Bad day at the office

There are better days.
And there are worse days.
Today was a bad day.

I woke up emotional and stayed that way pretty much all day, on and off, more or less visibly. You try spending hours surrounded by Christmas gifts, and Christmas music, and I cry at brass bands at Christmas as it is – so arriving at work to the Salvation Army Band doing their thing…? Not a great start to my working day.

And coming home wasn’t coming home.
It was just coming back to an empty house. Again.

So I came back to the house and cried properly, and cried, and cried, and let out all the noise and tears that I’ve not been able to let out over the past few days away.

Then I ended up in the pub, reading, while Austin worked, because I just couldn’t face being at home on my own. I couldn’t think of one place I wanted to be, one thing I wanted to do. I could have called people, but all I really wanted to do was to call Matt, and I didn’t want to just cry down the phone all over anyone else. So I stayed for a couple of hours and then came back and did the same thing all over again. (Max is not at all sure what to do with a wailing owner!)

Now all I need is for eldest to come up and put a new patch on for me, then to take my meds, and then to go to sleep and just dream it all away for a while. I’m tired, I’m sad, and it’s been a long, long day.

I just miss him SO much and without him, I’m massively lonely, horribly sad, and just a bit of a wreck all ’round really. I’m sure I sound like a pretty pathetic case. A grown woman, suddenly incapable of standing on my own two feet. But that’s just the way it is today. I love him, and I miss him, and if that means I need to cry, then I’m crying. That’s how grief is today.

Hard habit to break

I’m working away from home, at The Christmas Shopping Fayre in Exeter. And staying in Topsham. Last year Matt was with me. And we’ve stayed in Topsham together lots of times for various trade shows etc. It feels weird and wrong being here without him.

Clearly he’s not here. But my brain clearly rationalises this in the background by thinking he must just not have been able to get the time off work. So I keep getting the urge to ring him or message him, to let him know how I’m getting on, just as I once would have done. It’s odd and not that pleasant, because it means I keep having to remember I can’t do that, and every time it’s like a little stab to the heart.

I’ve been mostly holding it together though. As long as no one is too nice to me or asks me how I’m really doing. And walking around both the show and Topsham and bumping into so many memories has led, unsurprisingly, to some emotional weepy moments. There’s the stall he got my Christmas present at last year, there are the Airbnb places we’ve stayed at, there’s the pub we drank in. Etc, etc, etc.

But for the last few days my meds seem to have been doing their job; just taking me a mental step back from it all. The grief and the pain is all still there, but it’s just a little further below the surface. Which I guess is good. And now I’m trying to get used to being on my own and having to do everything by myself. That’s what single is. Even though I don’t feel single. Not at all. I’m not ready to be single, even though that’s technically what I am.

In my heart I’m still with Matt. I still miss him, and I still love him. I brought his fleece with me, and went to sleep hugging it last night, like a child with a comforter. It helped. It felt like part of him was with me. Whatever gets you through, right?

Love you. SO wish you were here with me. Nothing is the same without you. 😢💔

Mostly stable

I’ve had a mostly stable day. Well, until this evening anyway. Got new contact lenses. Took Dad to the hospital for a biopsy he needed. Went out with eldest for food and then to the cinema for “Knives Out”. But it was the first time I’ve been to the cinema without Matt, and the last time was that cinema, and I missed him being there to snuggle up with, and to elbow when he fell asleep and started snoring which he would inevitably do, whatever the film. Even a super sized Daniel Craig wasn’t cutting it as a replacement. I enjoyed the film as it happens, but it wasn’t the same…

And then we came home, and I had to pack for being away for this weekend’s Christmas Shopping Fayre, and just the thought of being there without him was enough to set the tears flowing. I’m all scared and anxious and weepy again. I’m pretty sure my packing is as a result a bit haphazard, but at this point…I’ve done the best I can.

Last year we did it all together; he drove, we stayed together in some Airbnb place I think, and we spent hours working together setting up Santa’s grotto amongst other things. Hell, he even bought my Christmas present there. This year, as with every one of our upcoming shows, I’m going to be doing it on my own. Staying in Topsham with the team, not with him. Not having him help me set things up, arrange flowers, fill up empty stands etc. Not having him hold my hand as we walk around the aisles, and chat to stall holders and take photos and video. Knowing he was with me always made me a little braver, a little more confident. Believe it or not, I’m actually quite shy, and his support made all the difference. He made me a better me.

I won’t be wandering around Topsham with him, hanging out in the gin bar, looking at and admiring the boats, checking out the arty shops, getting a bit of quality time away together, and taking in a beach on the way home. I’ll have to walk past all the various places we’ve stayed there over the years, and know that’s all in the past, and each one full of memories. There are going to be a lot of voids, and also a lot of loneliness. Not to mention a lot of tears.

