It’s a long and winding road…

So I’m coming down with a cold, or at least that’s probably what the killer sore throat implies. And I had to get up earlier than I wanted to, and I was grumpy, and I was emotional and it was not a good morning, even if I did get a couple of hours of work done.

But it probably wasn’t the best basis for my first appointment with a counsellor. Counselling is not something I’ve done before. I’ve probably scoffed at it in the past, to be honest. I wasn’t looking forward to it. I was sort of actively dreading it. So much so that I asked eldest to drive me there and back, because driving when I’m in a state is not good thing. My contact lenses do not have windscreen wipers, and vision is important when you’re driving. Plus, all that lovely logical logistical stuff aside, I basically just wanted the company and support, and knowing he’d be there with hugs when I came out afterwards made it a little bit easier to take that step into the unknown.

So I went. And it was ok. More than ok. And I have more appointments booked now. I like her, which means I can talk to her. She asked lots of questions to find out about me and my life and then also, obviously, about why I was there. And I answered them, and when it came to it, I could and did cry without feeling any judgement. As she put it, having heard the bones of the story, it’s just f*cking sh*t. And it is. It really is. There is nothing about any of what has happened or how it happened, that isn’t sh*t. And it’s been no time at all, and it is ok to still be an emotional wreck. The way I’m feeling is normal. She may not have said all that, but that’s how she made me feel.

Around here I sometimes feel, and yes it may just be in my head, that people think I should have got past the crying all over the place stage, and/or that me crying makes them feel awkward and embarrassed. But I’m sorry, it’s only been 11 weeks, and it’s not like it’s the kind of thing that has a time limit on it anyway!  I cry on and off all day, from silently to screaming out loud. I miss him all the time. There are so many hurdles to get over every day; so many reminders, memories that pop up from nowhere, or are triggered by who knows what, and ambush me. I just feel so lost. And lonely. And isolated. And scared.

I don’t know what I expect from counselling. I’ve been very emotional since seeing her, but I think that’s probably good, because it means I’m not holding it in just to please anyone else. I really wish I didn’t feel this bad all the time. But I do. It just is how it is. Sometimes  I’m walking, and crying, and it all gets too much, and I still have to stop and bend over and wrap my arms around the pain and catch my breath and get myself together before I can carry on walking. But sh*t like this doesn’t go away in a matter of weeks. I may not like it, but this process is going to take months, more likely years. And it is never going to have not happened. I will be carrying it, and him, with me forever.

Counselling can’t fix me. It can’t bring him back. But hopefully it can help me deal with some of the things I’m feeling and thinking, be a sounding board for some of my darker thoughts, and be another professional eye watching over me. I guess I’ll find out as the weeks go on. But I am going to go back. See what you’ve done to me? I carry crystals. I’ve tried reiki. I’m seeing a counsellor, though I’m not sure that was ever your thing. Maybe it should have been. Maybe you could have fought some of your demons that way. More likely you’d just have tried homeopathy though…😉

Still, right now, I will try pretty much anything that might help. Because the flow of emotions and the aching pain are relentless, and tiring and draining…and all so useless. Unavoidable but useless. Because you’re not coming back to me, which I still can’t wrap my head around. How the f*ck is all of this even a thing? I love and miss you so much hon. That’s not changing either. 😭💔

Quicksand

The last couple of days feel odd. A sort of one step forward, three steps back feeling. It’s not been a great week so far…

I hate the change of the clocks and seasons. I hate the dark, the grey, the miserable weather which, considering how I feel inside, is ironic. You’d think it would feel appropriate, no? Pootle with his little grey cloud overhead? But it just makes it worse. It may be because of that, or not, but I am feeling even sadder inside, even though apparently I look, and am coming across as, more like me. That feeling of weight is back pushing down on my chest; I feel flatter, and emptier, and my inability to see the point in doing anything, or the motivation to do it, is ever present again.

But I’m still here, I’m trying to do as much work as I can, and to fill my calendar up as much as possible, and great though all that sounds…it’s still all desperation driven. I don’t want to lose my job or let people down. And I don’t want to be home alone with nothing to do other than miss him and feel sorry for myself. So I have people to see, to walk with, drink coffee or wine with, all of which is good, and I’m grateful to every single one of them. But I still haven’t found something I want to do just because I want to do it. Something I actually enjoy. But then maybe it’s just too soon to be even hoping for something like that?

