Today

I think I am about to go on a journey. I have been getting inside my own head these last few weeks. I feel like things are getting clearer in my world and I have managed to open up a little and tell someone about the thoughts that go through my head sometimes. I think everyone needs a little space just for themselves and it is now time for me to forge a place for myself. I have been shored up in my bedroom lately, have been making it a nicer space to just hang out, do what I want to do, find a little peace in a world full of madness. I have been reading a lot of novels, the odd non-fiction book and have turned my hand back to poetry. I am on the verge of something big, I have been collecting my thoughts, compiling notes and it had been a few months since I made any conscious effort to get busy. This week has been a complete turnaround for me. Either I have turned my mind onto what I should be doing instead of going through the motions of what everyone else expects me to be doing or I am just making the best use of a seldom moment of clarity in my life.

Sometimes it takes me a while to get my act together. What else is there for me to do?

Colour me in

Tonights post is inspired by the song Colour Me In by Damien Rice. This song has been getting me through the last few days. A little internal dialogue for my life. Most days whenever I walk from place to place I am filling my head with music. Music is one of the constant influences in my life. It takes me back to my childhood. I have songs that remind me of every family member; all my sisters and brothers, my mum and dad, everyone. When people let me down – music never does. I am surrounding myself with songs that remind me how good life can be, the riches each day can bring and the light that is out there to light the way in the darkness.

I have been watching tv with my son tonight and it was good just to have a little time for him. We seem to have been on different courses through life recently and it was great to touch down with him again. I hope for more but we will see how he feels about it all. I have been a little detached from my own life recently and this is not great when I am responsible for other people but like I said yesterday I am working my way out of the darkness and finding purpose in every day again so hopefully this upward turn will continue. A little bit at a time I suppose.

I see it has been snowing whilst the night has unfolded. I am looking forward to a crisp, cold morning. Nothing like a bit of fresh freezing air to wake me up when I am walking the kids to school. I am looking forward to a lovely walk with the dog when I get my morning all to myself. Maybe write a little before I head off to work. I am starting to recognise the potential in life, my personal work and my writing again but we will see where it takes me.

Elastic Heart

Hey world.

I have been gone for too long. I am back with my mind set on straight and an urge to put the past behind me and engage with the life I want to have. I dont know why I have these little blips where life pulls me sideways or downwards or in circles of despair but today I am keeping my head afloat. I am not gonna let trivial things get in my way. Today is the day I start living for me. I have intention and integrity to speak my mind, live as I see fit and write my heart out. Things are insecure in my life right now but I am always up to the challenge. This sudden change of heart is because I have been journaling, listening to music and reading anything I can get my hands on. I suppose what I really mean is that I am managing to eke out some of my time to indulge my passions, pander to my literary whims, let myself go in the words of a good song, embrace the weird that is me. I have been writing poetry and editing some short stories. I am always in a better place when i am writing poetry.

Long may it continue.

Getting over you

Dear you

Up until four days ago I was happy
I looked forward to seeing you
kissing you, being with you.
I felt that I had found
someone who had made me whole.
You raised a passion in me
that scorched away memories
of anyone who went before.
You made me feel womanly, safe, beautiful
I felt caressed in your light.
I truly let myself fall for you
even though I knew things were
“complicated”.

Since you have been gone
I have been numb,
a huge hole has been left
where my days were filled
with excitement and anticipation
of your calls, texts and visits –
now there is nothing.
I am temporarily stuck
in a limbo of longing.
Longing for your arms around me,
your hands on my skin,
your voice in my ears.

My heart is wide open
lifes blood, dripping
ebbing from me
waiting for you to rush in
to patch me together again.
My head knows this is a dream
a futile wish
but my heart oh so wants it to be true!
Deep inside my heart
it knows the words you said
were never meant for me.

Today I am dying
the pain is too great
tomorrow I may recline
in my bed for a day
or two.
Cry silent tears
quilt over my head
cry for a love
that now lies dead.
Maybe in a week
a month or a year
I will stand up tall
and let go of my fear
that all men decieve
all men lie.

I will wake up
see it for what it always was.
Me with my girls heart
eternally hopeful
letting in a frog
disguised as a prince.