And the team accommodation arrangements are a bit split this time around, rather than us all being in one house, and in my hyper sensitive state I’m worried that maybe that’s because certain people are avoiding me, or just don’t want to be around me.

Whatever. It’s liable to be a tough couple of days, with plenty of other work to be done for the other shows going on in the background, and I’d just like to get it over and done with as soon as possible. I will be spending a lot of time just trying to hold it together, to do my job, and to not let anyone down. One day at a time. One show at a time.

In the meantime I know the company in question yesterday has received my returned memorial ring. Here’s hoping they get it back to me, as it was supposed to be, very soon, so that I have something “nice“ to come back home to. With quotes because it’s not really a nice thing is it, but it is important, so…second time lucky?  Maybe they’ll even refund the special delivery postage that was necessary to return it to them. Hm…

And, best thing today, amazingly, someone had handed in my/his keys that I lost on Monday at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, which I’ve now collected, on the way home from Dad’s hospital appointment. Weirdly the split ring holding them together, and the WeightWatchers key ring bit were both missing. But the important bit was there. Got to go with the little things these days.

Deep breaths, distraction, and my meds, and maybe if you’re out there somewhere and could just hold my hand over the next few days? It’s not going to be same without you. Nothing ever is. I still love you. Always will. I still can’t believe that you’re not with me, or that I was lucky enough to have you in the first place 💖.

All cried out?

Today is the longest I’ve gone without crying since Matt died. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’ve managed to take my meds consistently for a few days without forgetting a dose. Maybe it’s because I got the faulty ring packed up and sent back first thing to be sorted out, and am hoping to get it back pretty soon, as it should be, as it was meant to be, as they’ve promised. Maybe it’s because Cribbs Causeway have had Matt’s keys handed in and I can pick them up tomorrow. Maybe it’s because of all the support my friends have been giving me over the last week or so, which has been a pretty bad one. Maybe it’s because I had a night of very weird dreams that included Matt, and they tried to tell me he was still alive but my subconscious wouldn’t let it do that, like lucid dreaming, it knew what the truth was.

I don’t know why it is. I can feel the tears there, lurking underneath. I could call them forth if I wanted to. I’m almost scared to cry now in case I won’t be able to stop once I’ve started again. It’s a bit like I’m crying on the inside not the outside though. It’s not like I’m suddenly better and over him and all is well with the world again. I’m not and and it most certainly isn’t.

It just feels more like I’ve taken a step outside of it all, and disconnected for a little while. Disassociated. Maybe my body/brain realised I needed some rest, or a break, or something. I don’t know. Just like everything else, it is what it is. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? I think I’ll worry about that tomorrow though. One day at a time, remember?

In the meantime one of the rings was great. And it fits and it works, and your crazy still matched my crazy. However I’m feeling now, one thing is not, and never will be, in doubt. I love you my beautiful boy ♥️⭐️

Why do things keep getting worse?

So much for any chance of Monday being any better…

I had to get up earlier than I find easy to, thanks to my meds, to spend most of the day at Cribbs Causeway while all the data from my old MacBook moved to the new one. I decided on a new one, as it cost plenty for a screen replacement, and it was getting on a bit anyway. Besides it’s my company’s money not mine. One more depreciating asset for the accountant to deal with. I’ve no idea whether it’s a nice new toy or not, because I haven’t even had time to take it out of the box yet, and I also don’t care. It’s just a tool for doing my job, which I currently see absolutely no point to anyway.

With work pressure rising, and my anxiety along with it, I managed to get a surprising amount of work done while waiting, using my phone and iPad. I sat in Café Rouge, surrounded by far too many people and a world full of Christmas, which I wish could just bypass entirely. And then somewhere along the way, between one place or another there, I seem to have lost Matt’s house keys. Ok so they’re not identifiable and the house is safe but…they’re Matt’s. FFS!

I came straight back to work and tried to get as much done in what time was left as possible. And then came to the pub, where eldest is working, to open the very precious parcel that he’d picked up for me, containing my long awaited memorial jewellery. And even that couldn’t go right. The little skull ring I bought is really nice, up to and including the engraving on the inside.

However the important bit, the ashes memorial ring, is most definitely not. It’s been made the wrong size, with the wrong finish, no stars on the outside of the band, and it’s just not what I wanted, or ordered, and I’m totally and utterly gutted. I’ve been waiting weeks for them and it was really important to me, and now it’s just wrong. Their website says they’re really busy, not taking orders for Christmas, and of course they’re closed now, so what’s the chances of them getting that fixed by Christmas? I’m irrationally and ridiculously upset.

So I’m sat in the pub, tears streaming down my cheeks, while they insist on playing 80’s love songs and rock ballads in the background, that tug at every heartstring going, wondering what the fuck has happened to my life, and if I’ll ever feel able to cope with it again, or if I’ll ever feel happy again. It sure as f*ck doesn’t feel like it from here. I know I have stuff to do tomorrow, but it’s just stuff. I honestly can’t think of one good reason for getting out of bed just to let Tuesday inevitably kick me in the arse too. 😭💔

Random photos, frozen moments.

