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…




I am so tired of doing this. Of feeling like this. Day after day after day. I’ve tried to reach out to my mates, and ask for help, for contact, for support, and I’ve managed to make arrangements to see the odd person over the next week or so, but I’m so introverted these days that I’m so anxious about going out and seeing them, even though I know it’s a good thing to be doing, that I could easily end up bailing. There’s a couple of people I should call back, but I just can’t bring myself to. I’m not good with phones. I know I need to get out. I know I need to talk to people. But I know that even when I do I won’t have the kind of conversation I actually need to be having. I won’t pour my heart out and let people in. I’ll play nice and say the right things and put on a brave face and skip over the awkward bits, and pretend I’m getting by.  And I’m not. Not by a long shot.

And while I keep myself to myself and try not to spread misery everywhere I go, and keep out of everyone’s way and not be a burden, the kids are bored, and when they’re not they’re doing their own thing, seeing their own friends and generally carrying on regardless. Eldest was in his room all day today and literally only appeared for food. Youngest is around more, and being a bit more helpful, and is doing the cooking, but in the meantime eldest gives me attitude every time I ask him to do anything cos, like, why should he, he lives here, but it’s not his house and his things and his pets so why should he do anything about tidying up after himself, or helping with shopping, or feeding them, right? And so just like now when he was being sloppy and lazy about putting the recycling out, he snaps at me for pointing that out, and just like when he snapped at me the other day, what he said was cruel and uncalled for and it hurts, and everything already hurts, and on top of everything else, it’s just too much. I already don’t want to be here. I love them both to bits; they’re the only good things in my life…so if my kids don’t want me to be here either then there really isn’t any point, is there? They’re old enough now that they’d just carry on regardless. They have money, they’d inherit my money and the house; job done. Everything they need without the parental overlord around – who could ask for anything more?

The last couple of days have been full of randomly triggered memories and flashbacks, and I just feel like I’m drowning in them. There he is…and then there he isn’t again. And it hurts so much. What with those, and Fathers’ Day, and just…just everything…it’s too much. I don’t want to do this anymore. Don’t panic though. Well, not now anyway. I’m safe for the time being. I’m going to bed, I’m going to sleep, and I’m going to hide in my dreams for as long as possible, even though I have work I should be getting up to do. And then finally I’ll have to wake up, and realise that all I have ahead of me for the day is another day of what today was, what yesterday was, what the day after tomorrow will be. And there’s no-one here to hold my hand through it. To hug me when I’m falling apart. To listen to me say all the things that are eating me up inside. Not only is the one person who could have done all of that the reason behind it all, but he’s also gone and so, for the most part, has everyone else. I’m not strong. I’m not brave. I’ve never felt so incapable of coping in my life. Is it any wonder I’m struggling? How the f*ck does anyone get through this? You’d have thought it would get better. It doesn’t. In fact I’d swear it’s getting worse, precisely because it isn’t getting better. Hope does not spring eternal. It gets eroded away just like everything else. Don’t let the bastards grind you down? Too bl**dy late. Each day is another mark on the wall of the prison cell, just counting down the days until I get to walk through those gates… I hate the me I am now.

I just wish I didn’t feel so alone, and so lonely, and so sad. Is that too much to ask? Just a glimmer of light, a sign things might one day be better? No? Yeah, thought as much.


So today was as exciting as expected, so not exciting at all. It was just another day. Woke up later than I wanted, only to realise that there wasn’t much to be awake for anyway. I spent most of the day spring cleaning my laptop which was complaining about lack of iCloud memory. And rather than spend more per month on extra storage, I decided to get rid of a whole heap of unwanted stuff.

Which would be fine, if going through all my photos didn’t mean bumping into hundreds of photo of Matt, or Matt and I. And then there’s the photos he’s not actually in, but I know that I was talking to him at the time they were taken. For nigh on four years, if we weren’t physically together, we were headphones in each others ears, living vicariously together. And then apart from the photos, there’s the file with all our texts, the file with all our WhatsApp messages which I’ve saved because I don’t want to lose them, but reading them, even just a part of them, is like hearing him talk again, like having him in my ear again, and seeing in those words all the hopes and dreams and the love we had, and just wondering where the f*ck it all went wrong, and why, why, why isn’t he still here? It’s like bringing him closer just to emphasise how far away he is now. It’s indescribably painful.

