Why happiness is mine to accept

To understand this post, you may want to read the previous one first! https://startingfromthemiddleblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/why-am-i-depressed/

I have a good job, a nice home and three beautiful and healthy children.

My dad has survived lung cancer and his prostate cancer is in remission. He is still with us.

My relationship with my mum has improved. She is happy and I know she will always be there if I need her.

Never say never. The job I have now is suitable for my situation on the whole. I get time off with my children. My job is enjoyable and challenging and I am good at it. There will be time for change in the future when the moment is right.

My children know they are loved. They know they can depend on me. They may not have as much as some but they have more than others. They are polite and well mannered and have a healthy interest in reading and history and technology, of course.

Happiness is not just for those in a relationship. I can be happy without a man. But at the same time, love could be on the horizon til the day I die.

At least I know that the connection exists. Somewhere, out there is another connection – so strong that nothing will keep us apart.

I tried my best to keep my marriage alive. What I have now are lots of happy memories, three beautiful children and a much better relationship with their dad.

As I write, I am an able bodied woman with no major health concerns other than the need to lose weight. It could be worse.

Life can be good if we open our eyes to it.


Why am I depressed?

Because I can’t be the mother, housewife and career woman I want to be.

Because my dad has cancer and he is getting more frail each day.

Because my mum left and I miss her every day.

Because although I love my job, I have aspirations I will probably never succeed.

Because I wish I was a better mother.

Because I am alone and can’t imagine ever finding love again.

Because I found an unbelievable connection with someone and I can’t understand why we can’t have a relationship.

Because my marriage failed.

Because I’m overweight and unfit and no matter what I do, that doesn’t seem to change.

Because I am so lucky and I havr absolutely no right to be miserable.


After braving late night Christmas shopping at Asda (we could actually park which is a bonus!) I came home and unpacked and sent my children off to bed.

My daughter had been watching “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and after crossing off items from my list in a most satisfying way, I watched the second half of the film.

I love this film. I’ve not watched it in such a long time. Colin Firth is just dreamy and Hugh Grant is great as the slime-ball seducer.

The film brings back so many memories for me. I was 21 when the film was released. I had just bought a brand new computer (my uni lecturer had not been impressed with my second hand word-processor) and had treated myself to some DVD’s. I can’t remember exactly but these DVD’s were of some significance – maybe they were the first ones I had bought myself (??) as I can’t believe they were the first I had owned. It seems funny now as many people are getting rid of DVD’s now in exchange for digital versions. Anyway, I would sit in my tiny boxroom and watch Bridget Jones on my new desktop. I’d get so excited every time I watched it: laughing, hoping and stomach turning. Of course I was totally in love with Mark Darcy (character and actor) and just reveled in the idea that opposites could attract – there was hope for me yet!

My favourite part is the end where they finally kiss in the snow. Ah, it is so magical. Love it..

I was in a good place back then. I was in the second year of my degree which I was absolutely loving. I had lost loads of weight and was slim for the first time in my life. I had got rid of an absolute arse of a boyfriend who had sucked every bit of confidence and happiness out of me in 2000 and I had finally realised that I was so much better without him. I had met a new best friend and we were having great fun. I had a job and money. I was happy. Actually happy.

I wasn’t short of male attention but couldn’t find someone decent long term. I didn’t care though and decided to focus on my career and eventually my own place. I was going to move away and start afresh with this new found confidence and happiness.

Two years later and I had met my husband to be. And here I am.

I suppose in my current mindset it would be easy to talk of regret. But I don’t have any. Sure, I’m separated, fat and depressed but I have three beautiful children, my own home and a career. 😊

I do want that feeling again though. Not being 21 again, just that feeling that all is well with the world. Happy. It’s sad to say, but I can’t remember the last time I was truly happy- fleeting moments, yes, but not all encompassing happiness. Perhaps 2018 is the year that I regain it.

One year on.

A year today I started this blog. Madness. At first I was pretty proud of myself for posting for a whole year, but then I realised it was more than that.

This blog has got me through some really tough times this year. It’s been a friend, a sounding post, a crutch.

Without a shadow of a doubt, on my second and final separation from my husband a year ago, I felt the absence of utter misery and stress would leave me feeling a lot happier. Surprisingly, it didn’t.

