If I could turn back time

There’s the odd moment, say at the end of the evening, when it’s just the kids and I, post film, heading to bed, when it’s like the last four years never happened. It’s just us three doing our thing, as it ever was. And then I remember…

I wonder…

I wonder that if 4 years ago someone had told me what was going to happen, I’d have chosen a different path. If someone had said ‘you’re going to have an amazing relationship with someone you are compatible with in every way, you will share your whole life with them, no holds barred, you will love and be loved, through thick and thin’, and then told me that it would end with sudden death, with life as it is now… Would I have still chosen to go there?

Probably, because back then I had no concept of what this actually feels like. I’d have been making a decision without all the facts… And, as it happens, I did resist, what with his situation and mine, but he was so darn persistent, and he pretty much totally swept me off my feet… It was sort of unavoidable and felt inevitable, and natural, like it was just how it was supposed to be. Everything falling into place, chapter two, happy ever after…

But that was then. Ask me now. If I could choose to turn back time, would I do it all over again? I’m hurting so much right now, that it’s easy to say no, I wouldn’t.

But it was amazing. To actually be made to feel like I was worth loving? That I’m not just short, fat, unattractive, ageing, unhealthy? (Yes, I have issues. Many issues. Always have had. Not sure why.) To have so much in common with another person, who loves you inside and out, cherishes you, to have the kind of love I’d only read about, to actually discover that maybe there is such a thing as your soul mate, and to feel the same way about him…? To just fit together in every way? Unbelievable. And yes, I know we argued sometimes and we had our issues, just like with any other couple, but when it boiled down to it, we were us, and the rest of it was just noise. Us against the world, and I thought we could face and beat anything together. So I can’t believe we are where we are now. Or where we aren’t. I don’t understand. I can’t. I never will. So in many ways it was unbelievable, from beginning to end.

But maybe ignorance is bliss. You can’t miss what you’ve never had. And if it hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t feel like I do now. I could never have imagined how it feels to cry every day for going on ten months. How nothing is ever the same again. The impact it has on you, your life, your world, your self confidence, your work…literally everything. Back then I’d have thought I could weather the storm, that it would be worth it… Now?

I think I’d still have done it though. To have felt loved like that, however briefly, has to have been worth it. We had an amazing (and yes I know I keep using that word) few years. I could have lived my whole life never being blessed with feeling like that, never feeling like I was worth anything or deserved loving. Which kind of makes now worse. Now I’m scared that I will be on my own and lonely for the rest of my life; that I’ll never meet anyone else and that even if I did nothing will ever live up to what we had, and I will never feel like that again. What if this is just the countdown to the grave? What if he was the only person who could ever truly see me and love me? Why does life have to be so cruel? Why can’t I have what other people have? What is it about me? (yeah, it’s really not helping my self worth issues).

One day hopefully I’ll be able to look back and be grateful, to smile at all the happy memories that are banked in my brain, and be thankful for what I learned, for having had him in my life, for having been shown so much. I’m just not at that place yet; if my thoughts go there, I just get lost in missing him, in the never agains, in the what could have been. Thinking about us is like prodding an open raw wound, it just hurts too much, so I just can’t…

I could tell myself that I need to learn to take strength from what he saw in me, to remember that he believed in me, he had my back, and he was proud of me. He wouldn’t want me to be feeling like this, and I know he’d be gutted if he could see how damaged and broken I am. He’d also see just how much he was loved which, just as I do, he often doubted. But I can’t do anything about that, or about how I’m feeling. It just is what it is. It’s a process that is happening to me, without my control. I’m trying, every day, one day at a time, and I can only do the best I can to ride out the storm. As my counsellor says, you don’t get over it, you just have to get through it. I’m trying to. I’m still not sure I’m going to make it but, so far, here I am, still doing it.

So, is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? You tell me.

And so it began…

Four years ago tomorrow, which is actually today now, Matt and I first met. We didn’t get together then. But there the seeds were sown, and he pursued me afterwards, and then, well, the rest is history…

I had no idea we would end up where we did, and how good we would be together, how far we would fall for each other, and I had absolutely no clue we would end up here. How could I have? I had no idea we’d end up here the day/night it all happened, let alone saw it coming beforehand. We had amazing, with flaws…and then we had nothing, because there wasn’t a we, there was suddenly just a me, left flailing around in the void, with no compass, no guide, no idea how to cope.

