It’s been a little while since I last came here to spout out ramblings about my life non coherently. Still, I guess I started to arrive back at the “normal” station again these past couple of months. Going to work after school drop off and worrying about menial things like how I wished I hadn’t have left the washing out when I left. The sun just loves to put his hat on first thing in the morning only to be bitterly traitorous further in the day.
I’ve also been working hard on assignments for the open university degree I half-heartedly took on late last year. Turns out, it’s not half-hearted at all and is, in fact, one of the most challenging but most enthralling things I’ve ever done! Most recently, I have been learning how to write academically…Something I clearly lack the skill of at the moment. Most feedback I receive is that I often put unnecessary words into my essays…Yep, that’s me hun. Unnecessary and full of pointless information.
Another exciting development in my own personal psyche is that I’ve come out this past year with a new view on life. The moments I do now have spare, I really appreciate. After school drop off this morning, I took my pig/dog up to a local church nearby to me, and it’s honestly the most beautiful, peaceful place. I just sat taking in the sounds, view and could literally feel my brain slowing down. It’s quite a new feeling for me to sit and do this, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
I recently had a catch-up appointment with my doctor following the pandemic to check in on how my mental well-being was. Quite often, I can be fine for months, but a few weeks ago, I could feel a familiar darkness creeping up on me. I was waking up at 3/4am, unable to sleep and feeling like I needed to hoover, sitting in the garden in the rain (yeah, weird, I know), online spending, and doing a lot of staring into space in despair… Basically, early symptoms of a breakdown from previous experience. So instead of letting this manifest, I told my other half, who immediately got me on the phone to my GP. He upped me to 40mg of fluoxetine, which started kicking in. I’m feeling much more positive I can keep a handle on things that completely overwhelm me.
I’m grateful that only this time last year I don’t think I would have the tools to notice when something doesn’t feel quite right and that now I’m almost, dare I say it,…In control. If only I could control the amount of food that I shove in my gob…
When I began this blog, I had high expectations of upbeat stories of adventures I had been on or funny anecdotes to tell. The reality is, the whole past year has basically been one fat slob fest for me. I’m starting to liken myself to a potato.
I’m now what one would call “between jobs” …again. I decided that the travel industry just wasn’t quite doing it for me anymore. The vibe got me turning that frown upside down, so I began my favorite hobby of job searching. Does anybody else have a similar hobby? I also enjoy logging on to Rightmove and giving myself a pretend budget of £500k to buy a posh house. Sometimes I’ll even go to London to ‘rent’ extortionately expensive apartments no bigger than my maternity pants. This isn’t even Lockdown-induced behavior, by the way.
My newest employment within an Electric and Plumbers company local to me has the hours any mum could only dream of. Every week the SAME three shifts. Tues, Weds, Thurs.. from 9am-3pm. A dream literally made to fit around the school run. Yes, my daughter will become a part of school society again as I unashamedly got on the phone with them as soon as I got offered the job. I’ve had numerous jobs, but this felt a step in the right direction. I can now work and run my university course alongside it, giving me the whole weekend to nag, cry, and moan to my other half to my heart’s content.
I’m currently having the issue that I’ve got to actually get off my arse? No, really, it’s presently a genuine problem. I’ve fallen victim to lazy parenting, lazy tidying, cooking, and cleaning, and now I can rarely be arsed to even fart. I used to punish myself for sitting and relaxing, it never felt right, and now I can’t get enough! I’ve watched all these programs basically non-stop for the last three weeks—all of which I HIGHLY recommend.
The Office (UK)
RuPaul’s drag race ALL 160 episodes of.
ITV’s “The Bay”
the Crown. (Man, that’s long)
I’ve also fully immersed myself into podcasts whilst cleaning (well, attempting to) but one I must mention is ‘Morbid’ which basically is quite self explanatory and I would recommend if you enjoy light hearted true crime and Ghost stories. The girls who do this podcast have me actually LOLLING out loud.
I do wonder when all this madness will end but I wonder more if we will suddenly miss the isolation lifestyle?
FINAL THOUGHT OF THE DAY
Today, I was putting some washing away and realized that I no longer have a t-shirt drawer? I have two pyjama and “loungewear” drawers? I honestly can’t remember the day that this happened but it felt like a pinnacle moment of my life. Another pinnacle was that I IRONED, yes IRONED three sets of flannel pyjamas yesterday? Please judge because I sure am.
