Overwhelmed at making me

Overwhelmed. That’s my emotional state at the moment. I have a million questions running through my mind and it seems there are very few answers.

I’ve provided notice at work; I’ve got a moving truck booked and a storage unit confirmed; I’ve arranged for my electricity to be cut off and I’ve made the public announcement that I’m off travelling. My car and contents insurance have changed and internet is cut off. My apartment is about half packed and I’ve got lots of stuff ready to be given to charity. Yet I feel as though I’ve achieved nothing.

The majority of people have been supportive and encouraging of my travelling; only a few haven’t been. I’m trying hard to focus on the positivity and encouragement, but there is still the little – though quite loud – voice inside my head that wants to focus on the naysayers, the doubters, and the ones who question what I’m doing.

Dad asked me last week if I was doing the right thing; I said I simply didn’t know. Lili from work said she didn’t think she could do it, and asked why I was. I said I need to get away, I’ve had a rough year and I need a change. She asked if I was travelling to find love – by travelling I’m just making the geographic space larger and therefore making it harder to find. I’m not travelling to find love.

Why am I travelling? I’ve just had a call with Gary and these questions came up. He still thinks I should get my British passport so I can go to Europe, work and travel so as to not spend my money and come home with funds available. He then asked why I’d given notice at work, especially since I don’t have anything booked yet, don’t have set plans or know what I want to do.

I told him that I can’t be here in February. He asked why and I said that was/is the due date. It took him a few seconds, but he cottoned on that the timeline is due to the miscarriage. Our call got disconnected shortly after and he’s just messaged me to say that I need to be around family at a difficult time and that if I’m travelling because of the miscarriage then I’m travelling for the wrong reasons.

This has all crossed my mind and is of course adding to me being overwhelmed. Why am I travelling? Will this help me in any way? What am I hoping to achieve? Am I travelling for the right reasons?

I’ve just responded and told him that the timeline for February is because of the miscarriage, but that isn’t the reason for me travelling. I don’t feel I have the support I need from my family to get me through this, no one understands how this has and is affecting me. Mum told me a while ago to just stop thinking about the timeline, simply forget about it. Dad just wants to hurt Gary for hurting me, Donna and I don’t have that sort of relationship, and when we saw each other for Christmas, she gave me a hug – for her, not for me. I said I couldn’t do it, and she said she needed to do it. Emma has been great; she’s said the right things, let me go on and listened, hasn’t dismissed what I’m feeling or judged me for it. But she’s going through her own stuff and needs to deal with that.

I finished off telling Gary that I am sad, lonely and depressed. I can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. During our call I told him that I wasn’t me right now, I hated who I am currently and I hate feeling depressed, crying at the drop of a hat and simply not being ‘me’.

I’ve never been one to ask for help. I do things on my own and don’t want to be a burden on anyone. I guess I feel like I have to prove to myself that I can do things alone, that I don’t need anyone else. But deep down, I don’t want to be alone; I don’t want to have to do things by myself. I want someone to share my life with, someone to do things with and someone who will be there to help – without me having to ask them.

When saying bye to my Aunty Elaine at our family Christmas party, I told her I was off travelling this year. She said that she thought this year was for making a baby. I responded that this year was for making me. I’ve clung to that since, waiting for the words to come so I can write about ‘making me’. When I retold this to Megan and Alison, Megan immediately started a cheers and we chinked our sangrias. That was the impact I was hoping for from a simple ‘making me’. It’s fallen short since.

There are times when I feel a big twinge of excitement at travelling, the thought of seeing and experiencing somewhere new. There is so much to see of this world and I’ve seen so little of it lately. I need to hold on to these moments, make them last and remember them. I can do this; I will do this.

The next few weeks won’t be easy, but it will get easier. I will tick off a few items on my to do list and I’ll know that I’ve achieved something. Things will happen. I may still cry at the drop of a hat, and you know what, that’s fine. It means I’m alive and feeling.

