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Michelle

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  • #354254
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey both.

    Awhhhh….I just loved your latest updates. It’s just so good to see how well you are both doing and knowing I’ve been able to be a very small part of being able to help is what makes spending time on this site worthwhile for me.  It’s also really nice to share the positive light at the end of the tunnel side – I think it’s such a strong message for others to see that it really can work out if you do face up to your issues/feelings and acknowledge and deal with them. Huge virtual hugs and celebrations all round – in my day-glow cheerleading t-shirt ofcourse 😉

    @Adelaide. I saw that video doing the rounds, that and many other pieces like it really show how badly Boris and the UK team have handled this compared to what they could have done.  Unfortunately they tend to be more interested in controlling the media spin than the actual situation – this is probably the first time they’ve faced something with such obviously measurable results. Our new slogan “Stay Alert” is the best example yet, hilariously bad…! Eventually we’ll catch up with everyone else and get past this but it’s obviously a big shame we had to make it so much harder on ourselves for sure.  But how exciting from next week you might get to meet up in person!!! You guys sound really good already so I can only imagine how well it will go – I love all the innovative ideas and approaches that you’ve used. Being able to share your fears about your experience physically is a huge step – well done on trusting and taking that risk. It’s lovely when you get such a positive response back too. That’s how real intimacy is created, by showing others our real selves, the good, the bad & the downright ugly! It’s scary but otherwise it’s all superficial, surface stuff. Good on you. Let’s see what Monday brings!

    @Genie. Awh, girl. I’m so proud of you about Jay’s parents – I know what that step means to you! Look at that huge difference already in how you felt about it all….it’s fantastic to read about.  You are spot on – so many people come to this forum looking for a ‘cure’ for their anxiety or want to know how to become a confident/non-anxious person. But that’s the thing, we all are who we are. You can’t magic it away or change yourself – but you can decide to behave differently. So when anxiety raises it’s head or your low self-esteem tells you that you aren’t worth it – you can acknowledge it as one possible reality – and then choose to ignore it and believe a different reality – one where you are worth it and you don’t need to let your fear stop you from doing what you want to do. That’s how true strength is built and that’s how funnily enough the anxiety goes away as you learn you can and do deal with whatever life throws at you. You no longer try and control your life so much, knowing you can handle the anxiety instead. Huge virtual hugs 🙂   I hope all goes well with the move down to your Mum’s, look forwards to hearing from you as & when you can.

    Take care both.

    #353260
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey both – how goes it all?

    @ Genie. So glad to hear the antibiotics did the trick. I used to get so nervous at going to the doctors, they called it “white coat syndrome”. Pretty common apparently but makes it nigh on useless to go in for blood pressure readings! These days I really don’t suffer as badly, even through the recent breast cancer scare. The more knowledge & experience I’ve got with it, the less it makes me anxious anymore – one upside of getting older??!

    Personally I don’t hold out much hope Boris will help things much, he’s easily my least favourite politician by a country mile tbh! But at least with the power vacuum gone there’s no excuses not to get on dealing with it all instead of just more talk I hope at least.

    It does make sense about your anxiety flat-lining. It’s pretty amazing once you try a different approach and realise things can actually be different for you. What is it they say, insanity is repeating the same behaviour again and again but expecting a different outcome. Einstein I think?  By breaking your old behaviour, you’ve changed from simply reacting to events and needing to be in control to ‘protect’ yourself – to having a little bit of confidence in letting go and seeing that things can (and do! ) still turn out well. Awesome. I’m looking forwards to hearing what the next isodate is/was – you gotta be pretty excited you guys are dating, all be it at a distance?

    I think travel will survive but it’ll change and it’ll be harder for a while whilst countries are understandably nervous about letting in potential re-infections. I am concerned I guess since UK has done so badly we’ll be one of the last countries people will want back but it’ll get there eventually. Travel is more a state of mind for me about being curious about everything ( drives Mr S nuts occasionally 🙂 ) so I’ll just find other things to be curious and learn about in the meantime! That said, there’s some awesome deals on right now and it’s very hard not to book & hope….

