So many times I have gone to write this post, but then stopped. I know that so many of you, my wonderful readers and friends, enjoy my blog as a place to get away from your worries and struggles. But, sometimes, I have to be true to myself and to you.. If you follow me on Instagram you will get a really good sense of the true-to-life person that I actually am as I share a lot over there on my stories, but if you are a die hard blog reader you may not.
I have had times, in the past year and a half where I have really struggled. I have struggled with Loneliness, Sadness and Grief, but you wouldn’t usually know it to look at me as i am such an upbeat, positive person. You may have noticed I have been MIA at times and not as usually present on my socials or in my Facebook Group as I am famously known for (online 24-7 that’s me) However, I wanted to be open and honest with you all so that you know, it’s ok to not be ok. Social Media is such a glossy, curated place at times that it can make you, me, any of us feel like we are failing, like we do not look our best or are doing our best, that sometimes you just need reminding that in actual fact you are bloody amazing. I would hate for anyone to look at me and think “Oh she has everything, what has she got to moan about” because at the end of the day you just never know what someone is going through.
This past 16 months I have struggled with making new friends in my local area, as I work from home and moved to a completely new town leaving all my family and friends behind, it’s been hard, really hard. My youngest son is now in Secondary school, so there were no friendly chats with other parents in the playground, when we moved here as I never saw anyone. i was so engrossed in settling everyone else in and making sure everyone else was happy in their new environment, that i forgot about me and it hit me hard. Luckily for me though my job takes me back into London at least 3 times a week so I was able to catch up with friends and family and really cherish those moments. Although we have friends 10 minutes down the road, when everyone works and has families it can be hard to find time to get together. It was lonely.
I lived in my previous town pretty much my whole life and knew everyone in the area, my parents were five minutes one way, my sister and sister-in-law five minutes the other. I knew everyone in the local shops and they had watched me and my children grow up. I had friends in the school playground, I had shops I could wander around when I was bored and pretty much loads to do.
Then we moved to a new area for better schooling for our youngest and a cleaner, healthier way of life and BAM, I struggled. Everyone else settled in immediately but I struggled, I put on weight and felt like I had aged 20 years over night. Silly things like popping to the shop and not seeing a friendly face, not being able to pop into a friend for coffee or not having anyone “pop in to me” made me suddenly feel so isolated and alone, a feeling I had never felt in my life. My Husband had an accident last September and it was hard knowing i had no friends or family nearby that could pop in and help look after my youngest, or just be a shoulder. Then my dad died quite suddenly last November and I was/am in the midst of grief. I miss the “popping”.
It’s weird because, if I still lived in my old town, people would have known my dad, talked about him, hugged me…. but here, no one knew him because they don’t know me. So I would sit and cry these sad lonely tears on my own when the kids were at work and school and hubby was out and about, wishing I had someone I could share my grief with, someone other than my amazing family, because I didn’t want to upset them. It’s Ok to not be Ok…. as long as you tell someone
I think the hardest thing has been putting on a brave face, for my kids, my mum and my job. As a beauty blogger, this current industry doesn’t really allow for much time off. I work for myself and am Self-Employed and we all know if you don’t work you don’t get paid. So this little corner of the internet has, for the second time in my life, become my saviour. I sit and talk about make up and beauty all day and it brings some light into my heart.
Although sometimes putting my sad, grief stricken, overweight, puffy, insomnia struggling, hair loosing face on the internet during this process has actually lost me work from brands and PR’S as I don’t currently “fit the mould” like I did a year or two ago, what can I do about it? It’s life, grief hits us and we age and change… and believe me I have.
What has really helped in this process aside from putting everything into my job, obviously visiting my friends and family at weekends and travelling into London as often a I can (money allowing, its bloody £32 every-time I travel in now as opposed to the £5.60 it used to cost-the joys of previously living in London) Is Long walks on the beach and the sheer joy on my boys faces, especially my youngest. They so love living here, as does my husband and dog, and they have all really embraced this change and are thriving completely. The funny thing was it was them that I was worried about all along when really it should have been me.
The funny thing about death is, it teaches us so much about life and what we really have to look forward to and focus on. My dad dying made me realise that the only person that could change things, really was me. What I wanted to share with you all is that loneliness and sadness can hit any of us at any time and it’s so important to reach out and share it with someone. I have great chats and laughs with my hairdresser, there are loads of local groups around where I live to join and make friends, walking groups, hot yoga and all are full of people my age older and younger and sometimes its about getting out of the rut ourselves and joining it. It’s taken me a year and a half to get out of this weird, lonely rut but i have finally found my feet and now chat with my sons friends parents and make a point to say hello to people in my local shops and make new friends and acquaintances, I realised I was also a little stubborn in my own efforts to make friends because I was missing my life of old. Sometimes to embrace the new, we have to let go of the old and this is so true.
I guess what i kind of wanted to say to anyone reading this that might be lonely is : Life sometimes takes us in directions that we never imagined, but we have to reach out and let people know when we are sad, hurting, lonely or grieving. Maybe find out about local groups in the local paper or online or even in the library. There really is something for all ages from mother and baby groups, to knitting and a natter at the local church, coffee mornings in the local coffee shop, wine tasting at the local pub, walking groups, volunteering, yoga classes, slimming classes, book groups. You see, when we really look around us, there is a world of adventure waiting and sometimes its up to us to put ourselves out into the world and make new friends. At the end of the day, not everyone leads a perfect, shiny, wonderfully happy life 100% of the time and it really is OK TO NOT BE OK.
Luckily for me I found my way to make things better and if you are struggling, I have faith that you will too. I wanted to share this post with you as a way of letting you know, i am human too, I have my struggles like anyone else and I had to find my way out of it by putting myself first and putting myself out there. I had to start learning to say YES to more new things and being brave and confident. I really hope you can too.
If anyone is struggling with loneliness, sadness or grief please tell someone, or
Call The Samaritans free on 116123
Look up The Good Grief Trust
Join your local areas Facebook Group
Speak to your GP
If you are struggling with internet trolls go HERE
If this post has struck a nerve with any of you or you can understand what I have been through, I would so love to hear from you. How did you make things better, how did you learn to live in a new area, deal with grief or make new friends. I value all of your opinions so do please leave me a comment below.
Thanks for reading,
Lots of Love, Sharon