You’ll never walk alone

Yesterday various things happened. I wrote a long post. And then I left it unpublished…

You see a while ago someone, for whom I have a great deal of respect, posted on a local FB group; it was a piece about the value of taking time to think things through, and about considering what you put online, amongst other things.

Wise words, don’t you think?

So here’s the version you are getting today, after thought and upon reflection.

Yesterday was a long, hard, emotional day. And as is ever the case these days, life had to pile an extra layer on top of what was already bad…

But let’s get back to starters. Yesterday was Jake’s funeral. We all gathered in the Square. We watched the hearse arrive, cried as his beautifully decorated coffin was carried into the church, and then sat outside and watched the livestream of the whole thing. As a Liverpool fan, the coffin had “You’ll never walk alone” written down the sides, with the Championship shield at the end, his army cap on top, and a Liverpool flag neatly tucked under that. It was unsurprisingly sad, and tragic, and I have been to too many funerals in the last year, and I really, really, really hope this is the last one for quite some time. I cried a lot, also unsurprisingly. I will miss him, as I will miss those others that I am still mourning. However weird it was, thanks to Covid, it was still a lovely service, even viewed remotely, and come the end, as closer family and friends exited to that immortal song, and relocated to the graveyard for the burial, and then the wake, Kevin and I stayed sat in the sunshine, with various others from time to time, and sank a fair few lagers in Jake’s honour. He’d have approved, and then some. He will never walk alone, and we will all carry a part of him with us.

A little while later, the two of us relocated to the Riverside Inn in Cheddar, to drink, eat, and as it turns out, to chat to a whole new bunch of surprisingly nice and interesting people. It was one of those days when you can drink lager all day, without feeling any effect….weird but true. But it was fun, and nice, and you know, it’s actually been quite a good week as these things go and although I am sometimes tempted to prod my thoughts to see if I’m still actually sad underneath it all (yep, still sad & grieving down there), I’ve mostly done a pretty good job of not doing that. I’ve just been going with it, getting on with life things, and generally holding it together a little better than usual. So a sad day turned into a nice evening, a nice way to round off the week – amongst friends, and out of town.

And then on to the life piling things on top of you, just as you were starting to scrape yourself off the floor…

…and this is where I have decided to leave that. Ever since Matt died I have made it my mission to do my best by him, and by us. To take the high road. It’s about integrity and respect and courtesy. Whatever happened to upset me yesterday, venting about it and how I feel about it here would serve no purpose, and also defeat that object. It’s enough thatย I knew him, and I still know him. I know who and what we were to each other. No-one can take that away from me, or from us. So that’s that. Yes, I am hurt, and I am upset, but although that’s not ok, it is what it is, and in some respects it’s taught me a couple of lessons I should have learnt already, and that’s probably a good thing.

And so, moving swiftly on as they say, to today. To be fair, I should have been hungover. I wasn’t. I had set myself two projects for this weekend, and after a lie in, and some chilling time, I actually achieved one of them. I have created a new pvc covered foam cushion for our much loved rocking chair, complete with protective back panel (our cats have been expressing their territorial issues in less than pleasant fashion…). It fits the sitting space perfectly, and more importantly it’s also comfortable! Tash helped me and it was really nice to work on something together, in collaborative supportive stylee. And I also got to use my Gran’s old hand operated Singer sewing machine which always pleases some ‘family as heritage’ part of me. It’s oddly satisfying. Maybe I’ll get the second project done tomorrow. Maybe I won’t. Although today wasn’t as good as it could have been, thanks to yesterday, it could have been worse. I got something done. One day, and one project, at a time? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sometimes it’s just not fair

So yeah. It’s really late. I should be in bed, at the very least trying to sleep, if not actually sleeping.
But it’s been one of those days. I woke up late, surprise surprise, and then remembered what I was waking up to. Not good. As the numbness wore off, the pain hit home again, and man, really? How? Why? How do I keep carrying on when life keeps doing this kind of sh*t?

And last night in one of my dreams I was with Matt. No biggie. Not one of those big visitation dreams people talk about. Just a dream where we were riding my subconscious rollercoaster together. And even though the details faded too fast, as dreams do, I know it was nice to see and be with him again. It was just the natural order of things. Him and I together, being us, no big deal. Except it is when you wake up and it’s just me and he’s gone again. I know it’s all coincidence and random and life isn’t really out to get me, and I’m not actually jinxed. but… Hint: not sure I can handle this, let alone any more.

Nonetheless I got up. I did stuff. I drove to Bridgwater and picked up new ear plugs because, you know, why not? I even did work because like, how do I tell people, like my boss, “hey, you know, I’m sorry, but I’m going to be a bit off radar again for a little while again”. Yes. Again. Why? Yeah, well, and I know this keeps happening, and I know it sounds unbelievable, and yeah, I can’t believe it’s happened to me again too, and I know it sounds like I’m just trying to skive out of stuff, but honest to god I’m not. Thing is, that guy killed on the bypass yesterday? Yeah, well, he was my friend. And I’m really sorry, but I’m not sure work is something I can be doing today. So yeah, no, I didn’t say that, even though that is so totally how I feel. I can’t believe this is my life, how could anyone else? It’s too unbelievable, there’s no way it could be true…but this is my truth.

