This is my song of the moment:

The lyrics of that song perfectly encapsulate what I am trying to do, and what is happening to me. ‘I don’t look back’………I won’t look back. I can’t look back, because the second that I do that, I am not happy about the thinking about the things that have gone before, though I think that at some point in the future that might happen, I might have happy thoughts. When I think about other exes, I think ‘wow if I hadn’t met him/her, I’d have never done that’. At this point I can’t help thinking ‘you have shattered all of our plans and our dreams’, ‘you have stolen my future’.

‘So I don’t look back,
Still I’m dying with every step I take,
But I don’t look back.

And it hurts with every heartbeat’

Work is good for you.

I think it’s a British sport to moan about your job, and it’s something that I have done in spades.  I think even if you loved your job, you would still find something to complain about.  I must say though that at this point, my job is saving my life.  For 7 hours a day, my mind is taken over by work. I have a minor managerial role, and I have a team that I look after in terms of sickness, performance, and mentoring.  Each one of them has their own dramas, family problems, partner problems, ego problems, all sorts.  I feel almost like a mother hen.  I am called upon for advice, advice about work, about contractual obligations, all sorts of things.  My working day is so full, that I don’t have time to think about my own drama.  Apart from this, my workmates are being so terribly patient, and understanding.  They feel like family.  In the spirit of mindfulness, I feel blessed.

I keep forgetting to breathe

Well here I am.  I’m in a state of limbo.  I need to find somewhere to live.  I need to work out if I leave my most beloved dog with my ex, or I take her with me.  At work I maintain a jolly facade.  ‘what’s the problem?’  ‘how was it?’  ‘good morning everyone, it’s Wednesday, we are halfway through the week’.  Privately. I fight back tears.  I am having symptoms of anxiety, and I am having trouble getting up in the morning.  I get intense bouts of loneliness.  I feel sad.  I feel like he smashed up our dreams.  I have to come up with new dreams now.  We spend a lot of time negotiating how we will go forward, how we might live in the same house until I move on.  Actually, I just want to tell him to F*ck off.  However, the civilised bit of me won’t allow me to do that.  I still love him.  A tiny shred of me hopes that at some point he will say ‘I’ve changed my mind’.

A new adventure?

My heart is probably broken, but I feel mainly numb.  I am going through the motions.  Sorting out a transfer for my job.  Looking for somewhere to live.  Preparing to say goodbye to the town I love, and the house I love.  I am focussing on the practical things.  Making arrangements.  Negotiating.  Compromising.  Making decisions.  I have found out who my friends are.  The good ones are better than good they are amazing.  It is my friends that bring me to tears with their generosity, rather than the break-up.  I’m guessing that it might hit me like a nuclear missile later on, but somehow I am doing it.  I am looking forward.   I had major anxiety symptoms today, fluttery feelings in my stomach, it was hard to swallow, and hard to sit still.  But I did my job, and I kept making plans.  One of my friends told me to focus on the potential happenings in my life, rather that those things that have gone before.  Somehow I am able to do this.  

What happens next?

Well the very thing that I was expecting, but was hoping was only in my head has happened. My partner of 7 years announced that he didn’t see a future for us. He was adamant about this despite my begging and pleading. After two days of reflection I can see that he was right, to a point. Now mind is at a stage where I don’t know if I am Arthur or Martha. My friend said ‘well you won’t know if you’re at rinse or spin’, and she’s right. I need to look forward, and I’m trying to look forward. I’m a single woman now………..the world is my lobster.

I have so many options that I don’t know where to start, though I have a good idea where I may end up. People keep saying ‘think of it as the start of an adventure’, I’m sure it may feel like that in the future, but at this point it feels like a total mindfuck. What happens next? What happens next? Being mindful is the only way forward. The two things that I know for certain are that I know that my Mum is a totally gorgeous and a grumpy human being, and she makes me feel loved. I also know that my Doris Dog is a great snuggler and whatever happens we are going to look after each other. What happens next?