We lived our relationship long distance for years, which was not easy, but it was worth it, because we were going to have forever together. We actually said that, in black and white, in a file that now sits stored for posterity, that means nothing to anyone else but us, and now just me. We said that one day we would look back on it all, on how hard it had been, on how much we’d loved each other then, from the future where we were busy being happy together forever, still loving each other just as much and more for the rest of our lives. Oh man. I wish…god, do I wish…

The long term long distance thing probably explains why I still half want to call him, msg him, text, him, or expect him to be likewise in touch…I was used to him not being physically being here but being able to contact him. Some habits are hard to break as far as my subconscious is concerned.  And now I don’t talk to anyone. I don’t talk to the kids, I haven’t seen a friend in ages, and the only person I’ve properly talked to is my counsellor who, though lovely, is paid to listen.

I just miss him. So much. It’s almost worse as the distance between now and then grows larger. I worry I’ll forget how those hugs felt, what his voice sounded like, the way he laughed, the feel of his hand around mine, the way he looked at and into me. Every day I lose him a little bit more, and I can’t get him, or any of it, back. I miss him. I can’t let go but he’s slipping through my fingers. I miss us. I miss who I was with him, how he made me feel, how he lifted me up, how I could make him laugh, how we cherished the way we supported each other. I know I am never going to be who I was again; that person died when he did. And I have no idea who I am now, or who I’m going to be. I’m not sure I’m anybody. I’m just empty. I’m pretty much just a dead woman walking.

Yesterday Tash said something, I forget what, and I actually laughed briefly. And I realised it had been the first time I’d genuinely laughed in days, if not longer. It felt weird. Rusty. I am so quiet these days, in so many ways. There’s a world full of thoughts and feelings inside that I daren’t touch, and so I segregate my thoughts, and keep to the safe and the routine and thus yet another day will pass, which could have been yesterday or tomorrow, as all my days run/blur together. Today’s spring cleaning meant bumping into far too much, and I didn’t even have anyone to share that with, to share how I was feeling about it, to lean on for support.

Grieving is hard work. It’s tiring. It’s walking down a long featureless road on your own, with no destination, weighed down and crippled by your thoughts and feelings, just putting one foot in front of the other, and hoping that one day the journey starts to make sense or have purpose, without any real faith that that will actually happen.

You know what worries me? That this lockdown will end, but my lockdown won’t. That everyone’s life will get back to ‘normal’, and I still won’t have anyone to see, to talk to, and I won’t have the lockdown to blame that on anymore. I’ll just have to face up to the fact that everyone moves on, everyone has their own lives, as they should, and that it’s really just plain old me now. The kids will move on, back to uni, off to other jobs. And there I’ll be. Just me, myself, and I… It doesn’t just worry me. It properly scares me. I really don’t think I can do this on my own. So when it comes to that point, what then?

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.

The well of grief

The kids went for a walk without me today. Which was good. They got some time and space together, and I’d have held them up, besides which I had some work to do. But it was also good because I could cry properly for a while. It’s an ugly thing; it’s noisy and it’s messy and it hurts physically and mentally. And it’s not optional.

It’s like a pressure cooker. The tears, the grief, it all just builds up inside you all the time, you can feel it rising, and by now I know that it has to come out…but I don’t feel able to let it all out with them here. They’ve seen it all before, and I think it makes them feel awkward; they don’t know what to do with it, with me, or what to say or do. They’re not feeling what I’m feeling. They don’t really get it (thankfully). And so I tend to bottle it all up. Which I know is bad. I get quiet, and withdrawn, and I feel small and numb and isolated and a bit like I’m outside of myself. And then my thoughts wander off, and end up in all sorts of unhealthy places…

As it happens I saw a friend today, for work reasons, and she’d actually noticed I’d gone quiet again, which was surprising. And nice, and unusual, and uncommon. She didn’t know quite what to do about it…but she’d noticed. I don’t expect, or actually even want, people to notice. Everyone has busy lives, and what would you say to me anyway? But it was nice that she had, nonetheless. And it was also nice to have a decent conversation with a grown-up I’m not related to. Also unusual and uncommon, given the times we are currently living in.

Anyway, somewhere in the roof, there is my sixth form yearbook. In there is a poem I wrote, about the well of grief that overflows intermittently, and never runs completely dry. It’s there because one of my best mates, and her mum, were killed in a car crash when she was 19. We hadn’t known each other that long, as these things go, but some people you just click with, and she had a beautiful soul. It was tragic, and heartbreaking, and had a big impact on lots of us. So in that yearbook is a memoriam to her – a few lovely photos alongside my poem, although it’s unattributed. It meant a lot that they chose to use it. (Yes, I was an angst ridden teenager, doing an English Lit A Level – of course I wrote poems). Then when I was 25, and Austin was literally only weeks old, my best mate, who was a fair few years older than me, was also killed in a car crash, and life got a little darker and a whole heap less colourful. We were a strange couple, him and I, but I got him, so he was himself with me. He always flew a little too close to the sun, and he lived fast and died young. Once again, it was tragic, and horrible, and all the things you’d expect it to be. (Yes, considering my track record now, it’s probably best not to get too close to me…) And as the years have passed, I’ve lost my share of grandparents and relatives, as you’d expect, considering my age.