I wonder if he’d even be attracted to me now. I wonder if he’d even recognise me. Because I don’t. I was thinner, I was fitter, I was healthier, I was more attractive. Now I’m none of those things. I don’t even dress like I did. I can’t. But more intrinsically, I’m not me any more. My life now is unrecognisable. It has shrunk down to nothing. I don’t know who I am now. I used to like me. I used to be happy. I used to be independent, I used to go places. We used to go places. I used to be so many things, none of which I am now. I’m just…broken. Adrift, and lost. And so, SO f*cking lonely. And yes, I know I probably sound like a stuck record, but that’s the way I feel and continue to feel.

I tried to explain in my last entry how low I have been feeling. I pretty much spelled it out. I don’t think I could have made how I’ve been feeling lately any clearer. So I guess I hoped people would listen and reach out to me. And once again, a few did, to be counted on the fingers of one hand, the usual much appreciated suspects… And I really am grateful to those who got in touch. It does mean a lot. Just like I was touched by the lovely girl at my support group who passed on a green crystal heart than she’d been given at her lowest point, that she wanted me to have, and to pass on when I no longer needed it, which meant so much to me. Just like I was touched by the lovely lady at the same group who sadly is in the same position that I am, who wanted me to know that she reads my blog and it means a lot to her. The kindness of strangers is a wonderful thing. Thank you.

But more fool me if I thought anyone else would actually read it, or reach out as a result. It’s just as well that I really write this for me, rather than anyone else, isn’t it? It’s good for me to express myself, because I can’t tell you in person how I’m feeling, and you probably wouldn’t want to hear it if I did. It’s too uncomfortable – for me to say and you to hear. I know many people have said call me if you need me, but I can’t. I just can’t. I can’t reach out, even though I should. And I think people just presume that because they haven’t seen you or heard from you that you’re fine, when actually, it can just as easily mean exactly the opposite.

But what do I have to do to make people hear me? I don’t know. I’ve nearly given up on trying. Still, having ended up in a really scary place over the weekend, I did get in touch with the doctor, who is supposed to be going to help, though judging by her ability to call me back when she says she will so far, I don’t hold out much hope. I saw my counsellor today, and I have some things that I should probably be going to work on, though I’m not sure I’ll manage it. I’ll try… Yes, I should drink less, and go to bed earlier, and get up earlier, and yes, that might make me feel better. But since I can work when I want, and do, what’s the point of getting out of bed if I don’t have to? Why drag myself from the only place I’m happy back into painful reality? I’ll try, I’ll give it a go. Probably. Easier said than done, I bet. Hiding in a world of white wine and then dreams may not be the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s what works for me now. I know I’m probably not helping myself, or helping the anti-depressants do their job. But it’s not like I’m drinking more than I have done over the last few years, and what happens if you take away my crutches, my one remaining comfort zone?

There are a lot of firsts, and birthdays, and anniversaries and the like, coming up in the next couple of months. Like two years ago we went to see the Wonderstuff – the first time I ever had, having always wanted to, and 29 years after he’d first seen them. It was amazing, and we had the best night. It was awesome. But facebook memories, my memories, his memories and comments, that’s all they are now. Memories. They’re all in the past. Seeing/reading them…each one is like a little stab to the heart. A painful reminder of what we had, and what is gone. He’s not here to share them with again, and they’re not important to anybody else. You don’t just lose your person, you lose a shared history, a narrative, the way you don’t need to say things because they always know what you’re thinking. It’s the stone that was thrown and all the ripples that came from it.

Then someone threw a f*cking great boulder in and washed it all away, and left many of us drowning in the waves and clinging on to the wreckage, quite literally for dear life. Is it any wonder that sometimes I just want to let go? I’m struggling at the moment. I’m doing a little better than I was a few days ago; I’ve been kept busy, with work, and my folks, and various. But I’m under no illusions; that could change in the blink of an eye. It frequently does. Last night I dreamt of him. And this morning he was gone again. And however many times that happens, it doesn’t hurt any less.

I miss you so much. I miss the person you made me, that your faith and support brought out in me. I miss so much about us; the team we were together, all the things we did and shared, and the places we went. I may not miss the arguments we sometimes had, but we were working on them and getting stronger all the time. I miss your hugs, your laugh, your sense of humour, cwtching up with you on a beach…I miss everything about you, even how epic your sneezes were, and how loudly you snored. I miss the life we had, and the life we were going to have and now never will. Four years, and now you’ve been gone nearly 7 months. It wasn’t enough. Nowhere near enough. I still love you to the beach, and beyond. I just wish we could have had more time…

Tough week

It’s been a tough week. The six month mark, however arbitrary it may be, hit me hard. And I’m starting to recognise the signs of when things are worse. Life feels flatter. I cry more. My anxiety gets worse. I stress about everything more, work, chores, whatever. I care even less about what I’m wearing, what I look like, what I eat, drink, smoke, how much or little I do of any, either, or all. I just want to curl up in bed and stay there. And I stop writing. Never a good sign.