So, life has got a bit tricky.  Lots of amazing things have happened.  We threw a party for Eurovision, we took a group selfie in which we are all sporting beards as a tribute to the winner, and that photo was featured on The One Show on BBC. I posed naked for a photograph which was taken by Spencer Tunick, and now I am on display in an exhibition.  This was a huge personal challenge, and I got a massive buzz from doing it.  Work has started to feel a bit more worthwhile and fulfilling.  This is all good stuff………….right?

And then……… partner tells me that he feels overwhelmed, and completely stressed out.  He doesn’t know if this feeling is caused by work, all the stuff that needs doing to our house, or our relationship, or all of it……..well I didn’t see that coming at all.  I was aware that he wasn’t sleeping well, and that he was tired but not that he felt this bad.  I don’t know what to do.  When I try and ask him questions about it, he just replies with ‘I don’t know’.  

He has asked for space, time to think, and has gone off to visit his Grandma on his own.  I have come to stay with my parents for a couple of days.  He says that he still loves me, I know that I love him.  Now he has his space, and I am waiting.  I can’t help questioning everything about our relationship now.  I look at all my flaws and wonder how much of this is my fault.  I speculate on what he might be thinking, which any smart person knows is a fool’s game.  My gut feeling is that this a crisis that we will get through, but I don’t know how much stamina I have and how long I can wait for him to make his mind up and decide what he wants.  I want everything to just go back to normal.  All the overthinking is making me feel tired and anxious.  How will this all end?

Anecdote #1

I was urging my friend to watch a film that I saw last night, and I told her about the first time had seen it. She said that my anecdotes are like the plot of a Douglas Coupland novel, and that I should blog them. Well here is the first one.

One of my favourite films is a ‘made for TV’ film called The Fruit Machine. It’s a film about 2 gay teenagers on the run after witnessing a gangland killing. I first saw this film when I was a hospital in-patient, I was 17, this was 1989. I was in hospital for a total of 3 weeks with a severe chest infection. I was getting pretty bored, life needs to be fast when you’re 17. Anyway, I made friends with quite a few of my fellow patients, and we all used to head down to the Day Room in the evenings, dragging our drip-stands with us, sitting in our newly bought pyjamas and dressing gowns. Incredibly you could still smoke in Day Rooms then, and fags were a highly prized commodity which were cheerfully shared around, it was only the smokers who were happy to contend with the fug in the room, you couldn’t see from the doorway to the other side of the room.

One night John and I were the only ones left. All the others had left one by one, and when the continuity announcer on the TV said ‘and now a powerful film about two gay teenagers…’, I thought ‘yeah, I’ll stick around and see what this one is about’.

What was interesting about John is that he was in fact on release from HMP Camphill on the Isle of Wight after suffering with a heart attack. He was cuffed to his chair. He and I had become quite friendly over the two previous weeks and he was trying to prolong his stay in hospital so that he didn’t have to go back to prison.

John and I watched the film, we were enraptured. We were both sat there with tears rolling down our cheeks, holding hands. When the film ended, I had to go and get security to release him from his chair so that he could go back to bed.  I often wonder what happened to him, he was a really nice chap who was in prison for fraud.  I never did ask him what sort of fraud, or how much time he was doing.

After all that, I can heartily recommend the film. I bought it being slightly worried that your memory can play tricks on you and that something that you found powerful over 20 years ago, might not pack as much of a punch now. However, this film still does pack a punch and I had tears streaming down my face at the end, even after all this time.

Our own peculiar Valentine’s day

The 13th February is our anniversary. This year it’s 7 whole years since we met under the clock at Waterloo station. I met him online, and we had talked via Yahoo messenger for a whole year before we finally met in person. We had a whole year of online chat, frantic text messaging, and long phone calls.

