A beautiful life

Ok, I admit it. I’ve not been taking my medication. My antidepressants. And it’s for no other reason than I keep forgetting. It’s been a few weeks now of having the occasional tablet.

Interestingly, no one has noticed. There hasn’t been a noticeable shift in my moods. I don’t feel much different either. I’d always hoped that once the stress of work had gone then I would be more like myself.

However, work stress hasn’t left me completely as I have said in previous posts. But that is not what this post is about.

I’ve discussed it with my sister and I think I’m going to lower my dose and try to remember to take them. It seems the best plan.

I’ve been thinking about the past year. It was just over a year ago when I had my anti depressants upped the first time. And then again when I was negotiating leaving my career.

I still can’t believe it sometimes. But – as hindsight is such a wonderful thing – I can see how unhappy I was there. In fact, I wonder if I ever was truly happy there. Convenience, and I guess success, made me stay there so long. But no, I wasn’t happy.

But what the academy did to me was worse, I realise that now. I lost complete faith in myself. They stripped me of my confidence and my self esteem. I have spent 10 months doubting everything I do. In those ten months I have put on two stone. I’ve stopped all the healthy habits I once had – like reading, facial care, taking tablets, sleep, eating well, exercise. I’ve stopped putting makeup on each day. And whilst a bit of make up doesn’t matter, what it shows is that I gave up. I gave up.

I was so proud of my weight loss and how it made me feel. I want that back.

I’ve had a disappointing week- my business has not taken off like I’d hoped – but I can’t let this haunt me or put me off.

This is just the beginning of the new life I am going to lead. It’s a very short period of time in my life and it will come and go.

I’ve had a beautiful life so far, despite everything. I had a full childhood and experiences that many have never had. I’ve been loved. I’ve been successful. I’ve had children. I’ve travelled. I’ve built relationships.

I could list the negative things, of course I could. But I won’t. That was my life then, and this is my life now.

I’m not giving up.

For my sons

I don’t know if this is a subject you want to hear from me. I imagine not. But I think I am the best placed to give you this lesson.

I don’t envy either of you. The world is a very different place than it was when I was your age. But some things stay the same.

The world is filled with images of how we ‘are supposed’ be. Instagram, Facebook, advertisements, magazines, film…all telling us what is attractive. This is for men and for women. The pressure is there for both.

Remember one thing. Someone, somewhere made the decision of what ‘attractive’ is. They then published it for one reason only – so we will buy what they are selling so we can look and feel like that. Keep that in mind every time you see an advert for abs, or for bulking up or whatever else men are subjected to.

My advice? Be healthy. Exercise, eat well, keep clean and tidy and dress well. That, my sons, will be enough. No one is enamoured with someone who never brushes their teeth.

I’m sure you realise though, that the pressure on women is perhaps even greater and always has been. Not only are they presented with professionally made-up women with their perfect hair and make up, these women are airbrushed and filtered. Whilst the male physique never really changes from a fashion sense, a woman’s certainly does. At this moment, round bottoms and tiny waists are in fashion. How ridiculous is that boys? A woman’s shape can be in fashion or not. What message is that giving them?

So for that reason, here is my advice to you.

No matter how beautiful you find a woman there will ALWAYS be a part of herself that she hates. She might even be unhappy with most of herself.

How will you know? It’s the part that she covers up: with make up, with clothes, with her hands. It might be the parts that she is always working on – a new diet or exercise plan, a new cream or make up product.

Make no mistake, whilst she wants to improve herself for her own wellbeing, don’t be fooled. If you are with her, she is doing it for you too. If not, then for whoever she wants to find. How much that is an incentive to her will be different for every woman but it will be there. Why? Because we all want acceptance. We all want to be needed and wanted and desired by someone else.

So this is where is becomes difficult for you. How do you navigate this emotionally difficult situation? How can you seem supportive and non judgemental but not dismissive of her feelings? That my sons, is the tricky part.

Whilst it is not your job to boost the self esteem of every woman you ever date, it is certainly your role to support her with that difficult task.

How?

By noticing.

On the days where she has tried extra hard with her hair or make up or clothes, tell her you’ve noticed. On the days she gets out of bed with her hair dishevelled and wearing cuddly pyjamas, tell her how much you love her eyes or smile or whatever else made you want to be with her.

