Posts

The fear

People tell me I’m strong, I’m brave, I’m a fighter. But mainly I just feel afraid.

Being chronically ill takes away all the control in your life, it strips away all the things that make you you and leaves this husk of a being.

The last couple of weeks have been so draining, like the life in me has been sucked away. The surgery was a shock, though it was going to be planned, to have it dropped on me with days notice shook me to the core.

When I got home from hospital I picked up a stomach bug. I felt sick and nauseous and that feeling took over everything. I had stomach cramps that felt like the worst contractions and I was passing water from my stoma, I lost a stone in a week and I honestly felt like I was dying.

But it was the fear that was the worst.

Recovery one day at a time

I felt so afraid, I refused to let Timm call the doctors as I was terrified that they would make me go back in to the hospital and the thought of that was so overwhelming. I couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t breathe, I had panic attacks and I felt as though I was losing my grip on reality.

Fear is such a strong emotion. A feeling that takes over everything else.

I lost independence and control and had to rely completely on Timm. I was afraid that I’d never feel any better than that again and the thought of that was too much to bear.

This led to the fear that I was too much of a burden. That it would be too much for Timm and he’d walk away. Though he never once did anything to make me feel that way, I think past experience of people I thought loved me walking away planted a seed of doubt that anyone would want to put up with me.

I’m afraid of missing work, I’m afraid of going back to work, I’m afraid that I’m screwing up the kids when they have to see me like this.

Im scared that I’ll never be me again, that I won’t be able to walk the dogs, to work in the allotment, to travel, to be free. I’m afraid that I’m always going to be a patient, a sick person, that I’ll be a constant visitor to hospitals and that my life will be a constant cycle of illness, treatment and recovery.

My nan passed away the day before I was admitted to hospital and so my recovery has coincided with a deep grief and mourning that hits me like a punch to the gut. It’s been a really tough couple of weeks.

I know this is a depressing post, but it feels better to get it out, to give it a voice and to take the power away from this feeling of fear and give me back some control over how I feel.

So though I’m filled with fear right now, I have no other choice but to keep going. I got a card recently and on the front it said ‘take it one day at a time’.  There have been days where even that was too much, I had to take it one hour at a time, fuck, sometimes it was one minute at a time!

And sometimes that it all we can do.

✌🏽& ❤️

Sam

I have this friend…

I have this friend. Her name is Fenn. (It’s not, she’s known by all manner of names, but to me she is Fenn.)

We ‘met’ online over 10 years ago on a website called The Bad Mothers Club.  It was pre Facebook, pre Twitter, pre Facetiming, skyping and instagram.  A vine was still something that grapes grew on to make delicious wine. Forums were the thing and my family thought I was opening myself up to being murdered by a stranger.

Fenn was one of the big girls on the forum, thoroughly intimidating but in a cool big sister way, not a mean girls way. (She never told me to wear pink on Tuesdays).  So we chatted, we found ourselves on the same threads and we talked shit, made terrible jokes and mainly were honest, struggling mums who could tell it like it is.  I met some bloody wonderful people on that forum, many of whom I still speak to today, all in the premise of being bad mums.  We weren’t and we aren’t.  But we found peace in having the ability to share our parenting woes with like-minded individuals.

sam cleasby and violet fenn bloggers

I always liked Fenn, we clicked and I knew I would make her mine and call her squishy.  Months of forum chat turned into emails and private messages where we would talk about anything and everything.  It was a really isolating time for me.  I had three kids under 5 and a husband who worked away, Timm had just started working for the Arctic Monkeys and was touring for 9 months a year and I was home alone with the kids.  I had been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 2 years before and during flare ups, I would barely leave home or speak to other human beings.

Our first phone call was nerve wracking, the premise of it was that she was going to help talk me through understanding Paypal.  Don’t mock.  It was all very new!!! An hour later after her banging her head against the wall in frustration of speaking to a tech-phobic moron, we were laughing and chatting as though we had known each other forever.
sam cleasby and violet fenn bloggers

We first met in person when I took the train to her home town to stay with her.  This goes against all internet safety warnings, but after a year or so of chatting on the phone we made the leap.  I remember sitting on the train and thinking ‘fuck, what if we hate each other??, what if we have nothing to say?’.  I needn’t have worried, we hugged, went back to hers, drank rosè and talked for hours.

sam cleasby and violet fenn bloggers

Our friendship over the past ten years has seen us through raising 5 kids, relationships breaking down, new loves, illness, surgeries, heartbreak, new loves, new careers, six years working together at Leeds festival, our lowest lows and our highest highs.  We live 100 miles apart and don’t get to see each other nearly as much as we both wished but this girl is my love.

I don’t think I would be here writing this blog if it wasn’t for Fenn and her ever helpful tech and social media advise.  She is creative, artistic and ever brilliant and you need to go take a look at her work at Sex, Death, Rock n Roll (yes, that IS the best blog name ever).
sam cleasby and violet fenn bloggers

Today is her birthday and I think you should all go over to like her Facebook page and wish her a happy birthday for she is bloody wonderful.

