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?

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