Tag Archives: independence


As long as I can remember I have always felt compromised when it came to my own personal space. Growing up I never had a room of my own even though I was an only child. It wasn’t so much the sharing but who I was sharing with that was the issue. Countless people share with siblings but sharing with your parents because a lodger was in your room of bunking up with your Nana from the age of 10 – 25 ( 28 if we include holidays from London) is not ideal to say the least but it was the way it was. I got through it but not without squiring a few over night bags along the way. 

Total number of house moves till London = 9.

When I lived in London as independent as I now was I struggled to gain my own space. I spent most of the time sleeping, eating, socialising, working in my bedroom whether it be a shared flat, student accommodation or as a lodger. 

Total number of house moves in London = 4

When I returned to Edinburgh I was an engaged soon to be married. Sharing everything with another person; a person who couldn’t understand if I needed or wanted space. It was more viewed as a slight on him and quite often ended up in acrimony. It wasn’t going to end well really was it and it would be no surprise to say that it didn’t. 

Total number of house moveswhilst married  = 4

The best solution under the circumstances was for me to move out of the family home and set up a flat on my own with the children living with me for 4 days of the week. And that’s what happened. I could go into detail about how traumatic the three months leading up to me leaving were but that would have you all reaching for the bottle which would defeat the main purpose of my blog. Suffice to say it wasn’t the best time of my life or the kids but after what seemed like forever I secured a rented flat close to the kids school and my family. I’ll never forget the day I moved. Yes it was rented but it was mine. It was the first time I had been solely responsible for a living space on my own. My own kitchen, my own bathroom, my own lounge and my own bedroom. The first time I had my own bedroom that all I had to do was sleep and be with myself in. The kids had their room but I also had my own room. My own room! At 42 I had finally arrived. 

So after over three years of living in the flat the kids were reaching the time that they couldn’t share anymore. If they were same sex it might have been more manageable but being a boy and a girl it wasn’t working out. I looked online for other flats but they were so much more expensive or in areas that would have been 2 buses to school in the morning that it just wouldn’t have been possible or the right thing for anyone. I mulled it over then after one particularly difficult evening I decided it needed to change ASAP and the change meant only one thing. I needed to give up my bedroom. 

When the day arrived last week for me to start the changing of the rooms I felt overwhelmed with loss. It conjured up so many feelings in me. The sense of losing that room space had a profound effect on me filling me with anger, resentment, sadness and fear. I felt like I was 14 all over again. Fighting for privacy, feeling marginalised, alone in compromising. I didn’t like it and  on Mother’s Day after a difficult few hours with the kids at my parents they were picked up by their dad leaving me alone to walk home. As I started my journey home I felt overcome with emotion and for the first time in a very long time I had the desire to be drunk. I visualised a glass of red wine in my mind and I so wanted to taste it but more than anything I wanted the feeling it used to give me. That warm, fuzzy feeling and an instant shoulder relaxer but the visualisation didn’t stop there and very quickly the glass panned out to a bottle and then panned out to me – drunk. That’s what I wanted. Drunkeness. In an instant I wanted to be in a state which stopped me caring about what was about to happen. Them as quickly something else happened. After allowing myself to visualise what I desired at the moment I heard myself say inside my head,

‘Laverne, you don’t do that anymore.’

As quick as it had come it had gone. I had controlled my need to drink by telling myself I didn’t need to or want to and it had happened organically. Even though the remaining steps of that journey home were emotionally difficult and tears stained my face I never thought again about drinking. It was just something I didn’t do. End of. 
With one foot in front of the other I walked up the road, in my head I was walking a new neural pathway. I arrived home and with the help of a friend I gave up my bedroom and created a new lounge/ bedroom. Once finished I stood back and looked at the new flat interior. Yes it was different. Yes I was back to eating, socialising, relaxing and sleeping in the one room but my children had the space they needed and deserved. They can grow and develop themselves within their own space and learn how important it is to have that freedom. Something I wish I had had. 