If making me involves getting overwhelmed at times, then so be it. I’ll get overwhelmed. I’ll feel nervous and scared. But that will pass and with each achievement, I’ll feel accomplished, happy and excited. That’s how I’ll make me. I’ll turn my overwhelming negativity and uncertainty into overwhelming positivity and opportunity.

In 2017, I will make me.

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Accepting my moments

So it’s been awhile. No, I haven’t slipped into a summer hibernation, no I’m not suddenly feeling better. I’m still not the best of me and I’m certainly not even close to my normal me. After my sick day, the doctor I saw recommended I touch base with my usual GP and also see my psychologist again.

We did briefly talk about going on medication. I’m not keen on it – I don’t want to be reliant on anything. I also feel that what I’m going through is small fry – inconsequential to so many others and really not in need of medication. While he didn’t change my mind and didn’t prescribe me anything, he did say that going on meds isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The overall message I’ve taken away is that when an organ is unwell, you take something to help it get better. Well, the brain is an organ, and right now, with me not being me, it isn’t in the best shape.

I said I’d discuss with my GP and I haven’t shied away from it. When I saw her, we brought it up. I said that I have up moments and down moments, and then my eyes filled up. I can’t get away from them. I told her my plans to travel and hoped that would help; she said to monitor over the next month and see how it goes. So I’m back to see her in a couple of weeks.

Chatting with my psychologist last week, I was in a slightly up mood; not the highest I’ve been, but certainly not in a bad moment. Seems quite typical really, make appointments when at the moment, I don’t quite need them. But we did cut through and again, my eyes filled up. Seems I have some anger towards mum and dad.

For my birthday, I’d told Manda that I was fine not seeing my family, but I wanted at least a card and perhaps some flowers. I got neither. Emma rang me twice so I was able to speak to all the kiddies, Donna rang once and I got a Facebook message and video from mum and dad. That was my birthday acknowledgement from immediate family.

Mel took me out for dinner and told me that I expect too much. Which I’ve realised that I do. I expect others to put in the effort I put in with them, but I don’t ask for it. Especially with family, I expect they should just know, be mindful of the effort I would extend and return the favour I’d shown them. Of course I wasn’t going to get flowers – I hadn’t asked and I’ve not got them before. Just because they were on the other side of the country didn’t suddenly mean they’d do something out of the ordinary. But still, it hurt.

We had our family Christmas party the weekend before Christmas. It was the first time I’d be seeing my aunts and cousins since I’d announced my engagement. They all know what has happened, mum saw to that. I did need a moment however. My cousin has just announced her pregnancy, she’s about 14-16 weeks now I think. Mum had told me so it wasn’t a shock to see her little bump, but it hurt. We gave each other a Merry Christmas and I added a ‘congratulations’, but it seemed to make her uncomfortable. She kind of shrugged it off and we didn’t speak again for the day. I don’t want her to be hiding her news from me, I want her to be happy and excited for what she’s going through. But I also really want that for me.

So I took my moment during the day and Aunty Joan caught me. She gave me a cuddle and told me it was okay to be sad at times, but not be sad all the time. I appreciated the gesture and that she was there for a cuddle – I’d been sitting alone with my sunglasses on. She told Uncle Mick, as when we were saying our byes, he gave me an extra hug and tight squeeze. From this, I’m annoyed that it was Aunty Joan and Uncle Mick who saw what I needed. Not my own mother and father.

Fiona asked me what I’m doing to self-soothe when I get upset and have my moments. I’d not really been doing anything. I get frustrated with myself for having a moment and crying. I did hug a cushion the day before the party, so I told her that. She told me I need to do more and not get angry with myself.

I feel additionally annoyed with myself as it’s now been five months since the miscarriage and I was only pregnant for such a short time. She pointed out that it’s not the duration of the event, it’s the significance that it holds. Being pregnant and engaged is pretty significant. Even if just for a short while, they are extremely significant. And having a moment, needing to cry, they’re just letting the emotions come out and clear. I shouldn’t be angry with them, or me, but rather allow the moments to come and wait for them to pass, which they will.