Tell her, this woman you love, that to you she is perfect how she is, flaws and all. Tell her you don’t care if she thinks her bum is flat or boobs are small or stomach is flabby or whatever else. You love her how she is – healthy and happy and her.

No one is perfect boys. No one. Maybe there are parts of her that deep down you wish were a little different. Know this – we each could describe an construct a perfect person to be with. But what is perfect for us may still not be perfect in their eyes. Loving someone is loving all of them.

At the same time, if you say these things too much then it can have the opposite effect that you were trying to achieve. She won’t believe you and think you insincere. I know that it is a difficult balance, and it will be different with every woman. Again I give you this advice…Notice. Pay attention.

Never, ever tell a girl she is too fat or thin even in anger, even if she is. The moment you say those words you will lose something in your relationship which you will never get back. If you are worried about her weight then support her with it when she asks. Exercise together, cook together, encourage and support never criticise or point out her mistakes.

A woman’s self esteem is fragile boys, no matter how confident she seems. If she loves you, it becomes all the more delicate. Remember that.

Selfish.

I don’t think I am a selfish person usually. Probably more the other way – not being able to say no which leads to more trouble for myself. On this occasion, I think what I am about to write is going to sound really selfish.

Please forgive me for this post.

I’m really struggling. She was not even my family member, but I am struggling.

First, is that it is bringing back all sorts of memories of my Dad dying. As Wildcard tells me things, what happened, I am reminded of the events nearly three years ago. Events I usually successfully repress. This is not a bad thing entirely because I can understand and sympathise with him. But it really hurts.

However…

Seeing and understanding his grief is not easy. I love him so much and I can’t stand to see his pain. I know how bad it is, and worse, know how bad it can become, and I can’t help him. I can’t take it away. I can’t even hug him or kiss him or anything. I know this is a process and he has to go through it, but I want to be at his side and I am not.

So, adding that together, this weekend has been tough. Now for the selfish element.

Naturally, he is not calling or messaging as much. When he has called, it has been for a few minutes – enough to see his pain and distress – and then he is gone. Messages go unread or unanswered. And I completely and utterly understand why, I really do, but in those hours of waiting I am worried sick about him. Hoping he is OK. Wondering what he is going through. Hating the fact I can’t be there to help.

Now for the even more, despicable element.

All of this just plays on my natural anxieties. My over-active, stressed, anxious head does the bad maths. Knowing what a life changing experience this is, I am scared it will take him away from me. He will realise that life is too short to wait for an over-emotional, anxious, chubby 40 year old. And maybe he is learning that, in fact, through the darkest of days, he doesn’t need me. I’m…irrelevant. not needed. Obscure. I have all this love and worry and need to be near him and support him and…he doesn’t want it or need it. And worse, maybe there is someone there better placed to understand.

There, I said it. I’m disgusting, right?

Ultimately, my overwhelming feeling is that I want him to be ok. I need to know he is OK, and he is not. The reduced communication, no matter how understandable, really is playing on my already delicate nerves.

I need to get strength and patience from somewhere. And hope. I would settle for hope.

Games

During a particular tricky period in our relationship (Ramadan in April last year – my first cancelled trip due to Covid), we started to play an online game.

I’ve never really been one for computer games. Occasionally, when bored, I lay download a couple for a while then delete. I like games involving strategy  – those that make my mind work and make me feel a sense of accomplishment when I solve them.

We started with a game of online Ludo. He had only recently downloaded it through Facebook and asked me to do the same. The first few games he absolutely destroyed me but I didn’t care. In this delicate period of our relationship, it brought us together and gave us something to do, to talk about and laugh about. Eventually … and I mean eventually, I started to win a few games which added to the fun. He won most of the time but whilst I am competitive I didn’t mind because I enjoyed it all so much.

During a recent conversation, chess was brought up and how he would like to play. We discovered that neither of us really knew how but that it may be too difficult to learn together due to the language barrier. He then suggested draughts.

My dad taught me how to play draughts  . Dad always won, but I soon started to learn and would win some games and I liked the strategy and cunning of the game.

So you understand, I was quite happy to find an online version of this game.

