I have since 2007 written a blog at the beginning of the year to summarise the previous year and close off unfinished business, it would be churlish of me not to continue what has become something of a tradition.
In 2007, I was blogging about moving to a nice quiet area with my husband, cutting my working hours and sinking myself into domestic bliss....
In 2008, I was blogging of life in a box room, my life in ruins, my world crumbled and what a pathetic mess I was
In 2009, I was blogging of life in a new home, what I had learned and how far I had come.
In 2010, I was blogging of new years resolutions and how in reality, we can't really afford them and how pointless/fruitless they really are.
So, what do I blog of on the first day of 2011, how do I summarise the passing of another year, what did I learn? what did I do? Did I accomplish anything of note, anything of worth, what wisdom can I carry forward with me into the New Year and what do I have to leave behind?
Well, even after my blog in January last year when I said that giving up smoking was pointless... I managed to give up smoking!!! I went to bed on 5th May 2010 and resolved to give up smoking. I decided that it was making me ill and wasn't doing me any favours. It was crippling me financially and was a pointless/fruitless exercise. So in 4 days time, I will have been a non-smoker for 8 months. I couldn't afford the smoking cessation aides, so I just gave up. Do I feel better for it? Of course I do. I am saving myself thousands of pounds a year (which is handy as I spent all of my savings on smoking and am now broke:0))
I am still with my boyfriend, we have had our fair share of ups and downs and it has not been a fairy tale. We both have our hang ups about our own respective divorces. I am plagued with fear of anger. He only had to frown and I would get upset. I have many a time started to cry because I thought he was cross with me. When in fact he is just thinking hard. He has learned to be very open and transparent with me and knows my triggers. If he feels the need to get drunk, he stays away from me so I don't panic or freak out. He has serious trust issues. His ex wife did the dirty on him as badly as she could. I have learned to be very open with him and transparent and I will talk to him constantly of my plans and my itinerary. To the point now that we have a good relationship, trust has been established and we have reached an understanding on each others limits and what we both find acceptable. It has been a steep learning curve for both of us and Lord knows it has been awful at times for both of us... but we appear to be coming through it and although there are moments when we both get frustrated and irritated with each other, we have learned to talk and discuss things before they spiral out of control.
I have remained in the house that I started renting 16 months ago. Money is a little tight and I am learning (slowly) to work out how to economise. That has been my biggest downfall to date. I had no idea how to do it and when I was still smoking and still trying to run my car, I ate into my savings until it was almost all gone. This has been a steep learning curve and not being married and sharing everything, means that when a car bill comes in at 2.5k, you have no choice but to pay it on your credit card. And when the cat got sick and I had to go to the vets, I had to put it on the credit card. This is all coming back to haunt me now and I'm paying for it. The extra payments of £150 per month are keeping things awfully tight, but I'm managing. I'm getting there (slowly) That money is the extra I need to be comfortable. But, I am starting my ebay drive this month, anything and everything that is surplus to requirements is going on there. My jewellery (from my marriage) that I no longer wear of have emotional attachment to, is going to be sold. After all, what good does it do being locked away in a box doing nothing when the money could help me out. It seems that the little bit of money that should have come my way from my fathers estate, will be with me at some time soon, this again will help, and far better for it to be lining my pocket than sitting in dock, rotting.
In October of 2010, I had a huge falling out with my brother. For those that have heard me speak of my family, you will know that they are all weird, all crazy, but ultimately, they are all I have. My brother is a drug addict and bi polar with borderline schizophrenia, but I love him and he has always been my hero. I have always looked up to him and over the years I have looked after him and helped him. I lent him my car. Thinking his insurance and my insurance would cover him. He didn't tell me he had cancelled his insurance, he thought I had added him to my policy, so when he got stopped by the police, fined £300, automatically got six points on his licence and my car got impounded (another £300 to get it out) he blamed me for it. Squarely, solely, 100% dumped the blame on my shoulders. I scraped together the money to pay his fine. I scraped together the money to get my car back. I then scraped together enough money to get it fixed because he had managed to bugger up the central locking and the electrics.
I have been unable to talk to him because I am so cross with him. I am not cross with him for not having insurance, I am cross with him, because I have NEVER turned on him, NEVER once let him down or done anything to hurt him. And he blamed me and told me I had done it on purpose.
Anyway, this was too much for me, and all the pain and the hurt that I have been carrying since my dad died, has surfaced. I had reached the stage of being terrified of living. I lost my dad, I lost my husband, I lost my home, I lost my life, I feel like I've now lost my brother and I'm terrified of losing my job, because My job is not secure, and if I lose my job, I lose my house, I can't be homeless again, I can't lose everything again. Anyway, my boyfriend convinced me to go and see my doctor, I sat and told him everything. He asked me a set of questions and then very calmly told me that as I had scored 24 out of 30, he could safely say that I was suffering from clinical depression. Would I like to be signed off work and would I consider taking anti depressants? So now I am taking Anti depressants. I have to say that they are helping and I am no longer on edge and crying all the time. I have arranged to see the in-house counsellor and I feel like I'm getting my life back under control.
So that's me, that's where my life is. It's not a bowl of cherries, it is not all sweetness and light and there is a hell of a lot of 'stuff' that needs sorting out, however, I have a good backup network, I am surrounded by close friends and people I love.
All is not lost and I will allow myself to be bend and flex with the changes of circumstances that are thrown at me.
So do not dispair if life after divorce is not completely wonderful, do not give up, life is tough, even after all is said and done with your divorce, life will carry on and it sometimes comes around to bite you on the ass again, but you are better equipped to deal with it. Do not be afraid to allow yourself weakness. It is better to feel weak and ask for help than pretend to be strong and to drown because of your pride.
Much love to you all and keep positive.