I’ll start by congratulating us all to getting beyond 2020. Things can only go up from here right?! The year we just left behind can literally go and take its head for a shit. We’ve lost loved ones, jobs, money and our sanity but we are all still here to fight another day..and another lockdown. Cheers again Bozza.
I’m interested to hear how you spent your New years eve? My partner and I decided we would throw it right back to the noughties and get high because, well, ya know, 2020… unfortunately, getting high on a small about of cannabis is NOT the same now as it was 10 plus years ago. We both stood outside at 12oclock puffing away on the saddest looking excuse of a Billy bifta you ever did see, seeing the new year in with a glazy-eyed clink of our pop bottles only to fall asleep drooling on the sofa. Not quite how I imagined it but never mind.
I feel I can look back and reflect on the time I spent in my own head during 2020. Through all the shit the year threw at us all, I honestly feel I’ve “found” myself (whatever that means). I know what I want now and the things I like and don’t like. I took a bit of time out to get to know me! There were, of course, a few wobbles on the way to this magical light bulb moment. One funny realisation is that I actually hate working with the general public, which is hilarious. That is literally all I bang on about on my CV. Making out I love talking to customers and making them happy… I actually don’t. I love to help people, but I don’t think it’s by selling them a holiday to the Canaries. I want to truly HELP people. People, who feel lost? People who need a bit of guidance. People like me.
I’m aiming high guys. I’ve gone all in and signed up to a Open University course studying Psychology. The course is 4 years long which is usually on average two employment lengths for me so its kinda a big deal but im determined! Something feels right about this path, something I’ve never quite felt before? I’m 32 years old and I may finally know what I want to do in life!
So im talking all the talk but will I walk the walk? Well thats the age old question of somebody with impulsive tendencies. This could be one of the many many MANY things I’ve obsessed over in the past, invested all my thought into and spent time and money organising.. only for it to vaporise into thin air one day when I get “bored”
I’m not sure this time though ya know, I’ve got a good feeling about this one.
Wishing you all a Happy, prosperous and safe New year.
Its been a while since I last wrote. I suppose a lot of it is because I’ve been having some down time to heal from the miscarriage alongside dealing with ANOTHER lockdown with my daughter at home as somebody in her year at school caught Covid.
But this post is in full devotion to a special boy in my life who I met in 2008.
At the time, had been having a bit of a tough part in my life with my moods out of control whilst living at my mums and the newest solution for me to “get over it” was to move to a whole new location to try a new start. As my dad had moved to Scarborough quite some time earlier, he had kindly offered to take me in. I was really grateful however I barely had any kind of a relationship with my dad only seeing him on the odd weekend since being a child. I remember it was quite an awkward time for a while, we awkwardly shuffled around each other not really knowing much about each others routine around the house. I think we both subconsciously were praying for a bit of a distraction.. que Billy.
I remember the first time I ever set eyes on Billy. My dad and I had visited a rescue home out in the sticks near to Whitby, I can never remember the name of the place I just remember it was somewhere near to where the ITV drama “Heartbeat” was once filmed! The noise in the kennels was deafening but one bark sounded more desperate than the others, more scared and I was drawn into it. There he was, a little shadow in the corner barking his head of, he had the head of an German Shepherd and body of a corgi! But even though he wasn’t the most attractive dog in there that day I instantly felt a bond and we took him home as the best distraction tool ever known.
To cut a long story short, alot of stuff happened in between then and now with billy being with me through thick and thin, various house moves and alot of emotional trauma but also some great times too. After a few years, I had to move into a one bed flat meaning Billy couldnt come so he ended up getting adopted by my mum! He lived with my mum up until yesterday when his old age finally got the better of him.
Its strange as Billy was around for such a long time that I almost put him to the back of my mind. He was like a part of the furniture at my mums. But he always came up with his wagging tail to greet you no matter how stiff his joints were or if he could even see you through his cataracts. Towards the end, I think we all were expecting Billy to go but he outlived everyone’s expectations to a grand old age of almost 20! but for some reason it still seems to be hitting me harder than I expected. I think it got me thinking of all those years ago when we rescued him and it actually made me think that at the time, he rescued me.
