Lost in the loneliness

It’s been a busy, somewhat stressful, hot, sweaty and tiring day.
But it’s been more than worth it.

My personal domesday clock is counting down.
And if I stay still long enough, I can practically hear it ticking…

As predicted, I’m in the middle of the sh*t couple of weeks that were coming, but having seen this coming, I’m a little better armed to fight the battle now. At the very least I have ordered plenty of fizz… However that specific day is still ooming…(being a verb that combines looming & ominously – in case you didn’t know). And I still don’t have a plan…

But today, in various places and at various times, I have been able to spend time with people who really knew Matt and I, who knew him, who knew us, who knew and know how things really were and are. And although it doesn’t stop it hurting – f*ck, what could? – knowing that we’re all on the same page, all feeling it together, all there for each other, really, really, really helps. To hear and be heard, and to share without judgement? Just so amazing, and affirming, and I am so grateful. Anything else is just white noise. Not important, and not worthy of being in my life.

There’s nothing like something like this to show you who your friends really are or are not, as I’ve said before. And sadly I’ve lost some along the way, who couldn’t or wouldn’t stay the distance. But those with me now? We’ve all been through struggles, through this together; we’ve been forged in fires we’d rather not have faced, be they their’s or mine or both, and I think some of those new bonds will be with me for life. I hope so. If not, well, life is a strange and meandering path, some people are with you for the whole ride, others are just there for steps along the way…but even if that turns out to be the case sometimes, it wouldn’t detract from how important it was for me to see them all today.

Oddly, and hilariously, apparently I’m looking good these days. So I look good overweight with a suntan. Hah! Maybe. Maybe you’re just very polite. Or I maybe I just looked really REALLY bad last time you saw me. Distinctly possible! I can’t paint people, but I can paint a smile on myself to rival one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s, and thinking about it, if you’re paying attention, it’s probably just as enigmatic… But I can play the game. I’ve got skills… I went out, we went out, we laughed, we ate, drank, there may even have been the odd very brief intimate shared tear when no-one else was looking. And another day has been marked off on the wall of the solitary confinement cell that grief leaves you living in.

Love isn’t something you can turn off. It turns out I love him whether he’s here or not. Inconvenient, no? Sometimes I have the most vivid disassociated feeling that I’m about to wake up and none of this will ever happened. Wouldn’t that be just something?

And then I have to have serious words with myself. Because, like, as if, you idiot *face slap*. Whatever people might think, and whether they like it or not, I’m actually not stupid. If I was I’d be religious and just waiting for my turn to hope to have been good enough in this life to be allowed to walk through those hallowed pearly gates and run into his arms. Yeah, right…

So now I’m home again, putting off tomorrow, lost in the shadows, trying to learn to listen to music again, writing this, and all the time holding on to him deep inside, because I’m never letting him go.

Love you my beautiful eternally gorgeous fit as f*ck boy ❤️😢. And man, do I miss you. SO much. You were always so paranoid that I would leave you, and I promised you I never would; that I was never going anywhere. And I wasn’t, and didn’t, and I never would have done. I kept my part of the bargain. You didn’t. I’ll never get it. I guess some things are permanently incomprehensible. How do I keep doing this without you? 😭.

 

Always this

I’m not sleeping.
I’m not getting enough done.
I’m just counting down the days.
I’ve given in and accepted that I’m going to be even worse than useless for a while.
It’s just going to be a particularly rough couple of weeks, and there’s no avoiding it.
Trying to just makes it worse.
And that’s just the way it is, and so…
I just keep breathing, and keep getting through one day after another, even though I find myself in tears all the time, even though I don’t know what to do with myself.
I just have to keep doing it. Own it. One day at a time. And so those days will pass, as all the days between then and now have done.

In the meantime this. Always. I will always carry you. When you left, you took a part of me with you, and you left a part of you with me. And you will always be a part of me, however life goes on, however things change or move on. And although we cannot be together, I know that I will carry you with me wherever I go until we can.