I went home for Christmas and had a moment getting my things together. I ended up on my bed, hugging my teddy bears. I ended up packing them both – they would be my soothers. I did use them before going to sleep Christmas Eve – I fell asleep with tears down my cheeks and Ted and Simba clasped tightly in my arms. Since coming home, I’ve been waiting for more moments and almost had one this morning. Instead of getting annoyed, I told myself it was fine. The emotions need to come out and it was normal and natural. I reminded myself I had my bed and Ted and Simba. The moment passed and my eyes remained dry.

I know things will get better and I have a long way to go. But if I accept my moments, learn to soothe myself and let them happen, they’ll be shorter and slightly more bearable. I won’t keep getting frustrated with myself.

I’ve still got issues to work through and so many plans to make, but for now, I survived Christmas and my birthday. They’re the worst, surely things can only get better from here?

Getting the best of me

I’m letting it get the best of me. I’m on the verge of giving up and just letting the depression take me over. I have good moments and low moments and downright miserable moments. I’ve let the miserable take me over today. This morning I was woken by the blinds tapping against a window and it did my head in. I got up and shut the window, and of course, minutes later my alarm went off. I snoozed my pre-set three times, then ended up just setting my timer for an additional 30 minutes.

I couldn’t bear the thought of getting up and facing the day. My head hurt, my belly ached and my mind wouldn’t shut down. I made a doctor’s appointment and made the call to tell work I wouldn’t be in today. The appointment with a doctor is wasteful, I just need a medical certificate so I can redeem sick leave. I know what’s wrong with me; I’m just too weak to overcome it today.

Mel and Alison came round for drinks Saturday night. We had no firm plans, other than have a couple and see what happened. We ended up drinking more than expected and stayed in. Mel got my phone again (okay – I handed it to her) and she got onto Tinder. Alison was curious how it worked, so we had a laugh. I had a like and a super like, but I’ve not followed up. I’m not in that space anymore, and the effort required is just non-existent right now.

This week marks my birthday, the anniversary of the night I met Gary and also my work Christmas party. I have no plans for my birthday apart from going to work. The idea of spending my birthday alone is really breaking my heart. I want someone to make me feel special, to show me that I am worth it, and worthy.

When I caught up with Manda and Jules last weekend, I told Manda that I had initially been planning to go to NZ to see what happened with Gary, but I was now thinking against it. She didn’t hold back and told me that he was all about him and that I was worth so much more. I deserved someone who would treat me well and be about me and for me. She did hit the mark though when she said that she knows I haven’t had much in the way of relationships, so clinging to this one isn’t good for me.

That’s the truth. I’m scared that there isn’t anyone else out there for me. As much as I know in my head that he isn’t right for me, I’ve not had much luck otherwise. He came up again this weekend with Mel and Alison. There’s no holding back by anyone now – my friends do not like him. I still want to protect him of sorts. I need to stop that as it is holding me back and stopping me from being happy.

He liked an old Facebook picture of mine – one from almost four years ago. I felt some of the power come back. Mel and I messaged him Saturday night – against my better sober judgment. I asked him 10 questions, not sure if he’d respond to them all. Oddly enough, he did. I asked why he was Facebook stalking me to which he said that he was wondering if he’d made a mistake. I also asked him if he wanted me to go to NZ. He said no.

I have asked him to elaborate on the NZ answer – I said it was harsh. But I don’t feel terrible about it – it has been increasingly obvious that he didn’t want me to go. I’d already decided I’m going to Asia anyway. I did tell him that he did make a mistake, but he needs to learn from it. So he’s again contradictory. He wonders if he made a mistake but also doesn’t want me to go. My head knows what is right and that he is not it, but my heart still has that soft spot.

Life, while not especially hopeful at the moment, will go on. I may not feel worthy or worthwhile at the moment but I do need to have my time outs. Today is one of those. Today can take away the best of me but I’ll bring it back. Not likely this week, or even this month. But I’ll get it back. I’ll be the best of me soon enough. I have to be.