    @Adelaide. Ah, loved hearing you had planned to travel this way – it’s so sad, there are so many people who had great plans who are having to wait it out a while yet. Absolutely I will be hitting you up for tips – local ideas and knowledge is always the best. I much prefer personal travel blogs to the official tourism/big travel industry sites, especially since I tend to like the lesser-known places. Show me a glass of good wine or beer after a great hike and I’m there 😉

    I think it’s so cool she’s already thinking about how she could make cooking at hers work. It’s a wonderful feeling isn’t it, that someone is as excited about getting to know you better as you are about them. I love all the little surprises you guys are doing for each other. 5k is nothing – I had visions on you being on North island and she was on South! It’s actually kinda nice to build up the relationship before bringing the physical side into it to.  The first ‘real’ date will be so much easier but also so exciting!

    Mmmm…..Malaysian food was delicious….it’s one thing I really miss being back in the UK, food tends to be so much better in the countries I travel in, especially healthy food. We’re good at solid food in the UK, pies, mash, sausages, so on. Lovely too in it’s own way but heavy and takes a lot of running to keep it off – especially once you are over 40!  We’ve been making ourselves some very tasty fresh spring rolls with spicy sauce for lunch, after having fell in love with them in Vietnam.  And how much would I like a Vietnamese ice coffee – those things were addictive…!

    Take care both – look forwards to hearing how it all goes.

    #352072
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey both, how goes it?

    @Genie.  How’re you feeling now – was the doctor able to help much?  At least if it is a uti getting the right antibiotics clears that up really fast. I felt better literally a couple of hours later last time I suffered that one.  I did have to smile at how smart you are – I’m glad you got where I was coming from on helping yourself not to feel so isolated. I get the CF thing, a friend of ours suffers from the same and has to be so careful.  I still think it’s possible to go out without increasing the risk so long as you stay away from everyone but I get why you don’t want to take the chance. My nephew is likewise a high-risk kid and so my sister is having a nightmare having to wash everything that gets delivered/comes from outside the house, strange times.

    The date with Jay sounded cool. Are you organising the next one or is he? Hope you blew him a kiss at the end 😉  Cheerleading t-shirt likewise firmly on for you!

    @Adelaide.  Funny eh, you’re on an island at the bottom of the world and we’re on an island at the top – and how different it all is! NZ has been on our list of places we want to go for a long time – we’ve always put it off until I retired as two-three weeks wouldn’t be enough for us, especially if we did Oz at same time too. We had a couple of great RV trips across US/Canada and would love to do the same in NZ – some of the hikes look amazing too. So it’s definitely getting higher up our list – as & when we are ever allowed out of the UK again!  NZ has handled all this really well and it’s so nice to see some countries coming out the other side ok now. Long way to go but light at the end of the tunnel. The difference a good leader makes eh. Though at the end of the day it’s people who vote the leaders in – so I’m just hoping we learn something about what’s actually useful in a leader….!

    Your isodate sounds like it went really well again. I’m so glad you managed to sit with your anxiety and wait it out instead of caving in to it. However much reassurance you seek, it’s never enough – it’ll last for a little while and then the same old insecure gnawing pit in your stomach returns. The only way out is exactly that ignoring it, doing your best to believe and know you are good enough, that they do like/love you. Basically trusting in the growing relationship…which does sound like it’s going really well. What’s planned next? I can’t imagine how exciting and nerve-wracking a first real date will be – how far away does she live, will it be easy to sort something out?

    Take care both.

    #351210
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey both.

    @Adelaide – look forward to hearing the isodate update, bet it went/is going well. Yeah, it’s an odd time here in the UK and frustrating when you can see how we could be doing much better, especially on the leadership front but hey, not the place for politics ;-).  I always figured the UK would struggle more and it’s one of the reasons I would’ve stayed away if insurance/visas allowed it! But, no point getting angry about things I can’t do anything about and just focus on those I can, like donating to people who actually can deliver PPE….whatever can actually help in a practical sense.

    It’s amazing how much effort it can take to break free of what our parents/whoever we grew up with ‘taught’ us about the world. That’s why I always think it’s so important to broaden your horizons/circles of friends/influences.  Once you realise they weren’t right about everything, you really start figuring out what you actually believe in yourself and dealing with situations differently. Such as not ignoring/burying grief/any other feelings. Good on you for re-learning that yourself in your therapy.