He destroys me. Nearly every time. We both started on 500 points – he is now on 27500ish and I am on 7500ish. We have drawn a few times, I have won occasionally. I don’t care though.

Or rather, I didn’t. 

I love that about him – his intelligence, the way his mind works. I don’t mind that I lose because we keep playing and having fun. Am I surprised I lost a lot? Sure. I thought I was reasonably ok at draughts and thought we would be more evenly matched, but it’s ok.

Then, this morning after I lost again, he commented that I always lose and maybe he needs to play with someone else- a stronger player.

Wow, that hurt. He was joking, it was trash talk. But it really stung and – as per goddam usual – my eyes filled up. I thought I had got away with it – it was the end of the call and he wasn’t playing full attention but he noticed as he always does.

How to explain? How to tell him that his comment felt like a knife in my gut – that I am not good enough. That my mind rolled and played with that idea…that I am stupid, not good enough and I never will be. That every moment of my anxiety comes from that – that I am not good enough for him and that one day he will find someone better and I will be left alone.

It is not the winning. I genuinely didn’t care about that because I loved the fact that he won, that he is so intelligent, and that made me more. But his comment – however much he was joking – just made me love myself less.

Is it his job to make me feel good about myself?

If you pay attention to the many online relationship and coaching gurus, no it is not. And I do get that. Confidence comes from within. You have to have pride in yourself, see your own worth – dampen down you inner critic. If I don’t feel positive about myself, how can I expect anyone else to?

But.

I can’t believe this is the entirety of the situation.  Surely, part of feeling loved is feeling that you are special to that person? That they love all of you: They value your strengths. They find you attractive and sexy.  They love your flaws and your faults because they make you who you are.

In making the person you love feel that love and attraction you feel for them, they feel good about themselves.

So…how does that work then? For someone to love you, you need to feel good about yourself but someone loving you makes you feel good about yourself.  Chicken and egg I think.

Does he make me feel good about myself?

Sometimes. Every call makes me happy. When he tells me misses me – which is not often. When he tells me I look beautiful or that he wants me. When he mentions something about our future.

These things don’t happen every day and I don’t expect them to.

But every day he calls me, every day he kisses me, every day he tells me he loves me. He makes me feel loved.

So what’s my problem? I have absolutely no idea.

His loving me has made me feel better about myself. It has made me want to improve myself more.

I try very hard to be a good person. I work hard. I am successful – I have achieved. I try my best when I can. I try to look after myself – make the best of who and what I am. I have a lot to offer someone.

So why do I feel this way? Why can a throwaway comment make me feel so bad – make me feel like I am not good enough for him?

Anxiety 1, Me 1

I think the increased anxiety medication is finally having some impact, thank goodness. That’s not to say I haven’t been anxious, but not quite as much and my mind has been able to process and calm myself a little. It’s an achievement, no matter how small.

My sister and I discussed my anxiety yesterday, particularly around Wild Card. We both acknowledged that my anxiety is to expected due to the distance (the Facebook LDR group has proved how normal my feelings are), Coronavirus and all its stress and then my own historical dating issues too.

Tuesday night, Wild Card and I had a bit of a wobble. We were both at fault. Once again, he demonstrated how well he knows me. In the end, it was nothing too serious and the call ended well. Yesterday everything was wonderful again.

As my mind is starting to work better through the anxiety, events have made me think. My sister’s questioning likewise.

I love him. I am wholly and completely in love with him. I don’t know how it happened or why and I certainly didn’t expect it to. But it has.

I’m scared of losing him. It makes me react sometimes in a way that creates problems. I’ve just got to realise, that if my irrational fears ever turn out to be true, then he wasn’t the person I thought he was or want to be with. It will sting but it’s the truth.

I know he loves me.

But we are eight months on. I’m waiting and waiting for those borders to open so I can be with him and take this to the next step. It’s essential. And yet – as my sister quite rightly pointed out – my mind has already taken that next step. Hours of daily videochat means that I feel like we have already done that, somehow. It’s confusing.

If you have never been in a long distance relationship you will not understand this. I wouldn’t have understood this before. My sister barely understands it. “How can you be in love with someone that you’ve been with for 7 days?”

But it’s not seven days. It doesn’t feel like seven days. It’s seven months. Seven months of seeing him on video chat, for hours every single day. That’s more than I saw my husband when we first met – it was once or twice a week with a couple of phone calls for about six months.