I’ll get the best of me.

December’s lack of hibernation

It seems that I won’t be hibernating for December. My hope to fall asleep on 30 November and wake up on 02 January hasn’t happened. I fell asleep last night and when I woke up this morning it was 01 December. Best keep trying I guess.

I’m trying to make myself feel better, but I honestly can’t recall a time when I haven’t looked forward to December and all it had to offer; the start of summer, my birthday being a week away and then Christmas shortly after. I’m not even putting up my Christmas tree this year. I think I’ll even be spending my birthday evening alone.

I went home a couple of weekends ago to visit mum and dad and see my sister and the kids. I got there and dad comments how it’s been such a long time since we’ve seen each other. It had been awhile, about two months I think. I told him that it was a two-way road. He agreed, but said they never go that way. I again repeated it was a two-way road.

It’s frustrated me since. It is a bloody two-way road – you can travel in both directions at all times, not just to get me there and then come back. Coincidentally that was also the weekend before they were going away for a cruise. I asked when they were back, and mum told me it was 11 December, and I mentioned that it was after my birthday. Mum simply said yes, but we probably wouldn’t see you on your birthday anyway.

I love birthdays and celebrations, and while I don’t think we would have done anything on my birthday, it was just the delivery of the comment that they probably wouldn’t see me anyway. Thanks so much – glad to have some sort of an effort made.

Add to that and I’m told that our extended family Christmas actually won’t be held at mum and dad’s this year even though it’s their turn. My sisters aren’t talking to each other – yes, it’s extremely awkward and difficult for all of us. But to use that as a reason for not wanting to hold a family Christmas, make the decision and not discuss it with any of us and just spring of us that it’s near Aunty Pat’s this year, it’s all a bit much.

I just don’t have a lot to look forward to this December. I’m not asking for or seeking pity from anyone, I well and truly know there are worse out there than me and have much more substantial things to worry about. But this isn’t me. My Facebook memories are coming up each day, and it seems that every year I’m counting down the sleeps to my birthday, sharing pictures of my Christmas tree, enjoying the greatest month of them all. And this December, I’m not.

I feel I’ve gone backwards about my miscarriage. Babies and baby bumps are aching my insides again. It was so good to see Jules last weekend, but seeing her gorgeous little Jack, it killed me. I used to work with another Laura, and she announced her pregnancy around about when I should have. She just posted her 27-week bump picture; she looks stunning and I am immensely jealous. I want to be sharing baby bump pics, buying baby items and having things under the Christmas tree for the little human growing inside me.

Writing the letter to my baby helped me; I felt some sense of closure. Not acceptance, but closure and limited understanding, knowing that perhaps it was for the best. But coming into such a significant month, the wounds are reopening and the aches are coming back.

The idea of hibernating for December is still immensely appealing, but I also know it’s not a reality. Looks like I’ll just have to continue sucking it up and start some serious planning for my great escape.

Regaining the power

I feel like I’ve got some power back; a little bit of control. It’s nothing substantial and certainly not significant, but I feel like I’ve regained some power.

I’ve still been feeling miserable; totally utterly miserable and downright moody. I have not sworn so much throughout my life as I have in the last week of driving. Cars going slow, not using their indicators and even simply being on the road with me has been enough to have me f-ing this and f-ing that. I never considered myself to be a swearer; I usually don’t say the whole ‘f-word’, I’d say freakin, fricken or f’n, but never the full word. It’s been my most frequently word this last week. At my last job Mel knew I was really pissed off when I’d say fuck. Now, it’s just another word.

Traffic was a nightmare Friday night; I was meeting friends at Preston Market and I’d given what I believed to be my most likely time. I was late. I was pissed. Had Jules not been down from Mackay for the weekend, I would have cancelled (had Jules not been down, the plans wouldn’t have been made). All I wanted to do was cry and curse and sit on my butt feeling sorry for myself.

