At the start of the week I was pleased to be asked to take part in a press video for a local business Gorgeous Lingerie in Tring who have launched a new Hospital Bra to help women recover from breast surgery. As I have had two breast surgeries over these past few months the Hospital Bra was a godsend for me and made the healing process so much more manageable. I was honoured to model the bra and talk on camera about how it had helped me, as I’m so pleased that it will benefit a lot of women going through the difficult time of having breast surgery and their recovery.
It’s my third week as a single parent and today has been a really hard day for me; just as I was feeling okay and carrying on with things, trying to get my life back in order, a spanner hit the works and left me in a right royal mess. It’s Millie’s last day at school today before she breaks up for the summer holidays and she’d brought home all of her work in lots of lovely books on different topics. As we sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast we were talking about all of the beautiful pictures and stories Millie had written across the year and I felt so proud to see how sweet and imaginative Millie is with her work.
And then I turned the page and saw the beautiful smiley picture she’d drawn of us as a family and it felt like a bullet had hit me straight in the heart; I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe I just froze as the familiar feeling of my throat closing up and my lungs beginning to ache took over. Startled and refusing to show the children my pain I took myself away and busied myself with the morning chores ready for the walk to school, trying to push it out of my mind and carry on regardless, but I couldn’t shift the weight that hung on my heart.
Walking to school it was lovely and sunny and the children laughed and giggled. We chatted about the flowers and the start of the school holidays approaching for half an hour until we got to the school gates. And as I kissed Millie goodbye and she skipped merrily into the classroom I was dealt my second bullet when a group of cheerful mothers were delighting over the fantastic news of Kate and William having had a baby boy and our countries future King. Two happily married people had brought a baby into the world, filled with such hope and love for the future, just as I had done not so long ago. But now my baby would grow up in a broken home, just like his big sister, different from all of the other happy families and I feel like the biggest failure in all of the world right now for not making it work. I don’t know how I didn’t fall to my knees for how sick I felt, I don’t know what stopped me from breaking down right there and then, but somehow thankfully I got back to the road with Gabriele in his pushchair as my heart fell to pieces. You know when you’re about to be sick and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it, your mouth pulls the most awful expression and you shut your eyes ready for the mess; well that’s what happened to me and I couldn’t stop myself. I tried to keep my head down and walk quickly out of the way, blubbering and catching my breath between tears as I raced home in despair, wiping my face with the back of my hand and in the middle of nowhere without a tissue. I don’t know what happened to me. But as I walked with my head down to get out of the way all I could see was Gabriele as my tears fell down onto him, our innocently beautiful little boy, our baby who we welcomed into the world as a happy family only fifteen months ago with such excitement and love. And how very different the world is today.
And as I closed the door and leant my head back on the hallway wall with tears and makeup running onto my neck, all I needed was a hug, a shoulder to cry on and somebody to hold me and make me feel safe again. I honestly thought I’d got past this, that all the heartache and pain was buried deep inside and I was back to myself again. But I stood distraught in my empty home, with Gabriele kicking his legs in his pushchair to get out, expecting his breakfast and a morning play. And so I got a tissue, wiped the makeup from around my eyes, blew my nose and carried on. Because it’s all that I can do.
I’m in pain today and I don’t know why. After having had three surgeries in the past six months, laser eye surgery, a breast replacement and breast reconstruction, I’m thankfully a week off of being fully healed but my insides seriously hurt. I feel like I have a constant stitch in my right side, an aching heart and a constant hollowed out burning feeling in the pit of my stomach, like hunger or indigestion but no amount of food or water will touch it. I’m aching all over like my period is due and desperate to curl up into a ball and close my eyes until the pain goes away, but I can’t because I’ve got Gabriele with me and he’s on a mission today to get his cheeky little mitts on everything. At least the pain in my stomach distracts me from the thumping ache in my heart and head right now. I feel like I’m falling to pieces! Lord help me when I’m sixty-five!
