Widowed AF

#100 - Chatty

March 28, 2024 Rosie Gill-Moss Season 1 Episode 100
#100 - Chatty
Widowed AF
More Info
Widowed AF
#100 - Chatty
Mar 28, 2024 Season 1 Episode 100
Rosie Gill-Moss

⭐️ Episode 100!!!! ⭐️

A little over one year ago we began to broadcast stories from our hidden world. Stories that broke the mould, changed the narrative around widowhood and gave a voice to those who felt silenced by their grief.

This landmark episode ends Season 1, and we are so grateful to everyone who has listened to and supported the show, and the legacy that’s been created for those we have lost. There is power in these shared conversations and Season 2 is preparing to launch. As long as you keep listening we will keep talking!

Alongside me (Rosie) and Jon (the alive husband) you will hear from some previous guests, and former co-host Lulu joins us for a catch up on what life looks like for her now.

To date we have spoken to over 50 guests, they have courageously shared their pain, and their secrets, demonstrating an incredible determination to survive the worst days of their lives. This episode is for them, I remain humbled by their bravery.

Thank you for listening, and for being part of this incredible adventure.

(Widstock tickets and merch are now available at www.widowedaf.com)



Web: (https://www.widowedaf.com)
Instagram (@widowed_af)
Watch on (YouTube)

Don't forget to subscribe !

Show Notes Transcript

⭐️ Episode 100!!!! ⭐️

A little over one year ago we began to broadcast stories from our hidden world. Stories that broke the mould, changed the narrative around widowhood and gave a voice to those who felt silenced by their grief.

This landmark episode ends Season 1, and we are so grateful to everyone who has listened to and supported the show, and the legacy that’s been created for those we have lost. There is power in these shared conversations and Season 2 is preparing to launch. As long as you keep listening we will keep talking!

Alongside me (Rosie) and Jon (the alive husband) you will hear from some previous guests, and former co-host Lulu joins us for a catch up on what life looks like for her now.

To date we have spoken to over 50 guests, they have courageously shared their pain, and their secrets, demonstrating an incredible determination to survive the worst days of their lives. This episode is for them, I remain humbled by their bravery.

Thank you for listening, and for being part of this incredible adventure.

(Widstock tickets and merch are now available at www.widowedaf.com)



Web: (https://www.widowedaf.com)
Instagram (@widowed_af)
Watch on (YouTube)

Don't forget to subscribe !

Rosie Gill-Moss:

hello and a very warm welcome back to Widowed AF, you're here with your host, that's me, Rosie Gill-Moss, and joining me today is Jonathan Gill-Moss, only took us to an episode 100 to get that smooth. Episode 100. How many times should we say this in this episode? Oh, that is 100 100. 100 times. So as you may have gathered, we are recording episode 100, and really, I would've liked to get this out perhaps a week or two ago, but I felt an enormous weight of responsibility around this episode. And as I am sometimes want to do, I've kind of built it up into something that is, I don't know, scarier than it needs to be. So. We're going to just start, we're going to speak into the microphones and do what we've done for how many episodes? One hundred! And just see how it goes. Um, I want to do you guys justice and I want to kind of really take time to reflect on the fact that this will be the hundredth episode. I've got to stop, sorry. Um, that we've put out. And that has. In some ways it's come easy and that sounds really, um, dismissive of it, but my friend Karen, hello Karen, she said to me the other day, she said, I don't know whether this is, um, I don't want to sound like I'm not giving you credit, but it does seem to have come easily. Now some things really have, I've really enjoyed this medium. Um, I've really enjoyed being able to talk and have the feedback from people. I've really enjoyed meeting over 50 guests and Getting to know them in a way that, um, you wouldn't ordinarily in an hour conversation, but it hasn't always been easy. Um, there has been times when I've been literally laying on the floor saying, I can't do this seconds before a guest appears on mic. There's been some times when I've breezed through it, but I love the fact that so many of you have been on this journey. And I'm afraid that is a new word I will use. Um, because I can't think of a better one, but. From, you know, iPads on towels to a full studio in the garden. And all of this has happened relatively quickly in the space of a year. And I, I'm really proud of it. I'm really proud of you guys for the bravery that you've shown in, in sharing your stories. And I guess I'm really grateful that you've. been listening for so long. Um, and we have no plans to stop, so we, we may schedule back a little bit on the production just because two a week really is quite a responsibility. Um, but yeah, we, we still have a waiting list of applicants. We are, I think, booked up until almost end of summer now. If you want to come on, please do, ApplyWin. We're not stopping at all. We, we're going to, this is the end of season one and we will be putting out season two pretty quickly because we have quite a few already recorded in the cam. So anyway, that's, uh, a little bit of a summary of where we are at to, uh, where we are at to. That sounds like I'm from like the West Coast, wherever you're at. Um, and I have, well, John has very smoothly edited in some clips that we've received from some of our guests. So I'm going to start off by just playing you a message from Stephanie Hills, basically because it made me cry a little bit. So here, the next voice you're going to hear is going to be Steph.

Steph May-Hills:

Hey lovely, um, just thought I'd send you a voice note, um, that you wanted, um, from the group chat yesterday. So here it is, um, Widowed AF Where would I be without you guys? Coming, finding you and coming across you guys. Last year sometime when you were just a couple of episodes in, you helped me so so much just listening to you guys and feeling like someone else out there just gets it. You get the shit show, you get it, you get all the feels and yeah, you've helped me so much. And being able to record my episode was the best. Yeah, two years in now, um, just gone in November and, yeah, still shit at times, but, yeah, you guys are like my therapy. Listen to you on a Monday when I'm walking the dog, and then on a Friday walking my dog. Yeah, you just help me get Like more than I can say. Yeah, keep going keep doing the great work that you're doing. I can't believe you're coming up to 100 episodes it's just incredible and Yeah, anyone who hasn't listened they need to wherever you've been but yeah It is a shit shitty shitty club to be part of but having Wid. af and having you guys it just makes it all that little bit more bearable. But yeah, anyway, lots of love. Take care. Bye

Rosie Gill-Moss:

So if that didn't make any of you cry a little bit, then you are stone cold psychopaths, because that made me feel really emotional. So thank you, Steph. And Steph was, she left us our very first voice notes.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Yeah,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

she's been on the show. She's been a guest on the show, and I haven't had the absolute privilege of meeting her in person. She came to our house last summer and we keep trying to meet up again. And of course, children, life, work, all conspires, doesn't it? All the things. Um, So we haven't really spoken to you guys, um, since the, uh, six year anniversary of Ben, my first husband's death. And I kind of feel a bit like I've lost my mind. hidden from talking about that because it is significant and it is, every year that passes is, it comes with challenges, it comes with hope, hope, we, we hope. But I, I kind of wanted to just talk a little bit about how, it's all about me, how I felt on the 12th of March. Um, Now, I had really grand plans. I wanted to go and see Ben's family. They live on the Isle of Wight, most of them. And I had booked an Airbnb on the beachfront. I, despite the way Ben died, I and the children have a real pool to the sea. Um, and I thought, we'll go, we'll drive down there. It was Tuesday, took them out of school. Anyway, I got about as far as Blue Water. And the rain man, I couldn't see in front of me, the sat nav, you know, showing me the ferry port and it was just going up and up and up. I'd missed sort of three ferries. So we turned around and came back and I actually took the kids to the cinemas cause I wanted to do something nice with them, but it led me to really reflect on how we mark these dates and why we feel this responsibility to do something because the 12th of March is not, and will never be, It's not going to be something that I still don't feel that I can use that date and celebrate Ben, because that day is so entwined with horror. And With sadness and trauma and just, you know, it's the moment that my life kind of stopped at the old life. So we had a, we were just talking about it between ourselves, weren't we? And we have often said that we would like to pick a date to celebrate Ben and Sarah. And initially we didn't even contemplate the same day, but in another weird serendipitous coincidence, I. Ben's birthday was the 5th of June and Sarah's was the 6th of June. That's right, isn't it? Third. Sorry. And do you know, as I said that I knew I was wrong. Apologies, Sarah, wherever you may be. Unless it's