I am so glad today happened to be the time for my next phone call with my counsellor because, you know, I’ve not got enough people to talk to as it is, and this, this on top of everything else? Just too much. I took myself out of the house and headed into the fields, so that I could talk to her without an audience. And it did help. To be allowed to express myself, to be reassured that how I am feeling is normal, that to be knocked over and over again is totally allowed to hurt like f*ck. That just doing one day at a time, doing what I can do, even just remembering to breathe, can be an achievement when things are this bad. And if I’m not ticking every box going, well hey, it would be a miracle if I was. And all that I could constructively do today was to donate toward the GoFundMe account for his funeral/wake/tombstone. Which is just sh*t. No fair. Stop the ride, I want to get off.

Tonight we, as in we three, went out to Kevin’s for outdoor drinks and so forth. Kevin knew Jake well. Better than me in some ways. And tonight Liverpool won the Championship League (excuse me if my terminology is off) and Kevin was over the moon, but with that bitter sweet tempered by the fact that Jake would also have been thrilled… It’s just not fair. Nothing is fair anymore.

Nonetheless we had a really nice night. There was chat and food and music and drinks, and I really kept an eye on not drinking much, the kids less so, because if I’m going to be drunk and emotional, then I want that to be here, not there. And at some point the fat rain started, and it was time to come home.

But, even though we were home, I couldn’t go to bed. I had to sit and be home and watch TV and kind of ground myself back here before I could head to bed. I can’t explain it really. It is what is is. As ever. And now it’s bedtime.

In the next few days I’m going to start weaning myself off these anti-depressants. I don’t think they’re helping with the depression, and the weight they have made me gain just makes me feel even worse about myself, and I already have massive body image issues. I also think they’re at least partially to blame for how sedated and dopey and incapable of getting up in the morning I am these days. Which doesn’t help with me trying to get on with life. Austin is worried about me coming off them. He thinks it’s a bad idea. But if dropping the dose makes me feel worse, I can just go back up again. And if coming off them doesn’t make things worse and then with that and the exercise I get back to my usual sort of size, then that will be way better for my mental health. Hey, I’m heading for being out ‘there’, single, old, overweight, and with baggage. Hopefully it’s a good decision. We’ll see. But that’s an experiment for another day, maybe the weekend. Not now.

Now, finally, it’s time to try sleeping. The fan is blowing, the phone will play me sleep meditation, and what do you know, it’ll be Friday again. Tick, tock, tick, tock…

Really???

Last night in the early hours there was a helicopter out again, bringing with it all the usual thoughts, and feelings, and memories…

Every time I hear one, as it does the hovering, searching, or landing near here thing my heart sinks.

And it was right to.

Facebook this morning was full of the single vehicle accident on the bypass last night, complete with fatality, and the bypass being closed for investigations, and the chaos of traffic coming through town instead. Etc. Etc. Speculation abounded in that, ‘ooh I wonder what’s happened, I hope everyone is ok’ way, which is merely thinly veiled nosiness.

In the meantime I wasn’t having a great day, but I was coping better than sometimes, and the sun shone, and I kept it mostly together, even if I didn’t get a lot done. I even left the house, to pick up some shopping, and a skateboard, and I went and sat in the church for a little while (it’s finally partially open again) and though I’m not religious, I managed to find some sort of peace for a little while, which stayed with me for longer than it sometimes does. I was doing sort of ok, briefly…

However bad news spreads, a little slower in lockdown, but it still gets around. And it turns out that a friend of mine, Jake, was that fatality. He was only 24. I’ve known him since he was 16/17, and for whatever reason we got on really well. He was a cheerful, cheeky, cocky lad, who played a mean game of pool, laughed a lot, flirted a fair bit, and who I beat frequently, because his cockiness would always get the better of him, and being beaten by a girl dented his not insignificant ego a little, but he never took it badly. We just had such a laugh, every time we hung out. He was like an extra little brother, and we’d stayed in touch on and off even when he moved away for a bit. He ended up back around here, and I’d see him around from time to time, and we’d play the odd game of pool if he was in the Crown, or chat in passing elsewhere. He was so sweet after Matt died – he just gave me a huge hug and genuinely sincerely cared how I was feeling. I’ve got so many happy memories of long drunken nights playing pool with him and taking the piss, shooting the breeze, whatever, over the years. I’m going to miss him heaps. It’s probably just as well that the Crown is unlikely to reopen after lockdown, because it won’t be the same without him popping up there, and if we’re not all in there, we can’t notice that he won’t be either… It’s not like I saw him a lot, or often, lately…but every now and then, there he’d be. And now he won’t ever be again.

I am absolutely gutted, and I can’t believe he’s gone. So young, so alive, such a character…gone. And I can’t believe that yet another person in my life has gone either. Just like that, another person has become just memories. I’m torn between floods of tears and a very very weird numb sort of detached feeling.

Life is horrible, and cruel, and unfair, and shit, and it can always get worse. Like I didn’t know that already…๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ˜ญ.

So RIP Jake. I bet you’d be surprised by how upset everyone is, and by how much you’ll be missed. We are, and you will. Rack ’em up; one day soon enough I’ll be in the beyond too, and I think you owe me a game…