Holidays are all different depending on the company and the time in your life. Dominic Monaghan

Today I completed my last day of teaching for the academic year 2016-17. I am finally on holiday! I can blow a huge sigh of relief that this year is, at last, over. It has been a really tough year and now I am looking forward to ten weeks of chilling out. My best friend booked a ten day all-inclusive holiday for the both of us in Croatia and Monte Negro for the beginning of August which I am very much looking forward to. I will also go and visit my family in France. Until then I will prepare myself physically and mentally so that I can make the most of it. Today I went to the hairdresser and got my new summer look.  am also seeing my personal trainer trying to regain my body confidence.

When I was with him, every holiday was inevitably met with arguments, fights and bitter disappointment. Whether it was Christmas, Easter or the Summer Holidays, my expectation always ended with my hopes being crushed. I remember the first Christmas holidays we spent together in 2015, I was kicked out of his flat and subjected to the silent treatment for two days. I spent Boxing Day and the following day on my own, crying, drinking too much, not sleeping and trying desperately to text him while he kept ignoring me. My children were in France with their father so I was completely alone.  We made up after that and New Year’s Eve panned out to be quite good but the pain of that first Christmas together will always stay with me. Especially because I never fully understood what I had done wrong.

 Our trip to France and Spain last summer was no better and finished with me having a nervous breakdown which was followed by developing Generalised Anxiety Disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts.  We had booked the holiday, during Easter, to save our flailing relationship, but it was to be the final nail in the coffin.  Although I enjoyed meeting his friends and family, it was not the holiday he had promised. We never had time to ourselves and the trip was more a business holiday than a romantic holiday. I had built up my dreams for several months and came down crashing into reality.

This year, there will be none of this. There will be no unmet expectation, no drama and no disappointment. My friend and I share the same interests in travel, food and entertainment, so it appears promising.  Also with my new positive attitude towards life in general, things are looking up. The holiday resort looks fantastic and there are a lot of places nearby to explore. We can enjoy good food, good wine and good conversation. My friend is fairly strict though and insists on me not mentioning him which can be hard at times. Especially since I got back in touch with him recently.

I know I should not have but we have seen each other a few times and been texting regularly over the past two weeks. We both know that there is no going back to what we had. However, we cannot seem to keep away from each other even if we both have a distrust of each other and are aware that our lives will eventually go a different path. We are still attracted to each other like moths to a flame but we know that we will burn our wings if we continue. We are  both enjoying the ride although we’re bracing ourselves for impact.

Meeting with him was actually the catalyst to my recovery. It might seem strange to people who think that no contact is the best strategy. However, I was able to see that whatever drew us to each other in the first place was no longer there (well some of it is!) because now I know what awaits. Also, I realised that yes, indeed my behaviour had been quite controlling and that I had to take part of the blame. I was like the pilot of a crashing plane desperately trying to control the descent in order to minimise the damage and the casualties. Unfortunately the crash was unavoidable and the injuries sustained were severe. We cannot control what is uncontrollable no matter how hard we try.

The holidays are here though. I don’t have to go to work. I don’t have to prepare lessons. I don’t have to put on a brave face. I can relax and do whatever I want to do. Today one of my students who is paraplegic, following an accident, taught me the best lesson. She said that when she found out that she would not walk again, she did not want to live. But then she learnt that there is always hope, something to look forward to, people to love, people to receive love from. She is very inspiring. She said: “Life is beautiful.” And indeed it is.

I am going make the most of the summer, the most of my time, appreciate what I have and not what I have lost.

The summer holidays are here. I am going to enjoy them….


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