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

podcasts, wherever they are, I mean, I don't know. You

Rosie Gill-Moss:

never know. Uh, so apologies. So Sarah's birthday was the 3rd of June and Ben was the 5th. So that leaves ours with the 4th of June in the middle. Um, I think probably even from this year, if we can get our answers in gear, We will do some sort of celebration, whether it be a barbecue because, you know, God willing, there might be decent weather by June or we go out for a meal. And I like the idea of almost an open house so people can come around who knew or loved them or just want to kind of support us and the kids. And it's not going to be a vigil or, you know, um, you might cry, you might, you know, it'll kind of be whatever we want it to be. But I think that will be a much nicer opportunity to celebrate them because there's so much that I want to remember that's positive and I don't want to be dragged back into that horrible, horrible day back in March 2018. And that's

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

where we both want to be. We want to remember them with happiness and fondness, which is, I mean, what we all want to do, that are widowed. And I agree with you. I often thought maybe I'll use the death date as the celebration day and try and change the feel of the day, but your body has other ideas. It does.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And I think sometimes the magnitude of that sadness, you just cannot do anything with it. You just have to ride it out. And This, we talk a lot about the coexistence of happy and sad, and I think just accepting when you feel really, really sad is powerful. And I just felt, I felt heartbroken actually. I felt really, really griefy and really, really sad. But if you think about it, I'd be kind of weird if I didn't, like that is, it's such a monumental day that changed my life beyond all recognition. And being able to acknowledge that without. in turn sort of saying that the life you have is not worthy or is not wonderful or, or special. That's, that's not what it is. No, and you, and it's, you find, you have to try quite a, you feel as though you're treading a bit of a tightrope between, um, honoring their memory, but also not being stuck back on in that horror. So I think this will be the first time we've attempted to do this. So all I can do is, is as I have done on this journey, is just tell you how it works for us. I hope it will be a really powerful thing to do as well to celebrate as a, as a family because you know, the weird coincidence of their birthdays being a day apart, you know, might as well lean into it, hey?

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Yeah. Yeah.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And then your birthday is the following week and then Holly's. So June's an expensive month in my house.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

And Holly as well.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah. June's,

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

June's a month like March is a month.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, Right. So I am going to now play you another clip, if I may, um, this time, the next voice you're going to hear is going to be Sarah Swainson, who really bravely shared a, her, her story of losing somebody to addiction, to drug addiction, which is still quite a taboo subject and to have somebody talk like Sarah did, I, she's one of the episodes that we received the most feedback from because a lot of people are living a life. Very similar to Sarah's where they are supporting somebody with addiction. I myself have battled personally with addiction and I think sometimes we need the stark reality of where this can end. Yeah Um, so the next voice you're going to hear will be Sarah Swainson.

Sarah Swainson:

Hi, Rosie and John. Just wanted to send you a little update. Um, firstly, thank you so much for the opportunity, um, that you gave me to come on to your podcast relatively recently to talk about, um, my experience of widowhood. Um, well, it's been a journey, a bit of, a bit of a journey. A bit of a journey. Um, you'll know that I recently remarried and so, um, life is, it's pretty good. Uh, there are still moments that are pretty tough. Um, I know you'll understand that. I know lots of the people that will listen, listen to the podcast will also understand that. But life, life is good. Um, we're moving forwards. Um, and um, hopefully I'll get to come and talk to you about it. At some point in the future, maybe we could have a little bit of a chat at some point about, um, the stigma related to, um, widows as they try and discover joy after the most horrendous things happen to them. Um, and the difficulty in navigating your own feelings around that and not, and also, um, feelings of other people around you. So, um, uh, but. What you do is fantastic. Keep doing it. Love you guys. Bye.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

So thank you Sarah for taking the time to record that um, one of the things that I take the most job satisfaction and pride in is and it's a bit of a running joke between us that of all the interviews that we've done um, everybody has said thank you and um That doesn't mean, Oh, I want you to be grateful. But what it does mean is that I'm doing my job right, because I don't want anybody to ever come away from having gone through this process and feel like they've been exploited, exposed, or treated in any way with a lack of respect or kindness. So to have. to have these voices come back on again and tell us the difference it's made to their lives, um, is really, it's really powerful actually, and I, I feel quite humbled by it.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

And also, um, keep an eye out for the Instagram reel that's going to be coming with all the text messages of,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

um,

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

thanks and love and appreciation, um, that work, and I thought, because I, you know, we should celebrate these and

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah, we should. And it's not, they're not even just celebrating us or thanking us. It's there for everybody that's participated. And, and I don't even necessarily mean our guests. I mean, my friend, my friend, wait, what's wrong with my voice? My friends who have shared the links to the podcast, who have listened on their dog walks, the ones who have genuinely listened to a hundred episodes of us talking. And even the ones who've listened to one or two, like every person that listens to us. means that we'll keep going because nobody wants the, uh, humiliation of talking into dead air. So don't do that to me please. I've

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

done it a few times.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Well, yeah, there was a time I forgot to press record, which we, we were scared over. Now, Widstock.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Widstock

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Widstock the, When I hear the guest voices again, I am reminded of the power that we have in a tribe, in community, in, in belonging. So last year in the summer, I invited the guests who'd appeared on the podcast so far up in that kind of a cutoff date to come to our home. Now this was, it was really special. Uh, the weather did not cooperate. Uh, there was some emergency gazebos thrown up and it was pretty wet and soggy. But? We had so much fun and it was really, I, yeah, just to meet these people face to face, you do something that doesn't transcend through a computer screen. Right. Yeah. So as regular listeners to the show will be aware, we are hosting a bigger festival this year. And this again is a bit of a leap into the unknown, much like podcasting, never hosted a festival. So, we have got a venue, we've got bands, we've got entertainment, there's going to be a licensed bar, there's going to be food, there's going to be everything that you would expect at a proper In Inverted Commas festival. We're just making it accessible. So the tickets are 20 for an adult, which will include a drink, a soft drink I'm afraid, and a, um, You are very welcome to purchase alcohol. I'm not anti booze. I just figured it might get problematic if we were giving away free drinks tokens. Um, so just for simplicity, not because we're being puritanical. And for that, um, payment, you will get, uh, everything's included. There'll be glitter, there'll be face paints, um, There's going to be kind of all eyes on the ground, you know, a few people with DBS clearance and high vis jackets, just to, just to make sure that you can, um, relax a little bit, there'll be a, only one entry point, we will have, uh, security guards. Um, friendly ones, I hasten to add, and you're not going to be, you're not going to be strict searched, but it's just, it's, it's so that it's really there so that you feel safe. Um, and the kind of ethos is behind, behind this is like a mini festival, um, but just a day for, and just for people to be together and if the weather's bad, don't, we have pre booked Marquee, we are, uh, assuming the worst and, um, I'm really excited about it. I think it's going to be something quite special. We have had to keep the tickets to under 500 because of, we've never done this before to commit to anything bigger would just be too much of a gamble. Uh, and if it works and if you guys enjoy it. next year will be bigger. Um, so I, tickets are available now. Sorry. That's why I'm, yes, tickets are available now on, um,

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

So if you go to the website, www. widowedaf. com, click on shop and you will follow the links for Woodstock Festivals and a little bit of merch. I was

Rosie Gill-Moss:

going to say that's my next thing is, do you, I mean, John, tell us about the merch, what we got.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

So we've, uh, we've kept it just, just to the bird logo and we, I'm going to have to get a list up on my screen there. I can,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

I think we've got t shirt, we've got hoodie. We've got visor cap, fake Stanley cup, which I can for anybody watching on YouTube. There you go.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Yeah. Uh, and we got a beanie.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And a beanie for the, for the winter months. A

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

normal still. And we, um, We try to keep the prices as, as reasonable as we can. Um,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah, we are not making a big profit on any of this. With stock, I will be surprised if we break even, if I'm honest. And the merchandising, we want you to be able to afford to buy it. We want you to be able to, um, support us, but also make it, you know, we, we don't want to charge you 60, 70 pounds for a bloody drinks bottle. We don't want to, and we're not going to.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

