Thoughts on the UK General Election (and why my best mate calls me the ultimate oxymoron) #GE2019

ultimate oxymoron

For a leftie like me, the UK General Election results were nothing short of devastating. To think that people would rather have proven liars in control of our country baffles me, but it would appear that people are ‘sick of facts’. They want to feel something. Oftentimes I have a different stance on societal issues than those who are left leaning, so I thought my words here might be useful to some. When the time comes to hit the publish button, I’ll be taking a huge deep breath. For I know, without doubt, that many will disapprove of what I’m about to say, but it needs to be said.

Is lack of common sense our biggest problem?

There are many divides and giant issues, but at the bottom of it all, there is a distinct lack of common sense. The notion that the left must all agree on absolutely everything, otherwise they’ll be targeted and ousted via social media is nothing short of absurd. Cancellation culture is rampant. Comedians – whose jobs are to make people laugh – losing their livelihoods over supposedly racist/sexist tweets is madness. Kids, who have literally grown up online, having every silly or misjudged thing they’ve ever said or done thrown in their face. Is it any wonder so many of them are as confused as they are? It’s not sustainable and feels like it’s all going to implode.

Surely, the best thing we can do as parents is teach our children kindness and understanding? Not how to take better selfies. Not leaving to them to their own devices – literally and metaphorically – and engrossing ourselves in what’s happening on our own phones? How on earth are children supposed to learn how to moderate their usage when most adults are hopelessly addicted?

Getting to the root of addiction problems seems to be the elephant in the room

Which leads me to my next point. Most people I know are addicted to something. Be it the obvious and most destructive – drugs and/or alcohol, or the not so obvious but just as destructive – gambling. Cigarettes and vapes. Porn. Sex. The internet. Even when a person gets clean and sober, they usually become addicted to work or exercise. We must start asking ourselves uncomfortable questions. Until we address what the holes are in our lives, we will always be looking for something to fill them. It’s a crazy world and a strange time to live through. Never has it seemed more important to get to the root of our troubles.

Loneliness, depression and anxiety are intrinsically linked. As a collective we have never felt more disconnected – which makes no sense, given how hard it is to lose touch with someone in this digital era. Materialism has created junk values which in turn make us miserable. The podcast below could change your entire mindset.

Simply donating more to charity is not the answer to society‘s problems

Many of my friends have been speaking about donating more money to charity in the wake of the election result. Now, I completely understand that kind hearted people want to do anything they can to help those less fortunate. But I don’t think the guilt-ridden middle class are going to solve everyone’s problems simply by donating more to charity. As my good friend said the other day, charity feels like sticking a plaster on an amputated limb. Some grassroots movements are providing emergency services for those in desperate need of them, which is commendable. But there doesn’t seem to be anything out there putting proper fixes in place to our deepest rooted problems. Most of which seem to stem from not being able to get over shitty childhoods and past failures. There is so little in the way of genuine community and online versions are a poor substitute for those who are suffering with acute loneliness.

Everyone has a story and mine could have turned out very different to what it did. Not because I’m simply lucky – although, undeniably, luck has factored. For example, it was pretty lucky to meet my husband on a beach in Cambodia. Which had come off the back of a serious depression, which followed losing my job and had felt anything but lucky. I got a redundancy payout though and instead of being sensible – learning to drive, buying a car, putting a deposit down on a little one bed flat (when you could still buy them for 50k) I went travelling. And met my husband.

When I was going through my decade of self-destruction, I got myself into too many ridiculous near misses. I was once found running down a dual carriageway with no shoes on, banging on car windscreens screaming “help, he’s going to kill me”. This wasn’t even my lowest point, it’s simply an example of the situations I used to put myself in. Now I am not saying for a second that me being blind drunk and high as a kite, gave this guy the right to take advantage. He absolutely should not have pretended to be a taxi driver and taken me to a strange house halfway across the other side of London to do whatever he pleased. Who the fuck knows what actually happened or would have happened that night? My point is, the ultimate responsibility for those events has to lie with me. One could argue as well, that my mother could have done a better job in raising me so I emerged in the world stable and functional, but that is the next next part of my story. A crucial part.

When did it become radical to suggest people deal with their demons before bringing children in to the world?

My childhood had many flaws and errors, but it installed one very deep value into me. After witnessing almost every adult in my life get the parenting malarkey so utterly wrong, I knew it would be a terrible idea. When my step-father yelled: “you’ll be pregnant and living in a council flat by the time you’re sixteen” the day I left home at fifteen, I knew getting pregnant when I was young was to be avoided at all costs. Even then I could see how crazy my life had been to that point. I knew I had demons. I knew I would struggle with addiction and self-worth and I could have predicted I would break, many times over. Not getting pregnant was what I did, above absolutely everything else. It was the only way I could navigate my way and survive those early years.

When I severed ties with my own mother in 2005, I entered an almost two year period of going off the rails. Living in Cambodia, back then one of the most lawless places on earth, certainly didn’t help my addiction problems. My husband made me leave the country first when our time was up – even though at the time he was holding the title “ex-boyfriend”. He knew I’d be dead within a week otherwise.

