All posts filed under: Me

Ugly

When I was a teenager, or perhaps even in my early twenties, I was invited to a friend’s house party on a Saturday night, as was quite the norm back then. This was before ‘house’ was used to describe a style of music played loudly by DJs in clubs and instead it usually meant your friend’s parents were away and you were being invited over to help empty the family booze cabinet. Music – unless you were lucky enough to be mates with a budding DJ with his/her own set of decks – would play from a home stereo, or we’d just listen to the radio at full volume. I attended many of these parties in the first 5/6 years or so after I left school and they were all pretty much the same. We’d drink cheap white wine and dance to Duran Duran, Ace of Bass and Oasis. Sometimes, we’d get off with a boy we fancied in the corner, or sometimes the boy we fancied got off with someone else in the corner …

Say No and Let it Go

I have never been brilliant at saying no. ‘Can you work late tonight?’ No problem, I say, while secretly rearranging my plans for dinner. ‘Do you mind helping me with something?’ Of course, I respond, before finding out what they are asking for will take 3-days to complete. ‘Can you help organise the school summer fair/christmas fair/end-of-term cake sale?’ Sure, I reply and mentally set my alarm for 5.30am. ‘Can I borrow the Prada shoes you wore on your wedding day?’ Ok… *sobs* Why do I find it difficult to say no? For such a small word, it gets so easily lodged in my throat, cloaked in a heavy layer of guilt and making me feel I am about to let everyone down. I don’t want to appear rude, I hate uncomfortable confrontations and I try to avoid unnecessary criticism. I much prefer to maintain an upbeat attitude and leave a positive impression. I have no idea why. People say no to me all the time and I rarely feel resentful towards them. In fact, the Greek God(zilla) makes it seem like an art form. However, there are a …

In Your Face

I looked at myself in the mirror yesterday, not just to guide a face wipe over day-old mascara or while absent-mindedly brushing my hair, but I really looked at myself. I examined my face from grey-roots to neck.  I pulled at my cheeks, lifted the skin around my eyes and turned my mouth up and down. Who was this woman staring back at me, the one with the silver stripe along her crown and a forehead that wrinkled when she strained to take a closer look? Her skin looks redder than I remember and when I stretch it this way and that, it takes a few seconds to fall back into place.  Both her eyebrows are flecked with grey and she appears to be growing a third… on her chin.  Her eyes look a bit bleary, probably because she had two glasses of wine the night before; and the dark circles beneath them are there because she never sleeps well after wine. It is me, but not the me I remember. The last time I looked, really looked, my skin seemed brighter, …

Anxiety, panic attacks and living with Hashimoto’s

For the past few weeks, I have been hiding a big autoimmune flare-up. I say hiding, because I when I have these flare-ups I tend to be much quieter – online and off. Every twinge, ache and feeling in my body is exaggerated. Every one of my senses feels heightened. I have become brilliant at hiding it, but I can’t be around too many people when I feel this way. I have Hashimoto’s – an autoimmune condition that attacks my thyroid. The antibodies that are responsible for this were discovered after my second miscarriage. I have been taming these antibodies with a gluten-free diet for 2-years, but every now and again they rear their ugly head and wreak havoc on my body. I could feel them coming towards the end of the Easter school holidays. I’d had a few late nights, drinking red wine with family and friends and eating way too much of the kids’ chocolate stash. I am usually so strict about never having gluten, but there were a few chocolate eggs that I …

The Guilt Trap

Guilt. It’s a funny thing. It gets under your skin and makes you do all kinds of crazy shit. As a parent, guilt keeps many of us awake at night with its persistent nagging over how much TV you let your kids watch, if you read to them enough, play with them enough, or mollycoddle them too much. As a full-time working mum, I hid behind a cloak of guilt that grew heavier with every ball I dropped. It would niggle away at me saying DO MORE, BE BETTER, GO HOME AND MAKE SOCK PUPPETS WITH YOUR CHILD. It is what kept me up until midnight finishing the housework, and what set my alarm for 6am to get a quick shower in before the rest of the house awoke. It made me strive to be more organised and helped me to feel more in control. Guilt pushed me to live up to my own expectations of myself, and I was addicted to it. I got my fix every time I had to work late at the …