I fell in love with love
for all that its worth.

If you think your lonely now.

New year, new you or so they say. Over the last few days some changes were forced into my life and so today I am just going to make some sense of them. Do you know what its like when you have put a lot of your trust, feelings, emotions, love, care, time and effort into someone and they turn around at a crucial time and let you down? Do you know what it feels to have something that holds you together, makes everything in the world seem okay, grounds you to the earth and life? Do you know what it feels like to have that taken away in one violent outburst, one second of real hatred and anger directed at you and the one person in the world you thought wouldn’t let you down whips your feet from under you? Well that sort of sums up my weekend.

Three years is not a huge amount of time in relation to a lot of relationships but for me it was three years of feeling more alive than I ever have. Living life in a way that felt right and true even though to others it was not. Searching your heart and deciding to go with it, embracing everything we shared and letting it wash over me in a wave of happiness and just being able to feel like someone cherished me. Giving myself permission to be open, to let someone in to see the real me. Opening up myself to the richness that love can bring into your life. Today though it is clear that this has all ended. I have been to a place where this person revealed themselves to be nothing like the person I thought they were.

I have opened my eyes today. I am sad, devastated, bereft, inconsolable and hurt. Every day I hope brings a little less pain, a little less of the sensation of being ripped in half. I am sad now but anger will come and eventually I will see past it all and hopefully come out the other side. It doesnt take a genious to know that everyone goes through this kind of pain at some point in their lives. Sometimes it seems like I have had more than my fair share of it. My plan of action now is this;

1) take some time to grieve – let the pain out
2) get back to being busy with life
3) walk my dog for miles as often as possible
4) listen to music everyday – preferably loud
5) surround myself with people who care about me
6) write write write
7) write some more
8) squeeze something good out of everyday
9) squeeze love into everyday ( loving my kids, my grandkids and self love)
10)turn all these emotions into writing projects
11) writing is therapy – there may be some angry poems on the way
12) stay open to possibilities

For now I am going to step away from my computer, switch on some sad songs, write down my feelings, cry a lot, watch some sad movies, eat too much chocolate, cry a little more and then one day soon I am going to get a grip. Life is too short to waste feeling sad about someone who made me less of a person every hour I spent in their company. It is too short to let other people define who I am. It is too short to waste another second thinking about someone who clearly never had the emotional intelligence to be straight with anyone in his life.

Heres to a better tomorrow.

So Long Farewell

I would like to say goodbye to 2014. This year was jam-packed with painful events, family crises, hardships and many things that stretched my resolve. I spent the year going through one challenge after another. I lost three people dear to my heart which in itself brought up many issues that had lay dormant over the years. I struggled financially and at times things seemed to be at such a low ebb that I never thought I could see a silver lining and that any positives could come out of the year. I am nothing if not resilient though.

In all its challenging occurrences I learned many valuable lessons from the year:

1) Everything will be okay as long as I have my family around me.
2) Life always gives you choices – I just have to make better ones.
3} As long as I can escape now and again for a walk in the hills then I always have instant relief from whatever is holding me back.
4) I am very very lucky in that I have 5 astoundingly precious children and three grandchildren that fill my life with joy.
5) I have interests and skills that I can use everyday of my life.
6) I have reasonably good health.
7) As long as I can still dance then there is always something to look forward to and something that lifts my spirits.
8) I have passion, interests, people and a love of learning that means I am never bored.
9) I am starting to realise who is there for me time and again and I have people who I want to get to know much better in the new year.
10) I am alive with energy, a will to achieve my goals, the inspiration to create a new path for myself and people to share my journey.

It is all about the way you look at the world and for today January 1st 2015 I am looking up. I am looking at the world with clarity, positivity and gumption. Love to my kids, grandkids, aunts, cousins, friends, pets, colleagues and everyone I may have missed. xxxxxx

For My Dad

Dad

You are gone
But your shadow reaches far
Giving off a warmth
To let us know – there you are!