    @Genie. Awh, I’m sorry you are still feeling rotten. I’m curious though – why are you waiting till this is all over to go out at all? The advice is pretty clear that you are ‘allowed’ out each day to exercise/get some fresh air – especially whilst it’s actually nice weather for a remarkable change. Why make this whole thing even harder for yourself?  This is the exact time when your runs & chants will help you the most.

    Yeah, the call was hilarious – especially when my Mum didn’t know how to hang up. But it was surprisingly helpful in making me feel closer to them since I haven’t seen them since Christmas and that’s our longest time too. Plus don’t forget to stay in touch with other friends as well as Jay. It’s amazing the difference a few cheery WA messages can make. We all need some level of human contact. Living in a bubble may feel safer but it’s actually not really helping you, I would reckon.

    Take care both – look forward to the date updates!

    I love that Jay is organising an iso-date, awesome. Wonder what it’ll be?! Exciting.

    #350896
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey both – how’s it all going?

    @Genie. Feeling any better at all yet?  I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a bit of anxiety, it can hit people physically too. Have you been able to get outside at all – are you still running when you can? Both are really good ways of helping to dump stress – as well as here, obviously 🙂   Yeah, the longer it goes, the weirder it feels, especially as I’m a hugger/physical contact kind of person so a phone call is just not the same for me. But my Mum managed her first video call this weekend and it was good just to be able to see her & my Dad in the background – he’s not a camera person at all 😉  So just keep in touch with them all as much as you can and carry on unleashing here for sure..

    I’m glad you got where I was coming from re your decision – when I was still working I used to mentor younger women (one of the few things I miss actually) and some of them weren’t so good as thinking for themselves as you are. So I’ve got a bit more cautious over the years!  Sounds to me like it’s the right decision for you though. Now I just want to hear about what inventive plan you come up with for your first iso-date alone….

    @Adelaide. The PJ/ice-cream party is wonderful….both inventive, thoughtful and fun! Clearly this other woman is very into you to have thought about the icecream and I bet the flower cookies have gone down well. I love it – it’s great to read how you are both reaching out and making it work even in these crazy times.

    It’s interesting you are resilient in other areas and I’m glad it’s not just me with the wacky sense of self-humour 🙂    But it does suggest that it’s more likely simply a lack of confidence in the romance area rather than self-esteem generally, so yeah, the more you practice the less scary and strange it all is…  It is weird isn’t it when you first realise that different people react differently. It sounds so obvious after all.  But it isn’t until you experience it in real life that you actually truly understand or feel it. So yeah, I’m glad you are seeing that just because your ex reacted one way to something you’d say/do,  it isn’t necessarily how other people react.

    Catch up soon both, take care

    #350608
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey. Sorry for not getting back sooner. I’m glad to hear you are getting some replies on the duplicate post.

    I saw Anita is helping you work through some possibly related issues so I won’t interfere with that, I’ll stick to the A/B situation and your current high anxiety level around it.

    It’s pretty clear to me that you’re trying to make an impossible choice whilst you are still processing the original break-up. Everything you describe is what I went through after my most painful break-up, as have many many others. It’s a double loss of sorts, both losing the person in your life but also losing all your dreams/hopes/expectations of how your life was going to turn out. It’s like pulling a big rug out from underneath you and everything feels scary, unsettled, different, somehow ‘not right’, like it’s all gone wrong. And that’s the thing – most brain’s/humans crave security, the familiar. Often choosing to stay in situations that aren’t god for them simply because it’s a known, it may not be ideal but it’s safe, non-threatening, expected.  So when it all gets thrown into the air, it’s impossible to be able to think in a clear way without fear being in the driving seat.