Dogs are emotional creatures and I think the bond you create with them can be unbreakable. I get really annoyed when people use the phrase “Its just a pet” because they aren’t just a pet. They are possibly the most loving part of our family.
Supposing you have already read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that I was considering whether or not to have a second child and the mental wellbeing consequences that would come from that.
I did decide to take the leap and let things happen because remember, I’m a great believer in everything that happens for a reason, right?! Sadly, it would appear the gods aren’t in favor of this time my decision.
Miscarriage – My own experience with a Blighted Ovum.
I just want to start by saying until something like a miscarriage happens to you, it’s hard to visualize just how traumatic it can be. We all know the statistics and how common it is to suffer a miscarriage, especially in the early days; however, I, for one, never really sat and thought about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had enormous empathy for those around me that have gone through it. Still, nobody actually tells you HOW much of a long, messy, emotionally tiring, and not to mention painful time it can be.
I’m still quite raw as mine has just happened in the last couple of weeks, so I wanted to write about it now. To catch the emotions and hopefully help me heal and move on. Writing has always been good at helping me.
I had gone along for my first scan (12 weeks) last Tuesday alone as due to the covid rules, partners still aren’t allowed to come (I’ll try not to lose my rag over that situation). I didn’t mind as I thought I could video call him while inside if there was much to see. That idea went straight out the window as I entered the cubicle to be greeted by a very short and stern-looking sonographer. “phones switched off in here, please,” she said. Although slightly disappointed, I put my phone in my bag and got prepared on the bed.
After about 5 minutes of prodding and poking but no words, the lady then asked me to go for a wee as she would need to do a transvaginal ultrasound (and yes, it is as bad as it sounds). I asked if there was a problem and why couldn’t I see much on the screen, but she turned the screen away and said she just needed a better look as I could be slightly earlier than we expected. I went to the toilet with an awful feeling. I knew then something wasn’t right but returned to the room with a smile on my face to not look silly if everything was actually ok!
I stared at the black hole on the screen—a black hole with nothing visible inside. No yolk, no fetal pole …nothing. To be honest, I knew then that this would not be a successful pregnancy but to follow protocol. The sonographer explained I would need to go for some blood tests to see what’s happening. I played along.
I had blood tests every 48 hours, which consistently showed that my levels were high enough to be carrying a fetus…somewhere! Just not where it was meant to be. The stress of limbo and the unknown took its toll on me, and by the Saturday, my blood pressure had gone through the roof, and I had started getting bad cramping. I stayed in the hospital all day, waiting for the doctor to tell me whether he thought I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy (fetus grows in the fallopian tube). I knew this to be dangerous, which added to my stress. I begged to go home to be with my partner. He had waited in the car for the whole thing. Not being able to be a part of it or grieve himself, not being able to console me when I cried, and not even being able to listen to the doctors when I had zoned out. That night in bed, I thought I was dying! I was bleeding and cramping and crying and almost passing out with the pain. It felt like actual labor. I called the ward I had been on that day, and they explained I was most definitely experiencing a miscarriage (yeah, no shit sherlock)
To be honest, it was a relief. Not because my pregnancy was failing but because I’d had enough, and I wanted it all to be over. After everything, the most likely diagnosis for the loss was called a ‘Blighted ovum’ (see description below). My body had thought it was still pregnant even weeks after the egg had stopped growing. This made me feel strangely embarrassed. I felt awful that I had been telling every Tom, Dick, and Harry my news even when I technically had no news to tell. It was a hard pill to swallow as I had got myself over-excited to the point I was googling baby names and planning the baby’s room—silly me. I have had to spend the past few days re-texting those people telling them I’m actually not pregnant now. That in itself has been pretty rough.
It’s clear to me now that I really did want another baby, and the last two weeks have honestly been nothing less than hell. I had all the pregnancy symptoms and stopped all the bad habits, i.e., caffeine and alcohol, for almost 3 months. I had felt sick and tired with boobs that felt like boulders for 3 months. All for absolutely no reason at all. This is a type of miscarriage nobody talks about. The loss feels raw, but the baby was never there? So now, I sit here writing it all down, hoping for a bit more clarity from the fog I’ve been in, but it is still yet to clear.
