I wrote the following on 16th July 2013 as a journal entry and it is definitely the best way to introduce myself and my story. So, grab a cuppa and a biscuit (or 2) and get reading!
July 16th 2013
On good Friday, everything changed.
I got up as usual and quickly got ready as I was going to see a friend. I said goodbye to my cat Brandy and headed out the door. After about half an hour I headed back home, as I drove down the road to my house, I saw a Landrover parked up and the man inside was talking to a lady on the path. I knew straight away what had happened but decided to ignore it. I walked from the car to my house and saw my neighbours cat sitting across the road with something in front of it, again I knew, but pushed the thought away. As I opened the door I called for Brandy, she wasn’t there, I opened the door and called for her a couple of times, noticing a man walking. When she didn’t come, I shut the door and decided I would call again in a minute, with that came a knock on the door, it was the man I had seen walking. He asked ‘do you have a tabby coloured cat?’ to which I replied ‘yes, why?, he then said ‘well, I heard you calling for a cat and there is a tabby coloured one lying on the side of the road.’ He was very choked up, I immediately broke down as I knew it was her. He took me across to confirm that it was Brandy and as soon as I saw her little red bow collar, I knew instantly. I broke down in the middle of the road and sobbed very loudly. The man helped me over to the path where a lady joined us (the one I had seen earlier), they both hugged me and asked for my Mum’s phone number so they could call her. I struggled to remember the number and didn’t know what to do, the feeling of grief and loss took over and my world had fallen apart, in my eyes, and it had happened so suddenly.
The lady got hold of my Mum and then hugged me again; she asked if I wanted her to stay with me but I said no, I knew I just wanted to be alone. She brought me back to my house and I collapsed on the sofa in heartache, praying that it might not have been her, that it wasn’t real. Brandy meant the World to me, she wasn’t the easiest cat to live with and not a lot of people would have been able to keep her, but I loved her for all her little ways and imperfections, they made her, her.
My Mum and Auntie came over shortly after receiving the phone call, the man had very kindly wrapped Brandy up so she was ready to take to the vets. That man and lady were angels, I wish I knew their names to thank them and if by chance they came across this, thank you! After about an hour of sobbing, we took her to the vets where I had been with her many times before because she got into so much mischief! Handing her over was unbelievably hard, knowing that she wasn’t coming back wasn’t something I wanted to think about or admit. I decided I wanted her cremated separately to any other animals; she deserved that for bringing me so much happiness and joy.
After that day, I cried for 4 days. I couldn’t stop and didn’t know if I ever would. When it came to Tuesday after the Easter weekend, I was constantly thinking how I couldn’t face work, I didn’t want people asking how my weekend was, I felt so fragile and vulnerable and that I just couldn’t face anything or anyone. I decided to take the Tuesday off and just continued to cry, I didn’t return to work until Friday. I knew something was wrong with me. My Mum suggested I called the doctors and I went in for my appointment the following Tuesday where I was diagnosed with depression, it didn’t come to much of a surprise. I got refereed to counseling and put on anti-depressants.
It took about 4 weeks to get an appointment with a counselor, every day of that 4 weeks was a struggle to get through, I started having panic attacks, I didn’t want to eat and just felt constantly low. I was nervous for my first counseling appointment, worried about bringing up things that had happened in my past but I had to get help from somewhere and this seemed like where I should go. When I got there, a really lovely lady greeted me, she was very warm and comforting and aware of me being nervous. I went in and told her what had happened and how I just wasn’t feeling better. She asked me about my past and I explained to her that my Nana had passed away when I was 13 and that I never grieved properly due to having to look after and be strong for my Mum, there were a lot of other things going on at the time too so as far as I was concerned I needed to grow up and to grow up quickly!
I never grieved for my Nana, I remember that I never even cried when I lost her and she wasn’t just my Nana she was like my Mum. I went to counseling for about 5 weeks, normally breaking down every Thursday morning at work due to feeling such despair after my 50 minute session on a Wednesday afternoon, I felt like I was losing the plot and that everyone around me thought that too, I didn’t want to exist anymore and I have never felt so low. After my 5th counseling session I went to work on the Thursday, I didn’t feel right but I was grateful for it as it was a distraction. I had asked for the Friday off to go to a group session and my manager asked to talk to me, I knew then I was going to break down. Luckily I work with one of my best friends. I ran up to her and pulled her into a meeting room, I burst into tears and didn’t leave the room for 2 hours. During that 2 hours I had to speak to my manager and my friends manager, it was so hard having people see me at my weakest point, so fragile, knowing I just wanted to disappear from the planet.
After a conversation I was sent home, I then went to the doctors where I was signed off for 2 weeks. As soon as I got home I went to the park across from my house, took a deep breath and felt I was exactly where I needed to be. I was so afraid of letting people down, letting my manager down, work down, my Mum, my friends, I never actually thought about the fact that maybe I was letting myself down by not listening to what my heart was telling me. I wrote in my journal and got all my thoughts and feelings out and signed off by saying ‘I want to be somewhere new with new people, in and around nature, listening to the birds and sounds of the World around me and nothing else’. My friend came over and we both suggested calling our friend Thom, knowing he owns a lovely cottage in Cornwall where people go for wilderness weekends. Somewhere secluded and surrounded by nature was exactly what I needed and Thom was more than happy to help. He asked what had been going on and then asked me to write a list of 10 things that would make up my ideal life, basically if you could have, be or do anything, what would it be? I did this over the weekend as was heading to Cornwall on the following Monday. I was definitely happy with my 10 and excited to find out what would come next.
As I was driving down to Cornwall I felt SO happy and excited, like everything in me knew I was doing the right thing. I arrived at Thom’s amazing woodland wonderland that is 7th Rise. What a place! As I entered the gate, Thom said some wise words ‘you may have to forget everything you know’ I knew that wouldn’t be hard considering I wanted everything I knew to be non-existent. We had a good chat that evening and I ended up have the best 4 days of my life. I finally realised and discovered who I really was, that the things I thought were important, really weren’t. On the Wednesday I had an epiphany, I wanted to leave everything I knew, travel the World and find out what makes me, me.
I came home on the Friday and knew I had some big decisions ahead of me, a house to rent out, a job that I love to quit and lots of people to tell. Despite all that though, nothing was going to stop me, nothing had ever felt more right than this and after discovering what I discovered, there was no turning back. After talking to Thom about how we only have this one life to live, ONE, one that I wanted to end and now I couldn’t wait to start living, I suddenly appreciated everything around me, felt so empowered and lucky to have been given this life that I just had to live it extraordinarily, not ordinarily.
I told my Mum, friends and the rest of my family and everyone was very supportive, they couldn’t not be as I KNEW this would be a success and that failure is not an option for me. I booked an appointment with the financial advisor for the following week and wrote my letter of resignation. Going back to work was hard, knowing that I was going to hand in my notice was difficult but it was necessary. I knew that my time there had come to an end. Once I started telling everyone what I was doing they were very excited and inspired which is exactly how I wanted people to be, I wanted to inspire them!
So, now it is the 1st May 2017 and after an amazing journey around the planet, learning a lot about life and myself and moving to Cornwall, I have decided to start this blog.
I want this blog to inspire living authentically and from the soul. Through my journey in yoga to experiences I have had whilst travelling and just my general interest in the body, mind and soul, I have learnt and am still learning how to be me. In sharing that I hope it will help you be you, the REAL you.
For now, I am signing off and dedicating this to Brandy and my Nana. I believe very strongly that everything happens for a reason and without these things that have happened I would not be writing this now… This is just the beginning and I cannot wait to share my journey with you!