I feel unsupported because I am not supported. I feel unhappy because I am not happy. I am alone because I am on my own. It really is that simple. 

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Mental health, my arse.

I feel insane. Not like a lunatic, crazy person, psychotic or on the outside looking in although, trust me, I have felt all of these things in my life. Nope I just feel fucking crazy. My life was pretty fucked up before I took in my nephew, my boy, the son I never had and then I go and instinctively add to it. I didn't make the choice of an extra child. It was as simple as waking up one morning and knowing what day it was. 

If someone had the conversation in front of me about whether it is possible to love a child like your own without giving birth, I would have silently known it wasn't but I can tell you that it is. Completely possible. I do. I feel exactly the same towards my boy as I do towards my girls and in a matter of months, I have a son. But it doesn't stop me feeling fucking insane. The bickering, the demands, the questions, the needs, the incessant urges for activities and to be occupied. I sometimes just want to scream at them all to 'FUCK OFF' because I cannot take it anymore. I still love them when I think like this so I never worry too much but if the opportunity arose for me to take off and leave with a backpack of t shirts and a nightie, a bundle of cash and the promise to be barefoot for the rest of my life, I think I might be tempted. I'd be off like a shot. Sorry kids, I am a human after all.

I just smashed a wine glass. It was an accident but the sound of splintering glass on the balcony as we sat outside in the South of France attempting to play cards was enough for them to be silenced and for me to walk away. I had to count to twenty in my head over the voice asking me 'What the fuck have you done?' I was more angry that I had wasted a glass of delicious rose and that the evening ahead seemed suddenly longer without it. I grabbed the car keys, muttered something under my breath making the kids fall into line and suddenly, life is resumed to normal but I am so tired of having to reach boiling point, my limit, before they listen to me. I am officially a fucked up crazy woman. My children are the best part of my life. They are officially my achievements. My job is pretty shitty as much as I love the family I work for, I am a cleaner. I wash, wipe and pick up for a family that isn't mine and they are grateful but it isn't the career I wanted. I didn't sit down in the Upper Fifth and say, "Oh, I want to be someone's cleaner".. Life just sent me down that path and I grabbed an opportunity when it came my way. I want more than that now though. I have less time for a so-called career but maybe I have less time on this earth than I think so shouldn't I fill it with meaningful, satisfying stuff?

I am on the look out for a job opportunity. "Do you have the time in your week?" I was emailed today when I suggested that I fill in for someone wanting a 6 month sabbatical. Not anymore, I thought but I didn't reply. I don't want to work for anyone unless they feel lucky to have me. I am pure gold when it comes to organisation, discretion, perfection, tidiness and loyalty. My next job is going to make me feel like jumping out of bed because I can't wait to get to work. I want to write. My book will be ready for a publisher by next week but I'm not banking on that. That's an extra. I'll write another one or two but I want my life, my daily life to be fucking awesome. I'm done with the shit, the gratitude that I am just about good enough, the tax credits because of my low income and the pitying looks. I am about to have a massive change and I'm ready.

Right, I'd better get the baby his milk, put a film on the iPad for my girls and pop my nightie on because it's almost nine pm .. Not everything is going to change..

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Can't change it.

I've lost count of how many weeks it's been since I went for a run. I guess I could work it out.. It's 8 weeks exactly. No wonder I feel so frustrated. I've had to rest my knee. It's that simple. I can't do anything about it. Some things you simply can't change. Some breaks you can't mend. It's really not the end of the world is it? 

But sometimes, when changes happen, it does feel like the end of the world. Like when my sister died at Christmas. I thought my life was over too. I couldn't breathe properly, my head wouldn't stop spinning and my vision was blurred. Grief really hurts. Slowly, day by day, you get used to it and then you find months have passed and with guilt, because the time has gone unnoticeably, you start to feel better, like your old self. It never quite leaves you though. The pain is too great to diminish beyond a dull ache. But you have to keep going. What else is there if we don't make the most of what we have? 

I've leant on an old friend of hers since I called him up to tell him that she'd gone. Like everyone else, he believed she'd fight on life support and pull through. I still think she might have done and is hiding somewhere to surprise us all but that's just my childlike brain blurring out the harsh truth. He was on my doorstep within a matter of hours with his arms out-stretched to hold me. This old friend of hers was almost a friend of mine way back but our paths didn't cross. I guess she has made us friends now and I'm fond of him. He's been a rock. From a distance. He's made me realise that I have possibility and I've realised that I am ready now, almost. I want to open my door to someone who truly wants to help me. Stand with me and with an arm across my shoulder give me unconditional support. My life has changed beyond recognition this year and I have lost friends as the months have fallen away. The phone hasn't rung. The offers haven't been there. I knew having a wee fella in this house would make a big difference to my life but I didn't think I'd lose friends. Life works in confusing ways doesn't it?

I have an opportunity ahead of me and it will mean a new beginning. It would be reassuring if I knew that I was choosing the right path but do any of us ever truly know which is the correct way? I follow my gut instinct, my heart and hope that sense will lead me to the answer. 

Friends may have fallen away but others have appeared regularly just asking, checking, saying hi. It is those quieter voices that I have been so grateful for and I won't ever forget the support. The busiest offer help. This ridiculous obsession we all seem to have to be busy. It's bollocks. Busy is a choice and I am guilty of it like so many but we can simply stop. Just make time. Put the kettle on. Open a bottle of wine. 