So I thought I knew what grief was. How it worked. How you get through it. That you get through it. That if it happened to me again it would be ok, in that I would know that one day I would be ok again, so I’d be able to cope with it.

It turns out that I had no f*cking clue. Yes, I know this is different, and more complicated and traumatic, in oh so many ways. But it is SO much worse. How I felt when I lost those people doesn’t come anywhere near how I’m feeling now. Not even close. Which, I know, shouldn’t come as a surprise really. Love hard, grieve hard, as they apparently say. It’s still way worse than I ever imagined it could be. It’s like a part of me, and of my past, present, and future, has been ripped out; and that I will never be whole, or OK, again. It’s no wonder no-one understands except those that have been there themselves. It’s inconceivable until it’s unavoidable. But that well that overflows, constantly fills, and doesn’t dry up? I think that metaphor still holds pretty true. But I’m not going to be writing poems. Instead you get stream of consciousness blog writing. Plus ça change…

Another pointless day is done, and another one awaits. One pointless day at a time, day after day after day…

Graphical grief

Here. Have a picture. I wish I was allowed to use those scissors to cut that string…but I’m not.

Things seem to be getting worse day by day. I am back to crying at the drop of a hat, and like, ALL the time. Every day is the same. Yes, I’m no doubt feeling sorry for myself, and throwing a pity party, or whatever, but you know what, from where I’m sitting, inside my four walls, and inside my head, I am finding getting through each day harder, and harder, and harder.

Every morning I wake up, and get hit around the head with it all again. Yet again it hasn’t gone away. Yet again I’m not feeling any better. The massive weight that is absent, mostly, in my dreams, settles back down like a blanket over me again. Getting through the day is like walking across sinking sand, or through treacle, and the time passes so slowly and yet I get nothing done. I sit in the same place, doing the same things. And it’s shit.

Looking objectively at it, I know I should be happy. The sun is shining, it’s warm, the view is nice, the seat swings, the cats are around. I should be happy, and grateful for what I do have, and there are many people far worse off than me. I know that. And I try. I do. I try to be mindful and focus on that, and…yeah…no, it’s just not happening. I am not happy. I can’t make myself be something I’m not. And what I am is miserable, and lonely, and bored, and depressed. Broken and heart broken. Getting out of bed each day is getting harder and harder because, you know, pointless, and it kinda goes downhill from there until I finally get to bed, tired, drained & emotional, cry myself to sleep again, and then escape into my dreams, and then…repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

I know I’ve said all this before. I’m pretty sure I’ll say it all again. Because it’s not going away, now is it? But hey, I drew a picture, that’s something new, right?

I have to admit it’s not getting better

It’s not getting better. Not even with the sunshine. Not even with Austin at home.
I know the people talk of depression as the black dog.
This is not a black dog. Or cat. Or grey cloud.

I feel like I’m trapped in a hopeless dark place.
It’s the kind of feeling I think potholing would give me.
Stuck in a tight space with the walls and weight of the earth pressing in around me.
And panicky and scared that I’ll never get out.
That this is it.
This is how it’s going to be forever.
That this is my life until my life is over.

My thoughts have been ending up in some very dark places…

Oh, and the endo is off on one again too; now there’s a surprise. It always did have the most immaculate timing and, due to its hormonal nature, probably excarbates how I’m feeling. And it’s harder to cope when I’m in pain. It’s all very circular that way. Cycles, circles, circadian rhythms, ebbs, flows…

And with so much having happened, and still happening, as my oldest friend and I discussed today as she feels much the same albeit for different reasons (and it was so good to talk to her btw), I feel like I’m just waiting for the thing that finally breaks me. The one next thing that breaks the camel’s already weak back, and pushes me over the edge, to a place I won’t make it back from.

The way the world has been going over the last 8 months, I’m pretty sure it’ll come. That may sound fatalistic, but can you blame me? Really? I have plenty of reasons to feel that way. What can go wrong will, and has, gone wrong. I don’t know what it’ll be next. I don’t know what form it will take. I worry every time Austin goes to work. I worry about Tash being miles away and on her own and not with us. I worry about my folks. Heck, I worry about everything. And when whatever it is happens…?