    Having made the decision to refuse A, it really is absolutely panic hitting you. Constantly wondering was it the right choice, second-guessing yourself, creating both mental and physical stress on your body and stopping you from moving on to new things, e.g. B.  The thing is, none of the ‘facts’ have changed. All the reasons you choose not to return to A still remain valid.  The only thing that is different is that you have had to choose to let him go, instead of dealing with being let go by him. It creates stress, especially if you aren’t used to making big decisions for yourself about your life.  And it still is your choice. If you want to give it another go with A, you can do so, obviously. But don’t choose to do so out of fear, it needs to be a choice for positive reasons. Don’t let the fear of losing the life you had planned even though you weren’t happy with him or the fear he’ll find someone else be your driver. If you genuinely think you see enough evidence he has actually changed and want to try again before being able to decide, then that may well be what you need to do. I don’t see the evidence from what you have written but you know your situation best. All I see is that everything you write here screams of panic, fear, anxiety – not positive reasons for giving it another go.

    One exercise you can try – what happens if you imagine giving up your current life, the happiness & confidence gained without A. How do you feel about not seeing B anymore? At the moment you are so focused on what you may or may not be missing with A, it’s worth trying the other way around as it sometimes helps make things clearer.

    Take care.

    #350184
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey both.

    Yep, an awesome day celebrating, despite quarantine! Mr S (as I’m going to call him from here on as I’m fed up writing partner!) & I made the most of the sunshine and had a picnic in our garden with lots of our favourite food & drinks from places we’ve travelled to.  Then we slobbed out with pizza and a romantic movie in the evening. Stylish eh 😉  Still no idea where 20 years has gone but it was fun remembering all our different ups & down over the years – as well as dreaming & planning out what’s next once we’re ever allowed out again!

    @Genie.  Hmm. So first up, it doesn’t really matter what I think, it’s always your decision as to what feels best for you. You know yourself and Jay best. But I’m happy to offer my perspective.  I guess I would first say that I see the whole ‘living in the moment’ thing a little differently. Some people just jump in for the hell of it and take it to mean don’t bother to think things through or consider the consequences. Whereas I tend to think of it as making a considered decision to do something, understanding the possible different outcomes and accepting I can’t know which one will happen but that I’ll cope with each of the different possibilities. Thus by giving up control and fear of the outcome, I’m free to enjoy the moment. Fortunately not everything takes that long to think about! Especially the better you know yourself over time.  Though as I’m also known for jumping into things with two feet at times, I’ve taken my time learning this one!

    So on the Jay staying at yours thing specifically? Honestly, I think it’s a big step to go from not really dating to spending a lot of condensed time together straight off, especially when you’ve been anxious about even regularly talking. I get it’s not easy to find a middle ground in the quarantine. Staying together defn has obvious questions on what happens physically so you’d have to be reasonably open & upfront on what you are and aren’t ready for if you want to help the whole thing go well. You could always do so without getting heavy about it, something like “are you going to be ok sleeping on the sofa…..” or whatever. I wouldn’t say Jay would have expectations but he’ll clearly have hopes – after all,he’s probably got his own giddy teen thing going on!  Most importantly – you want to go into anything like this thinking the risk is worth it and being happy about it. Not nervous that if you say no or keep delaying he’ll lose interest. So at the end of the day it’s trying to understand what’s holding you back and whether that’s a good reason or not. And then go for it either way and have confidence in your own decision making 🙂

    @Adelaide. Ha – I loved your description of the rules in your head. I know exactly what you mean. I think it’s something about believing if we do everything “right”, then it will all be ok. Which is complete rubbish ofcourse as there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, just what we think is best. So absolutely, it’s all about breaking old habits, well-grooved thought patterns which do so often follow us from childhood. Brains are notoriously lazy/efficient and will absolutely cling to the well-known and safe habits and thoughts, even when they are no longer useful for us. They will cling to the familiar at all costs regardless. One of the things I think you’d enjoy reading about is building up your resilience, it’s like gaining the quiet inner confidence that lets you live you life how you want to.  Humour has always been my secret weapon, I find it easy to laugh at myself and when you can see when you are being ridiculous, it snaps you out of it pretty quickly!

    I am not at all surprised to hear your iso-date has followed up already – hope you have some good ideas for your next one?! I think it’s so awesome you are finding a way to work around the quarantine challenges. Perhaps it’s something Genie could suggest to Jay, as a half-way house too, if she doesn’t go for the inviting him over to stay route.  Well done on not responding in the same way to either your ex or your ‘flirt-pal(?)’ – it is all you can do – one step at a time and I bet you now feel much more confident about being able to do the same again next time.  I was sorry to hear about your loss of your flat-mate. I think suicide is especially hard to deal with as on top of the loss itself there’s all the anger and sadness you couldn’t help or didn’t see it coming. All normal feelings but nothing that makes it any easier to deal with. A virtual hug from me if it helps at all.

