Thinking about last year…

Where do I start? This year has been the best and the worst in a long while. But how and why? Well… On the outside, everything went really well. In February, I started the best job I could ever wish for. I am very happy there. I celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary with my husband in August. We built a house together and moved the family into said house last weekend. I reconciled with family members who were mere distant memories. I got a raise at work and a trainee, despite the few hours I work. (26 instead of 40). My kids are doing more or less well. Financially, everything seems to work out too. We are not rich, but we can afford to take the kids to the movies and to the restaurant once in a while. I had to get a new car in April. It drives me from a to b, but it’s not my favourite…
On the outside, everything is looking up.
The inside though, my internal life is a mess. I suffered from a sever bout of depression this year. Worse than ever before, and for the first time, I asked for help. I couldn’t go on the way I was. Asking for help felt like failing, but it also felt like being in control of my damned emotions again. My behaviour was toxic. I cut my skin and pretended that I was marking myself to remember things. I was in complete denial of my own needs and suffered willingly for someone else’s good. For a while, I took meds – I am not taking them right now, and they helped, but I also know that I need to get on without the chemical help. I was overwhelmed with the fast success and I felt inapt and unprepared. For everything. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is a scary thing. Emotionally, this year was very draining. From dealing with the past and worrying about the future, to coping with the present. I tend to assume and overthink. I often suppose and project, instead of knowing, and that’s what gets me every time. Add people to the mix who are sending mixed signals and are slipping through my fingers when all I want is to keep them close – let’s just say that it was the “coup de grâce”. The cherry on top.
My low self-esteem and the fact that I seldom allow myself to praise myself or be proud of an achievement makes life even harder for me. As it did this year. I guess, my ups and downs are palpable in my writing and in my poetry. Mostly the downs though, because I don’t need to write as much when I am okay. (Or even in a manic phase.) I scare people away with my moods. I am quite overwhelming at times.
I also made friends and lost friends this year. Acquaintances became friends. Daily parts of my life. I was mentioned in the acknowledgements of two different books and a song was written with me in mind. I saw some live music, not a lot, and I bought some of music, I always do – nothing new.

My favourite books this year were “You” and its sequel “Hidden Bodies” by Caroline Kepnes.

My favourite movie was “Paris 05:59 Théo & Hugo”.

My favourite musical release? I couldn’t tell. I simply don’t know since I didn’t listen to all that much different music this year. Though, Spotify lists the following as my most listened artists this year:

  • Pearl Jam
  • IAMX
  • Anathema
  • New Order
  • Kate Bush
  • Tadgh Daly
  • Lone Wolf
  • Fabrizio Paterlini

I read a lot and I wrote a lot, but I couldn’t reach the 400 poems I wrote last year. But I also drank and smoked too much, lol. Again, self-destructive behaviour is one of my patterns.
I loved a lot, and hated very few things, and no people. I stood up for myself and cowered behind bad excuses at times too. I cried more tears than I shed the entire decade before. I felt anxiety and excitement…
And at the end of it all, I am daring to let go of an idea that has been planted in my mind for too long now. I kept holding on for the wrong reasons and now, my mind and my soul have to reconcile and accept that my heart is saying goodbye. I am letting go.

I had a good year. Intense and emotional, but successful too.

To everyone I accepted in my world and didn’t push away – please stay.
To everyone I accepted in my world and who betrayed me – fuck off.
To everyone I accepted in my world and pushed out – I am sorry, but it had to be this way.

To everyone reading this – thank you.

I know my flaws and my qualities and they help me survive.

Thank you all for your support and friendship, have a happy new year.

xx
Cathy

(A lighter version of this was shared on Wattpad…)

A plea from the broken heart

Here I stand frozen in motion. A stranger in my own light. In my own right. Unable to say what I shouldn’t think. For once, claiming my rights to really fall apart. I am coming undone at my seams. Crying, mourning my own self. And I am afraid to leave it all behind. But there aren’t many moons (and even less moans) left for me. We all will die, that is for sure. But I need more time. Just a little more. And as I slowly disintegrate from within, I wonder if I let the darkest of my soul take over and allowed it to win. I am too tired to fight. Too exhausted to stay. I just want to live a little while. Oh my heart… Just keep on beating for me.

Inhale through the nose

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Exhale through the mouth.

Repeat.

Training

I work in a job where we are sent to trainings twice a year. Today I spent an entire day in training. We were a group of sixteen strangers. The training was about self-conception, our effect on the parents, and the use of verbal and nonverbal communication.

One exercise this morning was very uplifting. A stranger sat across from us. Facing one another, the stranger had one minute to compliment me. This was done twice. So… I had two minutes of compliments today and also gave two minutes of compliments.

Here are some things these strangers said to me which left an impact (or got me thinking). One man and one woman made these statements.

  • There is something mysterious about you
  • Very open and welcoming
  • Warm
  • Gentle
  • Humourous
  • Bright smile
  • Beautiful eyes
  • Curvy (yes… That too was meant to be a compliment)
  • I feel safe and accepted just sitting face to face with you
  • Very high tolerance for everyone, regardless of gender or anything else
  • Dynamic
  • Available to your friends
  • We could talk for hours on end if we met for a drink
  • Outgoing
  • Intelligent
  • Interested
  • Calm
  • At ease with yourself
  • There for your friends
  • You seem to be a person with a positive attitude who can find a solution to every problem
  • Would love to work with you
  • Beautiful when you smile

These are the ones I remember. The ‘you’ is me, of course. These things were said to me by people who I had never met before. It’s incredible how uplifting this exercise was. And, I recognise myself in the things they said, too.

I do want to add though: what is mysterious about me? Can anyone explain this to me? I’ve been told this more than once and I don’t know what to make of it.

Also, try to pay compliments to a stranger for an entire minute. It’s long…

Anyway, this made my day and I wanted to share.

xx

Cathy

Challenge accepted…

Before:

After:

Getting rid of the long hair was a big deal for me. 40cm (16inch) were cut. I always looked young. I look even younger now. Quite weird actually. This change of hairstyle happened spontaneously (on a whim) and after many years of being proud of my long hair.

While my kids aren’t fans of the short do (my daughter cried!!), I honestly love it and most people seem to like it too. (Or they are just being polite.)

I can’t really put into words how this feels. But I am happy 🙂

xoxo

Cathy

Me…

So, a nice man was paying me compliments for this picture. First he asked if it was an old picture, then he said that ‘No, it can’t be, it takes years to become this beautiful’. I admit, it worked. I blushed and giggled like a schoolgirl.

Besides, I would not share a picture of myself that I don’t like. I like my eyes on this one, and my hair. The shadow on my face (from the rearview mirror) is annoying though. Just felt like sharing a picture of me again.

This is the same person who fell asleep while watching a movie for the first time tonight. Which movie, you ask? Logan. Yep… I slept through Logan, then I dragged myself to the bathroom and to bed in a semi-asleep state. And now I am wide awake. That’s me.