Four years ago today, I picked up the keys to my flat, I didn’t move in until 4th July but I went to the flat and planned. It was lovely, for the first time in eight years, I was going to live by myself, furniture and all of the books were coming out of storage and I was ready to be alone and to make a space that was mine again.

Moving in/sorting out

The places we live are usually always about more than where we sleep and put our possessions. They are places that we create relationships and families in and they shape us in ways impossible to imagine when we start living in them. I remember the house Ma, Ben and moved to when we moved out of Fulham (and away from my father) as the place we started to create ourselves as a family again. Oaklands Road was the place that Christelle and I became family instead of just friends. Living in Sarah’s flat in Fulham after Stef died was about being safe and loved and understood.


Moving into this flat was about being healed and ready to be me again with all the joy, difficulty and responsibility that entailed.

Living alone isn’t always easy, neither is living with people but living alone, especially when you’re single is a particular type of difficult. You are, well I am, faced with being enough and spending more time in my head than might be healthy.

I spent time after Stef died living with people who were safe, Sarah cause she knew me really well and Ian’s because much as I love my uncle and cousins, they are so wrapped up in what they’re doing, they didn’t really care about how mad I was. It was great to be around people who didn’t take me seriously and it taught me to do the same.


So this flat was the beginning of feeling that I was enough, that I could be alone and it wasn’t the end of the world, that life would have good things in it.

Nowadays, my life has more balance in it. I love the flat, it feels like home and being alone in it is peaceful and feels safe. Like everything in my life, it didn’t all come together because of my effort. That’s not to knock the effort I put in, I did put my life back together and the flat is a reflection of who and what I am. It’s also a reminder, in the most concrete way, that I didn’t do it all by myself and I’m not actually alone unless I choose to be. In the four years I’ve been living here, the flat has been full of people that I love and lots of things in it  were gifts.

Mostly, the flat is a physical reminder of how lucky I am, to have a place to live that’s safe and warm (well most of the time) and to have people in my life that help me feel like that.











About nicdempsey

This entry was posted in How I Live, Thankful. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Home

  1. Pingback: Four Things -Thankful | Nic Dempsey

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