I’m back…I think

3 years ago, I found myself swallowed by a big black hole. I was numb. I was exhausted. I woke up one Friday morning and I could not move. It wasn’t because I was paralysed physically, but mentally and emotionally I was broken.

I’ve suffered with anxiety as far back as I can remember. I have stubby fingernails and some pretty crazy actions, borne out of overthinking, that pay testament to that fact. But after a break up, a new home, a new job, finding my feet with single parenting and the loss of my beloved dog Rosie, the cracks in my toughened exterior finally shattered into a million pieces.

I rang the doctor. I had no idea why I was feeling the way I was but after a 20 minute chat, the doctor simply said…it’s not an anxiety attack you are having. You are depressed.

For the first time in a long time I cried. I cried and cried and cried and cried. I struggled to breathe through the sobs as the reality dawned on me that my brilliant astute brain and my inner strength had finally given up on me.

Of course they hadn’t given up. Simply put, my mind and body forced me into facing my reality that I cannot lunge myself into all manner of exciting things as a way of dealing with what was going on inside.

I was hurt. I was sad. I was carrying a heavy guilt. I felt like a burden on my friends and family and rather than face that head on, I simply ignored it and went on with life. I was fixing a broken heart. I hadn’t felt loved in a long time, nor did I think I was deserving of it.

At the very same time, I had met a guy. He was nicknamed Super Mark because he had done all these incredible things. He had such an amazing life story. Things were moving rapidly, but when I woke up on that Friday morning I had no idea how I was going to tell him.

He knew I was off work. And one night on the phone he asked me if I struggled with depression. No, I answered. He responded softly saying ‘I have you know. I’ve been depressed to the point of suicide. I know from experience that the only way to start healing is to talk’.

In that moment, everything I had been holding in came tumbling out. I have no idea how long I was on the phone for. He patiently listened to me pour my little heart out. I have no idea if he was listening really, but I sensed he was from his mmm’s and aah’s and awww’s.

By the time I finished, he simply said ‘this is a chapter in your life. You won’t feel like this forever, just for now. Do you feel better?’

It dawned on me in that moment that by talking and getting everything off my chest, I felt a sense of relief. I wasn’t ‘fixed’. I had simply opened the door into healing.

And the mad thing about it, was that afterwards, Mark didn’t run a mile. He chose to love me instead and gave me a wonderful 8 months. That is until I found out he told my Dad that my mum was fit and how much fun it would be to have me and her together.

(Which is proof that even the good guys can be grade A fucking dickheads)

I digress. Back to healing.

I started therapy and working on doing things that made me happy. That’s how I got into football coaching. And how I got back to my hiking. I started budgeting properly and planning days out to the beach. I discovered hypnosis and meditation. Eventually, although it took a while, I found writing again.

Reflecting on the last two months, despite the wonderful things I have been experiencing, I have definitely fallen backwards a little. Depression isn’t ever fully resolved. It’s a constant battle of forgiving yourself. Forgiving the feels. Forgiving people. And in my case, speaking your truth. And after the year we have had, being confined to my own four walls, it’s amazing that I didn’t slip sooner.

I injured my foot and broke my big toe at the end of March, which stopped my usual exercise routine in its tracks. I was able to walk so I still hiked a little. And I managed to limp around the football field twice a week, there really isn’t much running in coaching thankfully. But it delayed my progress.

Last weekend though, I climbed 5 mountains (not as dramatic as it sounds. Actually it was, because it was hot as fucking hell in England) and since then I have been doing my 15 minute hiit or dance workouts. The result is I am happier. Less fatigued. More motivated. I’ve found myself singing again, to the point people have commented. I’m dancing as I walk and shop and talk. My mood is just way more upbeat. I don’t feel like writing is a chore (sorry for that), I’m doing the washing again. The plates are no longer stacked high.

I’m not saying that exercise alone fends of depression, but I’m a pretty good example if it does.

So next time I go AWOL, please, somebody shout at me to dance round the living room for 15 minutes and all will be well again.

Peace out mofo’s!

A case of the grumps…

Sorry. I’ve been awol.

I’ve lost a lot of the motivation I started out with this year. Is it the time of the year? Is it something in the air? Is it ok to lose motivation?

I’ve just finished celebrating my birthday. The guy I’m seeing has referred to himself as my boyfriend, so we’re official.

I got promoted at work. My football team are winning.

I have nothing to be grumpy about.

Maybe it’s the hormones, my period is due but that would only explain one or two days and not this incessant cloud of misery which has descended over me.

