What’s Been Going On With Me – I Mean, REALLY Going On With Me

I can’t tell you how many times over the last two years I have sat in front of this white box, fingers flexed, ready and wanting to pour out my heart in an 800 word blog post.

It is something I’ve been doing since, god, the actual year 2000: not just as my own personal therapy but as a way to connect, to help other people, to just… be. I enjoy living my mistakes and triumphs in an open way, that’s the person I have always been since Tim Berners Lee, my hero, gave us the internet.

But in the last couple of years I haven’t been able to. Life and its (not-so) beautiful  circumstances completely halted my creativity and removed my ability to do what I love the best, the personality trait I’m proudest of: my honesty, openness and the way I translate that on to the page. And by god, have I missed the feeling of whipping out those 800 words on an evening after a bit of a rough day.

And quite frankly, I want that back.

I haven’t stopped writing. Of course the book came out (the best thing I’ve birthed since Elfie and Hux), and since then I’ve been paid to pen a number of blog posts and pieces for one brand or another. But it hasn’t felt genuine, and that is something that has played on my mind non-stop.

“It was circumstances around my relationship that killed my vibe, there are no two ways around it”.

The thing is, when you’re a writer, a creator, it stands to reason that the only words which resonate with your audience are the ones which encompass what you feel most passionate about. Words that make you want to jump up and down like an oversized toddler shouting LOOK AT WHAT I WROTE WROTE, I AM THRILLED AND EXCITED AND PROUD OF IT!!!

Because if I’m not proud of the things I’m writing why should I expect you to enjoy reading them?

There was nothing I could do about it – my writing mojo deserted me, and it was circumstances around my relationship that killed my vibe.

You see, when you pair up with someone who’s recently separated, someone who has not only many years on you but a whole heap of life history too, the fact you write about your life experiences for a living suddenly becomes incredibly fascinating to a whole new demographic personal to him. A whole new demographic you’d rather appeal invisible to.

But the internet – which includes my blog, my Social Media channels, and my Telegraph column – never forgets.

“I’ve had everything I’ve ever written dissected as proof of the awful person I am”

As a result I’ve had everything you can think of thrown at me these last couple of years. I’ve been told I’m a terrible person for the amount of relationships I’ve had, a slut for all the dates I’ve been on. I’ve heard that my morals are dubious, my mental health is fragile (bitch, please), I’m unstable and I am a liar. I’ve been told I’m a gold-digger so many times that I started questioning myself and my motives in my relationship (conclusion: I’m about as much a gold-digger as I have dubious morals).

I’ve had everything I’ve ever written dissected as proof of the awful person I am.

Fuck, it’s been hard. It’s been absolutely heartbreakingly horrendous to have my life’s proudest work torn apart and ridiculed to the extent that the people who were telling me my mental health was on the blink were causing it to go that way. And I am so mad that I let them get to me like that, so very very mad. Absolutely nobody in the world has the right to passively bully or speak about anyone in the way I have been spoken about these last couple of years, and this is a public broadcast to those who have done – and they will still be reading here, because duh – that it is enough.

The only thing I did wrong in the course of my relationship was fall in love with a man. I am not a bad person, I am not a gold-digger (I do fine for myself, thanks), I am not a sex-mad harlot. I am not inappropriate, nor mentally unstable or living life in a way that is insidious or harmful to others. I am just a woman trying to do the best I can to be the best I can be.

I have felt eyes on me constantly. This has been the first time I’ve experienced negativity as a result of me simply being, and the criticism from these watchers for a while really did a number on me. I clammed up, not wanting to write, talk, smile… do anything that would provoke any kind of reaction or response from those who were watching.

My light dimmed. Between the stress of the judgement and the stress of the relationship I once again became someone who was heavy, weighted by the pressure of a world that had previously felt so light. I felt caged in, creatively culled: I couldn’t move, even if I wanted to.

I recognised the cloud before it came, which I think is something that comes easier when you’ve already defeated your demons a couple of times over. While the relationship went downhill I started sleeping more, lost all motivation and, completely tellingly for me, no longer wore colourful clothes (it’s a dark day when I’m searching out another dark outfit).

I knew that I had to extricate myself from the relationship and situation before it was too late, before it swallowed me whole. I had become lost again and I missed myself terribly.

***

Reader, I won’t go into the details of how I turned my own tide, but I will tell you that today I am wearing a bright yellow jumper, I am grinning bigger than I have in months and this morning someone described me as looking good, ‘like a weapon’. I liked that, the thought that I am a force, a weapon, strength personified. I was not a weapon two months ago.