One day…

I can feel it coming in the air tonight

I really didn’t have it together this morning. I woke up, and I just couldn’t see any point to waking up. To doing today. I stayed asleep as long as I could. And once I was awake and up and downstairs, I tried. I did. But I just couldn’t stop the tears overflowing every time I opened my mouth to talk to anyone. Or even when I wasn’t talking at all. I just couldn’t figure out how to cope with the day, yet alone more days to come. And then Tash, in more than usually perceptive and sensitive mode said hey, look, if that’s how you’re feeling (which I pretty obviously was), let’s just have a sofa and movie and ice-cream day together. Which initially sounded daft. But I’m up to date with my work, and what still needed to be done could be done from the sofa. And so, minus the ice-cream, that’s what we did. We sat on the sofa together. We watched The Guardian, which I love and she hadn’t seen before. We watched a lot of Inkmaster, series whatever. And in the meantime I did what work had to be done. It worked, in so far as anything can right now. Some days I just can’t do, and it’s ok to not be ok, to not do them. I need to remember that. And so I’ve booked some time off work over the next couple of weeks and beyond, to try and give me space to cope. I want to go to the beach…but I don’t think I can yet. Not without him…

Later we went up to The Lamb for a pre-shopping get out of the house drink which turned into drinks with a government aided 50% off grazing platter food since neither of us were that hungry, and with Austin unexpectedly working, cooking for two didn’t appeal. It’s just as well it was subsidised, as it wasn’t great. At full price I’d have been kicking off. But ho hum. In the meantime we played chess (yes, we’re weird like that), we chatted some important things through, we even chatted to other people. But through it all I just felt her by my side, supporting me. Which is not something that comes naturally to her, but she was making an effort, and it made all the difference. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated it. She even told me I looked nice, which is so not true at the moment, but it was a lovely sentiment. All I can see when I look at me is the extra weight, and if I look at my face in the mirror, all I can see is how I’m feeling inside shining through the mask…and that’s hardly attractive. It’s all in the eyes…

That done, we then came home via the shop, and watched more Inkmaster, and then the next parental care shift came home, and we watched Criminal Minds whilst she went upstairs to read, until finally it was just me downstairs, with her upstairs reading, him upstairs getting ready for his interview tomorrow, and I finished the episode I was on, and now here I am upstairs in my turn, it’s time for bed, and another day has passed.

Ten more days until the day that marks a year. Those days are clearly going to be really really hard, as each one that gets closer to it seems to feel worse. And what the f*ck do you call it? It’s not what I think of as an anniversary – those are things to be celebrated right?. People out there call it all sorts of things. It’s their lost one’s heavenly birthday, their deathiversary, so many things, none of which make any sense. It’s hardly something to be celebrated unless, unlike me, you believe that he’s gone to a much better happier place. I wish I had the comfort and security of belief…but I don’t. So I have no name for it. Anniversary is the most dictionary appropriate term, so I guess that’s what it is. And I can feel it coming in the air tonight…like a storm gathering on the horizon, red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning. You can run, but you can’t hide…

I miss him so much. There just aren’t the words. So here’s the song from Criminal Minds today that resonated tonight. I’m trying to still shine for him, but I’m doing a pretty lousy job of it at the moment. Now I’m off to try and find him in my dreams again…and then I’ll wake up to another day just to be alone again. How do I do this? He was my everything. One day at a time, that’s how. Same sh*t different day, and the days pass, and maybe one day I’ll know where I’m going. Right now I’m just holding on by the skin of my teeth…

Tomorrow is Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays. A quote which quite possible only my Dad will get, but there you go, there it is. I am very grateful that I still have family; those I was born with, and those who have become family through circumstance. We are bonded by blood, or history, or shared experience, or through the fires we have walked through together, or whatever. F*ck knows how I’d be doing this without them. Without you all. Thank you. Two little words that I don’t use enough, but that I whole broken-heartedly mean.

