Monthly Archives: July 2015

I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

A very dear friend of mine came to stay with me for the weekend. It happened to be her 42nd Birthday but she was not at all happy, it wasn’t her birthday that bothered her, but how her life had turned out. She said to me that ultimately she just didn’t feel that ‘this’ is where her life was meant to take her. She then berated herself and said that clearly this was the bed that she had made and so she would just have to lie in it but she is intrinsically sad inside and it breaks my heart.

My friend has had a very challenging life and has managed to transcend it for the most part but the shadow of her experiences remain part of her and sometimes it just becomes overwhelming and she becomes sad. This impacts so detrimentally on the life that she has made for herself that at these times she appears to be trying to climb a rock face that keeps crumbling beneath her and forces her down again.

She is a talented chef, a mother to two very beautiful (inside and out) children, her husband is a good man and they love each other but still, it doesn’t seem enough for her, so she tells me. She imagined running her own business by now I think, and she has done so successfully in the past, but working for yourself can be tenuous and when kids became part of the plan she needed security and took a job working for someone else. After her children arrived she was made redundant from a job she loved and it became all about the financial struggle which,lets face it, never goes away. The anxiety of dealing with ‘life’ has stiffled her creative streak and she feels ’empty’, lonely and bored.

‘Get up, get dressed and go find your bliss’ you say? So much easier said than done. She suffers from depression, that is literally crippling at times. She wants to be happy, she yearns for it, she is thankful for her family but these things do not fulfill her. I have no sage words of wisdom to impart to her, she is my friend and I love her and when she wants me to be there then I am and when she wants time alone we have an honest enough relationship for her to say that she doesn’t wasn’t to see me, without me taking it personally.

I don’t believe that she is in the minority when it comes to feeling ‘is this where I am meant to be?’, after all isn’t this what mid life crises are made of? But my friend isn’t a statistic and she certainly can’t go out and re live her youth. I want her to be happy, I want her to see the woods for the trees but right now she can’t and its hard for her but whatever she asks of me I shall do because I think she is experiencing one of the most frightening things possible as an adult, not being in control of her own life, her destiny. Aren’t we told from an early age that we are responsible for our own achievements and future and that if we are good and work hard then we shall be bestowed with financial security and happiness? well, what about when you work hard and do your best and it just doesn’t work out? how many chances are there to ‘do over’ again? And where do you find the strength to begin again?

I’m the greatest dancer (no I’m not)

I have signed myself up for street dance classes. I know! I can’t dance at all, I always thought I could, that I had rhythm, but then I did a Zumba class and realised that I am the most uptight tense person without rhythm I think I have ever seen – thanks to the mirror in the Zumba studio. How could this be? I asked myself. I spent my 20’s in nightclubs and then I remembered I was working in them not dancing.

A little background may be required. A number of months after Dan left a friend of mine, regarding a entirely different situation,  simply told me to ‘be brave’ and I’ve been trying ever since. I am a rather shy person by nature and don’t deal well with public humiliation so the thought of flayling around on a dance floor in front of others is testing me little but I have always wanted to try street dance and so now I am, if I hate it (or it hates me) then I don’t have to keep going, I am freeing myself from the idea of long term hideousness, if I give it up I am won’t be failing, I will be winning because I tried it in the first place.

So, come September at 8.30pm on a Thursday evening you will catch me shaking my ass, bustin’ some moves and generally getting down with the kids unless I hate it in which case I have a number of other thing that I am determined to ‘be brave’ about.

Join me, ‘be brave’, failure is an option, a really positive one.

I can’t get no sleep.

When I hit my teens insomnia kicked in big time, accompanied by headaches – oh the headaches. Migraines and pounding temples and banging crown, you name the type of headache and I had it. I went for loads of tests, CAT scans, blood tests, but nothing. They determined that I was suffering from high levels of anxiety and needed to learn how to relax. I’ve been trying very hard with the whole relaxation thing for the last 25 years but I still haven’t got it right yet. Pressure and responsibility just seem to increase with age, damnation. Insomnia is still my constant companion, as is a rather unattractive gum guard mouth brace looking contraption that I have to wear each night as I grind my teeth so much I have split  4 of them down the middle, yuk. I am also terrified of the dentist but go every six months to face my fears, which are usually made manifest – another filling you say? another crown? I hold the dental nurse’s hand and cry all the way through, my poor long suffering dentist of 30 years repeats, ‘stop sliding down in the chair, its not that bad’, but of course it is.

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So far for my insomnia I have tried relaxation tapes, meditation, hypnotherapy, over the counter treatments, herbal teas, homeopathy, acupuncture and as a last resort, when I just couldn’t function any more, I got sleeping tablets from the Dr. But I always felt like I had been drugged when I woke up the next morning, because, you know, of course I had been. It took ages to come round and the foggy headedness stayed all morning and left me headachey. Not the best solution but sometimes you just have to shut your body down for its own good.

If I do manage to sleep I can be prone to suffer from nightmares, and when they arrive they stay for a good few weeks. I had been ticking along very nicely without them for a few months, thinking I was doing rather well then one night recently BOOM, and it’s been the same every night since, that’s about two months of being trapped every night in the most frightening scenarios my mind can come up with, but hey, at least I’m asleep! Though, when you have a nightmare you never wake up feeling refreshed you wake up feeling like you have just lived through one of the worst ordeals of your life. The most recent lot arrived the day my solicitor told me that my Consent Order was being considered by the family court as part of my divorce process, I was thrilled, relieved that the whole horrid emotionally trying mess was nearly completed. I dd not expect trouble on the dream front. But the mind is a mystery and I’m just going to have to accept that at the moment my mind has the urge to manifest whatever emotions I am not aware of through my nightmares. I have no idea what the extreme violence in my dreams is about or what the ‘wet your pants’ kind of terror I experience is meant to mean.

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That I was a fool to believe that I could control all aspects of my life? An idiot to be unprepared for it being completely turned upside down and inside out by another entity, in this case my soon to be ex and his leaving me and our baby? That I should have been more watchful? That I’m not as indestructible as i want to be? I always try and glean a lesson from the shitty things when they happen but I’m at a loss as to the meanings of the dreams. They make me wake up feeling like a useless and fearful person which is exactly the thing I am most frightened of being. Is that what my dreams are about? My fears. Probably, but for now I shall have to sit with them, be kind to myself and remember ‘I am who I want me to be’, not what my very undermining psyche is trying to make me be. The internal battle continues but I shall listen to my positive affirming voice and not my cruel bullying voice. I am okay, I am enough, I am me.