A year ago, we were having a night away, in the sports car, in the sunshine, at The Sheppey, staying in our favourite room, just as a treat to ourselves. . It was amazing and private and happy and wonderful and everything we were at our best. And now? Another day of fears and tears. I don’t even recognise the me in that photo – that me is long, long, long gone. As is he. It’s like that me died with him. We’re both dead.

I was stupid enough to try and listen to music earlier…not a good move. And the random nature of what it churned out was beyond unhelpful. But since I did…in case, you need reminding, I need you, and I miss you, and I really would walk a thousand miles if I could just see you tonight.

And just so as you know, and you should have known, because I told you how much I loved you so many times; but I was amazed by you. You took my breath away. Eight months since you left, and I don’t love you any less. I think maybe I love you even more, because that love now has nowhere to go now. It’s all the things that aren’t. It’s the words I can’t say to you, the feelings I can’t share, the hugs I can’t hide in. It’s in all the tears that flow, the endless painful noisy crying that comes forth when I’m on my own. It’s in everything that isn’t and will never be.

What I wouldn’t give to have that car back on the road, with you behind the wheel, and us heading off again together, even if your driving did scare me witless half the time….

Love you forever, my eternally beautiful boy.

Ain’t No Sunshine

As predicted I slept through most of today. Part late night, part mad dreams, part complete lack of desire to be awake and dealing with reality. Austin went off to stay with the Ex for the day/night sometime mid morning, so being awake would just have meant me rattling around the house home alone, and that doesn’t go well in my current mental state. Eventually I did get up though. Places to be, people to see. I did chores, housework, washing, whatever. And I even went and sat on the spin bike for an hour, for the first time in probably like 18 months. I may not have pushed it much, but I worked up a sweat, so I guess that’s good right? I’ve been meaning to do it. I did it. So I achieved something today, if you look at it like that.

But even while I was doing it, it was like, why? Why am I doing this? What is the point? The last time I did this, Matt was here; he’d just arrived home from picking up Tate for the weekend. I could practically see them both in the doorway, in that vivid flashback way that seems to come with grief. If I turned ’round they’d be there, right…? Each time that kind of thing happens, it’s like being punched in the gut. It winds you, takes your breath away. Turns out it’s quite hard to cycle while crying… My exercise routine was part of what our normal life was. And life isn’t normal now.

I know I should be worried about being unhealthy, unfit, overweight, whatever…but I’m just not. I don’t really know whether I ever want to ride my bike ever again, because it had become something that I always did with Matt, because he would always be there to make sure I got home if my health issues got too much and I couldn’t carry on. I say I want to, and I know it would be good for me, for the headspace, and hopefully for getting back to riding with friends and so forth. Sounds great in theory. But the idea of getting ready to go riding, putting kit on (supposing any of it still fits), getting the bike sorted, and actually getting on it and leaving the house…doing all those things without him? I’m not sure I can face it. I’d probably be crying too hard to even make it out of the Close, let alone out of town. Him, me, cycling, us; it’s all so intertwined I don’t know if it’s ever going to be possible to get back to a place where I’m happy to ride on my own. And let’s face it, even if I got past all of that, my health issues haven’t gone away. It’s going to hurt so much on so many levels.

In a related note, I went out for a cigarette the other day and someone wherever I was said, “you do know those things will kill you right?” And I was like, yeah, I do, and I don’t care. And I realised that I wasn’t just being flippant. I actually don’t. I don’t care if I get run over by a bus tomorrow. I may be doing my very best to cling on to life, and get the help I need to keep me here, but if someone/thing else should happen to take me out along the way well…that would be ok by me. That wouldn’t be my fault. It would probably come as a relief. Hey, by the looks of things, maybe Covid-19 will do the job. It’s certainly in the process of likely wiping out the few things that I have in my calendar that I am looking forward to. What chances of a gig in April or a show in May? I thought the shitty weather was bad enough, but no, life just keeps piling it on. Sure as f*ck ain’t no sunshine in my life these days.

Right now I’m at my folks again. Tomorrow morning we have another appointment as part of the long process of getting my Mum (agressive early on-set Alzheimer’s) sorted, so it made sense on several levels to sleep here tonight rather than at what passes for home, with Austin away. I had company, Dad had company, and there’s white wine. I’m fairly low maintenance really, even though I’m clearly also incredibly needy in lots of ways.

I can’t sleep all day tomorrow. I have to get up. So maybe I’ll try and make a start on this getting up earlier, going to bed earlier, drinking less thing. Or maybe I won’t. Ooh, the suspense…

Why bother?

