365 Days, it’s not ‘just a year’

This blog is slightly different to all the others I’ve written, this is a snippet of why hope is so important to me, why I refuse to let go and most of all why I still keep going. This is a small glimpse into my story, and why I refuse to quit on hope.

365 days ago I found myself experiencing the worst day I can honestly say I have ever had in my life. Up until that day I think I had convinced myself that every day had been the worst day, but nothing compares to the pain of this one.

You see 365 days ago, at 4pm, I lost the most precious things that belong to me. The reasons I kept going, the motivation to wake up every day and put that smile on my face. Even though I knew that smile was getting harder to put on every morning , I knew deep down I had to keep trying. I couldn’t give up. I had four reasons to not give up.

On this day I lost it all, I started the day with everyone around me, at the end of my arm, in eyesight, hearing every sound that was made.

I ended the day alone, with no one to reach out too, staring into darkness, with nothing but the sound of my sobs echoing around me.

The longest 24 hours in the world followed, not knowing if I was awake or asleep and simply having a nightmare. Would there have actually been any difference? The emptiness of my heart reminding me with every breath that this was in fact reality.

The pain I felt over those first few days and weeks was like nothing I had ever experienced before, and nothing I ever want to feel again. The image of a heart shattering is literally what it felt like inside of my chest, only it was stuck on a loop, so that every time I thought I was getting a break, ‘BAM’ there it was all over again.

The only thing that kept me going was knowing I needed to fight to get everything back to normal. I had to have some hope that it would get better. That day I sat and cried, and I cried hard. Those were some of the most painful tears ever, the realisation of not just who I had lost, but what I had lost too. The time, the memories, the firsts, the lasts, those special days I could never get back.

The first time I realised that I might be able to survive this fight I saw the brightest rainbow I’d ever seen. It was the first time I stepped into their bedrooms after they had gone, the sun was shining through the windows at such an angle it created a beautiful rainbow across their beds. A smile appeared on my face, then by some sort of strange coincidence I started to notice rainbows everywhere.

Having this small symbol of hope, that to me signified what it was that I was fighting for, that constant reminder was what I needed, and is what I still need today.

Holding on to something that I could find anywhere I went, or take with me which I could look at as and when I needed it was so important. It gave me strength at the times when I needed it the most. It reminded me of how far I had travelled on my journey so far, and most of all it was reminding me of where I was going.

For you see, what I am fighting for isn’t over, I have four rainbows of hope that I lost on that day. I can’t stop fighting till I get them all back. This is why hope is so important to me, without that hope the motivation would fade out. The willingness to keep going despite bumps, setbacks, hurdles, even pandemics would simply dwindle down to nothing.

Over the last 365 days not every day has been full of positivity, and strength. It isn’t all about being super strong and courageous a hundred and ten percent of the time. It is however having hope that even the bad days will pass by, they will become less frequent, and they will become easier to manage.

It is about recognising that among the tears and heartbreak there has to be a small amount of hope that you need to hold on too, and it isn’t easy to start with. Without that hope the days become longer than you’ve ever known, the nights become darkest than the deepest caves known to mankind, before you know it you’re stuck. Like I was, searching for that glimmer of hope.

Once I found that chance to grab onto my lifeline, my fight, my symbol of hope. I have refused to let go. Like anything that you hold onto for a long while, your grip inevitably weakens at times. This happens to me too, and I lose vision of my preferred goal, my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s ok though, to lose your grip, it’s ok to slow down, it’s ok to take smaller steps, heck, it’s ok to step back if you need to.

All these lessons are ones I have learned along the way. Some have been very interesting and that I will save for another day!

365 days when each day feels like forever, and every night goes on for eternity, is not ‘just a year.’ 365 days when you miss first days of school, Christmas, birthdays, Easter, GCSE results day, Prom day, sports day, parents evening, is not ‘just a year.’ To be told to wait 4 more weeks. To not worry and not be upset because it’s ‘just 4 weeks, you’ve got through the last few months’ is one of the hardest things to hear when 4 more weeks goes by at snail pace. When the only way you can say goodnight is by sending a text. Or when your biggest fear is that at the end of that 4 weeks you’ll hear ‘it’s just another few weeks.’