    Take care both, catch up another day.

    #349616
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey both.

    Great timing @Adelaide, I was literally just replying to Genie & then your awesome isodate update came in! I can tell how well it went just by the enthusiasm bursting through your writing 🙂 I did laugh at us being a cheerleading squad – being more than a bit of a tomboy it’s not a natural image for me 😉  But so long as I don’t need to wear a frilly skirt I’m honoured and so happy to hear it went so well. Perhaps we get t-shirts ?!?  It’s also so cool to hear how far you have come in, both in terms of your ex and even better in being able to see the anxious thoughts for what they are, just thoughts, not reality.  Absolutely, the more you do something you find scary, it becomes less unknown and the fear reduces as you see it for what it really is.  That’s why all the thinking in the world is no good without action and vice-versa.

    Thanks both for celebrating my news, it is a huge weight off indeed. And just in time for my partner & I to celebrate our 20th anniversary tomorrow – how crazy is that, 20 years somehow…flies by I tell ya!

    You are bang on how I think about the illusion of control too.  It’s a sticking plaster for anxiety and bizarrely it’s only when you give it up that the anxiety truly disappears. I’ve had many many times fighting to deny that, trust me! It’s one of the reasons I’m so into travel – it constantly challenges you to accept and deal with changes/challenges. Alongside all the fun stuff obviously..!  Once you accept you can’t control anything but yourself and your own choices/actions it’s actually really empowering, not scary, I’ve found anyway. Again, the more you do it, the easier it becomes as your mind learns to trust this new behavior more than the old anxious behavior.

    @Genie.  It’s hard isn’t it, when you feel like you aren’t good enough for someone. And it doesn’t matter how many times someone tells you different if you don’t believe it yourself. I used to struggle with this one big time, being very needy for a lot of assurance. Two things made the big difference for me. One, I realised that I needed to be brave enough to be myself, to show my real self to the world, not who I thought they wanted me to be. It’s hard when you’ve been brought up by an anxious people-pleaser, it’s second nature to try to be what people want. But that just means that when they like/love you, you don’t really feel it – instead it’s just that they are liking/loving the image of you.  That’s why I know Jay is good for you as you can be yourself with him – which has taken huge courage on your part so give yourself some credit for that.  The second one that helped me was the one on control/courage. Each time you do something out of your comfort zone, you grow a little. You get more confidence in being able to do so again. You have a wider, deeper life and you aren’t dependent on peoples responses to be happy or not.  You trust yourself and in doing so, you are able to free those tight reins of control without losing control of yourself. So whilst the thing with Jay is going well and that’s awesome – remember this is really about your whole life, your health, family, friends, work – Jay is just one part of it. A fun, exciting possibilities part for sure but you get what I mean here I know. You’re smarter than you think and have great self-awareness. I know it’s tough but start to believe in yourself and be proud of how far you have come already.  Keep taking those small steps forwards into what scares you and see yourself sitting with the stress, dealing with it and then seeing it turn out ok. Practicing in non-Jay related areas of your life will make it so much easier as you get used to it.

    Take care both, I  won’t be around tomorrow since we’ll be out and about celebrating here – well, as far as allowed in quarantine! )

     

    #349604
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hi there.

    Sorry to hear you are struggling with this, especially in this difficult time for all.

    If it helps, even though I don’t know you I don’t believe you actually are a horrible person. Especially since your concern for B and his feelings shines through. I think you are simply struggling to come to terms with making a difficult decision and the second-guessing yourself and anxiety surrounding it. Once you are sucked down into the spiral of anxiety and negative thoughts, it feels like there’s no end of the tunnel and blame yourself for everything. It is pretty much impossible to make good decisions in this state.