I was trying to post on Facebook earlier about the geckos going to their new home. I feel bad about it, but I know it’s the right thing. So I tried to find a good photo of them to go with it, but for some reason the way Facebook was working had all of his and my photos all mixed up together and in random order…

Random photos from all our time together. Many that I either had never seen or haven’t seen for so long I’d forgotten them. Having spent years doing our relationship long distance, we’d exchanged a lot of photos. And we took a lot when we were together too.

Selfies he’d sent me from the van when he was thinking of me, some sad because he was missing me, some happy because he was on his way to see me, some from his house to show me new outfits, or new cycling gear, some with words on them sending me love and hugs before he went to sleep. Selfies I’d taken of me in the office to cheer him up, or show him my work, or at home to show him a new outfit, or just to smile at him in imagery rather than just off the phone,

Selfies we took together everywhere; on beaches, and at gigs, on hills, in pubs, in bed, always hugging, touching, smiling, relaxed, two being one. Pictures full of all the places we went together, full of so much joy and love.

Photos I took of him, fit as, with that amazing smile, and the way he looked at me and into me, and I could see the way he felt about me shining in his eyes out at me, just as clear as if he was here.

Photos he took of me, often when I didn’t even notice, which showed me the me he saw, which is not the same me I see, looking at him just the same way he looked me. He didn’t see my issues with my shape and my weight; his photos just showed that he loved me whatever, whatever I wore, awake or asleep, and they were amazing to see, and I can’t imagine anyone ever feeling that way about me ever again.

Photos other people took of us, at events, family events, Christmas, when we got engaged, and more, where we just look so happy and so right together, a unit in a crowd, sometimes so busy being us we were oblivious to the camera.

So much life, so much love, so much happiness, all captured as hundreds of frozen moments in time that I can’t get back or go back to. We weren’t perfect. No one takes photos of arguments. But those photos pretty much cover it really. He loved me. I was his world and he was mine. I loved, and continue to love him truly, madly, deeply.

One day I’ll be able to look at them without crying. To smile and remember the good times. Right now though they just make me miss him even more. Miss what can never be again. Life is never going to be the same, and no one will ever fill the space that he has left behind in the way that he did.

I love you my beautiful boy, and I’m constantly thinking of you, wherever you are. I wish you were here to help me deal with all the challenges I’m currently facing. And I hope that wherever you are, it’s a better place than this place here is without you.😭💔.

Hard day’s week

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a bl**dy hard week. My plate has been continually piled higher. I have disappointed by those I expected much better of, and amazed by those I expected nothing from. Words have been had with me re how I’m not doing at work, at a time when I couldn’t cope with that at all, and my urge to just quit entirely reared its not so ugly head. As someone worried about me put it, you can get another job; you can’t just go and get your mental health back. I chose to breathe deeply, and try to do my best…it’s all I can do.

Once again I am facing another weekend without Matt, and Austin will be away. Luckily my brother is coming down, and a group of my actual friends have a Saturday night plan, so that I will conveniently be out of town. For various reasons that I’m not going to go into here, it’s been suggested that I might not want to be around here tomorrow night. Luckily things have fallen into place in such a way as to make that possible. I hope it’s a nice night. But at least by the time I get to it, get through it, and get home, another day will nearly be over, even if turns out not to have been great, and I’m still very big on the one day at a time thing. It’s all I can do.

Today the vet reassured us that Max is going ok. Today I saw my counsellor who helped me make sense of some of the sh*t that is going on around me, and reassured me that I’m not going mad, and the way I’m feeling is normal, and how the hell is anyone expected to feel good and cope with all that is being thrown at me when they’ve lost the love of their life? And I have. I’ve never claimed we were perfect. We had our issues. No one gets to this age without baggage, but our relationship was far from toxic. And 95% of the time it was the stuff that dreams are made of. I never thought I would be lucky enough to have that kind of relationship, and I still can’t quite believe I was, even though it’s come to this.

Sometimes I wonder if I imagined it. He was here…and then he was gone, and all of it happened so fast, and we didn’t have long enough together, and it just isn’t fair. I miss him. Constantly. I stayed late at work to try and catch up, and just cried the entire time because I was already stressed by work, and he wasn’t there keeping me company as he once would have been. But I tried, and that’s all I can do.

Sadly the only time I’m really happy these days is when I’m asleep and dreaming, I have no reason to get up early tomorrow. So in a little while I shall take my antidepressants, which will send me off into the land of nod, and I shall be endeavouring to stay there for as long as possible, before I have to wake up and face the fact that reality hasn’t changed, Matt still isn’t here, life is still sh*t, and people frequently suck. I’m hanging in here by a thread, but I’m still here. I haven’t checked out. And that’s something. I did that.