I know I will recover from this, but now I ask myself whether I was only ever meant to be a mother to one? Whether Will this happen again? Whether this is a clear sign, I should take note of? Or whether I need to forget everything I ever believed about how things happen for reasons and try again. Time will tell, I guess, but in the meantime, I will hug my daughter a little tighter at night and be thankful for her and her health.
I’m so ranty today. So angry and frustrated. Worried and anxious all in one. Im sat at my computer waiting for Boris Johnson to release his bowels on us once more at 8pm. One minute we are all “eating out to help out”..the next.. NO more than 6 people in one space! Except work…and the pub.
The world is going mad and so are the people in it. My own personal mental wellbeing has been pretty fair and stable for some time now. Definitely figured out the best medication/vitamin concoction that works for me and also how much sleep I need but one thing that keeps niggling at me is the fucking uncertainty in everything. Like for example, imagine being pregnant in the current climate, what kind of world are we bringing these kids into (alone, may I add as apparently fathers are way more dangerous to the pandemic attending appointments with you than Billy bob down the pub who licks the windows.) its insane.
My job is currently a shower of shit. Travel is getting hit HARD by all this and all we can do is sit by (often colouring whilst waiting for customers to step foot in the shop) and watch the situation snowball.
Today has been shit. I always try my best to think of the positives I can take from each day and of course I have the usual gratitude’s such as my health and my daughter but what I’m struggling with is the mantra I have always sworn by. EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. because does it?
I guess tomorrow is another day, another day in 2020 modern England. Put on your happy faces guys.
The week I had been dreading was almost here. The Sunday night palpitations were setting in as I sat and stuffed my face with any chocolaty treats I could get my hands on to distract myself from impending doom. I laid awake a lot of the night tossing and turning with visions of angry customers queuing a the door, banging to get in! wiping coronavirus hands all over the window front and throwing insults at us…
The reality was obviously NOT this at all but my brain does like to be dramatic.
I work in a well-known UK travel store you see and let’s be honest. 2020 has not been kind to travel so far, far from it. We were closed for months meaning the initial bedlam of canceled holidays bypassed us (luckily); however, the shower of shit was waiting for us on our return. Mainly in a pile of letters and abusive notes posted through the door, most dating back in April. Poor people who had no clue what to do and nowhere to vent their frustrations posted passive-aggressive notes through the door, begging us to get their holiday sorted immediately! Look, I’m sorry, Mrs. Jones, but we can’t just magic a Boeing 747 down to Donny airport just for you to not miss your annual trip to Benidorm to get pissed up with ya gal pals now, can we. Seriously.
My first couple of days consisted of staring at my boss trying my very hardest to listen to my essentially new job role of ‘saving the sale’, encouraging people to amend instead of cancel upcoming holidays and helping to keep the company out of the shit. I tried my best to listen I really did but after approximately 1.5 hours of it I realised my face resembled that of the stupid seal from Finding Dory. Vacant. Bewildered. Dumb.
Of course, the other side of all this is that I’m feeling excited to be around people (colleagues, not customers, obvs) again. I’ve missed my work gang, the everyday talk of how much we hate customers, and anything at all sex-related. You know, all that mature stuff. That kind of stuff is good for the soul. Remembering who you are and not just being “mum,” I don’t work many hours. Still, it’s enough to keep me sane (ish), Although I’ve absolutely loved being off work and was dreading every aspect of going back originally. I’m so glad I’m starting to get ‘back to normal.’
People I’ve spoken to are saying we should all expect a second wave in the winter. What do you all think?
But actually, it’s one of the most difficult things to put in to practice. How many people can say they are proud to be assertive? Even if you’re quite good at putting it into practice it doesn’t always feel good.
In 2018 I started listening to Fearne Cotton’s podcast “Happy Place”
Fearne delves into the subject of Happiness through chatting to individuals who have either made a change in their own lives or who help people find a different way of looking at life. Something about her interview style has sent my mind into a spin. If you haven’t already, listen to it immediately and thank me later.