And hopefully you'll understand the designs. They're not plastered with widow day. I fix a little bird, there's a little nod. If you know, you know. If you don't know, it's just a cool piece of clothing. Yeah,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

and actually I do take, I have been trialing the merch, and um, so many people comment on the, on the branding. And actually, uh, the lady who you just heard, Sarah Swainson, um, her and I are going to get matching WAFFBIRD tattoos. We don't have a date yet, but we, we are going to go and get WAFF tattoos. So I think the fact that somebody wants to permanently brand themself with the WAFF logo is quite cool.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Yeah. So anybody else wants a

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Waff Bird tattoo? We won't

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

be changing the bird logo.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Ever, ever. If

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

people are committed permanently to their skin, then we'll keep it the same.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Now, the next voice you hear will be familiar to some of you, um, it's the inimitable Lucinda Boast, who was part of the presenting team when we first launched last January, and is also my best friend, and we, she no longer appears on the podcast. Um, which she will explain in, in this short clip. Um, but we are still very, very much best friends and she's very much a part of what we do here, a huge supporter of the show. And, um, it's a real privilege to be able to share with you a little update on what life looks like for Lulu right now. now, as a little bit of a extra surprise for you guys, I have a very special guest whose voice you're going to hear in a moment. Those of you who've been with me since the beginning, firstly, thank you. Um, You will remember that it wasn't always just me and John being brought in on occasion. I launched this podcast, um, a little over a year ago, and I did it with my best friend and we had absolutely no experience of podcasting, no experience of interviewing, broadcasting, and certainly not in production. So we propped up our phones on our towels and we told our stories and we did it in the most raw and. terrifying way possible because we didn't even know if anyone would listen and I don't know which would have been more scary. So anyway, I'm digressing a little bit, but um, my former co host Lulu is back and she's making a special guest appearance and I'm going to just find out a little bit from Lulu about what her life looks like now, which obviously I do already know, but you guys might not. So welcome back to the podcast, Lulu.

Lulu:

Hey, it's nice to be back.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

It took me so long to get that introduction done. I do apologize.

Lulu:

No, I'm absolutely honoured to come back and 100 episodes.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

I know, I know.

Lulu:

amazing.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

That's like days of people's lives that they've spent listening to me. I'm sorry. So, Lulu, now, we launched ourselves at this, didn't we? And I wanted to do it and having you by my side made, I think made it possible actually, because I don't think I would ever have had the balls to just go ahead and do it. So we, we've had, we had some cracking adventures. We both went on the radio, we went on the BBC, we had, um, It was a lot of fun, but primarily it was your health, wasn't it, that was beginning to take its toll and you needed to focus on the energy that you had needed to really go into looking after Scarlet and doing a paid job as opposed to this little vanity side project. So, I have watched you go through some enormous changes in the last year and I wondered if you would maybe share a little bit about what's been going on for you.

Lulu:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, when we launched Widowed AF at the beginning, um, we knew how important it was to give people a platform to tell their stories. And so many people came forward and it gave us this enormous body of work really that needed to be done justice to, didn't it? And it needed time and love, um, and effort that, you know, and manpower, really, that I didn't have the capacity for at that time. So you and John took it on,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

became like a juggernaut, didn't it? It, honestly, it went from thinking, Oh my god, who do we think we can get to tell their stories?

Lulu:

Yeah.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

To where we are now, which is, I have a waiting list up till after summer. Like, it's

Lulu:

selfless. I don't think people realize that, you know, and it felt like such a responsibility to carry people's stories and bring them into the outside world. And knowing how it's benefited guests, um, says it all really. So I'm so proud of you, first of all.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Well, I've asked, my love, because, you know, you were very much part of the wheels behind it. And I, I get completely what you're saying. If I'd been on my own and I hadn't had John here to help me, as much as anything, sometimes he's literally walked me down the garden, put me in front of the camera, and just been like, you're gonna be okay when they appear on the microphone. Because, And actually you did that and didn't you? Look at me name dropping at BBC. We stood ready to go on and I'm flapping my hands and I'm shaking and you can see this presenter thinking, Oh my God, what are we about to put on live television? And I was going, you just do it. You just do it on your own. And then like a little kind of not a, what's a metaphorical push and through the door and on we went. And I think that is why you were so instrumental in doing this, but you're right. The feedback has been. unimaginable, like people obviously so badly wanted to have these stories heard and to listen to them and it isn't just widows that listen, it's non widows, it's, oh I think actually where we have this enormous body of work now we are going to start breaking it up into pieces so that you can access stories that perhaps are more relatable because I think in some ways it's almost become a bit intimidating now, like where do you start with that?

Lulu:

Yeah, absolutely. I've had people reach out to me, you know, following, giving my story on the podcast. People still approach me now, um, saying that they've recently listened to my episode and they had no idea that this had happened in my life. They obviously knew that I'd lost John. Um, I talked about relationships with, uh, John's family, my in laws, they made contact after I recorded. And Obviously weren't too happy with what I said, but we were able to talk about it and make peace. Um, So I really feel like good came out of what I did. I'm so glad that I did it. And I have been here since then, haven't I? I didn't just sort of step away. I've been holding your hand, hopefully in the

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Oh, oh God, yes. Like you, you proofread things for me, you listen to the episodes. Some days I'll get a message before I've even left for the school run saying I've just heard today's episode and I just love that, that you've stayed such an integral part of, of this. And you mentioned that your story, now people actually say they did know that you had lost your husband, but people didn't know just how horrific the circumstances were and The kind of cataclysmic effect this had on you and the shame, you know, we talk about, um, you know, trying to throw a little light on the shame so it can't live. And when you mentioned John's family not being, um, not being that happy with the episode, actually when they spoke to you, they kind of flipped, didn't they? And it opened up the lines of communication between you. Because And I know, because I watched you struggle with putting out the kind of raw and realness of what happened to you. And, but the outpouring of support, like, I, I had people messaging me going, Oh my God, Lulu's husband, what a cunt! I might bleep that word out. But, and it just, people were kind of just literally stopping in the street because they couldn't believe what they were listening to. And, enabled other guests to come forward who perhaps had complex grief, who had a problematic relationship with their late partner or with the family, and to realize that you can talk about it. Like, it's your story to tell as well. You're allowed to talk about things that are uncomfortable, and it's entirely up to other people if they listen. Lulu's episode is episode two, if anybody does want to hear it, and it does touch on some very sensitive and traumatic subjects, but ones that are really important as well. Bye.

Lulu:

know, people want to ask how your partner died. And for me and for you and for a lot of other people, I can't answer that question in a sentence. So. A 40 minute podcast.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

I'm astonished that we only took 40 minutes now. I think if we were to re record it, which we might do one day, um, I reckon we're, we're buckling in for two hours. Yes.

Lulu:

people are going to be fed up of hearing this. I must stop talking. I must stop talking.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Which actually leads me to another thing that's been quite significant in your life in, and that is that you have been formally diagnosed with ADHD, haven't you, in the last year?

Lulu:

Yes. Yeah.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

that's, that's both of us ticking that box. And I think it wasn't a surprise, like we knew,

Lulu:

No,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

So going through the process of being diagnosed with, um, with any condition, but primarily I'm talking about ADHD because we've both been through it, um, it is a form in some ways of bereavement because you grieve the person that you were, you grieve the lost opportunities that you might, you have missed because you didn't know you had this neurological condition and it can, it can throw up all sorts of feelings and I just guess, I wondered if you would be happy to share the impact that's had on you.

