Sunday 12 January 2020

The pleasure principle

Today I ate tiramisu.

It was an enormous slice - the last piece our waiter told me, that's why it was so big. It was the perfect blend of coffee, amaretto and cream and tasted amazing. I don't eat dessert. I always used to, but for years now I haven't. I've been too self-conscious or full, or on a budget so I just don't have it. Today, though, I really fancied a dessert. My boys were delighted to see the plate smattered with powdered chocolate and the chocolate straw on the top - Brown Bear snaffled that and it was gone in seconds. I think they are so used to me not ordering anything they just didn't expect it.

Feeding myself isn't a priority really. I make sure there is nice food in the fridge, but I don't always want to eat it. I'm either too tired to cook for myself or I just don't know what I want to eat. I used to think ahead and plan meals - often all day I'd be planning what was for dinner. Now I only eat if I feel like it and often it's whatever needs to be finished rather than something I've been looking forward to. The other evening I made myself a nice dinner. The boys had eaten already and were watching a movie so I went into the kitchen to prepare myself a meal and decided to have something a bit more involved than usual. It was delicious and I felt so much better for having had it. There was also enough left for the next day.

Slowly the fog is lifting. I am actually taking better care of myself. Sleeping, eating, exercising, resting.

It's been quite an emotional period.

Ok that's an understatement of epic proportions, but I don't want to go into it. One day my kids will read this and it's happening in their life too so I don't want to treat it like a soap storyline. It's enough to say that I have cut ties with some folk and have stronger bonds with others. The truth of it is I don't know what is for the best. Where I feel things are negative or difficult I have decided to put space between me and that situation. A few people have been keen to tell me exactly what's wrong with me and while self-reflection can be helpful and ultimately improving, at this point I have been in survival mode for so long I can't respond to anything that feels like an attack. You don't have to actively be a cheerleader for me, but please don't go out of your way to tell me why I'm so terrible. Chances are I already think it anyway.

I sat with the boys one evening and we talked about how we're feeling. It was prompted by some behaviour that had concerned me so I thought we should talk about what might be behind it. When we were done I asked if it was ok and if they would like to do it again another time. They said it was like 'circle time' at school and were happy to make it a thing we do. It's been a long road to get here. Blue Bear hasn't talked about his feelings since I've known him so hearing him say he felt "sad all over" was heartbreaking. It did, however, give me a chance to offer to help him.

Now the door is open to talk about these things with my boys it is a sign that were are finding a way to be open and honest with each other. It's taken a while, but the boys are being truthful about how they feel and I am truly grateful for that. I've been pushed and pulled around for so long that being able to just concentrate on my little family has been a relief. We do what makes us happy. Often that is swimming, eating and watching movies together.

Today we did all of those things and I ate a dessert.

Right now the best of life is in these simple pleasures.

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