It's a state of mind
February is not a good month for me
I don’t know why, February just seems to be a month when things go a bit wrong.
Today is the 5th anniversary of the death of my Step-Dad Dave. In some ways it feels like it happened only yesterday, in other ways it’s a lifetime ago. I think a lot of my red lipstick attitude comes from how my Mum and I handled the crushing grief from then as a family. We haven’t stopped and we’ve grabbed at life with both hands. I could talk to you about overcoming grief but there’s nothing I can really say that hasn’t been said a hundred times before. It never fully leaves you but it does improve as time moves on and 5 years down the line I’m able to reflect on the time we had with Dave, what I learnt from it, what I’d change and what I’ll cherish.
There are other reasons why February is not a good month for me.
Mr P and I are yet to spend a Valentine’s Day together outside of the hospital. I’ve had a lot of health problems over the past few years and for some reason my appointments always seem to fall on Valentine’s Day! Poor old Mr P...
Then there was last Valentine’s Day.
Last Christmas I fell pregnant. It was completely unplanned and unexpected, just one of those things that happens. The pregnancy ended on Valentine’s Day last year. It was painful and horrible and the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through by far.
I’m not going to say anything else as this is still extremely hard for me to talk about and is not something I generally share.
The reason I’m sharing these deeply personal things is because I want to show you why I started this red lipstick project, and also that it’s possible to keep fighting no matter what happens to you. Even when things feel so bleak and so terrible you don’t think you’ll ever feel good again you can claw your way back to happiness.
After my last few February’s I was a bit of a mess. I was angry and irrational, I tried drinking to block out the pain (which didn’t work), I tried working to block out the pain (which worked quite well until I was fired...).
Nothing truly worked until I started putting on my red lipstick.
It might sound strange or crazy but, for me, wearing my red lipstick triggered a complete change in my mental state. Suddenly the things I did were governed by what I was wearing. Bear with me here...
You put on red lipstick... but red lipstick looks strange without any other makeup so you put on some eye shadow and mascara... now you haven’t done your face just to sit about on the sofa all day and crying will smudge your mascara so you get out of your pyjamas for the first time in days... so now you’re looking pretty good you might as well smell the same so you put on a spritz of perfume.... also your hair might as well come out of the ponytail you’ve been keeping it in... by this time you’re feeling pretty damn good about yourself and you want to share it with the world so you head out the door. When your husband comes home from work he doesn’t find you scuffling about feeling miserable – he finds you with a huge smile on your face waiting for a big kiss.
Wearing red lipstick really does impact your life. It doesn’t matter where you wear it – wear it at home, wear it in the office, wear it round the supermarket if you feel like! It is the ultimate confidence and mood booster.
I’ve been through some hard stuff in the past few years but when I put on my lipstick I feel lucky. Lucky to have a husband who loves me and a relationship that’s been strengthened by the things that have befallen us. Lucky to have the strength of mind to withstand any storm. Lucky to know the difference between what’s important and what's not.
Continuing my February curse I have had a rubbish few days. Back around Christmas time I started experiencing some distressing digestive symptoms. I ignored it for a while thinking that maybe it was just the effect of the things I was eating and drinking all Christmas. Eventually I confided what was going on with Mr P and he convinced me to go to the doctor. I was referred straight to the hospital for tests including an upper endoscopy and colonoscopy.
They were exactly as fun as they sound... yesterday I was not allowed to eat anything solid and I got to finish my day with two litres of something called Moviprep which cleanses your insides by.... well you can probably guess!
This morning I wasn’t allowed to drink at all which was very difficult. I then went to the hospital to be heavily sedated and have cameras stuck every which way – I’ve only just really woken up!
I’m still waiting on biopsy results but it sounds like I have something called ulcerative colitis (see an NHS description here http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ulcerative-colitis/Pages/Introduction.aspx)
So... not much fun. And yet another thing to add to my (rather rubbish) bow! But this time I’m not going to let it phase me. If I’m ill then I’ll deal with it the same way I deal with everything else – by putting on my red lipstick and facing the world!
Tomorrow marks the three month anniversary of when I started this diary. It has changed my life.
And I owe it all to red lipstick.
X x x x x x x x x x x x x x
P.S. I have finally managed to update my blog settings so that anyone can leave a comment - please feel free to share any comments you may have!
P.P.S Changes in bowel habit are rarely good, if you are ever worried about something like that then see a doctor immediately, there's no need to feel embarrassed or silly. Most of the time it's nothing but it's always better to be safe.