I’m running away from myself.
Lydia 55 divorced. Lives in London with her two children and works as a teaching assistant.
How are you?
I don't feel 100%. I don't think my medication agrees with me. I’d like to come off it. I’ve struggled on and off with depression, I rely a lot on the people around me. They help me a lot.
How do you feel about the weather?
I check the weather every morning. I like the sun, I don’t like grey. I don’t mind rain or the cold. I prefer the warmth of a sunny spring or autumnal day. I don't like the extreme hot or cold and I was lying when I said I like the rain!
What do you think about children?
They bring you enormous joy and some pain as well! It’s a Rolla-coaster but very rewarding.
What do you think about marriage?
It was quite fun whilst it lasted. Surprisingly I would do it again but there should be a hand book.
How do other people see you?
Bossy, impatient, dynamic. A bit of a lefty.
What brings you down?
My kids when they're being difficult. My extended family when they’re not being supportive. Mess untidiness and chaos. I really don't like chaos. Being on my own and not having a partner. Other people being fed up and moaning is hard work.
What are your dreams?
I’m quite fortunate in that I don't need much. I’d like to live by the sea one day.
Where does all your energy go?
Nagging my children. Clearing up. Going to work. Walking my dog.
How do you see yourself?
Slightly over weight. Tired. My self esteem isn't so great in terms of career and I feel slightly unfulfilled. I’d like a partner but I don’t want to go through what it entails. But saying that I’m quite a dynamic person. I’m impressed with what I’ve done over the last few years and am quite fortunate in that I’m reasonably comfortable, materially.
What do you like about yourself?
I’m friendly and chatty. Knowledgable and outgoing. I’ll give things a go. I’m inclusive and empathetic, although I can turn!
How do you best express yourself?
Gurning. I pull a lot of faces. Verbally. Through my house and garden. I used to do a lot of photography, I’d like to get back into it. I feel burdened at the moment. I can’t see the wood for the trees. I feel overwhelmed by too much; it’s stopping me moving forward.
Who or what inspires you?
I lack inspirational role models! Although I do know a lady who runs a single parent outreach centre. She’s inspiring.
Nature inspires me, the rivers, mountains, sand dunes, stones and plants.
What’s your most memorable experience?
When I was 30 I was quite depressed. A friend said he was off to trek the Himalayas and why don't I meet him there? I was a risk taker back then, not anymore! He didn't show. There I was all alone and depressed waiting in Kathmandu.
Eventually he turned up four days later with 2 mates! It was a broadening experience. Me and 3 blokes. The trip was more physically demanding than I’d anticipated. We’d walk and climb and walk and climb. Once we were stuck in a tea house for 36 hours because a blizzard was so bad. It was a real physical challenge cushioned with extreme beauty. It was the hard work that made it worth while.
What do yo think about faith?
I’m an irregular church goer. It’s one of those jolly happy clappy churches. I think I’m a fairly spiritual person. I don't have my cards read or anything though!
What do you think about life?
Life is phases. Life is a bit of a mess. Things have got out of control. Life is about power and power isn't always in the right hands. We have the means to feed and house everyone but we don’t. I don’t know what the overall aim is but our own aims have become distorted. We are quite selfish.
How do you feel about death?
Not good! I remember crying my eyes out when my mums neighbours dog ‘Debbie’ died! I was 7. When my uncle died my mum said “for goodness sake take her away she’s making a scene. I cried more when my dog died than I did when my own mother died and when my dad died suddenly and unexpectedly, I had a nervous breakdown. So you see I’m not good at death.
I do remember at my dads funeral; my children were asked to sing. When the time came they couldn't do it so I joined them. There we were on the steps up to the alter. It was awkward- it must have been excruciating to watch.
What would you like to leave for the next generation?
A desire for fairness and equality - although I want my life to be more fair and equal than others. That’s the dilemma of life.
Are you free?
No. I have responsibility for two children and a dog. Although saying that I feel free when I walk the dog. It raises my mood. I like the rythmn and routine of doing it.
What have you taken from doing this today?
I’m going to look at my life in a new light and stop running away. I have a self destruct button. It’s an avoidance. I’m running away from myself.