Lulu:

It's had. A huge impact on me in, in ways that I can't even now still quantify. I'm still working it out, but I realized that I didn't think like other people a long time ago. I think I knew actually, when I hit puberty and I remember one night when I was really young, uh, going to bed in fits of tears, just saying to myself over and over again, I'm not like other people. I feel like a monster. I feel like a freak. Um, And ever since then, I feel like I locked that person inside and, and thought, no, let's, let's try and just behave like everybody else. So let's just try and fit in. Yeah. And it put me on a. different trajectory than if I had understood my brain, which I dearly wish I had, because it led me to run headlong into relationships that weren't right. You know, as soon as I got a sniff of love when I was 22, that was it. Um, you know, and I married the guy and that ended in a mess and, you know, it put me on a, on a track that I wouldn't have been on if I'd just known that, What I was was, was okay, acceptable. Um, you know, and my thoughts were worth speaking out loud. Um, if I'd just been understood, but.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah. I found myself doing, the other day, and you must be guilty of this as well, because my, kind of, the mantra in my head is like, for fuck's sake Rosie, and it's because you, uh, you often, uh, and I don't want to, you know, generalise, but often ADHD girls and women will be labelled as scatty, forgetful, um, often party girls, because

Lulu:

with the fairies.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

loves a bit of booze, drugs, and You, you kind of have all this negative messaging that chips away at your self esteem over the years and just the other day I found myself saying, Oh my god, why am I like this? And this little voice that I'm trying to cultivate said, Because you have a neurological condition that makes it difficult for you. And I just feel like, you feel a bit, weird kind of talking to yourself like that. But that's the kindness that you need, isn't it? To, it's the explanation of the why and it's not making excuses. If I'm late, um, I'm still at fault, right? But I now can set timers. I have like little electronic timers stuck all over the house. I have timers in my phone. So I'm managing my way around it. So I'm not, I don't want it to be perceived as an excuse, but it's an explanation. Oh,

Lulu:

fact that you have these tools, you know, timers and things like that, and you expect your brain to, to let you down, um, is so much more helpful than just forgetting and then having a go at yourself. And it's almost like, for me, I, I'm just reassuring that 11 year old girl that went to sleep in tears that night, um, that it's going to be okay and I'm, I've, I've got her back, you know,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

this is making me emotional. I want to give that 11 year old a cuddle. Now, you've also hit quite a significant date this month. And that was your one year of sobriety. So, an enormous congratulations from me. Um, because I You need to first hand know how difficult it is to separate yourself from the instant relief that is the bottle. And you have managed to do so, um, without a significant other in your home. Which, I'm not, I'm not saying that we can abdicate all responsibility to somebody else, but I have had somebody here that I've been able to talk to all the time. I've had somebody here that probably, it's not come to it, but that probably would knock a glass out of my hand if necessary. You've had to do that by yourself and that takes so much courage and so much strength of character and I suppose I wanted to use this platform to just publicly congratulate you and we joke about the chicken and wine phase because it is a process and many people go through this process but not everybody can pull themselves out easily and it does take time and grit and in your case a dodgy gallbladder.

Lulu:

it does. And actually I referred to it as a phase, which implied that there was an ending and that you. And that you stop, that it comes to an end and you don't always abuse fried chicken and takeaways and, and wine. And I had stopped abusing food and using it as a comfort. And what I now realize is a dopamine fix. I didn't know that's what it was my brain was chasing. Um, or that you could find it in other ways that didn't involve food or drink. Um, But when I couldn't rely on food anymore, it switched to alcohol and I was drinking unmanageable amounts of it. Amounts that I couldn't afford financially apart from anything else. And it turns out my body couldn't cope with that either. So an existing problem in my body, which was my gallstones, um, made it impossible to drink anymore. I knew time was up with alcohol. So.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

just do, don't you?

Lulu:

Yeah, I thought, no, I am fully done. So even though there isn't somebody else in my house to knock a glass out of my, out of my hand, I don't, I don't think, I don't, I really hope that I won't get to that point. Um, I mean, I had you virtually holding my hand and you'd been through it and I'd watched Rosie go through it and I thought, I can do it. And

Rosie Gill-Moss:

anyone can. You

Lulu:

when I reached out to the services that are available, you know, on the NHS for help with addiction, they are, these services aren't set up for people like me who are using alcohol to replace something in their body that they don't even know they're short of. I mean, there are lots and lots of women, especially who are not diagnosed with ADHD and should be. So I know I'm not alone in this and this kind of gray area drinking, which is a space that both you and I inhabited. We, we weren't sitting on a park bench. We were drinking, you know, decent bottles of wine and plonk. Um, so the services weren't set up for me and I was on a very, very long waiting list that I hadn't reached the top of five months later. I was asking the world for help and it wasn't coming. So my body did the talking for me in the end. I went into hospital with a gallbladder infection. And while I was there, I, I asked for help, basically. I was pouring with sweat with what turns out to be alcohol withdrawal. And I said, while I'm here, can you, can you give me some help with alcohol? And they, they did. They were there.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

found that really hard, didn't you? Because you then had to sort of admit to your dad, who was there with his partner, just the extent to which the drinking had got to. And, again, we're talking about the shame, because alcoholics, alcohol dependents, grey area drinkers, That's not, I don't feel that identity. Like I, I feel like that's somebody else, you know, that's somebody that is drunk on the school run, that's somebody that, you know, the house has just got to complete disarray, you know, all the stereotypes around addiction and dependency. Due to this kind of, um, I guess middle class veneer, you know, of respectability, that you don't Hand on heart, I didn't know that you were drinking at one point. I'm your best friend, and I'm an ex addict, and I didn't know. And that's how secretive and insipid

Lulu:

Oh, absolutely. It really is. And I wasn't, I wasn't a social drinker, so I could go out and quite happily not drink. In fact, I would choose not to because I simply couldn't afford the amount of glasses of wine that I would need to, to satisfy myself, to feel replete. Um, because I didn't know what was going on in my brain. So I wasn't a social drinker. I wasn't having dinner parties. I wasn't waiting until I had company to open a bottle of wine. I was doing it on my own in secret. Hmm.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And it's a really efficient, I kind of, I'm not going to say antidepressant because it's not, it is a depressant in the long term, but for the ADHD brain and for the traumatized, it is so quick and so effective that you can disassociate from everything that's going on in your head, all that pain. And actually when you stop drinking, what you're left with is all this shit that you've got to deal with. And that's really scary. And. I know, and you know, that we've, we've had to face our demons, and doing this podcast has actually been, for me personally, very much part of the process, because I feel that I can't preach, for want of a better word, recovery from being bereaved, recovery from addiction, recovery from, I don't, you know, Ah, why can't I have any, where's my words gone? Risk taking behaviour, that's what I was trying to say. You, we, I can't talk about that unless I'm honest. So, for me, by doing this I'm kind of held accountable. Um, but it isn't always easy. There was, uh, there was, It was my birthday, wasn't it? And actually, you arrived at my house at the same time as I arrived from taking myself off on a trip to Maidstone. To hear me say the words, Fuck this, I'm gonna drink, what's the point? Sobriety's shit. You know, all the kind of, turned the air blue. My poor dad, and my mum who was there as well, was sort of sitting there thinking, Oh my god, we've come to celebrate your birthday. But it's because that knee jerk reaction when things are slightly challenging is, I know what'll fix that, and what'll fix that really quickly. And it's a very difficult habit to break. But you've, you've been decorating like a demon, haven't you?

Lulu:

have. Yeah. I mean, my brain still is short of dopamine and I am still learning new ways, um, of getting it. And it turns out that repainting my house. Cleaning, whoever,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

You knew!

Lulu:

that I, who knew that I was basically Mrs. Inch?

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And hang on, I'm actually going to blow a little bit of smoke up your behind, um, because you are volunteering as well, aren't you? You've chosen to use some of this excess energy that you've now got to help other people, so tell me a little bit about, about that.