Today is behind me. I’ve made it through another day. Another day where I miss you, love you, see you in places where you aren’t, hear your voice, hear your music, and hold on as tight as possible to what is left of you. That’s also all that I can do. Man, I wish you were here 😭💔

A day of many parts

Which started with a spa day where I proved I can still ride a bike, and swim, but also proved I can’t relax when I’m somewhere where, the last time I was there, I was constantly in contact with Matt, and looking forward to seeing him when I got home. In the meantime my work inbox filled up with things I am going to have to deal with tomorrow  and I could feel my anxiety levels raising every time I checked my phone. So I was in uncontrollable tears a lot of the time, whether I liked it or not, but I was in good (and very understanding) company with George and therefore reminded how amazing truly good friends are.

I had a long chat with youngest on the phone in the pub later when I was back, where I was hiding because I had no plans for the evening and didn’t want to be home alone, and eldest was working there, which helped put some perspective on things, as they both do, and grounded me a bit. I definitely felt better after talking to her. I frequently need reminding to dig myself out of the pit my brain has spiralled itself into.

And then a plan materialised and I’ve since been out with Gary and discovered biker pubs I never knew existed, met some very interesting people, and was once again reminded how good it is to spend time with friends, new or old, and to also be reminded that there is a world outside this sometimes too small town.

I am aware that I am not coping very well and that my thoughts often end up in some very dark, often scary, places. I am learning that I need to focus on looking after me, spend time with people that matter, and try to heal. I have a lot on my plate and I don’t need anything adding to it, and I have a long way to go until I’m ok. For a very brief time, since I’m knackered and won’t be awake for long, I feel a little bit stronger, or angrier, or whatever it is that makes me feel like maybe I can cope with tomorrow. I’m sure life will prove me wrong, it keeps doing that.

Matt and I knew what we were and what we meant to each other. And yes, we weren’t perfect. Show me a relationship that really is! Whatever happened, or happens, I will always be grateful for having had him in my life. I will always wish he still was. However some things I do not need in my life. So I’m going to try and look after myself and focus on those who are part of the solution, not part of the problem, as someone wise once told me.

Love you, my beautiful boy. You were so many places in my day today, and I have missed you massively as ever. You were my other half. I know you’re gone but an awful lot of you is still with me. Miss you truly, madly, deeply. 😭💔

Tired of it all

I’ve spent today trying to wrap my head around what’s happened so far this week, with very little success. I’ve just had a very nice evening chatting to Steve, a friend who cycles, about it all in a fairly logical and rational and analytical sense, which was interesting and constructive. I wish I could feel that way all the time. To not care what people think about me, or about us. To understand that we knew how things actually were. And those that matter know too. And that’s all that really matters. So why do I feel this constant urge to make things better with people who don’t care at all about how I feel? I should be focusing on looking after myself and coping with my issues, not worrying about theirs.

I feel odd. I feel tired. Very sad. Very flat, drained, empty. Kind of numb. I’ve felt a bit disassociated all day. It’s like my brain has hit the threshold of what it can deal with. Anything over and beyond that comes with a sort of numb disbelief.  I’m really hoping my counsellor can help me make some sense of it all on Friday.

If I had the energy I’d be mad at you for leaving me behind to deal with all of this. As it is I’m too tired and too sad, and missing you  too much to waste energy on something so pointless. I just wish you were here. I always wish you were here. 😭💔


Doing my best

I am doing, and will continue to do, the best by Matt and me. I am glad I reached out, and I am glad I got to talk to his Mum this evening, even if it was an awkward and not easy conversation for either of us. I’m still glad I tried. We are on different sides of an artificial fence and I totally understand where she is coming from. I miss being able to talk to her over a glass of wine from time to time, but that’s ok. We were only engaged, I wasn’t family. He chose me, they didn’t. If that means I’m the bad guy because they didn’t see so much of him, or whatever else I’m being blamed for, then so be it. But no one could make Matt do anything he didn’t want to do, or in fact tell him to do anything, so blaming me for his behaviour serves no purpose. However he would have wanted me to try and build bridges, and to support his family if I could, and I’m trying. And I will keep trying. I know I haven’t done anything wrong and I know I’m not to blame. I will honour his memory by doing the right thing. I loved him then, and I love him now and it’s the last thing I can do for him. It’s hard as f*ck, and coping with losing him is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. Losing him is like someone has ripped a part of me out, and the pain is beyond words. Even so life keeps piling it on, and I just hope I can stay strong enough to cope with it all. I’m not at all sure I can, but that’s one more day done, and it’s all about one day at a time. Wherever you are my love, I hope you’re holding my hand through the days and weeks to come. I miss your support so much and love you so much more. Nothing else matters.