Sweet dreams are made of this

Tough times at the moment. Not an easy week, and it’s only Tuesday. I dreamt of him last night, and my thoughts have never strayed far from him which, as my ever practical daughter pointed out, is hardly surprising considering the current timing.

It was such an odd dream, in a weird place, with lots of people, and he was back and his normal cheeky life and soul self, but I could never find out where he’d been, or quite keep a grip on him, and even though I was loving seeing him and having him around, I knew he couldn’t be, that it wasn’t right. Even asleep my brain can’t, or won’t, lie to me. And then so it all kind of splintered, and chaos spread and…well, I don’t remember the details. I remember not wanting the alarm to wake me up, and hitting snooze a lot, because every time I went back to sleep, I went back into the same dream where he was, even though I knew he couldn’t be. However it was still better than not having him at all and I didn’t want to wake up to a world without him again, and then I had to…so it’s safe to say it wasn’t the best way to start the day. Tears for breakfast…

On the upside, once I’d got myself together again, I then managed to lose myself in work for a good few hours. And I made myself do some of that while on the spin bike since, thanks to my anti depressants, my weight has become a real issue, and exercise is good on many levels. So that’s two positive things. But I’ve not been far from tears all day. Too many trigger memories, random memories, things that pop up out of nowhere. Then there’s the thought of eldest getting the next job he’s going for and moving out, followed by youngest going back to uni, and it being just me here, alone. Thinking about them being away for a week on holiday with the Ex, and me being home alone. I’m just so scared of how that’s going to be, how it might feel, what’s going to happen… There’s also needing to sort some things out for my folks and not feeling like I have enough emotional energy or strength to cope with myself right now, let alone something else which is stressful and emotional and too close to home. And the clock is still ticking down to the anniversary, and I still haven’t made a plan for coping with it, and I really need to. I can’t avoid it, though I know I’m trying to. It’s going to arrive, it’s going to happen. It’s going to be a sh*t weekend, for that and other reasons. For various reasons I probably can’t do what I would usually do, so I’m just at a lost as to what to do to mark it, to help me get through it. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail…but what the hell do you do for a weekend like that, when you’re surrounded by people to whom it doesn’t mean the same as it does to you, who don’t/can’t really get it? I’m going to want, and need, to cry a lot, and not be holding it in just to spare other people.

As I said to my friend the other day, who’s struggling with his own his issues, life’s just a bit of a shit storm these days isn’t it? He agreed, I agree; yes it is.

Thanks to those of you who sent me a message or commented here last time; it’s just the little things that help. Knowing that someone out there is thinking of me reminds me that the world is a little bigger than just here. That other people get it. That we’re in this together, cos I’m thinking of you all too, even if I’m rubbish at staying in touch or reaching out. I’m either busy, so my head is elsewhere, or I’m not and my head is lost in the downward spiral, and then I don’t contact anyone anyway. Which is an explanation not an excuse.

Even though it didn’t help today, as I head for sleep now, I still hope to dream of him. Masochistic no doubt. But since life sucks – give me something. I’ll take nothing, just give me something, anything, to help keep me going.

Ever the same

I’ve been out. I was honoured to be invited. And scared to go, since we’d usually have gone together. I got over the first “who’s she, with the purple hair and the piercings” reactions. And then later, when people were having the “she’s the one whose fiancé died last year” conversations, when they thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that too. Since you’re not me, I can’t explain to you how the looks that come my way are different depending on the conversation your spectators are having.  But you can tell. You can feel it in the quality of the looks that come your way. But nonetheless I went. I made conversation to strangers. I made an effort. I played nice. I was, thankfully, rescued by Gill and Tony reappearing, having apparently been there earlier, so I was with friends who I could actually talk to properly, honestly. And what has happened to me, has happened to me, and it, and other people’s reactions to it, is what it is.

