Walking That Lonely Mile…

only the lonely

A couple of months after MS first appeared, I had a conversation with my partner, telling him I knew the months/years ahead would be hard and I would understand if he wanted to leave.

He did.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised.

A study from 2009 indicated that women with cancer or MS were more than six times as likely to become separated or divorced within an average of six months of being diagnosed as were men with similar health issues.

In fairness, our relationship at that time wasn’t as strong as it once was and this could have been the proverbial straw. Following his abrupt departure, I slumped on the sofa, too stunned to cry.

My entire life was falling apart and just making an effort to get through each day was made more difficult by MS dragging me backwards, numbing my limbs, forcing me to sleep and making every step fraught with anxiety. I wasn’t walking a lonely mile (or several), I was stumbling blindly along a malignant deviation of the path I thought I had once been on.

Looking at it positively with hindsight though, by becoming suddenly single I now ‘only’ had to worry about myself and The Teenager and how we would deal with MS. In all honesty, it was perhaps easier than patching up a rocky relationship that seemed to be springing lesions as quickly as my brain scans did.

Looking at it in the depths of despair, it was truly, gobsmackingly wretched. My self-worth was rapidly plummeting, I spent night after night inwardly howling at the unfairness of it all. Who would want me now? I mean, really? Divorced single mother, wrong side of 35, oh and by the way, I have MS. Form an orderly queue and sign up here if you’re interested.

Two years down the line, thanks to a Campath-induced remission, I am slowly getting back on track. It’s been a horrendously lonely time and I probably wouldn’t have started this blog had I had a partner at my side. It would have been lovely to have someone to offload to, to share the journey (awful word) with. On a practical level, it would have been brilliant to have another adult in the house when times were bad and I battled to maintain our normal routine.

I’m learning to live alone. It’s not easy. At times it’s achingly awful. But I know that when the right person comes along, I will be in a much stronger frame of mind. Form that queue, and don’t mind me while I cross my fingers…

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16 thoughts on “Walking That Lonely Mile…

  1. IanO says:

    Well I’m still with my partner, it’s only been two and a half years since she was diagnosed, we have our moments but no way could I see us parting because of MS. I also have medical problems and she is 100% supportive of me when I need it. Her sister was not so fortunate as she was diagnosed with MS many years ago, her partner soon disappeared. No one should be too quick to judge though, the sister passed away 2 years ago at only fifty-eight years of age. In fact my partner also has a brother that has been diagnosed with MS, that’s 3 out of 7 siblings with it.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      That’s so fantastic to hear! But sorry to hear about your sister’s family.
      I’m getting used to it little by little. I guess the whole Christmas season just highlights my singleness!

      • IanO says:

        Sorry I got so carried away telling you about us I forgot to say that I do feel for you. I cannot imagine what it’s like especially with ‘the teenager’ to contend with. I think we all find solace in different ways, I know that you write about your life with MS and because you take the time to share with us we all get some benefit. I tend to read most (sorry) of your posts but do not always comment. I do like to hear how you are both getting on 🙂

        • stumbling in flats says:

          Aw, thank you!!
          Yup, I’m currently putting up our tree as I have a little pocket of energy and want to make the most of my effort, lol. I’m fine, honestly, but really appreciate your comments!
          It’s incredibly tough, but as they say, that which does not kill you….

  2. David says:

    #Hellosinglewelshwoman I thought I would get that in, obviously yr ex partner wasn’t worthy of you both.
    I must say that its been msers bloggers and tweeters who are the winners that have the benefit of your company. I never imagined a life without Vicki, she used to say don’t you go after someone else, I’d say no we ar for life, but as they say shit happens. We had known each other since 1968 she was 13 and she would tell friends she would marry me. I love the comment from IanO , cherish every moment Ian, and yes Barbara i believe that there is someone waiting for you who will be a lucky man. Well that’s me done, think i will meander to kitchen and have a hot chocolate n brandy

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Haha! Like the hashtag.
      It’s been pretty tough, but I’m hopefully coming out the other side! And hopefully there’s the right person waiting for me. Somewhere, lol.

  3. Sally says:


    • stumbling in flats says:

      Oh yes!! What else is a sad singleton supposed to do, lol. Seriously though, if I’m going to go to that much effort, I want to get my money’s worth!
      Only two little 3 foot trees as cottage so small, but they sure have cheered me up.
      Sad, I know!

  4. Sally says:

    If I’m honest I have been eyeing up a few Santa figures for hanging on doors. Christmas cake is made and is due another brandy feed today .

  5. Angela says:

    Well we often don’t know how strong we are until we don’t have a choice. You are an incredibly strong lady to have come this far on your own. I’m lucky in that my partner is still here and my own teenager is very well adjusted and can always be relied upon to bring a sense of normality to any situation. Your teenager does too ! Never give up …. there is someone for you out there … Someone who will come into your life when you least expect it 🙂 x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you so much! It’s been a tough old time, definitely.
      And I really, really hope there’s someone out there for l’il old me, MS and all! They always say you shouldn’t look, and anyway, I can’t imagine signing up to a dating site, lol. What would I write in my profile description??

      • Angela says:

        Lol your profile could end up being very interesting …. if I was single I wouldn’t follow that route either …
        You are very interesting lady …. never give up hope … Life can be hard but it’s always interesting x

        • stumbling in flats says:

          That’s lovely, thank you! Life is certainly always, always interesting, I’ll give it that. People often say you don’t know what’s round the corner, and I now know that’s definitely true.
          p.s. my profile could quite possibly put people off methinks! Better to see who’s really out there, rather than married blokes pretending to be single (it happened to a friend of mine!)

  6. Sally says:

    Do not totally dismiss the idea of online dating. One of my best friends here thought she was never going to meet someone else after her husband left. She met someone online and they chatted online for over a month before deciding to meet. They have now been together 4 years and she found an absolute diamond of a guy. Both of them had been persuaded to online by friends.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Good point!
      So lovely to hear positive stories like that – gives me hope. I always said I’d have more space in my life once uni had finished. Now it has, so I have no excuse…

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