I’m frustrated, not just because I long to be with him (sexually, romantically – yes, but also just sat next to him in the car or eating dinner together.) but because I feel like I need proof that this really is what I am feeling.

I doubt myself and my thoughts. I allow my negativity to tell me that this can’t possibly be happening, he can’t possibly love me like that… There has to be a mistake or a misunderstanding or something nefarious going on because there is no way that this handsome, funny, caring man wants me. Or even if he does, it’s not going to last. I’m just temporary. Or someone better will come along and I will be forgotten. Or he will get sick of my… Whatever… And go and choose one of the many girls who like him.

Whilst those thoughts have always been there, the last few weeks of increased anxiety gave them a power to overwhelm me. To make my chest tight, heart pound. To make fear course through me.

But I know he love me.

And now I have some calm. If he ends up with another girl then he wasn’t who I thought he was and I don’t want him anyway. Ironically, trust and honesty is really important to me.

I may not be the most beautiful, or thin or intelligent or funny, but he phones me repeatedly every single day. It’s me he spends hours with, me he makes laugh.

Who says I’m not worthy of him? Or not good enough? Only me, it seems.

And if this was to end…well then it wasn’t meant to be. So I learn from it. I try to learn by mistakes. I tell myself that him not being the right one, no matter how much I thought he was, doesn’t mean the right one isn’t around the corner.

I’m good enough to be loved.

So, take that anxiety.

Advice

Happiness comes when you are at peace with yourself.

Facebook friend

So my sunshine and dark clouds mood has continued throughout the day.

I’ve been trying hard to process everything, as I do. As the hours went on, I came to the conclusion that whilst he was still in regular contact, despite his mood, I have to believe that there is not an issue between us.

The only problem with that was, the hours crept by and he didn’t get back in contact. But I had decided that, as he is not himself, it’s important to let him take the lead. Hounding him when he’s not in the mood is not a good idea. But as two hours became three became four, panic started to set in.

At this point I did three things that helped. I spoke to my sisters, I went for a walk and I read some articles online which helped me gain some perspective. I found a site called Markmanson.net. He’s quite informal in his writing and I like his tone. I read quite a few of his articles and what he said made sense:

Whilst reading the above, Wild Card called me. Once again he was a little more like himself – each conversation seems to inch him slowly back to the norm. We talked a little, we laughed. There were still some awkward silences and at one point he was a little snappy.

Being honest, as the call ended, the tides had turned a little. Whilst glad we had some semblance of normality, I actually considered that sometimes the way he had spoken to me was not acceptable and at one stage I had pointed that out to him. He is also still withholding some of the affectionate things he does and I again thought about how unfair that was.

He has said I have done nothing wrong, so why then behave that way? It’s one thing to be a little tired and irritable but another to be sullen.

I decided to heed someone of my own advice. This situation is challenging for everyone at the moment. I’m not making any decisions and I’m certainly not going to jump to any conclusions. I’m going to be patient and understanding but I’m not going to be walked over.

Funnily enough, whilst making these decisions, I received a few messages from the German man again: He pops up now and again for a chat. After a bit of conversation he told me the above quote. And it stuck with me.

How can I be at peace with myself?

Wild Card makes me happy most of the time. Why?

Because he makes me feel loved and wanted. And when that happens, I am at peace with myself. Because for him to love me and want me, I must be good enough.

So I crave his attention for that feeling. Because, as he is so attractive (in every way, not just physical) , his approval makes me so.

But, who makes his opinion count? I do. By showing me any positive attention, he has made me feel worthy. He doesn’t need to keep doing it – he has already done it. I don’t need him to keep doing it.

I don’t need him to justify that I am worthy.

I am successful. I have worked hard throughout my life to get where I am, without help. I worked two jobs to go through university. I worked to get myself through my postgrad in teaching.

I have a house, a car, a job. These are all materialistic things which show my success. But what about me as a person?

This is harder. And because I’m not comfortable with proclaiming my own virtues, I will recount what people have told me.

I’ve been told that I am a good teacher and that I am approachable. Pupils feel comfortable coming to me with their issues. Likewise, some staff have come to me when they haven’t been able to go anywhere else.