To make matters worse, my boyfriend is also grumpy because his football team lost their Europa cup final. And this is further making me grumpy. Like Pandora’s box. Has my grump created a confidence in him to be grumpy? Because that’s not how this works. I can be grumpy, he makes me feel better. He is not allowed to be grumpy because I can’t be arsed with emotional people.

I joke, kinda. I’m not insensitive, although some part of me thinks there are better things to be grumpy over than a game of football.

And I’ve been rather dutiful and asked how I can make him feel better, but I hit a dead end with ‘I dunno’.

So now I’m even more grumpy.

So I got the grumps which created the grumps which has given me the grumpy grumps.

Vicious circle.

Witty Title – Toxic Traita

‘I don’t really have a lot to say’

A sentence you hear when somebody is too lazy to argue.

A sentence you hear when somebody is not passionate enough.

A sentence you SAY when you are coming up blank for a blog post but you are still trying to hit your 1000 words a week target that you set yourself at the start of the year.

I feel as though a peace has settled over me. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I have no love life drama. And I don’t know how to deal with it!

I wouldn’t say I’ve ever sought out drama, but I will admit I love a good argument to clear the air. I’ve never been passive aggressive, always direct and to the point which has landed me in some trouble in my history. I prefer to argue with facts and logic these days. I’m guilty of using words to drive in a sharp knife. Not in rude way, I’d never swear at somebody or insult them, because that’s mean. But I’m a spin doctor of sorts and will capitalise on what you say and twist it until you can’t even remember what the point was you made in the first place. I consider this my biggest toxic trait (after taking another glass to bed for water when there’s already one there).

I also have bad habits. I bite my nails until they bleed (anxiety thank you very much), I smoke (because alcoholism is way more expensive, and risky) I wash the dishes way less often than I should and my clothes somehow always end up on the floordrobe as opposed to in the wardrobe.

So when you combine my toxic trait and my bad habits, it’s easy to conclude that I’m not a person many would find easy to love. And I believe this. I also believe that I am a person somebody would be lucky to love. Can you see my dilemma?

So when somebody brings up an issue, I instantly go to the part of my brain that believes I’m shit to love. When somebody is not passionate enough in their response, same thing. And to protect myself I start waxing lyrical, using big words and weaving them into clever sentences; they are my weapons that protect me from my own self-imposed wounds.

I’m not the most secure person in the world. I am soooo confident in many things; sports, driving, my job, socially, around friends, family. Any outsider could look at me and easily denote me as a competent adult who has her shit together. But that’s only what you see on the outside. I have high functioning anxiety and imposter syndrome. Which basically means I have to please the inner voice over everything else. This is hard to do. And my coping mechanism is talking to myself which in turn becomes the same coping mechanism when dealing with any other type of personal conflict. I have a sharp tongue and I’m not afraid to use it. Sucks to be you.

BUT

It’s an issue that has raised itself a number of times in the past with partners and I’m finally listening and registering that my vocabulary and grasp of the English language (most of the time) is as much a strength as it is a weakness.

I don’t have a problem getting on a level with peers, colleagues, friends, family, kids, the elderly and everybody in between. But I know for a fact that maintaining these awesome communication skills I have with a lover has never been my strong suit.

And the one thing somebody can say to me to really raise the pressure in this interpersonal kettle that is bubbling to ensure those communication skills completely boil over?

I don’t really have a lot to say!

Or any words to that effect. Infuriating!!!

And I have no reason to be triggered by such a reasoned statement. It’s probably what a secure person would say to prevent an argument. But I’m not secure and therefore it’s lazy and passionless, don’t @ me.

Or maybe do @ me. I can’t even decide if this is a toxic trait I want to improve. I quite like being a wordsmith.

I’m frenetic in nature, so I will naturally swing back and forth between two ideas. Even when I have laid out a reasonable and rationale argument for changing my ways and even when there is supporting evidence that those ways are not a ‘good thing’, I’ll still argue with myself over which wins out.

Until, of course, the time comes that an argument is borne, and either the other person is left feeling like shit because they couldn’t defend my war of words or I’m left feeling like shit because my war of words worked and now they feel like shit. It’s a no win situation and I can’t not have the last word. At this point, I instantly chastise myself.

So even though it’s a behaviour that I need to change, I don’t really want to. Even though I’ll always end up feeling bad by behaving in this way, I’ll continue to do it.

And because this peace has settled over me and there is no drama (in my love life at least) I feel a little lost. I’m jittery, like one who hasn’t had their coffee in the morning (or way too much) and I’m gunning for a verbal showdown.

It’s ironic that that I can spit words out and yet I’m really not sure this post makes any sense.