    I read your entire posting. One of the best things I’ve found this forum can help people with is to help people see their problems through a different perspective. It’s often easier for a stranger to see what’s really likely in the situation and what’s understandably emotionally-driven.  If I read the “facts” of your situation I see;

    – You had an eight year relationship with someone that you expected you would marry and spend the rest of your life with.  You believe he provided strong support for helping you through your mental heath issues and the length of time you spent together means he is very familiar, a safe place to you. The relationship also had some major problems, in particular taking you for granted from an early stage, eventually resulted in a wide gap between you as you looked to become more independent of needing his attention, gaining friends, exercising well and generally becoming more confident, less anxious.

    – He abruptly and painfully ended the relationship 9 months ago, with no contact apart from a Happy Birthday message until the out of the blue reaching out to meet up & wanting you back.  When meeting up, he was not apologetic and not interested in how you had been, what had happened to you. He was very emotional and wanted you to support him and take him back. If you tried to question him, he became more emotional so you couldn’t discuss it further. He says he has changed. He calmed you down when you became emotional and it reminded you of how he used to do that for you.

    – The people who know you and the situation well all advised you against returning.  Whilst you were still happy, confident, you considered everything and decided the same – that returning to him was not the best choice for you.

    – You are now plagued by doubts and reliving the pain of the breakup, making you feel like you are being unfair to B.

    So, my take, if it helps?  It’s a very different thing to choose not to return than it is to deal with the aftermath of a horrible break-up. Choosing creates anxiety about whether it’s the right decision for you, taking responsibility for what happens. Everything you have written suggests it was the best choice for you based on what you have shared.  You made the decision when you were feeling well, balanced. People who love you and want the best for you agree. Your ex has presented no evidence he has actually changed – indeed his behaviour in your meeting indicated the opposite, still being focused on himself and his own needs. But the anxiety involved in having to make the decision has sucked you down so much, triggering your painful IBS too – so that now you struggle to remember all that. All you know is that when you feel bad like this, he has always been your go-to, your home, to feel safe and secure again.  So instinctively, you believe that if you return, it will be that way again.

    You say both A & B are willing to give you time, as they should be.  What I’d suggest is you focus on yourself. Get back out exercising, get into the fresh air. Eat well. Spend time with friends. Stop torturing yourself with the decision until you are in a fit mental state. My money’s on once you feel better in yourself, your doubts about not returning to your ex vanish and you realise you are strong enough without him. If you still think he’s the best man for you then, then you know you are choosing him for positive reasons – not out of fear of losing your safe place.

    I hope it helps. I’ve been through a similar breakthrough and it’s tough. The first real relationship after something like is hard regardless of how good it is, learning to trust again is huge. I really hope it works out for you but look after yourself first. I’m sure others will be able to help more & if I can, just let me know.

    #349390
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey. Just a quick one as wanted to share some good news – got the all clear today 🙂   A huge relief and weight off – I had to practice my own advice on staying calm through it which made me smile when I thought of this forum.

    #349118
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey both.

    @Adelaide. Really good to hear from you again, glad you’ve joined this thread. I know exactly what you mean by the ‘off’ comment. I think a lot of people are actually enjoying the lock-down – which isn’t quite the right word either but I think you guys will get what I mean.  People worry about global events but they don’t really mean that much until they impact you on a personal level. For a lot of people I know it’s meant more free time, less commuting stress and a realisation it’s a way better balanced lifestyle. So even though they want it to happen, they are likewise a little concerned about going back to ‘normal’, as/when that might be. Since we already have a pretty alternative lifestyle to most, it’s also a bit of an odd feeling to not be struggling too much with the lockdown when others are. So I absolutely get you on that one.

    An iso-date huh?!? I wonder how many new words will exist from this crisis by the end of the year?! Made me smile though, I love it.  It’s a tricky balance – part of the fun of the initial meeting of someone where you get that spark is to imagine where it may or may not go and there’s no harm in indulging in a few happy fantasies. I think you know yourself pretty well to know when they become unhelpful for you though and when you are putting too much onto it too early. Stay focused on getting to know her and enjoy the positive energy – I do think it’s awesomely brave of you and it’s a wonderful story of how nothing good happens without a bit of risk. You know you are strong enough to handle it.

