Hangovers and trolls

Picture this – It’s Sunday and I’ve been up since 8.30am, my mouth feels like a sandy flip flop that’s been loosely encasing a sweaty foot. Downstairs there’s empty bottles of spirits, cans of Diet Coke and a dog that doesn’t belong to me taking up residence on the sofa.

Don’t worry I’m not an alcoholic dog thief (Allegedly)

No, we just had friends stay over and one of them owns a beautiful big bulldog named Boris, who walked a turd in from the garden and pawed it all over my leggings.

The night before when indulging in drinking golf and chugging on a Charcoal Mellowed Jack Daniels and coke, I didn’t anticipate waking up feeling like worlds worst mother, do you know why I feel like that? Because of course any mum who gets drunk with her friends whilst her daughter is at her nan’s is of course bad mum material, according to the trolls we’re up against on Instagram anyway.

Or is it only mum’s like me who get drunk in their kitchen that are the really terrible ones?

I do feel like death is knocking at my door today, and anxiety has it’s talons around my neck, but not because I’m a terrible mum, just because I drank a lot, and alcohol is a depressant.

I also have a sore throat from the choking I did whilst laughing too hard and my stomach feels like I’ve done 100 sit ups.

I’ve decided in light of that feel good feeling, I’m going to give myself a break. Because we live in a world where we’re all too judgemental about what other people do, and the last thing that’s needed to add to the hate filled shit plastered all over the internet is to start judging ourselves moreover.

Most decent human beings give themselves a hard enough time without trolls sliding into their DM’s to tell them they’re bad people. They usually aren’t. They just, like me, made the most of their night off. And even if they are what one person considers ‘bad people’ who’s place is it to judge them?

My night off last night consisted of booze, but it’s not always my go to, to get drunk when I have a babysitter. Sometimes I eat nice food or catch up on sleep. Sometimes I just watch a bit of Netflix, and chill. That’s ok too. Do we judge those people or just the ones that like to splurge on homemade cocktails.

I have a challenging relationship with social media, I’ve mentioned in previous blogs how I love and hate it in equal measures and that’s still true. I chose an open Instagram page to raise awareness of causes that matter to me whilst sharing snippets (and that’s all it is) of our family life.

Unfortunately there will always be someone out there just waiting to make you feel shit about yourself whether it’s gossiping behind your back or sliding into your inbox. Social media as much as it’s a platform for us to vent it’s also a platform for bigoted people to share their online opinions and that sadly, just is. It was only a week or so ago I dedicated a post to ‘Mum Guilt’ and all its shame fuelling feelings. I think realistically all we can do to prevent online hate is to refuse to be affected by it. I try not to respond to these imbeciles unless it makes room for a funny joke. I was reading Constance Hall’s post the weekend about her giving her son a cool bath to reduce fever. There’s tons of advice suggesting this isn’t the way to reduce a fever and can actually be harmful, but bearing in mind she’s a mum of five I think she’s probably got previous form for fever reduction. However the response to her post was so drenched in hate filled commentary about how she should know better, for God’s sake guys, the bath could of been 2 degrees cooler for all we know and probably wasn’t full of ice! I commented in response to one of the trolls stating this and then I deleted it because I realised in that split second that my opinion was just that, an opinion and all it was doing is fuelling the fire for online abuse. We all bang on about supporting each other but still have strong views around what is right. Just a heads up, unless a child is being abused or neglected, it’s probably not your business or your problem. She was in the bath cuddling her baby, not drowning him and feeding him soap. Ciara had pizza and screen time to aid my recovery today, and guess what! She loved every second of it.

Rejection

Rejection.

I’ve never taken it well. From my father to boyfriends, one night stands, friends to colleagues, interviews and talent shows. I don’t even like the word –

R E J E C T I O N – ugly isn’t it?

As an adult you really do have to accept it to a certain degree, applying for jobs and not getting them, trying to get your writing published and getting turned down, it’s all par for the course on that journey we call life. However that, for me, doesn’t make it any easier to handle. I find rejection a real personal slight and I internalise it in every which way possible.