It took me a long time to get out of bed today, good resolutions not withstanding. I know what my counsellor wants be to me doing. And I tried. I set alarms and everything. But why get up? I had nothing to do, nowhere to be, no-one to be with. Not until 7.30pm anyway. Being asleep was infinitely preferable to being awake. Nonetheless I did make myself get up earlier than I wanted to, even if that was well into the afternoon. My dreams were so much better than awake was…

Once up, I was going to go and walk, but the forecast was for yet more grey and raining, so…you know, no thanks. I am so fed up the weather outside being exactly how I feel on the inside. So in between regular bouts of crying, I did chores, and housework, and accounts, and various similar stuff, whilst listening to the crimejunkie podcast, chatting with Jo, a ukpb friend, which was lovely, and generally pretending that life was ok and normal. And then I even had a shower and attempted to make myself clean if not presentable. I put clothes on, I put my war paint on, I put the right jewellery/armour on.

And then not so later on I went out to the Crown, and met friends and played pool, Austin joined us for a bit, and as the end of the evening drew nigh, for the first time in a long time, I msged Matt, which I know is completely pointless, but I just couldn’t help myself. I just wanted to tell him what was happening in my life, and how much I missed him. Tragic, I know.  Since I have his phone, if the contract is still going, I’m the only person who’s going to read it anyway. But it is what it is. We were always in touch…and there is such a gaping void now. I am reminded every time I want to text, to message, to call, that I can’t, and it hurts. To be reminded that he isn’t here. That he is gone, ahead of me, to somewhere I can’t reach, can’t follow, and let’s be honest, don’t even really believe in. He is gone, and it’s just me now. And I don’t like being just me. I feel naked and vulnerable and scared. This is not how my life was supposed to be and I can’t cope with how it has turned out to be. I’m still scared I won’t make it. But I’m still here, and still doing it, so I guess that’s something.

Yes, I had a nice enough night out. I saw friends. I played pool, which is my secret super power. I won more than I should have. I stayed out late. And it all meant f*ck all with no-one to share it with, no-one to be proud of me, no-one to go home and tell about it and to appreciate it all. Hence me msging him I guess. Although if I’d been out, he’d always have been with me. Still… I may have made new friends. I may even end up seeing new people. Matt would have loved them. But he’s not here, and without him? It’s hard to find the motivation to do anything other than go “meh whatever”, and go back to sleep. I don’t want new friends, I want him. I stayed out, I played the game, and then I walked home alone, crying as I went. I guess this is my new normal. It sucks.

I just want him back. It’s all I want, all the time. And I know that is never happening. I am having to learn to negotiate this new bleak world without him. And our story is part of what I have to tell new people I meet. Hi. Yes, I’ve been here x years, I was married, I was divorced, I met my soul mate, and last August I lost him. And now it’s just me and my kids, and life just generally sucks. It’s perky meeting me. Bet you wish you hadn’t asked about my life now. Yet another reason I don’t talk to people. I don’t want to share such a personal part of my life with strangers.

Two years ago I was curled up with Matt, after a bad pain patch, watching a film. I would give anything to turn back time and be back there. He keeps cropping up in my dreams at the moment, and maybe that’s some weird way of him popping by and checking in. Or maybe it isn’t, because they’re just f*cking dreams, and dreams are weird and irrational and make no sense anyway. It’s lovely to see him, to be with him…but sooner or later I have to wake up to the reality that he’s not here. Again. Over and over and over again. And that still kills me every time. Every day I wake up, I realise what real life is, and then I cry a lot, and try and go back to sleep and chase what little of him I have left.

I don’t really have any reason to wake up and get on with stuff tomorrow. It’s really late now, so I have an excuse to sleep in anyway. So yes, I drank too much, stayed up too late, but…I reckon it was worth it for the being out and seeing people and pretending to have a life, even if it isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing from a self-help point of view right now.

This is not a brave new world. It is a scared new world. It is a world I no longer know how to live in. I frequently don’t even want to live in it. But I am still putting one foot in front of the other and hoping, even though I really don’t do hope, that one day it will ease a little. One day I will see a future, and be strong enough to live in it. I hope.

It makes me think of Deadpool 2. When he goes down and sees her, the other side of a barrier he can’t get through. Matt loved those films. He was a soppy sod, and those films made him cry every time. And now he’s the other side of a barrier I can’t get through. I wish I knew/believed. That he could see me now. That he wants the best for me, that he’s looking after me, and waiting for me. But sadly I’m too realistic/pragmatic. But if there’s any chance…please, help me find my way through this. Hold my hand, lead me through the minefield, and help me find my way to a better place. Love you my beautiful boy, just as much, if not more, as I ever did.

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…