So long 2017…..

Ok so I tried writing a post on 2017 & honest to god it was very depressing. However it was honest so I am going to try & start again, a bit more upbeat. Let me start by explaining I struggled this year a lot. On social media you wont see pictures of me unhappy as who really posts that online? However I am open about how hard I found life this year as for me it always helps when I hear of people who can relate. Therefore I want to use this blog for people who feel the same & may make them feel a bit lighter knowing they aren’t alone.

So here it goes…

Dating; I started 2017 communicating with a catfish, ignoring all the signs as he messed with my head & made me feel like crap. Eventually picked myself up from that to end up with two guys older than me who ended up ghosting me. During the summer I dated a younger guy but the age difference was something I couldn’t ignore no matter how I tried. End of the year saw me with two emotionally unavailable men, one who has become a friend of sorts, the other who made me realise I deserve to demand more for myself. So 2017 is ending with me still single, hopefully 2018 will end differently.

Travel; My best friends hen began my travels with us heading to Edinburgh. I then made my way to Thailand, struggled at the start however I met some wonderful people & am still in contact with one. London was next & this helped me realise that solo travel means doing whatever you want to do, even if this is spending it doing nothing in a park! Belgium was a fantastic short break in August & I finished my travels in Croatia which is an unbelievably beautiful country. I loved all of my trips though sometimes I felt I travelled too much abroad when there is so much to see in Ireland.

Health; Ok so this is partly why I struggled this year & I cant say my health was that bad. However it took my up until August to realise that how I felt for a long time was actually a physical health issue & not necessarily a mental health issue. Basically I have had bouts of depression this year. I mentioned before it is not a term I use lightly, however it was something that affected me. Along with this I had periods of exhaustion where I would come home from work & nap for two hours, still feeling tired after this. This was during the summer where the previous year I spent it hiking every chance I got. So being a vicious circle the lack of exercise & physical exhaustion lead to more depression. Eventually blood tests revealed it was an under-active thyroid which I was aware I would eventually have. I googled symptoms & this made me feel better knowing that I wasn’t imagining them. However by my second blood test my levels corrected themselves which meant I would not be out on medication. I at least am now aware that if the symptoms present themselves there is a possible reason. When I just started feeling normal & got back out to hike, I ended that day with spraining my ankle at home which messed me up for 6 weeks. I looked forward to the Christmas period as I had a week off to hike & I got a bloody cold! 2017 really wanted me to be lazy & put on weight!!

Car problems; When I wasn’t sick during the summer my car was acting up. I loved my car, it was only 8 year old. However every third week I had to leave it in to be fixed. Overall the car cost me €1000 which I really couldn’t afford. I ended up getting further into debt & upgrading my car to a 152.

Concerts; I was lucky enough to see Ed Sheeran this year & he was amazing as usual! I then went to Phil Collins which was way better than expected ( I was also drunker than expected). The Killers supplied me with extreme pleasure in London in July & again in Dublin in November. U2 were also in July however whilst their stage was fantastic I have seen better concerts from them. Little Mix was November & whilst I enjoyed them I felt the sound was sometimes off. Very eclectic genres of concerts!!

This year also saw me putting myself first when making a hard decision. Whilst it wasn’t easy & unfortunately it affected others I am happy to say I don’t regret my decision. I also signed up to a course to try challenge myself. Still awaiting results of my first assignment in 16 years!

So in hindsight I am glad I rewrote this blog post! I don’t think it was as bad as I really felt. I did have hard times & struggled with loneliness which is hard to explain to people when they know me as a social person & have their opinions of my life. People don’t always show their struggles. Mostly everyone tries to put on a brave face but only when people have experienced their own will they understand others. We can all try to be kinder to each other which is easier said than done I know.

For 2018 I have travels to look forward to along with more concerts. I have a divorce to look forward to! I will be testing myself further with this course & still on the lookout for someone to share my life with. I will hopefully still have my Izzie beside me, keeping me sane with her love & loyalty.

I hope 2018 will be a better year for everyone, especially those who lost someone they cared about xxx

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My constant companion 

Ever since I can remember I have loved dogs. No matter what size or breed I felt the need to pet and cuddle any that I came across. For years I swore I would be a vet when I was older ( until I realised how tough it was to get into). 

