Unspoken words

I just want to talk to him. Not a deep heart to heart, not questions about whys and wheres and hows and wherefores. Just for him and me to curl up on the sofa, shoot the breeze, chat about each other’s day, and just be normal us for a little while. I want to hear his voice. I want to make him laugh; to hear that belly laugh again. I want life to be, just briefly, what it was. Normal.

And that’s the irony of it all, isn’t it?

The only person you want to talk to, who loves you, your best friend, who could give you the right hug, who knows you inside out and who would know how to help you, the only one who could properly comfort you and support you through your loss…is the person you have lost.

And there’s no getting past or around that…it’s a mobius strip, an infinity symbol, two sides, two dimensions; what you want, what you can’t have, just going round and round and round in your head…

I miss him. So much. All the time.

Ah well, at least Max seems to have decided that he can actually sit on my lap, right?

It’s been a bad week. Ouchy got up to morphine necessitating levels this weekend for the first time in a very very long time. Tash is here but I’ve been quite literally stuck in bed for days, only getting work done, mostly sleeping for the rest of the time. And pain makes it so much harder to cope with anything and everything. Any walls you do have just crumble before it. I just feel so fragile and pathetic and useless…

My counsellor hasn’t returned my call so I’m a bit scared to call her again, because in the current world, there could be anything going on in her world that I could be intruding on… And I can’t bring myself to call the doctors. It’s all too much like hard work to go through the filtering system and tell my many stranded story to some complete stranger over the phone, who will probably be completely useless like the last two times, so why waste my time?

So anyway, Tash is here, and she won’t be here for long, and I’ll feel even worse when she’s gone, and I should be making the most of it. I feel so guilty for letting her down and not being there, for not being mentally present. But she has work to do and I have work to do, and the weather is shit, and the pandemic means options for getting out for entertainment are limited, and so, apparently it’s ok, it’s all understandable, and she doesn’t mind, apart from the fact she’d like us to get some shopping done because there’s no food in the house. Which is a valid point. I’ve been feeling nauseous a lot lately, and the pain patch ramped that up, so food is so far down my list of things to do that I literally don’t even think about it. So yes, shopping is required. She has to eat even if I don’t want to.

In the meantime, we might get to see Austin briefly on the 23rd. Which is nice, though I won’t be holding my breath…best to under expect these days I find.

And I joined a ukbp Zoom on Sunday even though I so nearly cried off, quite literally. I was in floods of tears at the thought of putting on the mask and showing up and faking it, but Tash convinced me it might be good for me, and to be fair it was actually really nice to chat to them, so I’m glad I made myself and I’m glad she made me.

Other than that, the Hyundai definitely needs a new engine and, looking at the price of replacing it versus the cost of that, my poor much loved, with me since birth, little red car, is probably heading for the scrapyard way before its time. Which is rather sad. And “new” car shopping is a crapshoot….

As ever, various other sh*t is going on in the background, that has implications and connotations and emotional impact and the like. Then there’s the “C” word…make that “C” words, plural.

Things are not great all ’round. But then we knew that already. Time is not a healer, and anyone who says that…? It’s been a long time since I’ve punched someone. But right now I feel it might be therapeutic. Or maybe they’d put me away somewhere safe for doing it? So go on, I dare you…

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…

 

 

Nest

My bedroom is a pretty small room. And there’s a lot of stuff in it. And a fair amount of mess. But it’s my room and I kinda like it, which is just as well, because it’s where I live. I sleep here. I wake up and work here. I venture downstairs occasionally to check the post, get food or drink, but mostly to feed the menagerie, before retreating back to my nest. On a good day I may end up downstairs at the end of the day to binge watch TV for a bit before bed. On a bad day I don’t. I just stay here, and read, and work, and sleep some more, and play iPad games, and kill time, before bed. Weekends I barely make it out of bed at all. Why would I? Have you seen the weather out there? The daily encroaching darkness?

My ability to sleep is prodigious. I am just so tired, all the time. The only thing I’ve achieved out of this ‘norm’ this week is to re-dye my hair again, and I’d been meaning to do that for like three weeks. Woohoo, go me, right?