And then we/I came home. Domestic bliss then became somewhat lacking since getting one of this weekend’s tasks – the emptying and removing of the long deceased axolotl’s tanks – had resulted in things ending up in places that didn’t go down that well in certain places. Which eldest didn’t appreciate when he came home from work. But I’m not going to apologise for parenting. My house is full of boxes of stuff that belong to people who are not me – most of which are eldest’s. All of it has other places to be, and if it’s yours, then I’m sorry, it’s yours, you deal with it, you sort it. I am the one working, covering the costs of the house, paying for the majority of all the food and socialising that goes on, when I know that you both have more savings than I do. Sort your own sh*t out, you’re not children anymore. I love you being here, and I don’t want you to leave because I am beyond scared to be alone, but that doesn’t mean you can take advantage of my gratitude for your being here.

In the meantime, my period has just arrived, three weeks late, which probably explains the last couple of days of being emotional. Hormones suck. I am now in a world of pain that most of you can’t imagine, I am drained, and tired, and you know what? I’d like just a little bit more appreciation of the shit I am going through whilst still managing to hold it together enough to keep a roof over our heads, to keep feeding us all, to basically give whatever I need to give both of them for them to be happy. They’re both old enough to know better. Like it or not, I am still the parent around here. Both of them are going to leave, to move on, to have their own lives, as they should. And I’m going to be left here on my own, inside my head, inside my four walls (if I can afford to keep them, which is seriously doubtful).

It’s not fair. None of any of this is fair. Life hasn’t turned out how any of us wanted it to be, none of us are where we saw ourselves a year ago. He should have been with me tonight. Last year he was, although looking back on it, he wasn’t at his best…and there I was tonight, feeling his absence a little keener then sometimes. Maybe the white feather I found on the walk down there meant something…maybe it didn’t. But for all that it’s ridiculous, that little feather brought me a tiny bit of comfort, and I’m not in a place where I can turn such things down.

I am trying to take these broken wings, and learn to fly again…but right now I feel like a fledgling that has prematurely and accidentally left the nest, whose parents have been scared off, and there’s no-one who has noticed; no-one is coming to rescue me. I’m just floundering around, trying to survive, the best I can, and hoping my best is enough. Nearly a year down the line, and I am still just coping with one day at a time. Reminding myself to remember to breathe when it all gets too much.

If you’re reading this, please check in, leave me a comment, msg me, whatever. It helps me so much, however selfish/needy that sounds. I’m just feeling lonely, and want to feel a little less alone. I need you.

Time to sleep. It’s safe there, mostly. It’s waking up that hurts. And tomorrow is Sunday, so there’s no rush to do that.

I hate the smell of lavender, but it’s supposed to help you sleep. So I’ll take the song instead, since deezer has just randomly brought it my way. After all, I was me for your love. Your love walked in and I was lost, but now the show is over, it’s time to say goodbye. Who am I now?

Slipping away

It’s August. And for all that I’ve been holding it together a little better of late, however much I try not to know, not to notice, to be busy; my brain knows. It knows that very soon, too soon, unbelievably soon, it’s going to be a year since you left us. And as it approaches, each day gets harder again, the tears are back, the endless yearning is still there, as my heart reaches out, and breaks over and over again.

It’s all slipping away. All the things you taught me about me, all the things you showed me, how amazing we were together, the confidence you gave me, the faith we had in each other, the support, that feeling of being safe and home when I was in your arms, that we could get through anything together, we could weather our storms, and come out stronger the other side. I love you just as much as I did, if not more, as if loving you more can somehow keep you closer. I hold on to my memories so tight, and you are only ever one thought away, but all I have is those oh so precious memories.

I am forgetting how it actually felt to be loved by you. I can’t feel you loving me anymore. I could, for a long time, but now…it is fading away. Sometime I think I feel you pop by, but… And I am so scared of losing it all, having it all fade into the past. It already feels a lot like some amazing dream, that someone cruelly woke me up from. After all, why would someone like you love someone like me? Every day is another day when a little more is lost, and you get a little further away from me. And I don’t want to move on. I want to go back and just stay there with you forever, and I can’t.