I’ve been told that I am beautiful and pretty. I’ve been told that I look younger than I am. People like my eyes, my lips, my smile, my bottom. I am attractive to some people.

I am strong and independent. I am a good listener. I’m not afraid to say what is right and stuck up for what is right.

I am loyal and faithful. I am honest. I have an infinite amount of love and will shower those I care about with that love. I will work hard to make them happy. I am sensitive and have good emotional intelligence. I am sensual and sexual.

And so, I have to let go. I have to stop seeking control. Him loving me or not does not make me worthy – I was that already. If he decides I’m not the one for him it is going to hurt like hell (it hurts just writing about it) but that doesn’t mean I’m not good enough or pretty enough. It just means I wasn’t right for him.

And that’s a bitter pill to swallow because I thought that we were. Maybe we are, maybe we are not. But I can’t force that. Worrying about it doesn’t change it. Willing it to be the truth doesn’t make it the truth. I can’t make him love me or want me.

He called back less than half an hour later and asked me what was wrong. I think he knew that he had been ‘off’ on the previous conversation and this was his way of acknowledgement – he was giving me an opportunity to bring it up. I didn’t tell him. We talked briefly but he was really tired. The call ended and I finally got my kiss.

Just words

For the past month I’ve been feeling pretty good.

Work is hard but much better with the new Headteacher. I feel valued and I love my new job.

After a health scare and a series of tests, I’ve been told I have IBS and have discovered I have a gluten intolerance – much better then the pancreatic cancer that Google diagnosed. This has meant that I have cut out a large part of my previous diet. I’ve lost a stone and a half so far. I can see it, I can feel it.

Online dating has been beneficial too. With my more open mind and ‘modern’ dating theory, I enjoyed talking to different men even if the chats have subsequently drifted away. I’ve been complimented and that has helped me feel good. My perceptions of myself are changing.

So, all in all, there’s been a spring in my step.

Friday, I went Christmas shopping with my friend. We went to Manchester, a city I barely know. We went to the art gallery, shopped – tried to find coffee shops with gluten free food and failed – and generally had a good time.

We went to one place particularly as my friend loved it there. It was a market hall of alternative stalls – think piercings, incense and rock band t shirts. Not my thing, but she loved it. As she was browsing, I noticed the stall opposite was selling 50s style dresses.

Before I knew it, I was trying one on. The smaller size. And it looked good! The sweetheart neckline emphasised my full bust, the tight waist band and narrow belt cinched in my newly rediscovered waist. The skirt floated over my hips and covered the parts of me that I still want to hide. I felt beautiful.

I came out the changing room, and beckoned my friend over from the other stall.

Whilst I value the honesty of my friend normally, I did not expect the reaction I received. Frowning, she said, ‘you need to wear a cardigan with that’.

When I stated that I didn’t think I did (doubt already creeping in) she replied that the dress made my shoulders look wide.

I went back into the changing room and took off the dress. As I changed, I saw the loose skin that has appeared as I have lost weight. I saw the areas of my body that still need to lose more. I was deflated.

Is this what’s going to happen when I meet Second? Or Wild Card? I will dress up and feel good, only for them to see my faults??

Later, my friend tried to back-pedal but it was too late.

Just words.

Yesterday, I was not in a good place. My insecurities had all come back, the spring in my step had gone.

Wild Card had called me earlier in the day but I had been at my sister’s. Whilst still being very much covered up, he happened to see more of my body than he had previously. The video chat was brief because I said I was going home soon and then I would call him.

Half an hour later I tried but there was no answer. Hours passed and still no response. So I tried again – this time he was already on the phone. I left it for fifteen minutes and decided to try once more. If I got no response then I knew he’d disappeared. Clearly he hadn’t liked my body. Who could blame him?

I had spiralled in to a pit of self loathing and negativity.

I called. No answer.

I then may have sent a text stating that he had disappeared since he had seen my body. Yes I know, clingy move.

I deleted it hastily, before messenger claimed he had read it. But within seconds he had replied telling me he was driving and to wait.

Anxiety ripped through me. What had I been thinking? How stupid was I to believe the things he said? No doubt his previous video chat when I couldn’t get through was to another woman.

