rest-and-self-careI know that I posted on November 14th 2015 saying that “all good things must come to an end” with the intention of moving over to my new blog “Happiness Personified”, which at the time seemed like the right thing to do. At that point I had just laid Frankie to rest along with my beautiful Aunty Maria, and I was bereft and lost. I hoped that I could pick myself up relatively quickly, get back on track and start writing again. This time though to do that seemed absolutely impossible.

I just don’t know how I have survived from day to day since that last blog post, but survive I did – somehow. The sum total of everything that has happened to me filled my head day in, day out. I looked around me and saw people getting on, being successful, launching businesses, running events, attending networking events, campaigning for issues that matter to them – doing everything I used to do, and doing it better than I ever could. And I’ve gone to doing precisely nothing at all, which is NOT like me at all.

The truth is, I have never felt so low as I have over this last two months. Even when I lost Frankie, I kept putting things in place to look forward to. A holiday in Lanzarote. Going back to work. Evenings out, date nights with my husband and catch ups with my friends. But now my confidence has completely gone, I’ve lost all faith in my abilities to do anything, I forget even the most simple of things and I feel pretty useless most of the time. I struggled to pick myself up and found it very hard to see the wood from the trees, especially as my mind felt like treacle – slow, incapable and indolent. I have been unable to write, unable to put things into coherent thoughts, unable to download all the things that have been going through my mind – and I so desperately want to download them.  This is the first time in weeks that I have felt able to get something written down, and even now I don’t think it is very good, clear or concise. Things have been happening to me this last few months that have made me question the very essence of who I am, what I stand for and what I should be. I now know that what I was told was right, everything was my fault and down to me – I realise that now and I am working hard to change and be a better person. One thing I pride myself on is lifelong learning and development. I do NOT know it all, nor do I want to, and I need to learn to do things the right way.

I have been referred for more talking therapy by my doctor, yet I am still waiting to hear when it will be. In the meantime the lovely Lisa Clarke has arranged for me to have some Reiki sessions which I am looking forward to immensely. I am slowly trying to do some of the things I used to love doing – spending time with my friends, outings to look forward to, business networking events and more, and in turn it has slowly helped me to feel a bit more like my old self again. I’m not there yet, I’m nowhere near there yet, but I’m a little closer to where I was.

December wasn’t a brilliant month and I somehow got through Christmas as best I could. January though was the month of death, literally from the start of the month right until the end. Firstly, I heard that a good friend of mine from the Birmingham poetry scene who I got to know during my time as the Founder and Director of the Worcestershire Literary Festival took her own life on January 4th. So shocked I was by this news, even though this lovely lady did have some mental health problems, that I couldn’t sleep or comprehend what had happened – she was only 28. Then I realised I was close to this myself, as I too had had thoughts in my head of how much better off everyone in my life would be without me, of how much of a failure I am because I can’t do the one thing I was put on this earth to do which is to have children and how easy it would be to just stop this ride called life and get off as quickly as possible. It was frightening to realise I had been thinking like that and I made a big effort to try not to.

The death continued and on January 8th I heard the news that David Bowie, one of my all time music heroes and icons, had died from cancer. I struggled to comprehend this news, there had been no clues as to his illness and to imagine the world without the Starman and Ziggy Stardust in it was incomprehensible.  Then Alan Rickman the actor died of cancer. Then the drummer from the band Mott The Hoople.  Then Celine Dion’s husband and brother within 2 days of each other. Then Glenn Frey from the band The Eagles. Then Terry Wogan. It was relentless. Someone up there I think was assembling a great band up there for a gig to end all gigs and taking all the great musicians to play it. Was it that I was just more susceptible to all the death and loss that was in the news because of all the death and loss I have been through?

Here we are now in February, and I have no idea what the future will bring, what kind of writing I will do next and where I am headed. I feel really lost and uncertain of things, of myself and my abilities. But I know one thing for sure – I have to try to get back a bit of my spark, do some of the things I used to enjoy and try to get a little bit of the person I was back. If I don’t do this, then I might as well be dead. It sounds dramatic I know, but there is no point in just merely existing. You have to live, live well and make the most of what you have. I have been guilty of not doing this since my Aunty Marie died, and I have to try hard now to rebuild myself.

Some people have pointed out to me that I have had depression this last few months. Maybe I have, and if that is the case in a way I have done well to avoid not having any tablets or medication. Or have I – I don’t know.

Then out of the blue last week I got an email from a woman who lost her baby early on from a rare chromsome disorder letting me know she had found this blog and that it had helped her enormously. I have replied to her and it made me realise that, actually, I need to keep writing for this blog. I have no idea how often I will write in it, it could be that I write in it just when the mood takes me, or when I feel I have something to say, like I do right now.

Yet again I can honestly say that I could not have got through the last couple of months without the support of all my amazing friends and family, and the love of my beautiful furbaby Poppy. You are my rock and no matter where I am headed on this journey called life, I know that I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for you all. I know that I come first and foremost, that self-care is critical and paramount, and I am doing my best to help others too, but I cannot serve from an empty vessel. I need to replenish, rebuild and regrow.

Till next time, with much love to you all.

Lisa xxx