I am moving towards the sun. In a matter of days I will have my eyes closed spending precious moments with the ones that I love the most. Healing my soul through the true belief that I can. I will allow myself time to rest, recover and remain who I have grown to be. I will lie down and appreciate the quiet, the kindness, the love and the belief that I am good enough. And then, when I am healed and I have rested and appreciated how far I have come, I will put on my running shoes and, like a scrunched up piece of paper being fired from a catapult, I will run like I've never run before. 

Friday, 21 July 2017


I'm not sure you ever get over a shock. I learnt yesterday that we are all born with the built in fear of loud noises, the default is set jump which I do, more so than most. And the fear of falling over a cliff. Which I don't. The shock of sudden death is known as traumatic and can take years to accept and deal with properly. I accept that. I am still reeling from the loss of my sister at Christmas. I think we all are to be honest but life carries on and has that incredible way of smoothing out without much effort from us. We keep going, keep doing our thing, whatever that may be and time ticks on. It has been over 6 months now and I have completely lost this year. I have a small voice upstairs calling me and I'm hoping he might settle again so I can greedily write for longer.. It's doubtful.

My book is being looked at by someone who will help me get it ready for publishing. She doesn't want to change the story. She made me very proud of myself yesterday which is something I feel rarely. It's going to be ready by the first week in September. 

I am in shock that something that has been so hard to let go of, has been described as 'a brave, fascinating story'.. 

I am writing the sequel.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Higher love.

I'm back in the room. Thank God. I had a shitty few days. Not really shitty days but a shitty mood that in turn made my days shitty. Isn't it stupid how we let a bad mood destroy a perfectly lovely day? Childish really not to appreciate life as it is and be grateful that we are here after all. We don't need to be here but we are, so better to smile and do the best we can. There's already far too much moaning and misery without going along in a strop because .. what? I didn't get what I wanted? I may as well have stamped my feet in a tantrum. Although I couldn't. I'm embarrassed that I allowed the circumstances to monopolise my life for over 24 hours. I am hurt (yes I know I've said that already) but it's a constant thing at the moment. I can't shake it. I want to make it better. I want to tell my sister that it's okay because it is. It will be okay. I want to hold her hand as she lies in the hospital, unconscious taking her last breaths. I want to hold her hand as she flies home unaware that her life is over. I want to tell her that I will look after her children as best I can for the rest of my life. Unconditionally. Her boy who is now my boy. I love him with a deeper love than I thought possible. He is and always will be hers but he is mine and therefore so is she.

Shitty mood passed, I am waiting to see what my mobility will be for the next few months. I am stuck. I am stationary. I have friends who have taken my children to school and I have friends who have taken me to the supermarket but it hurts that I need help. And I do need help. We'll see what they say. It was a surprise that it was broken, maybe I'll surprise them by being mended already. Fingers crossed.

I'm having my windows cleaned tomorrow. Jobs being ticked off a list that I haven't had a chance to even consider. For months I have put my head down and charged ahead looking after my sisters boy, my girls and my daily business. Have I looked after myself? No I haven't. I have the chance to stop now and pay attention to what is important. I need to listen to my soul. At least when the windows are squeaky clean I will be able to see out towards a future. Because that's what I have ahead of me.

I am always on the go. I rarely stop. I am no different to many but I thrive on dead lines, pressure and time keeping.

"Just because you're not headed to a final destination doesn't mean you should assume that you have lost your drive. The stage between journeys can become a wonderful period of relaxation that prepares you for the path that soon will be revealed to you" Madisyn Taylor.

I talk to her. She tells me things and sometimes, I laugh because I hear myself saying something like, "Oh Shut up, Obviously I know that". Her boy was playing with a toy tractor in the dogs water bowl and making a bloody mess this morning. I said, "Why would you do that? It's the dogs bowl!" and she said "He's 2 and a half". But I'm here and she isn't. I wish it was different but I am so loving having him in my family. He fits perfectly. Literally like he's been here forever. Nothing has ever been this easy. He joined us when my heart was broken but has helped me accept that my broken heart is okay. It doesn't need to mend. It's okay to feel pain and it's okay to allow the pain let love in. The possibility of maybe, just maybe allowing myself to be happy. I might even consider sharing my time with another adult. Only maybe. I had absolutely and completely written that off and I'm not saying that I will because I still see a man holding a glass of wine in France as I sit in my nightie watching the sunrise. Of that, I am certain. I think I am almost 60 years old then but I'm very happy about that.

"You're very lucky that you still feel connected to her" I was told this morning. I am unbelievably lucky that I know, without doubt, that she is guiding me and sometimes, pushing me into situations that create a stir, a smile and a shake of my head. Her ex fell arse over tit in the fathers race in front of the whole school.. That was her. No question. My broken knee cap? Could she be that powerful? Probably not but she can allow me to sit still and be quiet. Hear her, hear myself and allow time to heal me and adjust to this massive change.  I am doing for her what she wished she could have done. Better, I hope. Not meaning to insult or be smart. I'm not implying that I am better but I am saying that I can do this. I've got it.

"Daboo Mummy" my favourite words ever. Fact.

Another shift.

I'm just going to get myself a cup of coffee because it is the smallest of small pleasures in my life that keep me going. Truly, I am a ...