    @Genie. I didn’t think you were a bitch at all, all very respectful. Likewise I hope both Kkaxso and Shelby do eventually figure out that if they want things to change for them, it is up to them and there’s a lot of support for them if/when needed.  It’s hard when you see people you’ve gotten to know pretty well get stuck. It will be good for them to have their own space back and provide each other with the style of sympathy and encouragement they want from this forum. Hopefully at some point they will get there.

    It sounds like you are likewise enjoying the buzz of those early days with Jay, awesome to hear 🙂   If I understood correctly though, you’re nervous of establishing anything routine/expected in the way you guys are communicating?  I’m thinking because if it then doesn’t happen, that’s when you panic it’s “going wrong/he’s no longer interested”. Did I get that right? Jay’s clearly stuck through a lot with you so you know what I’m going to say here – this isn’t about him but you and that damn self-esteem we all struggle with at times… So my take, I think by avoiding establishing anything too committed, you’re protecting yourself from a possibility of hurt and a little like Adelaide, it’s a learning game to get the balance right of how much risk to take and when.  I don’t think he will think you are playing games as you’ve been pretty honest with each other but I do think he may get confused by the potential mixed signals.  So keep being as honest as you can about how much you are enjoying your communications, looking forwards to seeing him etc – which I’m sure you are doing 😉  At some point the lockdown will be lifted and this would be a good time to work through how you would like that to look with Jay, what are you going to be comfortable with in terms of regular dating. When you feel the panic rising at the thought of getting close to someone again who can potentially hurt you, take a big breathe and try to remember all the reasons, the ‘evidence’ if you like, of why this is a good thing, something to enjoy – worth the risk. And remember that you have survived far worse and can do so again if you have to. That strong Genie you remember is still in there, she’s just cautiously poking her head out and remembering life can be good. Do your best to encourage her 🙂

    Hope you both still ate too much chocolate and enjoyed the slightly odd Easter. Take care, ‘speak’ soon.

    #348952
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Genie 🙂

    I still didn’t get tagged but hey, I’ve found your new thread anyway so all good. I’m glad you started one to stay in touch.  I also wanted to thank you for your words back to Shelby – they were much appreciated by me for sure and a lot of truth in there I thought.

    Happy Easter! A strange one for sure this year. How’re you doing? Sorted out that movie ‘date’ with Jay yet? 😉  All’s good here – we’re lucky enough we have a garden and quiet lanes round our house so i’s easy enough to get out and enjoy the sunshine. It’s actually funny how many more people we now see out doing their daily exercising – loads more than pre lockdown days. A lot of people making the most of the enforced changes, best way really.

    Likewise, hope to hear from the others if/when they’d like to stay part. Regardless, I’ll be here, no worries. Take care all.

    #348226
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey all.

    @Sammy. Thanks, appreciated. It’s wonderful to hear you doing so well now.

    @CB. Glad you understood my words and they helped even a little. Absolutely, you do deserve better. And you can have it. it seems to me you were always the stronger one in the relationship so I know you will do just fine once you get through the shock.

    @Shelby. Glad to hear you are out of your room and able to enjoy a few more things again. Hope the test results come through soon to put your mind at ease on that front too.

    @All. Sammy’s words actually struck me hard too. They made me realise I haven’t been able to help Shelby & Kkasxo much more over the last year or so. and all our new friends are in good hands helping & supporting each other, which is awesome.  Therefore I think at this point I need to take a back seat from this thread and take a bit of a page from DoR’s thoughts to focus on others who I can hopefully help more effectively. I just wanted to let you know just incase you got concerned when you don’t hear from me going forwards. I still plan to try and provide support through this forum so if you think I can help feel free to ask me if you want and I’ll get back to you.

    You are all strong women looking to improve your lives – you wouldn’t be on this forum if not. So whether it feels like it right now or not, I know you’ll continue to improve as you make your ways through and onto your own paths. Take care everyone – onwards and upwards to better things!

    #348056
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey all. How’s everyone doing?