Friendship comes in many different ways, often when we least expect it.  For years, people would say she was my “internet friend” as if that meant she weren’t real, as if the fact we met online negated from any real life connection.  We live in a time where we can connect with other people from all over the world in ways never experienced before, that is a wonderful thing.  Of course we need to keep ourselves safe, but the internet opens life up and gives you the ability to make friends that can last a lifetime.

Fenn is my true friend.  She makes me happy, she talks me through my sadness, she is my shoulder to cry on, my partner in crime and my support.  I love her very much and truly hope that I have made her cry as she reads this! 😛

A few years ago, I trained as a masseuse and got the opportunity to go to Leeds festival and be their backstage masseuse for artists.  As I had a massive panic attack about it, I knew there was one person to talk me down and be by my side.  Together we did 6 years, hanging out with rock stars, giving eye liner to American punk boys, feeding lolly pops and cider to indie bands and generally having a fucking amazing time.

sam cleasby and violet fenn bloggers

The last time we did that was in 2013.  I was ill.  I had been ill for months and knew I wasn’t well enough to go but didn’t want to let anyone down.  When we arrived there was confusion, problems with work space, a back stage manager who was trying to fuck us over (don’t ask!!) and a lot of stress.  I managed the first night and then between us, we had had enough and went home.  The next day I was admitted to hospital and I didn’t leave for two and a half weeks.  When I left, I no longer had my colon.

My wonderful Fenn, I want to thank you for those 6 years.  We had a blast didn’t we?!  Josh Homme calling you ma’am, Jarvis Cocker, the Axl Rose debacle, the Beth Ditto debacle, nearly taking out Dave Grohl with a swedish wooden throwing game, you getting me to meet Pete Doherty, hanging out on buggies, sleeping behind the main stage with a stage light for warmth, telling Chung “celeb gossip” about Gok Wan to realise it all came from Pop Bitch, the lovely coffee, the dining with stars, the case of the stolen guitar that we solved like punk Miss Marples, Jack Black, the year of the weird yogi and his life in a cave, the shaming of those who thought we should know who they were, the laughs, the tears and the cider.  Always the cider.

I should probably mention now our one and only argument.  It involved drunkenness, tents, cameras and a bottle being thrown at my head… It was magnificent!

 

sam cleasby and violet fenn bloggers

You are a gem, you know.  You deal with so much and you are an inspiration to so many.  Though times are tough and you have a lot on your plate, you are always there for me and I am truly grateful.  You know what else I am grateful for?  That fella of yours.  Thank you lovely boy for making my girl the happiest I have ever seen her.  It is a real joy to see you together.

We keep promising to do more work together, then life, kids, illness, stress gets in the way.  I don’t stress about it though, as I know we are going to do something amazing together at some point.  We are both so fucking awesome that it would be a travesty for it NOT to happen!

mighty boosh fancy dress crack fox

From the humble beginnings of a tiny corner of the internet to where we are now, I am so glad you are part of my life.  I hope you have a marvellous birthday, I only wish I were closer so I could come and clink a glass with you.  We will be friends to the very bitter end, when we are old punk biddies in amazing costumes with bright pink hair and kick ass shoes.

And that is why, my love, when I renewed my wedding vows to my Timm last year after the worst times of our lives, there was only ever one person who I could have had to perform the ceremony.  Thank you for being such an integral part of such an important day.  I love you.

 

Happy Birthday beautiful xxx

 

Please do go check out my wonderful Fenn…

Website FacebookTwitter

Debbie Downer

Things aren’t brilliant at the minute.  I’m still really struggling with fatigue, I am so exhausted all the time, and this brings my mood crashing down, I feel sad, guilty and useless.  I am still waiting for a date for my hernia operation, the hernia isn’t too big but it aches constantly and I have to wear a big support belt to hold it in if I exert myself.  My anxiety levels are sky high when I think about going under the knife yet again.  We are dealing with some really stressful parenting problems that are filling my head with stress and making me feel quite isolated.

And then two days ago, whilst washing the pots, I cut the back of my hand on a glass quite badly.  After a four hour wait in A&E with the skin flapping off my hand, doctors glued it up and strapped up my hand.  They said I was very lucky and only just missed the tendons, as they lifted the flap of skin, you could see all the tendons and muscle moving and the bone of my knuckle!

bandage hand

It’s all strapped up now, but is very, very painful, my hand is swollen and I can’t move the first finger at all meaning I am pretty one handed at the minute.  I can’t believe how difficult life is with one hand!

And this may sound pathetic, but it has been the straw that broke the camels back.  I am done in.  I felt useless enough with the hernia and fatigue, I am doubting myself as a good parent and life is kind of crap,  but now not being able to use my right hand has floored me.  I know it will heal quickly and within a week or so I am sure I will be fine, but I am gutted how little I can do for myself.

Even typing this is a nightmare, I am one fingered left hand typing and so I will keep the post brief as it is taking so long.

I’m afraid I have little to be positive about today.  Life is pretty sucky and though Im sure there is a silver lining somewhere, I can’t find it right now.

The only positive is that I deal with everything with the awesome and unfaltering support of my husband, and though things aren’t great, at least we are together.

I will try and be back soon with a more shiny, happy outlook!

Sam x