Each one of those days are missed memories, missed hugs, missed ‘I Love You’s’ and missed celebrations. It’s down to you to decide if it’s a day of missed opportunity.

For me, today, on day 365 of this fight! I will say this.

I am still fighting, my hope is in my rainbows.

Every fight is worth fighting for, hold on to hope with everything you have, even if it is just your little toe! The rest of you will follow.

My message to anyone who is going through an experience similar to this is to keep dragging yourself out of bed every morning. On those days when you don’t want to, those are the days to try the hardest of all. That hope to find your fight unfortunately isn’t going to be tucked up in that bed of yours. You will only find it if you believe you deserve it, and you do!

If you know of someone who needs that hope, passing by them thinking that they will ‘get over it’ may work for you, but if you were the one needing someone what would you be silently asking for? Not everyone reaches out, a broken heart, a broken family, breaks ties. Broken ties sometimes means others need to reach in to offer help rather than people reaching out.

Once strong enough stories can be told, be shared, hope given, then strength from living nightmares can be gained.

Those people who fall into the deepest holes find a way out, with the help of some butterflies and a rainbow or two showing the way.

365 days of missed goodnight kisses, of hugs, all in one image. Hold On Pain Ends.

It isn’t easy.

When you hear on repeat ‘why didn’t you’ and ‘why don’t you just’ questions. Constantly going over in your own head questioning yourself about about how easy things are to do. Why doesn’t anyone understand that it isn’t that easy after all.

‘Why didn’t you see what was happening years ago?’ Well I did, I didn’t mean to ignore it or push it aside. I genuinely didn’t think it was anything that bad. Why would I? There were many more important things to worry about. Things that were way more stressful that were happening at the time. Something as silly as this was the least of my concerns.

Who was I to decide it was wrong anyway, it wasn’t my place, it wasn’t my decision. Who was I to even consider taken my newborn away from his family, our first baby. We had our own family now, I could fix it, this was our missing puzzle piece, it could only get better. This was every girls dream after all, the Prince who swept me of my feet, our own baby. The home and a life of our own. I would have been stupid to throw that away, wouldn’t I?

‘Why didn’t you leave sooner?’ The amount of times I said we are leaving can’t be counted, there are too many. Every time it was said, well, things got better, there was a glimmer of happiness, of peace and calm. When I did eventually leave, what can I say. It was torture. Each time got harder and harder. I was killing him, it was destroying the family, I wouldn’t cope, I was making things worse.

The begging for forgiveness, the asking for another chance, the demands for fairness, for being treated equal to others. Every possible suggestion for another chance asked, every opportunity to beg, plead, grovel. The only peace was to accept it and try again.

When I am so tired of leaning on people for help, I look in mirror and stare blankly into the reflection. ‘Why can’t you just be happy?’ I tell myself repeatedly, till this day I still don’t have an answer. Feeling like a complete burden I pick myself up and carry on, putting a broken mask on hoping it won’t crack as another day moves in. Making sure the smile sits just right, saying the right words and locking the tears away until night falls and the doors are locked.

‘You can’t give up’

‘Stop looking backwards, you have to look forwards’

If all this sounds all so familiar, I hear you. You are not alone. These confusing feelings, emotions are all too real at times, and can be so overwhelming. Please remember it is ok slow down. Take things at your pace. No one knows how ready we are to take the next step other than ourselves, so don’t run ahead if you’re not ready. People will understand, and if that next step seems to far ahead, take half a step. Stay focused enough in front if you can. That would be amazing though.