The vile and self depreciating thoughts spiraled out of my head and into the pit of my stomach.

Eventually he called. He was out with family and the call was brief. He said we would talk later.

I finished getting ready for the charity night I was attending with family. Nothing looked right, not even the dress I was now able to wear for the first time because I have lost weight. There were bags under my eyes and my skin tone was awful. My legs looked huge and my hair wouldn’t style.

My family commented on my silence as I drove them to the party. I was contemplative, internal. I considered the power of someone’s words, however innocently and sincerely meant, to change my thought processes. I thought about how I was pining for Wild Card’s attention when I feared he had disappeared. How strong my developig feelings for him were becoming … A man I had only dated on video chat.

I felt stupid, ridiculous. So what if I’ve lost weight, I’ve got so much more to lose! I haven’t even met either man, what was possessing me to think that either could work? I was just a flirty distraction to them, that’s all. There was no way that I was there only me in their lives, this is the modern world. And what a hypocrite I am to even want that, I am talking to two men, just to ‘hedge my bets’.

Just words.

The charity party was a great success and I did start to relax a little. During the night I had brief contact from Wild Card and more regular communication from Second. I perked up a little.

When I got home and crawled in to my lonely bed, I couldn’t help but message Wild Card. I told him I hoped he’d had a good night with his family and that I was looking forward to speaking with him soon.

To my surprise, considering the hour, he messaged back. He asked if I had missed him, and I replied that I had. I was honest about fearing he had disappeared. He told me what I knew all ready – he had been busy with family. It wasn’t the right time to go into how a text stating that, would have saved me an evening of anxiety, but I will at some point.

I’ve stopped going on to the dating apps and how allowed other connections to drift away. I would willingly date either man now, yes slowly, just because I want to know them more.

But my insecurities have now peaked. I’m questioning the logic in focusing my attention on two men in which any potential dating would be problematic. I’m just not sure I have the heart to start again. I know I don’t have the heart to say goodbye either.

And yet, what have I had?

Just words.

Waiting for when

The problem is, I don’t think I deserve it.

I’m not pretty enough, not thin enough, not toned enough.

I don’t look after myself, I am too greedy, too lazy.

I’m not as nice as I think I am: I’m boring and awkward.

I believed something could happen with him because he made me believe I was attractive and beautiful and interesting. I needed to believe it was true so I needed him to commit to it, somehow.

He didn’t.  Now I don’t believe.

I plan and I scheme and I wait for when:

When I lose weight.

When I get fit.

When I’ve dyed my hair.

When my kids are happy.

When I’m happy in work.

When I get a divorce.

 

When will when come?

It won’t come while I wait for it. So I plan to manufacture it. It hasn’t worked yet.

He was here and I coped. I ignored. I didn’t look though my eyes burned with want.

And at the corner of my eye I saw the tell tale signs. I heard the usual hints. The same game play with rules I can never understand.

Except acknowledging that the only way I win is by losing. Saying goodbye to when and hello to now.

Self esteem

As regular readers will know, and anyone who is on the plumpscious side will understand, being overweight seriously messes with your self esteem.

This obviously creates a myriad of problems and for me, in a cruel irony, makes it even less likely for me to lose weight: I’m an emotional Over-eater, a ‘might as well eat it because I’m disgusting already’ and a ‘well, you’ll never be thin so enjoy yourself’ type of a gal.

People tell me that I’m pretty. I’m not sure I believe them. I can’t see past my huge stomach and flabby thighs so how can they?

There are times when life has surprised me though…

I met my first proper boyfriend when I was 17 and I couldn’t believe it when he asked me out. He was older than me, more attractive than me, more confident than me… Yet, he chose me. (In the end, he turned out to be an absolute plonker that broke my heart then stalked me when I’d had enough of being messed about and refused to take him back… But that’s another story.)

Or in my 20s when I went on holiday with friends and I ended up with the holiday fling that everyone fancied. He chose me. I still can’t believe it now and was completely surprised by it then. Sure, that’s all it ever was and ever would be but he picked me.

My trip to Spain last year. The girls joked about how many men had come on to me… I was pretty surprised myself! I still say that it was because I was single and perhaps more open to if but it was a welcome pick-me-up after months of depression.

