Editors Journal

I’m Back – Where Have I Been….

WOW! It’s been a while since I last blogged. Where have I been and what have I been doing. 

The last few months have been a real test of my courage, strength, mental health, and physical wellbeing. Which is why I took some time out of blogging. Although I was still active on socials, to write, it takes a lot of energy and time, something I simply just did not have.

So, where have I been? 

Firstly, as a business owner who was once freelance and spent a better part of the beginning of 2023 working on transitioning my freelance gig to an actual business, time was hard to come by when it came to reserving energy for writing.

It was super busy, with more clients, more work, and many exciting projects I was both part of and helping clients with. The transition, however, took a small toll on my health and wellbeing. Now I didn’t get sick, and nor did I take any time off. But whatever time I had to myself, which I would often reserve for taking road trips, and writing, were sidelined for rest, sleep, and of course managing housework chores and running errands.  

I made the decision earlier on, that if I found myself pressed hard for time, I would reserve it for resting and just hanging with friends and family, instead of using that time to write.  However, truth be told, I didn’t realise how much writing helped with my mental health when I was very busy, overwhelmed and feeling the stresses of life.

Writing really is an outlet for helping you get through challenging moment in life, share life experiences and be inspired by sharing stories with an audience who are willing to listen. Then something awful happened, one of my cats sadly passed away.  

Her name was Ghost and she reserved a very special place in my heart, so when she left this earth I was, lack of a better word, devastated.  

She was raised by a feral mum from the street, so trust was hard to gain from her. And finally, after a year of being part of our family from 2020 to 2021, we got it. It was such a touching moment, when she hopped up onto the bed and curled up to sleep beside me.

I remember calling my partner and telling him to quickly (but quietly) come to the room. He could not believe she was curled up next to me on the bed. And from then, we formed a very special relationship – one I miss very much and still brings a tear to my eye as I write this. 

She went missing a few months back, for 2 days, and I called and called for her. But due to really bad weather, I was hesitant to go out in the car looking for her, worried that I would either get in a car accident or cause her to be in one if I called her in traffic and she ran out.  

After the 2nd day, once the weather had cleared, I went looking for her, and found her. She was resting peacefully on the side of the road on the grass, only a block away from our house. I broke down and called my partner to please come and bring a box and blanket. She had passed and it seemed she had so a couple of days prior to me finding her.

I was beside myself, lost, feeling alone, but more than that I felt guilt.  I felt guilty that I hadn’t searched for her in the bad weather, perhaps I could have found her time and got her to emergency. Maybe not. But the guilt came more out of the4 fact that she had been sitting there alone for 2 days.

It cut my heart in 2, my soul was dead, and I felt the loss break down my mental barriers. I was done.  In some part, it felt like the icing on the cake, when I am still mourning the death of my father, who only passed away in 2022. It’s been hard. To say the least.  

The way my dad left this earth (a story I will one day tell when I am ready – not yet), the way Ghost had now left this earth, it was not a nice way to go out, and it took a real toll on my mental health. I felt responsible I didn’t make more of an effort to keep her staying in at the house more – which was challenging at times – remember she was raised by a feral mum.  

Locking her up was not ideal, I tried once, and the depression was real. She was so upset and depressed, her little light that shone bright in her eyes faded, and I just couldn’t leave her locked up. Not when she loved to sit on the roof and sunbake, explore the neighbour’s yard and be part of the community cats who also roamed the hood.  

But I still felt like it was my fault that she is no longer on this earth. Even 3 months on, I still feel that guilt. And although I know as a cat, there is nothing I could have done to keep her at home all the time, she was a free spirit and there is nothing I could have done. It’s been a real road of challenge to get through the grief of her loss. During this of course, I was still trying to transition my business from being freelance. 

Thank goodness for the support of my clients and a massive shout out to my business coach. Side note – if you are working on your own business, I highly recommend you get a business coach. I would not have got this far without it.

The transition would have happened a lot slower. 

My business coach, who is also an empath (someone who feels the emotions of others, both present and past) and so the support she gave me to go through the motions of grief, and take some time out if I need, so I can focus on the business with a clearer mind, rather than being a big old mess and unable to function at all, which would impact and look bad on my business. 