Lulu:

Yeah, I, it's something I really wanted to do, um, is to kind of pay forward, I guess, some of the help that I had when I wasn't able to help myself. Um, I mean, at one point when I was, I was 26 stones and I fell down the stairs. So I twisted my ankle, I was disabled and I had to reach out for help. Um,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

trying to move house at

Lulu:

To move house. Yeah. It was a nightmare and I just had piles of crap everywhere. I'd just let it build up around me. And so the charity that I'm volunteering with, um, is called Dora Brown Homemaking. And it's a group of amazing women who give up their time to go into houses where people are in similar situations to the one that I was in. Life has got on top of them. They've got stuff everywhere. They're unable to keep on top of, um, the laundry. They don't have the furniture that they need. They they're waving the white flag and needing help. And so we go in as a group of women and. We get them straight. We make sure everyone in their house has got a clean bed with fresh bedding, the laundry's up to date, all the surfaces are clean and clear, anything they need chucking out is chucked out, um, the slate's wiped clean for them basically. And I know what a difference that made to me. So to see, to be able to, to do that for other people is brilliant.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And it's interesting, you say, Um, you know, about when it begins to kind of mount up and get on top of you. And there's that broken window expression, isn't there, where it's like if, for example, my kitchen is lovely and tidy, my kids, if they make a snack, will probably wipe down. Possibly. Let's not say probably. But if the remnants of, say, me cooking some very messy cook, or, you know, that somebody else has baked before, they'll just leave it on the side. because it, you, it's like the broken windows analogy. And so once these things start to escalate, it just becomes such a massive task. I've been there so many times where I call it laundry mountain and sometimes I will empty laundry mountain onto the bed just to demonstrate how much laundry there is. And that will be because I haven't done a wash for maybe three days. And I think back to when I was in active addiction, you know, I, I was like, scraping by, you know? There was, there were so many cracks that were just, I was able to just shove behind sofas or in cupboards and bottles behind it because nobody new, but once you peep behind, beneath the surface a little bit, and for these people that you're helping, they've gone beyond that point. Like they have got to the point where they can't even hide it anymore. And I just, this picture of you kind of team of women with your mop and buckets going in and saving the day, like it's such a, it's what women have done for other, other women primarily, like since the dawn of time. And I, I think it's really admirable. And what I've fantastic way, like you say, to just give back a little bit of, of what the support that you were able to access.

Lulu:

Absolutely. You know, if, if people hadn't come into my home to help me out, both physically and in terms of emotional support, just a hug sometimes is all you need, or just somebody to be there while you sort out your stuff

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yes, but like body doubling,

Lulu:

Exactly, like body doubling. And, you know, I remember you and I exchanging pictures of our laundry piles and, you know, or there'd be pictures of us or our kids and in the background, inevitably, would be, you know, A pile of something. Yeah. And, uh,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

McDonald's wrappers,

Lulu:

yeah. Because there was a bare minimum. If our kids were fed and clothed, then really, everything was okay. If my daughter was fed and clothed in clean clothes, her hair was clean and brushed, going to school on time, I was home and

Rosie Gill-Moss:

everything else

Lulu:

were so many other things. Yeah. So many other things that were falling apart

Rosie Gill-Moss:

I mean, I, I know the answer to this, but I'm going to ask anyway, but in terms of, um, how giving up booze and Sorry, weird little whistle in my nose then. In terms of kind of giving up booze and taking back control of your life, how has that impacted your relationship with Scarlett? I

Lulu:

in ways that I'm only really getting to see now. Um, and I learn a new way every day that it's, it just in a smile, in a reaction to, if I have had a bad day and I do have to snap about something, um, she's understanding. She seems to understand where I'm coming from. Because I have the time now to explain to her how my brain works, and that sometimes, um, I've had a bad day and, and that's that, and I'll need to take myself off, and, and I think having that understanding between us has really helped her. I'm, I'm more present, and I'm

Rosie Gill-Moss:

thinking of the word presence then, as you were

Lulu:

see the benefits of that in your kids every day, don't you, from the moment they open their eyes.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

report, you know, she, you have parents evening and, um, like the, the way that the teachers spoke about her and the changes that they've seen, we feel that even we feel that we can hide a lot of our problematic drinking as mums. We think that because the children are young, that they don't know, but it's not necessarily the drinking that they see, but it will be the shift in us and the, I guess, just. I feel like I'm more reliable, I'm more consistent with my parenting. Ruth talked about snapping then. Yeah, like daily, you know, daily, of course, I'm human. But I remember that I've done it and I remember to say, Sorry, I don't make empty promises. Like, that was the one thing I felt such a huge amount of shame about, is I'd be like, Oh yeah, yeah, we'll do that tomorrow. Yeah, I'll buy you that. And then the next day, I'd have no recollection of this. Um, and I think for me, one of the primary motivators was, um, Oh God, I really feel shame saying this actually, but I couldn't remember if I put my daughter to bed. Having to say to John, who put Tabby to bed? Did you read to her or did I? And that kind of Look across his face, like, not a judgmental look, but like a, um, that, that, were you that drunk? But of course, by the point, by the time you get to the point of stopping, I would find that even a few drinks and I would black out. So, all these great swathes of life that I was missing out on. And, yeah, kids are quite annoying at times, and they are very demand heavy, and that's something that you and I have spoken about at length, is. How we love them and would lay down in front of a, you know, a speeding train for them. Of course we would. But you don't get a much respite. Which is really challenging when you're on your own, when you have ADHD and when you're widowed because There isn't anybody to sound off about them to, or I'm trying to say this without sounding like I'm slagging my kids because that's not something I would do, but sometimes you just want another person to go Oh my god, they were being a right arsehole today without somebody going Oh, you know, you shouldn't talk about your children like that, or don't you? Because there isn't anybody else, really, that you can do that with.

Lulu:

No, exactly. And I, I have to make what I've got work is no one's coming along. You know, I'm, I'm not looking for a romantic partner. I don't have time to cultivate a relationship with anyone else. So it's Scarlet and I for the foreseeable and I have to make that work. There's no space for alcohol in that dynamic at all. And it's, it's so clear by its absence, all of those hours in the evening that I now have, you know, to spend with her or to make the house presentable.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Longer, weren't they, the evenings? Now you're sober. It's 8 o'clock, have I gone to bed yet?

Lulu:

I've got all this extra energy, so I'm bouncing around my house like a pinball.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

I kid you not, I have a yoga mat in my living room. Well, you know this, but the listeners probably, unless anyone's but, I'm sick of camera. Um, and I will spend the hours between probably 7. 30 till possibly even up till 10, just stretching. I, because I cannot physically sit still. And it's, it's, It's actually kind of uncomfortable for me to sit still. But what would two bottles of wine have done? You know, I'd have been at one with that sofa. So, whilst I'm not suggesting everybody, you know, just randomly stretch all evening, I suppose, I'm, like you, I'm figuring out what makes me tick and ways to make myself more comfortable. But, because that great expanse of evening sometimes does feel quite daunting. And, we had blue skies today, you know, that makes, so much difference, but those dark, short winter days, especially when everybody else appears to be drinking and it's Christmas or the worst one for me is things like dry January where everyone's bemoaning how awful sobriety is and how they can't wait to get back on the booze. And that I actually find that quite difficult as a recovering alcoholic because I think You, what you're saying is my lifestyle is so awful and boring and crap that you just cannot wait to get to end this one month. Um, and I hope that by talking a little bit more about the un, I'm gonna quote the book, the unexpected joy of being sober, that more people might be inclined to try it. And it, because it doesn't actually, sobriety doesn't take anything from you. It gives you stuff. It doesn't take anything away.

Lulu:

I think that's the one truth that people can't accept, that it does give you more than it takes away. And when people talk about dry January and they say, Oh, did you ever try dry January then? And is that how it happened? You just stuck at being sober. And I said, No, I couldn't, I could never do a dry January. Don't put a deadline on me. It's all or nothing. I couldn't do Sober October. I couldn't even do a week of those. No.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

no matter what boundaries or rules I put around my drinking, partly because of the way we are built is I'm gonna stick two things up it and do it anyway. And I actually think that's probably why I've been successful at staying sober is because everybody expected me not to. And it's that real sticking up two fingers at society and going, actually I, I'm gonna stick at this. And then, because I'm very stubborn. I don't want to have to kind of crawl out of my cave, you know, saying actually I've fallen off the wagon. So a lot of my sobriety comes down to sheer bloody mindedness, really.