So it turns out that it was Mother Nature to blame for my pain and weakness as I now have a very awful period; which also explains the delightful explosion of sadness and tears yesterday and left me crying myself to sleep in a distraught mess. And although I’d never want to cry in public for fear of making others feel awkward, I’m happy to share it on my blog as reading about my up’s and down’s in an honest way spares you from the snot and tissues of seeing it, but still recognises what human emotion is, we all have to grieve in order to move on and let go. I will always be true to myself and speak about how I feel in the hope that others going through the same or similar in life feel that they are not alone and can write to me if they need a friend. Obviously when you’re hurting it’s only normal to have good days and bad days, but you have to recognise it for what it is, grieve through it and then move on. And if it means taking one step forward and two steps back every now and then, then that’s annoyingly something that has to happen in order for me to get my jog on! I’m just prepping for the long haul and soon enough I’ll be keeping pace with the wind in my hair.
On a brighter note I filmed at a beautiful television studio in Oxford Street London this week and had a fantastic day. The sun was shining, strangers in the street stopped to speak to me and ask me how my day was, I met a friend for lunch and even had a sex-on-the-beach made for me by a lovely restaurant owner who called me over as I was walking past. And after finishing filming I strolled through the paradise that is Oxford Street and bought myself a load of new pretty clothes as I’ve dropped to a dress size six after struggling to eat recently. I know that I’m a strong woman, I have a fire in my belly and determination and love in my heart. I will get through this and I will even out again, but when I cannot say right now. The last thing I want is to hurt and to suffer, struggling to eat isn’t my choice it’s unfortunately a side effect of having a broken heart right now but it won’t beat me, I won’t let it. I will not let this become an eating disorder, I am made of stronger stuff and I am fighting the beast.
Millie and I attended a family wedding yesterday where she was a beautiful bridesmaid for the very first time and I am so proud of her. I literally filled to the brim with love and couldn’t stop smiling as she swished around in her pretty lace dress and paced down the aisle with a basket of flowers in her hand. My little angel, sharing in the love and celebration of the happy couple declaring their undying love for one another before the eyes of God.
And I honestly thought it would be a bittersweet day for me at the wedding, with it being three weeks since my engagement abruptly ended and my family separated, but I didn’t stop smiling once. It didn’t hurt me to see others in love, it didn’t reduce me to tears or crush my soul; it enlightened me, it lifted me and it gave me hope. Hope that I too may one day find a man who loves me like none other, who declares his undying love for me proudly for all to see, promising to remain by my side as my equal to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
The words washed through me like a wave of love as I smiled at the beautiful bride and groom holding hands, looking into each others eyes as they lovingly said their vows. And I realise I deserve that too, and I will find that someday. I can’t be sad or angry or bitter for being jilted, I can’t hold onto the past and torture myself with if’s but’s and maybe’s because there simply is no reason to be unhappy in life. I thought I was happy, I thought I had everything I ever wanted in a relationship, but now I know I deserve a lot more, so much more. And so does he. We’ll both find our perfect partner one day, and thankfully we realised that it wasn’t meant to be in our five and a half years together, which is no doubt better than it being twenty or thirty more down the line before it eventually happened.
And I’d resigned myself to believing that fairytale weddings don’t exist, love is only during the honeymoon period and not a life long feeling, and couples don’t show their affection on a daily basis; but it was all untrue. Fairytales do exist, not just in story books but in life too. What makes you happy in life becomes your very own fairytale that you tell to your children and grandchildren as you recount your life and tell them of your happiness. The beautiful church was my dream church, the classic wedding car was my dream car, the beautiful white elegant dresses were my dream dresses and the stunning barn in the countryside was my dream venue. True love does exist, it’s out there and it’s undying, it lasts a lifetime and more for the hearts that are lucky enough to find it. And one day I will walk down the aisle with the man of my dreams before a church filled with people who mean the absolute world to me and dance in the arms of my future husband under the stars.
I will never again settle for second best in life or change myself for others like I did, I’ve found myself again, I’ve forgiven my sacrifices and I’ve learnt from this heartache. I could have ignored this situation, I could have pretended I was okay and told others that it would get better, but I haven’t. I’ve faced my heartache head on, I’ve reasoned with it, argued with it and buried our differences and now I am cleansed. To stand in the church and feel such love and pride has given me the proof that I always needed, I deserve to be loved. And I will be. By the right man, at the right time and for the rest of my life. Forever and always. x