The balance tips and I end up doing too much
Maggie 65 from Ireland. Lives in London. Widowed & divorced. Three grown up kids. A retired dinner lady.
How are you?
I’m coping. I’m put upon because I’ve allowed myself to be. In one sense I am very willing but then the balance tips and I end up doing too much and wonder how I’ll cope.
What do you like about yourself?
What you see is what you get. I’m a giver and a good person. I like that people feel I’m approachable.
What’s your most memorable experience?
There are two memories that are always at the back of my mind: My first baby died when I was 8 months pregnant. That was terrible. Then my first husband died when I was 27. By then we had two small children. He’d gone to work that morning on a building site. Something went wrong. There was a landslide and his digger slid into a lake. He drowned. It was few days until his body was found. It happened on a Tuesday morning, I’ll never forget that day. Occasionally on a rainy morning I'll look at the clock and it brings it all back. I had no choice but to learn to live with it. I did end up taking an overdose and had to be sectioned for a couple of days.
What are your dreams and desires?
Two of my children don’t talk to each other. It’s been going on for years. My dream is to bring them together.
How do you best express yourself?
By being busy. I can’t sit around for very long. I am a people pleaser.
Who or what inspires you?
My mum inspired me, but sadly she’s no longer with us.
Where does all your energy go?
I expel it for the good of others.
Years ago I used to stay up until two in the morning cleaning out my cupboards. It stemmed from my childhood. I used to have OCD. I would wear myself out. I’m not so bad now. It changed after the birth of my third child and the subsequent split with his father. I’d been through a lot and that’s when I realised - I don’t have to do it all.
What do you think about life?
Life for me stems from what I do. I care for the elderly. I don’t think too much that’s how I get through the day. I focus on what I have to do and hope I get it done in the day. If I do then I’m happy with myself.
Life is about what you go through and what’s ahead of us.
What’s your views on faith?
I’d have given anything to have not gone through what I have gone through. My local priest and family have been very supportive. There is someone out there looking after me and giving me strength.
Are you free?
Yes I suppose I am. I make my own decisions.
What have you taken from today?
I didn’t know what to expect. Some of the questions are quite difficult. Looking at yourself is quite a good thing. I'll look forward to spending more time on me and time with my friends - maybe I’ll even make some new ones.