45 (part II)

Anita Cassidy

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Forty five and no fucks given

This month, I turn 45. I wrote a very different post about this a few months ago. Today, I looked in the mirror and, rather than criticising what I saw, I just looked. Looked without judgement, looked with comment. And what I saw, for the first time, was a woman. A grown up woman: a confident, content, curious and compassionate woman who has learnt and lived a lot. A woman who has so much to be grateful for, who has so much more learning and loving to do.

Being free of alcohol I see that I look less tired, I look less blotchy and dried out. I am free of the dependency that marred my teens, twenties and thirties and which tried to pull me back down into the quicksand last year. Liberated from that dependency, I smile. I feel alive.

In the last few years, I’ve learnt that the self I thought I should be, the person that society and upbringing taught me to be was small, taking up no space, being quiet, being passive, doing as I was told, putting everyone else first. That self had no permission to need, or feel, beyond what was useful to someone else.

What I am in becoming is a real live person, who is present to themselves and others. Someone who can stand tall, shoulders back, chin high, eyes clear of worry about what anyone thinks. Someone who is digging deep to recover the treasures lost through developmental trauma. Someone who is healing and repairing the damage done to my relationships as a result of that trauma. Someone who is being kind and gentle with themselves in the meanwhile.

I have given permission to all the parts of myself: my messy self, my hungry self, my lusty and desiring self, my angry and energetic self, my tired and in bed at 8pm self. I can be more than I was. I will be more than this again as I continue to grow. I’m also content with who and where I am. I can hold all of that, be all of that. I am enough.

45 and no fucks given is not about aggression or dismissal it is about confidence, boundaries and compassion. It’s about a deep knowing about what really matters in the now and the true wisdom of acting based upon that knowing. That’s me today and that’s the self I am taking forward to the next forty five years and beyond.


The treasures trauma took from me and how I am taking them back


A list of the unwanted touch and comments I have received – 1976-2021

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