I am no longer in the relationship that was serving me in all the wrong ways but I am happy… no, I am light. I am light in weight and I have found my ray of light again, my sparkle, my purpose. I don’t just have a spring in my step but a whole host of freaking rainbow-coloured slinkies, ready and waiting to bounce upon the world and any negativity it might throw my way.

“If you’re going to make me feel bad for warming peoples’ hearts then I’m going to do it MORE”

For the second notable time in my life I have hit rock bottom and clawed my way back out of it, and though I’m pretty annoyed I’ve let other people’s actions bring me to my knees again I have absolutely no regrets for the strength it’s gifted me.

I’ve had the lessons I learned during my divorce reinforced: nobody can take away your power unless you let them. The only person in charge of Alice Judge-Talbot’s happiness is Alice Judge-Talbot, and the autonomy I have over myself and my feelings is my most precious commodity.

Nothing makes me happier than living my life in an open and honest way that connects my human experience with others’, and as my relationship was going down the pan last year I started a course to become a Life Coach. It was a decision made slightly in defiance for the things I was going through, but fuck it I thought, if you’re going to make me feel bad for warming peoples’ hearts with my own life experiences then I am going to keep doing it – and I doing it MORE. 

So here I am, out the other side. Single, empowered, happy, strong. Consolidating my lessons and experiences of successfully striving for happiness learned over the last 6 years into something bigger, something I will use to help other people get happy, too. I am weaponising my happiness if you will, weaponising my sparkle, my bright yellow jumper and my absolute love of life.

Watch out, world. I haven’t even started.

 

***

I will be releasing my first limited spots for Happiness Coaching soon: if you’d like to know when they go live click here

26 Comments
  1. Dear Alice, I really don’t want to sound mean or critical, because I truly think you’re a brilliant writer and person… but I don’t really understand this post. I’m not sure whether you are talking about internet trolls, or your ex’s attitude to you writing about your life. I guess honestly, I feel disappointed by the gaps in the story. I absolutely do not in any way think you “owe” anyone anything – it’s your space to write whatever you want and who cares if it pleases us?! But, as a long time reader, I thought this was when we’d finally start to hear about what we’ve been so curious about, as people invested in your story – what is it like to partner with someone older and so opposed to social media? What made it work and why did it fail? Was it age and those differences? Why did you get back together and give it another go? What made you finally end it? And why did you put up with that? (No judgement, just so curious for the insight as so many wonderful women tolerate seemingly intolerable things).
    You write so well and I love the unashamed weaponising! I guess I’m honestly still feeling like I don’t get what’s really been going on with you… Xx

    1. Hi Rosie, thank you so much for the thoughtful comment and I really do appreciate the feedback.
      I have so much to say on so many things: it’ll all come as I sort through the depths of my brain and process being able to be creative again. This was just me saying HEY, I’m back, and I am not ashamed to talk about myself or my life any more!
      Also I’d already got to like 1,300 words here and I wanted to save your eyes ;)

      Ax

      1. I 100% agree with what Rosie has said. This blog post doesn’t really explain anything (but as Rosie says, you don’t owe us that). Am glad you are happier though x

  2. It is so lovely to see you happy. I know I’m not alone in saying that you are an inspiration to me, seeing how well you are living your life after coming through some shit times.

    I wish you every bit of happiness that you deserve!

  3. Alice,
    Please ignore Nosey-Rosie. I have been a long time follower too, since Hux was a baby because my little girl is a similar age.
    You get to decide exactly what you share with us and that’s exactly how it should be, don’t let anyone else dictate your narrative.
    Thank you for sharing!x

    1. I find Beth’s name-calling quite disappointing and against the spirit of expression Alice seems to stand for. Rosie’s comment wasn’t mean or trolling – it was feedback and Alice seemed OK with critiquing with kindness. It’s disappointing to see you shut down that sort of dialogue with a “oh just ignore it” comment. Surely we need to be able to respectfully discuss, debate and engage with feedback, not just ignore it.

