Learning that it’s ok to have a good time

I am (or was) a social person. In fact I’ve made my career out of talking. I love to dress up and meet with friends. And yet when my best friend bought tickets for us to go see a show I panicked thinking “how am I going to do this?” (especially knowing it was on the date of Elliott’s 1/2 birthday) and was filled with mixed emotions and opinions on going.

I’ve spend the last couple of weeks wrestling between “I can’t” and “I should” along with “it’s not right” and “he would want his mummy to smile and laugh”. I desperately want (and maybe need) a full night out with laughs and fun and getting dressed up like I used to love doing so much. But I’m worried I’ll be a wreck, I’m hesitant to be surrounded by so many people (how the hell did THAT happen?), I’m terrified of loads of questions that are hard to answer (even though I publicly share?!) and I’m worried about the guilt… I’m worried about guilt that’s awful, consuming and overwhelming, striking me down after having a genuinely great time (outside of being with my other children)

I’ve talked a lot about guilt and my struggles with it. It turns out no matter how much I talk about it and what I tell myself I’m simply prone to it and it just keeps on coming. It’s something I’m LEARNING to deal with.

No one told me about this super crappy part of the journey (or at least the possibility of it) but I wish they did. Someone posted the following on one of my other posts and it’s something I’ve held onto since reading it:

As much as we tell people it’s ok not to be ok, we sometimes also need to hear it’s ok to be happy. I had to tell my inner voice that the first time I had a good laugh… It doesn’t mean we don’t love them, it doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten them and it doesn’t mean some days and moments the sadness is overwhelming. Let it unfold but don’t fight or deny yourself those little moments of healing.
Then just last night I was talking to a beautiful loss mummy about my trepidation and she said to me “A good day gives you the energy to deal with the bad days“. I couldn’t think of a better reason to embrace a good time. Maybe one day my L plates with come off and I’ll get my P’s. Maybe one day even I’ll graduate to being fully qualified at dealing with any guilt that might arise and simple joys in life won’t come with baggage.

Today I genuinely enjoyed getting pampered at the hairdressers changing my hair and had some great laughs. Tomorrow I’m going to put on a beautiful new dress I’ve been waiting to wear, go out into the world and HOPE to really enjoy myself despite it all. It might be all smoke and mirrors but I will be nice to at least resemble that old me who I actually quite liked.

In saying that I know how important it is to not push yourself too much, rush yourself or try to speed up your grief. I know it’s important to make sure I don’t put too much pressure on myself to have a great time and remind myself it’s ok if I do fall apart and give myself a contingency plan if I do. And wear waterproof mascara just in case.

I won’t tell myself Elliott will be there with me because it’s not a child friendly show 😆 but I will tell myself he’ll be there with me as I get ready imagining him saying “go mummy have fun” and there when I get home.

If I get the guilts later… well I’ll deal with that then.



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