Of course I’ve changed…

I remember walking into Shanganagh, with my younger cousin. I had a little pregnant bump, flowers, a candle. If I remember correctly it was dark. I linked my arm in hers as we started to walk towards the grave, and she just said so simply “You’re never going to be the same again are you, you’re not going to be the same Sinéad”. It was such a simple question, and as the years have passed I realised just how right she was. 

I have changed. Hearing what I’ve heard, seeing what I’ve seen, it changes you. Everything looks and feels different. I never had a care in the world before that day, or the weeks that followed, but now, I expect the unexpected. If the school phone, or when the tiny human was in the Creche, I take a breath, I expect bad news. I see things different now, hear things differently, feel things differently. I worry about things that’s had never once entered my mind before. The world is a very different place. If I lose myself in thoughts for too long, my mind starts to race, to panic, so I don’t. I never really knew what it felt like to really long for something. Have you ever felt it? The feeling that your chest is about to collapse? I long to feel “normal” again. To not have a care in the world. 

I’m harder on myself than I ever thought possible. I doubt myself. I worry about whether the things I’m doing are good enough, or whether I’m just doing “ok”. I worry about what people think, am I doing this the right way? Should I be doing “it” differently? I worry about losing the people I love and care about, and not just to death, just losing them out of my life. All the people who have got me to where I am today, how do I keep them here? 

I remember saying to my cousin, “I guess not, I guess I’m different now”. I could almost hear her heart break a little 💔 At 30 I should never have experience that. But I did. I look in the mirror and see the lines on my face. Worry/laughter? A definite mix of both. I like to call them experience lines now? Sometimes I don’t recognise myself. Who is this new person? 

I allowed myself to love again, and there is nothing more incredible than the feeling of flutters in my tummy. I am so lucky to have met another kind hearted man. One who makes me feel normal…  but they will always be apprehensive flutters….  just what if? 

So yes, I know I’ve changed, but deep down, deep, deep down, I know the old me is still in there somewhere, I’ve just had to embrace the changed, altered version. 

Don’t trust me… I’m not drinking! 

Don’t trust me – I’m not drinking! Lately I’ve been drinking less and less alcohol. It’s not due to wanting to lose weight, it’s not due to an illness, and no I’m not pregnant!!!!!! It’s down to a couple of things. 

No. 1: It doesn’t agree with me, like, it makes me sick. Like actually vomit. I could have 2 glasses of white wine or a few little glasses of prosecco or some vodka & 7up and I am guaranteed to vom at some stage through the night. 
No. 2: I’m 35 and I still get the spinnies. It is the worst feeling in the entire world. I can’t deal. 
No. 3: The following day, I feel so helpless. I feel suicidal. I wake up and instantly feel like I’m worthless, like I’m the worst mother in the world, like there is really no reason for me to exist at all. That no one wants me to actually be here. I spend the entire day like this. It is a complete waste of a day!! 
I guess I’m one of the luckier ones. I am able to enjoy my night without filling it with alcohol. I am able to enjoy the company of others without alcohol. I can dance all night (6000 steps on the fitbit!!) without alcohol. I am able to wake up the next morning and not suffer the fear that I have drunkenly said something I shouldn’t have to someone. In fact, not drinking is just easier. I can drive to and from wherever it is I’m going, which saves on ridiculous taxi fares (and gets me home safe!). More and more lately I’ve gone out and just not drank, but one thing totally baffles me. The attitude towards people who don’t drink. It’s like you’re half a person/you’re not really Irish, if you’re not drinking. It’s slightly annoying to be fair. “Are you pregnant?!” “Are you sick?!” “Why aren’t you drinking” “oooh I don’t trust a non drinker” “ah go on, have 1!” 🙄
No. Just no. I will not become the person who pretends I have a Bacardi & Coke in my hand because I don’t want to listen to the constant badgering of “ah leave your car here, come on, have a drink!!!”. I’m not going to give in and have that 1 drink and run the risk of being breathalysed and most likely be over the limit (let’s be honest, I’m a complete lightweight, 2 sips & im over the limit!). Why is it we have this silly idea that we can’t go out and enjoy ourselves without alcohol in our systems? Ive learned that I don’t need it. 

I can be just as smiley/happy/dancy without the vodka/prosecco/west coast coolers of the world. 
I’m not saying I’ll never drink again, I’m not saying that I won’t have a glass of Prosecco to celebrate… but I am saying that I don’t actually need to, and if it’s means I will wake up the following morning with a fresh head and life not being so difficult, then brilliant!!. I will be the one you can’t entirely trust, because I don’t really drink 😜