Lulu:

Whatever works.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Whatever works, right? Whatever works. Well, I'm gonna stop now, only because, otherwise we're gonna have the longest episode ever for the 100 episodes. Um, but I, I'm really grateful to you for coming back on today. And actually we do have plans, don't we, to record a proper episode, because I've got so many. questions to ask you and I think you have got such a interesting story to tell. And one of the things I'm hoping to do with the new podcast, which is totally uh, be dropping this in really awkwardly, um, Rosie FM, new podcast, is I'm going to be talking to people about their stories and Where's the tagline for WAF is every widow has a story. I believe that every person has a story. So I will be roping you back in again for a full episode at some point. But for now, um, thank you for coming back and it's just wonderful to see you so happy and you look beautiful and I'm just, I'm really proud of you for everything you've done in this last year and it's been an honor to have you by my side.

Lulu:

Thank you so much. Oh, I'm speechless.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

one of us cries?

Lulu:

It's inevitable. Thank

Rosie Gill-Moss:

you, Lulu, and I don't know how this is going to fit into the episode, so I'm just going to ramble a little bit, but we're going to go back to episode 100 and wherever the hell I left it now. So thank you for that Lulu. And,

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

um, it

Rosie Gill-Moss:

is. Yeah. You're worried for your, for your co host role now, aren't you? No, no, no. Oh, sorry, I just need to blow my nose. That was so unprofessional. Now, one of the reasons that we've been slightly delayed recording this is partly my procrastination and my, I guess, pathological demand avoidance, let's be honest. It comes as part of my condition, so if I know I've got to do something, I absolutely do not want to do it. Um, but partly, John has not been very well, and nothing serious, so please, please don't worry, but you've had this horrendous cough. And this cough, uh, it's quite a scary one because you can't catch your breath. Now, again, regular listeners or friends of ours will know that John very nearly died from COVID. And I say this not as a shock factor, but just to, um, kind of drive home the severity of the case of COVID that you had. You were in ICU for a month. I was, I had the phone call to tell me that he was, that I, I, the expression they use were hope for the best, but, um,

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Thank you, God, that was used to be emblazoned on my brain. So, it's been quite scary for you, having this cough, hasn't it?

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Uh, yes, yeah, it was. Especially with the lack of, um, what's it say, NHS assistance. Um, I managed to get the C111, they gave me some antibiotics, that didn't work. And then, uh, I've actually got through to the GPs, because I'm like, right, I'm week five and week six now, um, of having this bloody cough. And they said, um, we'll get someone to call you. And the nurse, well, a doctor called me and said, Oh, um, we're going to send you for a chest x ray as, as a standard procedure. But then followed it off, they'll be in touch by letter.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah, old school, right?

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Which I was like, letter? But then luckily I went in on the Friday, had it done, um, And then I said, how long for the results? And they told me seven to ten days, which when you're staring at the barrel of a weekend and any of the, um, well, the cancer widows will know you don't want illnesses to go into a weekend because there ain't nothing available. So, um, that, that was quite stressful and that did, did freak me out quite a lot, if I'm honest.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah. And I, I think it really impacted on, um, I think you were just scared. And when you came out of hospital after COVID, there was a look that you had, um, and you'd lost an enormous amount of weight. So you were quite gaunt and your big eyes sort of looked really, really massive in your face, but you were slightly haunted and afraid. Um, And actually there was glimpses of that, that I could see in you. Now I found it really, I found it difficult. God, you know, that sounds really narcissistic, but I, I did struggle with it because the last time you were coughing in that way and where you were struggling to catch your breath. And I'm, I know you know this, but I'm sort of saying for the listeners, you would go quite, almost purple and you wouldn't be able to catch your breath. Now, initially I was sort of like hitting, patting your back and really It's been six weeks now, so I sometimes think that I must look like a stone cold bitch because you're kind of trying to get your breath and I'm just like watching the telly or on my phone, but I think for me, there's, I've had, like, I I'm having to put like an almost a barrier up because if I worry that this is something sinister It's not going to help in any way, shape or form. And actually you are very much on the mend now. The cough has Yeah,

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

and the x ray came back as absolutely clear. Yes, we should say that, yeah. So I have the 100 day cough, which

Rosie Gill-Moss:

I think quite a lot of

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

people do

Rosie Gill-Moss:

as well. And I've had it to a lesser extent and all the kids have been coughing. But I guess the point of me bringing it up really is that fear that you have when you've been through something horrible and scary and you, you really are afraid to take anything for granted and particularly your health. And I think there is always an underlying fear because those who, who do know people who survived COVID and, and tragically we have interviewed people whose partners didn't, you will know that, that, That we don't really know the long term damage. We don't really know whether your lungs are totally okay. Like, there hasn't been, you've not had a scan. You've not had a blood test.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

I've not even had a phone call.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

So, you know, so you can spend a week close to death. You can, you know, your name was written on the board as, um, you know, this kind of, Miracle man. Because nobody, they said they'd never seen a case so bad and somebody survive it. Like that is, that's major. And there's been no follow up. And I do try really hard not to, not to bash our NHS. And particularly not the people that work there. But then to send a letter, which A, must be way more expensive than an email. Must be less, uh, um, secure. Because Well, quite. I mean the amount of things that go missing. So it just doesn't make much sense to me. And I actually had my blood test done because, as again regular listeners will know, I'm on HRT, perimenopause, and I really wanted to get access to testosterone. has been telling me that this is the final piece you need. You need the Holy grail of all three progesterone, estrogen and testosterone. Um, so yeah, they did a blood test. Um, the results came back and are satisfactory. So no further action, but I had to physically drive to the doctor's surgery to pick up a printout of my blood test. It's just, it's inconvenient, it's clunky, we're being pushed to download this app that's meant to have all our medical records on there. They're

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

not there.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

No, they're not there. No, nothing's there. And

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

I've emailed, I've actually asked the GPs, can you put these on, and they are.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

No, and I've got the wrong medication on there. So it just feels really, really clunky. Um, and actually on the subject of testosterone, I did go to a private clinic and I have been prescribed testosterone and wow, uh, it says in the information that three to six months, um, I felt a difference within 24 hours. Um, so if it is a viable option and you are struggling with your anxiety primarily, which is my main. Um, I, I, I would suggest that if you are able to try, the NHS are able to prescribe it. And what are they able to prescribe it for? Sex drive.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Sex drive.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah, that's it. So it's been proven to be hugely impactful on, you know, supporting bone density. Um, um, clarity, uh, energy levels, anxiety. And I'm going to say this because I don't, I don't feel this is too much of, but it does help with menopausal weight gain, which a lot of friends my age and a little bit older are really struggling with because your body doesn't. Seem to respond how it used to, um, I can't come on the next. I've only been, um, applying it for less than a week, but within 24 hours, I felt this cloak of fear and anxiety that's been plaguing me and it's not somebody I, it's something I recognize and. I kind of thought, oh, maybe it was because I don't drink anymore. Maybe it's because of my diagnosis. Da da da da da. Uh, but it really could be something as simple as lack of testosterone, which is so crazy, isn't it? Um, the, you know, the mental health implications of having crushing anxiety and depression and all the other delightful symptoms that, you know, we may experience as part of perimenopause to think that they could be so easily avoided. But if you go to the doctor say it's because it's your sex drive, just don't tell you I did it. Also, tell me we live in a male world, right? So you can be treated if you're unable to, uh, perform sexually for your, for your man.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

But also, doesn't the, um, GP service feel a bit like the 1960s?

