A Year On

A Year OnTo reflect on the last year, with all its grit and grime, is an extremely hard ask for me. I’ve taken a look back at the blog, one year ago, and discovered it’s a year since my boiler broke and we endured three days without heat or hot water. A painful experience that I don’t really want to contemplate again and that’s just it, most of last year I don’t want to have to contemplate again. I honestly feel that 2013 was the hardest year I’ve lived in all my 41 years on this planet. I’ve never been overly superstitious but I am eternally grateful that I won’t live to endure another year with the number 13 in it. And yet, strangely, I personally, did achieve some amazing things in that year.

I ran the London Marathon and raised a large sum of money for the charity TACT.

I started The Weekly Adoption Shout Out with Vicki from The Boys Behaviour.

I started the website The Adoption Social with Vicki, providing support for adopters, adoptees and others working in or touched by adoption.

I produced a youth play for my local amateur dramatics group.

I became a trustee for The Open Nest Charity.

I made some incredible new friends from the land of Adoption and even got to meet some of them when The Adoption Social and The Open Nest exhibited at The Adoption UK Annual Conference.

Yet I measure my year by none of these achievements, I instead reflect on the emotional rollercoaster that the year was for my family. Allowing my mind to even wander near the edge of those deepest and darkest of downward facing times frightens me. My muscles tighten, my throat constricts, and a sickness is rising from within, from the depths of my core a wave of tears is swelling. So, now I’m taking a deep breath……….I’ve found composure and I have stepped away from the precipice. I’m going to stick with my resolution, to live in the here and now and allow only hope for the future.

What I can say, is that to have survived the year can only have made each of us stronger. We are now taking tiny steps towards firmer and more certain ground and I’m sure amongst these pastures of increasing confidence and blossoming optimism, our growth will become more evident. The children are already showing signs of progress, relinquishing 2013 seem to have made a huge difference for them.

Stig has been managing and regulating his anger in a far more positive way. A contentedness, which he lacked for much of that fated year, has returned and glows softly within him. He is growing up, and I think he is coming to terms with it. Maturity can be a difficult attribute to steer at first but he is taking control and beginning to benefit from, even enjoy, the fruits that it brings.

Tink remains a boy of two extremes. Beyond his cool, astute and steely stare is a soft and squidgy little bundle, which requires the tender nurturing of an infant. The softness at his centre is well protected and few are privileged enough to benefit from its tenderness. I however am being allowed increased access to his vulnerability, as he allows me to assist him, asks for my help and even voices his concerns and fears. As always it is all very much on his terms, or so he believes, I’ve also become increasingly clever at letting him think he’s in charge.

My relationship with Mr H has near enough weathered what has been some exceptionally treacherous storms. We cling to our life together by our fingernails alone, but sheer determination that we will not be beaten by a bad stretch, keeps us holding on. There is light at the end of the tunnel and I know we can get through, but damage has been done and healing may take time. We know however that it is worth the endeavour, as at our core the embers of the love we have for each other still radiate warmth.

For me the last year seemed an endless battle with my old adversary, depression. I struggle to recall any long periods when lightness was in my step and cheer was in my heart. I feel much of my time I was weighted by worries and anxieties for those around me and strained by the intensity of living with those filled with worries and anxieties. I have started taking steps to lift myself from beneath the heaviness and I am learning new ways of keeping my old friend at a distance.

So today I prefer to look at the year ahead and hold hope in my heart for the future. In this vein I will say that a year on we are now on an upper ward turn and I am optimistic we are leaving the darkness behind.


  1. Sarah MumofThree World February 9, 2014 / 5:15 pm

    Beautiful, well-written post. So sorry to hear you had such a tough year, but pleased to hear you are all turning a corner. Hope all is well for you in the year ahead.

  2. thepuffindiaries February 9, 2014 / 5:17 pm

    Thank you Sarah. I am feeling much more positive now than I was this time last year, so fingers crossed. x

  3. mumdrah February 9, 2014 / 5:51 pm

    Oh! Oh my. Oh no. Its seems our years of horror overlaid. But you; you kept going throughout; achieving, helping, supporting, doing. Where as I had to pare down my world to a bare minimum just to survive. So the way I see it, your 2013 was a ‘measure of the woman’ – and you emerged bigger better faster stronger.
    You deserve recognition and wonder for that. I’ve always been inspired by you. Now that is double fold. Mx

  4. Alison Bates February 9, 2014 / 9:21 pm

    2013 wasn’t the best of years for me either. The relations with my birth family nearly split asunder but somehow I managed to get it together at the end, after three calls to the Samaritans, much ranting and raving and telling of the truth and risking an end to everything. But there was hope at the end of the tunnel and we survived and things are now so much better. Yes – depression is an old adversary, but it can be beaten and you have clearly showed such amazing strength and been a beacon of light to others.

  5. Suddenly Mummy February 9, 2014 / 9:35 pm

    Such a hard year for you and yet still you’ve achieved so much. Some would have just given up and gone under, but you have shown amazing strength and courage to battle on through. Here’s to an exceptional 2014!

  6. RonB February 10, 2014 / 1:22 pm

    I loved this note……I admire how honest you can be with yourself and then share it with others…….we can all take a leaf out of that note book.

  7. Emma February 10, 2014 / 8:49 pm

    Here’s to the year ahead…. May it be the best yet! :) xx

  8. Honeymummy February 12, 2014 / 9:08 am

    As always so beautifully written. You are an incredible person.

  9. Three Pink Diamonds February 12, 2014 / 4:15 pm

    Sorry to hear 2013 was such a difficult year for you and your family. I am glad that things are looking up for you all and like you say here is to the year ahead!!!

  10. older mum in a muddle February 14, 2014 / 6:36 pm

    I could tell last year was a real bruiser for you, and incredible that you all manage to weather it to the best of your abilities. So glad to hear that things are starting to settle a little, and I really hope 2014 is much brighter for you all. Stay mindful, such an antidote to depression. X

  11. PedallingSolo February 16, 2014 / 8:40 pm

    Hi, this was very thoughtful, honest and open. Huge credit to you for both looking back and looking forward, and for your ability to manage your own safe space too. I am still so new to this whole world, and have so much to learn – and reading about how you and so many others have learned ahead of me is sometimes scary, sometimes intimidating, but always inspiring.

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