);

The Next Phase

A drunken encounter shaped my life as I knew it.

I was newly single having recently moved in with a friend and I was trying to move on with my life.  I decided last minute to join some friends for drinks in Soho and unknown to me at the beginning of the night my future would change forever. After plenty of drinks we headed to a bar where I had a brief encounter with a man and I handed him my business card. I completely forgot about the encounter until a few days later when I got a text message.

What followed next was a whirlwind romance and pregnancy after 3 months.

Looking back I was blind to a lot of what was happening. I was wrapped up in the excitement of a new relationship and oblivious that his high was down to his un-diagnosed Bipolar Disorder. The pressure began to mount as I lost my job and soon after found out I was pregnant. By the time things began to unravel and violent mood swings were a regular occurrence, I was well into my pregnancy. I was sure I could make it work, I wanted my baby to have it’s parents together and the highs that came with the lows carried me through for a while.

We pretended that things could improve for some time.

We even got married after our daughter was born. The fact that we argued and downed Pornstar Martinis before we said our vows wasn’t enough to stop me. I reassured myself that things would work out. We had weeks at a time when there would be small improvements but nothing ever really changed. We even moved from London to Kent to make a fresh start and a second pregnancy followed soon after.

My second pregnancy was the beginning of the end.

After we split, my ex told me he only stayed to see our son be born. My second pregnancy and the year that followed were the most difficult of my life. Looking after a 17 month old and a newborn along with being in a relationship with someone who was struggling to cope with the demands of every day life meant that I had nothing for me. I wasn’t drinking at this point as I was breastfeeding but I lost a huge amount of weight and was an anxious and depressed mess. I felt robbed of the time with my babies and I resented the man who was supposed to support me but didn’t.

Less than a year after my son was born my relationship was over.

Things had really been over for months but it took my ex walking out on us on Boxing day to really accept it was over. I had become so numb by this point that I didn’t feel much at that stage but I made the decision to leave the family home with the children and rent a house nearby. Here I was at 27. Getting divorced from my second husband. Isolated and desperately lonely.