In life
You put love into the air
But now
The world is much darker
Without you there

My life seems empty
On such a sad day
But thinking of you,
the man that you were
Chases the pain away

Missing and loving my dad on this painful anniversary. Always want to write about him and for him. Poems are just glimpses of how much I miss this man. Im away to visit his grave and think. My thoughts are with all my brothers and sisters who go through the same pain I do cos he is not here. Sending love to them all and my Aunties and cousins who have their own memories of this special man. Wee bit devastated today.

dad photo

A Personal Grief

A Personal Grief

This feels a little like going to confession:
It has been 18 years since I saw him alive last. Tomorrow is the anniversary of his death but for some reason it has hit me today at just how long it has been since I last saw my dad alive. 18 years since we talked, 18 years since I got a hug from him. When my dad died I spent a lot of time angry. I was angry at my mum – she sent me home the night before he died because she was angry at someone else but taking it out on me. I was angry at god (a god I never believed in) for taking him. I was angry with myself – for not telling him I loved him; he and I shared a look in those last moments before I went home, a look where no words were uttered but a million things were said. I was angry at everything and everyone. I spent a lot of time carrying around the hurt and pain I was going through. I never had many friends so I didn’t have people around me to talk to about him. My family were all dealing with their own personal pain so I just shoved mine down deep. I buried it so deep into myself that for a while I forgot it was there.
Even when my mum got ill I managed to compartmentalise all of my feelings so that I was able to cope with the magnitude of losing another parent. My mum and me were always at loggerheads but when she got ill I was pregnant with my fourth child so I did not manage to help in the care of her but instead was a comfort to her by making her laugh (sorry for the hurt I inadvertently caused anyone if you were the subject of a joke). We kept each other company and talked about life as it was happening, we spent a lot of time laughing and joking. I don’t think I was emotionally ready for any huge heart to hearts. I felt that I had come to terms with my mum’s health decisions and respected how she wanted to do things. That is not to say I would have made the same decisions she did. Over the course of my pregnancy and her illness we became closer than we had ever been. I appreciated her opinion and she was visibly chuffed when I told her how much she meant to me and my kids. Although I was never ready to lose her as a parent we had resolved all of our earlier differences, we had become close and I did not have the regrets that I had held onto when my dad passed.
My dad’s illness was much more dramatic and fast. He went downhill quickly and no one was really aware of how bad things were. We were reeling from the cancer diagnosis but I do not think anyone had recovered from that shock when he died. I cannot speak for everyone but I was left with a huge sense of things unsaid. A huge gaping chasm had appeared in my life. I was in my second year at university but did not have the strength to speak to my tutors and let them know what was happening. My grades suffered and I walked around in a daze of incomprehension. I was lost on so many levels that I don’t know how I made it back to a normal life. I think the fact that I had two young daughters that needed me to be strong was the only reason I had to keep going.
More recently though I have had a strong sense of feelings re-emerging. I feel like circumstances have left me a little more vulnerable in life. I am the parent of five kids and now have three grandchildren but this last year has been one of huge upheaval and there were many shocks along the way. I have been exhausted due to many sleepless nights and worry about loved ones. I have been emotionally on the edge and have no idea how I managed to keep going to work, looking after everyone and even getting out of bed. There were many days this year that I awoke and thought maybe if I just close my eyes and pull up the bedclothes that everything will go away.
As a direct result of this my mental health was affected in ways that no one would ever realise by looking at me. I had pushed my feelings away for so long that the cracks were beginning to show. I was crying for no reason at home on my own. I would be inconsolable at night when all my kids were sleeping. I would wake up bleary eyed, blotchy and swollen from crying so much. I was eating everything in my way, I was eating late at night trying to fill the void in my life. For me boredom is dangerous as I start to self-destruct. I did not have the concentration span to read, music did not have its usual anti-depressive effect on me. I let things slip by the wayside and just concentrated on doing as little as possible to get me through the day. I have been scared to let all of my feelings out in case it was all too much and I wouldn’t be able to function anymore.
There has been a catalyst in the last few months that have brought all these feelings to the fore. I have been looking into my family history and especially my dad’s side of the family. I have been trying to understand the people who shaped my life and in turn the people who shaped theirs. I have been trying to spend my time with my aunts. Not just because they are all wonderful, interesting and fantastic people but also because they are the key to who my father really was. I was devastated though at the loss of one of my aunts just before Christmas. I went to visit her before she died and was blown away by how beautiful, serene and glowing she looked. The feeling of love in the room was overwhelming. I gave her a hug before I left and she gripped onto my hand and looked at me and I told her I loved her and there was a huge feeling of connection that washed over me. If I could allow myself to believe it (I have been a sceptic on such matters forever) I would have said that my dad was in the room. I gave my other aunts a hug and went home feeling like a weight had been lifted.
On returning to my house I felt like I had a mini breakdown. I couldn’t stop crying. I felt like I had gone through some sort of epiphany and needed some focus for my grief. Since then I have felt comfort in a few places. At my aunts rosary service I felt like I was closer to something bigger than me. The words in the prayers actually gave me comfort. At the funeral for my aunt I loved the tone of the service and the fact it was all about love and the growth of love. In my aunts presence I only ever felt feelings of love. I have a huge family but I never felt like I wasn’t equally loved by this woman. I know I am probably giving these happenings much more importance than they really need but for me I felt like the world was telling me something. I have felt compelled to sit in the chapel but not for any religious sustenance but because it is a place for reflection. The chapel holds lots of memories of my mum and dad and us as a family doing something together.
It is now days later and I still feel the warmth from that initial connection. I still feel surrounded by love, a familial comforting love. I think the connection for me was a family circle being completed. I think somewhere in the ethos my dad heard the words I said out loud to my aunt and I feel at peace with her and with him. I am going to go visit his grave tomorrow. I feel that it is long overdue.