Since lockdown started, I’ve seen 4 people. And I don’t count the people I saw at the shop yesterday, the first time I’d been out of the house in god knows how many days. All I’ve done is sleep, work, pass time, and repeat. I saw my folks a couple of weekends back and I’ve been for two walks – hence the four people I have seen – and I have two more walks planned. Which is good, I guess. But I still have to come home afterwards. And why would I want to do that? What is there to come home to?

It’s all just horrible. I am permanently sad and miserable. I feel locked down, and locked in inside my head.

Anywhere else I am in the house there is too much space. I am faced with the paperwork I should be doing. The tidying that should be being done. The washing, the chores, whatever. The cat crap on the floor again. Stuff I can’t face. And then there’s the space. The emptiness. The quiet. The void. Whichever room I’m in, I’m in on my own, where other people used to be. It all hurts. And a lot of the time I just can’t do it.

Back in my nest is just about ok. All the photos of Matt are back to facing the wall. As a space, it’s physically comfortable. There’s room for all three of the cats to be here, in whichever negotiated truce arrangement they’ve agreed upon. So here I am. The loneliness is overwhelming, and my brain just seems to be going “there’s no Matt, there’s no Matt” over and over and over again at the moment. I cry, a lot, all the time, at the drop of the hat. There is nothing, and nobody, to hold it together for.

I don’t write. I don’t post. It’s lovely when, rarely, someone pings me to ask if I’m ok, but how the hell am I supposed to answer that? You can’t handle the truth, and I’m just going to make you feel sorry for me, and bad because you can’t help me. So I don’t answer. I don’t reach out to people because, again, how the hell are they going to make me feel better? How are they going to fix things for me? And if you’re nice to me at pretty much anytime, by whatever media, or even in person, I’ll probably burst into tears anyway.

There is nothing I do that makes me happy. Sure, I can pass time, I can get distracted, I work. But no, nothing makes me happy. I’ve forgotten what happy feels like, it’s been so long. There just doesn’t seem any point to doing anything. Again, who cares what I do or don’t do? I certainly don’t.

I just don’t see anything changing. The only light is that Tash will be home for the Christmas holidays, at some point, for some time. And then she’ll be gone again, and I bet we get locked down again, and here I’ll be here again, just like this. So why the f*ck am I doing this? I know I’ll keep on doing this, one day at a time, because I have to. But having this be my life isn’t exactly a great thing to have to face up to and cope up with. It sucks. And that’s an understatement.

November Rain

I have had a hideous few days. Days without seeing anyone. Days without going anywhere. Shitty weather. Serious pain levels. Off colour. Endless tears, mentally at the bottom of the well… I came close to taking myself somewhere else last night just to, well, not be here on my own. To be somewhere safe. But I didn’t. I told myself to keep breathing. To keep getting through each minute. To get to bedtime and let there be a new day, a tomorrow. And here we are.

My bubble came over yesterday to help out with my car problems. Turns out that whatever is wrong with the Hyundai is more than just the battery – that’s fine, unsurprisingly, as it’s brand new. Something else clearly isn’t fine. Marvellous. So currently the Hyundai is a useless lump of red metal that we managed to roll forwards far enough to leave access to and from the drive open. It is going to need breakdown called out, and then money spending on it. Add another straw to the pile on the camel’s back…

So I took Sofia off the drive to put petrol in her, and to make sure I have some form of functioning transport. That done, I took her for a quick loop, to give myself a bit of a break, have a little fun maybe, and give her a bit of a run…and it turns out that whatever was wrong with her before Matt tried to fix her is still wrong with her. Which is oddly heartbreaking. So she’s going to need to go to the garage again and have even more money spent on her. Yet another straw…

I came home, parked up, came in, and cried all over Dad’s shoulder. Couldn’t help it. He hugged me, and did his best, and he did ask if I’d like to come and stay with them that night – they’re my bubble so it’s allowed – but I didn’t. He was worried about me, and didn’t want to leave me feeling like that and possibly at risk of doing something stupid. He hasn’t actually witnessed how upset and depressed I can be, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that crying like that is how I’d been on and off for days, and that staying over there wasn’t going to help, as I’d still have to come home to real life. Running away doesn’t fix anything, though I will arrange to go and stay over sometime soon.

Today has been better. Better because at least during the week I have actual work to do. Actual purpose. Wake up late. Work until I finish. Eat something, play inane iPad games whilst watching whatever series I’m currently binge watching. Go to bed. Start over. It’s the weekends that are the real killer.