One that particularly sticks in my mind is when she interviews yoga inspiration Zephyr Wildman who sadly lost her husband to cancer. In the interview, Zephyr speaks candidly with Fearne about dealing with her grief whilst managing to keep it real and gain self-awareness. She spoke about changing her friend circles and being accountable for her feelings. And most importantly knowing yourself and knowing when to say NO.
Her circumstances were, of course, a lot more extreme than my own but I still found her way of healing herself from mental trauma very helpful to my own issues.
My upbringing was precarious at the best of times, with me often feeling let down and, in turn, leading me to become unable to know myself and eventually losing all confidence in asserting myself in adult life. I was always a bit of a ‘sheep’ growing up and would just go along with whatever was asked of me. I honestly didn’t think that I minded.
You can imagine my horror that as I grew up I learnt that you are faced with all kinds of trials and tribulations that you really should just decline but you have no idea how to!
I felt stressed and uptight attending parties where excessive alcohol and drugs were present, knowing that I’d have to get fully immersed in at least one activity. I chose alcohol. All I actually wanted to do was go home and put my dressing gown on with a cuppa! The number of times in my teenage years I’ve ended up in the bed of some random that I ‘kinda knew’ just because all my friends were doing it, and again, I didn’t know how to say no.
All this kind of behavior is damaging, and it is only in the past 4 years or so that I’ve learned that I’m allowed to say “I DONT WANT TO” you can actually say that, you know! Crazy right?
My friend circles have shifted back and forth over the years, depending on my mood. Still, I now realise the importance of needing to be surrounded by people that will improve your life and not drain it. It’s been hard, but slowly and surely, I’ve managed to pull myself away from the energy drainers and swayed more towards the people that fill my life with happiness and make me feel good. I recently discussed this with one of my close friends, who couldn’t believe she hadn’t tried the art of “NO” sooner. Seriously, guys, it’s a great feeling.
I sometimes get a little “No” happy, though, almost like a big fat middle finger up to all the times I didn’t say it. And obviously, I don’t always say it. I would help my friends and family out in a heartbeat. Still, I also know when someone’s taking the piss, i.e., going to do the weekly big shop for someone AND paying without the balls to remind her to pay me back just because she asked me to… ahem… Interestingly, my newfound confidence has lost me ‘friends’ over the years…
If you’d have asked me six months ago whether I would ever consider another child, the horrified look on my face wouldn’t even need me to give a verbal answer. Me? with two children when I can barely manage one?!
Fast forward a few months and I found myself answering slightly differently than the answer I gave to the last person who asked. Whether the main change has been just simply having more time on my hands to ponder or its whether I’m watching all my friends who have two, three and even four kids just absolutely boss it.
This would be a good time to talk about one of my dearest friends who I completely admire and wish I was more like. Having her most recent little cherub at the end of last year she now has three children 5 and under! This girl can breastfeed, read a bedtime story, change a nappy whilst simultaneously putting a wash load in..all whilst baking a fricking cake! Serious mum goals there. Some people just have the knack, don’t they?
Then there’s me, who almost goes into cardiac arrest if my daughter gets more than one toy out at a time. I mean, I’m trying to get better but I have a major control issue in the house. If the house is chaotic, so is my brain.
One of the main things my therapist and I worked on was to try and let go and relax. Apparently, it stems back to keeping my bedroom such a tip when I was growing up, almost mentally scarring me of all the bad times and struggles I had when I locked myself in there for days at a time! Sounds dramatic but makes sense as I can’t relax if there are things out everywhere and I lose my temper unnecessarily.
Mess triggers me. But weirdly only at home. In my own little bubble.
So anyway, the thought of another, although still slightly scary, is enticing me more and more. Sometimes I watch my daughter talking to rocks in the garden and it breaks my heart. She asks all the time for a little brother or sister as all her friends have them and it stumps me… I’m full of um’s and er’s as I have no real excuse other than reminding her she would have to share everything and sometimes mummy wouldn’t be able to give her ALL the attention. She usually pipes down a little bit then. But still. I am wondering.
But my questions are –
Am I mentally strong enough to do this all again when I struggled so much first time around?
Am I letting childhood memories of having an extra three step-siblings pretty much torpedoed into myself and my brothers little broken home overnight affect my judgement?
Am I letting the collective family opinion of ” I think ones enough for you Jaz” shape me more than it should?