My first blog, Love Letter to a Cheating Husband, received some very kind feedback thank you for that but please don’t feel sorry for me as it has led on to some of the best experiences of my life. Many of which centre around my love of soul music and dancing and without a good soul night to go to I may not be as healthy, happy and fulfilled as I am currently.
I include mental health is this too. Just after I found out about my husbands affair I went to the doctors as I had some pain around my breast and although I knew pain was rarely associated with breast cancer I had five friends who had been through it or were going through it at the time and felt it best to check. He picked up that I was in a bit of a state generally so when he referred me to the cancer clinic he asked what else was going on so I told him a close friend had passed away a few days before on the Friday from a brain tumour but I couldn’t fly to New York for the funeral as I didn’t want to leave the kids as their dad had moved out that Sunday after sitting them down to tell them it was because he had an affair with another woman and mummy and him needed some time apart. The doctor referred me for counselling saying no one no matter how strong they think they are can cope with that much bad news all in the same week.
The counselling took 6 months to come around and the borough of Hackney is not as bad as some others apparently and although I didn’t think I needed it but that time I did it anyway as what harm could it do, eh?
In the meantime I had been fixing myself though and this is where music came into play, btw my favourite track of the moment is Deja Vu by Will Downing featuring Avery Sunshine. I don’t know if anyone else who has been through heartbreak has felt the same but when I was trying to deal with the initial shock and trauma on not only myself but our two girls, our families and our friends I felt the need to keep busy. Plus I couldn’t sleep until 3 or 4am. The house was tidier than it had ever been, I was working hard as I had to earn extra money so not only was I pushing hard with my events business to win new clients but I also earnt some extra money by doing focus groups for cash in the evenings and sold some items we didn’t need anymore found during my spring cleaning on eBay. I needed to earn an extra £1000 per month to maintain our current lifestyles and I really didn’t want the kids to suffer any more than necessary so cutting back their clubs, holidays and getting rid of the car were possibilities I wanted to do my utmost to prevent. However I also needed some light relief, a little bit of fun too. So what does a single, late forties woman do on a Saturday night?
I found my answer. I’d always loved to dance and I used to go to SITA every year in Portugal for a long weekend of dancing hard so I thought that’s it I’ll start going out to Soul nights, jazz clubs, concerts, places where I will fit in. Pizza Express Live, Soul Network, Mike Vitti’s Funky Nation at Ronnie Scott’s, later Mi-Soul Sunday’s at Fest Camden and Wayne Enyaw’s Soul Fine. I cannot tell you how much it helped. I made new friends, found new favourite tracks, started listening to Mi-Soul and Solar on DAB radio at home. I was dancing so much it spurred me on to change my diet, swim, join Pilates and start going to the gym. I wanted to ensure I was around for my kids and for myself as a fitter healthier version of the old me.
I fixed myself.
When I did finally go to therapy, she asked me about my relationship with my ex, my dad, did I ever feel depressed or suicidal or blame myself for things going wrong. Hell no! Why should I?
What I realised was that it was not my job to make him happy. There was nothing wrong in our marriage, we still went out every weekend together, we didn’t argue, I told him I loved him most days and so did the kids, we didn’t have any major financial worries, he had a great life on the surface so if he wasn’t happy it was because he was drinking too much, not staying fit, wasn’t involving himself enough with family activities or pursuing the things that made him happy or dealing with the things that didn’t in a positive manner. It had absolutely sod all to do with anything I did or didn’t do.
Now don’t get me wrong I think therapy can really help and I would recommend it, the place to start would be Relate or your local doctor but for me it just reinforced that I didn’t to need to beat myself up for something somebody else did. That was out of my control. My responsibility is to myself and my two children and it is better for them see a strong woman who is striving to be successful in business and life so that’s what I did. My girls tell me they are proud of me and want to be entrepreneurial themselves, setting up slime businesses to resell to school friends, doing a yard sale to earn extra pocket money and more.
I am now adding to my day job of business events with a social event aimed at soul heads who want an upmarket venue, combined with dancing and a mix of soul, rare groove, soulful house, RnB, reggae and I might sneak in a little bit of garage for old times sake, reminds me of Sterns down near Worthing from my youth. Join me on Saturday November 2nd if you will at Soul Sophisticates at The Trading House, Gresham Street just behind the Guild Hall in the beautiful City of London. 10pm until 4am, tickets here.
Oh and no cancer btw but boy are those mammograms uncomfortable!