My circumstances are a lot different from the first time. I’m older (obviously), have three children (not two), and a more demanding and high pressured job.

I’ve found my separated life to be quite lonely. I’ve gone through dark clouds of depression to euphoric bliss and the boredom of monotony in between:

Dates – nope.

Rooms redecorated – half (don’t ask).

New hobbies – one.

Weight lost – none.

Evaluation of creation of new life? Poor.

But (and there is always a but)..


I have been a single parent to three gorgeous but highly demanding children whilst holding down a career and attempting to keep my house from looking (and smelling) like a dump.

So my advice to you, ‘newly separated and hopeful’ is:

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to make big changes. Let the dust settle.

Accept that it will take a while for the dust to settle.

Don’t think that the big hole left (however desired) by your ex leaving/getting kicked out is going to be filled with love and wonder and happiness. Not at first anyway. You need to explore every inch of that crater to process what happened: how you feel about it and what you truly want now your dream of night long sex with [insert sexy movie star here] is no longer needed to get you through the pain of a dissolving marriage.

Be kind to yourself. You are going to emote in ways you didn’t know possible. You may even miss him a little. Doesn’t mean you want him back or that you should backtrack on your decision, necessarily. It’s OK to mourn what once was and what could have been.

Give yourself the gift of time. Go out with the girls. Get out in the fresh air whenever you can. Laugh, cook, dance. You don’t need a replacement to make you happy.

Take stock of your achievements regularly. This is a big change to your life. It’s not easy to go it alone.

Don’t be afraid of asking for or accepting help. It doesn’t make you weak. Just reminds you that you are not Wonder Woman. (More’s the pity).

Don’t settle for mediocrity. You’re better than that. You deserve more than that. There’s no rush – get it right this time.

Thank you to all the people who have read my blog and the two special ladies who regularly comment. It is always appreciated. 😊

Here’ s to Year 2 and all that may bring.

Happy Blogging!


Clarity in the cold light of day

It is barely 6am. I am sat outside in my Pj’s, a fleece hoodie and my walking boots. I was tired of teetering on the edge of a single air bed, worrying about where my hands were and where his body was in comparison to mine ..

I want to tell you that I had the strength to push him away and say no.

I didn’t. Well, not exactly.

Not that anything physical happened of course – apart from holding my hand and frequent hugs, there was nothing romantic.

Like old times, it was clear other people thought that something was happening.

He got really drunk. Again, nothing new.

When drunk, the same old self-critical bs comes out his mouth. (This perhaps a little unfair, but please remember that this is the day after the night before and I’m cold and tired.) I don’t call him Lost Soul for nothing.

Despite being a really attractive man, he has low self esteem. He puts on a front of charming arrogance at times, only showing his true self to a chosen few. I call him out on it regularly – it is one of the things he loves about me apparently.

And then it happened. Finally.

I’m not sure how the conversation moved around to this. But things needed to be said and I needed to say them, once and for all. He agreed.

I told him that last time, I ended up broken hearted. That his actions and words had confused me so many times. That I was attracted to him and that I had felt a connection with him that I had never felt with anyone else.

But, for whatever reason, we’d pulled away from each other and that I had missed him over the years.

Therwas an awkward moment where I went in for a hug and he thought I was going in for a romantic kiss.

He commented here that I had been the one who pulled away from the friendship. Although I knew this to be true, I’d always thought he’d consider himself to be the one that pulled away and this surprised me. He also said that he had sensed that I had been unsure of what I had wanted. This flummoxed me a little.

I then went on to say that I had got over this (I’m not entirely lying, I had for a while) but that our intimacy a few weeks ago had highlighted a few things.

He held his head down at this point.

I told him that I did not regret it. I told him that it was as far as I wanted to go because I was unsure of his feelings. What it had given me was some clarity – I hadn’t imagined our connection.

He agreed. He felt the connection and attraction too. He said that he could be himself around me – he trusted me. But..

I cut in here.

I said that I recognised that he needed a young single woman whom he could start a life with. And that I needed someone dependable and strong to share my life with. Despite our chemistry, we were not right for each other.

