2020: The Year I Bit Off More Than I Could Chew

‘You are being so strong’

‘You’ve got more resilience than anyone I know.’

‘It’s huge what you’ve achieved.’

These are some of the things my supportive friends have said to me recently. At the start of this year I left a relationship that I’d been in for almost three years, and then bought and moved into a flat on my own. I lightly renovated and furnished that flat alone, and am now learning to live alone for the first time in my life. Doing this in the wake of a break up and in the midst of a global pandemic has been extremely bloody hard and lonely.

I am strong, and I am resilient, and it is huge what I’ve achieved. But I’m also so tired. I found myself waking up the other morning and wishing so much that there was someone else there to make me a cup of tea that it physically hurt.

The irony is I’m not even wishing for something that I once had; in my last relationship I made the vast majority of the hot drinks.

I’m just really pining for someone to carry the burden, even just for a couple of minutes.

Back in January and in full on survival mode, I could only think as far ahead as completing on the purchase of the flat, getting in and getting started on the work that needed doing to it. Past that I couldn’t visualise what my life would be.

Now I’m at ‘past that’ and we’re under local restrictions in the North West, meaning I can’t plan in visits from friends and family each weekend and I can’t really start to rebuild my life properly. Unfortunately, that’s very much what I need right now.

Today I am tired of being strong. I am tired of being brave. I am tired of being hopeful and optimistic about the future. I am tired of still having to ‘give it time’ to heal the wounds of my break up.

With so much uncertainty floating about and with the recent news that an old colleague had died very suddenly, I have started plummeting into a very low and unhappy mood.

Oh, there was also the moths nest I found in one of my house plants. That well and truly tipped me over the edge, because I have a huge phobia of moths.

Feeling scared about experiencing this depression alone, I’ve been trying to fix it and stop it. Now, I’m slowly starting to let go and accept that this is just how I feel at the moment, and it’s okay.

It feels like I’m still in survival mode. I’m trying my best to focus on eating properly, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and I’m going to the gym as much as my body will physically allow me to.

I sense that my strength and resilience reserves are starting to dwindle and I keep asking myself what comes next? Who knows, more waiting probably.

One of the things I am grateful for is the decision I made in the past to really gut the flat the second I moved in. Moth invasion aside, this place feels incredibly homely now and I do not think I could cope mentally if it still looked (and smelled) anything like it did the day I first moved in.

The only thing I can control right now is how I respond to all of these external factors, circumstances and events. I’m trying to choose acceptance. I’m sad; that’s okay. I’m scared; that’s okay. I’m hoping I’ll be able to have my family and my friends over to visit again soon; that’s okay. I’m struggling to adjust to living alone more than I expected; that’s okay. I’m impatient for the life I want to create for myself; that’s okay.

Whatever it is, it is okay and it will pass.

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