It has been a very long time since I last blogged. But readers, what could I fill you in on?
- My liver cheering – ‘yaaaas! Slow and steady wins the race drunk Corina!’
- The days of rolling out of bed to my office and then to the living room
- 2.5 months of therapy
- The number of deliveries in my Deliveroo account
- My unhealthy online shopping habit
- The miles I walked around Bristol
- The breakdown I had pre 2.5 months of therapy
I mean, I am not alone in my journey. We have all had a pretty tough 2020. It was a bloody hard slog, however, and I don’t want this to sound flippant; that is not how I will remember 2020.
I know I preach about a gratitude journal a lot, but it really does switch your mindset and like everything in life, it takes practice. It has to be a daily practice. I’ve been keeping mine for nearly 3 years, and it’s funny because as I reflect on 2020 I remember my walks around Bristol in the sunshine, my trips to Scandinavia and Ibiza, the quizzes I did, the zoom calls and the genuine connection I had with the friends whose love I felt despite the lack of physical connection.
I feel guilty for remembering the happy moments more than the lows, because I did have 2.5 months where I genuinely was not in a good place and my lovely Nan passed away at the end of 2020. Mentally I hit my lowest point. I cried alone a lot, I berated myself a lot and generally felt I was not good enough. But I have shared that feeling with you before – however, this year that feeling of ‘not good enough’ hit an all time low. I had days of lying in bed feeling worthless. I know, and I always tell other people, the hard days are worth living through because things get better. If I had given myself that advice back in August – I would have told myself to fuck off. It didn’t feel like anything would get better. I also broke the advice I give to everyone, I didn’t ask for help and I reached out for help in the wrong places.
I am so grateful when I finally asked a couple of friends for help and I was put in contact with an incredible therapist. She was a life saver and I have to say, I have never had such an effective bout of therapy. I wouldn’t say I am cured but I certainly have much better coping mechanisms and I learnt to love the dark places of myself. Here comes a massively cheesy quote: I found happiness in me. I found love in me. I became whole again. I remembered what made me happy, what made me laugh and I genuinely found me again.
The icing on the cake? I was at a point where I was going to delete the dating apps, they have never served me well. I stopped believing I could find genuine connection on them. As I went to delete the one app I had remaining I had a match come through… and I chatted to this person discovering we had so much in common and I laughed a lot. It built and I decided to go on a walking date, which felt a bit weird, but we were in a national lockdown.
I don’t know how to explain it, but you know you get told a person comes along who puts everything into perspective… who is just uncomplicated, easy and just feels like pieces fall into place. I feel like I found that. I feel secure and I feel like I’ve found home. I also feel breathless, alive, in a dream state and like I am quite literally walking on air. I didn’t know it was possible to feel all these things at once and with one person.
It’s also scary. Falling in love at 41 is way more scarier than falling in love at 25. I’d never had my heart fully broken at 25. At 41 you have scars, you have baggage and you have irrational fears… I mean you have some fears at 25, but you have the naivety of thinking falling in love is the be all and end all. I have to say, it takes incredible bravery to believe in fairy tales… but, I have started believing in them again… and I don’t know if it’s therapy, my sense of self worth or feeling so secure with this person, but I am not scared to believe. For the first time in a long time, I want to believe.
But maybe it’s true, and I do have experience on my side, but when you know, you know. And if I am wrong, I will throw fear aside and just be grateful to be experiencing this natural high, because it is an incredible high. I am lucky to be experiencing it with one of the most incredible people I have had the privilege to meet over my lifetime. I mean, I have met some pretty amazing people, but this is meeting an incredible person with a fuck load of chemistry… and the most important ingredient… love. I wouldn’t change the last rocky 6 years for a second of this, and I’m not going to lie, there have been moments over the last 6 years when I wondered whether life was worth it and whether the pain was worth riding out. How I feel right now was worth every bit of suffering I went through. I thought I felt happy a few months ago, but oh my god, this is like next level.
So if you’re feeling the struggle right now, reach out, ask for help and face your demons fully. Go find a good therapist, a good friend and work things through. The journey might be hard, but it’s worth it and your happy chapter is coming. Trust me, it’s bloody worth it.