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I did it. I deed poll’ed myself and in a process that seemed way too simple to be official I said goodbye to Mrs Alice Harold forever. That’s right, I’m Ms-with-one-S Alice Judge-Talbot now and in all honesty it’s been a rollercoaster. I had no idea I’d have so many emotions attached to my name but seeing that deed poll in real life felt so very odd.
Of course it doesn’t help that I decided to make these changes right before a brutal bout of PMS; my emotions have always been very closely linked to my hormones and the name change seemed to prompt an attack of OH MY GOD I’M RUINING MY KIDS LIVES, because there is no guilt like that of divorce. There was no husband with me this week to celebrate Hux’s first independent steps and Elfie’s hilarious insistence that she was a cat for three days straight and that felt HARD. It felt like I was depriving them of a dad and I spent way too much time having a bit of a self-pitying weep.
The thing is, I know that rational thought and my period are mutually exclusive ideas. I know that most of my thoughts and feelings around this time are wildly unpredictable and the result of a rush of hormones but it doesn’t make it any easier. I kept saying to myself, self, this is not your reality, but then I’d spill some salt and it would ruin my day.
TMI? Shall I start discussing tampons vs mooncups or something?
Aside from the odd hormonal upheaval things are good. I can’t remember how much I’ve written about my Post-Natal Depression since the separation but my black cloud lifted as soon as the unhappiness at home was over. When I went to New York I forgot to pack my Prozac and haven’t taken it since; perhaps not the best way to come off anti-depressants but I haven’t missed them at all. The anxiety, the worries, the sadness… for 28 days of the month it’s a thing of the past. At first I worried that I was on some sort of adrenaline high with all the changes but 9 months down the line and I’m happily unmedicated.
The kids and I are moving house in a couple of weeks. Not very far away from where we are at the moment but somewhere a little smaller, more manageable financially and housework-wise, closer to the train station. New name, new memories, right? My parents own the house so I’ll be able to paint the whole thing pink if I want (I won’t) (maybe). The kids are sharing a bedroom which they (and by ‘they’ I mean Elfie) are very excited about; I have a walk-in wardrobe waiting for me so I’m excited, too.