I am returning to the person I was before you made me blossom, before I knew I was worth loving. All my insecurities, and self doubts, and worries, are back, and having had you in my life, I feel even more alone now than I did before you came along. I feel so broken, and ugly, and unlovable, and lonely, and presumably will do forever, because why would lightening strike twice? Life carries on, as it does, as it has to, but it’s no longer a many splendoured thing; it’s just a caricature of what it once was.

I know I should honour you by clinging on to those lessons, by being a better person because you loved me, but I can’t be the person I was when I was with you without you. The one just doesn’t exist without the other. F*ck I miss you. Why d’you leave me?

You’ll never walk alone

Yesterday various things happened. I wrote a long post. And then I left it unpublished…

You see a while ago someone, for whom I have a great deal of respect, posted on a local FB group; it was a piece about the value of taking time to think things through, and about considering what you put online, amongst other things.

Wise words, don’t you think?

So here’s the version you are getting today, after thought and upon reflection.

Yesterday was a long, hard, emotional day. And as is ever the case these days, life had to pile an extra layer on top of what was already bad…

But let’s get back to starters. Yesterday was Jake’s funeral. We all gathered in the Square. We watched the hearse arrive, cried as his beautifully decorated coffin was carried into the church, and then sat outside and watched the livestream of the whole thing. As a Liverpool fan, the coffin had “You’ll never walk alone” written down the sides, with the Championship shield at the end, his army cap on top, and a Liverpool flag neatly tucked under that. It was unsurprisingly sad, and tragic, and I have been to too many funerals in the last year, and I really, really, really hope this is the last one for quite some time. I cried a lot, also unsurprisingly. I will miss him, as I will miss those others that I am still mourning. However weird it was, thanks to Covid, it was still a lovely service, even viewed remotely, and come the end, as closer family and friends exited to that immortal song, and relocated to the graveyard for the burial, and then the wake, Kevin and I stayed sat in the sunshine, with various others from time to time, and sank a fair few lagers in Jake’s honour. He’d have approved, and then some. He will never walk alone, and we will all carry a part of him with us.

A little while later, the two of us relocated to the Riverside Inn in Cheddar, to drink, eat, and as it turns out, to chat to a whole new bunch of surprisingly nice and interesting people. It was one of those days when you can drink lager all day, without feeling any effect….weird but true. But it was fun, and nice, and you know, it’s actually been quite a good week as these things go and although I am sometimes tempted to prod my thoughts to see if I’m still actually sad underneath it all (yep, still sad & grieving down there), I’ve mostly done a pretty good job of not doing that. I’ve just been going with it, getting on with life things, and generally holding it together a little better than usual. So a sad day turned into a nice evening, a nice way to round off the week – amongst friends, and out of town.

And then on to the life piling things on top of you, just as you were starting to scrape yourself off the floor…

…and this is where I have decided to leave that. Ever since Matt died I have made it my mission to do my best by him, and by us. To take the high road. It’s about integrity and respect and courtesy. Whatever happened to upset me yesterday, venting about it and how I feel about it here would serve no purpose, and also defeat that object. It’s enough that I knew him, and I still know him. I know who and what we were to each other. No-one can take that away from me, or from us. So that’s that. Yes, I am hurt, and I am upset, but although that’s not ok, it is what it is, and in some respects it’s taught me a couple of lessons I should have learnt already, and that’s probably a good thing.

And so, moving swiftly on as they say, to today. To be fair, I should have been hungover. I wasn’t. I had set myself two projects for this weekend, and after a lie in, and some chilling time, I actually achieved one of them. I have created a new pvc covered foam cushion for our much loved rocking chair, complete with protective back panel (our cats have been expressing their territorial issues in less than pleasant fashion…). It fits the sitting space perfectly, and more importantly it’s also comfortable! Tash helped me and it was really nice to work on something together, in collaborative supportive stylee. And I also got to use my Gran’s old hand operated Singer sewing machine which always pleases some ‘family as heritage’ part of me. It’s oddly satisfying. Maybe I’ll get the second project done tomorrow. Maybe I won’t. Although today wasn’t as good as it could have been, thanks to yesterday, it could have been worse. I got something done. One day, and one project, at a time? 😉

Here be dragons

Yesterday marked 11 months since Matt left us. So it’s been a weird week. In many ways.

