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Life Chez Dee Episode #23: Me

So I’ve had a couple of crappy weepy weeks; crying for all sorts of reasons. I’m having a time where nothing is right; I don’t know why, and yet I do know why. I can explain it all, and yet not put my finger on it. I know I’m not alone … there are many others have days like this …. Just that feeling of being overwhelmed.

I go for a walk, I need to get outside. I know that going on the walk I will either have to keep my distance from people, I’m really not in the mood to be sociable, or if I’m lucky two lovely ladies will be there. Ladies I chat to, I can be myself with, I can open up to, who understand, who listen, who bring with them their own stresses and emotions. I tell them how I am … really … and it’s liberating as I’m not on my own. I know I’m not on my own generally, but gosh it’s so refreshing when you pop out for a breath of fresh air, and someone else feels this irritability, confusion, emotion too. We rant. We laugh. We feel better.

I know some of this is busy mum stuff; start of the holidays stuff; some is grief, grief that I always have, day after day, grief that I can live with and control, but still manages to get into those cracks and appear all of a sudden. There’s sadness that here we have yet another summer without Edward, the memories flooding in from every angle imaginable. Summer holidays are just not the same. Life is just not the same. Every day is not the same.

There’s probably some hormonal issue going on too. I’ve reached that age.

I’m feeling old. As I say, I know I’m not the only female that has times when they feel like this … I know that talking to many of my friends they have thoughts like this too.

I’ve reached that age, where you put on weight, the wrinkles show, the face begins to sag – do I need a facelift? I ask as I’m pulling my face back. No says Justin tactfully – he’s so lovely, but I know I do. I can see the signs of aging. Its rather soul destroying really, you feel like you’re the same age as you’ve always been, and yet the mirror doesn’t lie. Actually sometimes I do feel like the age the mirror shows me. Sometimes I feel so knackered that I feel ready for the knackers yard. Of course, there are those who tell me that I don’t look my age; that even come up with ridiculous suggestions as to how old they think I am, and of course, that’s lovely and they’re definitely my friends forever! Why is it men don’t seem to feel like this? Why is it they don’t seem to suffer with feeling like this? Maybe they do. I don’t think Justin does though.

And then there’s my eyesight that’s going. I can’t read things properly, that’s bloody annoying. I’ve always had 20:20 vision, always been for eye tests from as far back as I can remember. Probably since I started work at 18 years old. Even though I’ve never really had a concern about my sight, and always known there was nothing wrong with my vision whatsoever, I always thought it so important to go for eye tests as they check the health of your eye, and indeed all manner of health problems can show up in an eye check. The optician always said that I’d be ok until I got to my 40s and then I’d probably need reading glasses. Sure as eggs are eggs I get to about 44 and I find I’m holding reading material further and further away, until my arms are not long enough. Now I’ve had to resort to reading glasses. I won’t pay for an expensive pair from the opticians, I’m making do with some Home Bargains specials at 99p each. A few pairs left in random places around the house as I can never find them. I’ve probably spent about £20 now on glasses which are in pretty much every bag, both cars, and in pretty much every room of the house. I wear them on my head, as you’ve probably noticed from all my photos; they’ve almost become a fashion statement, a part of me; so much so I’m rarely on a photo without them being on my head! Today has been a problem though because it’s been sunny, so I need my sunglasses, but they don’t fit properly with my reading glasses on my head. And I need my reading glasses for checking messages on my phone, and reading the programme of events for sports day, but I can’t read messages with sunglasses, I need my reading glasses; and I can’t read things properly as its too sunny. So I need reading sunglasses. I bought a cheap pair of these when on holiday last year …. not that I’m sure which part of the house these have been left in. These are great for reading things on sunny days, but the problem starts when I need to walk around, I don’t’ need glasses for distance, and therefore if I get up from my reading and walk around I get motion sickness. Such a dilemma; really I need varifocals, but that would cost me £100 or so, rather than me buying the 99p specials, and I just can’t bring myself to get them.

It’s not just my eyesight though. I’ve reached that time, I think, where my body really is changing … I think I’m peri menopausal. I have no idea who I am, what I am, what I’m thinking, I don’t recognise me at times. One minute I can be laughing and joking, the next I’m crying, and then I can turn in an instant to wanting to rip someone’s head off. I’m on edge, moody, weepy, angry, confused, reclusive, over the top, restless, I’m irregular, I’m hot and cold all at once. And it’s probably going to be like this for quite some time.