I have nothing more to say**

** a sentence you write when you have no clear way to end a blog post.

Witty Title – The Journey So far

At the beginning of the year when I downloaded hinge, I felt like I had zero prospects. We are 4 months into 2021 and whilst I have reviewed my New Years resolutions, I haven’t really reflected much in my dating life and the patterns. So, that is what this post is going to attempt to do.

Since January 1st 2021, there have been 5 boyfriends (not actual boyfriends, but I’m still waiting for society to create the term for a boy who is dating or chatting or fucking, but where there is no defined relationship that would make them an actual boyfriend).

I digress.

But 5?! Is that really true? Let’s go through them:

FD – he does count, remember the babes comment. Still influences my brain today despite no actual dates in 2021. But he’s in the bin. Never kissed. Never held hands. Just lots of weird games. Buy bye!

Remember Nathan? Yup, disappeared as fast as he appeared.

Mr Big – I ended this with a very polite message because I know I can’t continue to have sex with him and work with him without falling for him. Better to keep things normal now than face potential ruin later on.

Remember Jeff from Men are like Buses. Part 2? Well he has not moved out of my DM’s. Not suggested a date. Nothing. Urgh, see ya dude!

Gamer Geek – N’awwww.

Out of 5 men, only one of them shines and he looks damn fine in a suit. The others are nowhere near on my level of dating and honestly, it’s no wonder single women struggle…there’s only a 20% of finding someone almost decent and even then you might have to work really hard on your own personal appetite for men to make it work. Only out of 5 dates has potential and even then it’s no guaranteed because 10 dates in you find you’re not really that compatible?! Phew!

Look I’m not knocking dating, but in a world of busy lifestyles, finding the time to date 5 men for some women will be super super hard! And as we grow up, stronger and more independent than ever, I worry that single millennial women currently in their 30’s will end up pioneering a spinster revolution. Care homes and bingo clubs will be full of single ladies in their 80’s tearing up the floor with a bottle of Mad Dog 2020! Lord!

The world is NOT ready for that.

So we must stop it. Somehow.

The first place in our busy, modern, pro-gadget age is to weed out all the hook-up wannabe’s from those really searching for something solid and long-term on dating sites. The free apps just don’t have enough of a screening process.

Apps should have a questionnaire, the more you fill in, the wider the choice pool. If you only answer 5, you only get to view other prospects who could only be bothered to answer 5. If you answer 50, you get the pick of the pool – but only if you answered them with long-term intentions. Going for cocktails on a first date is not chivalrous. It’s not romantic. It’s lazy at best, and potentially dangerous at worst – drinks spiking anyone? Same goes for home movies, dinners, take-out. I only wanna be matching with someone who also agrees that a brisk walk in the fresh air somewhere public, or to grab coffee are acceptable first dates to see if the 4D version of those pictures is true to life. And that way, dating 5 different men might be possible if you want to increase your odds (assuming my questionnaire idea doesn’t pay off in the first place).

You know what else isn’t chivalrous, getting sexy before date 3. I say forget date numbers, how many hours have you spent with this person? I’m not knocking any bodies choices, but a guy who wants to invest in you will happily wait 3 dates, or 24hrs in term of total time spent together. Tbh, most men will wait longer than that if they are invested, but I’m assuming you also want to sleep with him so why play games??? Just do it. Whenever you feel comfortable, what I’m trying to say is that in my aforementioned dates, only 3/5 have not pushed for anything physical, although to be honest, one of them hasn’t even pushed to meet face to face so I don’t think that counts and the other is FD who also doesn’t count. 1 out of 5. Damn!

They were all funny. Mostly. Mr Big won the round with that one, but the fact they have all tried to make me laugh, tells me this is a flirting technique. This is how guys get a girl’s attention. 5/5

1/5 bought me dinner, or invited me over or made plans for a date. A real date.

They all like to talk about sex. Men huh? 5/5

FD, Mr Big and Jeff have all spilled their hearts out about various things, their past, their family, their friends etc. GG and Nathan, not so much. This could just be a case of different personalities, but interesting that I felt connected to Mr Big and FD more than the others. 3/5. Possibly a hooking technique.

Communication was a let down for all of them. Even gamer geek isn’t brilliant, but deffo better than the rest. 5/5 – men are just shit.

This blog post has no structure whatsoever. I may come back and tidy it up but that wouldn’t really reflect the way my brain is working today. And besides, if I was blogging for a living, I certainly wouldn’t be wittering on about my dating life, even if I do make some excellent points!

So, the dating app is paused for a bit. I managed to go 3 months on there, spoke to plenty of people and whittled it down to our Matthew.

We really haven’t connected much on an emotional level so that’s what I’m working on over the next couple of dates…Let’s watch this space!