Tuesday 31 December 2019

Love is all you need

At the start of this year I had no idea what would unfold. I had been unwell over Christmas and couldn't eat properly or drink alcohol. I had fallen ill immediately that my Mum had the all clear from the oncologist and I came home, fed by husband and kids and then went to bed. No one checked on me or brought me as much as a glass of water. It wasn't ideal.

I knew that things weren't right and had been blaming myself for being so preoccupied and absent with Mum's cancer diagnosis and treatment and prior to that my return to full time work that meant I barely saw my boys. At the beginning of last year a wonderful friend of mine had died unexpectedly and that had been such a shock so all in all the year was pretty full on.

Little did I know that 2019 would knock the stuffing out of the previous 12 months. Fairly early into the year I became a single parent and it was messy and ugly and stressful beyond belief. All the fears I had about struggling for money and managing on my own came to fruition at once. I have no idea how, but I kept working full time and tried desperately to make more time with my boys rather than less. I took them on the holiday that was already booked and my Mum came with us. I cried almost the whole time and she took care of me like she had when I was a kid. It felt so unfair to be asking anything of her when she had been through radiotherapy and the stress of cancer. What it made me realise though, was that being a Mum doesn't stop. You want to make things better for your kids and if you can't it breaks you. Mum made me food, she made sure I went to bed and rested and she kept the boys busy so I could go for a walk or just have a break.

Three pairs of feet standing in a circle on sandy beach
Beach Days 

The stress did still show through though. I had a car crash which wrote off the car. That was disappointing as we hadn't had the car long, but to be honest it wasn't economical to run and I made it out unharmed so that was ok. I just feel incredibly stupid for doing it. For losing concentration and causing an accident. In hindsight it's a wonder I didn't do more damage. My mind was like a bag of spaghetti for so long and I am fortunate to have some lovely people in my life who help me unravel it when I am at my most 'squiggly.'

I also learned who the people are who care and who I can lean on. It was a hard lesson and I was quite surprised when I realised that some people just weren't going to be around any more. I let go of more than one person who I had been holding onto out of loyalty. It hurt like hell to realise that they weren't going to make it, but then I have always struggled to throw stuff away. When I asked someone who meant the world to me if they would still be in my life they said, "You need to get on with your life without seeing me." It felt like I'd been punched in the gut. I had no idea what I had done to deserve such rejection, but I accepted it - I had to.

It wasn't all unrelenting doom though - we had some adventures and highlights this year that are worth a mention.

In the Summer me and the boys went to watch Dick and Dom at the Eden Project - it was fantastic.

multiple images - of beach, wristband and sky in Brighton
The Edge of The Sea 

I went to a music festival on my own in Brighton and loved it. I've been going to the Edge of the Sea for years, but this time I was there by myself. I've already got my ticket for 2020.

I swam in the sea in Cornwall more than once - that was exhilarating and I hope to do more of it.

My boys decided they want to visit Australia - well actually they want to visit Auntie Hannah and Uncle Greg who they met in the Summer and immediately took a shine to. I have to start saving up !!

We just had our first Christmas as a family of 3. It was lots of fun and I did what I could to keep the emotions at bay, but it did catch up with me. I have been a wreck all day.

After everything that has happened I am thankful for the kindness of those who love me. I am grateful that we are in our home, that the boys are safe and well and that we are together.

I couldn't ask for more.

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