  4. Yay! You’re back!
    I can totally imagine a bunch of women loyal to the recently divorced wife reading your blog to paint you in all sorts of ways. *hi there* ?
    I must be honest and admit that I could never be as candid as you on the internet but this is the very reason why I love your posts and why we need more people like you! Glad to have you back and I can’t wait to hear all that is going on ?
    PS: life coach?! Get you! Well done

  5. Welcome back! It’s so difficult. This world of making women feel better about themselves, feel confident about talking about what for so long has just been hidden (or for what once was, quiet conversations in the kitchen and over a quick cup of tea) and as a more public, shared discussion is such an unknown entity to so many, and I think therefore some will perceive it as a threat. To me, it reads that you’ve come up against a circle of people who aren’t there to help you up, or to understand your perspective, but see the unknown and feel the need to bash it back into the dark corner.
    I don’t know, I’m doing what everyone does, reading what they want to see.
    But. I’m glad you have a yellow jumper. I’m glad you’ve found your smile. I hope you have, or you will remember that it’s ok to grieve for what was, but it’s so good to know you’ve rediscovered you and your hopes for the future.
    Looking forward to reading more of your writing. x

  6. As a long time reader I’m of course primarily just happy for you that you’ve paved your way again, lots of high fives to you :) At the same time I’m also a nosey-Rosie haha, and keen to learn more to the extent you want to share (I think the comment was honest and respectful by the way, always a fine balance between demanding all the info vs just being curious about someone‘s journey who you have followed for a log time).

    In particular I’m interested because in my friend circles I’ve seen quite a few relationships that brought even the biggest, most independent feminist women to their knees in ways you kind of would not expect, especially given there is such a strong vibe for happiness, independence, self-worth out there being promoted by all different kinds of women and channels. I have been in that place before myself, and I’m just curious to hear the train of thoughts and perspectives of someone who’s so much better with words than I am. Everyone’s circumstances are obviously different, but I still can’t explain to myself how I got so carried away, carried away from myself really, all because of this particular relationship. And it wasn’t even a bad guy / bad person, which is almost the worst of it because that would offer an easier explanation than just a mix of weird circumstances, weird dynamics, weird loosing-myself in all of it. Apologies for the ramble, really just wanted to say I’m glad you’re back :)

    1. Hi Flo,
      Honestly, this has been one of the hardest things for me to deal with: how have I, one of the strongest women I know, been totally obliterated by this whole experience? It’s been absolutely baffling to me that I have, as you said, been totally carried away from myself.
      I’ve read a few things about love being a madness lately and that is the only thing that has made sense to me. I have been so very much in love and we are told this is enough – love conquers all, right?
      I have loads more thoughts on the subject to come!!

  7. Hi Alice, glad to hear you’re feeling so positive again! However I have to agree with some of the previous comments that this post doesn’t really make sense. There are loads of gaps where you’re alluding to something that really could be anything. If you want to keep the details of the relationship private that’s fine but it doesn’t make sense to half-write about it in riddles and just leave people thinking wtf did that even mean?! Said from a place of no disrespect or mean spirit intended, honestly! I just didn’t understand this post.

      1. Thanks for your response. I was just confused! I look forward to more updates. I’ve been reading your blog for many years and feel very much invested, wish you all the best xx

  8. Thank you for sharing! I know this must have been hard. Feel feel to share as much or as little as you like… We are all dealing with sh*t every day in various ways and the internet can make that better or worse. So interesting to hear about your new project too!

  9. Hi Alice,

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better and brighter.

    I know people are saying this post doesn’t make sense but I can see that it’s just the beginning of your brain starting to get into writing again and that soon you’ll be making sense again ;)

    Can’t wait to start hearing what you really want to say again

    Hayley xx

  10. Alice, I honestly think this “Reader, I won’t go into the details of how I turned my own tide” is a real shame. There is a lot others could learn from this (I hope you are not saving it for those able to pay for your Happiness Coaching) x

    1. Hey Charli,

      Thank-you for your comment.

      I just wanted to clarify a couple of points. Firstly, I am not here to serve you and your content needs. I am here to write about my life experiences, about the things I feel passionately and love writing about, and if you are able to take anything positive from what I say then really, that’s wonderful, so wonderful. But I can’t write for everyone reading this instead of for myself- if you want content that’s suited more along a niche that you’re looking for I’m sure it’s out there!

      Alternatively you could tell me what you want to read and then pay me to write it. I’m sure we could come to some arrangement ;)

      Secondly, this post is over 1000 words and nobody has time to read any more! I’m just getting started… I have two years of lived experience to process and write about. It’ll come!

      Thank you for reading :)

  11. I remember that time I met you for that talk you did in my store and I remember how surprised I was to finally meet a content creator that is so genuine and humble and sweet compared to all the others that are nothing but a facade to get more Instagram followers.

    You go girl x You’re an inspiration ??

  12. So lovely to “see” sunny Alice back on screen. The one thing I have learned from the hell of the last nine months is that no one, but no one has the right to diminish you. Hold on to the fact that so many of us lurkers out here in the ether have your back. Stay strong, lovely, so glad to hear you sounding happier.

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