The Hard Times

It’s Christmas Day 2010. Jack and I are living in the home my mother grew up in. It is -10 degrees Celsius outside. My parents have just gone through the world’s worst breakup and it’s the first Christmas my family won’t be celebrating together. My dog of fourteen years has died. I’ve been diagnosed with epilepsy. A family member has been diagnosed with cancer. We’re both completely broke, and in debt, from college loans. We can’t afford heating so we’re wearing layers of clothing.

I have been having seizures. I can’t travel to see anyone because the roads are too icy. Jack and I couldn’t afford gifts for each other so we make each other breakfast: a single piece of toast and jam. We’ve been living on jam for weeks. We know we could reach out to our families for help, but we’re too proud. We are both snowed under with college assignments. I am training to be a teacher, and therefore have no time for a part time job. Jack is doing a full time PhD. The stress is having a huge effect on our relationship. We argue all day long.

And then, on Christmas Day 2010, our water froze. We had no water, all the shops were closed, and we had no way to travel for it. We couldn’t cook, clean or wash.

I don’t actually remember much of that day, but to say it was miserable is an understatement. I lay in bed that night, wearing mittens and my coat, and began to cry. Jack put his arms around me and just let me cry in silence.

After I had begun to calm a little bit, he kissed my forehead. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that this will calm any woman.

“We have each other.” His voice cut through the silence, the darkness, the cold air.

“We have each other.” He repeated it.

“We have each other.” He said it again and again, while I nuzzled my face into his shoulder, in an attempt to absorb some of his strength.

A year later, I had a job. Jack was able to get some work experience. Our lives improved hugely, as did our financial status. I will, however, never forget that dark day, feeling utterly hopeless and lost.

About a month ago, I was making a four hour drive to attend a party with my friends. A song came on the radio. I had heard the song before, but I’d never really listened to it because it’s not exactly my style of music.

Have you ever had a moment where you think “this song was written for me”? The words were so apt that tears began flowing down my face. I smiled through my tears, as I thought of our struggles and how we has stuck together threw those dog days.

Here is a link to the song, “For the First Time” by Irish band The Script.

And here are the lyrics:

“For The First Time”

She’s all laid up in bed with a broken heart,
While I’m drinking jack all alone in my local bar,
And we don’t know how,
How we got into this mad situation,
Only doing things out of frustration

Trying to make it work but man these times are hard,

She needs me now but I can’t seem to find the time,
I’ve got a new job now on the unemployment line,
And we don’t know how,
How we got into this mess
Is it a God’s test?
Someone help us ’cause we’re doing our best,

Trying to make it work but man these times are hard

But we’re gonna start by
Drinking old cheap bottles of wine,
[Clean version:] Sit talking up all night,
[Explicit version:] Shit talking up all night,
Saying things we haven’t for a while
A while, yeah,
We’re smiling but we’re close to tears,
Even after all these years,
We just now got the feeling that we’re meeting for the first time

[x3:]
Oooooo

She’s in line at the DOLE*
With her head held high (high)
While I just lost my job but
Didn’t lose my pride

But we both know how,
How we’re gonna make it work when it hurts,
When you pick yourself up,
You get kicked to the dirt,

Trying to make it work but,
Man, these times are hard,

But we’re gonna start by
Drinking old cheap bottles of wine,
[Clean version:] Sit talking up all night,
[Explicit version:] Shit talking up all night,
Doing things we haven’t for a while,
A while yeah,
We’re smiling but we’re close to tears,
Even after all these years,
We just now got the feeling that we’re meeting for the first time.

Ooooo
[x3]

Yeah…
Drinking old cheap bottles of wine,
[Clean version:] Sit talking up all night,
[Explicit version:] Shit talking up all night,
Saying things we haven’t for a while,
We’re smiling but we’re close to tears,
Even after all these years,
We just now got the feeling that we’re meeting for the first time

Ooooo,.. yeah, for the first time
Ooooo,.. oh, for the first time,
Yeah for the first time,
(Just now got the feeling that we’re meeting for the first time)

[x4]
Oh these times are hard,
Yeah, they’re making us crazy
Don’t give up on me baby

[* DOLE is the unemployment line in Ireland]

I think most people can relate to this great song. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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12 thoughts on “The Hard Times

  1. dweezer19 says:

    If only mire men were like Jack. We don’t need them to always “fix” us or things or tell us how we should keep our chin up, etc. just a hug, a kiss, a quiet, “everything is going to be fine.” I understand. For me it is a hand on my head, I believe because my Mom used to do it. Before she died she was always in bed and I, as a teen, would curl up next to where she lay, amd seated on the floor we shared stories. Now and then she would lay her hand in my head and stroke my hair. I think this is where these omforts come from. It is hard for lots of men to be that gentle. So glad your guys make it out of that sad moment. But those moments do make us stronger. Hipe your health is improving Janey.

    • janeybgood says:

      Thanks Cheryl. I am very appreciative to have him, he has been so good to me.

      Aw, that’s so sad 😦 But I’m glad you found comfort there. Whenever I’m upset, one of my mother’s hugs seems to help a lot. You’re right, many men do find it difficult to be this gentle. Maybe because women are quite nurturing by nature.

      I think these difficult moments define us. I know that I am a much better, and stronger, person because of them.

  2. deepbluesandseafoamgreens says:

    This is my all time favourite song by the script!! I listen to it regularly πŸ™‚
    And Jane, I hope everything is going well in regards to your health ❀
    (Say hi to Jack too!)

  3. Lisa Macy Coaching says:

    You’ve got a great guy there Janey! And it sounds like you two have been through a lot together with lots of love and support for each other. (Annnd that’s what it’s all about <3) I too hope you're feeling well and that you've got those pesky seizures to back off and leave you alone. πŸ™‚

    • janeybgood says:

      Thanks Lisa πŸ™‚ In ways, he’s one of the only reasons that I haven’t gone completely nuts. Whether it’s a spouse or a friend, it’s important to have someone.

      The seizures are still there but I’m on meds now so I’m managing. Hope everything is okay with you and your family πŸ™‚

  4. PurplesShade says:

    I am not even sure what to say with this, except that I am so glad you got through it.
    Coming out the other side of hard times can really give us some interesting perspectives in life, and the push us to lift each other up.
    You said on my blog that you hope you and your boyfriend can have a marriage built on such empathy and love. But in truth, both the first time I read that, and now after reading this, I don’t know how you can think you don’t already have a something very much akin to that? I mean the marriage bit not quite- but in some very significant ways a marriage is just a commitment to continue in a relationship.

    I wanted to cry reading this, both sad, and happy tears. I’m glad you have each other, through the bad and good times. Excuse me I just have to go fix this quivering lip.

    • janeybgood says:

      You make an excellent point. We do have a very strong relationship that is built on empathy. I often crave marriage but really marriage wouldn’t change anything; we are already very committed to each other.

      Thank you for your empathy. I always find it so amazing that someone who doesn’t know me in person can read something about my life and feel such emotion. It’s very touching. Thank you πŸ™‚

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