And then, Lost Soul. Oh Lost Soul! Undeniably attractive to many women I know, six years younger than me, and yet he was attracted to little old fat me.

I’m telling you this, not because I have a big head – it’s actually one of the smallest parts about me – but because I need to remind myself of this occasionally to drag myself out of my self hatred and misery.

I suppose I never really believe that men find me attractive until they openly ask me out or make a move. Sometimes I think someone may be interested but quickly my self doubt kicks in and I end up believing myself to be imagining it.

Take last week. I went on a residential course with a colleague. We entered the room and the host came over to greet us. As he left, my colleague and I looked at each other and said “wow”. He was gorgeous. I noticed, on the second day, that he seemed to looking at me a lot when he spoke to the room. Of course, I wanted to believe that he was attracted to me but I didn’t believe it. Wishful thinking, I thought. He’s looking at you no more than anyone else.

On our way home, my colleague mentioned that she’d noticed him looking at me a lot. I hadn’t imagined it then. Doesn’t mean anything – nothing happened – but it was reassuring to my battered ego.

Ah and there’s my crush, whom I have written about twice now. He is someone I have met through work but who works for a different agency to me. Oh he is delicious. He makes all my nerve endings zing and I’m so drawn to him when he speaks. God I hope he doesn’t notice that.

And when we do speak, there’s little things that he says and does that make me think… Well, daydream. The possibility, the explanation of things he’s said and done. Nothing explicit, nothing in the open, but enough to make me wonder. Like, giving me his personal number instead of his work number. Telling me I can call him whenever.

Am I reading too much into this? Maybe. Maybe this is how stalkers are created. ☺ There’s just something when we speak and I can’t believe it’s just me… A magnetism between us, somehow. Have you ever experienced that?

Anyway, in the high likelyhood that this is entirely in my imagination, all I can say is that I am really enjoying awakening those thoughts and feelings again. It’s making me remember how it feels to be interested in someone again. I like that feeling. I want to feel it again, and reciprocated. Maybe it’s not too late for me, maybe my weight doesn’t matter to some people, even if it does to me.

Maybe this is the positive jolt I need to start looking after myself again. To find love again. I need to keep reminding myself that I’m not as grotesque as I think I am.

My blog is not unique in using imagery of light and darkness to describe depression. The picture you see here is what I now see out of my window. I have actually tried to lighten it but it really is that dark – my beloved hay field has been ploughed.

Those of you will know that spending contemplative time looking out of this window has been part of a successful process in getting over my breakdown. I would complete set tasks and then my reward would be a coffee and a sit down whilst I would look out of my window. Seems so simple, doesn’t it? I suppose it was a kind of Mindfulness – appreciating the world around me. I loved how the changing daylight would affect the colour of the hay stubble. I loved seeing various birds and mammals. Read about it here:

https://wp.me/p86hNl-aq

So, there was a momentary feeling of angst when I came home from work to see the ploughed field. It’s strange how such a simple thing has completely changed the quality of light: for a moment, the darkness of that earth felt oppressive and I certainly didn’t and don’t want to sit and look at it any more.

But, as only someone who has now recovered from depression can, I tried to look for the positive:

This is symbolic perhaps of where I am now. The earth has been turned over, allowing life to start again, allowing a new crop to grow. Is this not what I have been aiming for all this time? I’ve got to see my recovery as a do-over – a chance to change certain areas of my life for the better.

And… This has got me thinking about my love life or, more accurately, lack of it.

I have felt for some time now that I can’t be bothered with the stress of it all… the rejection, the wondering, the over thinking. I also believed strongly that it would be unfair to start a potential relationship when I was mentally unfit – those are my problems to deal with. And I suppose that my low self-esteem recognises that I’m not what I might once have been. Three pregnancies and weight issues will do that to you. 😊

But I don’t want to be alone forever and I don’t know how long forever will be. One depression-thought that hasn’t left me but that is in a much healthier place, is my own mortality.

You have got to live for each day, enjoy your life whilst you can. Clichés but so true! Somewhere there may be someone who will love me, all of me… wobbly bits and all. I can’t close my mind off to that possibility out of fear, just as I can’t close my mind off to things that I can’t influence. Sometimes life throws change at you whether you want it or not. Like the ploughed field, I choose to see the positive in this.