Life as I know it #2

Bath blog therapy.

I have a busy week this week. I’m double booked tomorrow. I have my counselling session and Eva’s development review. I told my counsellor about the clash and asked if he had another time available, he did but it wasn’t helpful, so I told him I’d try to reschedule the appointment which was booked about six weeks ago. I tried that too and we’d have to wait another month for an appointment and I’m not waiting; I’m kind of looking forward to the appointment. I had to fill out forms that I’ll take with me and Eva ticks all of the boxes. I’ve thought for a while now that she’s a very clever little girl. She’s just two and she can talk very well. I might start taking small videos of her interacting and share them on Instagram. Yesterday we played in her grandparents garden and it took me back to my childhood. I loved being outside all day. I loved nature. I reconnected with that side of me yesterday with the best company. Eva is able to understand emotions quite well. If she has been selfish, I’ll react by telling her how I feel and I start to walk away from her. She immediately fixes the problem and asks if I’m okay and if it’s better. The kid is 2! My work is done *dusts off hands*. I know some people might not agree with my walking away but calm down, I’m not really going anywhere. It’s important to me that Eva is kind. I feel fortunate to have another beautiful little girl who is very quickly growing up. She’s recently learned to crawl backwards. Florence helps me to teach Eva to share, though she has no idea. Eva is such a sociable girl, she always talks to people in shops. If you don’t smile when she tries to interact with you, you have no soul. I’m so so proud of her.

She starts nursery next week and I’m so looking forward to her progress there.

I’m currently working on my 3rd essay, I got to choose the title myself. It’s about how people cope with loss, not limited to grieving a death. I haven’t got my mark back from essay number 2 and I won’t get it for a while yet; I handed the bugger in late (with an agreed extension of course). It turns out that I’m doing too much at once and whilst it wasn’t hugely logical to do the course with two young children, I’m proud of myself anyway.

 

 

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Florence

I just want somewhere to write this: It’s Florence’s first night in her “own room”. I always put Florence to bed late because she’s a night owl like her mama so it’s after 1am and she’s been put into her brand new cot for the first night. She’s not a very good sleeper. I got used to waking several times to pop a bottle of milk in. If she wakes Eva later as she no doubt will I’m worried that it won’t be as simple as giving Florence milk and going back to sleep. Their cots look so sweet in one room.

That’s all for now I guess. Another essay is due in soon and I’m really enjoying working on it, but there’s so much that I want to read for it and so little time. Being a parent to a 7 month old and a 2 year old is so, so time consuming. I might need a few really, really late nights.

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Christmas Time

This year I’ve been much more thoughtful about Christmas not always being a lovely time of year for everyone so I want to just acknowledge that first.

I enjoyed Christmas this year. On the 20th we took Eva to see Santa at Trentham for the first time. As I previously mentioned it’s like getting tickets for Glastonbury, something I didn’t succeed in this time around (or last time). I tried to get Glastonbury tickets whilst holidaying at the lakes with Eva, Florence, Mike and his folks. Amid ordering breakfast at the holiday parks mediocre restaurant back in August, Mike and I continuously refreshed our tickets page with no joy. Anyway, that really wasn’t the point. We went to see Santa with Mike’s mom on the 20th and we were all impressed by him. He’s a genuinely elderly man with a real beard and a gentle, approachable nature. He took time with Eva, she’s only recently turned 2 and is a little fearful of men she doesn’t know. Within a few minutes Eva was sat next to Santa enjoying playing with his Christmassy singing bear. Santa gave a gift to Florence too even though we hadn’t bought a ticket for her (she’s only 6 months), with my permission he held Florence and gave her a gift. I took photos of all of it! Such a lovely day. I’m going back to Trentham soon to buy a new plant, I love plants and flowers. I’m also looking forward to a second visit to the monkey forest when it opens again; Eva visited on her 1st Birthday, but this time, over a year later, she’ll be quite excited to see the monkeys I think.