I impulse bought, and then on Monday collected, an antique 7ft Indonesian carved wooden dragon, from a weird place the other side of Swansea. OK, not so impulsive… It’s been on FB marketplace for ages, for more money than I wanted to pay, but I’d been thinking about it for a while. Then the price dropped. Still not pocket money but…a bit of me just went f*ck it, made him a considerably lower offer at the weekend when I was hiding at my folks because the kids were with the Ex, and the deal was done. And yes I know it’s a ridiculous thing to have done. But it gave me something to be a little bit excited about. It filled a day of going to get it, the chaos of getting it in and out of the car, the madness of the 2.5 hr drive back down motorways in the rain with the boot tied half open whilst the head stuck out the back. And then it looked, and looks, fab being here. And then, though it remains there looking fantastic, the retail therapy hit wears off. Having said that, it does still make me smile when I see it and, being the size it is, you can’t avoid seeing it. So it’s probably worth it, right…?

Still, you can buy as many ear plugs, earrings, or dragons as you like, drink as much white wine as it takes, play as many iPad games, read however many books…and the void doesn’t get filled. You still get expelled from wherever you were hiding back into reality. It’s like you’re constantly searching for something that will fix you, even though subconsciously you know that thing is gone, and it’s never coming back, and it’s an impossible task, but you can’t stop trying to doing something, anything, that might make you feel just a little bit better for just a little while. I keep on, and on, and on, and I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, and ok, I can’t find him, but surely there has to be something out there somewhere, something that helps? Some new normal that doesn’t hurt so much? Something that makes reality more tolerable?

And reality is changing around me. Lockdown is less, well, locked down. We’re able to go to the pub, and have done so, albeit carefully. Shopping at actual shops is possible, and we’ve done a little of that. A little bit of me had this mad crazy hope that when life got back to normal, so would my life, but as I actually knew along, it doesn’t work like that. Not when your life was sh*t before. It sucks being self-aware and intelligent. Lockdown ending just means that your life is still shit, it can just be sh*t in more places again, and actually it’s worse than before because the whole thing seems to have set me back about six months in recovery terms. Lockdown was like everyone joining my world; its end just leaves me behind and alone in it once again.

Even when I do get out there, I can’t get used to lots of people being around. It freaks me out a bit. My social skills are rusty, and I feel exposed and vulnerable. I was sitting at the pub on my own for a drink post working this evening, reading, as Austin was doing his first shift back post furlough. At some point a lady I don’t really know, who clearly knows me better than I know her, came over to ask me how I am, and really meant it, which completely derailed me. I think she works in health care, or maybe gets it for some completely other reason, but it was genuinely touching, as was the conversation. Because mostly people just spared me a quick “hi, you ok?” in passing, and they don’t really want, or care about, the answer. She did. I managed to keep the tears in until she’d moved on. They’ve been just beneath the surface for the last couple of days and it doesn’t take much, if anything, to set me off. And then off I went again. Everyone being all happy and back with their friends and out there again just casts my life into sharp relief by contrast, and it hurts all over again. I am SO f*cking lonely.

Earlier on I did have a chat outside with a couple of others I know, from t’other pub, who have been likewise locked up alone and really struggled, and it was nice to not feel alone in how horrible it has been. It might have helped if we’d all known earlier. All the social media posts out there about how lovely it’s been to spend more time with the family, to be off work, etc etc.? Well they’re hell if you’re one of those of us with issues who have been stuck inside our heads, inside our own four walls, on our own. I think the mental health impact of the last few months is going to be felt for a long long time, which is a pretty dismal thought when you consider that the waiting list for accessing mental health support or counselling was endless even before lockdown.