I put him off once. About 3 months prior to this we had agreed to meet at Waterloo. What I didn’t tell him was that I was suffering quite badly with anxiety and depression at the time. The day before our first meeting came and I just couldn’t do it. We had already got to the point of saying ‘I love you’ every day by voice, text, and e-mail. I was obsessively checking my phone all the time for another exciting message that made my stomach do flips. I don’t think I have ever been so excited by another human being. It had become so big online that I didn’t feel like I could live up to it in person. So I put him off, I sent him an e-mail, the subject line ‘about tomorrow’. His reply conveyed devastation, but encouragement too.

Anyway, on 13th February 2007, I finally met him. I remember that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I certainly couldn’t make eye contact, and for a gobshite I was strangely tongue-tied, though this didn’t last long. I will spare you the details, but I met him, I stayed the night, and one my favourite memories is walking to Waterloo from Brick Lane against the tide of commuters going into the city the next morning – Valentine’s day. Lots of them were clutching massive bunches of roses, some of them had helium balloons, and I just kept thinking ‘who cares about Valentine’s day?’. I knew that I had met the man of my dreams. The online ‘Mr right’ became the real life Mr right. My song for this moment is Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks.

Ever since then, we have enjoyed having our Valentine’s day the day before everyone else. This year has been no exception. We have laughed, eaten good food, spent time remembering, and spent time plotting our future.

NB. We don’t have the perfect relationship, but it’s perfect for me. 7 years is a personal record!

Craving solitude

Now I wouldn’t want you to get me wrong.  I am a gregarious person, I am at my best when I am with a like-minded person such as my BFF Susan, or my partner, bouncing ideas and banter and trying to make them laugh.  However just lately, I feel like I haven’t had five minutes to myself.  Ordinarily I don’t function well on my own, or at least when I am on my own, I crave company.  I’ve become better at becoming self-contained, I can amuse myself on train journeys, and I’ve grown to actually prefer going shopping on my own.  

Most of the time I get a buzz out of being the ‘go-to’ person at work.  The Oracle, the one that will be bold and take charge of situations and make decisions.  But sometimes I think ‘fuck me, work it out for yourself’.  Being the capable person at work is both a blessing and a curse.  I had a situation at work today where I expected some support from a colleague. It wasn’t unreasonable, and this is a colleague I always go out of the way to support whenever I can, but she let me down.  This may be the reason for the introspection tonight.

Anyway, I am sat here now craving for a day on my own.  A day to sit in my pyjamas and do as I choose. I might read all day (at the moment I am up to 2 novels a week), I might paint and doodle, I might watch trashy TV, I might just take Doris for an extra long walk on the beach, I might lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling.  Somehow it feels like this is never going to happen.  The work-life routine means that the only time I get on my own is when I’m in the bath, which is something I love but it never feels like long enough.

I need some time where I am not someone’s colleague, partner, daughter, confidante, ‘the bubbly girl who is soooo cheerful’.  I need some time just to be me.  Writing this has helped………….sod it, I’m going to make that time happen.   Onwards and upwards troops!

I haven’t blogged for a while………..

I get a weekly prompt telling me to blog and for some reason I am hesitant. It’s not like I have a million followers who are hanging on my every word, but for some reason I can’t switch off the feeling that it is public. My Significant Other doesn’t know how to find this blog, but I still don’t feel like I can talk about him.

I was just trying to decide what’s on my mind most frequently at the moment. I spose I mainly wonder what will happen with my job, which is no-one’s dream job but is tolerable and pays well. The only thing that keeps me going there is my colleagues. I am very thankful for my colleagues. In my local office which I am sort of the boss of, I feel like the oracle, which feels fantastic. I am the ‘go to’ person, the one who’s meant to know all the answers. Though most of the time I feel like I am winging it, I always have an answer for questions that are asked.

One thing I do know is that I need to stop staying up late watching old episodes of The Big Bang Theory. I totally blame Sheldon Cooper for my feeling of persistent tiredness, but that’s just a cop out right?