I am who I am …

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I had a very deep conversation with one of my longstanding friends tonight … albeit online rather than face to face or on the phone.

We have been friends for many, many years and have seen each other through huge successes and huge failures.   Our lives have changed many times over the years but what has remained constant is our friendship.

It got me thinking …

Looking back on my life I can see the bits of me that have changed and developed over the years.  It has not been a conscious decision to change, it has just happened.    Perhaps with a little help from hindsight and the odd mistake or two.

What I wanted when I was younger, is not what a I want now.    Making lots of money, or climbing into someone’s bed just does not appeal to me now.   Hell, I’ve made loads of money, lost it and survived.   The same with women …  it all adds up to phases in our lives.

There have been times when I have felt I could rule the world (and I wanted to!), and there have been others where I have wanted to run away and curl up into a small ball and let things pass me by.

There are times when I should have spoken out .. and there are times when I should have kept my mouth shut (I’m not very good at that!) …

I can’t say I have become wiser … what is wisdom anyway .. apart from a series of lessons learned .. but I have become more honest .. and discovered that not everyone likes that.

I have learned that no matter how much you think you can trust someone, the only person you can .. is yourself.

I have also been lucky enough to hit complete rock bottom … I know this is a strange thing to say .. especially as at the time it was the darkest place I have ever experienced … nothing made sense … nothing made me happy … I functioned, I didn’t live.

That probably taught me the best lesson of all … who stood by me .. and who didn’t … who could handle me at my worst.. and who couldn’t …

All of it.. the highs and the lows .. have brought me to who I am today … and I am very comfortable and happy with that … my life has completely changed… I have had to make sacrifices but I have done it … I have come through the other side … I have found peace, I have found contentment.. not through finding god  (I am not religious!).. but through finding me and what I need.

 

 

 

 

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The “D” word

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I have written about the subject of Depression many times in this blog and I know that is a subject that few understand, unless they have been touched by it in the past.

Many are embarrassed to talk about it … they are ashamed, feel that they are somehow not “normal” because of it.   The truth is any of us can go through it .. sometimes only once, sometimes repeatedly .. but the result of our depression leaves us a different person. There is an old saying that ” when you come out of the other side you will not the the same person who walked into the storm” .. and this is true …

I like to think that I have only had depression once, but in reality this is not true.   Many years ago I lost a business, my home and everything I had worked for … and looking back I know I went through it then… although at the time I didn’t realise I was depressed.. I was so used to feeling stressed that I did not have the common sense to see the difference between normal stress and depression.

You cannot explain to someone who has not gone through depression what it is like.    The nearest I can get is that you lose the ability to feel anything.   Occasionally you have a wee blip of something but you can’t sustain it.   You just feel empty, worn out, you cannot deal with drama of any kind, and although you try to lead a “normal” life, you are in reality just going through the motions.

I was lucky, I had a couple of friends who could see what was happening to me .. and through being able to talk to them and my doctor, honestly and frankly, I began to find my feet again.   

It wasn’t easy .. and I know my thoughts at the time swung wildly, the battle within was a struggle, a huge battle, but with the help of my friends I slowly won.    Not in a great sudden burst of victorious celebration but in a gentle, peaceful, quiet way.

I knew things in my life had to change… and although it would mean sacrifices in more ways than one, I began to take the steps forward to a new life.

People talk about starting a “new chapter” in their lives … for me .. it is a whole new book.

I have taken time out .. to concentrate on me .. I am not foolish enough to think that by “having someone in my life” that my problems would be solved .. I knew that I had to find contentedness and peace within me before I could ever consider entering into a relationship other than friendship with anyone.

I know some people think I have been “brave” to start a new life at my age .. I am not brave, I am a bit of stubborn old fool, I refuse to let life and myself let me down!   

As for the future, who knows, I am loving my new “vocation” … and I have been lucky that I met someone who turned a key in me, that let me see what love is really all about, and although this was not, and never will be anything else than a deep friendship, for that I am truly grateful.

I know I am lucky, my life has been a mix of great successes combined with a few spectacular failures and I do still have a wee niggle that I am a bit of a “liability” to consider being in a relationship but in the end I have found what a lot of people will never find .. contentment and peace… and perhaps, for me, that is enough.    

Contentment

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I do not think I understood the meaning of contentment when I was younger.   There was always something to aim for, people to see or a woman to conquer!

These days things are very different, maybe I have experienced enough good AND bad times in my life to understand it .. or maybe I have just grown weary of the drama and the arguments, I don’t know but right now I am contented… I am happy, relaxed, peaceful and enjoying myself.

As I look back and remember what was important to me when I was younger, success, money, love .. I realise that these still hold true but in a very different way.

Success is now being happy with my life, money is having enough to get me from one pay day to another but able to not worry too much, love.. well, love is all about learning to love yourself, the good and the bad.

I can’t say I “practice” contentment .. or I looked for it, it just sort of happened.

I have achieved and gained lots in my life.  I have also lost everything I worked all my life for and had to start again.. and I discovered the actual starting again was much less than the worry about having to do it..   It gave me a different perspective and although I do, from time to time, lose my peace and my contentment, I know it is lurking out there waiting for me.  Sometimes I just have to wait for it to return.

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