This morning, as on most Saturday mornings, I’m awake at the crack of dawn. It’s funny how on a weekday getting out of bed to face the day is such a struggle. But, come the weekend no matter how tired I’m feeling I just can’t sleep past 7 am! Anyway, I’m up with Jamie and I’m reading Fearne Cotton’s Speak Your Truth. There are many sections in this book that really resonate with me but, as I’m pondering my post for my 2023 Year In Review, the section which is of most relevance is “The Glittering Effervescent Circus of Glamour.” My post has suddenly turned to Owning My Truth: 2023 Year In Review.
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The Glittering Effervescent Circus of Glamour
I had no idea how this particular post was going to pan out and, if I’m honest, it didn’t look like this in my mind. Yesterday I looked through my photo roll on my phone and listed all the things which I had done over the last 12 months. There have been plenty of holidays with my family. Celebrations with family and friends.. I launched this blog with my great friend Milly. I’m healthy. Thankfully, the list of good things could go on and I am extremely grateful for all the new and exciting things which have come my way. But, going back to this chapter in Fearne’s book, not everything is always rosey.
Social Media Smoke and Mirrors
In today’s social media age, it is all too easy to feel that others have the perfect life. It is easy to believe the social media myths. But, it is also very easy to create the perfect life on social media when inside you might be feeling something totally different.
The reason I am writing this today is because only last week I was guilty of exactly this. I created my own smoke and mirrors! Today, as I am trying to learn how to speak my truth (thanks Fearne) I want to share some of the things I have been going through for some time.
Those who know me well know I am not good at sharing how I feel. This post is therefore quite difficult for me to write. I am the master of blocking things and pushing feelings down. The problem with this though is that the body is like a pressure cooker. You can push down feelings like hurt, anger, resentment, regrets… But eventually that pent up pressure will explode!
I have been struggling with perimenopause symptoms for around seven years. To be fair, the symptoms at the beginning may have been my hormones not having yet settled after having Jamie, but, for the last seven years my moods have been totally erratic. Add to this my inability to address things which bother me on a day-to-day basis and I’ve found the pressure cooker exploding at the most innocuous of things.
The Dark Cloud
Lately, I have also found that at least once a month I have been floored by a dark cloud which I simply cannot shift. No matter how happy I may have been feeling just five minutes previously when the cloud (a bit like the levante over our rock) decides to come down, I simply cannot shift it.
I know just how blessed I am. I have a beautiful and loving family, amazing friends, a great home, a good job and I am healthy. But, when the cloud is about I love nothing about myself. I feel like I am a crappy mum. My food is not rubbish. I cannot get the words out for a blog or do anything right at work. I feel fat, ugly and wrinkly….Of course, none of this is true but I feel and believe it all deeply and genuinely at times.
Christmas Lights and Fake Smiles
So, let me get back to my own smoke and mirror moment. Last week you may have seen the post of my beautiful Christmas tree. Christmas and putting up the tree is one of my favourite times of the year. It has however also become a bit of a trigger for me. You see, in my mind, I had the perfect idea of how the day was going to pan out. We would start putting up the decorations and then go and watch Jamie’s football match. In the afternoon we would order a takeaway and decorate the tree whilst listening to our favourite Christmas songs. Does this sound too cheesy? Too much like the Waltons or The Brady Bunch (yes, I’m that old!)? Well, the reality was nothing like this!
Duvets and Tears
Yes, my tree does look amazing and today I’m watching its twinkling lights with a smile on my face. Last Sunday however I couldn’t bring myself to come and join in the fun which I had been looking forward to all week. The cloud had well and truly anchored itself around my head!
Triggered by a difficult few days, I found myself in a dark hole I couldn’t get out of. No matter how many times my kids asked me to help with the tree I just couldn’t do it. I got in and out of bed and walked to the living room countless times to help out but I just couldn’t feel any joy.
I kept trying to tell myself to get it together, count my blessings and be grateful but this cloud is a powerful force and I missed out on creating a beautiful memory with my family.
It wasn’t until Tuesday that I was actually able to look at my tree with joy and look forward to a magical Christmas with my loved ones. I am sharing this with you so that I can speak my truth and hopefully help any of you who might be going through something similar. My Christmas tree post was one of positivity and excitement when in reality I was feeling anything but happy or positive when I posted it.
I Love My Life
One of my favourite songs is Robbie Williams’ I Love My Life. If you haven’t heard it, have a listen here. I love the words of this song and feel that I should play this on loop when I’m feeling sad because I really do love my life and sometimes we just need a little reminder of this and some help getting through a hard day.
Owning My Truth
So, in the end, I decided that whilst I want to share a photo collage of 12 of my best moments of 2023, in the spirit of owning my truth, I would also share some dark bits too. If you also struggle with some moments of darkness, I recommend you try some of the following practical tips. A favourite of mine is definitely the Havening technique.
As I look back over 2023 I know it’s been a great year and I am thankful for it. At the same time, I feel that it is important to highlight that not everyone’s life is sunshine and roses all the time. That’s OK! Let’s all own our truth and make it normal to talk about the difficult things. Owning your truth may just help someone else going through a similar thing.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. Much love, Colleene xx
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