It may be too soon, but while trying to move forward, I also hate the way time is passing. It feels like I’m getting further and further away from him. Like I’m losing him a little bit more every day; when all I want to do is cling on to him, and hold him tight, and have him here with me. The sound of his voice, the feel of his touch, his presence next to me…they’re all getting left behind. And he isn’t here and I’m on my own just groping around in the dark trying to cope with that. How do I do that? I still have absolutely no clue, no answers, just an inescapable gaping void that I can’t avoid or deal with. There’s just the constant ache of missing him, and there’s no way to tell him how much it hurts, no consolation to be found from where I would always have turned to before. What I wouldn’t give for just one of his hugs right now…😥

I’ve got my first session with the counsellor tomorrow. I’m hoping I like her, I hope it helps, I hope it’s constructive. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but I guess I’ll find out won’t I? Counselling has never been something I’ve really tried, so I don’t really know what to expect. Fingers crossed it helps. And the chances are it won’t do any harm to try anyway, right?

In  the language of bereavement, which I get to learn now, this is apparently my year of firsts. First Halloween without you. First Christmas without you. And so on. And seeing a counsellor is a first for me too. This new life is a very strange one. And I don’t like it. I don’t like living without you. Not one little bit. I wish you were here 😥💔

Once more, with feeling…

Sometimes, out of the blue, it all hits you again like it’s just happened…

I’d had a pretty ok day. Woke up earlier than usual so got house stuff done. Went to work. Got work stuff done. Went to the pub for a drink. Did some routine top up shopping. Came home to deposit shopping before going out again…

…and cried like a baby the whole way home, before finding myself sat on the kitchen floor, crying my heart out, like my whole world had only just now ended; that crying deep from the pit of my stomach that happens when it’s at its worst, and being completely unable to stop for what seemed like forever.

I had to go out again to meet a friend, so I managed to make myself get it together, but that seems to have just been an interlude…

Thinking back on it now, whilst being back to crying so hard that breathing is difficult, I think it may have been because today was his eldest daughter’s birthday. When in Pembrokeshire a few months ago we’d already found the perfect card for her. Not long after that we’d seen something online that seemed like a good, or if not good at least amusing, gift for her, so I bought it a little while ago to send to her from us. Both of which I got sent to her to arrive this morning. So it really was a card and gift from both of us, but only half of us could sign the card. Which was bitter sweet for me, and for her, today, having her first birthday without her Dad, must have been much much worse.

I’m glad she pinged me to say she liked it,  I really hope she actually did. And I hope she’s had a really good day despite everything. it can’t have been easy. Like I’ve said before, whatever anyone else is saying/doing/thinking about me, all I can and will do now is the best for Matt and for me. To thine own self be true. He was massively proud of her, and I hope he’s proud of me for what I’ve done.

I guess I can’t really explain why today suddenly turned out to be a bad day. Why your absence seems to hurt more today. Why I miss you even more than usual. That’s because I haven’t got a clue, it just is what it is. I guess sometimes it just goes that way. My love for you remains even though you don’t. But man it hurts. I just want you back SO intensely. And all the conversations and distractions and stresses in the world don’t make that go away. They’re all irrelevant and neither here nor there. But loving you is why I can ignore all the petty shit. I know what was and is important. You were. You and me were. And we knew that. Miss you so much 😢💔.

Who do I talk to?

I think I’ve figured out what one of the problems I’m struggling with is. Not only do I not really have anyone to talk to, but I don’t have anyone to talk to about Matt.

Matt and I were mostly us, and hadn’t managed to integrate into much by way of groups. To be fair, though we’d tried a bit, we were happy that way. We decided not to let it worry us, and we both felt that we didn’t really need anyone else anyway. We were enough. Our us bubble. Which now becomes a downfall. There is no group for me to hang out with, where he isn’t, to be surrounded by.

I do have people to talk to sometimes. But lots of my friends had never been lucky enough to meet him, they only know him secondhand, through me, through pictures on Facebook. Even so, some of them came to the funeral just to support me, which meant so, so much to me. And of those few of my friends who had met him/us, very few are local, so it’s hard to meet up and chat and just feel supported. I am spending a lot of time on my own, and I’m pretty sure that’s not good for me or the places my head can go.

I’ve lived here for twenty years, and I’ve known some members of his family for far, far longer than I knew him. But I wasn’t here for the years that all of them remember him most for. I wasn’t at school with him and his friends, or part of his teenage antics and whatever he got up to at uni and in between. I didn’t know him for the years he was married and wasn’t living here. I do however know everything about it all though, as Matt and I didn’t have any secrets from each other. None. We talked about, and shared, absolutely everything. What we’d done, how we’d felt. Everything.

