The Middle Years: When the kids grow up... and everything goes tits down

By Liz Fraser

Indispensable and hilarious* notes on midlife (*possibly)

Friday, 22 September 2017

*Coughs* . . .

ANYWAY . . .

Those of you who pledged for this book, umm….2 or more years ago, might well be wondering where exactly your copy IS.

You would be entirely justified in wondering this. The postal service certainly can be lacking at times, but even Royal Mail can generally get things delivered within the decade.

So I thought a little update might be in order, to . . . explain Things.
And yes, that’s capital T ‘Things’.
Some of the Things are as follows:

Halfway through writing this book, my marriage ended.

22 years.
3 children.
1 family home.
6 fish.
A million knowns.
Almost everything I have ever known in my adult life, in fact.

And then a further many million unknowns. Most of them terrifying.


As life imitating book-titles goes, it was pretty spectacular.
(And to think I nearly called it ‘When Everything Goes Spectacularly Well’! Damn.)


So yes. Those Things happened.

Seems that breaks are like umbrellas; after the break-up came a break-down.
Not known for doing things by halves, I did my break-down whole.
Possibly double, in fact.

I broke.



I was in complete denial for a long time, soldiering on, pretending I was coping, hoping I was coping, while everyone else watched me not eat, not sleep, lose hair, slash my arms to shreds, become frequently catatonic and suicidal, depressed and panic-struck, behave in increasingly bizarre and worrying ways, and generally fall into all kinds of apart, all caused by the unrelenting stress, strain and unbearable fear I was subjected to on almost every front.

It was, truly, the worst two years of my life, and I very nearly didn’t make it. 
You know what they say; what doesn’t kill you almost kills yo

Happily, thanks to the magical healing properties of The Passing Of Time, some very good, wise and caring friends, a beautiful, kind man who loves me and never lost faith, hideously expensive psychiatrists and psychologists that I couldn’t afford, the NHS, Netflix and, truly, the support of a huge number of total strangers on social media who gave me hope and strength times when those in the real world who should have been there for me weren’t, I found my mind again, and my life.

A new life. And a far happier one I ever believed existed for me.

It’s taken me a year to get to the point of being able to write anything at all that’s vaguely coherent, and I’ve thought long and hard and round and round, and sometimes backwards and upside down, about whether to mention any of it in this book.

And then I realised that I must. Of course. Because everything that’s happened to me in the last few years is the perfect, total and utter embodiment of all the shit that can hit our fans in the Middle Years.

My experiences of marital break-up, family break-down, the agony of separation from my children, financial decimation, buying new IKEA crockery, throwing away old habits, falling in love again, slowly learning to trust anthing again, and surviving it all, (just!) only ADDS to this book.

It’s all part of life, and many of you will go through at least some of it.
I wish that weren’t true, but it probably is.

As ways to gather new material go, it was pretty brutal, but hey. If any of it helps you in what YOU are going through in your Lifeshambles, then it was worth it. Almost. 

Thank you to those of you who stuck with me through it all and were there, in whatever form, when I needed it.
You know who you are.
And who you aren’t.

Your copy of this book WILL come, just as soon as we hit the magic 100%. And I finish writing it.
But I'm ON IT like shit on a shoe that's stepped in shit. 

If you know anyone who might be interested in reading it, do please feel free to pass the link on to them.

And if you're new to all this, and haven't pledged yet, and would like to, then....HELLO!!!
Come and join the general madness of it all. You are very welcome here. 

The sooner we get this baby funded, the sooner I can start stuffing jiffy bags with copies for you all.  
And there's notihng I like more than a good jiffy-bag stuffing.


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Nick Heath
 Nick Heath says:

I hear you Liz. I’ve always loved the way you write. It feel just like the way I do. We tweeted a lot before you broke. Then we emailed aftern when inmyheadcase was starting but I cut and ran. Pretty sure
My breakdown has still to happen. But anyway.. hi! Nick x

posted 25th September 2017

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