The cracks on the mask heal, it’s true what they say when they say time heals. Time doesn’t take away memories. Looking forwards helps, it keeps the focus in the right direction. Asking ‘why didn’t you leave sooner’ is the most pointless question to ask anyone who has left a difficult situation. Ask them ‘what gave you the strength the leave then?’ You’ll get a much better answer.

Like anything that is healing, it takes time. When we break a bone we get a cast put on it to keep it stable, or we end up with stitches to help a wound heal. When it’s our emotions and mind that need healing we need time, and friends for support, to hold the edges together long enough to stop them falling apart.

This support is the hardest to ask for, but the moment it’s in place the strength, courage, ability to stand strong grows immensely. So when you think you are on your own, think about how you will support yourself and what you need. What can be done to help get that ‘plaster cast’ around you to help you get stronger.

It isn’t easy, but you can do it. We all can with belief and hope.

Belief and hope, reach out for your rainbow 🦋🌈🦋

On the edge.

Sometimes, despite all of our best efforts, circumstances can just push us. However knowing where to look, how to balance that moment when you’re feeling ‘on the edge’ can be an important way of managing everything that life throws at us. It isn’t easy, but you can do it!

Standing still, very very still, trying not to fall. One more little gust of wind will do it I am sure. A little breeze, a small shiver down my spine. What if I sneeze?

How did I get here? I wasn’t here when I woke, I was quite far inland. I’m here now though, I gradually made my way here through the day.

Every step down the path took me here, I didn’t want to come here, it was not my choice. This is not a nice place to be. The only thing good about being here are the butterflies. They are so pretty and and fly in their hundreds. The pretty colours never look sad, they always seem to stay above me too.

There is this path in front of me, it doesn’t seem like the nicest one to walk along, it’s full of potholes, and rocks that trip you over. Every time you think you’re doing something good something else is there to surprise you. It seems like this path has a mind of its own. It literally pushes and pulls you along. The more you fight it the quicker you get here, to the edge.

I’ve been along this path so many times, you would think by now I’d know how to get away from it. I don’t, not yet. But if I watch the butterflies I’m hoping they will show me the way. They are always there, sometimes they lift me up if I get too close to the edge, they stop me falling. Sometimes, if I stumble too far they catch me. Can you see them too?

There aren’t many flying today, it’s cold and dark today, that path was really tough on my knees today, I tripped so many times. More than normal. If I stand really still maybe I will see more will fly in, and hopefully nothing else will push me closer.

I don’t want to fall today, I’m still broken from the last time I fell.

I need to make sure I don’t fall over the edge. Or at least be sure there are enough butterflies to catch me when I fall.

A little update and a smile.

It is a new month. For some this may mean a new target, a new goal, a new something.

Nope! I am going to keep plodding along if that’s ok with you? Who’s with me? (to be honest if it isn’t ok, I am plodding anyway) In a slightly strange time at the moment I am not attempting to take on the world, I am quite happy at tackling my bed sheets (seriously though, anyone else finding changing those like a miniature workout these days!) Anyway, its a new month, this means another month to be YOU!

UPDATES!!!! There is a website update. WOO HOO, now don’t all celebrate at once. Really please, one at a time. The mindfulness page is up, and content is starting to go up. Little by little it will get more interesting, and interactive. I don’t want to overwhelm people.

The quotes that some of you may have seen appearing on my facebook page and twitter page are now available on here. I may not have got the settings quite right so if they are not making themselves big enough to read I am hoping someone will let me know (please) and I will get it sorted somehow.

Other updates, Some exciting writing coming your way, so stay tuned. The purpose of this space is beginning to develop, having met some AMAZING ladies the other week I have been left with lots of inspiration and too many thought processes at times. This is where the mindfulness page came in handy.

Butterflies with Rainbows is 4 weeks old today. So THANK YOU for 4 weeks of kindness, support, encouragement and most of all HOPE and for BELIEVING in this as much as I do. You are all AMAZING. Keep going, stay strong, and remembering that if all you have managed is those bedsheets, that a huge achievement today.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com