Which is one of the other things that makes me sad. I can’t imagine anyone else ever being important enough, and who I could trust enough, to tell them about everything that has happened to me in my life. And to be heard and understood. It was amazing. Yet another thing that has gone with him…

But back to where we were…

His family can get together and reminisce and share. But I’m not family, which felt fairly clear before he died, and remains so now, so we won’t be getting together and sharing happy memories.

His friends can get together and do the same and some of them are in fact having a reunion in November, having all been brought together at the funeral, to get together again. But I’m not one of them either.

So who do I talk to? Who do I tell about my Matt? Who do I share him with? When I say ‘Matt used to…’, or ‘oh yes, Matt and I did..‘, who won’t do that awkward bit when they wait a bit and then change the subject?

All our memories are just mine now, in my head, and in hundreds of photos that no-one else will ever look at it but me, and even I can’t look at them yet. Not talking about him is like he didn’t exist. Like he was never here. Like someone so active and vibrant and vivid can just be erased. Do people think this massive part of my life should be shut in a box and never opened? I want to remember him. Memories of him pop up all the time, at random times and triggered by random things.

Even the self check out till at Tesco’s set me off today. The number of times I was in his ear when he was shopping on his way to see me, and we’d laugh at the voice telling us how important your clubcard points are to you. The idea of forgetting even the tiniest thing about him really scares and upsets me.

But with no-one to talk to about him, how do I keep him alive? How do I keep him with me? Our life together, and his death, have changed me irreversibly. I’m having to work out who I am now, without him, and I’m not who I was before. But I’m still Matt’s fiancé, even though we’ll never stand on that beach and exchange our vows. He will always be a part of who I was and who I am going to be. Even if no-one wants to talk to me about him, or include me, or in fact talk to me full stop – they can’t take that away from me.

Some people may never be lucky enough to have what we had. I was amazed that I got to have the kind of relationship I’d only ever dreamed of. I may never have anything like it ever again. I know we weren’t perfect. Who is? But we had what we had, and it was pretty goddamn amazing 99% of the time. I am so grateful for having had you in my life.

I miss you, my beautiful boy, and I am carrying you with me, into whatever the future may be. Even if no-one wants to talk to me about you.  😥💔

 

 

 

Hell yeah

So the clocks have gone back. Great. It didn’t really make much difference to me. I was asleep. I just didn’t sleep as long as usual as far as the clock dial is concerned. It’s not like I had anything to get up for anyway. Time is pretty arbitrary these days. It moves on, but my reality doesn’t.

I managed to get some stuff done though, once I was up. Deliberately. I sorted lots of the overwhelming paperwork into piles – trash, file, think about, and panic about. I hung some clothes up to dry. I tidied a bit. Basically I did as much as I could before being at home got too much and I had to leave. I kept my head busy doing things so that I wouldn’t think about Matt.

It’s always a finite thing though, as I work on doing things in our home where he isn’t anymore. I start to feel the reservoir getting closer to overflowing. I can feel the tear clouds gathering. I get shaky and anxious and basically it’s time to be somewhere else. But at least I did get some things done. I have to remind myself of that. I may not have achieved much, but I did do something. Little steps.

Yesterday eldest and I went to the planned Sons of Liberty gig in Bristol. Via a couple of unplanned piercings at Pierced Up. Matt would probably have hated the gig, though I enjoyed it as best I could. No-one notices you crying at a gig. And he’d be cross at me for getting something pierced without him being there. Well I’m cross at him for not being there to hold my hand through all of it, so I guess it balances out. Only I’m not cross at him, even when I try to be – there’s too much sadness in me for anger to get through, and anger wouldn’t serve any purpose anyway.

In the mean time, my brain fog continues. I lose things all the time. I’ve always coped badly with losing things. These days it tends to lead to a major meltdown; it feels like just one more symptom of how useless I am these days. Once upon a time I lived on my own, and although I didn’t necessarily enjoy it, I was at least capable and independent and organised. These days I feel like a three year old, and incapable of coping with anything. Losing things just adds to my feelings of inadequacy and incompetency, of anxiety and panic. I just want my someone here to support and look after me, and he’s not and he never will be.

Whatever other crap is going on, and it is, I’m still concentrating on doing the best by you.  Eldest can’t understand why people would want to take an already shitty situation and make it worse. Or why I won’t kick off about it. You would be furious about it all. But it’s because, like anger, that wouldn’t serve any purpose. I do kinda wish people would remember I have feelings too…but that would be an in an ideal world thing, and I think it’s fair to say my world is far from ideal. 