But here I am. I’m sort of back. I had a good session with my counsellor today, mainly from a venting point of view, but also because it’s good to talk to someone, since no-one seems to want to talk to me anymore. I swear I have a goddamn f*cking exclusion zone around me. But even with work stress, and many other things not going according to plan (surprise, surprise), I have managed to get through the week, and I have some half formulated plans that are taking shape, and that will hopefully come to fruition and help with the moving on process. Every little plan, every little thing booked into the calendar, helps to keep the wheels turning, to keep me moving forward. It’s weird, because it’s not like I actually look forward to stuff, but it’s just that it forces me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I am massively grateful to those of my friends who have been in touch this week. Amidst the whole Caroline Flack thing, and the #bekind, and the don’t knock other people’s crowns off and post a nice photo of yourself thing… Really??!! Actions speak louder than a million facebook posts. The card that George dropped through my letter box. The messages from Jo checking in to make sure I was ok. Mark doing the same. But as I said in my rather pointed FB post, I could have counted the number of people who’ve been in touch lately on one hand, and I wouldn’t have needed the thumb. That’s probably not strictly true, and it’s probably not totally fair. It’s not far off though. How many people just like a post, share a meme, join a #trend and think yep, go me, job done?

When it boils down to it, it’s just me and Austin. Who didn’t get the job he went for, and for whom I am totally gutted. Just because I’d kinda like him to stay here doesn’t mean that I don’t equally want him to spread his wings and fly away and go and live his life and not be stuck with mine. That’s what he should be doing. And with his usual pragmatism he is on to Plan B, and C, and D…and sooner or later, one of them will come through. I will say this though, the guys that turned him down for the ECA three year training course? They don’t know what they’re missing, and they have turned down a gem.

So here’s the weekend. A quiet one. Which means that, if I want to, I can sleep all day tomorrow. My dreams are, thanks to all my meds, even more vivid than ever they were, and they were pretty mental before! And they’re so much more interesting and exciting that my actual life is. For the last few days I’ve woken up, and then burst into tears as my black and white painful reality replaces my technicolour dreams, and I remember just how shit things are, and what my life is now. To add insult to injury it turns out the my doctor has retired and as I’ve known him for many years as my Dr and a cyclist, and he knows all my history and was massively supportive and being helpful, I feel a little as if someone has pulled a rug out from under me. That’s like 20 years of my medical history down the drain. There just isn’t enough support for anyone anymore. Our overstretched NHS can’t cope with acute demand, let alone me, or my folks. There are waiting lists for everything, from Mental Health Care to Social Services. The thought of having to start over with someone new, for my endometriosis, my grief… To be fair, the lady doctor who did call me today sounds lovely, and has asked me to give her a few days to go away and find me any other available specific support there is out there and also chase up my referral to Mental Health Services, which may well never have been made in the first place. You’d have thought being considered a suicide risk might flag you up somehow…?

But that’s the way it is. And to be honest, if I got to that point, I wouldn’t be calling anyone anyway. I know I’d know what I wanted to do, I’d have made my mind up, and I wouldn’t want to be talking to someone who might stop me from doing that. I wouldn’t call anyone. I sure as hell wouldn’t do that “call me if you need me” thing. That’s not how it works. Even if you really meant it when you said it, which SO many people, as it turns out, don’t. Stop posting meaningless but well meaning messages on social media. Meaning well isn’t enough. Reach out. Text or DM people. Call them. Drop them a letter, a card, a bunch of flowers. Do something human. Having been on the receiving end of all of those, I can tell you that the smallest REAL things can make the biggest different.

So this seems to have been more of a rant than a post. There’s more stuff I can’t talk about yet, but I’ve blurted out enough already. The rest will come another time. And if you’ve made it this far, thanks for listening. Thanks for reading. And thanks for being there for me. It means more than you know.

