I was just putting my baby to bed and began guiltily thinking of this blog, how I haven’t checked the email address associated with it in so long, and how little time I have.
This is what’s new with me.
I am busy. Really busy. I have been working longer and harder than I ever have done in my life. I got made redundant from that bank job I’ve been working all these years, which actually worked in my favour. I kind of saw it coming, and as soon as the funny business started and I began to suspect I was in line for the chop, I went into overdrive.
The story goes a bit like this. For a couple of years, I had half-heartedly dipped in and out of my writing, feeling disappointed at the rejections, feeling like it was never going to go anywhere, so I sort of gave up. How long could I keep chasing a dream that just wasn’t happening? As if to convince myself I went around telling everyone “I’ve decided to stop chasing the journalism thing. I have to be realistic. I have a family to raise.”
A while later, I was sat in Leto hospital, looking into the face of my second son, and I thought “What am I going to say to these kids? I wanted to be a journalist, but I didn’t make it? Chase your dreams, make them come true? How will I tell them that if I didn’t do it myself?” I resolved to give my writing one last chance, all or nothing.
That’s kind of why I haven’t had any time to blog. I set up a new, grown up blog under my real name, plus I joined the Twitter (do you know the Twitter?) and I worked, and I worked, and I worked. I sent emails endlessly, I made phone calls to US newspapers at 11 and 12 at night when my children were asleep, I wrote for nearly nothing late into the night, often not sleeping before 1 am. I pitched myself like the world would end tomorrow. I nearly ran myself into the ground, I got made redundant, but by the time that happened, my relentless efforts had started to yield some results.
Yes, I had a family to raise, and no I couldn’t really afford to be chasing a dream, which is why I had started saving in advance. But when life threw such a curveball at me as the one I had with my older son’s diagnosis, I thought “Fuck it! What else have I got to lose?” If my one last big effort didn’t work, I’d accept defeat, I had a small buffer in the bank, and I’d find some other way to make a living.
And I sort of made it. A few days ago, I emptied my bank of everything in it to go pay some bills. I was broke, but everything in that account had come from writing. I have two steady writing jobs, plus a ‘day job’ as a copywriter. And just this week, I did five live news reports for the BBC on the Norman Atlantic. Some of you might have even seen me.
I don’t know if this is long term. I hope it is. I’ll keep trying through exhaustion, through working around the waking hours of my children, and maybe I will well and truly get there.
I’ve been okay. This year in terms of my mental health has been hard. It’s been a bad year considering the bouts of depression, deep, dark depths where I nearly picked up the telephone and begged the authorities to come and get me, put me away, because I can’t bear any more. I came to the brink of a nervous breakdown several times. I often hated the strength of my mind in those moments. I wished it would just go ahead and snap already so I could get over with it, check out for a bit and come back to the world when the storm in my mind had blown over.
I write a diary for my children. It acts like a map of my mental health. The missing patches show when I’ve not been well. There are no entries in the 2014 diary from September onward, none. Not even one.
I spent swathes of the year in a bad state, trying to find my way out of the dark, being a terrible mother to my children, yelling and screaming at them. Finally I went back for more therapy to a different therapist, and it did help. I’ll keep going back from time to time to stay on track with my well being.
Now I am okay. I have even been happy for the last month or so. I plan on doing the work I need to keep that going.
I have about 3 kgs to lose from the birth of son no. 2. I need a car. Mr Zeus got fired two days before New Year’s eve. It took him 1.5 years to find that job in the first place, which was a real bummer. My first son is doing okay, at some point in the future we have to start steroids for him. In the mean time, we’re enjoying normality. I was hugging him the other day when he stroked my arms and said “You need to take this off, it’s dirty.” He meant the hair on my arms. Great. Thanks for the support, son!
My second son, a little creature I only began to enjoy some time around September, is wonderful. He is hilarious. He loves to dance. And, funniest of all, he has blue eyes and blonde hair, unlike me and unlike Mr Zeus.
The view from here:
Like I said, since having two kids and working about 3 jobs, my time has shrivelled up like a grape in the August sun. Once, there was so much of it, my time was plump and juicy and abundant. Now, it’s barely there. I don’t have time for the gym, I don’t have time for bellydancing.
I considered closing this blog, but I think since I find it therapeutic, I think I’ll hold on to it. In the meantime, you can find me at my grown-up blog, and on Twitter, officially blowing my cover. If you want to ask me anything about things I’ve talked about on this blog, you can reach me on the email address connected to those accounts.
Thanks for still reading and visiting!