Monthly Archives: June 2012

One year on – “Not so happy, yet much happier”

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That line, “not so happy, yet much happier”…..I learned it in year 10. It is from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The 3 witches are talking to Macbeth, about Banquo.

I finally get what it means.

Because prior to 14 or so months ago, I had it all. Career, husband, house, money.

Was I happy? No, not really. I felt so guilty about it.

This past year has been the most difficult of my life, for sure. The tip of the iceberg is in the blog.

I have had to face up to most of the things that have ever annoyed, bothered or frightened me. I have had to take a good long hard look at myself and my life. I have shown my most authentic self to those around me. Some didn’t react well, but some loved me all the more.

I have had to have a good hard think about what is important to me, what a relationship means to me, what things to hold on to and what to let go of.

I have gone completely beyond my comfort zone, physically and mentally. I have learned to find pleasure in the small things.

Most importantly, I have got to know myself, learned to be true to myself and accepted and embraced it.

I am doing fine. Not perfect, but fine.

In many ways, I can say I am the happiest I have ever been. Frightened, insecure, lonely and sad at times, but I am learning to deal with these things on my own.

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(A)lone(ly)

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Howdy!

I think I had alluded to feeling ratty of an evening.

Specifically – checking phone/email incessantly. Just feeling restless. Nobody in the house to talk to…

It even seeped into time I was out with people.

At its worst, I just felt ill at ease everywhere.

I just put a name to it….”why won’t people acknowledge me? Why do I feel so alone?”

ahhhhh. That old chestnut…..people (usually never out of long term relationships) say “you have to be content on your own…”

It shat me.

How did you do that? Was there a magic trick?

I felt frustrated with myself. Weak. Needy. I don’t like feeling like that.

So I had a chat with the therapist about it. I was hoping she would come up with aforementioned magic trick.

She just paraphrased everything I said….and added, yes, it’s unpleasant, this loneliness, and you struggle a bit with it…

We talked about how I used to hide it….with overeating, shopping. A bit of facebooking. Now I don’t have that anymore, and I just have to rely on my own resources, which seem a bit pitiful at times.

I thought, yes, yes it is hard. It is a bit of a struggle. It isn’t pleasant…..this made me feel a bit more normal. A bit less needy and weak.

I thought about how I used to have every night booked out, how I was anxious to spend an evening alone….now I’m not, but the ratty feeling still remains.

I looked up on google “how to be content on your own”, like a good little nerd. Excellent. I was doing all of those things.

I got my bed delivered today. I stared at it, and thought “how the fuck am I going to put this together…..fuck……I’d love somebody to help me”…I asked a couple of people, they couldn’t help. I just looked at the bed and felt overwhelmed and started to cry.

I did the usual cry and stumble around the house, then I phoned a good friend (trick #1 – holding on to what’s real). I told her about the bed. My fears. Feeling lonely. Doubts as to whether what I had done a year ago was right. It helped.

I had a bit more of a think after the phone call. I thought about what I could do, who I could call, how would I soothe myself?

I didn’t want to call anybody. I just wanted to be on my own. Read my book. Have a hot chocolate. That was what I wanted.

Ahhhhhhhhh. There it is, there. Not doing so bad after all.

There really isn’t any magic trick. No real “yep, now I’m happy” moment. All of the platitudes about “you must feel good in yourself” will do diddly if they do not make emotional sense. All of the awesome stuff I do helps, and I sure feel Kickass McAwesome some days. But it is impossible to feel like that all the time.

But some days are shit. And that’s when the little comforts help, but other than that, I just have to go with the ratty, shitty feeling, and remind myself that I am not doing that badly after all.

The other thing I struggle with a bit is feeling like I have nobody to share things with. The things in my day. The things I did….it feels almost as if they didn’t really exist or lacked lustre because they weren’t shared.

Well I just have to remind myself that that is not true, and take joy in what I did. Learn to pat myself on the back.

I need to really enjoy the times I have company….to make it count, to make it matter. To be mindful of that company and not distract myself with who else should be calling/getting in contact. Holding on to what’s real – what is there now.

 

Queens Birthday Weekend.

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I have been blogging somewhat sporadically of late. It’s been a big week or two.

I had not been running much, because of my back injury. I missed it; it was like a friend was lost. It has been such a big part of my life recently that I felt a bit lost without it.

I have taken steroids, and NSAIDs. Slowly but surely, my back/sciatic nerve pain has been getting better. On Saturday, and then again today. It feels so good to be able to run. On Saturday, I did about 4km with some hill repeats at the end (the repeats were haaarrrrd). Today, I ran with Alex. I worried that he would find me too slow, however we ran at my pace, and chatted the whole time, and we were both about as puffed as each other. Definitely something to do again!

I have been thinking about how I need to take my fitness and diet from here. I feel I have gotten a little poochy around the belly, and would like to maintain my fitness. Rather than losing weight, or a number on the scales, I have had to have a think about what I would like to achieve. These are:

  • de-pooch the belly, de-muffin-top the jeans
  • keep the running fitness up – a fast 10km might not be feasible in this recovery period, as speed training tends to stir up the injury a bit more than other things.
  • I would like to improve my upper body strength, such that….wait for it….I can do a handstand. I have googled “how to do a handstand” and it looks hard.