Once I caught a fish alive

I saw my counsellor today. I wasn’t really in the right head space for it, because it’s hard to see how talking can do anything about how bad I’ve been feeling. And I was feeling marginally better by the time I got up today, as I’d caught up on some sleep, and I didn’t really want to upset the apple cart. But I went, and upset it, and me, anyway. And did it help? I don’t know. It’s good to talk. No-one around here seems to want to talk to me about it all, not properly talk, nor properly listen. Heaven forbid I might actually get emotional on them. How very un British of me. Or maybe they think it’s catching, and talking to me means it might happen to them. Or maybe they just don’t know what to say at all, so just move on so as to avoid it all together. Who knows?

But it’s good to be told that actually how you’re feeling is normal. In fact actually, less than six months in, I’m doing pretty well all things considered apparently. I am dealing with a whole heap of shit, all at once, any one of which would be quite enough for some people. And look, I got up, I got out of bed, I got dressed, I went to see her, I did some work. I’m doing it. Every day. And it’s so hard when you’re down in the pit to see that, to remember that. So, as someone on Twitter suggested a while ago, and as she suggested today, I’m going to try and write a list of five things I’ve achieved each day. And maybe five things that were good. Even if it’s just like little things. Or maybe just five that’s a mix of both. And if I can’t always think of five, then that’s ok too.

So here’s today’s five:

  • I put petrol in the courtesy car. Which I was worried about because I didn’t know if it was diesel or petrol, or how to work it out, but I did, and I got it right. It may sound like a stupid little thing, but it wasn’t to me.
  • I didn’t spend all evening in the pub whilst Austin was working there. I had one drink once I was back while I got some work done, and then I came home and hung out here. OK I was hoping to be going out to meet people later, but that didn’t come about, which knocked me back a bit, and reminded me what a small town this can be. But at least I spent time at in the house, not money at the pub, and cried on the sofa with cats, not in the toilets so that no-one sees me.
  • I bought three ‘new’ tops in the charity shop, next door to my counsellor’s new place, one of which is a long drapey blue jumper that I absolutely love already. And all three, plus a pair of earrings, came to a total of less than £20. Retail therapy may not really be a solution, but at least it wasn’t an overly expensive elastoplast, and I do love that jumper.

OK, so today I’ve only made it to three really. And I’m back in a pretty low place now. I’m just sad, and tired, and down, and really really really lonely. I’m going out tomorrow to a thing in town where there will be lots of people, some of them whom are actually friends, which you’d think I’d be really excited about but I’m actually just really anxious about it. About being around all those people, about the possibility of bumping into people who aren’t friends, who I don’t want to see. But it’s OK, because Austin will be there, and in his ever practical way, he’s just said we can go home whenever I want or need to, and that helps. That I can focus on.

I can’t get away from how I’m feeling, and how things are. But I can get away from things, situations, people, that make it worse. That’s something to remember when it’s all getting on top of me.

Killing time

I hate weekends. So it stands to reason I’m going to hate the holidays even more. And if I can be at work over them, the chances are I will be. Because every day is just a question of keeping busy enough, killing enough time, that I can go to bed, and go back to sleep, and dream, and hide away until I have to do it all over again. And you know, I am. Getting through that is. As long as I don’t think about him, about us, about what Christmas is not going to be, about previous Christmases; as long as I keep my mind a carefully distracted blank, it’s ok.

But Christmas keep sticking situations, people, whatever in front of me, so that I can’t ignore how things are. That things are totally different this year. I can’t ignore the fact that I’m doing this on my own. I can’t ignore the fact that he’s not here to hug me, to lend me a jacket when I’m cold, to curl up in a pub, or on the sofa or in bed with. I miss him SO much. My brain has been stuck remembering his hugs all day, whenever my guard drops. And it’s not just about him hugging me. I want to hug him. To show him how much I miss him, and want to hold him and keep him here and show him how much I love him. And it’s all too late. So there is absolutely nothing about my life that feels festive. I’ll try, but I don’t think my heart is going to be in it. Just like me, it’s just too broken.

I’m doing one day at a time, and the days keep passing. And like I said, I am getting through it. But I’m not enjoying them passing. I’m not having fun. A lot of the time I’m just numb, because I’m busy, oh so busy, focusing on something, anything else. So I can keep my toes out of the sea of tears, keep the walls up, stop the floods. Pick whatever metaphor that means that all my distraction & displacement behaviour keeps me from crying all the time.

And it’s possibly the worst time of the year for wanting, needing, to have other people around, because everyone is so busy with their only families and commitments, just as they should be. I don’t want to ask, to intrude. I’m not complaining, or bitching, man I SO get it. If Matt was here, I’d 100% be spending time with him, and with him and my kids, and his kids, and whatever else we were committed or obligated to do. We’d be together as close to 24/7 as we could be, as ever. I am so grateful that my kids are around, this would be much much worse without them.