Yes, I’m carrying on without you. I don’t have any choice. I’m not enjoying it; I still love you, I’m incredibly lonely and I’m very hurt by a lot of what’s going on. I still reach out for you, I still catch myself wanting to share things with you and not being able to. Talking about you in the present tense and having to correct myself. I guess that’s because for me, you’re still very much here, in my thoughts, in my head, in everything I’m doing. If only…💔😥

 

Depth charge

I’ve slept. I got up in time to go and get my phone screen fixed while hanging out with George. I’ve come home, had a pint with eldest, and been to work for a few hours before having a drink with my boss to check that he’s happy with how I’m coping with work, which he is, well, happy enough anyway. I’ve had a couple of drinks with Kevin, my mate and also Matt’s boss. And I’ve come home via the shop so that I could make myself a wrap for dinner, that being one of the few things I don’t mind eating sometimes, which stops people nagging me about eating.

So here I am. Back home. Alone. And there’s that word. Alone. I’ve just spent a quarter of an hour talking to you in the kitchen while I assembled food, and I know how ridiculous that sounds, and I knew how ridiculous it was when I was doing it. But I couldn’t help myself, I just wanted to talk to you. I miss talking to you. And sure, I didn’t get any response, like that was going to happen. But sometimes it’s just better to say things out loud, and get them out of inside me. I want to believe you can hear me, that I’m making either myself or you feel better by putting my feelings out there. It’s all I can do now. Talk to the void.

I had other options this evening, but these days I just have to go with what works for me, and so I chose to to have drinks with Kevin, rather than hang out with someone new at her place. I still need security and familiarity. I know it would probably be healthier for me to get out more, but I just can’t yet. I’m happier being where you were. There’s a sense of comfort and familiarity to it, even if it hurts worse because of your absence. Lying here, once upon a time, you were right here, next to me, just a heartbeat away, and however things move on, I never want to forget that. All the rest of the stuff that’s going on behind the scenes at the moment is just gravy, I was yours, and you were mine, and we knew that. Just so as you know, even though you always had problems believing it, I love you. SO much. Another day is over and another day looms. Yet another day I don’t get to share with you. A gig we were going to together, and now we’re not, and I’ll probably cry through the whole thing. But I’m still going to go, just with eldest instead of you. You’d probably have hated it anyway. But that’s not the point…

Oh and please stop telling me I look better, or brighter, or whatever. You may well be right. Maybe I do. But bear in mind that appearances can be deceptive…because that is not how I’m feeling inside. And the idea that I’m somehow ok already, feels like such a massive insult to you and to what we had and to how I still feel about you… I know I don’t need to wear a widow’s weeds, or a sackcloth & ashes, but I just don’t have the words to describe how that makes me feel. Like I’m betraying you or letting you go. I’m not and I couldn’t, I can’t and I don’t want to. I’m not ready to let you go and I’m not sure I ever will be, even though I may learn to live with your absence  as life moves forwards. Love you hon xx.

No eye deer

I don’t know why, but today has not been a good day. I’ve spent all day just missing Matt massively. My pills made me sleep, complete with surreal dreams, but within about ten minutes of being up and awake this morning I was off. No holding it at bay, no coping tactics, just floods of tears from the get go.

Going to work had me panicking, because I know the pressure is ramping up as the show wheel turns. I think I’m doing ok, but I can feel the pressure, and I don’t want to let anyone down, and I want to do a good job, at the same time as kind of not understanding why I’m doing any of it at all. Thank god for diazepam or I might never have found the nerve even to get to the office. And I did get work done, quite a lot of it…but I can feel the tension, the push, the this needs doing… I feel like I’m teetering on an edge. One push too hard and I’ll implode or explode and I don’t know which. It’s probably all just in my head, I’ve always been a worrier, but knowing that doesn’t make it go away.

I accidentally ended up at the pub after work with Mike and James, long time friends of Matt’s, just for a couple of pints, and it was lovely, but all I could think of in the back of my mind was how much he would love to have been there, to be included, to be hanging out with his friends, one of the things he really wanted when he’d moved back here, and he wasn’t there and it was just me; a pretty poor understudy.  And all I wanted was for him to be there too. As ever. And would they have been including me if I wasn’t the “widow”? I know, I know…I over think things.

Family relations clearly remain strained in the background which, though not a surprise, doesn’t hurt any the less. I guess I wasn’t that included or popular when he was alive, so why would it be different now? I have no idea what’s going on in the background, and speculation serves no purpose.But being able to talk to his Mum from time to time in the last few weeks did make a big difference to me, and that’s not currently an option. I have to respect what people want, and all I can do through all of this is to be the best me I can be and do the best for Matt that I can do. And that’s what I’m clinging on to.

