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 favourite 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 behaviour 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 in which yes, my daughter will become a part of again as I unashamedly got on the phone to 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 on a Monday and Friday giving me the whole weekend to nag, cry and moan to my other half to my heart’s content.
The problem I’m currently having is that I’ve got to actually get off my arse? No, really its currently 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 programmes 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 ? Myself and my partner decided we were going to 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 absolutely 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 nevermind.
The one thing I do feel I can look back and reflect on is the time I spent in my own head during 2020. Through all the shit the year threw at us all I honestly feel ive “found” myself (whatever that means) I know what I want now and the things I like and don’t like. I took abit 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 as 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 dont think its by selling them a holiday to the Canaries. I want to actually HELP people. People who feel lost? People who need abit 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.
If 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 consequences that came with that, especially the mental wellbeing consequences.
Well, I did decide to take the leap and let things happen because remember, I’m a great believer in everything happens for a reason right?! Sadly it would appear the gods aren’t in favour this time of my decision.
Miscarriage – My own experience with a Blighted Ovum.
I just want to start by saying until something like miscarriage happens to you its so hard to visualize just how traumatic it can be. We all know the statistics and how common it is to suffer 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 huge empathy for those around me that have gone through it but 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 which is why 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 week) last Tuesday alone as due to the covid rules partners sill 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 whilst 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 trans-vaginal ultrasound (and yes, it is as bad as it sounds) I asked if there was a problem and why couldnt 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 a really bad feeling. I knew then something wasnt right but returned to the room with a smile on my face so not to look silly if everything was actaully ok!
On the screen 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 was not going to 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 kept consistently showing that my levels were high enough to be carrying a foetus…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 hospital all day waiting for the doctor to tell me whether or not he thought I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy (foetus grows in 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 (thanks a fucking bunch Boris..happy thoughts..happy thoughts…) 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 labour. 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 something 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 also a harder 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.
Its 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 real 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 its 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 this will happen again? Whether this is the 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.
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 inspiring individuals who have either made a change in their own lives or who help people every day to 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 very unstable at the best of times with me often feeling let down and in turn leading me to become unable to know anything about 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 behaviour is damaging and it is only been in the past 4 years or so that I’ve learnt 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 but I now realise the importance of needing to surround yourself with people that will improve your life and not drain it. Its 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 discussed this with one of my close friends recently who couldn’t believe she hadn’t tried the art of “NO” sooner. Seriously guys, it’s a great feeling.
I do sometimes get a little “No” happy at times 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 but 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 new found 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?
I’m a little unsure what’s quite wrong at the moment. I don’t have much to report.
Furloughed, spending heaps of time at home and getting paid for it. Win win right?
Hmm I’m not so sure anymore. I think one thing I’ve always needed is to feel like I have a purpose and whilst being a mum is one of life’s greatest gifts I do tend to have a habit of spending too much time in my head if I don’t occupy it. I’ve fallen into a comfortable way of life where there isn’t a rush to do anything and things can always wait until tomorrow. When I do go out I’ve started becoming anxious and wanting to get back to my safe little “bubble” again so I can eat cake.
I remember being like this a few years ago and whilst it felt nice to not feel obliged to be in contact with the outside world I’m well aware that the long term consequences do in no way benefit me. I’m now petrified of being asked to go back to work and the reasons are NOT pandemic related. Its having the pressure on again and having to be nice to be people! May I just add, my job will in no way, shape or form be easy when and even if, I do go back. Customer complaints and problem solving on a daily basis all whilst going back to juggling mum hood and home-life alongside the little mental health issue.
Most the people I know have now gone back to work or are due to do so in the next couple of weeks. Me on the other hand…well I’m still waiting and that’s almost worse! I know I’m lucky right now to live in the UK and receive payment for not working as I know not everybody is so lucky however I cant help feeling like I’d do anything not to return back now! And this was one of the many jobs I’ve had in the past where I’ve actually made an effort to get it! The travel industry is not easy guys!
I need to overcome this or I can see myself falling into a little pit of despair but I’m unsure how to begin. I like being anti social, I like being that flakey friend nobody relies on. I like being….lost.
A banana skin just got a thrashing within an inch of its life as it landed in the recycling bin. “Stupid fucking banana skin” I mumble under my breath as I go to pick it up and launch in the correct bin (after slapping it against the wall a couple of times first). All of a sudden, I’m alerted to the fact that my period is well on the way and it was time to prepare.
From a young age even pre childbirth, I’ve always struggled with my periods. I remember suffering from Aura type migraines and excruciating abdominal pain when I was at secondary school leading me to miss out on fun social activities like smoking bongs and shoplifting keyrings and scrunchies from Claire’s accessories. Bummer. I cursed myself and thought there was something wrong with me for being that friend who kept bailing all the time. none of my friends had these issues so Why me?
More on “Why me” in my next post.
I’m 101percent sure I am a sufferer of PMDD (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder) however when I once mentioned this to a nurse at my local health clinic she looked at me like I’d got two tits on my head. See below for symptoms.
They all seem pretty usual for anybody to experience before a period don’t they, except all are felt in the most extreme ways. The hot flashes are what led me to start looking for a second opinion (well, that was before corona took hold)
I can lose my shit over the tiniest things ranging from yellow fruits not landing in the bin properly to complete overreaction towards my other half asking me if I happen to know where his work clothes are. “AM I JUST A SLAVE TO YOU IN THIS HOUSE YOU FAT BASTARD?!” followed by the “escape” suitcase being brought down (again) from on top of the wardrobe and me throwing my things in angrily with no real plan of action of where I’m going or what the hell I’m doing really.