Luckily it’s time for bed. Sleep beckons. The land of nod, of make believe, of being anywhere but here. And I do actually have something to be doing tomorrow; catching up with Matt’s best mate Liam, and his missus & their baby. Which I’m really looking forward to. To hanging out with someone who knew the same Matt I did and who gets it. Plus there’s the playing with cute baby thing so, you know, another upside. But I also know I’ll cry my way all the way there and back in the car because we should be doing it together, I shouldn’t be doing it on my own. This reality is still completely surreal. But it is now my reality. How the f*ck did it come to this?

One of those days

I seem to have done nothing today but sort things out for Matt, think about Matt, talk about Matt, cry about Matt. He may be gone, but he sure as hell still takes up a lot of space in my life. Which is ironic, since mostly my life revolves around the void he has left behind.

Work is busy, and stressful, and I’ve had at least one panic attack today, and floods of tears on and off triggered by dealing with various things all day. Anxiety is a bitch. I never had that before. Not loving it.

My counselling session went well, I think. I talked, we talked, we discussed things that might help, things that might not, why I might be feeling some of the ways I am, and why I shouldn’t feel some of the ways I am. I think it helps. And I’ll keep going for the time being. To have an unbiased ear, to be told that how I’m feeling is normal, that how things are is sh*t, to be given suggestions that might help, and to be allowed to express myself, and cry if I need to, is good. It helps. As people fade back into the woodwork and back to their lives, it’s good to know some people are still listening. Even if I have to pay this one 😉

Nothing and no-one can do anything about the fact that I miss him like hell, and I wish he was still here, and still can’t believe he isn’t. And nothing can change the fact that he isn’t coming back. He can’t.

I dreamt of him the other night. It doesn’t happen much. But towards the end of the dream, we’d curled up together on the bed, and he was spooning me from behind, and he said how nice it was and how he liked it, and I said the same, and as I woke up, I was actually reaching around behind me and pulling his arm tighter around me. Just like once upon a time… And although waking up to my harsh reality would often have broken me for hours, and yes, there was nothing there, it actually just felt really nice and really comforting.

I don’t know how dreams work. Hell, I don’t know how anything works anymore. But it was nice. And I’ll take that. Love you Matt, as ever, and forever. xx 💔 😭

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 😭💔

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. 😭💔

 

Three months

So yesterday marked three months since Matt died. Time is weird. I feel like it’s been no time at all, yet it feels like forever since I last talked to him. Saw him. Held him. Touched him. Had him sleeping next to me. And whether it’s the monthiversary, or the time of the month, the phase of the moon, or whatever, I have been missing him massively this weekend.  I have been crying on and off, even more so than usual. I just miss him SO much. I still don’t know how to do this without him.

I have all our emails, all our texts, and I think I’ve managed to back up all our WhatsApp conversations over the years. But they’re then, and not now, and I could read them, but I can’t, because they make him feel so alive to me when he just isn’t. Facebook memories and their associated comments are bad enough. Every comment from him is like a tiny little stab to the heart. A dead voice from the past speaking to my present. All I want is him, here with me, now and forever, like it was supposed to be.  I can’t have that, and the pain that comes with knowing that is just indescribable and inconsolable.

I have lost a fiancé and gained a kitten. Lovely though Max is, when he stops hiding underneath the bed, it feels like a pretty poor exchange. I am hoping that in the long run Max will bring me out of myself a bit, and also out of wandering around the town trying to find a place to be. That was the plan after all, according to the counsellor. And Matt is, if he is still somewhere, is up there wherever shaking his head at me getting another kitten. Well if he was still here, I wouldn’t have to, would I?

I came home, having been out seeing Sharon, and popping into the pub to see Austin (working there) and unexpectedly at short notice Kevin (Matt’s boss and my friend) who suggested a quick drink. Which was actually all very lovely. But then it was time to come home, and look after the kitten, and to be at home. And I got stuck on the door step. Stuck between that place four years ago when I lived on my own and going home to an empty place sucked, and this place where I live on my own and I’m now going home to a place where Matt isn’t, and will never be, and where I wish he was, which is infinitely worse. I didn’t want to turn the key, open the door, and face my current reality. I just wanted to stay in that Schrödinger’s moment where he could still be at home, still be mine, still be with me. And then I came in, and then…