That and not seeing anyone. At all. So it was good to see my folks, even though they couldn’t fix the car, and if my Mum wasn’t, and isn’t, really with us these days. They were people. My people. And I’ve got walks scheduled with friends on Wednesday and Thursday, and maybe Friday. After all, I’m allowed out of the house to exercise with one other person. I also have work to do for the rest of the week. I have chores to do. Mum and Dad got all the cat food and essential supplies I needed for me on their way over here, in case I wasn’t going to be able to get out at all. I have white wine. I have beer. So I should make it to the weekend. Oh good…

Here, have a cat picture. The three of them are still shadowing me… This is Bri, our matriarch, in a rare, unguarded, snuggly moment :).

Private Universe

Day 3 in the lockdown house. Did I see anyone? Is the suspense killing you?
No. I didn’t.
This doesn’t mean I didn’t try.
I got up.
I did chores.
I did, impressively, have a shower and wash my hair which, since I didn’t put curly gunk on it afterwards, means I can re-dye it tomorrow.
But no.
I didn’t see anyone.
Because I got all ready, and left the house to move one car so that I could take the other car and…despite its brand new battery…we weren’t going anywhere. Not in that car and, since that one blocks the drive to the other, not in the other one either. The lights came on but…not enough power to kick it over. Battery? Starter motor? Alternator? Who knows…and there was f*ck all I could do about it right then. I didn’t want to call the breakdown guys, and Austin has my jump leads.
So, cue very messy breakdown, in many ways.
Like, I know it’s not important, but I’d built myself up, got ready, forced myself to do all the things I didn’t really want to do, so that I could go out, so that I could do the thing I’d said I’d do, when I’d rather have just stayed in bed.
And then I couldn’t do it.
Which pretty much wiped me out, mentally anyway.

On the upside this means that my folks – my bubble, so it’s allowed – are coming over tomorrow to see if we can jump start it, and move cars around and just in case we can’t, they’re picking up some things from the supermarket for the cats for me on their way over. I’m going to see actual people, in person! And people who won’t mind when I lose it and cry on their shoulders for what could be quite some time. I’ve already cried all over them down the phone today. Silver linings I guess…

And then, even thought I didn’t feel like it, I did join the new zoom group thingy. Which went ok. I made it through, I hope I wasn’t too annoying, talk too much, or whatever.

Last night I ended up throwing up when I went to bed. I think the flapjack I ate was too out of date. It could be because my pain levels are a bit off the scale at the moment. But then it could also apparently be a side effect of finally, after lots of tapering, coming off the meds. I was fairly nauseous today. But I ate marmite on toast. And it stayed down. So I joined the zoom. Both of which are good, right?

So that was Saturday. At least I think it’s Saturday… Luckily the final season of Game of Thrones turned up on my doorstep yesterday so I had that to watch. As the day passed FB and Google images delighted in telling me how wonderful my life was up until a couple of years ago. Lovely photos to see…if it wasn’t for seeing them, and his comments on them, ripping my heart out every time.

So overall, you know, not a great day. In case you were wondering, this is not going well.

Why’d you leave me? One day I will follow you into the dark. Let’s face it, there’s no light here.

Bubble

Day two of the second lockdown. It has now been over 48 hours since I have seen another person. Over 48 hours since I talked to anyone in person. Over 48 hours in which the only phone conversations I’ve had are for work or with family. The only physical contact I’ve had is with felines or reptiles. It’s just me, and a constant soundtrack of podcasts or, once evening comes around, the TV, until another day can be called quits and put behind me. It’s a very strange feeling. And now it’s the weekend. Which holds even less.

I’ll have to leave the house at some point, as I shall run out of cat food, and if I don’t feed them, I’ll be the mad old lady discovered because her cats have killed her and are eating the corpse. I’d say I’m joking, but they’re really into their food at the moment. They’re also paying me a lot of attention at the moment. They tend to all three be around me somehow most of the time. I guess I must radiate miserable. Or needy. Or something. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it doesn’t. It doesn’t intrinsically change anything either way.

