Looking back

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When I think about my time here, now going on for nine years, I can see that I have changed so much over that time. There’s been a lot, recovery from the alien leg incident, the Motherships dementia and her eventual passing and also all of the things relating to my own mental health.

The past couple of years have brought a new set of challenges, illness, COVID and changes to and the loss of some friendships. That’s one thing about life, it never stops and it is always changing, whether we are prepared for it or not. I turned 50, just a number I know, but still a significant one in terms of life, because while things have not always been a bed of roses, existing for half a century is certainly something to celebrate right? In my head I still feel like I am 18 years old and I get a little bit nervous when I am expected to adult, but somehow I manage to bumble my way through it.

Even though I am not here often, I love this place. It has always been a bit of a refuge for me, reading what my friends have to say on their blogs and also what they choose to comment on mine. We never really understand how our words might affect others, but there is no better feeling when someone stops by to tell you, as recently happened to me. Those words were something I needed to hear at that time, so thank you Joe for commenting on my about page, it means more than you know.

I tell myself I should write more, I know I should, but sometimes it feels like I just write the same things over and over. Occasionally I will read things that I have already written and I think, holy cow, did I write that. Other times I can remember exactly how I was feeling at that time, the moment, the place and perhaps even the music I listened to as I tried to formulate my thoughts into something legible.

I was never big on the whole social media side of things, that’s just not me, and as life changed I didn’t have the same time to put into it as I had at the start. That said, in the beginning I had no idea how much time writing a blog and trying to further it would take, that was certainly a wake up call.

I have met some of the most amazing people and there are also others who are no longer with us. People who made us think, or made us smile and undoubtedly left an empty space in either our heads or our hearts.

This is a fantastic community and there are no set rules as to what your place in it should be. Don’t try to be someone else, because the weight of walking in someone else’s footprints will be a heavy one. Just be you, be true to yourself and write what your heart desires, it will always resonate with someone, even if they do not stop by to tell you it did.

Thank you for still being here with me, despite the fact that I am not with you as often as I would like :)

And there she was……

So it’s been a minute, a week or maybe even months. There is a fair chance you might not even remember who I am, but I have no doubt that my home grown brand of quirky will remind you in a short space of time.

Contrary to what some people might have thought, I did not drop off the face of the planet and apologies to those who are actually disappointed to see me again. I’m like that, a bad penny, I keep turning up.

Many things have happened in the time I have been gone. Very many things. In fact too many to mention. There has been crazy me, crazy work and a crazy life, which has led to me being crazy busy with very little time to write.

When I was not here I turned 5. This year there were no candles and fanfares, I didn’t even write a post. I acknowledged the notification from WordPress and silently scolded myself because it had been so long since I had actually been here.

I’m not sure you will believe me if I tell you I missed you, but I did. I missed your laughs, your jokes and your comments. I missed reading about other people and how things were going, that daily distraction from what was or was not going on in my own life.

In the last 6 months I’ve faced friendship, love, rejection, happiness, sadness, stress and many more things, but remarkably I am still going, putting one foot in front of the other. I’m still a basket case for sure, but I’ve just asked for another round of counselling to hopefully hit the self confidence monster smack in the face one more time. It’s not something I necessarily want to do, but it is something I certainly have to do.

I’ve lost two stone in weight, that was pretty good going, but it has not bolstered my self confidence at all, there is still some way to go I think and my love affair with Malteasers is not going to end any time soon despite the fact they seem to make me sick.

There have been good days and bad, of late perhaps more bad and while I wanted to write I just couldn’t bring myself to jot things down despite running over them time and again in my head. The old internal battle about laying my soul bare here still continues, no change there then.

I’m finding there is no peace. This year has almost slipped by, a whirlwind of work that is not going to slow down for a while yet as I begin a new round of training. Behind me the other work stacks up too and I’m starting to feel the pressure, but I just need to knuckle down. Thing is though I was sick and although I’m back at work I’m still not mended, so I take things day by day and wait for my Dr’s appointment. It’s probably the Malteasers ffs.

I’m not going to say I am back for good, because who knows. But today I am here. I am here to say hello and tell you that I missed you and also that I will check in when I can.

I am here to tell you that I need this space despite the fact that at the minute I feel I have nothing new to tell you.

I need it despite the fact that I feel that I write the same things over and over.

I need it because I need to write to stop thinking about the same things over and over.

I need it, that’s it, I just do and I need you to understand that despite the fact I have not been here that I love you all.

He Won’t, So I Will

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I rarely check the Daily Post Prompts these days, but for once, being almost caught up on my reading, I did.

I think right now it’s quite apt, so I’m going to go ahead and complete the challenge, which is:

Right To Brag – Tell us about something you (or a person close to you) have done recently (or not so recently) that has made you really, unabashedly proud.

