Taking a year. Taking time for us.

From May last year we declared that we were “taking a year”. We took time out. Why?

Last year, we faced 2019 hoping that after what had been a brutal few months ending 2018, we would have a peaceful and gentle few months. Some issues we had dealt with had left us feeling bruised and traumatized.

Sadly 2019 wasn’t prepared to be kind to us, either. We dealt with a number of things in a short space of time including Myocarditis for the husband, which was a hell of a scare and took him time to recover from. We also dealt with other things, that made us face life as we knew it.

We realized after that, that we needed to step back. We needed to take stock, so to speak, and we needed to look at our life and work out what was really important. We also realized that there were people and things in our life that we needed to distance ourselves from for a period of time so we could allow ourselves to heal. We pulled back. We went into self protect mode. We said no to a lot of things, we didn’t turn up to things. We chose to be selective about what we did and who we spent time with.

For a long time, we have given out. To work, to relationships, to things we believed in, and none of those things seemed important compared to the healing WE needed. In 18 months we faced 3 life moments that battered and bruised us. One of those things is hard to deal with, two is mind-bending, three nearly broke us. We had to evaluate everything we thought we wanted and thought life was about and face changes and huge hurdles we hadn’t planned on facing and we needed to retreat to recover.

So we took a year. It was hard for people to understand. When you are the reliable person, the yes person, the one who always wants to make everyone happy, the be and the do person, as we both are, the people who will always be there, who never say no, and you suddenly aren’t those things, people don’t get it. They feel hurt, they question, they are critical. They talk behind your backs. We worked out who had our backs, and who didn’t fairly fast.

It was, as close to a mid-life crisis as both have us can understand.

It made us take time out.

Our year is about two-thirds of the way through. We are slowly surfacing in tiny steps. Sometimes we poke our heads out and think we are ready, and sometimes we know we aren’t.

It’s not over yet, we aren’t there yet. Boundaries we have put into place actually feel good. Learning to say no and have grace for ourselves in spite of the pressure from others feels good.

Now we need to learn how to come back to life but with lessons learned and those boundaries in place. I am NOT there yet, so it may take me longer than we “planned”.

We have stopped explaining our protective stance and simply are where we are.

It’s been painful and hard, but also incredibly good for us too.

It’s given us some clarity about some things, whilst other areas are still very foggy. Do we want to leave the UK? Do we want new careers? What life do we want to lead and give our children? Who around us do we want relationships with? Where do we build and what do we build? What is important and is it what we want or is it what other people think we should want, or what other people want for us, but we don’t? We are stronger I know that for sure, even if I know little else.

Maybe in a few months, it will all be clearer.

taking a year

Taking a year…

Posted in Mental Health and tagged mental health recovery, recovery from trauma, taking a year.


  1. Reading this brought tears to my eyes, last year was also a year out for me. I left my job, which I worked so hard to qualify in, because I just couldn’t give myself to it in the way the people I worked with needed. I went part time for the first time in my life, and became fully financially reliant on my husband. I hit low points, and high, and low again. I learnt how to say no, initially feeling that I had to explain myself when ever I said no, until about 7 months in and I learnt to say, no thanks, without explanation.
    I am very thankful that we had already left the UK, relocated to the US and were settled with new friends and new found loves and hobbies. I think if I had the 2018 and 2019 I had had whilst still in the UK I would be nowhere near the healing I am now.

    Through Project 366 I’m sure I’ll get to know you a little more, but I wish you a 2020 full of clarity and growth, with no regrets.

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