Oh my beautiful boy, I miss you so much. I am clinging on to reasons to stay here and not join you. I know I really shouldn’t be considering that, even though sometimes I really, really, really want to. I can’t tell if I don’t want to be here anymore full stop, or I just want being here to not hurt so, so, so much. If there was any guarantee that not being here would mean being with you…I’d be there in a shot…but there isn’t. And there are people, and kittens, who need or want me to carry on being here, even if I don’t. So here I still am, one day at a time…

I was going to say that I don’t know what I want. Except I do. I want you back. I just want you back here with me. And I can’t have that. Explain to me how I live with that? This is so, so hard. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I have no idea how people do it, other than knowing that I am doing it, and I guess you just keep on doing it, and that hopefully at some point it gets that little bit less painful, that little bit easier. Surely it can’t get worse?

Everyone keeps telling me how well I’m doing. By whose standards? And yeah, I’m probably doing a bit better than I was, but I’m also very good at being one person on the outside, and another on the inside. Whether I like it or not, time is passing, and although I hate it, and I really do, you are slipping further and further away from me, and that hurts too. I hate leaving you, and us, behind. When all I want is us back. I want to roll over, curl up with you, hold on so tight and never let you go. I want to be back then. I love you. I miss you. 😭💔

Still not here

We went to look at a male Ragdoll kitten today, as the counsellor thinks something to look after that needs me, that is affectionate, might help ground me, give me a reason to be at home, and give me something to focus on. Ragdolls fit that spec. Matt had always been pretty much against a third cat. Which didn’t stop me wanting to ring him and talk to him about it, and ask his advice. And his advice for now, not then, because I know back then he would have said no, but in this circumstance, maybe he would think a new kitten would be a good thing for me. But I couldn’t ask him. I can’t ask him. I’d like to think he’s up there looking out for me, or looking after me, but whether he is or isn’t I’ll never know.

So I asked the Twitterati. Who said buy kitten. Well, the internet is all about cats and kittens, right? 😉 Their decision wasn’t exactly a surprise. And I kinda knew where I was going with it but… So tomorrow I will be picking up a new distraction. I don’t know if it’s a good idea or not. I have no self confidence, and no confidence in my ability to make the correct decisions about things. But hopefully it will help. What do I have to lose? Ragdolls are supposed to be affectionate and clingy and need attention, and…maybe it will work. Maybe it will help. Maybe I will come home to hang out with the kitten instead of floating restlessly around from pub to pub. In which case it will have been worth the money.

Then I went to work. And then I went to the Doctor, who thinks, unexpectedly, that I should stay on the meds, at the current level. He’s worried that if we pull that rug out from under me, I’ll just feel worse. The anxiety is probably, arguably, just a product of what I’ve been through and the process of dealing with it. He made it very clear that what I have been through is a massive trauma, well above and beyond the normal for such things (like there’s a normal), which I should not underestimate. Some people wouldn’t even have made it out of bed at this point, (which sounds quite attractive tbh), and he wanted me to know that I’m actually doing pretty well all things considered. Better than ok. I do wish it felt like I was doing well though. But it doesn’t. I’m just trying to do life because I don’t have any choice. Still, at least he’s continuing to prescribe me the diazepam, which is my lifeline when I can’t get a grip, or the anxiety gets too much.

And then after that I went to the pub, and had an unplanned and unexpectedly nice evening at the Lamb, with an ever changing group of people and friends. And it was nice. And I played nice, and was sociable and everything. I even nipped out to the FOAC Christmas Fayre in the Town Hall and picked up a couple of bits, and pretended that Christmas isn’t something that I really wish wasn’t happening and would rather ignore. I put on the face that people needed to see, and yes, I actually enjoyed some of it. I’m led to believe that’s allowed, even if it feels weird to me. I still don’t feel engaged with any of it, but it’s a bit like knowing how to play the game. Even if you feel like you’re watching it all from the outside, if you’re convincing enough, you can almost convince yourself you’re normal too. I SO am not.

But eventually I had to come home. On my own. To an empty house (Austin is at his Dad’s). And it doesn’t matter how good or distracting the interludes are. The reality remains the same. I still came home to an empty house, where you are not. I can’t tell you all about my evening, talk and laugh about what people said and did, and then snuggle up with you, put the world outside away, and go back to just being us. I don’t like it. It still all feels horrible and wrong and actually it feels worse as you get further away from me. I feel like I’m leaving you behind and losing even more of you. I feel guilty for moving on, even just a tiny bit. I want to go back, and I can’t. I don’t love you any less though. And I miss you just as much. Your side of the bed feels particularly empty tonight. 😭 💔