Can we not?

So apparently I’m still here. Lockdown two came to an end. Not that it makes much difference to me, in Tier Two. I can’t meet my socially distanced friends in a pub. I can go for a walk with them, as before, but if I want to be out of an evening, I have to sit in a pub on my own, and eat food (ie spend even more, wasteful (cos I have no appetite) money than usual)¬†whilst being surrounded by Christmas decorations and other households, or those masquerading as such, who I can hear having fun, and being happy, and all I feel is even more painfully lonely. I’ve done it once. I wished I hadn’t. I probably won’t be doing it on my own again.

Matt hated Christmas. He was, back before he was living down here, a delivery driver, so Christmas just meant he was even busier than ever, working ridiculous hours for neither enough money nor any appreciation, which wore him out and stressed him out. Even when he finally got to stop and take time off (which he had to pay to have covered), this was followed up by him being tied to family obligations, spend loads of money he didn’t have, having to be places he didn’t want to be, when he didn’t want to be, and he just hated the whole season. Things were changing slowly once he moved…and I will be forever grateful for the fact that, in our all too short time together, we were lucky enough to have two Christmas days together as just us. A day all to ourselves, with no other commitments, just us. Just the best…

Anyway, I’d forgotten how bad this time of year makes me feel, as it gets darker and damper and danker and colder, but yet also lighter and more festive for others. Neither of which I am even close to feeling. Understatement. I feel completely out of sync with the world. Being out of the house just causes me to feel massive anxiety. I wish it would all just go away. The second year is definitely worse as the shock and numbness wears off and reality properly hits home and sinks in, when everyone else has moved on.

On the upside, it turns out that I am going to be unexpectedly blessed as, not only is Tash home from uni, thus I am no longer currently alone for a bit, but thanks to my Ex (which believe me, is not a phrase I use often), she is going to be with me for Christmas Day. It is his turn to have them, and I was ok with that, but I’m not going to lie; it is nice to know I won’t have to spend Christmas Day on my own, or somewhere else where I’d feel like I was on my own. I have had some lovely invitations to be elsewhere, for which I am deeply grateful and touched, but I would have felt out of place and, well, just…wrong. I’m going to be tired, as ever, probably drunk, and inevitably emotional. I’m always emotional these days. Who really wants that with them on Christmas Day? Home was always going to be the best place to be either way.

So it’s going to be the two of us here. Food will be here in the form of a 5 course hamper for two from The Oakhouse. I will lay on treats, and fizz, and gifts. We will get up when it suits us, and basically just be us, doing whatever we want to do all day. Just like Matt and I did twice. Hopefully it will work out and be good, just like those two Christmasses did. No pleasing anyone else but ourselves. Luckily Tash is not big on Christmas either, and she’s perfectly happy for us not to put up decorations and toe the line, play the game. Which is lovely. Why pretend to be feeling something you’re not? And I’ll be missing him, just as much, and maybe even more, than I do every day. Il me manque toujours.

It’s going to be sad not to see the rest of my family, near and far, though. Just when we probably all most need each other. Tiers will separate us. Everyone else is in Tier 3 at present. My brother’s family are currently socially isolating as my 8 year old nephew has tested positive for Covid. The exceptional Christmas bubble doesn’t cover New Year. Austin will be working over Christmas, down where he now lives. My Mum’s worsening Alzheimer’s just means it’s easier not to try and do things all together, as she won’t cope, and it stresses us all out. The only positive otherwise currently? After Dec 21st, the Winter Solstice, days will very slowly start getting longer again. And that’s what I need. Light, and sunshine, and maybe, hope…?

So Christmas 2020? Just like 2020 as a whole, and most of 2019, it can go do one.¬†Last year was my first Christmas without Matt. This year will be my first Christmas without my son, and my second without Matt. It doesn’t get better. It doesn’t get easier. Did I mention I don’t like firsts? And I also know other people are facing their first firsts and I know how that’s going to feel for them, and my heart is breaking for them…

Lockdown Mark 2 did me in. Nearly literally. Having Tash home is great, a temporary respite, even though we’re both currently spending a lot of a time working separately. Having Austin visit for social distanced contact and food earlier this week with us both, finally making us our eternal triangle again, albeit briefly, was lovely. But I had and have trouble enjoying any of it. Because I knew it was and is all going to to go away again and I know that in a few weeks time, I will be back to living on my own, and not coping… I can’t live in the moment and enjoy what I do have, I always know it’s something I’m going to lose again. I’m trying…and failing dismally. My well of tears is constantly overflowing.

Thanks to Tash making me a list, and a degree of nagging, I’ve gotten a few things done this week. Including calling my counsellor, so hopefully she’ll be in touch soon. Whilst doing some research online the other day, I ended up doing a few surveys, and it would appear I’m probably suffering from severe depression. So, depending on what my counsellor says, I guess I’ll be calling my Doctor, and discussing more anti-depressants, even though I don’t want to go back on them. On the other hand, I don’t want to feel this sad and hopeless all the time either, and other people need me to stay here. But I need something that doesn’t have weight gain as the main side effect. I’m way larger than I was or want to be, even if I’ve started to lose a bit, and that’s seriously counter productive when it comes to my mental state. So…well…who know’s what’s going to happen next with all that?

With the other things coming my way; like Dad’s next hip operation, and having to find residential care for my Mum now, as she is now deteriorating…it feels like it all never ends. And it’s all on me. I just can’t catch a break. Not with anything. Apparently the engine of the Hyundai is seized, which can’t be a good thing. Sofia is still going, but I wouldn’t trust her for a long journey.

I’m doing a lousy job of looking after myself. I am at the bottom of a well without a ladder. How am I supposed to look after myself and deal everything else as well? Sometime it all just feels like too much. Too much responsiblity. When the next thing hits, and there’s always a next thing, I have no margin of error. No bounce. Knock me down, and it takes me forever to get back up again. The only thing I am consistently managing to get done is work, which is a saving grace. It keeps me busy, it passes time, and it earns me money, albeit less than it did thanks to this bloody pandemic. But at least I’m doing something, right?

I don’t know that there was a point to all of the above. It’s just a stream of where I am now. It’s not a great place. I can’t even imagine a better place. But I’m still here. Tash is here. We have some plans, lists of things to do. So, you know, one day at a time as ever, right? I wish I could believe that one day I will feel better. After all everyone says I will…even those in my situation…but I just can’t see it from where I am now. It feels like this is it, but that I just haven’t learnt to accept that yet. I’m still wishing what is isn’t…

 

 

One thought on “Can we not?”

  1. Jennifer, thank you so much for writing again. This year is my first without Lisa. I feel every word you have written. I am so sorry for you. Everyone says the same to me too “it will get better” but like you, after almost a year, I think it’s actually getting worse. Your words mean so much to me. Thank you, Paul

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