    @Genie. Cheers but I don’t really think of it as brave exactly. It’s just dealing with whatever life throws at you in the best way that you can. Like I’ve said many times ( often irritatingly 😉 ), you can’t control life and make yourself safe without shrinking your world so small that it isn’t really living. Sure, I freak out occasionally over the ‘what if’s’, especially if I spend too much time on Google. So like any anxiety or fear, you learn the triggers and you manage them differently. And then you get on with living your best life – which is what DoR’s advice was all about.  It doesn’t make my advice/perspective any better/worse, like DoR, it’s why I didn’t share the news as people do react to that, rather than the message.  All of this is about building up your own ability to tell what is worth is considering for you and what isn’t – without being governed by fear. You’re doing well and it sounds like Sammy has come a long way too.  I understand your guilt about DoR leaving but I think it’s misplaced.  If anything, it was my message they’d considered but he/she is clearly someone who makes up their own mind about to do – and they have chosen to focus on the people closest to them. At this point in their life, they have much bigger things to worry about – which was the point they were trying to make afterall. You have no way of knowing if they did/didn’t read our appreciation for them and that’s ok. What matters is that you expressed it honestly.

    @Sammy. You sound like a different person already. I’m happy to hear DoR gave you the kick required and look forwards to hearing you continue to move forwards and on to better things. Deleting all contact is a great step but I love that you will look to surround yourself with better people. A huge part of a great life is about removing things that aren’t good for us, even if we really want/enjoy them. Figuring out those choices and actioning them is awesome.

    @CB Yeah it sucks getting used to your new reality when it isn’t one one wanted or choose for yourself. It can make you feel very powerless if you let it. But this is your life and at the end of the day the only one who can improve it is you.  I’ve seen a lot of people in your situation turn very bitter and never being able to let go of the anger at your ex for moving on and taking your life away. I’ve also seen a lot of people get stuck in hope they will come back and it will all return to normal. Neither of those things work out well for you – what you need to focus on is accepting your new reality. I would strongly expect that your ex has been edging to this for the last few years at least as he has built up his own life outside yours. So it isn’t a surprise to him and it’s something he wants – which is why it seems so easy for him to move on.  You need to accept that caring for the family is no longer your defining role in life. And that’s why it’s scary – you probably have no idea who you are without that role to define you. But is was only that – a role. It isn’t you. There’s a way out of this which leads to a new you – and it is up to you whether that person has a meaningful, loving, happy life or if you get stuck pining for the old one. No – it absolutely isn’t easy and everytime something happens to remind you of the fact that life is gone, it’s going to hurt. All that got me through was clinging to the thought of that future me – and doing my best in small things everyday that helped bring her a little closer. I hope that makes some sense and helps.

    @Shelby. Yeah – amazing what can become a privilege that we used to accept for normal eh. It’s bizarrely a great way to appreciate the little things again for sure. Being able to get a bag of flour at our supermarket will feel like a huge win when it happens!  I love that you are learning Spanish – it is absolutely one of the best travel languages and I love you are already thinking about your next adventure. I admit I’m a little stir-crazy not being able to plan out any travel – our UK Gov has just effectively banned it ‘indefinitely’. If so, I’ll have to emigrate!  Hope the test result comes back ok and all your family are doing well.

    Take care all.

    #347036
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hi DoseofReality.

    Entirely understood. For total clarity – I did not think you had any intention of malice at all. I understand you  only want to help try and shake people up enough to appreciate what they have – and to get on with taking control of their lives to make them the ones they want them to be. On all this and much more I suspect we are agreed. Whilst I actually think you could continue to help people on here with your clear perspective and awareness of how to actually improve your life, I respect your decision to focus on those people around you. Remember, you have already had a great impact on many lives, some knowingly and some unknowingly. All lives matter and make a difference to someone.

    I know you do not want sympathy but you have mine anyway. Such a diagnosis gives total clarity on what is truly important and what isn’t worth spending time worrying and fretting about. It is painful to watch others waste their lives – and can only be harder when you are acutely aware of how short life is. It isn’t the same but in the interests of showing I understand a little of what it is like, I went through a breast cancer scare 15 months ago – which I am now currently having to re go through. Knowing the end could be closer than you ever imagined is the kind of shock which does wake people up. A does of reality as you say.  I have nothing but admiration for you wanting to reach out and help others and I hope it brings you the meaning you are looking for. I for one will be here if you ever do need a place to be able to scream, cry, inspire, whatever. But otherwise, clearly, I just hope your remaining time is whatever you need it to be for you. Thank you for sparing some of it to try and help others here.

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