He agreed and commented that he recognised that he was not dependable and that he had let me down. He said he had had no idea that I had felt that way in the past and was sorry that he had “led” me on and upset me. He said that he still wanted me.

Moments later, he pulled me close so that our foreheads rested on each other as we spoke. I couldn’t stand it; the intensity of feelings. I weighed it up and went for it. He pulled away.

I said, quite calmly in fact, that I wasn’t going to kiss him like that (not strictly true, but I was going to see what happened). He said that it was not that he didn’t want to but that he had feelings for someone else.

I once again called him out on this and rather frustratedly. I pointed out that this was identical to what happened initially all those years ago – he admits he has feelings for me then starts talking about someone else. I also said that this pattern also occurred when he was at a low point – he fixates on someone he can’t have. At this moment, it is some girl in Leeds (miles and miles away!).

He wasn’t happy about this. I won’t dignify his comments by putting them on here but he said that he thought she was the one and that it could get serious. Bs.

I went on to say that I was independent and was in no rush to get in to any relationship. He called me out on this, recognising my own need for intimacy. He asked me what I was looking for in a man.

It also turns out that he had told my sister and brother-in-law about our intimacy. I was surprised.

Despite all this, a tension had lifted. I felt better – at the time anyway – and we rejoined the party at the stage.

A little while later we were all back at the tent. He sat next to me as I cooked some food for everyone. The flirty banter was much the same, even though I felt we had had some clarity. At one point, he commented that he was cold. I touched his hand – mine were warm. He asked me to leave my hand there.

After food, he realised that his taxi was not going to arrive any time soon and so asked if he could sleep with me in my ‘bedroom’.

There was a ridiculous situation where he lay on the cold floor for a while because he would not be happy if she did the same with another man. I commented that we were just friends, I had three layers on and he was freezing. I was toasty with my single duvet – it was up to him. He eventually got on to the single air bed with me and I cuddled him warm. Genuinely, there was no other option but I realise that it was far from ideal.

It is difficult to lie together on a single mattress, holding each other close without touching each other in an intimate way. We just about managed it amongst some laughing. At times he would hold my hand or stroke my arm. Other times he would pull away.

As I sit here typing, I can hear him move on my airbed. Part of me is annoyed because I want to go to sleep on my airbed.

Things in some ways are still not as clear as I thought they were. I did a lot of the talking last night and some of it was said in self preservation. His actions and his words are still conflicting.

What was clear is that nothing has changed. And I mean that in both senses of the phrase. We are still drawn to each other and people still think there is more going on than there is.

He is still playing games though. This elasticated friendship is still very much in play and he wants to be in control. I believe this the one area of his life where he has felt in control.

In the cold light of the morning, I’m not sure how much I influenced the steer of the conversation with my words and actions. From things he said, he is confused that I keep turning him down for sexual intimacy.

He still has a power over me that I can’t resist. But I know him so well that I preempt his games with blocks. I no doubt confuse him as much as he does me.

I can’t do this though. I want to think that despite my blocks, he would have told me truly how he had felt if he had wanted more. I can’t be sure though.

But I know from my own reflections recently that I can’t go through this again but that I am as much the game player as him.

True love shouldn’t feel like this.

A letter to my children

Dear Princess, Buddy and little man, 

First of all, before I say anything else, I hope you know how much I love you. You are the most precious things in my life – my reasons for living – and that will never change. 

I know you are sad about me and your dad splitting up. I know that this sometimes makes you angry too. Believe it or not, it is hard on all of us. 

There are lots of reasons why I think your dad and I shouldn’t be together any more. But this doesn’t stop me from caring about him and it definitely does not stop either of us from loving you. I have made this decision because I think it is the best thing for all of us, not the easiest. 

I know it’s not easy at the moment. It takes time to accept that things have changed. Soon, hopefully, your dad will have his new house which will mean that you will get the chance to spend time with each of us more equally. 

You dad and I may be apart, but we will always be together in being your parents. We both want what is best for you and we will work together to make that happen. We want you to be happy and although you feel sad at the moment, this will feel easier in time. It’s OK to talk to us about how you feel – it is important that we understand what you are going through. 

Keep remembering that we love you – living at different addresses will never change that. 

Love you always my babies,