I haven’t written for a while now. At least, not in the consistency I was previously.
The reason being, I had finally seemed to turn a massive corner. I didn’t need to write. I felt good. In fact, I had fully intended to write a positive piece about how much better things were. I still had niggles day to day, but generally things were looking much brighter.
If there is one thing I’ve learnt from grief, it is to really appreciate the good days. I mean really appreciate them. Because you never know when you’re going to be knocked off your feet again. I don’t think I expected to be knocked over quite so hard. I began to take my happiness for granted. The true feeling of happiness, seeing photos of myself smiling on my birthday – genuinely smiling. I was in control.
I had been mentally preparing myself for a hard day. A day I was actually looking forward to, but also a day that I was dreading. It was a normal celebration day. A day that most people would find fun, not challenging. It was a family day.
But it was going to be a day that would take every single bit of strength I had to get through, despite very much looking forward to it.
I can do this, I thought. I have the strength now. I fought through the tears. I told myself it was going to be fine. But I still didn’t know how I was going to react to this particular situation and I was terrified of making myself look like an emotional wreck in front of everyone.
As the moment unfolded, my throat tightened and I started shaking uncontrollably. I needed to hold my glass of water with two hands and I gulped it back. The adrenaline of all the nervousness before hand ran through my entire body.
I did what I had to do. Something that took me by complete surprise. I took a big deep breath and faced my grief, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and PND head on. I threw caution to the wind and totally kicked them all in the balls. I didn’t care, I just got up and did it. Have that!
I think I was on auto pilot, if I’m perfectly honest. I didn’t make any conscious decisions, I just got up and did it without a single thought. I actually did it. I submerged myself in the experience. Feeling warmth and almost tranquil. I smiled. To begin with, I couldn’t look at Stuart for fear of falling off the cliff that I felt very close to the edge of. So I kept within the moment. Almost like I was standing upright in a bubble, balancing on the edge. One gust of wind in the wrong direction and it could be all over.
I stayed firm. I carried on smiling. I eventually managed to look at Stuart. I can’t pretend I didn’t wobble. I shed a few tears under my sunglasses, but he looked so proud of me. He whispered in my ear some words of encouragement and a glow washed over me.
It was all going to be ok.
The past few weeks have been so good. We’d had some wonderful times together, we’d been away, my birthday had just passed, and our two year anniversary. I even had a few hints that my ultimate dream might one day soon come true. Things were really looking up.
I think, at that point, I felt almost like I had made it. But my demons had other ideas. They do not like losing. I had beaten them and they were going to make damn sure that I paid for it.
I had a sudden feeling of excitement. In hindsight, I know now that this was the start of the demons teasing me, dragging me into a false sense of security. This little feeling entered my mind, like an instinct that my dream was about to become reality. However, I was soon to find out that my instinct was very very wrong. All that strength I had built up over the weeks collapsed in one fell swoop. I was winded and utterly broken. My emotions took hold of me and that gust of wind pushed my bubble off the cliff edge. I crumbled into a thousand pieces.
But that day wasn’t the day to do that. There was brand new, and totally unexpected, joy all around me. I wanted in, desperately. But I was trapped in the centre of this happy world that was spinning around me at 100 miles an hour. I needed to be alone, at home, in my pillow fort. But there was no way. I had to put a brave face on. I had to, not just for me, but for everyone, the boys, Stuart, everyone. This was not my moment, and I could not be the one to ruin it.
Think of all the happy times with Stuart and the boys, keep your head above water, Molly, and keep swimming. This is not about you. Do not make it so.
But the demons had other ideas. I had rope wrapped around my throat getting tighter and tighter, and something was sitting on my chest, but all I could do was smile through it. Who knows, if I smile enough then this will all go away. The rest of the day was like being in slow motion, the water I was treading felt like treacle, but all around me everything was in fast forward.
A few days later and I still can’t breath, my throat is still tight, and I know I have been pushed back massively. But I also know that the past few weeks have been so wonderful, and have given me that hope that happy times can be had.
Since I had this relapse, my wonderful boyfriend, partner in crime, and absolute rock, has been so incredibly patient and understanding. He has held me, and allowed me to talk about my pain, taking care of me and my feelings. He is keeping the wonderful momentum we had ticking away and, even when he can’t be with me physically, he is still there. He’s reassured me that I am just having a wobble and it will all be ok again, and he’s right.
People will continue to have the excitement I need so much, it is how the world goes around, and we are of the age that this is going to happen more and more frequently. It hurts. More than I can ever put into words. I’d sooner lose a limb or break all the bones in my body than experience this. I have had to hide so many people from social media just to get through each day, sometimes even people who know people. I have to cross the road time and time again, and I live in fear of the next pregnancy announcement that isn’t mine, even on TV (I fully admit I’ve screamed at the telly in frustration, when I’m alone)
But I just need to keep searching for a way through it. Find the happiness again that I have had the past few weeks. Like I said, it isn’t about me and I can’t be the one to ruin someone else’s joy because of my own pain, despite how much it hurts.
I’ll keep dreaming of that joy of my own and, one day, perhaps my dream will come true. But until then, I need to keep fighting.
I will keep fighting.
Demons….? Challenge accepted.