Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Monday, February 13, 2017

Reasons To Stay Alive


Mandy Charlton, Photographer, writer, blogger, reasons to stay alive, mental health, friendship and dating


It's Monday, Woohoo!  I feel the need to cheer because I've actually made it thus far, I'm reading a great book at the moment which I bought a couple of years ago but filed until the moment I needed to read it arrived, it's called Reasons To Stay Alive and If you have ever travelled along the road with a mental health challenge I really recommend you read it.

I didn't blog over the weekend because finding the time to fit it in would have been the biggest challenge, I'd started with having to extract myself from home to photograph Nethermined 3 and then met Harriet at our local, The Northumberland Hussar, we all love the Hussar, we meet there often, mostly I don't even drink, I'm the queen of lime and soda but it's independent, the food is good, the atmosphere is friendly and my dog is better known than me and goes there more often too with her aunties.  Saturday became about Prosecco which lead to Harriet and I going out dancing, it had been a day of closure and gracefully letting go and so a night of dancing is always the cure when you are feeling low.

Something amazing happened, though, a gift from God I suspect, whilst Harriet and I were getting some air in between throwing huge shapes upon the dance floor and throwing our arms in the air, a man started chatting to me, not even sure what about but he was cute and had a charming smile, his friend took Harriet to one side and commented that I was pretty, now I just want to stop here for a moment, in my whole life, all 43 years of it, no one has ever called me pretty and for a 43 year old to be called pretty is either a lie or both guys needed an eye test but after the week that I'd had it was a lovely boost to my self-esteem.  Anyway, I chatted some more and then Harriet had an allergic reaction to something so I said to the attractive man that I was sorry, I had to go and take her home and just as I was about to walk off into the night he asked for my number, I mean, I didn't even know that still happened, it was like 1998 all over again, in fact, the last time someone did ask me for my number was approximately 1999!!  I popped it on my phone and then he kissed me goodbye (rude not to isn't it?) and off I disappeared into the night, half an hour later and he messaged to make sure I'd got home without any issues and then he messaged again yesterday.  Literally, this kind of thing doesn't happen to me, there's a but here and it's a big but, in the cold light of day I realised I'm never going to go on a date with this guy, he's 28!!  I discussed this with Iain yesterday, I've always promised that the lowest age of man I'll date is 32!  It's weird enough when your mum is dating without it being someone who's young enough to be your older brother by just a few years!

It was incredibly flattering though, I didn't get any kind of spark when he kissed me goodbye but my self-esteem needed it, it really did and you know what, it gave me hope of there being real people in the world who do still think I'm not a hideous white jelly baby and I'm hoping to drag my favourite ladies who are all gathering together next Saturday for a little more dancing!

Last night we went to The Stand, our local comedy club for an evening of hilarious political satire, well I'm not sure about the hilariousness but it was definitely interesting!  I did laugh though and laughter, as they say, is the best kind of medicine and as I fell into bed at midnight with tired feet and a less troubled mind I realised I'd come through the darkest week and I'd survived it, not only had I survived it but I'd even managed to squeeze in some moments of joy, I can't think that would have happened 15 years ago but the big difference today are those most special of friends, people like Li, Harriet, Laura and Kelly, ladies who make me laugh and smile and cuddle me oh and John, hilarious John, Kelly's brother (soul brother, not real brother).  My life is enriched by the people I have surrounding me.

So here we are again and I'm sure I have far too go,  On Valentines Day, I shall be as the song said, alone again, naturally and I have some stuff I really do need to work through, that is going to take people who are trained in such things but for now and forever there will always be more than a million reasons to stay alive.
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