On Christmas Eve morning I got up at 6am, got the kids ready and in their pushchair and we went out to meet Mike in Starbucks. It was so lovely and I felt all Christmassy and happy. We went into Waterstones, Eva loves looking in there but hates the leaving part. To make the leaving part nicer I asked her if she wanted to put a pound in the Paw Patrol ride, she agreed and happily left the store. I think we met up with Mike’s dad that day in M&S cafe and we bought more Christmas food, then we went home. Later on and after Mike had gotten a few hours sleep we wrapped the majority of the gifts up which was enjoyable seeing all the toys for our babies. I took photos of Eva’s gifts and of Florence’s, not for social media because I don’t agree with sharing those sorts of photos, I’ve probably done it a couple of times with regret. I do plan to put a photo of Eva on her new Trike on Instagram but that’s different to posting everything. Florence had a jumperoo, the Finding Nemo one which I’ll also share a photo of. She loves it and it really is something parents can appreciate too. On Christmas morning Mike’s parents came over, they gave me some lovely gifts, including a Dartington Flower Bottle vase. I told her I loved them when we visited John Lewis recently. It sits next to my little green Dartington vase from Mike for our first Christmas together. Anyway his parents bought the trike, I noticed it in Halfords during that trip the day we saw the vases (in Telford). It was such a lovely size and red and only 65 pounds (there’s no pound symbol on this old piece of crap). Anyway, after I told Mike about it he really wanted Eva to have one so he suggested it to his parents and they only paid 50 which is great. She loves the trike. Opening gifts took up a lot of the day because Eva’s in no rush and she wants everything out of the box. At the dinner table it was me, Mike and Eva. I took a nice picture of the two of them sat down. Eva barely ate it of course, she did eat yoghurt though, of course. After Eva went to bed we did something quite unforgivable…we watched Eastenders! An advert for the Christmas episode came on just before Christmas and half jokingly I said I wouldn’t mind putting it on for Christmas Day and he agreed. We’ve been watching it since the 25th… I’m ashamed, lets not speak of that any further… We also played Scrabble which I lost dramatically, I won’t say by how much… It was a simple, small but pleasant Christmas Day. On Boxing Day we took Eva for her 2nd Boxing Day walk only this time we had a Florence to take. Eva tested out her new wheels, Mike and I had to mostly push her because she hasn’t mastered it yet. Again I have videos and photos of the walk, I’m going to print 100 or so off soon.

Eva can count to 10 now, not always accurately though, she tends to miss out number 7  sometimes. I’m really proud of her. Also, because she’s been struggling at bed times, I allow her to watch Little Baby Bum on the laptop whilst she’s in bed, it contains song after song with sometimes strange videos to go with them. She sings along though which is adorable. Otherwise she requests Fireman Sam, Masha and the Bear or Hey Duggee. It’s not a good habit but I rely on ASMR most nights and I’m happy with that.

I’m going to upload a few Christmas snaps now and put Eva for a nap.

Happy New Year x

 

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Christmas Empathy and My Essay

I used to have a fear that I was mostly doing counselling for the money but I realised during my training that I’m really empathic and that I’m often able to see other people’s point of view even if it disagrees with my own.

 

Today the tickets for the Santa and Mrs Clause tickets went on sale for Trentham Gardens. It’s been said that this Santa event is really good and that it sells out like Glastonbury, so I sure as hell wanted a ticket for my Eva. The site blew up yesterday which was the original ticket sale day because so many people were trying to access tickets. I went to their Facebook page to see what was going on and they told customers that there would be notice given for another sale day a little later. Trentham decided to sell tickets at different intervals today: 10am, 11am, 12am and 1pm, for each time there were different dates available. I tried to get tickets at each time and each time my heart sank for Eva. I couldn’t bear the thought of her missing out. The tickets were selling out within a minute each time, literally. Trentham stated that they only have 1025 tickets available and the event is in really high demand. During the last time slot, at 1pm I managed to get her a ticket!!! I felt a rush of adrenaline which might sound ridiculous but I was so elated that she could go. There are reasons other than the obvious why it’s so important to me but I won’t go into that publicly, that’s for my journal which I need to purchase soon. I found lovely little exercise books in Waterstones that I would like to use as journals. I’m so chuffed that we get to have a lovely Christmasy day at Trentham; every little thing counts at Christmas.  I kept shouting that we got tickets and Eva didn’t really know what I was so happy about.

