A busy head

I have a lot in my head right now, but I feel more positive and in control than I did.

There are three major themes

  1. Career
  2. Personal Shame.
  3. Grief

They are interlinked, and much of the last couple of days has been working out how. Anne commented below my last post that ‘knowledge is key’ , and I think that’s right, I need to know what my own values, boundaries, personal strengths and weaknesses are in order to keep moving forward. As Brene would say ‘it’s a process’ and I’m leaning heavily on her wonderful book “The gifts of Imperfection” to help me navigate through.

So, I have been courageous and explained some of my career concerns to my two partners. I also touched on some of the difficulties I had with my exP; namely that he was abusive and bullying. I did not mention my alcoholism, as I don’t think it’s that relevant, and I’m not ready to be that exposed. But I did feel I needed to let them know why I was considering my future in this practice, and why J’s death was so very hard for me  mainly because I have been absent or non productive for almost a month now:  (its linked to ExP, because J showed me, talked to me and helped me process what a normal husband and father is like) This decision to be honest has been very positive and I feel better understood and supported, less isolated and more in control.

This is good.

My dear friend A also wrote to me and said , I know she will not mind me quoting her

My thoughts, for what they’re worth;

Divorce is expensive. So are children. I’ve had neither. H & A have had one not the other & both have husbands who contribute. Your finances are a product of your situation. They do not define you.

This is important as it links to my personal Shame, that whilst my friends are cleaning their mortgages and investing for their futures / retirement, I am still juggling month to month. By reaching out and confiding, I have again received some validation that I am not BAD, and SHAMEFUL; but perhaps stressed, unhappy and to some extent a product of my circumstances.

I DO have time to make decisions, and I should definitely not rush them, nor probably even make definitive plans at the moment. But information gathering does seem like a good idea. Anxiety about the future, both short and longer term is part of my problem at the moment, and whilst some things I am learning to ‘hand over’ I do not expect God to sort out my pension planning!

To do list. Contact that NHS specialist IFA.

Shame. This is the gift that just keeps on giving.

Its EVERYWHERE in my thinking about myself. Constant, endless bloody shame. Not good enough. Not thin enough, not productive enough, not strong enough, not a good enough mother/ doctor/ daughter / friend / business partner … spendthrift, lazy, sloppy, weak. On and on and On

And then I want to add ‘SLUT’. STRUMPET. Evil, provocative, alluring …

Because I kissed a man.

This man is single and an adult of my own age. He is someone I know extremely well and like enormously. I know him to be kind, generous, gentle, loyal and honest. The kiss was a mutual thing, I hardly jumped his bones. And that’s all it was. There is no fall out. We have seen each other since and there is no awkwardness.

By my goodness it has stirred up a whole hornets nest of shame, guilt and anxiety in me. Why ? Logically and rationally there is absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed or guilty about. I need to explore this with my therapist, sadly she is away this week, but the level of anxiety and shame generated by this consensual, mild, perfectly normal interaction is most definitely related to something learned … and the SHAME part of it is doing my head in.

This is linked to grief too, because J was one of the very few men who was just unequivocally always, always ‘safe’. I was his friend and he was mine, and that was IT. Not all male friends are like that even if they are married, with some you have to be guarded and careful.  Not J, and once again I feel I have lost something, someone, infinitely precious and unique.

I will pick apart this shame about being a woman who is attractive to men, some more; when I know more … Bonkers I know, but it needs to be done


  1. It is a process, this life we live. It seems to me, that you made the best decisions you could at the time. The right decisions for that time in your life. Not only for you but for your children. And now, you’ve changed. You are doing an incredible amount of self introspection and grown tremendously because of it. Your values and priorities have changed in some ways. That’s not a bad thing-You are also more attuned to what’s right for you in your core.
    As for the shame! Tell it to f*** off! Isn’t it interesting how those negative, self defeating voices sound off just when we’re getting stronger? You have absolutely no reason to feel ashamed.
    Sending a big hug to you❤️

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    • Thank you. Do you understand when I say deep in my gut I KNOW this, I know I’m on a path – the right path- and I’m doing really well. Someone said at the weekend that I was “calm, composed, relaxed, beautiful & centred. And living to your potential”. How lovely is that ? And I know that to some extent I am doing. But my goodness its hard. and the gremlins of shame and self critisism and perfectionism have been dogging me for SO long …L xxx


    • Anne, I read Brene, I listen to Brene on Audiobooks. My kindle is stuffed with Brene and I have hard copies too …I am Brene’s biggest ever fan. Some if it is really working … some of it is still very much, um “work in progress”.

      Thank you so much for your kind support xxx

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  2. Hi lily! I wanted to drop by and say that I thought of you and some of the themes you’ve written about over the past few years, namely the feelings and emotions and shame you’ve felt regarding your intimate relationships and the pain they’ve caused you. I’m reading a book called The Body Keeps the Score by Bessemer van der Kolk and it’s been a transformative read for me, both as a therapist-in-training and as someone who has endured traumatic relationships and addiction. I wanted to recommend it to you (as I will be recommending it to many of my friends in recovery) because it seems so relevant to what a lot of us have gone through. It’s kind of dense, and can be difficult to read at points, but so so informative and eye-opening.

    Just a thought. Peace to you, dear sober friend, as you continue on your journey ❤️

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