Maybe the sun will be shining, and I’ll gather up enough motivation to have a shower, and get presentable, and take Sofia out for a shopping excursion. Or maybe I won’t. I think I’m actually going to, uncharacteristically, join a new Zoom chat tomorrow evening. Because some conversation/virtual company is better than none, right? Either way I should probably have a shower and wash my hair. It’s coming to something when that counts as an achievement isn’t it?

Turn around

So it’s Tuesday. Lockdown starts again on Thursday. So in a bizarre way today feels like Thursday. And so tomorrow is Friday, because it’s the last day of the end of the current stint of “normal” life. Except it’s not Thursday. And I never could get the hang of Thursdays, virtual or otherwise.

But anyway. Thanks to the imminent re-closure of the world I have been unexpectedly blessed because several of my close friends have gone, you know what, we need to see her before this happens. So I have seen, and am seeing tomorrow, Ian. I’ve had coffee with Guy. I’ve had drinks with Chris. I’ve had drinks with Rob. Various people have checked in with me to see how I’m doing. I have talked to real people about real things, people I don’t have to be someone else with. Real, real, real, real. I am so thankful to you all for both thinking of and including me – for remembering that I’m struggling, when you have your own lives and challenges…and we’re all living chaotic lives and you didn’t have to make time for me. But you did. Thank you (as if those two words were anywhere near enough). Tomorrow is L-1 and I’m seeing Ian again, and we’ll hang out and chat, and it’ll all be lovely until…

…it all hits home. I’ll go home, and the prison door will swing closed behind me, keys will turn, and lockdown will be here.

But being boring, and sensible, rules are there for a reason, I have been brought up to do what I’m told. And if you’re bending those rules, or thinking that somehow they don’t apply to you, and you’ve got it all covered, you’re ok Jack…then you are most definitely part of the problem not the solution. I may not agree with the reasons behind it. I have done a lot of reading. I’m not quite sure what to believe any more. But if we’re in lockdown, we’re in lockdown. You may not agree with it either. But if there’s any chance of it working. it’s only going to work if we do what we’re told. Do what the rules say. It nearly worked last time, we just cracked too early.

You want to have Christmas with your family? Then follow the f*cking rules. Do what you’re told. You are not immune. Down here in the SW we got to feel somewhat safe and removed from it all for a long time. Low number of cases, low risk, blah blah. But it’s here now. We all know someone in town who has had it. Soon we’ll all know someone who’s ended up in hospital as a result of having it. And sadly some of us are going to lose people to it. It’s here. The zombies are knocking on the door. Don’t let them in! Is your reason for breaking the rules really worth someone else’s death? Let’s get this over and done with, let’s make it work. The sooner we behave, the sooner it ends.

I will be staying home. I will be working from home. I will not be seeing other people outside of that which is permitted. And, quite frankly, it’s going to be horrible. It is a seriously disastrous thing to be happening to me on top of everything else. My mental health is at rock bottom right now. Do you really think I want to be socially isolated for a month all by myself? Do I f*ck! And I don’t really care if I personally get Covid. But do I want to give Covid to someone else? Do I want to be unavailable if my folks need me because I have it or because I’m isolating because some other inconsiderate f*cker puts me in that situation? Do I want to be the patient X that spreads it out and beyond? Do I want someone to die because hey, you know what, work is a bit easier if I’m in the office, or because I wanted to have some fun, or do whatever is that I wanted to do to make myself feel better, because I decide I’m more important than everyone else, and it’s ok if I bend the rules right? Do you have any idea what the death of another person close to me would do to me right now? I think it would be the final nail in my coffin…

But hey, you know, have a rave in Bristol, because you know, you don’t want your civil liberties infringed, and you just want to have a good time…

*breathe*

But I refuse to face up to all of that until what is actually Thursday. What’s the point? I know it’s going to be a truly sh*t month. I know it’s going to be truly unbearable. I know that my feelings of loneliness are going to be even further off the scale than they have been lately. I’m going to have a month of that at least. Of that being my life. But is worrying it about it in advance going to help? No, it’s just going to make this particular period of hell start earlier than it needs to.

So I’m just not going there now. What’s the point? It’s coming, whether I like it or not. Don’t get me wrong. I am dreading it. I am quite honestly viscerally scared about how I’m going to get through it. But it’s not here yet. So, as they say, why borrow trouble from tomorrow?