Until dysfunctional cycles are broken nothing will change

Finally I broke, at the end of 2006. Rather than end it, as I started suspecting I would – I decided to go down the much harder route and took full responsibility for the mess I was in. There was a whole lot of stuff which had happened to me, through no fault of my own. No eight year old child asks to become a teenage boy’s play thing. Young kids don’t want to have to look after their siblings because there are no adults in the house. Or wake up to not having food in the cupboards or being able to switch the lights on, or live in shit hole after shit hole and go to a different school every year. But alas, that was my start. Yes it sucks, and from time to time, no matter how much I’ve made peace with it all, it still stings. But a shitty beginning does not have to define who you are forever.

I spent the whole of 2007 becoming the person I had previously only dreamt of being. Undoing the damage and destruction and teaching myself how to be a good person. At the end of 2008, two entire years after rock bottom, I found out I was pregnant with Polly. When she came into the world, I don’t think I could have been more stable or happy. Had I had kids before I was able to cope with them, I know without a doubt, that it would have been a complete disaster. It has already been incredibly hard at points.

This is not a dig at single parents. Some people have done and are doing an incredibly amazing job on their own. But this isn’t always the case and to pretend that all single mums are brilliant, because otherwise you’re “Daily Mail/Tory scum” etc, is another part of this wider problem. Let’s not forget about the waste-of-space dads either, who go around sowing their seeds with no regard for the devastation they’re leaving behind. I’m also aware that for some people, having a baby is the catalyst for changes they so desperately need to make. There are plenty of good news stories out there telling of university degrees, and hard but wonderful lives, regardless of their less than fortunate starts. But these are the exceptions, not the rule. How have we got to the point, where’s it’s radical to suggest that we should deal with our demons and get our mental health in the best shape possible before having children?

No-one is coming to save us

As a home educator and mother of an autistic child, I have written numerous articles to raise awareness. To try and get people to understand what my family goes through. Directly after Polly was diagnosed, I think they were sometimes helpful. A few of the blogs went viral and people would get in touch thanking me for my words. They’d say they felt understood for the first time since autism had come into their lives. Almost five years down the line, and I’m sad to say, I just don’t feel this way anymore. Rather than all the awareness creating a more tolerant and less-judgemental understanding for others’ lives, we’ve become less empathetic and intolerant.

Here’s why: because when push comes to shove, there is always more that we can do. Always. When I was living through my own personal parenting hell in 2016/2017, I thought there was nothing more I could give. I truly believed I was giving everything and I was doing my best. There was nothing more I could possibly do, but when I look back, I see a different story. Don’t you just love the beauty of hindsight? I’m not one for regrets, but I am a massive fan of reflecting and learning from the past. Rather than simply carry on making the same mistakes over and over again. Einstein defined that as madness, after all.

There are many things I’ve worked hard to change. Limiting the kids’ screen time; me not being glued to the blog and social media; making sure everyone eats well; not escaping to the bottom of a bottle at every obstacle or feel I have to share every disappointment. The list goes on and the difference between our house two, three years ago and right now is like night and day. I’ve had a lot of virtual hugs and understanding during tough times, but in brutal honesty, it got me nowhere. Swallowing what I want and doing what’s right for the family have been the game changers.

Taking control of our health has never been more important

For the avoidance of doubt: I am not saying that people deserve their miserable lives. Nor am I implying that people have brought their situations on themselves, I don’t know everyone’s situations. What I do know is that no one is coming to save us now. There have already been reports of US trade deals which will destroy our food standards and hike up the cost of pharmaceuticals. The NHS will absolutely be on the table. Make no mistake, project fear wasn’t fantasy, but sitting around complaining is going to get us nowhere fast. One of the biggest concerns during this election was what would happen to our NHS if the Tories continue underfunding it. Unfortunately, the sad fact is many people have abused it over the years. Going to the doctors with every sniffle, getting free calpol even though they could more than afford it, not turning up to appointments. All these things are fodder to those who are making the cuts.

Most chronic illness stems from autoimmune dysfunction, which can often be cured or at least put into remission by following strict diets. I know this firsthand, because I cured my debilitating food intolerance and urticaria with the GAPS protocol. GAPS is a brilliant way to eat for people suffering with mental health problems and also to help calm challenging children. Five years on and my little family all still eat super clean, with lots of gut nourishing food and drink. These probiotic rich goodies cost pennies make. Yes it’s time consuming and yes, there will be an adjustment period taste wise, but again, sometimes we have to put what we want to the side for the greater good. Refusing to address dietary pitfalls will make us more sick, it’s as simple as that.

We have to start investing in our wellness – which always starts with what we are eating and drinking. I have banged on and on and on about this over the years, and it’s more relevant now than ever before. The less money we have available, the more we need to be cooking our own food from scratch, because it’s the most nutritious. Lidl and Aldi offer an exceptionally cheap way of eating fresh veg, which means there are no excuses. I used to defend people and their choices, for fear of “food shaming” but as Eleanor Roosevelt famously said: “no-one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.

What happens next?

For what it’s worth, some of my favourite people voted Tory or not tactically in a marginal area. They’re not a bunch of selfish, uncaring c**ts, but it’s clear the right don’t put as much value on the lies as the left do. I think above all else, most people on the right or in the middle were simply terrified that socialism would destroy everything they’ve worked hard to achieve.

Speculation about our country is pointless right now. Johnson will get to be the “PM he so deserves” to be and we all just have to wait and see what that means. Given how horrendously they’ve behaved, not just during the campaign, but in their ministerial roles so far, I have zero faith in the government. But this guy below, has some unbelievably fantastic ideas. Have a watch if you can…

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