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Like nothing. Yeah. There's nothing modern about the service. No. But everyone knows my feelings about this.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah, but it's rock and a hard place, isn't it? Because if you can't afford pipe, and actually I, sorry, this, again, I'm going to talk about my gynecological issues, so if you're squeamish, disengage now. But, um, I have a, a stuck quill, which is nice, and a few people have had Up to elbow deep, I'm trying to find. Sorry, John. And they can't get it out, so I've got to have it done under general anaesthetic. And I want to have it done through the NHS. I've paid my NHS contributions. Um, I, I trust them to do it. Uh, but the referral was done as non urgent, so we're looking at ten months. So then I did an inquiry to private, and to have this, because of the anaesthetic, it would be two thousand pounds. Now, who's got 2, 000 pounds on a fairly straightforward gynecological procedure? So what I've done is I then contacted, this is because I'm a stubborn pain in the arse, but I found out the doctor who had triaged it is non urgent, um, and then I found their PA for both their private and NHS clinics and wrote to them asking why they felt that my case wasn't urgent because it, uh, I also have a condition called PMDD which is controlled very closely with hormones, um, and They, uh, I'm now a priority, but I'm still looking at four. The letter

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

from the GP said urgent. Urgent. Yeah. Urgent. Arri urgent referral.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah. So it's, it's in, it's in hand, but I guess I'm just sharing with you because I'm an overshare, but also if you don't feel that you are, Um, and yeah, finding out who their PA is and going direct to them, finding out who makes the decisions about your care. Don't just accept a letter, the generic letter from a secretary. Somebody in the health service has made a decision and you can access them. It might take time and a little bit of deep dive on the internet, but send them my way, I'll get, I'll get my magnifying glass out and go, go stalking. Right, we are now going to play you another clip. This time you're going to hear the voice of Nikki Outlaw, who still has the best surname that we've ever had on the show. She does. And

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

a really cool job.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah, she does. She works in motorsport. At her husband's funeral, which again was a really complicated case because he died in a motorbike accident and he was found at, um, autopsy to have traces of cocaine in his system. Now Nikki knew her husband better than anybody else in the world. They've been together a very long time and she knew that he did not take cocaine. So instead of accepting this, which would have, the motorway had been, I won't give you all the details, you can go and listen. Um, So the, the kind of media lashback could have been enormous on, on her because it just would have been, as we know. So because she was so convinced of his innocence in this, she pushed and pushed and pushed and it was a mistake in the lab. So. I have an enormous amount of admiration for Nikki, and again, she received really positive feedback when her episode went out. Um, and I just will also say that her husband's, uh, coffin was brought to the crematorium in a Ghostbusters car with the Ghostbusters theme playing. There you go. It doesn't get much cooler than that, does it? It doesn't, no. So the next voice you hear will be Nikki, so enjoy.

Nicky Outlaw:

Hi Rosie, it's Nicky, episode 25. Just thought I'd send you a little voice note and an update of where I am now. Um, some eight, nine months on from, uh, my, my recording and my telling the story. Um, at the time I was waiting to move to make a complete fresh start. Um, I managed to sell my house and buy Trafalgar Cottage up in the Midlands. Um, and moved on the 3rd of May. I didn't actually retire. Um, and instead I started working full time for a race preparation company. Um, a group of guys that I met, um, through marshalling. Um, and to be honest with you, I've had the best summer I've had in the last five years. Um, I've been places I never thought I would go to. I've marshalled at the 24 hour on the Molsayne Strait. Um, I've been to Zandvoort. I've been to. Portimao. Um, I've been to multiple racetracks across the UK. I've gained a family. I've gained three brothers. Um, I've fitted into the community. Um, and for me, In my journey, it's probably been the best move I could have ever made. Um, I've been up here just over seven months now, but it feels like I've been here a lifetime. Um, most importantly, or more importantly, I should say is that having not felt emotion for probably three, the last three and a half years, um, I have now started to feel emotion. The tears are flowing, which is a, for me is a good sign. Um, it means that I am recovering from PTSD and might continue to recover from PTSD. Um, the other, Big piece of news as well is that, um, I've in the last three weeks began to feel hunger again. Um, the trauma that I went through completely suppressed my hunger genes or hunger triggers, I should say. Um, and having lost a considerable amount of weight, I am hoping that Now I'm beginning to feel hunger. I will start putting some of that weight back on. Um, I feel alive. I feel fresh. I met a friend, couple of friends over the weekend just gone that I hadn't seen for best part of two and a half years who said that I have a real positive energy around me at the moment. Um, and the, I have my smile back, which I know I had lost for a long, long time. Life is good. Life is really good. And for the past, or ever since I lost Mike in 2019, New Year's Eve has not been a good evening for me, a good night for me. It's been a trigger that I'm entering another year without Mike. Um, and for the first time in this four and a half year journey. Um, I'm actually looking forward to New Year's Eve this year to see what it will bring for me in 2024. The fresh start has done me the power of good. Um, it's not for everybody. And I realized that, but for me on my journey, it's been a hard, but the best decision I ever made. Um, look forward to catching up with you when I'm next down in Kent, I will ring you and let you know. Love to you all

Rosie Gill-Moss:

So thank you, Nicky. Thank you for taking the time to, to, to record that. Um, we are, we're just so grateful for everybody that has contributed. And we actually, um, we, we can't play every, every voice clip. So apologies if you sent me one and it hasn't been included. We'll try and use it later on in the series. It's just, I am aware that people have a limited listening ability to my voice and I don't want to push my luck. So, um, I am actually going to quickly just talk about, um, Debbie's episode, which is episode 99. Um, it feels ages ago because I recorded quite a long time ago and then we've had a bit of a gap before putting this out, but it would be unfair for me not to at least talk about Debbie's episode and some of the really key issues that came out of it. Um, now one thing that really stood out for me was this kind of idea that some people, and many of us, are not designed to be alone. But that is seen as a weakness or a failing. Um, and actually I, uh, had my 40th birthday dinner some, uh, how can I say friends, but loosely, said to some other friends of mine who happened to be part of my, I think Lulu was one, and they were talking about how, um, like, I needed to be looked after and, you know, this kind of like, almost like a lifeboat in a storm, you know, just wanting, needing to be with somebody. And I felt that was really unfair, actually, because I didn't need to just be with somebody. I wanted to have another romantic partner. I didn't think I did at the time, believe me. I thought that was it for me. But if I'm honest, then yeah, I, I do. I like to be a part of a couple. Most people do. And I think it's not something to be ashamed of or feel, um, a weakness or like you're not brave and strong. If you would like to be with somebody else, it doesn't mean settle for an asshole. Um, but if you are, and if you're not able to and you have the opportunity to be with somebody who makes you happy, that's a really good thing.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Yeah, and for all the non widows out there, and I don't even think you'd listen to this if you're the kind of people I want to talk to, um, sometimes the person that's been widowed, like you said, finds that relationship and finds that person that actually builds them back up again and makes them believe, I say there might be, there might be a bit of a future here. So giving those people a hard time because you're thinking that you're disrespecting the person that's left, is quite possibly, I, one of the worst crimes a human can do against another widow, apart from the other person dying of course, but, um, and I'm gonna sound a bit blunt here, but you have no right to comment on a widow's life, ever.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

No, unless you think that they are genuinely endangering their children, themselves, or somebody else. Yeah. It's really none of your business. And I think. It's actually okay to say that you don't want to be on your own, that you are lonely and that you would like somebody to share your life with. There is no shame in that. Why do dating apps exist? Because humans want to be with other humans. So they are prepared to put themselves through the humiliation of a dating app. I mean, that tells you something, doesn't it?

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

And we, and the same comments never come out about divorced people.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

No.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

When they find their, their next relationship.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And I don't think that just, Um, will mind me saying this, but one of our former guests who I have actually since interviewed for, uh, Oh, look, an opportunity to drop in the new podcast for Rosie FM, so Rosie fm, which was a working title that has stuck, um, is going to be launched on April the first. It feels, I'm giving, I'm saying this to make myself commit to a date because I've got about five or six episodes recorded, but it's that final push across so you guys can hold me accountable. Um, I think April Fool days, both Sunday to to launch a business. Anyway.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Go either way. I was hoping you'd get some editing done.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Oh, actually, I also, um, Ben and I had our first kiss on April Fool's Day. There you go. That was always, um, something we found quite amusing. Uh, so the first, so I, I don't know which episode will be going out first, uh, from that, but we do have a couple of quite interesting guests. Um, one of whom is Jess. So, Haslem Bancroft. I always say that wrong. She was, I think episode five. I think she was really super early. She was our first non, non WAF guest.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Might be seven. Oh,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

okay. All right. Uh, and she is in a relationship now. I can, she has a public blog, so I'm not betraying her confidence, but she's in a relationship with somebody. His wife died, um, fairly recently, actually. And she has been really brave in talking about this and how. The judgment that they feared, um, has actually in many ways been unfounded because as often happens when you are cancer, cancer adjacent, when you're supporting somebody through terminal illness, the role of, you cease almost to be a romantic partner. You become their carer. You, you still love them very much, but. It means that it's not like you're literally going from being madly in love with somebody to meeting somebody else. And even if that happens, sometimes it does, you know, that's okay too. But yeah, I, I think that this will be a really, this is going to go out onto my, the Rosie FM branding, but I might put it out on WAFF as well, but I'd like to drive you guys over to the new one a little bit as well. And whilst I'm talking, uh, guests, the first episode of Season 2, which is coming imminently, is going to be an interview with Stacey Heal. Those of you who are, kind of, follow, um, uh, Widowed, uh, pages on Instagram will possibly be familiar with the hat, and she has been in the Times. last weekend and also on the Lorraine show so She's getting some real traction for her book, which is called now is not the time for flowers and I I'm stacy. I'm still waiting on my pdf copy so I can read it, but I have pre ordered it because I I think that we should all support people who are trying to make a difference out there Um, and so it it was a really nice interview and that it just flowed really well We seemed to hit it off. We I mean we're both riddled with adhd