I hope, wherever you are, that you are proud of me. That you know how much I love you. That you are holding my hand and supporting me through this, even if I can’t feel it. And once more, I hope you know how much I’m missing you, and wishing for you to be here. Then I could come home and tell you everything and you’d just get it. And hug me. Man I miss your hugs. And you loved mine too. As in so many ways, we just fitted. I miss your crazy.

Let’s face it, I’m so sad it hurts, and I’m lonely as f*ck and there is no substitute for you. Simples. 😭💔

Home alone

I think tonight is my first night home totally alone in about a year. Eldest has better places to be and won’t be back until around lunchtime tomorrow. Youngest is at uni. And of course Matt is still dead. So it’s just me.

Luckily my friend Jane from work read between the lines when I asked if she was free tonight, and made herself free, so we’ve been out and about in Wells and Wedmore, and it’s been a really nice night out. Lots of chatting. No embarrassment if I cried which, let’s face it, I tend to from time to time these days. It was a massive improvement on loitering around the various establishments of Axbridge which is what I’d have been doing otherwise. I guess it’s part of that new normal that people talk about. And it helps that having hung out before Matt died, I think we’d have ended up going out for drinks from time to time anyway. We weren’t going out tonight just because Matt died. I can’t explain how that helps, but it does.

Now I’m home again. And man is it ever quiet. I’m working very hard on keeping my mind focussed on now and trying not to let it wander off and think about him and us and what isn’t and what was, and what won’t be again, and it isn’t easy. Not when I miss him so much. But, deep breaths, back to now. Now I shall take the shiny pills, and I shall go to sleep, and then it will be Thursday. Another day to get through.

It doesn’t stop me wishing you were here. So that I could tell you about my night out. Have a hug and a snuggle, and curl up to sleep in your arms, secure in our love for each other. But then I’m never going to stop loving you, and I will be carrying you and your memory wherever I go forever. Missing you is eternal, and you will always be a part of me. You have changed who I am, and I haven’t figured out who that me is yet.

But by the time I wake up, I will have survived a night on my own in the house. And that’s something. It’s a lonely thing, but it’s a thing. Maybe one day it will even feel like a home again.

Do what?

I need to find something I actually enjoy. And things to look forward to. I’m just going through the motions at the moment. I’m trying to do my job, and I’m sort of getting there, but I’m not enjoying it like I did. As I’ve moaned before, there just doesn’t seem any point to it. Or anything else. But I don’t want life to carry on like this, it’s not living. But I can’t think of anything to fill the gaps with. Drinking is not a solution. Cycling is out of the question. I don’t really have hobbies and even those I used to have would still involve me sitting at home on my own. I guess I could try walking again, I used to do quite a lot of that in my own, but it just doesn’t appeal yet – my brain would think too much, and I’d just spend the miles crying.

Maybe I’m just asking for too much just yet. I’m like a stuck record I know, but I just miss him so much. It’s all encompassing. There are some lads doing some work on the church steps, and just for a second, out of the corner of my eye, one of them could have been Matt, in his battered old boots, scruffy work shorts, paint splattered layers and luminous gilet, and there he was vivid as anything in my head. Except it wasn’t, and he wasn’t bounding over to join me for a cheeky lunchtime pint, with a big grin on his face, and a hug ready for me, and it was just me sat there on my own again.

Baby steps. Hey at least I am going to work in a minute, and then I have plans for after work, so hopefully that will fill up the rest of today. One day at a time….

How

Everyone tells me it gets better with time. Everyone tells me there’s a point at which it gets easier. Except no one can tell me how or when.

He used to skip down the road holding my hand because he was just so pleased to finally be living here with me. He used to lie in bed grinning at at me, just cos he was so happy to be with me, until I had to ask him what the hell he was smiling at me for. Don’t worry, I got my revenge by doing the same to him. Because I was so happy to be with him.

Now I’m just miserable. Missing him twists my stomach into knots. So many many never ever agains and I don’t know how to live without them. I’m a never ending world of tears. I just want him back. i want my other half back. But I can’t have that and no-one can explain to me how I’m supposed to live without him. I know there are all those people out there who have found their way through. I just can’t see mine. Not without him. I had more than enough time on my own before to know I don’t want to do it again.

And it’s all irrelevant. I just want him back. Stuck in a world where I can’t have what I want, and where not having that hurts so much I don’t know how to cope or survive it. I love you my beautiful boy. Tell me why I should stay here without you?