Have I ever told you about my best friend Lee? I know for sure I have mentioned him in posts before, but have I ever sat down to tell you about him and how amazing he is.

When people look at you like you are crazy and tell you that friendships cannot be formed with people you meet on the Internet, I’d like you to politely inform them that they are talking bollox!

Lee and I met on the Internet and have been friends for over a decade yet we have never met in person. It will happen someday, hopefully soon, but we have no less of a friendship because to date it has not happened.

Lee’s been with me through some of both the best and worst moments of my life. He’s resisted the temptation to tell me to eff off on many occasions when I was doing his head in and on other occasions wound me up so much that I was floating just below the ceiling. He gets me, and bless him, puts up with me.

He’s been through quite a lot of hardship himself over the last few years, but the thing is, he will always put others first. You have to trust me when I tell you that I am just one of a very long list of people who have love and admiration for this fellow.

When you have a big heart, you need a big body to hold it, couple that with suffering with Lymphedema of the legs and it makes it hard to shed any excess weight that you accumulate. It’s a battle in itself, but one that Lee took on head first when he decided to check out his options for a Gastric Bypass. There are people who will be judgmental and perhaps say this is the easy option for someone who suffers from weight problems, but they would be wrong. Both mentally and physically it is an uphill battle.

In order  to be considered for the surgery Lee had to start his weight loss journey on his own and mentally prepare himself. When you have a friendship with food, it is not easy to sever ties, but through dogged determination, Lee did everything that was asked of him and then some, shedding over and above what he had been asked, and securing his place for surgery.

On Tuesday the 21st July, Lee had his Gastric Bypass and started a new chapter of his life.

It’s not going to be easy for him, he knows this, but I hope he also knows that all of his friends are behind him every step of the way. He’s worked hard to make it to this point and the hard work will have to continue, but he’s determined and I have every faith that he will make it.

I hope that now you can see for yourself why my best friend is in fact amazing and when I tell you that to date his total weight loss is a whopping 17st, you will understand why I am so unabashedly proud of him!

If you wish to follow Lee’s journey you can do so here on The Fat Mans Blog

I’ve said it before, but…

This last week I returned to some kind of normality with regards to blogging, both reading and writing. It felt good. It reminded me how much I miss it.

Whilst reading this week I came across a lot of posts from writers thanking their followers or giving us, the reader an insight as to why they started blogging in the first place.

One such post was the wonderful I Am A Thief by J T Carlton, and it was while leaving a comment that I got thinking about the wonder that is the world of the blog.

We all start for various reasons, be it a form of therapy, entertainment, a break from boredom or the sheer relief of expelling the thoughts from our heads into a different type of receptacle. No one knows what to expect, especially in the early days when things are a little slow to start and tentative alliances are being formed.

I know for me, there were days when I wanted to give up because I really did feel like a small fish in a big pond. Even though I started writing for myself, I cannot deny that those little notifications were a delight, pushing me towards wanting to be more than I had originally thought.

If we tried to explain to outsiders, those who do not blog, the relationships that we forge as a result of writing and being part of a community, they would find it hard to understand. They would perhaps berate us for talking to strangers, because after all as children, that is what we are taught not to do.

The internet is a scary place and as such, it should be treated with caution. It’s OK to put yourself out there, but first and foremost, never lose sight of who you are and always trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. Gut feeling is a remarkable addition to this so called life.

Still though, despite all the barriers, we start to gain followers and form friendships and the art of blogging soon becomes more than we ever imagined it could. I have become a square in the patchwork quilt that is WordPress, not overly important, but essential all the same, because all our little squares, well we keep the whole thing together.

I’m never going to be an amazing writer, I am under no illusions, but that doesn’t matter because for me, it’s all about the community.

Life is hard, more so for some than others. I often wonder when I read the posts of some I follow how they can even carry on, yet still they do, with a strength and spirit that is nothing short of superhuman, even if they do not realise it themselves.

I can’t always interact, sometimes I become so emotionally invested in my own life that I have nothing left to give but on those days I still read and ‘like’ where I can. Slowly but surely the craft that is the words of others pulls me to the surface, have you met my followers, seriously, what’s not to love. I am extremely blessed.

So I too am going to thank my friends here, even though I know I can never convey in words just how they all make me feel.

Thank you for making me feel accepted and a part of something amazing. Thank you for loving me just exactly as I am, flaws and all. Thank you for being there and bringing me sunshine on the darker days, laughter on the sad ones and virtual hugs just when I needed them most. You have been an inspiration and my life is better because you chose to weave your way in.

I’ve said it before, but…..thank you, from the bottom of my heart.