Anyway, this all got me a bit down because I thought about all the angry parents on Facebook and I could see their children in their profile pictures next to their comments and ugh I feel awful for them. These poor parents are upset because they’re children don’t get to go, it’s so sad that I feel like crying. That hit me.

It’s going to be incredibly hard facing all the disappointments with the kids, only I figure that parents feel extra disappointment and sadness.

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On a different note I’m handing my first essay in tonight. Last night I felt like I hadn’t answered the question at all and I felt shit and today I feel better about it but I just don’t feel confident. I feel like I’ve answered the question but I could have missed endless important points, however,  I’ve put more effort in that last year and I know that I’ve been working on it quite a lot. It’s a 50% pass mark at level 7 and I’m hoping I’ve achieved at least that. I’m hoping I have showed a good understanding and linked ideas together well. I really, really want to do well.

It’s not over yet, I have the rest of today and all night if I need it. This is everything to me. I know if these essays go well and if all the other things go well that I can give my kids the best childhoods and I would do a lot to make them happy. I don’t care how much of a challenge the course is, I’m fighting my way through it.

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My First Masters Essay

(“Why do we do what we do?” As a developing practitioner learning about person-centred practice, draw on your experience as client & counsellor, and link to person-centred theory, to critically explore what you hope to offer your client and the rationale behind this.)

 

I’m doing a masters. Me… a masters course…

I’m currently storming through my first essay of the year (there’s 2 years because it’s part-time). I say storming and that sounds better than it is. I’m actually really enjoying working on it. I’m going to miss this bad-boy when it’s all shipped off. I started as I meant to go on, I posted a photo on Facebook of books and a glass of wine, stating that the essay is sponsored by wine and I must say that the sponsorship is going well. I’m not saying I’ve drank much because I haven’t and being a parent I don’t really drink generally but I’m really enjoying a little tipple.

At first I wasn’t excited about the essay title and people have said that it’s bullshit, yada yada but honestly I feel that it’s a wonderfully, unexpected complex question. My hand-in day is Wednesday so I haven’t got long to go but I feel like I have so much to read and got so much to think about and to piece together. I have high hopes that by Tuesday evening it will be a really decent and complex answer.

Or maybe it’ll turn out to be a piece of shit; maybe I’ll have missed the point and failed to properly answer the question.

There’s so much in this title. What is it that we do? Why do we do it? Academic examples, personal examples, link everything to the theory but explore it with a critical voice, what do we hope to offer to clients and why. This is just the basics. What do we do and why is so many things, its: UPR, empathy, congruence, self-disclosure, frame of reference, non-directiveness, relationship etc. Then there’s all the explanations and theories of personality and human structure. There’s conditions of worth, actualising tendency, locus of evaluation etc. There’s a 100 different aspects and they all need to fit seamlessly and have explanations and examples.

I seem to be adding more and more to my “to do” list and therefore getting less and less done and now here I am wasting time writing to my future-self.

It’s so hard trying to write an essay with two very young children. Honestly I barely get any time and it’s really frustrating. This course means so much to me. I don’t feel worthy of it.

I love being in education, there’s just something so exciting about it. I’m so passionate about mental health and about this amazing direction that I’m heading towards.

I think I’ll cut this short. I just wanted to say that I’m enjoying writing my essay. There’s so much I could write, not just about my essay but about various other things. Things that are weighing me down but there are seldom safe places to self-disclose. I’ll save such things for counselling.

 

One thing though and if I ever bother to read this I’ll feel sad at this: I don’t think anyone will be proud of me if my essay goes well or if my dissertation next year is good or if I graduate or if I become a therapist…

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My Second Birth Story

I prefer to write here than in my journal. I’m required to write a journal for my university course and it always feels like a chore rather than how enjoyable I find it to write here. Maybe I prefer the pitter patter of typing or maybe I find comfort that someone might find my words and relate to me or understand a part of me. I don’t know.

