I have been so up and down lately. Emotionally everywhere. Doubting myself and others, questioning myself, my actions, my feelings to the ninth degree. My boyfriend and I have had quite a few tense discussions on whatsapp around our feelings for each other; what I perceive as lack of effort or enthusiasm (or passion?) on his part, and what he perceives in me as lacking effort/taking him for granted/neglectful behaviour. I’ve been really reflective. As discussed previously, maybe it’s this time of year? I also worked out that I had got engaged and was baptised into the Catholic church 12 years ago around Easter. Since then my faith has ebbed and flowed throughout my life – through celebrations and low times. My children attend a catholic primary school and that keeps me connected to the chapel as I sit, usually tense beside my ex, but delighted and full of pride as they go through all the rites of passage that I went through on one night as a 26 year old (I think, maths is definitely not my strong point). I love being reminded of the ceremonial nature of mass that appealed to me in the first instance; the lighting of candles, incense, transubstantiation, singing, reciting of psalms and prayers. I have fond memories of attending mass with my gran when little – she would make me a packed lunch and let me eat my sandwiches and take in my surroundings for the duration of the service. My gran was my Catholic role model really. Always caring for others with a large whisky and ginger on the side. Whenever we lost so much as a sock she would insist on praying to St Anthony and low and behold the sock would miraculously turn up – the power of prayer! My children have also got to the age that when we do attend mass (which isn’t as often as we should) I actually get some time for quiet contemplation which I think is needed; taking time to speak to whichever God or higher power you believe in (be it in church, at the end of a long day or sitting on the doorstep in the evening with a cup of tea) is, I think, a really helpful tool.
I don’t know why I find myself looking back on past behaviours and events so frequently recently and I’m beginning to think it’s holding me back or jeopardizing what I have now. I think I’m petrified of following the same pattern of my previous relationship. I know that he was unfaithful but I must somehow be partly to blame for him feeling so strongly for another person (and so miserable) that he was willing to leave the family home to pursue this relationship? What if it’s me? What if I’m no good in a relationship? Too selfish, too self-consumed (these blog posts would suggest the latter), too quick to get comfortable and neglect the person that I’m with. What if I’m lazy? Expect people to do too much for me? And then I think did I not get anything out of my two stints in counselling? Why am I thinking these horrible negative thoughts about myself? Relationships break down everyday. This is a fact of life and I have the misfortune to be in this ‘club’ now. I have accepted this and must move on – not keep indulging in this pity party for one (hence the title).
So add another person into this heady mix with their own history and their own ‘baggage’ and it makes for an extremely difficult rocky road to navigate. And sometimes I think is it actually worth the effort but above all else I love this person and I believe this person loves and respects me. I enjoy spending time with this person, even if it’s curled up on the sofa watching nonsense on TV and perhaps things aren’t meant to be easy. All relationships need work and I’m learning that embarking on a relationship at this time of my life with all the other added complications is probably twice as hard and maybe I need to relax a little. On the advice of my good friend I have above all else been attempting to convey my feelings as openly and honestly as possible, even if it’s not pleasant and it may lead to further discussions and confrontation. After all, what’s the point in keeping these things to yourself and letting them fester? This is extremely difficult for me. I’ve come from a point where I kept my disappointments and hurt to myself but I know that this isn’t healthy on any level so I am trying everyday to live a more honest, authentic life (thanks to fellow blogger KE Garland for the phrasing there!).
So for now I will keep pushing on through I guess, keep working things out and doing the best I can. Now the weather is improving perhaps getting out more, exploring more of the beautiful coastline that I have the privilege to live on will help my mental state. Walking the beach with the dog, reading more, listening to music I love (Prince – one year on, still devastated), enjoying time with my boyfriend, kids, family and friends and just generally trying to be present should help matters. Perhaps drinking less wine and treating myself to fresh delicious food, proper coffee and sourdough bread (instead of grabbing and eating mindlessly always in a rush) might make a difference too. Certainly I have about two weeks to go before a substantial birthday celebration with old school friends takes place (hot tub and karaoke are all in place, can’t wait) so at least I can stick by these rules for a fortnight or so before I return to work a hoarse, bloated and obese shadow of my former self 🙂