At ten I was surprised with a puppy and soon after we rescued another pup. These dogs were family to me. I looked after them as best I could as a child and was heartbroken when my dogs eventually passed. I didn’t think I could go through that heartbreak again. I’d been very lucky with not losing people close to me at that stage so it was my early experience with death. 

Over the years I would help out with other people’s pets but never committed to one. Unless you are a dog lover yourself you may feel that I was foolish to feel this way, but I genuinely felt that to get another dog was being disloyal to the previous two. However following the DSPCA on Facebook my mind slowly started changing. They had a picture of a dog with text saying basically that it’s unfair not to pass on the love you showed your pet to another. It got me thinking about adopting a dog again, even an older type as they were unlikely to be rescued. 

I live in an apartment so my husband didn’t think it fair for us to get one. Other people had dogs but he said it would be cruel to be working all day and leave them couped up. He promised me that when we got a house we could get two dogs so that they wouldn’t be lonely and they’d have a back garden. 

A year later my dreams of a house crumbled down when I discovered the debt. It took a couple of weeks to sink in and when it did I made the most selfish decision I had made in years. “I’m getting a dog, I don’t care what you say!!” is what he got told. 

I had made my mind up when my dogs were alive that I would never purchase one. Too many were abandoned in need of a good home so I would only adopt a rescue. Also after minding a puppy for two weeks I realised I wanted an older dog as pups are very hard work and they destroy your stuff!

I set about looking on DSPCA and Dogstrust websites. I was informed by a friend that to rescue I would need to show them a house with a back garden to succeed in getting one. I’m not 100% sure if this is true, however I have never been taken up on my offers of fostering when they request help on their social media. My friends brother however was looking to regime his pet and was getting desperate as he didn’t want to contact the pound. She was a Cairn Terrier and looked very scrawny in the photo. I agreed to go over and see if we were suited but I didn’t commit for definite. When we met she was noisily barking but I could see she just wanted attention. I got told abou her, how she didn’t get on the furniture, how she was trained to not go toilet indoors and how she didn’t like the rain! I felt she suited my home and I agreed to take her a week later as I had other commitments and didn’t want her left alone when she would only be adjusting to her new home. 

From the very first day we were a perfect fit. I took her to introduce her to my parents and they loved her straight away. They love dogs however after trying with puppies previously they realised they are too old to deal with dogs daily and it was unfair on them. Three years on and you rarely see me without my dog. She became family the moment I got her. My parents take her whilst I’m in work and like most “grandparents” they spoil her. This has lead to her being a bit heavier than when I first got her. I think it suits her though. 

On top of Sugarloaf again

Izzie has come on many trips with me. We took her go a pet friendly hotel in Killarney before we split, she climbed Croagh Patrick and Sugar Loaf (twice) in the past year. Though I actually think I exhausted her too much on CP, so never doing that again. She’s visited the Cliffs of Moher and Giants Causeway too. I basically feel like a traitor if I was to do something outdoors without letting her accompany me.

My best friends dog recently passed and it brought home how lost I will be when it happens with Izzie. This dog has got me through so many lonely times, cheers me up when I’m down and makes me get out of bed when I’m hungover. She adores me and is so very loyal, even against her own benefit at times. I believe pets can help so much with mental health for all the points I’ve made just there. 

Well travelled Cairn

For anyone considering getting a dog I would definitely think hard about things. It’s a big adjustment. I walk her 2/3 times a day but I have no kids so I can afford to. Food and vet bills can add up. Mainly though you feel so much guilt leaving them alone. Izzie was trained not to go the toilet indoors but I believe that can be tough. She was also used to being left alone everyday. It didn’t make it easier though. Obviously you have to go to work but I rarely do anything in the evenings which would leave her alone. I got her before I realised I would be her sole owner so I didn’t think I would be leaving her to go out dating etc. Also I’m lucky that I have my parents to take her when I go on trips away. I arrange them when I know they will be here themselves as I know they are her family too.

Take this all into account. If you still think you would like a dog I recommend adoption from a rescue centre or dog pound rather than to buy one. There are so many puppy farms out there mistreating dogs that you don’t know what is good and what isn’t. Plus the fact that there are many many good dogs in need of a loving home and a second chance. 

Hopefully I haven’t bored you or come across like a crazy dog lady!!

Izzie paddling her paws