Manda was there first and she copped the brunt of me – she joined in the swearing, enjoying the freedom without her kids around. It was fun, but the novelty wore off when we cut to the chase. I told her how I’d been feeling about Gary and told her that my thought for travelling had included NZ to see how things went. I told her how we’d stayed in touch and that I was actually hurting again now and so confused.

It was his birthday last Tuesday so I sent him a private message. It wasn’t a simple ‘Happy Birthday’ but nothing particularly full on either. I got a simple ‘Thanks’ and that was it. I then wished him a ‘Good Night’ and the next morning he replied with the same. I sent back a smiley face and said it was a bit late for a good night. It took a day, but he responded with the corn emoji. I responded with ?! and left it at that. On Sunday he sent back two corn emojis. I still have no idea what that means (if you do, please comment!). As the message was so short, it appeared in preview, so I haven’t actually ‘read’ the message so he won’t know that I’ve seen it.

It’s doing my head in having that red 1 icon over my messenger widget, but I can’t read it. I can’t acknowledge it. I need to let go of him, one small message at a time.

During lunch today I was checking out Facebook and saw a notification. Gary had liked one of my photos; a photo from when I went to Tassie in September. I felt a little satisfaction from this – he’s Facebook stalking me. After work, I check Facebook again – he’s mentioned me in a comment. I haven’t read it; I have no idea what the comment is, if it’s from a meme or a link to an article. I know nothing of it – just that he’s mentioned me in a comment. While he’ll never know if I see that or not, I feel a little bit of power back on my side.

The truth is, I’m starting to feel that what T was saying was true – while he may have wanted to see me, I think him staying here was for him and him alone. I feel a little used; I let him stay here for a week, he used my internet, my furniture, my washing machine, ate my food and slept in my bed. Yes, he paid for the fancy dinner, bought other food and paid for our meals and fuel when we did the Great Ocean Road, but that was comparatively much cheaper than paying for a hostel and of course a million times more comfortable.

Then when he first got to NZ, we talked quite a lot, he didn’t have any friends yet, he was feeling down and I felt bad for him. I then helped him get a job, I helped with his online test and also provided a reference (sucker, yes). Now that my purpose has been served, he doesn’t need me anymore. It was bloody killing me last week as that was all dawning on me.

Yet the notification and the liked photo today…. That’s all him and nothing on me. I need to ensure I stay strong and not engage, again. Manda was telling me that I deserve the best, that there is someone out there for me. That I absolutely deserve to be treated like a princess and have someone who would move heaven and earth for me. That that person is not Gary. He is about him and he has demonstrated so many times that he won’t treat me like that, that he won’t move heaven and earth for me. It’s a tough realisation and one in my head that I’ve known for a long time. A few months ago I had thought my heart had caught up to my head; it clearly hadn’t and may not yet for some time. But if I can keep listening to the logic going on in my head, it will catch up.

I do deserve love and happiness and to be treated like a princess, like I’m loved and cared about. Like I am a wanted person in that person’s life. Not that I am a burden or holding them back from doing what they want.

So, while it’s not significant and most likely means nothing to him, I have some power back. I don’t need to read his message, I don’t need to engage and I don’t need to go back and like his old photos. He can do that by himself. I’m in control.

Back to miserable

I’m back to feeling just positively miserable. I’m on the verge of tears or actually getting my eyes to well up and I’m just so over it. It seems that my mood last weekend was because of PMS. After all the shit this year, I’m now bloody regular. This month was like freaking clockwork – four weeks on the dot. I was so moody on Tuesday. Nothing was satisfying me and nothing seems to have since.

Tonight was my last pole dance lesson, the end of term. I actually did a climb and a half – the best I’ve done yet. I was finally starting to get out of my head a little tonight and now it’s bloody over. I almost didn’t go; I was running late then while at a traffic light, saw a pregnant lady and my eyes filled. I told myself if I didn’t get a car park straight away I’d just circle back home. Not only did I get a great spot, I nailed the reverse park in two moves. At least that’s something the universe was helping me out with.