Today (I started this days ago and have picked it back up today, a separate day and it could be extended to a 3rd day because I don’t have a lot of time to myself. It did extend to a 3rd day) I’d like to write about my second labour story and maybe a little about how my life is at the moment. Okay so it’s many weeks on since I wrote most of this.

This is going to be a long one- future me, grab a brew and a snack!

I feel like it’s important to document the births of my children. I have this fear that important memories will fade, which I guess they will but my memory has never been good.

I gave birth to my second daughter Florence on the 9th June 2018.

I like to think about labour and my time in hospital because it’s magical. On both occasions I felt strong and important. These memories are important to me. The day my labour started I was 9 days overdue, it’s hard to pinpoint when labour starts but I say it was around 8am on the 8th June, though I felt “funny” during the night. It started as period pain and changed to very mild contractions shortly after. I wrote down a majority of my contractions in ‘notes’ on my phone, I’ve still got the list of times. The first one that I wrote down was at 9.17am and the last one I documented was at 23.58pm when I was making my way to the labour ward at Stoke hospital. That day (8th June) I had my 41 week appointment with my midwife, I would have been 41+2. I didn’t tell the midwife I thought I was in labour because I didn’t want her to smile and pity my hopefulness. I read so much about symptoms of labour over about 3 weeks, I literally Googled everything- none of it really helped, some things I read annoyed me actually. One woman wrote to another that she would be certain when labour had started because of the intensity of the pains, it seemed patronising and narrow-minded. I wasn’t certain that my labour started at all, the pain was mild for hours. During my appointment with the widwife my contractions had stopped for at least an hour. I thought this meant it was a false alarm- whatever that means but apparently it happens. My midwife did an examination and was able to do a sweep. I went in a week previously and a cover midwife wasn’t able to do it. In my experience midwives don’t tell you much, they assume you know their work; I didn’t know sweeps couldn’t always be performed. I didn’t know what being posterior meant. Thank you Google! I didn’t ask many questions because I didn’t want to seem useless which in hindsight is unfair, they should ensure that you know what they’re talking about. I wouldn’t start talking about UPR, actualising tendency and frame of reference to some poor soul who knows nothing about person-centred counselling. Anyway this time I was 2-3cm dilated which turns out doesn’t mean you’re in labour according to the many forum comments that I had read, most damn women were at least 2cm by 36 weeks! Quite disheartening. But it did mean that things were looking good. I had started losing my mucus plug that morning but only a tiny bit, this lead to excessive reading about the topic which is quite an unpleasant one. Very varying thoughts on this. I only lose mine when I’m in labour, not weeks before.