Other than that this week I have done some work, slept a lot, struggled with endo pain, not done a whole heap of things I should have done, beaten myself up about that, cried a hell of a lot, same old same old, SSDD. And then yesterday we hit 11 months. Which means that it will soon have been a year which is just…unthinkable. I know it’s just a day, and why should it matter, but it just does. I’m dreading it and, as I now know, I’ll be a waste of space for at least the week beforehand and for a little while after. It just is what it is. And like the end of lockdown, even though it would be nice if it did, it won’t suddenly mean I’m ok and everything is ok again. It will just mean that one day at a time has happened 365 times, and that I’m still breathing. We’ll do something. No idea what. But something. And none of it will change a goddamned thing. I’ll still be here without him, loving him, missing him, and killing one day at a time.

Pea brain

If you’re paying attention, you know I should be in bed right now. And should probably have been for some time. But hey, it’s been one of those days. It started off ok. I got up normally, even a little earlier than usual. And I had plans for working and spin bike and whatever, but mid-afternoon I realised I wasn’t feeling great. Sore throat. Endo pain. Chronic fatigue. Just sort of woozy and off and not with life… So I took myself back to my bed and hung out there for the rest of the day. The kids checked in from time to time. They went shopping for food stuff. And then Tash cooked enchiladas, and I made it downstairs, and we were looking at the usual eat food, watch TV/film, drink wine, go to bed, gradual slide down to the inevitable.

However sometime after food, Max, the not-so kitten, decided knocking over a very large piece of wood destined to be a mantlepiece on top of himself would be a good idea. He’s grown rapidly. His brain hasn’t. It is in fact inversely proportional to his size. However, since following his latest bout of chaos he was properly limping, and subdued, and not himself…we ended up at the vets at stupid expensive out of hours o’clock. As it happens he’s probably ok, and the fact that I took out pet insurance was probably one of my wiser decisions of late. Which is good. Better safe than sorry. And I really can’t cope with lose anyone or anything else now, it’s all been too much already. So all that done, it turns out he’s probably ok, which was a massive relief, and then we were home again. I can’t just go to bed when I get in late, I have to settle… So I did. I watched some Criminal Minds, I had a night cap and I wound down.

So here I am now. Settled. Even with all that, it’s been a sort of ok day, as my days go. I gave myself permission to have a sick day. I read a good book. I dealt with the cat chaos, and now I’m back in bed, settling back in to my comfort zone. It’s a weird thing – because when, however late it is, you’re feeling just about ok, you don’t really want to go to bed again, because that will mean waking up to another day, and you only known how today is, you don’t know how tomorrow is going to be. And it’s easier to cope with now, the known, than tomorrow the unknown. I know I’m going to wake up tomorrow, later than I want to, wishing I’d drunk a little less white wine…and who knows what kind of shit is going to hit the fan tomorrow?

But that’s tomorrow. This is today and here and now, whatever the actual o’clock is. In the meantime the recovering pea brained Max is being looked after by youngest, and I’m in bed, heading for sleep, with one of the other cats, Cassie, for company. It’s not Matt, it’s not a hug, but it’s better than no company at all for sure. Tomorrow can wait a little longer…

Still here

It’s probably massively arrogant of me to think that there might be people out there who have been wondering if I’m still out here; who have seen that I’m not writing, and might be wondering how I am. So forgive me for that. But just in case…

I’m still here. And life’s still shit. It has days when it’s a little less shit. And days when it’s a whole heap more shit. There’s often no rhyme nor reason to either. It is just what it is when it is. It might have been fine five minutes ago, and then it isn’t. Or vice versa. And I use the word ‘fine’ as in just not as bad. There’s a sort of OK sometimes when I’m succeeding in keeping my brain busy in a non-triggering way. Sometimes there’s a sort of numb that settles over me for a while – I think that’s my favourite. Sometimes I manage to be just strong enough to push past the little triggers, the thoughts that are thorns that snag me as I pass by them, and I get through some time a little easier. And then you make the mistake of thinking things are getting better, and start to think ahead a little, because you’ve forgotten that grief is not linear, and however much you wish it was, it just doesn’t work like that.

