I started out to write 10 fun things that have happened but as you’ll discover this is quite a lengthy post so I’ve settled on
8 things (not necessarily fun) that have happened over the last 2 years
…they are as follows:
- We moved house
- Reuben started school
- We got MORE animals
- I got fatter, then thinner, then fatter, then thinner, then… you get the picture
- I quit drinking and got a bit happier (and fatter, then thinner…)
- I decided I wanted to have another baby but found I couldn’t (yet)
- I got a bit down and I got scared of the internet
- I auditioned to be a housewife and didn’t get the part
Feel free to skip to the bits you’re interested in!
1. We moved! Again.
Some of you may recall that we moved from the coast to the countryside – well, we lived in that house for a year and then my husband got itchy feet. A couple of miles up the road, his dream house was up for sale; a 300 year old house on the hill.
It’s a bit of a draughty do-er up-er but, man, the house is beautiful and the views are spectacular…
It’s taken a year to get planning permission and a further year to find someone to do the work within a reasonable budget buuuut within the next few months we’re hoping for the work to get started.
Fuuuuuuuck! The idea of making the house finally ‘ours’ and ‘just the way we want it’ and, arghhhh, ‘perfect’ scares the crap out of me. What if we pick the wrong fabric for the living room curtains?!
Times that by 100 because that’s how many decisions we need to make and you get the picture.
However, I have a glimmer of hope that when we finally move out of this limboland we’ve been inhabiting for the past 2 years, I’ll spring into action and everything will fall into place.
Isn’t it just the fear of what may go wrong that stops all the best ideas?
2. Reuben started school
When I finished blogging, Reuben was in his last term at pre-school. He’s now halfway through year 1! So much has changed it’s unreal. It seems a long time since we went Castle Hunting. In fact it was half his life ago. Waaaa!
3. We got more animals
Right, I’m probably not the first to want loads of animals, or any if I’m honest. So, the fact we got a labrador puppy in the last few years (who’s now a great hunking dog!) and inherited another cat, is a bit of a surprise to me.
But I do love them and I’d go so far as to say that looking after them has saved me on some of my darker days.
4. I got fatter and thinner and fatter and thinner…
It’s fair to say I’ve struggled with my weight for ages. I lost 20lbs, which I blogged about here. I kept it off for 6 months, but it slowly (then quickly!) started to creep back on until the point where I had put on all 20 lbs plus another stone!!
I’ve done all the diets over the last few years and had some success with Slimming World. While I loved having LOADS of carbs, it was torturous and I felt deprived all the time. I went back to low-carbing and, despite drinking far too much, got back to a much happier weight for me.
Then I quit drinking and, as is common (on average a person who quits drinking will put on 30lbs*!), I put on a stone by replacing the booze with sugar. I’ve since lost about 10lbs, which ironically puts me back to where I was before I lost the original 20lbs! Oh, how we LOL.
The difference this time is I’m not so bothered. I have clothes I can wear that I feel good in, I’m exercising to improve my mental health rather than to punish myself and I’m back to low-carbing as that’s the diet that makes the most sense to me**. I feel in control and it reduces my mood swings and cravings. Win win.
* From The Diet Cure by Julia Ross, Introduction chapter.
** Books I’d recommend on low-carb lifestyle include: Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes and The Diet Cure by Julia Ross (they even have scientific evidence to back up their theories), and clinical psychologist, author, youtuber, Jordon B. Peterson promotes this way of eating, particularly to improve anxiety, in this podcast.
5. I quit drinking
As I just mentioned, I have quit drinking. I did a sort of coming out piece on Facebook 2 weeks ago, which really helped. Something about putting yourself out there with the potential for embarrassment and/or criticism felt petrifying and then liberating! The fact no one criticised me also helped. Phew.
But I have to say, while I love not drinking, it certainly hasn’t been the answer to all my “problems”. People say “do you feel better for it?” and the honest answer is sort of!
I thought quitting would relieve my anxiety and help me lose weight. In reality, I felt more anxious and I started to have more panic attacks. I think this was partly because I couldn’t turn to the thing that was numbing my feelings but also I felt I was isolating myself from my friends.
I’ve already talked about the fact I put on a stone…so that didn’t work out so well either!
If you read any book about quitting, they will say that stopping drinking is just the beginning. You also have to square up to the reason you were drinking in the first place.
I think that depends entirely on who you are – My husband, who was an even bigger drinker than me, quit 2 months after I did, and he doesn’t think about it at all. It just is was it is. He has also lost 20lbs, has loads of motivation and energy and is in the best shape of his life. Of course he is!
I, however, am a big, annoying thinker. Which is why housewifery does not suit me (see point 8). Too much time to think and wallow. I need to be with people, or at the very least communicating with them. *Waves* Hello you!