Boxing Day

I got up extra late today and it was a refreshing change from the normal early morning wake up call from my weans and grandweans. We were all up late last night so it was brilliant that we all managed to syncronise our sleep patterns and we all slept in. What a rare treat it was. It was especially good since I had sat up till about four – talking to my sister in America and writing a little. I still need to get a handle on my sleep these days. I have reverted back to the four hours sleep a night business at a time when I really need to ensure we are all getting more sleep.

Today was even more exceptionally poignant for the reason that my kids all got along. There was none of the stress about fighting over toys and games because each kid now has some sort of electrical gadget that means they can all play games at the same time. What bliss!!!! This does not mean that we were all engrossed in various electrical contraptions but that when kids wanted to there wasnt any fights over them. We spent all afternoon in the kitchen watching my eldest son build one of his lego sets as the rest of us chatted and laughed. I was also given my favourite gift when my sister Frances gave me one of her artworks. I am in awe of the talent my sister has so I was thrilled and emotional when she handed me my present, it was also the picture that I had secretly coveted from afar. I am going to have to find some very special place for it – where it can be looked at without kids getting their grubby hands on it. I absolutely love it.

I am revelling in the wee times during the day when I steal a few moments to myself to write or read a little. I have not carved out so much time for myself lately so it is a major breakthrough that I am forcing some space in every day for myself. When did that happen?It has been a long time coming but what a refreshing change of of events that I am able to put myself first even if it is only for a small section of my day. My kids are all sound asleep and the house is as quiet as it is ever going to be so I like to chill, hide in my room and indulge my passions of reading, listening to music and spending time with my own thoughts. It is times like these that keep my head in a good place, these times let me reccuperate from whatever challenges my day has brought. I found myself today smiling and watching my kids getting along, listening to their little jokes and noticing their characteristics that make them unique and being happy for what I have here and now. What a blessing it is to be surrounded by all these amazing people who I love very much. What a joy it is to get to spend time with them all.

I do not have any plans for New Years eve and for me that is fine. My new year will be determined by me and how I decide to get involved in my own life. I do not look for external gratification, I dont care much for superficial things – what is important to me is being able to grow and learn about myself, about life, about the universe. I have such a huge capacity to engage with learning and trying to glean some meaning from every adventure that comes my way and I just want to continue next year with learning about everything. I have a birthday comng up soon and I am looking forward to acknowledging that. I am trying to think of a treat that will mark this in some way. I will let you know when I think of something. It is now time to get myself off to bed. I dont think I will be so lucky as to have two days in a row when my kids and grandkids all get on so well so I am awy to recharge and get ready for tomorrow.

xx