I haven’t been able to listen to one of my favourite songs for a while… “Heal” by Tom Odell. When I listened to this song over the past couple of weeks, I would turn it off half way through, because it would make me feel sad and I would start to cry… Probably because of its lyrics and everything that has happened to me over the past couple of months! I met with someone today, who I haven’t known for a very long, for a cuppa and a chat in a cafe.
Genuinely, I wasn’t expecting much, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to feel as great as I am feeling now. Definitely one of my best days in a long long time, and it’s because I spoke with someone who I felt I could trust and in some way, relate to…talking about things I didn’t even realise were going on for me, talking about things that had built up inside of me since finding out about my cancer last April at the age of 24, talking about how it all began, how angry I felt about my misdiagnosis, how robbed I felt because I now cannot have my own children and how confused I felt, being faced with decisions about taking medication that could make my life a little better but could also potentially be seriously harmful to my body. Most importantly, we spoke about how important it was for me to talk, to get my feelings and what was going on for me out there. I guess, trying to not think about Cancer and it’s repercussions, wasn’t doing me any favours, it’s facing up to it and dealing with life now it what I have to do to make sure I get the best from life.
I came home today and listened to “Heal” and felt happy.

Thanks to Pen Relief for listening


Dandelion Day

dandelionHi Pen Relief, I made a start on this as I have been promising myself to do for months, thanks for taking the time to read this, and for Pen Relief, it is a wonderful platform to be able to say it as it is without being judged, and for sharing your own story, I don’t want my name to be published, if you don’t mind xx

I am not sure how best to go about this but I am going to just write and see where it takes me. Writing is always something that I found helped a lot but the last number of years with the pace of life; it has become harder to do so.

Anyway, to start at the start, I am a young woman (at least I consider myself to be lol) in my thirties. I am married and I have 4 children. When I was a toddler my parents died in a car accident and I was reared by family members. I was lucky; I was brought up in a loving home. When I look back at my life I can see that even as a child, I was a lost lonely soul that others through their own pain and suffering, were unable to see! I can relate back to watching an episode of Highway to Heaven when I was about 4 years old, and sobbing my heart out, at the end when he had to return to heaven, I can still palpate that emptiness, it feels cold!

I was a bright, diligent child, always wanting to please everyone, and this is something that has become a firm trait, to my detriment at times. The first time that I wanted to be dead, or taken out of my misery ,was when I was about 11, my grandfather had died and I was broken hearted, alone, and in pain. I reckon I was very good at hiding it because nobody seemed to notice.

It was at this time that I started to make myself sick!  Stuffing all my feelings down, and then purging my body of it! This went on, unnoticed, until I was 14, when I hit a particularly dark period in my life.

I can remember swallowing too many paracetamol in an effort to end it all, it didn’t work!!!  I couldn’t understand it, there was mixed feelings around that, glad in one way, pissed off in another. Again this went unnoticed! It wasn’t until a parent teacher meeting in school that it was brought up that I wasn’t myself and was withdrawn, at this they started to ask questions at home, and I confessed about the “bulimia”.

Before I knew it I was landed in front of a psychologist, where I attended every week for 5 years. In session with her I had to sit in front of her for 15 mins, get weighed and let her look at my food diary! After 5 years of this shite(sic) I made a decision, that all she was doing was keeping my food disorder very much alive by weighing me and spending 15 minutes talking about food. In fairness, if you were treating a drug addict or an alcoholic would you spend the session reminding them about the demons that they crave every day!!!

Now this was a great turning point in my life, I moved out of home, I sat my Leaving Certificate examination in a different school. I had  found myself, and so that year I learned to grapple with my eating disorder and leave it behind for the most part of my life so far, except for the occasional minor relapse which has thankfully never amounted to more than one episode at a time,

So now, life should be fantastic, I had beaten the demons that had plagued me for so many years!!! Well that wasn’t the case. I think beating the eating disorder was a testament to my logic and determination and realising that it wasn’t going to make me feel better if I were to continue self-harming in that way!! I still felt bad at times, still wished I wasn’t here, still felt like I didn’t fit in, anywhere.

Yet I managed to function, I went to college, got my career off the ground, had a baby, bought a house, got married, had more babies. To look from the outside in, it was a perfect life, but I was still up and down, and suffering in silence. At times just existing. I dipped my toe in and out of counselling down through the years, and I have managed to find a wonderful lady, who waited for me to be ready, who was always there for me, and someone that I have learned to trust more than anyone in my life. I find it very hard to allow people to get close to me, and can push those close to me away when I am low.

The lows, well how do I describe these? Its dark, it’s like a hole, it’s painful, and at times numb! It’s all of the horrors you can imagine! Its guilt, its self-hate, its fear, it’s the place where I feel like a failure as a wife, mother, friend, colleague. It’s the place where I wake at night and I think about going to the sea, taking an overdose, running away! The pain of feeling that your family would be a better place without you. and the place where I beg God, to take me, to reach out a hand to me.

There have been other painful things in my life that I would rather not go into here, maybe because it’s too hard, but in a nut shell, its everything  in my life all wrapped tightly around me until I can hardly breathe..

This year has been particularly tough, I am trying to figure out why still, but there have been more down periods that up .Right now I am feeling ok, I managed to drag myself out of bed today, its Sunday, it’s usually the day that I don’t want to face anyone. Maybe because I have to every other day of the week!! Looking at myself in the mirror, my hair needs to be done, I look, ragged, tired, unkempt,

Last week was all tears. I have started to talk to my husband and tell him how I feel, tell him that I feel that I want to die. These moments pass, and I guess it’s not that I am going to do anything, but I wish God would just take me at times… I worry that I am affecting my kids, I keep going for them. I give them all my love and attention, and even during my bad days, I find solace sitting down with a storybook or a colouring book.

I’m in constant pain, in my heart if I am honest! I have tried antidepressants, they have just made me feel worse, either spaced out, or more anxious. I gravitate towards holistic healing, it helps, every day I try to find one good thing to make me smile, and focus on that during the sad moments. Today it’s the dandelion that my son gave me with my breakfast. Not every day is bad.

Thanks Pen Relief, for the opportunity to say my bit. xx