I had thought about doing crossfit, as it looks pretty effective. However, it is super-expensive, and, if I am consistent, I can keep a serviceable level of fitness. I would like to be able to get back to run training, but the speedwork might kill me a bit.

I would like to try and move my diet toward a more paleo diet – I am sure it will benefit me. Keep the carbs away from the evenings. Keep the alcohol away from the weekdays. Learning to say no. I am getting better at these things. I have been better with shopping and cooking and being prepared.

But enough about the diet. My life is a lot richer than diet and weight and what I eat now. I keep finding myself in mischief, some of it drunken.

Yes, I have been going out and getting on the sauce, occasionally. No falling over, no undie-flashing or spewing or waking up in unfamiliar locations. No. I am class-y.

But alcohol can have the following effects on me: makes me emotional, frisky, or even less censored about what I say than I already am….hence, if I am going to enjoy more than a glass or two of wine, I need to make sure it is in the company of friends, rather than on dates.

I cannot be trusted on dates with a skinful…….. I have some funny/mortifying stories. I am not going to share them here.

I think I am suffering a bit of dating fatigue. It is interesting to watch my own behaviour, as if an outsider. It is scary how quickly we all pigeon-hole people. It is interesting what we find attractive. But it is fucking exhausting making small talk with people who you probably know you will never, ever happen with. Still – sorting the wheat from the chaff is a prolonged process.

By the by, the phrase “colonic irrigation” ought never be uttered on the first date…..or perhaps ever in the context of a relationship. This I can say from experience. NO I wasn’t the one who said it.

Slowly, but surely, I am learning to keep the whole thing in perspective, and personalise things less. I actually postponed a scheduled date tonight to give myself a bit of space. I sit here on my own watching the telly and typing this blog. A few months ago I would not have felt comfortable doing that. Progress.

The most important people are my friends. I would like to say my family, gosh, I love them and everything but my time with them needs to be rationed. For instance, my mum wanted me to come and see her at highpoint today, rather than come over to my place as planned. I politely declined, as I would rather stab myself in the eye with a fork. And I only felt a little guilty about it. My effort level with them is now decreasing, such that now it is closer to what they put in with me.

Ugh. Just got a call from my ex. Mechanical, brief talk about the intricacies of getting de-hitched……I wonder whether we will ever speak to each other again…probably, but only with regards to me having access to the dog. It’s all a bit surreal, all a bit “nice knowing ya (for 14 years)…..’bye now…”

There were lots of nice things from the weekend – a lovely day with a friend, checking out De Clieu for brunch, and taking in the Mesopotamia exhibition. Seeing another friend for dinner at chowhound, with drinks after. Sitting in a bar with some live music and having a good ol’ sing along. Tuning into the present. Getting things done. Learning to relax.

Well, a foreshortened week begins – who knows what adventures it may bring.

And another thing….

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From the pile of “Unhelpful Shit My Mum Says to Me…”

“Being single defines you. More than being in a couple does.”

Really, now?

I’d like to think that lots of things define me.

My work – though not even that.

My brains?

My hair? Lips? Hips? Smile?

All of the above?

What will being single stop me doing? It really hadn’t occurred to me that it would stop me doing anything much. I am doing more useful stuff now while single than when I was in a relationship.

Lots of articles in the media, mainly aimed at women, telling us what we are doing wrong….

It’s my relationship status – that’s all.

Another week has gone by.

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Another week has gone by.

I have had a back/nerve root injury, so I have not been running. I am investigating other exercises. I am thinking crossfit.

My week has been eventful. Lots of little adventures. Seeing parts of inner Melbourne that I’ve not seen….St. Kilda…..a Synagogue in Caulfield…..re-discovering places I forgot, like the Panama dining room and bar, with its high windows and sweeping views.

I have cooked dinner for friends – rich, tender meat stews. Red wine. Good conversation. Lovely.

I have been on a date, or two. Kept my eyes open. Made assessments, not conclusions.

I caught up with Candydog on Saturday, and took her out on a walk with a friend. We had a lovely day. Poor little dog is slowing down a bit, but she still loves her mummy.

I have downloaded music I like. I have booked in to see a live music show, Daniel Merriweather….always wanted to do more of that.

I went to a Meetup for Lunch – enjoyed some great, cheapish food, and good conversation. Tried to keep my mind in the moment rather than have it whizzing along checking my phone.

I have worn my nice clothes. Put on makeup. Made my hair look lovely. Made the best of what I have. Why should I not?

An email from somebody that bought an unbidden tear to my eye….. the emotion is part and parcel of it. I can handle it now.

I wake up with the question “What will I do today?” “Where shall I go?” “What little adventures will I have?”……18 months ago it was “what will I eat?” “how will I exercise?”

The exciting thing is that, for the former few questions, I can do or go anywhere I like. Nothing to stop me. Well, apart from practicalities. Practicalities inspire imagination.

Life is unpredictable and rich. And mine.

I am coming back to my former self….perhaps even stronger, with a less assailable sense of self-worth. It will fluctuate with the circumstance, but hopefully stay robust.

Strong. Unique. Worthy. Loving. Brave…..Worthy.