Originally I always put these mood swings down to the personality disorder but then I began tracking my periods using the “FLO” app (highly recommend) and quickly realised that the extreme rage and hot flashes tend to be viler the week before I’m on. They have been that extreme in the past that I’ve had to go and stay in a nearby hotel for a couple of nights for my poor partner and daughters verbal safety. Its bad guys.
It’s sad to me that it is not as widely recognised by health care professionals as it should be. The nurse I saw that said that I must mean PMS as she’d not heard of PMDD before. BIG sigh and eye-roll.
Even without any other mental health issues, PMDD alone can cause severe distress to yourself and others around you. My closest run-ins with attempted suicide have been around the time I was due on and this is a problem. It is so important to SPEAK UP if you feel like your experiencing something more than just one would expect from PMS. If you wake up crying in the middle of the night wanting to do yourself in but have no idea why then somethings not right huns.
Speak up. Get a second opinion and follow my journey getting the correct diagnosis because I know it is in there somewhere! jeez, being a woman is hard sometimes.
I’m trying to work out whether my newest obsession with wanting to become a cannabis smoking hippy is just a phase or the start of a mid-life crisis? Hear me out.
For the past year, whilst mostly being in a happy, stable place I have a little naughty voice in the back of my head who is bored out of her mind and getting little to no stimulation. We’ll call her Rita. Rita Rush.
Poor little Rita lives in my brain riding the wave of life quietly satisfied by my regular poor decision making and erratic or risky behaviour but I’ve really backhanded her down lately. Sensible money decisions, not wanting to run off from my whole family and start a new life with the random man that winked at me in his van and even refraining from putting my newest business idea of “mobile CAT groomers” to one side. (fuck I love cats)
I just feel like I want to get high. Not like smacked off my tits high or ruin my life high but high enough to relax and think a little bit more freely. You know the kind of high I mean right?
Back in my teenage years I probably gave myself a bit of brain damage from the number of bongs I’d puffed away on at such a young age. It all started when one of my more rowdy school friends asked me for a sleepover at hers and of course, being the attention-seeking, rebellious kid that I was, I had my bag packed before she even finished the sentence. Anyway, the long story short is that i puffed away on a buddha shaped bong in the family living room with my friend, her mum and brother like it was as normal as passing a Toblerone around. That was the start for me at the tender age of 13. I continued smoking weed until I was about 17 and haven’t touched anything since. I never did any other drugs other than the one time in a bar when I dropped an “E” but in hindsight, I’m voting it was an out of date smint as all it did was make me drool and fall over a lot.
I was around drugs a lot growing up but never tempted, which is quite a feat considering my personality traits. I can only imagine my self-control in this area was because I was mainly too pissed to feel any need to add on to it. But my teenage drinking is a whole other post. So Rita’s getting a little agitated, she needs some adrenaline-fuelled action and I can tell I’ve been keeping it from her too long.
So my question is.
Do I let her have a mini victory by getting a little pot to quieten Rita down (totally illegal in the UK by the way. BOOO) or do I ignore her in the hope she doesn’t make me regret it? This is possibly the longest space of time I’ve been without having some sort of dramatic meltdown crescendo after a slowly built-up shower of shit. The longest I’ve not had the suitcase down from the top of the wardrobe with my “escape clothes” in and also the longest I’ve not gambled for. Its almost as if Rita knows I’m doing well and she can’t handle it.
Somebody said to me the other day “Jaz, it must be quite difficult for you at the moment going through all of this with a bit of a mental brain” (Her words, not mine) well, thanks for the concern there hun but you would be mistaken. The biggest excuse I ever used to get out of something was usually by ignoring the whole situation, turning my phone on silent and pretending I didn’t get the message. All of a sudden I don’t need to do that because nobody is doing anything! Covid-19 seems to have taken away all the stresses of stressing over social outings. Now, Covid-19 can be the reason for not letting somebody come into your house when it is not as clean as you would like and the reason you can just say NO to any type of social gathering. It can also be a fantastic excuse to sit consuming chocolatey treats and ..well, yourself. As great as it is, the amount of occasions that friends and family have mentioned all meeting up once all of ‘this’ is over is alarming. I’m actually preparing myself for accidentally on purpose lobbing my phone in the canal so I don’t have to commit to such outings and socialisation.
Don’t get me wrong when I’m in the mood for it I am the life and soul! I’m like Pringles, once you pop you just can’t stop! Get me in a room of 10 or more and I’m a bloody jack-in-a-box. I irritate my partner because I can’t and won’t sit still. Does anybody need any help? do I need the toilet? What’s in that room over there? It is bloody exhausting.
I once went on a day trip to London with my friend and her newborn son. She was slightly apprehensive understandably about tackling the tube with a pushchair and how the day would go in general. I took complete control, we were on and off that central line like shit off a stick, we walked miles, we talked for miles! it really was a fantastic, busy, chaotic but brilliant day out… I then didn’t leave the house for two whole days. I was overwhelmed and emotional from all the stimulation of the day before like that of an overstimulated newborn really. I could barely even parent that day. This is quite a common scenario, and also why I turn down so many social invitations even if I want to go as I have to consider what I’m doing for the few days after in case the day of fun puts me out of service… like a woozy, mental hangover without any alcohol.
I do have a small group of friends who I seem to socialise more with as they understand my situation and laugh at me when I just HAVE to get home for 10 pm. They accept I don’t like to drink too much and just let me be me, however odd I am! I must say though, it took me a long time to get to this point with people as I’m naturally a “people pleaser” which has definitely got me into some sticky situations in the past.
So to summerise, Covid-19 has done me a massive favour. What about you?