I feel all out of sorts. That’s such an old fashioned saying isn’t it, but it sums up how I feel perfectly at the moment. And annoyingly, I can’t quite put my finger on what’s up. It’s been brewing for a weeks now, so I thought I’d turn to you, strangers on the internet, for advice.

 

(Although you’re not really stranger strangers of course.)

 

I mentioned last week I’m off my food and not eating enough calories (apart from Saturdays, where I have the opposite problem.) I have little focus, I can’t concentrate and I just feel quite anxious a lot of the time. I’m getting my work done but with a lot less gusto than usual (it might surprise you to hear I actually really love my jobs) and so if I’m lacking enthusiasm, it’s worrying. I’m doing what I need to at the gym, but again, with a lot less energy than a month ago, and I ruddy love the gym!

 

There are a few things concerning me. The main one is lack of money. I’ve had to cancel a trip to Madrid next week (three days with Dexter – I got the flights in the sale) because I can’t afford to pay for accommodation or food, and I’ve had to let him down. I know it’s a massive luxury to have your Mum take you on a trip to Spain over half term, but I feel like a massive shit for letting him down. He’ll survive of course, but it sucks.

 

The new man friend situation. I don’t really want to talk about it here but suffice to say, with it being early days, and the first ‘relationship’ in any form I’ve had since my ex, I’m struggling. Struggling to relax with it, struggling to not let demons of the past take over my head and ruin things before they’ve even begun. And most of all, struggling not to think the worst all the time. I know it’s natural, and I’m actually doing better than I thought I would do, but I can’t help but feel like a fraud. That whole ‘why would anyone want me?’ feeling you’re left with deep down in the pit of your soul when you are free of an abusive relationship. And the question that keeps popping up in my head is, ‘will I ever be free?’ It’s something I’m trying hard to work through, but I don’t know what the answer is and I really don’t want to be one of those people that needs constant reassurance. I’m not needy by nature, never have been, and I don’t intend to start now, but that does mean digging deep and finding just one little iota of strength I might have left to figure it out.

 

I’m missing my eldest. He’s 22 and doing exactly what I’ve raised him to do, be independent and live his own life, so I’ve done a great job, if I say so myself, but Jesus, Mary and Joseph … it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. Him going away for a term or two was one thing, but I knew he’d be home to visit – and now the end of his degree is approaching, and I know he’s never coming back to Kent to live, honestly, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to cope with. And of course, I have to cope with it on my own, so it’s doubly hard. I rang the council today to tell them Ben wasn’t living here anymore and ending up telling the poor woman on the other end of the phone my life story and how I was suffering from a severe case of empty nest syndrome. Thankfully, she didn’t hang up, but said she knew exactly how I felt because she was going through it too – it was like I was meant to get that operator, at that exact time, because it made me feel a little less alone.

 

And I think fundamentally, perhaps that’s what I feel, alone. My man-friend joked and said, “Do you actually have any other friends other than Jo (my best friend)?” And I do. Online and in real life, and they’re wonderful, but I just have one best friend. And a man-friend, who I don’t see very often. But a lot of the time, I feel incredibly lonely. I think perhaps it’s a 21st century phenomenon amongst a lot of people, and ironically, I know I’m not alone in feeling … alone, but it’s tough.

 

I don’t know what will happen with this new friendship but it has taught me one thing – my anxieties and baggage aside, I’m ready, willing (and capable, I think), of falling in love again. I yearn for a deep connection with someone and perhaps that’s why I feel lonely, because I don’t have it yet.

 

As a 46-year-old woman, it’s weird to sit here and type that I’m lonely isn’t it? But it goes a long way to explaining why I feel so unsettled at the moment. And I’m hoping that by saying it out loud and recognising it, I can make peace with it because I really do have a great, imperfect life. I’m skint, tired and a little bit stressed with the world right now. My round belly apron isn’t shrinking like I want it to and I keep catching sight of the bastard thing in the mirror. My car tax is due and I can’t pay it. And to top it all off, I ran out of Creme Eggs tonight (could explain the belly situ.) But I’ve lived through worse. A lot worse. So I know it’ll be OK.

 

Thanks for listening.

 

kate sutton

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