I applied for a job last week that I had convinced myself was the only job I wanted and needed despite it being a draining drive all the way there.

When they emailed me, yes emailed because in business these days people seldom call you to tell you when they don’t want you – when they emailed me to say I had most of what they were looking for but lacked knowledge in a specific area, I was gutted. They then proceeded to say they were putting the job back out for advert. So, go figure, I have almost all the desired skills but rather than train me on the few I’m lacking you’ll just keep hoping the better person will come along. Thanks hun.

They may as well of just said ‘No thanks, you’re not good enough’ – Ok I’m being a bit melodramatic, but seriously I find that kind of recruitment so unconventional. Whenever I’ve interviewed people before of course they are judged on their skill set and have to tick boxes, but I also get a feel for them as people and their desire for the job in question.

Do they want it?

To add insult to injury one of the articles I’d written for a magazine was also declined. It was about taking antidepressants whilst pregnant, a really relevant topic with the mental health crisis being as it is, and maternal mental health being still such a taboo. I’d edited it to a standard of polished finery, it was good.

And their reason for not publishing it, it didn’t set the tone they were after. Which is weird considering they asked for honesty, real life, feminist type topics. Everything my article contained.

I often think my style is an acquired taste because I do write with an honesty that can sometimes be construed as offensive although that’s never the intent.

I have to defend myself here and speak up though, because I know I have a niche and I want to be heard. I know my writing resonates with hundreds of women. That’s not being arrogant, it’s ok to be good at stuff you know!! I love words and I feel I use them well. I use my voice to speak up about parenting, chronic illness and mental health and I know that all this rejection I’m receiving is ammo for a new article – queue this post. However, I can also write reports, stories poems and so on, so I think I really do have to learn to accept rejection, learn from it, and keep plugging away.

People will tell you you’re not good enough, but what they really mean is they have an idea of what they want and you’re not it. The secret is to try and see past the rejection and use it to prove them wrong. But I have never really been very good at secrets and I can’t help but feel like I’m failing. I feel like I need validating, as if that will prove my worth.

But even after this, off I went, geared up applying for more jobs, saw another I knew I could do and wanted – pay wasn’t amazing but right now it’s about ticking over whilst I write, rather than making my fortune. Filled out the application, again to a standard of polished finery and got to the bit where they ask if you have any criminal convictions. I do, and whilst now spent, this role included providing details of even spent convictions. So I wrote down my 2 convictions and 2 cautions.

All from a time long ago, when I was at rock bottom and a bit of a reprobate. Also all pre my life with Shaun and Ciara.

I filled out the form anyway – nothing to lose, and I’m sad to say I’ve not had even an acknowledgement.

So how, I ask are we supposed to rehabilitate? I’m not defending myself, I know I was a knob and did some stupid shit age 22/23 like kicking off in the street and breaching the peace, my worst crime was driving drunk. Something I will never forgive myself for as I know the damage that could of caused endangering others. I’m so sorry for that, and thankful I didn’t hurt anyone. It’s something I have paid the price for though, I can assure you and something I’d never do again. Ever!

I didn’t commit fraud or burglary, I didn’t bring harm to people or get involved in hate crime. I just didn’t know when to hold it down and my decision making was erratic. They were all, (accept one when I was 13) offences committed whilst under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both.

You often see these amazing inspirational stories of people turning their lives around and that’s me, I did that too, but I’m not always being given a chance to prove it. We had Ant back on our tv’s after doing the same thing and we still love him. He made a mistake but he’s not a bad person. He didn’t have to deal with job rejection when being honest about what he went through. I understand some roles don’t fit if you are potentially at risk of reoffending especially, crimes involving children and the elderly. We have to protect people’s welfare first and foremost but we also sometimes have to take a leap of faith. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and take a chance. I’ve not just done bad things in my life, I’ve done some amazing things too. I’ve raised over £10,000 for charities, been a good friend, a good mum, kind… there is always more to people than meets the eye if you’re willing to educate yourself.

Being rejected is something I wonder if I’ll ever be able to cope with but I am determined to keep trying, I’ve turned my life around and I want to show my little girl that her mummy never gave up when trying to be a better person than she was the day before.