A Refreshing & Entirely Inappropriate Conversation

Yesterday my mother and I went to get our hair done. It is a little ritual we do every 10 weeks or so. Some quiet time for her to read magazines and drink coffee, and a nice little me and her thing, which we don’t often get the chance to do.

When I went to pick my mum up I was in a terrible mood. It had been a tense week for one reason and another, and when my dad asked me “So, what is new with you?” my brain leapt immediately to “Nothing good!” and I clammed up, as I so often do when asked this question.

For others I might try to invent a positive slanted something or other that tells them absolutely nothing. For my dad, I sometimes try and fudge together some diversionary train of thought, perhaps about current affairs (which he loves), or what somebody else we know has been up to lately. Yesterday I just didn’t have the energy or the imagination or the heart to even do that. I shrugged and said. “I have no idea”.

So my mum and I headed out to our hair appointment and I was left feeling agitated and dissatisfied with how my life is going just now.

The new junior (who recently started working at the salon) came over to take me to the back room, in order that she could wash my hair. She was very young, and very keen and very chatty. For me, the extraction of a tooth is often less painful than the extraction of small-talk, but I tried my best, so as not to squash her springer-spaniel spirit.

She asked the usual questions:

“Do you have any holidays planned?”
“What are you doing with the rest of your day?” 
“Any plans for the weekend?”

I have no holidays planned in the foreseeable future. The rest of my day was probably going to be spent trying hard not to get my grump all over my parents. And the weekend felt like a big gaping void of nothing fun at all at the present time.

Then the conversation took an unexpected and alarming twist.Read More »

Release & Renewal – Reflections & Wellbeing Through Writing

A Guest Piece By Forty & Everything After For Lesley Pyne 

I was contacted by Lesley Pyne recently, whose website was an absolute blessing to me, when I finally felt able to look my childlessness full in the eye.

Lesley asked if I would write a guest post for her site – which supports childless women to heal and create a life they love. She hadn’t realised when she asked me that her site was the very first place I had ever shared a piece of writing publicly. It remains the hardest writing I have ever done. The hardest story I had to tell. And it was thanks to the inspiration and support I found on her website that I found the strength to do it.

If I could tell that story, strip myself bare – not just down to the skin, but to my absolute heart – release it into the wild, perhaps I could release some of my fear and pain, confusion and grief along with it. If I can write that, I can write anything.

And here we are now, on this blog what I made – Thank you Lesley :)

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My Musical Coma & Letting The Light Back In

The final procedure performed when you undergo IVF is the re-implantation of your now fertilised eggs. This procedure is painful, both physically and emotionally. Before I underwent this procedure (on what was to be my third and final course of IVF), my husband and I, rightly or wrongly, agreed to be introduced to our two fertilised embryos (Edwin and Ernie as they became known in our house) – as they sat there, only a handful of subdividing cells between them, on a petri-dish under a microscope. Left alone to have a moment with them, we gave them some encouraging words and urged them both to “Grab on”. They didn’t grab on.

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I Had To Come Back To The Beach

I had to come back to the beach
This is where the music stopped
But now I think I need the waves
They kept rolling whilst time stood still
They’ve been all over the world since then
As have I
Now it is time to rejoin them here

I think I may have set the answer down
Amongst the rocks
And if I walk some
Write some
Sit
Watch
Listen
Is that ticking?

I had to come back to the beach
The needle got stuck
But it may now have refound its groove
The tune sounds different
Not the endless loop of before

Sam sang ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’
He knew
And now it has
It crept but it did come
And if I can bear to listen once again
The tune will sound different this time

 


Copyright © 2016 · Words & Images · Forty and Everything After

Turning Blue

Turning Blue
Breath held
Stance statue like
Routine rigid
No change
No movement
No conversation
Whilst your breath is held
The dream cannot end

Fixed smile
No arrangements
No plans
Suitably vague, artfully elusive
Free days for sunshine and peace
But you feel no sunshine, enjoy no peace
No respite
No rest

Hold your breath for long enough
It might be true
And although you turn blue
Sooner that than know for sure
Then you will have to rise to the surface
And gasp for breath
And that is when the pain will start

 


Copyright © 2016 · Image and Text · Forty and Everything After

The upsides of the downslides

Depression is a contradictory creature. Sometimes blankets and sofas are all that can be achieved. Sometimes panic, thoughts of escape and out of character behaviour take hold.

Mental scaffolding collapses followed by boundary walls. All the things that once mattered no longer seem to hold you in the same way. And decisions that would previously seem outlandish, suddenly become the only option.Read More »

Learning to live without the little people

I really didn’t  give enough credit to the grief I would feel after I finally had to accept I wasn’t going to have children. I glossed over it. I think both my husband and I put it in a box marked “Done Deal” and separately agreed with ourselves we were not going to give it any further thought. There was no point.

But it doesn’t work like that. Boxes burst open. Lids catapult off at inappropriate moments. And randomly crying in public, when you suddenly feel a pang of pain that you can’t give a name to, really is not the most fun to be having.Read More »