Hey Orla.

I’ve felt this many times and can fully relate.

I’m glad you’ve taken the step to write it out. I’ve found the greatest support is in taking it out of our head to begin to deal with it. Journalling is great for this, and while I think digital journalling is good & I’m glad it works for you, I all too often find myself clicking away onto another app or distracted by a notification. Pen, paper, and a cup of tea or coffee with all my tech discarded often helps me the most.

At the back of it all you have to lead with compassion. I’m sure you did so when you texted your friend, and you owe yourself that same level of kindness and compassion. You were trying to support and sometimes that has to take a direct approach. Sometimes the act of kindness is a stern push to the one we love to help them get unstuck.

Mind yourself and be kind to yourself. 😊 It’s great to see you back writing. Keep it coming. 😊

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Aug 30, 2023·edited Aug 30, 2023Author

I love the version of myself reflected in your comment but the version of myself who wrote that message was impulsive, making assumptions and projecting my own pain. I was also coming from a place of love and motherliness but in retrospect, it was inappropriate and I sincerely hope that was all it was taken as by the beautiful person I sent it to. I need a feckin "you are not allowed text, email or digitally interact after 7pm" function on my phone. When I am tired, I am an emotional liability (usually of the love bomb variety...).

Thank you so much for the lovely words Jerry - it ain't easy and am like a cat on a hot tin roof, no wait, am more like a disconnected zombie cat on a hot tin roof all day 🤣

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Orla Fitz

Thoroughly enjoyed this superb piece of writing Orla, my friend you have a gift, and for this reasons and lots of others I too am glad you did the meta thing and then hit Publish. This way, it is out of your head, and has a chance of soothing you AND soothing others.

Which brings me to myself.

And my own unsolicited advice text messages (plural. I see you and I raise you 🤣) to a person who I believed needed this particular form of ‘love’.

I put that in quotes because after the Shame spiral settled... and it eventually did with weeks of self-flagellation, self-loathing, and eventual drip-drip-drip of self acceptance and compassion...

Months later, I realised that this text message to-and-fro was showing me something much more than shame, the experience was asking me to be honest about my needs and my boundaries. I won’t talk about that because the internet servers have limited space. Plus my children can’t wait the seventeen years it’d take me to talk about boundaries, they need to be raised 🤘🤘🤘

It showed me how far apart we were from one another, how very remote they are from me, and I from them. It highlighted the fact that the chasm had been there WAY longer than I had realised, and I was blown away.

That eased the shame too.

Soon after came the question, ‘do I want to continue with this relationship?’ That just fired up the shame afresh of course, because what are we taught to do with a fight? To persist, to fix, to rectify. Out of love, or loyalty, or tradition, or history. Plus we are women, so, ta-daa 🤩enter pressure to ‘be there’ for our friend. Like an episode of the Golden Girls, we are expected to muddle through the disagreements and patch it up in time for the monthly spa day with mimosas.


There will be no spa days and mimosas for this person and I.

There will instead be mornings where I wake without the grind of judgment (mine, hers, imagined) in my stomach, without the instant anxiety of what I’ve done, why I’ve done it, and how I’ll never do it again. I’ll never do it again because that bonkers toxic crazy making drama Queen is (gimme a sec, need the caps on)


Thank you caps.

No, that person caught the train to Cray Cray where spa days are filled with ‘jokes’ I now see were competive snarling. Lounging about with ‘supportive comments’ from them was in fact a delivery system for poorly disguised insults. The mimosas are heavy on the alcohol content so as to numb the pain of reality, and they barely have the fruit content of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

And I wish that person all the luck in the world.

Because first I wished it for me, and in time the shame spiral straightened out and left me with a uncertain sense of peace, peace that is so unrecognizable in its newness that I fear it cannot last.

So one day at a time.

So far, so good.

The train from Cray cray might circle around again, in fact there’s likely a timetable somewhere on those internet servers. But I now have a head and heart that is focused on me.

Went off on quite the tangent there my friend.

All that remains is for me to applaud you loudly and repeatedly for your kindness and compassion towards yourself and the beautiful child inside that you like myself still teach and mind and accept just as she is.

Sending all the healing vibes Orla, you are magnificent.

Nicola xxxx

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Well it has only taken me a few weeks to reply 🙈. As usual, I read and loved your comment straight away but I had so much I wanted to say that I procrastinated on replying... well, that and I struggled through Covid and the unrelenting march of time over which I seem to have lost all control!

I can only imagine how hard it must have been to straighten out your shame spiral. We are conditioned to keep old friends even when they no longer fit, even when the fit is so tight that they feel like they are choking us. I still struggle with the inappropriate jokes that I just uncomfortably laugh along with so as not to 'cause a fuss' or be considered a 'stick in the mud' because 'sure its only a joke'. Hopefully some day I will have gotten to a place of complete acceptance that will allow me to respectfully challenge those jokes...

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