Saturday, 26 October 2013

What's love got to do with it?

I know I'm not the most consistent when it comes to blogging but I do have to admit that this particular entry has been in progress for about two weeks now. Actually, that's a lie; it's more like 8 weeks!

The reason for the time that I've spent pondering over this is simply because I couldn't find a way to get what I wanted to say into words. I have now come to the conclusion that I will just start to write and hope that the words rearrange themselves into an order that both makes sense and articulates what I want them to.

So - here we go...

Of late I have been feeling a little bit, well, restless is the only way I can really describe it. To be honest, I've been questioning the existence of love. This query is answered rather quickly as I have seen others in love and I happen to believe that all the stories, films, poems and songs must come from someone's experiences.

I'm just beginning to wonder, then, if maybe it's just not for me.

For several months now, 6 to be exact, I have been enrolled with an online dating site. It's not the first time that I have delved into the mysterious world that is online dating but it is definitely the first time that I have stuck it out for such a long period of time.

The reason for this is that online dating is not for the faint of heart or for those lacking in self esteem. It's one thing to not be asked on any dates in real life but somewhere that people are paying their hard earned cash to find dates - that's a little upsetting. Even with my depression under control and my new coping strategies, it really does dent your confidence when you put yourself out there and are summarily rejected.

Don't get me wrong - I've chatted to some people, met some people and the like, but choosing whether you like someone by a checklist of their attributes doesn't seem romantic enough for me, and there just isn't any spark there. The longer it's gone on, I'm finding it more and more of a chore. Should it be fun? I don't really relish the idea that I would tell any future children that not only did I choose their father from a set of criteria, I also had to force myself to reply to messages and actually had a ticklist going of when I had last contacted them and when I had to do so again. It's been making it more like a task than the prospect of finding love.

I have decided it's not for me.

You may think this decision has been an easy one but it really has not. People have tried to reassure me that perhaps I will find someone in the last few weeks before my subscription ends. But that will not happen - it's not a person I want - it's love.

I know that people have found love and had families at an older age than I am now. I just have to realistically look at my past history and realise that perhaps it's not in the cards for me. Perhaps I'm just not cut out for this.

I'm 31 years old. Practically everyone I know is married, getting married, having kids or has a significant other. Then there's me.

All I want is love. The kind of love you read about. The kind of love that you see in movies. The kind of boring, run of the mill love that will make someone accept me for who I am. That kind of love that makes your heart race, your stomach lurch and you feel both excited and antsy while being calm and contented all at the same time. It's a feeling I fear I will never experience.

I don't know what's in store for me. I don't know if I'll get my heart's desire. But the decision I've made about online dating is about so much more. It's a decision that I'm going to have to get on with my life and not pin all my hopes and dreams on finding my soul mate. It's liberating while at the same time being very upsetting.

I've got to get out there and do things that I would have preferred to do with someone else. I can't put my life on hold because perhaps my dream guy has been waylaid. We all know that men are rubbish at asking for directions.

I also have to stop trying to change myself to make myself potentially more attractive to the opposite sex. Telling myself that if I was a little prettier, or a little thinner, or a little more exciting, that I might someone is really not doing anything for my mental health.

I guess I could settle but is it wrong to want it all? To want that spark? I guess I'd rather be alone but I have to say that it's getting really lonely that way.

This has been a really heart wrenching post and I have to admit that I haven't cried quite as much in a long time. To try and end on a positive note and cheer myself up, I will now list the five things that I appreciate most about being single.

The end.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Two Exciting Things...

Two exciting things happened to me today - on a day that I didn't expect any excitement to be forthcoming.

You see, today was my first day back at work after a short spell of feeling under the weather. While under said weather, my MO consisted of trashy TV, comfy clothes and snuggling up on my couch from dawn until dusk (or 10am, when I dragged myself out of bed, until 9pm when I threw myself back in).

I'm sure you can appreciate why swapping the above for nagging bosses, condescending colleagues and sitting in the corner of my stuffy office all day, was a bit of a drama for me.

But, as I'm very lucky to have a job, I must now list three things I appreciate about work:

1. My chair swivels
2. I have shops just across the road. Cheap shops. My kind of shops.
3. Going to work allows me to buy things from these shops. And Amazon. And ebay.

However, anyone who has had to go back into work after an absence will agree that it is quite a traumatic experience. Actually being there is fine but the thought of going back in just ruins the day to start off with. Luckily, my first exciting thing managed to make me smile...

Have you ever had an email that says:
Remember that book you ordered months ago and completely forgot about - it's being delivered to you tomorrow.

No - neither have I. Until today!

But wait - it gets better!

My head starting churning into gear trying to figure out whether I have already spent my pennies for this month when the email went on:

Don't worry about paying for this book. When you bought it, you sensibly used a gift certificate so you owe us nothing.

Yay! What could be better? Nothing? Wrong. Then I read this:

Oh, and by the way, the book we're sending you is a Christmas Romance. The best type of book. Ever.

Happy days.

Didn't I tell you I love Amazon?!

