As 2017 burned, things in my life began to shift in a way I had never seen before. I had changed jobs, I had watched my relationship crumble and I had completely lost myself. I no longer noticed who I was when I caught my own reflection. My head felt like unfamiliar territory and I was exploring it alone. I didn’t like who I was becoming, I no longer held on to the things I had invested my passion in. Instead, I became somebody who was simply surviving.
As I moved home, I collected my broken pieces and took them to my therapist for the first time. It took me six weeks until I was finally willing to begin the process of being glued back together. Up until that point, I was still convinced that I could do it myself with enough determination. As I poured my heart and soul into my recovery, I began to understand things that I didn’t even realise were happening. I began to pick apart my adoption and my disaster of a first relationship. I have spent my life blaming myself single handedly for both of these situations, only to find out I didn’t need to. I can now see – and accept – my responsibilities and leave it there.
It took me a lot to accept the fact that I needed to take some time away from the world to focus on my life. I needed some time to commit myself fully to my recovery and the journey I wanted to be able to take. It was fine, I could scale my life back to the bare necessities until my heart was full and I was ready to take on the world.
Or so I thought.
I decided to stop writing late last year. It wasn’t a conscious decision, I didn’t wake up one Tuesday deciding to just put the laptop down and step away. But slowly, as I began talking about my problems in therapy, I stopped talking about my problems to Word. I think if anything, it was a natural shift. I promised myself I would return in January 2018 and that I would be ready to go; a whole new and improved version of myself.
As Christmas rolled around, I tried and tried again, but I couldn’t form the words I felt I needed to form. My head no longer connected to my fingers. I managed to muster up two posts, one about 2017 and one about my plans for the year ahead. 2018 for the longest time has felt like it was going to be a stand out year for me, and it has – both professionally and personally for both good and bad reasons. But it didn’t feel right coming to DanCooleDaily, it felt unfamiliar.
I began to worry that I had maybe lost my creativity forever.
Three weeks ago, I sat down with my therapist who looked at me and asked me one simple question;
“why don’t you write anymore?”
It was in that moment that I knew why.
In two and a half years I had gone from writing about what cakes I was baking to how I was struggling to live in my head. I had built up a relationship with so many of you who were depending on me to feel like you weren’t alone. I had begun earning decent money from brand deals and talking at conferences. There was so much pressure on me that I just stopped.
You see, I never ever want to let anybody down. My therapist will tell you all that its one of my biggest hang ups, mentally. The fear of letting somebody down, of making them disappointed in me.
I have never written for money or views or ‘fans’. I have never written on DanCooleDaily because it was my intention to turn it into a career. I wrote to save myself. I wrote because it was the only place I could express how I was truly feeling. It was the way I would let my parents know what was really going on. The views and the money and the rest of it are great bonuses, but it’s never why I started and thats what I was scared of. I was scared that I would begin wanting those things.
So, I subconsciously stopped.
That was until May, when my mum got a little sick. I don’t need to go into the details of what was wrong or what happened in the months that followed. But what I do need to tell you is that seeing my best friend going through something with such strength and courage gave me two feelings.
The first was inspiration. It inspired me, taught me the stereotypical lesson that life is too short and you need grab it by both hands and run with every opportunity you are given, regardless of the outcome, you need to say that you tried.
The second was fear. I was absolutely terrified and shook to see my whole world helpless. The doctors fixed her and patched her up and she is better and we as a family are moving forward with this new found breath of life and I am so grateful each and every human who has touched our lives over the last 12 weeks.
In my state of panic whilst my mum was in hospital a couple of weeks ago, I picked up my laptop and began writing an open letter to her. I have no intention of making that letter public, or even sharing it with her, but it lit a fire in me that I thought had been extinguished forever.
I am sorry that it took me so long. I am sorry that I failed twice to make a comeback. In hindsight, I was not in the mind frame for either of those attempts. Now I am happy. I am working on a documentary about mental health. I am a confirmed panelist for this years Adoption UK Conference and I am still writing that book.
Things are changing around here. You will see that over the next few weeks.
To those of you who understand, thank you for allowing me to take the time to mend myself.
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