Because I Can: the story so far

Having been the lucky recipient of a ‘Freshly Pressed’ feature with my post ‘Bare-Faced Cheek’, I thought I’d round up the top ten posts from my archive for all my new WordPress followers. So far, most of my viewers have been outside the blogosphere, coming to this site from Twitter or Facebook, but now I feel part of a community of bloggers with similar interests and views.

I started the blog because I found that I had quite a lot to say about my situation, leaving a marriage at the age of 43 and spending the last four years being constantly surprised by the twists and turns of life outside conventional coupledom. Some of them have made me laugh or whoop with joy, some have made me cry and floored me with unexpected cruelty.

Anyway – here are the posts that tell my story so far – I hope you enjoy them:

1. Where it all began:

https://becauseicanblog.com/2014/07/20/consciously-uncoupling/

2. On being childfree-by-choice:

https://becauseicanblog.com/2014/07/25/ping-pong/

3. On body image and the ridiculousness of dieting:

https://becauseicanblog.com/2014/07/24/epiphany/

4. On suicide:

https://becauseicanblog.com/2014/08/12/the-silence/

5. On not being a yummy mummy:

https://becauseicanblog.com/2014/08/17/the-one-where-im-absolutely-not-a-yummy-mummy/

6. On dating younger men:

https://becauseicanblog.com/2014/08/23/in-praise-of-younger-men/

7. On Toxic People:

https://becauseicanblog.com/2014/09/10/toxic-people/

8. On dating men my own age:

https://becauseicanblog.com/2014/09/19/sixth-date-syndrome/

9. On not being a Cool Girl:

https://becauseicanblog.com/2014/10/09/my-former-life-as-a-cool-girl/

10. On keeping my name:

https://becauseicanblog.com/2014/10/16/my-name-is/

Thank you for reading.

Lisa.

The Silence

I had intended to publish something very very different today – fun and some may say frivolous.

Then I woke up and saw the news about Robin Williams and the outpouring of love and sorrow all over my social-media feeds.

One of the main themes in my Twitter feed is the silence surrounding depression and mental illness: the great taboo you can never give voice to, for fear of making people around you feel uncomfortable.

I’ve not talked about this for years, so here it is. The Great Taboo.

I tried to kill myself when I was 19 or 20 – the event is so shrouded by silence I can’t even remember exactly when it happened. I won’t go into why I felt so crap about life, but I did. I now know that what I did was a cry for help, that I wanted to be found and thankfully I was.

What was so shocking about that time was how quickly The Silence descended. No one talked of it, then or since. Even I found it hard to tell people. I told a boyfriend once – he couldn’t believe that ‘someone like me’ would attempt it. Well it’s always ‘someone like me’, isn’t it? It’s not a special sector of hidden people going around planning it in the dark.

They’re right in front of you. In the daylight.

I wonder if people can’t handle the idea that someone might want to remove themselves from the earth because it’s a latent dark thought in all of us. Some of us are used to it emerging at difficult times – it’s the ultimate get-out clause, after all – but others steer well away from it, unable to even admit that it’s lurking there.

This week, I am attending the funeral of a person whose life was tragically taken away from them by a terminal illness. They entered my life for only a few months but my eyes are still blinking from the glare of their brightness. We find these situations incredibly difficult to talk about but we console each other with a stumbling shared disbelief of the circumstances.

Robin Wiliams’ life has been tragically taken from him too, by depression. It is the illness that dare not speak its name and one that we find much more difficult to talk about.

Let’s talk about it, shall we? Too many amazing people are being lost to it, or living with it on a daily basis to ignore it.

RIP Robin.

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http://www.mind.org.uk/

http://www.salon.com/2014/09/04/who_publishes_first_global_report_on_topic_shrouded_in_taboo_suicide/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

Caroline Criado-Perez on anxiety and depression:

http://weekwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/ssris-it-doesnt-have-to-be-this-way/