I could go to the doctor, but from my experience, I’d rather not. They’ll either dismiss me completely, or I’ll end up being given pills … probably hormone based. I don’t think it’s that bad to be honest, and I certainly don’t want pills, and definitely not since I know my mum was on HRT, for years; years without the doctor checking and stopping the treatment; far too long in my opinion, and although we’ll never know, I’m pretty sure was the link to her now battling uterine cancer.

I could be a lot worse I suppose … I have many friends going through a lot worse, so I should thank my lucky stars. And I may not be anything to do with being peri menopausal after all, it may just be that I’m a moody cow. But I think with all the other symptoms, it adds up that this is the start of the change. I’m 49 - that milestone year next year - my half century.

Of course J is lovely. He loves me. He tells me so. He tells me I’m lovely. He tells me this at the times when I’m really not loveable.

In a house full of men, there’s too much testosterone to pick up on my low mood, and generally goes unnoticed until I blow a gasket, and then they’re all looking at me like I’m some totally unreasonable and unbalanced woman, who then think I’ve just overreacted to the one thing which has been the straw – the one incident which tipped me over the edge completely.

Not helped by a teenager, who loves pushing boundaries, and every button he believes will get a reaction, and which buttons sometimes get pressed and actually explode on touch. Some days I’m just ready to shout at anything and everything that crosses my path, be warned.

I’m feeling pretty shitty to be honest of late. Definitely overweight. I know that you reach an age where you just get bigger, your metabolism slows, probably don’t do enough exercise, definitely eat too much … comfort food. I just like food though – that’s the problem. I wouldn’t have that much of a weight issue if I were a picky eater. There isn’t much I won’t eat. I love food. I love food shopping. I love planning meals. I love cooking. I love eating.

All this mixed in with grief. Day, after day, after day. Never gone, never wanting it to either. Missing Edward so desperately that there are times the pain knocks me down and the grief suffocates me.

So much have I going on that it’s no wonder I vent and let off steam, and thank goodness for writing too, as I try and write this down and vent some of this on paper. There is probably so much more I need to say, and so much more I’ve been unable to articulate …. and I’m sure more will come, so watch out.

And if that weren’t enough, I feel completely inept. I’m rubbish with tech stuff, computers, graphics … I can’t even figure out the TV remote! And I live in a very clever and talented household. Sometimes I’m really out of my depth in their conversations. I definitely struggled with some of the GCSE revision which William did. Just the other day in conversation I hear William and Justin talking about how much does a black hole weigh. Eh? How can a hole weigh anything I say. I don’t really know why I’m writing this, because I think I’ve just opened myself up to utter ridicule. I cannot get my head round this physics malarkey at all. Holes weighing nothing. Me weighing nothing in space, or on the moon. Of course I weigh something I say, just that you float in space; just like I don’t weigh anything in water.

You’re just confusing weight for mass says William. Oh God dad don’t go there, mum isn’t going to have a clue about weight and mass.

Right you are William … I haven’t … not a bl***y clue! Who cares anyway? I’ve already latched onto the fact that there is no weight in space, just mass. Therefore I’ve understood enough to work out that if its gravity that weighs, then in fact I don’t weigh anything, I am just mass which is being pulled down by gravity. That will do me though, the very thought of me being weightless is fantastic, and from now on I’ll happily accept that I’m just a mass, weighed down by gravity.

I’ve had a challenge laid down for me this week though by a lovely lady Jill Rutter, who I’ve known for some time through Church, but we’re connected now through the Ugly Shoes Club … another mother who lost her beautiful boy far too soon … Luke. Jill challenged me to post a week of my life in black and white pictures .. just pictures, no explanation. It’s made me think about the picture, why I’m choosing it, will people be able to work out why I’ve chosen that particular picture … but it’s also made me uncomfortable, taking pictures, close ups, wrinkles, grey hair, feeling fat … and posting these pics for the world to see. But actually, this is me, this is my life, this is my body, and my face … and the people that love me, love me for all that I am … so I need to love myself as much. My body and soul has gone through some really tough times, but I have a beautiful family, and that’s something I can be very proud of. This has been a challenge, but a welcome challenge, a cathartic challenge, so thank you Jill for nominating me to do this. I hope the ladies I’ve subsequently challenged feel happy about it too.


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