Year of Fear Week 1. “Challenge 1: increasing social interactions.”

And so the changes begin.

“Challenge 1: increasing social interactions” has been a resounding, and ongoing, success. I started out with the goal of increasing my social interactions by two per day, as I often overstretch myself and find that I am unable to achieve my, quite frankly, unobtainable goals.

My first act was Hubs suggesting that I order lunch at the Beach Bar on holiday. Did I mention I was on hols recently? No? Ah well, I’ll probably come back to it later. I hadn’t told him about my challenge and yet here he was, supporting and encouraging it without even realising. As he tends to so often do.

I ordered lunch. Nobody died. I didn’t make a fool of myself by accidentally ordering cock and balls stew. I didn’t stutter. Or fall off my chair. Or realise I was naked part way through the transaction. In fact, I just asked for some food. And she brought me some food. Mad that.

Less than half an hour later, I asked for the bill. Then I paid for the meal. Later, I went to the bar by…

A Year of Fear.

This post was written on New Year’s Day whilst on holiday in Gambia and not posted until 6th January 2019. 

As we prepare to welcome in another New Year (WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?!?!), I have spent the past week reflecting less on where I have come from and more on where I am going. As I started doing this, the universe began to send me signs that I am on the right path.

On a river crossing yesterday, we sat at the back of the boat as it was the only area in the shade and sheeeeeesh was it hot (38°C, I kid you not). We watched the ferry fill with people, lorries of goats load on and even a live, squealing pig wrapped in a hessian sack and tied with string was carried on, flung over the shoulder of a young, suited man. As the ferry pulled away from the dock, it suddenly completed a 180° turn so instead of being at the back of the ferry looking at where we had been, we were now at the front of the ferry looking at where we going.

Everywhere I look, I see signs advocating the right path for…

Get yourself a Harold.

Danny Fucking Dyer is my hero. A legend amongst men. And yesterday, during Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Speech, he gave me all of the feels. Danny mate, that was not what I was expecting.

If you haven’t seen it, watch it here now:

I’ll be honest, I had to wipe away a little tear (or ten) as he talked about an influential man in his life and the need, in 2019, for heroes and role models. “If we need anything for 2019 it’s for each of us to find who we look up to.”

Danny goes on to talk about his Dad not being around when he was a kid. About how angry young Danny was and how nobody knew how to help him. That’s where the tears came for me, a story I recognise all too much. I’ve read it before, over and over again, until I could recite the book by heart.

Danny was one of the lucky ones, he found a father figure that he didn’t know he needed. Harold Pinter went on to become the most influential man in Danny’s life. Yep. That Harold Pinter.

My head of Sixth Form wa…

The big D*. *not that one

I haven’t quite figured out how or why but every year, at around this time, my mental health decides to fall to pieces. This time of year was the setting for my catastrophic breakdown three years ago and reflecting back, this does seem to be a recurring theme. I haven’t decided whether it’s the pressure of the Social Festive Season or tied in with the PMDD or just old, unresolved issues at a time of year solely focused on family. Dunno. I’ve only just realised after 33 years that this is such a recurring theme.

By Friday, last week, I was at the end of my tether and couldn’t see a way out that would come quickly enough to help me reset myself. I was on a train to London after a full (and horrifically busy) week at work, eventing during the evenings and, of course, my PGDE. I wouldn’t be home until after midnight with another busy weekend planned, an assignment due and the busiest week of term flying up. Exam season is always my favourite season…

Instead of suffering in silence, I made…

200 days of sobriety.

Yesterday, I hit 200 days sober. Not bad for a lush, eh?! Aside from losing two stone and wearing the first dress I have worn since my wedding day (because I haven’t been able to fit into any of them since my wedding day), there’s quite a lot of other stuff that has changed too. It’s hard to know what to talk about as I kinda feel that I repeat myself a bit at every milestone. So, instead of a list of things I have learned, here are some things I have been thinking about recently. In the form of a list. About stuff I have learned.

Fuck off, I like lists about self-development.

1. Coke, please.

The more people I speak to about my sobriety, the more I meet people who have been thinking about stopping drinking or having a week off, a month off, a year off. And it’s amazing to have conversations with people where we can all be inspired to change our habits. Each one motivates me to remain on my journey because as sobriety becomes more of the norm (like vegetarianism, spirituality, m…

Six fricking months mother-flippers.

I am six months sober today and it still feels almost dreamlike to have reached this milestone. Have I learned anything in this last six months? Well, yes actually. I've learned so many different things about myself. Here are just a few of them. 
1. I am worth more than I think I am.

I have battled with low levels of confidence, self-esteem and self-worth since I was a child. I have never understood my worth, the value I should have been placing on myself to ensure that others knew how to value me. I let people treat me like shit, as I believed that this was the price I had to pay to be loved.
Because, why would anybody love me? I hated myself. I never managed to make friends. My relationships stemmed from one night stands where two damaged people clung on to each other in the hope that the person they’re clinging to can make the world a slightly less terrifying space.
I started learning about my own self-worth when I was 27, just before I met Hubs. When he had also spent a couple…

The abyss.

Today, for some unknown reason, WAIT…
My last period seems to have been a while ago... Ooooh, maybe that’s why I feel like an absolute bag of shit (physically and mentally) and why a coffee cancellation has pushed me, spiralling, over the fucking edge.
(Checks Clue. Realises hasn’t logged in since changed phone over. Knows why psychopathic tenancies have not been notified in advance of wanting to kill everyone and everything.)
Starts again.
Today, because my cunting period is due to show up and give me a solid week or two of wanting to die/murder/cry, I’ve stumbled over the edge into the abyss of my negative self talk. I call this my little inner prick. It’s like the old, white, racist misogynist who lives at the end of the bar of your favourite pub and you do your best to avoid eye contact because he’s such a wanker. But you can’t, because he’s got to insult you in some “accidental” way whilst telling you what a nice guy he is. That is my little inner prick. And there is no avoiding ey…