I called Stoke hospital twice that day because I was uncertain when to go to hospital. My previous labour was induced at Stoke and I was admitted before labour started. My first phone call was made at 17.35pm, I told them I was in labour and asked when I should go in. I was already feeling anxious because last time I struggled to walk during labour. The hospital asked how far apart contractions were and then they told me to wait until contractions were every 3-4 minutes apart and took my breath away. That was that. I felt worried but the contractions weren’t too bad. At some point in the evening Mike’s parents came over to take Eva for the night. I was having a bath and I felt upset that I couldn’t say bye to her. They collected Eva’s bags and Eva and took her home, wishing me well through the bathroom door on their way out. I got out of the bath and I watched some TV with Mike. The pains got worse and I knew I was definitely in labour. Mike was getting increasingly worried about getting me to hospital. I told him a few times that the contractions weren’t bad enough and I didn’t want to be turned away. My contractions didn’t fit the criteria but they never got to the stage where they fit the criteria! I’m still upset that the hospital deterred me from going in. My second call was at 22.54. I told the midwife that the contractions were worse and asked if I could come in, she asked how far apart my contractions were and I said they were about 4 minutes apart which wasn’t true, they were all over the place, between 2-6 minutes apart. The midwife said I could go in, I asked her if I could have an epidural and she said they don’t offer them to low risk pregnancies, I was horrified. She said if I really wanted one she could call another ward and ask, I told her that I really wanted one, though I felt weak for asking after finding this out. She sorted it out for me to have one and told me which ward to go to. We got the bags and ourselves in the car and headed off. I felt anxious and excited. I put a coca-cola towel down on my seat in case my waters broke and I kept thinking what if I’m only 3cm still and they laugh at me for being so weak and I’m sent home feeling like an idiot? I got to the assessment unit and spoke to the lady on reception through my contractions. They asked me to wee in a foil tub thing, it’s all about weeing and blood pressure. After that I was given a temporary bed and the curtain was drawn to separate me from the other patients. It all reminded me of being their before, it’s such an exciting experience. I had a short wait and a lady came in to do my blood pressure and ask me a couple of questions, she seemed nice and calming. Then I was taken into a small bright room with a bed and equipment, I was asked to take my lower clothing off and lie down to be examined. The midwife did two things; she checked to see how many centimetres dilated I was and checked if my waters had broken. She said I was 6cm and that they hadn’t broken. She was impressed at how relaxed and quiet I was for 6cm and I felt proud of myself and so relieved that I was past half way! The lady checked that I still wanted an epidural and headed off to get me a midwife. Whilst she was gone (oh and their might have been another lady present who also left) I had the longest, intense contraction, I thought it was never going to end. For me these timings of 3 minutes apart and lasting 90 seconds aren’t how it goes for everyone. My contractions never had an exact pattern. Before she got the midwife I was given gas and air, I took a few breaths of it and completely zoned out for a minute, I remember Mike watching me probably concerned that I was staring intently at the wall. The lady (sorry lady I don’t know what your role or name is but you were lovely) came back with the midwife (whose name I do not know either, apologies, you were amazing) she introduced herself and asked how I was, I continued with my weird, drugged-up staring and said that I felt sick, the 3 of them laughed. I think they found it funny because it was a rude response, I didn’t even say hello or look at the midwife (sorry again, I was out of it). The staff got me a wheel chair and my waters broke, my maternity pad didn’t help much, my new shoes were wet. Mike helped me get out of my clothes and into the hospital gown like he did before and they sat me in the wheelchair with my gas and air. I was wheeled to my room and helped onto the bed. The midwife did her checks and took my blood (I think), she got that drip thing set up which took a while and was difficult because my contractions were intense. She was preparing me for my epidural. Things moved along quickly and for a reason I can’t recall because of all the pain she told Mike that I might not be able to have the epidural, it might be too late. Panic. She told me that she was going to continue to prepare me for it anyway. I don’t think I was examined again after the 6cm examination. Shortly after arriving in this room I was really struggling. I felt intense pressure and my body started to push the baby out without me intentionally using the muscles which is a very weird feeling. I remember the midwife telling Mike that I was pushing and I remember thinking ‘No I’m not’. Soon after she announced that I definitely couldn’t have an epidural and started to encourage me to push. I was really scared but I didn’t have time to worry too much. I made sounds that I’m unsure how to describe. At first I pushed half-heartedly, feeling uncertain that it was time because it was so casual and quick. Then I started to put effort into the pushing and the sounds were louder. Pushing relieved the pain and I felt empowered. In a fairly short time the midwife asked if she cut make a cut so that I didn’t tear, I agreed so she numbed the area and told me not to push on the next contraction. I stayed still whilst she made the cut. Then out popped the head, it might be because of the anaesthetic but this part wasn’t that painful. The midwives (there was two present for the birth) were amused because she started to cry, I thought it was all over but they told me only her head was out, then I saw why they were amused – how weird? I don’t remember this part being painful. Seconds later, at 1.45am Florence was born. I had only been in hospital for 2 hours. I had no epidural and I didn’t react badly to the pain again. It was a very good labour. Florence weighed 9lbs1oz! She was 10 days overdue. It was amazing to meet her. I held her for maybe half an hour, she pooped on me and then Mike held her for quite a while because I had afterbirth pains (something else I had never heard of). The midwife went away for a bit, then came back, gave me more anaesthetic and stitched me up which stung! I was ordered to go for a bath which I was glad to do after lying in a blood bath and being pooped on. I left a very, awfully tired Mike with brand new Florence and went for my bath, another blood bath.. No one really tells you about the bleeding afterwards. Just everywhere. I took some photos of Mike holding her and some are amusing because he looks drunk from lack of sleep. Who went through labour?? Haha. By this point we didn’t know the impressive weight and the midwife, Mike and me made a bet on what she would weigh, Mike was the closest with 9lbs3oz. We were given a cup of tea at some point and then I was wheeled to the other ward by a really miserable member of staff. Midwives and staff were in and out up until the point that we left. Mike was able to stay because I had my own room. I don’t think any of us got any sleep. Despite the physical exhaustion I couldn’t get relaxed enough with the most pitiful pillow ever, the daylight, the fresh new person grizzling next to me and the various interruptions. After giving birth the maternity ward requires you to urinate a certain volume before they can let you go home and they do a few checks on the baby, an examination of the baby’s body, and a hearing test. Florence has talipes, she’s been to an appointment in Stoke for a scan of her hips which were described to be on the thin side. This might mean that she needs to wear special boots for a few months to correct it. We have a second appointment on the 27th of July. Later that day Mike and I went to introduce Florence to my mom who wasn’t expecting us to drop by but she was only down the road from the hospital. After that we went to Mike’s parent’s house and spent several hours with them. They had bought Eva a sand and water table and we sat in the garden with a coffee. Eva introduced her baby sister to Barney the dinosaur and kissed her on the head. I took photos of their meeting but they’re not that great.

