‘You will get through this.’
‘You will be ok.’
People tell you this when you are going through a tough time. It’s a bare-faced lie. They don’t know this. And yet they tell you this like it is scientific fact.
A prime example: when I used to run half marathons. The crowd would always shout ‘you can do it, Dee!’ They knew my name because I wrote it in big letters on my running vests. Now these are people who have never met me, have no idea about how much training I have done in preparation for this event nor do they know my medical background.
What if I am one of those people who don’t do it? There are loads of people who just never make it across the finish line. Some people aren’t ever ok again. Sometimes what doesn’t kill you doesn’t make you stronger, it leaves you a weeping mess on your kitchen floor, unable to get up and shower and leave the house and face the day.
Maybe ‘lie’ is too strong a word. Perhaps it is more wishful thinking on their part. They want you to be ok. And we need to hear these lies sometimes (emphasis on sometimes). That’s why I write my name on my running vest, so people can shout out these personalised encouragements to bolster me when I am flagging.
Although confession time, when I am really struggling, in a run, in life, these platitudes just fuck me off. I want to sulk and cry in that moment and not be told everything will be ok when I feel like nothing will ever be ok again.
Next week is my 4 year wedding anniversary. What are you doing to celebrate, Dee? Well I am going to go to work and maybe chase my solicitor to see how far the divorce has come along, then go home and get a takeaway with my new beau. Yeah not what I was expecting to be doing on that day either.
Although I never doubted my decision to end my marriage, it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. And that’s even with the amazing support network I have. I had to struggle to work out whether I could keep my house, my home. I didn’t know whether he would try to take some of the pets (Lola the Frenchie is pictured), I didn’t know how it would play out amongst our mutual friends. I had to completely reimagine my whole future.
One night, when one of the cats was sick, and the fire alarm kept going off, and my phone was playing up, it all became so overwhelming I just sat on my stairs and cried. I cried like I did when I was a little kid and it felt like the world had ended. I cried so hard my neighbours heard me through the wall and came over to check on me, an act of kindness I will never forget. If someone told me then it would all be ok I might have punched them.
But it was ok. I have battle scars. I don’t feel stronger all of the time. But I am happier now and isn’t that the point of it all? One of my best friend’s says that good things live on the other side of fear. And she is totally right.