An Update & An Apology

Firstly, this is an apology for the length of time since our last update. For those of you who are friends with me (Carley) on Facebook, you may have noticed that I haven’t been in Scotland this past week. I was signed off of work last week due to the bereavement of a family member and stress, and I figured that I’d feel better close to the rest of my family in Essex. On Sunday I returned to Scotland (and to Stacey!) after nine whole days apart, and today I am back at work, and so I’m hoping that I will also be able to resume a normal blogging service soon!

The funny/odd/horrible (delete depending on how emotional I’m feeling!) part of being signed off work for two weeks due to stress and anxiety was that I’d spent most of late January and early February denying that I was struggling. When I received the news that my great-uncle had died, I was with Stacey at her parent’s house in Forfar. Uncle Les had been ill for a few months, but it was a relatively short illness, and I was incredibly shocked when my mum called me to tell me. In her desire to protect me and stop me worrying, my mum often withholds information from me about things she thinks I can’t change; but unfortunately, this time it meant that I hadn’t realised just how ill he had been.

Rest in Peace Uncle Les

Whilst we were in Forfar, being with Stacey’s family kept me busy enough not to fall apart, and once we returned home, I found a number of things which distracted me from feeling incredibly sad and really quite isolated from the rest of my family. Not being able to attend the funeral (due to transport and accommodation issues) didn’t help, but I tried to keep to my usual schedule as much as possible. Looking back, I think I must have been at least a little aware of the fact that my mental state was slipping – hence my post at the end of January about my depression diagnosis back in 2009.

When a phone call to my mum left me sobbing for no discernible reason, and a windfall of some cash from my grandparents left me in a state, I realised that I probably wasn’t as ‘fine’ as I kept telling everyone. During dinner with one of my closest (and most grounded) friends, I spilled my fears and worries, at which point he encouraged me to make a doctor’s appointment. “You can always cancel it if you feel better later in the week” he said, and so I did.

The absolutely wonderful doctor listened to my feelings of fear and isolation, and suggested that I’d feel far better if I was able to go home and actually see my family; just to reassure myself that they were all okay. (She also gave me some anti-anxiety pills to help me sleep which made me feel like a zombie, to the point that I can’t remember getting onto the plane which took me down to London!)

Carley with her wonderful nan and grandad at Christmas

I absolutely needed that week at home; spending time with my family and with some old friends who have reassured me that they still love me and will be there for me whether I’m in Edinburgh, London or Timbuktu – but I admit, being away from Stacey for so long was hard, and I’m glad to be back at home now. Whilst I’m still not back to 100% feeling myself just now, I’m hoping that getting back into the swing of things at work – plus making plans for Stace’s birthday in ten days time – will have me back to normal in no time.

This past month has really illustrated to me both the difficulties and blessings of living so far from my family. I have talked so. many. times. before. about how being in Scotland is hard for me, and I was wondering whether anyone else has any stories about living their lives separately from the people they love? Right now I’d just like to be reassured that I’m not the only person who doubts themselves when choosing to live so far from the place they once called ‘home’.


7 Comment

  1. Laura says: Reply

    Hi C,

    So sorry to hear all this – we hope you are okay and recovering. It’s really hard living so far away from family – my grandparents live in Oz, and its the same thing – nobody tells us the full extent of when someone is ill or something has happened. It’s scary knowing that something could happen and we wouldn’t have any clue!

    This isn’t very inspiring, but just know you aren’t alone, and if you ever need someone to speak to who knows what you’re going though, I’m your girl!


    1. Carley says: Reply

      Thank you so much Laura. I have coping strategies these days (an emergency credit card to book flights // never ever turning my phone off) and most days these things make me feel good about my choices, but it’s been a hard month! I’d struggle even more if my family were the other side of the world so I’m totally in awe of you :)

      Thanks also for being so lovely – it’s good to know that I’m not the only one to feel like this some days. xx

  2. […] and sometimes couldn’t imagine leaving. As much as I often feel conflicted (hello, see my last post!), I wouldn’t have it any other way – because for every day that I wake up feeling […]

  3. Amanda says: Reply

    I left everyone and everything I knew in order to live with the person I love. It IS NOT EASY, but it is a continual reaffirmation that in matters of love, we typically put our desires aside in the name of fulfilling our need to be near the one we have chosen and who has chosen us. I am going to have to mention this in an upcoming blog post about how Kris and I got together.

    1. Carley says: Reply

      Thanks for leaving this comment Amanda. I’m particularly glad that I’m not the only one who finds it hard; worthwhile, yes, but still, hard. I am also comforted by ‘our need to be near the one we have chosen’ – because it truly is a need, a longing when I’m apart from Stacey. I often feel torn; half of me in Edinburgh, half in Essex, and yet this is my choice! It’s a strange way of living, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  4. […] tried to write about some of the things which I have found really hard about our lives; from when I was signed off work for stress and bereavement right through to the frustration I felt when my phone, laptop and glasses all broke within just a […]

  5. […] desire to blog. This was different, for me. I’ve written about hard times before (depression. grief.) but it didn’t seem right to be writing about my life when I was feeling so adrift and yet […]

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