You think you’ve gotten through it. You think the gut thumping heaving sobs you’ve endured long into the night have all but washed you out of any grief you’ve got left to give. You think that going back to work and throwing yourself into it has cleared the sinuses of your despair. You think the exhaustion you feel that wraps your body tightly will surrender you to sleep when you crawl into bed.
You think. You think. You think.
Everyone keeps asking if you’re OK. Being stoically British you’re expected to smile and maintain that stiff upper lip, and say ‘yes’. The problem is, you’re not OK. Only the befuddled state on their faces when you say you’re not, and their need to cheer you up stops you from being honest. People don’t want to hear you’re not OK.
The grief has become a roller coaster. It pulls you down into its cold cave and makes you weep, to the point where you’re doubled over in your kitchen sobbing until it robs you of breath. Then you have days when you feel a little bit more ‘up’, then there’s a stupid advert for ‘how we do Christmas’ on Sky. There is little else you can do but ride the roller coaster and hope that the ride comes to an end (like you know it inevitably will).
Being honest? I’m not OK. When I do sleep my dreams are vivid and spook me when I wake up, my heart pounds and fear about everything washes over me. I have to claw myself out of the dream only to find that when I fall asleep the dream is just paused and it continues to play like a bad horror movie (note – I don’t like horror movies).
In the last 12 months (because the anniversary is next Tuesday), I have lost the ability to have children (through no fault of my own), saw someone walk out my life I care for immensely, and I’ve lost my dad.
It’s bad enough when you have to grieve for the loss of one thing, because losing the ability to have children forces you to grieve for its loss. But when you lose 3 things? well as someone said on Saturday he was surprised I wasn’t running naked down Marlborough high street. I wonder this myself.
I’m nervous. I’m filled with anxiety. I’m exhausted. I’m barely functioning.
I paint on a facade like an adobe render, hiding the cracks and flaws underneath. Only it’s getting too exhausting to paint it on everyday so I’m hiding away and trying to simply function. I’m living in PJs and hiding under blankets.
My mantra has become, ‘one foot in front of the other, and remember to breath’.
Life isn’t what it used to be, and I don’t yet know what it’s going to become.