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Definitely an episode two

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah, I think so. I think often with these things you record, you're like, I've got so much more to ask you. Um, but I hope that you will be back with me for season two and, and have a listen because we do have, we've got several already recorded and we've got some really exciting guests lined up to come on and like I said earlier, we, we are, we do, we run the application process in kind of, it makes, let's say you have to apply. What I mean is you just need to fill in a form. We're not, um, you don't get rejected by us if your story is not juicy enough or anything like that. This is a platform for anybody to tell their story. Um, unless you're a total arsehole in which case. I haven't met one yet. Uh, so don't be put off by the fact there's an application form. Um, and it may take a couple of months even because we tend to do them in a cycle when we invite people on. So don't, don't be disheartened if you haven't heard anything. Um, a new set of invites have gone out this week, I think.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Yeah, it was the weekend they went out, yeah. So

Rosie Gill-Moss:

you may, so check your junk mail if you're waiting for something from us. Now, just before we wrap up here, I am going to play you another clip. Now this is from somebody who's not a widow and hasn't appeared on the podcast. This is a friend of mine called Katie. Katie is a palliative care nurse. And, um, She's also a really, really big supporter of the show, and often will message me and tell me that certain episodes have really impacted on her. And she's also, you know, she does a really, really tough job. Like, a really tough job. I have so much admiration for somebody that works in palliative care, because Even doing this, where we're talking about death a lot and sadness, it's, it takes a, it takes a toll. Um, I have weekly therapy partly because I still need it, but also partly because I need somebody, I need a place that I can offload. Um, anyway, I'm digressing a little bit, but the next voice you're going to hear is Katie's and it's, it's just so lovely to hear that we're impacting the wider community outside of our immediate tribe. So here we go. It's Katie.

Kaite:

Hello, I went to give you a voice note on the, um, on the website, but you've taken the function down. That's sad. Um, I just listened to, um, whatever episode 80 is the chatty one. Um, and you were talking about how the talk went with the uni students. So I just wanted to say as a palliative care nurse, thank you for doing it. I think that's, it's very helpful. Um, lots of nurses, including some very experienced nurses, still find death and dying really difficult and uncomfortable. Um, um, and. I, I think it takes a really deep sense of understanding to be any good at it. But unless you're exposed to it in a kind of healthy and safe way, which is obviously very difficult, um, to do in, especially in hospitals and what hospitals are like. Um, then, you know, you don't ever build, it takes a really long time to build the confidence sometimes. When I worked in, in transplant when I qualified and it was a nightmare. in terms of palliative care, because everybody who was on the donor, everybody was waiting for an organ was dying. You know, there were an organ failure and yet nobody talked about it. Nobody talked about it. We were all just talking about waiting for the organs, which quite frankly, we knew most of the time weren't going to turn up because there aren't enough organs for people, which is just one of those things. And what's the other thing I was going to say, I wanted to say to you, um, about, Um, what, um, what John was saying about, uh, remembering the deterioration. And what I always say to people is that you have to, um, you, or you end up mourning as you grieving as you go along, because when you have, when you have a life limiting illness, You have lots of small losses along the way, you know, you lose lots of things about yourself So I tell my patients that they need to grieve for themselves and I tell their families We need to acknowledge the losses as they come, you know, because the final loss is is You know, it's final and last and before that you have to live with all of the others So well done guys. Keep them keep talking the talk It's amazing what you're doing and, um, just as a palliative care nurse, I want you, I want you to know how much I'm learning. I don't see that the, um, what do you call it, the flip side, the after, you know, I deal with the, that anticipatory grief, grief and the immediate grief after a loss and, and not the down, down the line. And it's really amazing and helpful to hear what's, what people remember, like, The nurses that turned up and how they made a difference and when things went wrong or what it was that went wrong. So I keep listening and keep learning. So I'm sorry for my ramble. Speak to you soon. Bye.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

So thank you Katie for taking the time to record that and also thank you on behalf of everybody for the work that you do um, in supporting families and, and those that are dying because is there such thing as a good death? I don't know but there's a, there's a, there's a kindness that, that you, that should be there and there's a compassion and The, the people who are at the front, the coalface, the front facing people involved in palliative care. The, what you give is, is kind of immeasurable really.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

And they haven't been on the receiving end. I don't know if that's the right term of, um, the palliative care and the work they do.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

They're angels, aren't they? They really are angels. And this is why hospice often sounds so daunting to people, and it's a really, really hard conversation to have with somebody who's terminally ill, because as a lot of our guests can, um, Contestament, they don't, the person who is dying doesn't always want to accept it. And so hospice can feel like it giving up, but actually hospice is where the love is and you can have more access to your person. And so, yeah, I, I am, I am fortunate that I, I have not personal experience, but I inevitably will at some point in my life, because that is the harsh reality of the world, isn't it?

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Yeah. I've unfortunately done three so far. All

Rosie Gill-Moss:

right. Show off.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Heartbreak.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

So as we wrap up today's episode, I, I guess I just want to say another thank you to you all, um, for listening, supporting, and just loving me and for being the kind of push motivator, the wind, the wind beneath my wings, when I felt that I wasn't worthy of doing this, the imposter syndrome that has threatened to derail me so many times. It always, I will be having a wobble and. Um, you won't guys won't know, but one of you will message me, I'll get an Instagram message or somebody will do a post or something and they will remind me that what we're doing, it has so much value. And this body of work that we've created, this is something. But nobody else has ever done. And that's not me, I'm blaming someone who cut my own arse. I didn't set out to create a legacy as it were, but it is a legacy. It's a legacy to you guys. It's a legacy to the people that you've lost. And it will, I anticipate, provide people in the future with a reference point, with a guide, with, uh, with knowledge of what it really is like to, to lose the person that you genuinely thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with and the kind of. the, and how to support somebody else, I guess, both things to do, things not to do. I don't, I'm going off on a tangent, but I feel quite, um, I do feel emotionally attached to this podcast. Of course I do. It's, I've never been, um, particularly proud of myself in terms of, um, I don't know, uh, I'm not particularly ambitious, I suppose it's, I've, I've muddled, I've, I've always felt that I wasn't, I've always been capable and had, you know, and managed to get jobs, but I suppose I've never really found something that lit me up like this does, and it does. So I, I'm, I'm excited to, to launch the new podcast. I'm excited to do season two. Um, Who knows where this will go, who knows, but I'm really, really grateful to have all of you with me for the journey and to have my, my best friend sitting opposite me right now because without John, who often is the behind the scenes person here at WAFF, um, without him it wouldn't exist because I don't think there's any way on God's earth I would have managed to learn how to do this. producer podcast. I could, I'm just about, I mean,

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

I think you would have,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

well, maybe eventually, maybe eventually, but it's, it is a lot easier to do these things when you've got somebody by your side. And I have John literally by my side and I have you guys metaphorically by my side. So from the bottom of my broken heart, thank you. Thank you for everything.

Podcasts we love