So, did quitting drinking solve all my problems? Not immediately because I felt my anxiety more deeply as there was no off switch and put on a stone! But now I can honestly say I feel happier, more stable and more able to tackle the things I need to do in life in order to make me happy.
6. I decided I wanted another baby.
This has been a biggy for me for ages. I knew there was a little person missing from our family but I wasn’t sure if I would ever feel ready to be pregnant and give birth and look after a newborn again.
The trigger was my sister-in-law getting pregnant. Even before they told us, my other hawk-eyed sister-in-law spotted the signs (she literally misses nothing!) and got me thinking about pregnancy and babies. And I realised I was ready.
Get ready for some TMI.
This was May 2017 so nearly a year ago. I wanted to lose a few pounds (of course, story of my life) then I would get my coil taken out. However…when I went to get my coil out…
it wasn’t there!
An ultrasound and some other dildo-like contraption later, and it still wasn’t there. The assumption: it must have fallen out so start baby making!
My doctor wasn’t happy about it though, so a couple of months later she contacted me and asked me to go for an X-Ray ‘just in case’. I didn’t think we would find anything, the womb is a closed area so where else could the coil be?
I went anyway and imagine my surprise when the radiographer said “I can see it – do you want to come and have a look?”
Yes, I want a bloody look.
And sure enough, somewhere near my tailbone, sideways on, was my effing coil.
To cut a long story short, the coil passed through my womb and is now snugly wrapped in fatty tissues that, bless them, are trying to dissolve this foreign, plastic object.
I have to have key-hole surgery this week to remove said coil, and then maybe we’ll see about that baby…!
7. I got a bit down and I got scared of the internet
You may have picked up from what I’ve written that I’ve been feeling a bit weird, not quite myself and anxious.
I say I got a bit down but really the feeling was more, nothing.
Most of the time everything is normal, I’m laughing and having fun. But other times there is an underlying feeling of nothingness.
I can’t put my finger on what is wrong per-say but I can’t particularly find joy in anything either. I don’t want to go out – sure I would pick my kids up and engage in lively conversation – but I wouldn’t really be all there. I would be going through the proverbial motions.
I’ve also started to have panic attacks and even had an entire day of sheer panic. The only way to describe it was that I felt in imminent danger. Think: end of the world, apocalypse, what’s the point in going on living or in fact in anything, I’m going to die.
I thought I was going entirely mad and I needed to be sectioned.
The next day it subsided with an underlying feeling of danger but I was able to function. Then the feeling left. Not completely, and I still have moments of immediately thinking the worst, for example, if Reuben doesn’t answer me straight away, but it’s not quite so dark and sinister.
I have barely used social media for 2 years, so coming back to it over the last few weeks has brought back those anxious feelings. Voices in the pit of my stomach (it’s probably my coil!) that tell me I can’t match up or even catch up – it’s changed so much, and do I really have anything of any value to offer?
Maybe not, but I’ve got to try. Which brings me nicely to…
8. I auditioned to be a housewife
When I stopped blogging (failed at blogging is how I saw it) and got scared of the world, I auditioned to be a housewife. I feel like I gave it my best shot, but I’ve just had to send myself a rejection letter.
Lol! You suck at being a housewife!!!
This is one role that isn’t for you.
And, holding off on doing all the things that truly ring your bell because you ‘need to do the house up’ or you ‘might get pregnant’, ain’t gunna wash.
Please stop being a dick and go do something else.
p.s. sorry if that sounded harsh, you are good at other stuff and I felt this was the best angle to help you move on…
I know for a fact that many people would kill to be in my position and not have to work. The guilt I feel for being in such a privileged position and not having the decency to enjoy it makes me feel even worse.
But this is my life. My one and only life… The very same life that, if you trust my anxiety, could be over in a flash.
So, I’ve finally realised (thanks to this BRILLIANT interview with Sara Blakely of Spanx fame) that I’ve failed at being a housewife. So what?! It doesn’t mean I don’t love my family or I’m a failure as a mother/wife/woman/human. It just means I tried something that didn’t work.
And trying deserves a high five.
To quote Sara “I’m in the wrong movie” at the moment and it’s time to accept that this isn’t for me, to stop being scared and move on.
To what? Dunno! I’ve a few ideas but when the right idea comes I’ll be ready to pounce…!
In my mind this post was a nice, light-hearted piece about what we’ve been up to. Funny what happens when you actually put finger to keyboard, isn’t it?
I have to remind myself that I started blogging again with the intention to speak the truth. And today this is the truth, which is probably why it’s taken me a week to actually sit down and write it.
Tomorrow I might be laughing at fart jokes (in fact, that’s what I intend to do next for a bit of light relief) but for now, this me.
*Waves again* Hello you! Thank you for reading – that deserves another high five xxx