Lock me down, and if I can get out of bed, I have things that need doing. I will get back on the spin bike more, since I can no longer hide in a quiet corner in a pub when life has become too much. I have a car that needs cleaning and valeting. If I’m lucky, I will occasionally go for a permitted and socially distanced walk with one person from another household. I will bubble with an as yet to be decided household, which will probably be my folks. I am going to end up having to Zoom more than I am comfortable with but, given the choice between that, and talking to myself and the cats, and the fact that if I don’t talk to people I’m going to be headed for a white padded cell or casket, I think it’s going to be another hurdle I have to get over. Hello Zoom. Hello Microsoft Teams. Hello FaceTime. I’m going to have to drag myself out of my comfort zone, since that comfort zone will no longer be comfortable anyway. And it will pass, and if we all behave, maybe we can have a couple of normal months before it happens all over again. Which it will.

I’m in a really really weird mental space right now, thanks to my stalker, the bitch next door, etc etc etc. But as ever it is what it is. I am managing to get some work done. I’ve got some chores done. And, oddly, just recently I have turned around all the photos of Matt and I again, and now I can see them all the time. I don’t know how long it will last; will I get to a point where it just upsets me too much and I have to turn them around again? Or am I going to get habituated to them and be able to smile back at him when I see him smiling at me? I don’t know. Right now it feels like a good thing. But…

I don’t know. Like everything else, there is no certainty. Everything is fluid. Let’s be honest, these days I don’t know anything. I don’t know how anything is going to go. Reality was already surreal. I am beyond lost. So one day at a time…

Here we go again…

Love don’t live here any more.

I had a very lovely text yesterday, from someone who reads this, had noticed I haven’t been writing, and was just checking in to see if I was ok. It meant a lot, and no, I didn’t mind you getting in touch. Thank you for caring enough to do so. Because generally people don’t check in anymore. Not that I blame them. Everyone has their own lives to live, paths to walk, journeys to make. I know they’d be there if I reached out to them. It’s just that it’s not something that you feel like you can do when you’re lost down a rabbit hole. Who the h*ll would want to talk to someone feeling like that? It hardly makes me a sparkling conversationalist, and why would I want to drag someone down to these depths anyway?

But I’m still here. As it happens, now that Austin has moved out, and Tash has gone back to uni, I’m still here all by myself. Well not right now. Right now I’m at the pub writing this because I haven’t seen an actual person in two days, and I’ve only talked to a couple of people, not including work. It wasn’t doing my head any good, so I thought maybe I should go and see other people having a life, even if I don’t have one. That and I need to pop to the shop, so I forced myself to get my arse in gear and here I am.

Yes I’m still here. Living on my own. Except it’s not really living. It’s just existing. Sitting my empty house. The house feels weird, like no-one lives in it anymore. As the title to this latest epistle says, love don’t live here anymore. It’s quiet. Emptily eerily quiet, like a long abandoned ruin. And I know it hasn’t been long, and I’m sure I’ll get used to it, I’m just in the middle of a period of readjustment.

In the meantime, even though I know I should, I can’t seem to find the energy to arrange to see anyone. To go visit anyone. To exercise. To leave the house. Hell, I barely get out of bed most of the time, since that’s where I tend to work from too. And writing here? Well I’m just going to sit here and pour my pain on to the page again, and who wants to hear me going on and on about that? So I haven’t been writing either. I have at least managed to carry on working, but I haven’t invoiced anyone for months and I haven’t done my personal accounts for even longer. Not good.

Don’t wake me up
It’s the best that I’ve felt in weeks
And to be completely honest
I’d rather be happily dead or asleep

The only thing I’m really good at at the moment is sleeping. 12 hours straight easy, however many alarms I set. Because however many alarms I set, my brain knows they’re just arbitrary, and as such can be ignored. There is no real reason I should wake up; I don’t have appointments, or plans, and so… I hit snooze over and over again, and eventually end up waking up far later than I wanted to, which just gives me something else to beat myself up about. But hey, at least I then have less of a day to get through before I can go back to sleep, right?
Sometimes I make an effort. I try and find something to do. As you can see, I’ve bleached and dyed my hair. I even put a smile on for the camera, as I was showing Tash the results. I’ve made a new pendant out of a goldstone heart that Matt bought me. I’m refurbishing a lazy susan I got secondhand. I’m binge watching box sets. Anything to kill some time…
This was supposed to be our time. Our happy ever after, being together for the rest of our lives. Not just for the rest of his. I am missing him so much, and it still hurts just as much as ever, even if it has a slightly different quality to it. There’s still so much I want to say to him, and can’t. So many places I can’t go without him. There’ve been a lot of memory flashbacks just to help make things that little bit worse. I miss him, I miss my kids, I miss my life, and I miss who I was. The sheer loneliness of life now is heartbreaking and soul destroying and quite literally painful.

