204 and an Empty Bed

December and January were, to quote Vyvyan from The Young Ones, “a total and utter bastard”.

I lost my beloved, beloved Granddad, fell terrifyingly sick for the subsequent month and battled the biggest, blackest and fiercest dog I’ve ever had the displeasure of encountering. All while attempting to be a wife and mother, decent friend, productive writer and functioning human being. It was, to be frank, a fucking nightmare.

A couple of months on and I’m still regularly being knocked off my feet by anxiety and constantly aware of the looming presence of depression. So my hand has been forced to make some changes. I just wanted to feel less frightened by life.

Enter: My Happy List.

Fuck me, I sound like one of those emosh-inspirational twats that post pictures of sunsets with motivational quotes on Instagram. You and I both know that I ain’t that kind of human. I just wanted to ditch the shit stuff and focus on what’s important. So:

1) Daughter and I have taken up boxing.

Yep, every week we get our gloves on for a mother/daughter punch up. It’s absolutely amazing exercise, which is obvs well good for the old mental health, but we also get to hang out and have something that’s just ours. And nothing says “I love you” like cheerfully acquiescing to a punch in the temple from your nine year old.

2) I no longer drink at home.

I know, that so sounds like I’m a raving dipso, but genuinely, we all know how easy it is to get home from a shit day at work and grab a glass of wine. Now I only have alcohol when in social situations. Which, given that I am running around like a lunatic from Monday to Friday, boxing on Saturday and usually relaxing at home on Sunday, means that I haven’t been drunk since Christmas. Woah, right?

And that particular shocking revelation is directly responsible for my main point.

3) I am finally writing that fucking bastard book.

After two false starts and one abandonment, IT’S COMING. IT’S FINALLY COMING. Thank fucking fuck for fear and sobriety.

I have emerged from a fog of shitfaced nights, morning Panadol and spending too much time repairing my face, checking my camera roll and finding my trousers.

Instead I am now attacking the book of short stories that’s been pillocking about in the background while I perfected my Espresso Martini. It’ll very possibly be shit, but I’ll have done it and I can go to my grave knowing that I’ve written a book, can pack a fucking good punch, have the sort of trusting relationship with my daughter that dreams are made of and can remember it all.

Which is pretty bloody alright, if you ask me.

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