Because sometimes I get busy for a couple of hours with work, or whatever, and then surface, come to, and my brain starts going right then, that’s done, now we can go and do…and it’s only for a fleeting moment, a quicksilver memory of how things used to be, before my brain goes hm, no, uh huh, there is no we, no us going to do anything. This is your reality you idiot, he’s gone, which hurts like hell all over again and, by the way, how could you have forgotten that this is your life now anyway?

Sometimes I go out and do mundane stuff like shopping with the kids. Clothes shopping in TK Maxx for my youngest, with the odd bit thrown in for me, and a gargoyle, because, well, just because. Consider it a selfie. Then food shopping for all of us, and it was all good… Until I found myself crying over frozen mashed potato in the middle of Morrisons, with my head on her shoulder. I also found myself picking all sorts of random stuff off the shelves because I don’t really know what I want, and I still kind of expect to be having the ‘what shall we have for tea’ conversation with him. Shall we get that, what do we need, what would you like? I know I don’t need permission to buy what I want, and it’s my money, but…it still feels weird.

Lockdown easing is like going back to when I was just a few months in post his death, and I’d just starting to try and do things without him. I’m back to not being used to being out there on my own. People scare me, social anxiety is a thing. I’ve forgotten that shopping for food, or anything, is not a together thing. I can buy whatever I want, without debate or discussion or consideration for anyone else, and as a consequence I have no idea what I want at all. Left to my own devices I probably wouldn’t bother at all. As long as there’s lager and white wine in the house I’m good. I lost my appetite years before Matt came along, thanks to all my endo meds. I eat because other people want me to and think I should. I’d rather graze if/when I want to. But hey, give it a few months, and I’ll be here on my own, wishing they were here, making me eat, so be careful what you wish for right? Because that’s going to be even harder than this is.

There have been better bits. I went for a walk/chat/drink with a newish friend from town on a day I happened to be nearer the top of the curve than the bottom. We talked about everything and nothing and mostly not about me, which was just how it needed to be. I had my first ever Zoom meet up, with a few of my old holy inky friends from back in the day. I wasn’t going to. I just happened to be online at the right time, and as I’ve mentioned often works with me, I kind of sprung it on myself. So I did it. It was lovely to ‘see’ and talk to them, and it helps that they all met Matt many moons ago at our last gathering. I still feel massively removed from people though. From everyone. But I can’t complain about how sad and lonely I am and then not talk to people when they offer, now can I? Except I do that. A lot. All the time. Because by the time someone has gotten in touch to say hey, yes, let’s chat, let’s walk, or whatever, I’m back down the rabbit hole, and I’m not even talking to the kids, let alone anyone else. Apologies to anyone I’ve done that to. I know you’re trying to help, and I know I’m not easy to help.

Today I woke up from my mad dreams to be told by FB that today was Jake’s birthday, and to seeing Matt’s photo on the chest of drawers…and well, that pretty much set the tone for the day. Not good. So the photo has gone back to facing the wall, as it would appear I’m still not capable of dealing with seeing him. I did do some work. I did some chores. I cried a lot. It rained a lot. And basically it was just another day. They’re all pretty much the same. Some days I cry a lot. Some days I cry less. I still miss him massively, I still love him, I still want him back. However long it’s been, that part never seems to change. Sad is who I am now. It’s my baseline. I guess I’m maybe just very very slowly getting used to the way that that’s how my life is going to be. And so the days pass, and blur, and one turns into the next.

I’m kind of hoping to get some reorganising and tidying done around here this weekend. Bet you money I don’t though…which is a shame, considering the state of the place. Ah well, maybe, you never know, right?