Life has been very tiring. We have a tantruming toddler and a very hungry baby. Eva is such a lovely kid, I love spending time with her, making her laugh or teaching her things. It’s incredible. And she’s so gorgeous! She’s so clever and sensitive, she comforts people when they’re upset, she’s not even two and she’s been emotionally aware for several months now. She’s 21 months old and she strokes people’s arms and hugs them when they’re sad. She loves shoes and bags and bottles and baths and sodding Peppa Pig. I’ll never forget the beautiful time when she first requested a bath for the first time, I wish I had videod it. She said “bath?” in a I-know-it’s-probably-going-to-be-a-no-but-I’m-asking-anyway sort of way, almost resigning as she asked. She had the bath of course. So innocent and utterly precious. I feel so lucky and happy to have her. I just know our relationship is always going to be good and that we’ll be close. I’m going to be so supportive and involved. Everything I feel like I’ve lacked in my life I want my kids to have, particularly the togetherness of family and financial stability.

We have a good relationship with Mike’s parents, they adore Eva. We see them most weekends which I love because it means that Eva gets to spend time with family. My own family don’t make much effort, some of them haven’t met Florence yet and she’s over 11 weeks old now. I want more from family but I guess it’s just how we’re wired. Since I had Eva I’ve been sad about family. I’m not gonna go into it any further though.

Aside from my kids and Mike my other love is my counselling course. I’m doing a post-graduate course in counselling and psychotherapy. I really love it and I’ve met the most caring bunch. I’m in another dimension. We’re in the business of emotion, mindfulness, sensitivity, empathy, thinking outside our own world. The last one, what a wonderful thing – in counselling we call this the client’s frame of reference. The counsellor sets aside his/her  own views and sees the client’s world through the client’s frame of reference. Me being me I’m already excited about doing my dissertation, I’ve been giving it some thought and one of my ideas came about from sitting in the sand pit in Stafford park. The park was empty aside from me and Eva. I glided my hands through the sand and I felt so relaxed. I thought about combining a zen-garden with ASMR and counselling. In short my idea was for the client to spend time in a sand box and for me to provide a soft-spoken guided session  before or after the session, I wanted to find out if relaxation helps the client to feel better in some way. I later decided against the idea but recently found out that there is such a thing as sandbox therapy! I’m currently applying for my counselling placement for year 2. We have to go out into the world and do 100 hours of counselling. At the moment I’m most interested in working in a prison. I have been offered the details for Stafford prison by the placement officer but I couldn’t work there- it’s a prison for male sex offenders. I’m going to contact a different prison on Monday. Mike’s mom has spoken to someone at her place of work and the lady has asked that I email her and tell her a bit about myself so that’s exciting and it’s nice to have her helping me. It’ll be great to work at the same place as her. I think there’s two opportunities relating to her job and I’ve applied for one and she’s put in a word for the other. Mike’s dad is printing my application forms for me. It’s nice that they’re part of it, even just the printing. I hope they’ll one day be proud of me. I loved the first year of uni, one assignment was to submit a recording of a 20 minute practice counselling session along with an evaluation of the session, I loved doing it! I love attention to detail and I found it easy to critique my work and to relate practice to theory. So my kind of work. I’m so excited about the rest of the course.