The support from friends and family was also amazing, and I really appreciate how everyone was there for me, through the grief, which made things a lot easier to help get through it. However, what I didn’t realise would happen, was the anxiety that would stem on from the loss of Ghost. So, here’s the thing. I have another 8 cats that I look after – all rescues.

A few are only out in the day, and sleep in the house at night. Others, however, are from stray cats and feral cats, and so locking them up is not the answer.  

I do have plenty of cat houses, cat trees and places for the cats to sleep throughout the night, and they do use them, which does give me comfort as I sleep at night. But whilst I am sleeping, there is always that possibility they roam the surrounding the street at night. And although we live in a very quiet dead-end street, there is no guarantee, they don’t stroll beyond the boundaries of their territory (being the house – front and back yard).

This is where my anxiety then comes from. 

At night I felt anxious, sick inside and found it hard to go to bed. I would spend hours outside with the cats spending time with them, to keep track of them and make sure they were all well fed, so they would not wonder too far and possibly sleep most of the night and keep my eye on them to ensure they were okay. This was very taxing on my physically and emotionally. I was going to bed too late. We were coming into winter, which means I was rugged up and sitting out in the cold with the cats.

Not good for my physical health. And I would decline all offers to catch up with anyone – friends or family, to go to dinners. I could not be away from the house at night.  

From 5pm onwards, I had to be home and just didn’t want to go anywhere.  This was challenging, as May, June and July are busy months with birthdays. And often, most would always have birthday dinner. I would go, but by 8pm, I wanted out. I wanted to be home, and wasn’t very good company, when all I wanted to do was be at home with my cats.  

It has taken me at least 2 months to get through this, sort of. I do go out some nights now, but I don’t feel at all 100% and my anxiety is still a little high when I’m out at night.  I just try to shove it to the side so I can enjoy my night, but always for the drive home afterwards, I send out a prayer to ensure all my fur babies are at home waiting for me when I get back. It’s a challenging that’s for sure.

And although shoving my anxiety to the side whilst I am out at night, may not seem the right thing to do. It’s not about ignoring it, I acknowledge it. But I also know for my mental health, I need the time out with friends and family to leave the house and be social. So, I am not stuck at home with anxiety – all alone. 

Each day does get better, and as I sit here and write out my story (in some part) – I already feel better. The health benefits of journaling and sharing a story with an audience is stress relieving, and I do wish I had done it sooner.  Better late than never I suppose. 

So, where am I today and how am I feeling, as I write this post? 

I still have some anxiety when I leave the house at night. And it flares up if I am out and the weather turns bad. Each days gets better, each day I must work on myself. A reminder that we are all working progresses, no matter what challenges we face in life, whether it be grief or something else. 

And as I sit here telling you my story of where I have been the last few months, I do feel more confident in my healing, and my next step will be to then work on sharing with you my story of my dad and that loss.  Something I did vaguely share with you all last year but didn’t give the full story.  I feel ready to share the full story of my dad and my thoughts on how he passed and why he passed.  

So, stay tuned for that, thank you for listening. And please, if you are going through something similar, don’t sit with it alone. Do find someone to talk to you, whether that be a loved one, or a professional.  And if you are thinking of starting a business or have one already and need some help to take it to the next level, then invest in a business coach.  

I have also decided to kick start my YouTube channel back up again – something I have been thinking about for a while now. So be sure to click the video link to check out my old stuff – and something new.

For anyone new to this blog, the last 3 years have been tough (I’m sure for a lot of people). I lost my mother in law, my dad, covid happened, the lockdown, money, hard times and then some, and so much more. The cat as mentioned was the icing on the cake.

I am looking forward to moving forward now with some exciting projects for me and my clients. so stay tuned and see you next week.

Next week, I will be talking about my shingles – how I healed myself, why they never came back and how I feel 3 years on from having them.

I am a freelance writer and content creator who designs website and manages social media. I also write travel and beauty for www.renaesworld.com.au, and a weekly beauty column for www.bondibeauty.com.au whilst managing my own personal travel and lifestyle blog at www.my-life-journal.com

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