A week has now passed since the big change and my thoughts and feeling too have changed. When the kids came back the joy on their faces when they saw their own rooms made everything that I was grieving for seem irrelevant. I’m not diminishing my own feelings as what I felt was very real and on reflection understandable but when I look at what I have I am blessed. Regardless of who sleeps where it is my own front door, it is my own place with many rooms, it is my own bed, it is my own life. These are my children. They come from me and will be with me; connected always. I have changed my thoughts, feelings and actions regarding alcohol. I can change my thoughts, feelings and actions about anything. 

Number of house moves as a liberated me = 1 

Whatever the size, wherever the place I possess the most important aspect of living. My freedom. With that I can change anything. That is all the riches I need. 

Nighty night x

Ps 715 days 


A Lot Can Happen. 

The 1st of October marked two significant events for me. I had now reached 18 months of complete sobriety and three years of total independent living. When I look at the woman I was then when I left the family home on that sunny Monday morning in 2012 with all my life packed in one van and the two loves of my life standing on the pavement waving me goodbye I felt the hugest sense of relief. However, that relief went hand in hand with total fear for this was the first time truly in my life I was totally responsible for me and not only for me but two other people. I won’t go into the detail of why I left but safe to say it was the right and truthfully only option open at that time. I remember arriving at my new flat and being met by the letting agent who was waiting for me with the keys. Various friends arriving throughout the day to help move bits and pieces into the flat, the building of the bunk beds, the taking out of the window to get a chair inside and the excitement of opening boxes and putting things where I wanted them. The creation of my safe place, my private space, my world. Getting it ready, cosy, homely for when the kids came to stay on the Wednesday for this was their world too… Well half of it. 

After all the hustle and bustle of the day the time came for me to say goodbye to my last visitor, close the door and just be with me. Now I’ve lived with me all my life but now I truly felt like I was living with me. As I sat there in my flat that I was solely responsible for I remember feeling a huge wave of emotion. The cage door had been left open and I had stepped outside. There was absolutely no going back only forwards. Of course back in 2012 the life event was of course marked with opening and consumption of a bottle of Rioja and why not. Why the hell not. The following day I had a huge list of things to do. Council Tax registration, Virgin Media man coming for TiVo box installation, Scottish Power, TV licence, change my address on this, that and everything, contents insurance, do inventory for letting agent and email by midday, go to IKEA with friend to buy curtains, rugs and household things, etc. Oh it went on. Then Wednesday came and suddenly the excitement faded and a sick heavy feeling ached in my gut. I knew what it was. It was one thing finally being a single independent woman but quite another being a single mother. The way marriage had gone for me at that point in my life I had very little confidence that I could manage on my own with the children. Although I masked it well I was incredibly insecure in my own motherhood. I felt inadequate, incapable, fearful of getting it wrong. I knew this was a massive change for them no matter how resilient people tell you children are they are still two little beings whose world has been turned upside down with no control from them. They are at the beckon call of adults decision making for good and bad. What if the decisions I made as a parent were wrong? What if they didn’t like living here? What if they were really unhappy? What if I didn’t like it? What if, what if, what if? That first time I walked round to school to pick them up and bring them to their new home I was both excited and concerned for all those things but they embraced it openly and with great affection and I truly feel they do love living here and that it is their home. 

Now three years on a lot has happened both good and bad but when I look at it all I see how much I’ve grown as a person. On the 1st October 2012 I just needed to step out from the cage but I didn’t realise how far away from myself I had travelled. How lost I had become and how much further I still had to go. The letting go of something you thought would be forever is never easy but sometimes it is the right thing. What I had also done was let go of me. The road back to me has been hard but worth it and I can honestly say I see myself now. I am accepting of myself now. I have found confidence in myself now. There’s still further to go but I’m on the right path at last with two shining  lights to guide me. There is so much to be thankful for and each day is a blessing. So I try to stop often and think about where I am now in comparison as to where I was before  the cage door opened. I try to be mindful of my liberation. To feel it in me, to embrace it and let its power give me strength. I want that for my children. I want them always  to feel liberated and hold on to how important that is as human beings. To always know their worth and have self belief in themselves but to equally honour that in others. To know that sometimes we can get lost but the only way out of that  is through it. Most importantly I want them to always know that they are loved. 

I was where I should have been three years ago. I am where I should be right now but how exciting to wonder where I might be going.
Nighty night X

Ps 549 days