Written on 13th August 2012
Today marks the day we arrived home an entire 12 months ago – that’s 365 or 366 days. Actually it could be 367, because I think we actually got home yesterday a year ago.
So what has been happening? Read on kids.
You see, Mark and I returned to the land of OZ different people. Not the same as before. We always had a good time together, but two years in another country with only a handful of friends gave us time to just be us.
No commitments to a three day bender of celebrations (I’ve just finished yet another) and no mention of ‘got to be there because…..” , it was just us two going for a walk on a Sunday morning because we could.
When I finally got over being homesick – a good 12 months into the trip – the English way became part of me. I enjoyed the bus ride to work, the walk up the High Street in the drizzly rain with my overcoat, scarf and gloves.
I loved my drinking buddies from work or buddies by association because of work.
Mark had a great crew too. Totally different people to mine, but still good sticks.
Anyway, it was 12 months ago (or 12 months and a day ago) we finally arrived home, surprised the parents in glorious style – mum still grins like a Cheshire cat when recalling the story – and began a new but familiar life.
Familiar you ask? Apart from the drinking? Well Mark fell back into his job, we moved back into the same house, we had the same household items right down to the cutlery and we had all these loving people, some now married and some with little kiddies, plus two extras in the family (I’m looking at you Gordon and Cameron).
It was as if we’d had a week’s holiday in England, not two years. And that became a big fat problem for me.
At dinner, mum said to me: “Before you left, there were things that worried you. Everything with you and Mark, parents, other people who didn’t know about the two of you…… It’s all gone now. You’re expecting something that won’t happen.
This was in response to me having my first panic attack. Not an OMG moment. A gut wrenching, can’t breathe, tears flowing panic attack – whilst at work.
I’d scored a great job two week after stepping off the plane. A P.R Agency which has fabulous clientele, is vibrant and in it’s own way really doesn’t even know if any other agencies exist – simply because it is great.
But somehow, this moving back, falling on our feet, same house, having instant jobs, became a guilt thing. Why are we so lucky? Is something going to go horribly wrong because everything is perfect? Is this the total reverse of what happened when we moved to England?
Month one: I was still finding my feet. Month two: I was feeling icky driving to work. Month three: I was breathless at my desk whilst attempting to write about the Wiggles.
I resigned on the day I left that job with no time for a last hurrah. It was ME time.
It was time to smell the roses.
For the next three months I did just that.
Early on, I recall sucking on an ice block at 10am. I was pacing the house from one end to the other without knowing and enjoying every drop of the lemonade goodness. Before I realised, I was in the freezer again and back to it.
When I finished that one, it dawned on me that I had been pacing but no clue as to what I was thinking about or how many ice blocks I had consumed. It was two – I checked the bin.
This was a funny little period in this thing called life. It was time out. I had plenty of people very concerned. The random house calls were a nice touch and when it appeared like I was about to have a seizure due to my jagged movements in a chair as I was having a head rush, they’d politely keep talking as if nothing was wrong. That’s what friends are for, and for that I thank them dearly.
Appearances can be deceiving
The words “Addiction” and “Facebook” – are quite often used with my name at the start of a sentence.
I LOVE IT – Yes, I just yelled it at you.
You can OMG, WTF, grrrr when you are angry, LOL inappropriately and totally not in context to what you have just written, throw in a hashtag when you’re not even on twitter, do whatever you like - you go for it girlfriend. If you want to tell me about the cat next door and where it pees, I want to read it.
And I, in return for your statuses, do exactly the same. Constantly. Well, daily. OK, Twice daily. Maybe three times if I see a funny quote picture (what is with those? – there is a never ending supply!)
With everyone knowing my every movement, new piece of furniture and every single time I have a drink, I did come to realise my outlet was Facebook. Initially, it was all about keeping in contact with all whilst overseas. Then, over the last year, it became my outlet. I’d re-read some posts and think “wow, I was feeling great”. Then think…. “Why aren’t I now?”
The “in the moment” feelings were never false. They were truth. The times I didn’t have to think.
Re-emigration (I made up a word)
We returned to the country in 2011, but more importantly, almost 12 months later, I returned to me or re-emigrated in 2012.
I believe that I came good, or hit the final phase as I wrote this on August 13th 2012.
As I bashed it out on the keyboard at work, instead of doing actual work, I felt a big weight lift. It had been coming slowly but surely, part of which was me treading very carefully and not wanting a false sense of confidence security.
That panic, saw my over-confidence become much more reserved. In a crowd situation, or under pressure at work, I put on my best performance whilst quietly dying inside. It took a little (mild) medication and a whole lot of strength to “push through” But I did. (May I caveat the above sentence by telling you I never sunk to a point of helplessness nor was there any thought of doing anything bad.)
The confidence is nearly back. With a drink, it is in overdrive. I still have a little issue when seeing a lot of people at once, most recently this week at a presentation, but I settled into my chair after saying hello and re-gathered.
Well, I’m back. I have a great job where I am paid to maintain and build relationships. I work in a busy, dynamic and exciting organisation with a lot of energetic people. My team are all younger than me, but I have realised that is a good thing. I am responsible for them. I was always the one who was being looked after and managed. Now I manage myself and the youngers in the department, with superiors keeping a view from a distance.
We’ve been back a full year with everything we could ever wish for. There is absolutely ‘nothing about to go horribly wrong’.
A planned trip to America in a couple of weeks, a prosperous lifestyle and being surrounded by good people all the time – what more could I want? Nothing.
To end, a gigantic thanks for reading and thank you infinity plus one to Mark and Mum. They just knew what to do XXX.