My second exciting thing doesn't come close to topping the first one but I was pleased with it none the less.

I decided to use my trip to work to do a little housekeeping. *Shocking behaviour!* As part of my insurance, I get free credit card protection should I happen to misplace any of them. I just have to phone up and give them all the details and I'm good to go. 

I duly phoned the number and spoke to a nice lady on the other end.

Me: Can I please give you some card details for my credit card protection?
Nice Lady: Yes, of course. Are you adding new cards or amending old details?
Me: Adding new cards - I've never done this before so I won't have any cards on the system to amend.
Nice Lady:  *Silence* Well, there are three cards listed here so you must be a person of suspicious nature that is trying to filch money from some unsuspecting genuine customer. (Fine, she probably only thought the last part!)
Me: No, I've never done this before.
Suspicious Lady: Yes, you really have.
Me: Hmmm - are the cards there boring card 1, boring card 2 and crazy-exciting-let's-spend-money card?
Confused Lady: They are. You must have added them previously.
Me: Wow. I'm so organised. Go me!
Confused Lady: But you didn't remember about adding them you crazy thing. (She actually said that! No she didn't!)
Me: I may not have a memory but I am super efficient. I'm awesome!
Scared Lady: Alrighty, then, cheerio, nutter!
Me: Woo hoo! Cheerio!

So, despite being forced to go into work (apparently I signed a contract!), I managed to have a fairly nice day.

Perhaps they're just easing me back in gently. Tomorrow should be fun!

B x

Friday, 18 October 2013

A pain in the bahookie...

Bahookie, noun (Scottish): one's backside, bottom or bum

I suppose I am quite a greedy person which is why one illness would never have been enough for me. If one is good then two must be better!

When I was 24 years old, I was diagnosed with the chronic bowel disease, Ulcerative Colitis. This is an inflammatory disease (the sister disease to Crohn's disease) that affects the large intestine and brings with it the kind of symptoms that people don't normally discuss! If you want all the juicy details, click here.

My road to diagnosis was, compared to many others, relatively smooth. I was having a tough time at work and had been signed off with stress (illness number 2 - come on down!). During that time, I noticed that I had some blood in my stool.

This is where I will take a break to apologise and inform you that one of the biggest symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis is the lowering of any embarrassment when talking about poop and etc. Where other people cringe, blush or suffer from abject horror, I can talk crap until the cows come home. This is the only (the one and only) symptom of UC that is contagious and I note that my family also talk crap on occasion!

Anyway, being of a certain generation and a nosey parker, I quickly went online to find out what was wrong with me. I self diagnosed myself and went to the doctor to tell him all about it.

I remember quite clearly telling him my symptoms with my mum beside me for support. In an attempt to alleviate my worries, my mum said to Mr Dr: "She's convinced herself she's got Crohn's disease!" The words "silly billy" were implied by the tone. Nobody obviously told Mr Dr that the correct response to such a statement is something along the lines of: "Don't worry - she hasn't." Not my doctor. He comes back with: "She probably has!"

Oh for heaven's sake! Wasn't he the same doc that just signed me off for stress? Do I look like I'm a calm, non-worrying sort of person? Thought not!

Anyway, what he lacked in tact, he more than made up for in doctoring when he managed to get me an appointment with the hospital with great haste.

To protect the innocent, I will now provide you with some words and allow you to fill in the details yourself.

Big lunch.
Hospital gown with gaping back.
Tea and toast.

Hospital toast is the best - isn't it? I remember vividly the surgeon/consultant-man coming over to me while I was lying in the bed, recovering, and told me I had UC.

My reaction: Cool - is there any more toast?

It was only once I'd bought myself a book about my disease that I realised the huge impact this potentially could have on me. I guess, when something doesn't have the word 'disease' in the title - you just don't seem to think it's that bad.

I'm now an old hand at this bowel business. Foam enemas, laxatives, colonoscopies, steroids, blood, guts and hospitals - I've had an education!

I'm now on 12 tablets a day to keep me under control (in body, at least) and haven't had a major flare up for about a year. Having at one time been on 28 tablets a day - I'm quite pleased with that!

I suppose that the reason for this walk down memory lane is because of how I've been feeling lately. I just don't feel great. I've been trying to come up with more descriptive words but that sums it up. I don't feel quite right.

Despite most people, most medical people anyway, assuring everyone that food doesn't make any difference to UC, I can't quite believe it. How? How is that possible?

Even though I believe that food can and does affect the disease, I have to hold my hands up and say that my diet is worse than atrocious. I'm actually ashamed of how badly I eat, when I eat, what I eat and if I eat. And I feel that I really suffer for it. Food hurts.

I have been contemplating an elimination diet where I go right back to the basics and start to reintroduce foods one by one until I see what makes a difference and what doesn't. I'm not sure if I've got the willpower for this, if I'm honest. Yet, should it work, my energy levels will increase, my bloating might disappear, my skin could improve and I just might start to feel AWESOME!

Surely there has to be some sort of sacrifice to get some potentially amazing benefits.

I'll let you know.