I’m most definitely not OK. Well, the me that is writing this isn’t. The me who goes through the motions at home, and randomly bursts into tears at the drop of a non-existent hat isn’t OK. Sometimes I go out, and it’s nice to be out, and to see people. Most people probably think I’m ok. I can chat, and laugh, and be distracted, and I’m grateful to them for including me, and for the semblance of normality it brings, while all the time feeling like I’m standing slightly off to one side from myself, watching it all go on. And then I have to go home, because I’m tired of dancing. So I go home, drained, to a still empty house. Everything is where I left it. All the things I’m not getting done are still not done. Nothing has changed. There’s a feline saving grace though. In the absence of any other option, each of our three cats will now spend some time sitting on me at some point during the day. And Max gives good cuddles. They make me cry, but that’s ok, I do that on and off all day anyway. Crying with fluffy cuddles is better than crying alone.
I know that with time, I will establish a new routine, I will find things to do, projects to put my mind to. I will visit people, I will see friends, I will get back on the spin bike, and maybe one day I’ll get around to going away by myself again, like I used to once upon a long time ago. I’m just not there yet.

Land of make believe

I sometimes feel almost ok for a little while. I get busy. I’m working. I’m reading. I’m hanging out with the kids or very occasionally with friends. Whatever. Busy brain, thinking about other things, doing other things…

At which point you probably expect me to say I then feel guilty for feeling ok, as the cliché goes.

But that’s not how it is.

It’s more like my brain gets distracted, thinks everything is ok, and then, well, if everything is ok, it must be because Matt is around, right? Everything’s ok again, right? Life is back to normal.

And then the busy stops. The silence descends again…and…it’s not ok. My brain remembers how things actually are, and has to remind itself, and me, that he isn’t around, and it’s not ok, and it’s never going to be that kind of ok ever again..

And it’s like it hits you all over again.

Again, and again, and again.

The ‘never again’ is the brick wall I’m constantly mentally banging my head against, and it never goes away. I might get to bang my head against it a little less often these days, especially if I try hard, but it’s always there, and the impact never seems to hurt any less.

Tash goes back to Uni on Saturday, and I’m trying very hard not to think about it, not to count down the days, so as not to panic about the fact that as of Sunday yet another new stage of my life starts. The one where I live here completely on my own. I’m sure it’ll work out fine. It kind of has to, it’s not like it’s optional. It will be what it turns out to be. But, as with everything else these days, that’s not going to stop me worrying about it beforehand, now is it?

Out and about

Another day. But one that was a little better, as they go.

We got out of the house.

We went and saw someone who has become a friend over the last year. As I’ve said before, it’s odd who has come out of the woodwork to support me, and also who I thought would, and then haven’t. Not to mention the grief tourists – those who popped up to vicariously enjoy the ride, be seen to be being oh so supportive, and then vanished in the haze.

We picked up some repaired jewellery, that is special to me, and having a particular bracelet back on my wrist felt good. I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed it being there.

I then played taxi so Tash could see friends.

Being out is better than being in.

It also turns out that Austin will be down Friday/Saturday for one final family body art Bristol trip, as he wants new ink before life gets properly locked down again since, like me, he thinks that’s going to happen. And I think I’ll get the matching dermal since it turns out that Ruby has a spare appointment at the same time. Why not, right? It’ll be nice to be all together again, however briefly. The crest before the crash.

On the downside, COVID-19 is further f*cking with life, and if things go as I fear they will, there’s a very real possibility that I could end up out of a job in the middle of next year. And it’s always good to have something else to add to the list of things to worry about, right?

And don’t tell me not to worry, as life keeps showing me that things can always get worse.

Anyway, today was better than yesterday.