(This post has been written over seperate times. Florence’s hip and leg bones are fine and she doesn’t need to wear special boots)

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Who I Once Was…

It’s weird to think of who I once was. I’ve never been particularly heading to greatness as I imagine some people are from a young age, those with professional, stable parents. I suppose you can expect great things from those people. I’m not really expected to do anything great by anybody.

At times in the past I’ve felt incredibly lonely, then I got into a relationship and I wasn’t lonely. I had a person to ramble to constantly. That’s how my relationships tend to go, a constant flow of communication. When each relationship fell apart I struggled to cope because I was back to feeling more lonely than ever, and also worthless. My last break-up was the most significant I guess because I lost so much more. I lost a home. I lost my life and that had a huge impact on me. I had no where to go, not really. I stayed on my brother’s sofa but that didn’t work out, I stayed at a friend’s girlfriend’s house but that didn’t work out and then I stayed at my mom and sister’s which was too far from the only truly stable thing that I had ever had which was my job in Penkridge. The job that changed things for me no matter how bitter I am that it ended. For a period of time I drank almost daily, I stayed out drinking and smoking alone in beer gardens, clenching my teeth. I didn’t realise it until a friend that I no longer have anymore told me that I was suffering from anxiety. I didn’t get home until late. I wasn’t eating properly and because I lived so far from work I had to get up around 5am which for me is hell. I wasn’t living properly. I wasn’t coping with how suddenly lonely and homeless I was. I’m not proud of those days. I’m not proud of the times where I got so crazily drunk or the times that I (also drunk) cut myself. Before that job I was headed no where, I had nothing going for me. I was shit. I was lonely, lazy and depressed. I had no career prospects and a blank CV. Wine became a friend. I remember buying 3 bottles of wine at a very reasonable price and drinking in my room. I feel like there were many dark years for me when I was younger. I basically had no hope. I had rubbish grades and no work experience. My parents had divorced years ago, my mom was depressed. I had no role model.

My life is far from a dream now but I grew up and I guess I never gave up trying. It’s still crazy to say that I have two children. Me. That crazy girl. I’m responsible and loving. I can’t say I’m organised because come on, I have a demon toddler and a baby, my home is one big play room. I’m a counselling student too. I’ve got my placement sorted for next year, I’m going to start actually being a counsellor. I’ve had some further thoughts on career stuff and I’ve decided I’m interested in doing Relate’s relationship course, I get to skip a few steps because I’ll have a masters by this point. I think relationships are interesting. I think I’d be good at it, I can massively relate to struggling with the breakdown of a relationship and I can understand the struggles that come with them too. As well as doing that I’d also like to get involved in suicide prevention. I’ve never given suicide any serious thought myself but I know someone who took their own life last Christmas and I’ve been doing a little reading on it, nothing major so far, just Wikipedia articles about Chester and Chris. I find it haunting that people make the decision to end everything; I’m haunted by how terribly alone they must feel. Over the years I’d like to do a lot of reading on this and I guess the dream would be to start my own charity. Another area that I find really interesting is crime. I’d give some consideration to taking a course relating to this and to working in a prison. I’ll always be training and I find that exciting.

My life is so different to how it used to be and I’m so happy it is. I’ve got my shit together a lot more. Teenage me would fall out of her seat if she saw my life now.

Stay classy folks and always reach out to people, whoever it may be.

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