Letter number 48: Forgetful

Dear Alexandra,

I plum forgot about my NHS therapy webinar tonight — I’m mortified, as I’m normally pretty organised! I emailed them to apologise and am watching it back now. It’s actually quite a timely one, it’s about negative thoughts and challenging them. Not exactly a new topic for me, as I’ve written about lots — but I am still being hit by quite a lot of thoughts about you of late.

It’s true it doesn’t bring me to my knees like it once did, but it’s still frustrating. The examples they are giving on the course a little frustrating, one is “I waved to someone and they didn’t wave back” — it fixates on gathering ‘evidence’ for the negative thought, maybe the person didn’t ignore you, maybe they didn’t see you. They encourage you to gather evidence against your own negative thoughts.

Of course the tricky here is that I did a lot of evidence gathering at the time, and unearthed a rich seam of devastating betrayal. Irrefutable evidence. My thoughts are generally that I’ve been horribly betrayed, and I didn’t deserve to be. There’s really no challenging that. It’s true, there was evidence, there was even a confession of sorts when I finally confronted you about it (eventually). Alas, I was right. There’s no ‘taking the thought to court’ in this instance.

Luckily we’re talking about ruminating now, which is probably more relevant — labouring over it, wondering about the why, worry about what could have gone wrong with you to make you so bloody cruel — none of these thought patterns are particularly helpful in moving on. I know that, I call them out as I have them. I try to bring my mind round to something less unhelpful, but it’s not always easy, especially not at the weekends or evenings when by and large I’m likely to be on my own.

I’m not sure there’s been much catalyst for these things either. You’ve not been in touch, you did like a post on Sonic’s Facebook page (only liked too, why am I reading into that?!). There’s been a couple of invites landed in Facebook for next year — a party and a wedding. I looked to see if you were on the list, you were for both, you’ve clicked Maybe on both — that probably means no. I shouldn’t really be wanting to look.

The solution to rumination is distraction or mindfulness type activities, I must admit I’ve been quite bad at not going out for walks over the last week or so. Maybe I need to make a conscious effort to get back onto that, although I’ve kept up my footballing. I’m playing tomorrow, I’m going to a gig on Wednesday and then usual football on Thursday and Friday. So that’s not too bad. Work continues to give me plenty to think about, too — I’ve been going into the office much more, which helps too.

Other positive things, I booked myself a massage over the weekend which was really nice. I’d been feeling a little achey, not really surprising given then amount of high impact exercise I do. It is quite far out of my comfort zone, I had a Swedish massage, a head/neck massage and a facial which did feel great. Depressingly having close physical intimacy (not in a perverted way) was probably the most comforting thing about it, but it did leave me feeling much more relaxed — something to consider as an occasional treat.

In August I’m going to take B. up on her offer of the spare room she has in the cottage she’s booked in Cornwall for a couple of weeks. I’ve arranged for the folks to take Sonic in rather than take him with me (which amusingly is an option). You love Cornwall, as do I — I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks of exploring, relaxing and hiking. B. has a new dog too she’s just rescued so I’m looking forward to meeting her too.

I’m still hoping to get some kind of micro camper van sorted out too. So I am making positive future plans. That’s important. Each time I feel like I must be somehow flawed to have had someone who once loved me treat me so ill, every time I think I’ll never meet anyone else, I have to remind myself of the amazing friends and family I have, I have to push my discomfort to its limits and recognise my own positives too. I’m a good person, I’m relatively successful, I’m self-sufficient.

These are the things that are seeing me through the annoying moments that keep bringing me back down on occasion. Like I mentioned before, I’m not lingering as I once was in the doldrums, but the frequency of negativity has increased of late and that is a source of annoyance. Of course, it’s still only been a few weeks since the arse fell out of my world, I need to be mindful of that too. It takes time to adjust.

Another positive is that the lady I commissioned to do some artwork commemorating Frankie and the other birds that have passed away finished her work, and it’s brilliant. I’ve ordered a canvas print of it, and posted it on Sonic’s page, that was probably the post you liked, thinking about it. It made me idly wonder if it might’ve prompted you to resume the picture you started doing of Frankie after I had to take her to be put to sleep. I doubt it. I kind of hope it hasn’t, to be honest.

The artist shared it on her page and it’s brought so many lovely comments from her fans, it’s clearly touched people and brought them some comfort for their own losses. That’s a lovely unexpected bonus! She’s sending me a signed print of it too, so I’ll be awash with them soon! Is this also ruminating about sad things? I don’t think so, my memories of my birds are — whilst generally ending with sadness — are replete with joy and happiness.

Maybe that’s a lesson for how I need to frame us. Focus on the legitimately good times and try to gloss over the unfortunate ending. Of course, that sounds easy but none of my birds consciously set out to hurt me by getting ill or passing away. Maybe I’m just a melancholic maudlin bogger who needs to stop fixating on things that have passed and can’t be changed. Who’s over-thinking now? There’s no harm in remembering my beloved pets fondly.

I think that I’m probably suffering on the back of another relatively quiet weekend and a lonely evening, to be honest. With evening activities planned for the rest of the week maybe that overbearing amount of headspace will calm down a little. I don’t have much planned for the weekend though, so I could do with remedying that perhaps. Sunday doesn’t look too bad with football and lunch with Aunty B. and R., but Friday night and Saturday look a bit sparse.

Perhaps the mission for this week is to make some plans for Friday or Saturday. I’m struggling to come up with much motivation on that front though. I’ll get my thinking cap on.

I hope you’re doing okay, Bert

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Lost my Love Blog

Lost my Love Blog

An attempt to process a messy ending to a relationship against a backdrop of Covid-19, insidious online communities and the associated fall-out of all that!