A Woodland Walk

I walk through the woodland, an excited puppy running around my feet. Headphones placed in my ears, a voice tells me to slowly breathe in and out. Each muddy step feels like a journey in a novel, a wander through an enchanted forest. I feel my heart beats growing faster, so I focus on the breeze as it swirls through the leaves above me and across my face.

The raindrops feel refreshing as they fall around me. I watch as they flow down the leaves to the woodland floor. Each droplet has a journey, a destiny as it tells a story washing fears away. I look at the many greens and browns that surround me. Degrading autumn leaves fallen are beneath my feet, the puppies paws disappear into the squelching mulch.

The ground goes up and down as I follow the path into the depths of woodland. My mind turns inside and I feel the pain within. In this woodland I am alone in its peace and the loneliness closes in. I can feel each scar and wound left on my heart. Damaged over and over by the loves and losses of my life.

environment fallen trees forest graffiti
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Thirty-three years of heartache; wounds, scratches, bruises and stabs. Betrayals, insults and losses have taken their toll. My heart feels battered like it has had a long career as a boxer. Round and round of fists until hearing the bell ding. Family, friend and lovers leaving their marks. Stabs, although no longer a seeping wound they have left deep scars.

Sometimes I feel these scars will never heal completely. Memories cannot be erased and self confidence is hard to regain. The wall of protection around my heart is concreted in place, yet lately I see the cracks appearing. I feel my heart calling from it’s locked box, yearning to be free. Screaming out for another love to nurture it like it has never really known.

I enjoy my solitude. I like to take my dog walks bathing in nature. It is like I crave my space and time with me. However, I also wish for someone to share this life with me. Supporting each other. To share a cup of tea. Friends are amazing but a love is something transcendent. A love not to cure-all, but to provide additional forces in the fight for our lives in this mental world.

man and woman having a tea conversation
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Romance and Resolutions

As New Years Eve approaches my mind is moved to two things: romance and resolutions.

Firstly, romance. I am single. Happily, most of the time, but I do get lonely at time of the year like this when I am told my society I should be in a couple. Someone to kiss when the ball drops (always makes me giggle). Someone to see in the New Year with. In those moments while Big Ben chimes midnight my heart sinks and tears well in my eyes.

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Registration to dating websites goes up in the festive period. I am not the only one feeling the pressure. But Christmas can come and go by without me worrying about it. Instead it is New Years Eve which causes me to yearn.

A few years ago I spent the Festive season in Switzerland. I was nannying for a family whose dad was in finance in Geneva, they owned a chalet up one of the mountains. Christmas was great, but for New Years I was babysitting. The children were 4 and 7 years old so they were in bed for midnight. It was wonderful to watch out of the window as fireworks were set off at different points down the mountain. However, I had no one to share it with. That is the biggest issue with being single, sharing those special moments. When I remember that moment it brings back the echoes of the most profound loneliness I have ever felt.

broken heart love sad
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Please do not get me wrong, I have amazing friends. I love living alone and spending time with me. Most of the time I am happy being me and content to enjoy my life. But nothing replaces those moments which you can share it with someone special. So each year I wish on the New Year Chimes that by next year I will be in love. I tell myself to ignore this but it is hard to ignore societies pressures at certain times of the year.

Secondly, comes the pressure for a resolution. Somehow a New Year is meant to mean a new me. Gym attendance goes up, diets are started, addictions are abandoned and hobbies are started. There is a lot of pressure to see our own flaws and change ourselves. However, how long does it last? Statistics show about 40% of Americans make resolutions yet only 3% of people achieve their goals (Forbes.com).

For me this pressure to be a new you is more about not being perfect in the first place. I am such a perfectionist that I find this idea of resolutions is just telling me I am a failure! I have failed to be the perfect me and so I must identify my flaws and fix them. But where do I start, I have so many flaws. Do I try to lose weight? Learn to play a musical instrument? Save more money? Stop eating takeaways? Do I do it ALL?

Then when I do try the goals are usually so unachievable that I am setting myself up to fail. Then I feel more of a failure. Then my spiral of self-deprecation begins to unravel. I am unworthy, never enough and worthless. Just like my mother told me so many times as a child.

Even with four years of therapy under my belt it seems I can slide to these feelings so fast. How do you change your mindset to not metamorphosis into child me?

Well, I am not setting any goals. If I have a resolution it is to keep going to therapy and working on looking after me. Do I have any hopes for the year ahead? Love of course but in the meantime I will be spending time with good friends. Each year we now arrange a New Years Party, the last couple of years we have done a murder mystery. It is fun and helps me to keep my chin up.

Are you setting any resolutions? Any goals for 2019? Are you also alone at New Years? How do you cope with this new year, new start, new me, time of year.

Happy New Year from my life in a mental world.

happy new year decorative plate
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