But now I’m back home, have my frozen meal in the oven and I’m fucking miserable. There, I’ve said it. I’m fucking miserable. I told Jess today that I was just looking forward to feeling normal again – she assumed I was referencing my PMS. Well, perhaps hormones are playing up on me now, I don’t know. I’ve not really suffered PMS before, I get cramps sometimes, food cravings, but for the most part I feel fine. But this week, holy hell I’m just over it. I just want to feel normal again.

I’ve mentioned Graeme at work before, his wife has just had baby number two and he everyday tells us how tired he is. We laugh at him, tell him he gets a break at work during the day. And today he just announced to me to not have babies at all. Just don’t have them. I know it’s lighthearted and in jest, but while I had thought I was almost over ‘it’, I’m just not. I want to be pregnant. I want to have my own little baby growing inside me. I want Gary and I to be together and I want to be planning a future with him, for our family. Instead, I’m packing up my stuff, moving house, quitting my job and running away.

I said the other day that I want to hibernate for December. It’s usually my favourite month of the year. It has my birthday, it’s the start of summer and it has Christmas. But this year I don’t have anyone to celebrate my birthday with, my family are a bit all over the place and no one is really looking forward to Christmas. I also have to move past the anniversary of when I met Gary. There are far too many memories for me to deal with for December this year. I just want it over and done with. I want to go to sleep on 30 November and wake up on the second of January. I want 2016 to be over and have faith and trust that 2017 will be a good year. I want to wake up refreshed, happy and not miserable.

A friend shared the following on Facebook tonight:

“Be who you were before all that stuff happened that dimmed your fucking shine.”

If I could remember who I was a year ago, I would totally be that person again. I would get my shine back on and be who I was. But I don’t know who that was and I’m a changed person now. I’m broken and I’m on the edge. It’s more than just my shine that’s been dimmed; it’s my hope for a happy future that’s gone. My heart is split and feels irreparable. I think I need to hate him.

I feel alone and abandoned. I feel there isn’t a way for me to un-dim my shine.

My Darkest Hour

 

So this weekend was hard. Really hard. The hardest I could have possibly imagined. I hope Sunday was my darkest hour as I don’t think I could handle it again.

I tried so hard to be happy and have a good weekend; I went out for dinner, drinks and a dance with some friends on Saturday night. This was followed up by a trip to the theatre with another friend Sunday afternoon. I was determined to at least try to enjoy myself – fake it til I make it. I cried both mornings within minutes of waking up and again throughout the mornings. But I did not want to spend the day or evenings crying.

Saturday evening went well; I had fun, even danced with a guy, but it didn’t feel right. I’d had my baby removed from me less than a week ago – how could I be out there drinking, dancing, laughing? At least I didn’t cry.

Sunday had other ideas in mind. I had to catch a tram into the city for the show, and my tram route goes past the Women’s hospital and the building where I’d had my scan. I knew they were coming up, so I focussed on the podcast I was listening to; I tried to focus on the sudoku on my phone; I put my sunglasses on; I closed my eyes. I tried it all, but as the tram approached, I couldn’t hold it in. My eyes welled up and I had to raise my head – I squeezed my thumbnails into my fingers – anything to not see those buildings and bring back the tragedy of the week before.

I did get through it and managed to only wipe my face once – no attention gained. But then it was time to get off the tram. As I walked along Southbank, the place was filled with young families – mums and dads with their kids, their babies, their gigantic prams. I pulled my sunglasses down and thanked myself for choosing to not wear make up. I got to the cafe where I was meeting Mel, and again, the emotions got to me. My eyes welled up and I had to keep my glasses on; had to keep staring up at the sky, digging my thumbnails in. Anything to shift focus from the happiness and families around me.

Mel arrived and I had to update her on the events of the last week; she has been super supportive, like my other friends and family. The support I should have been getting from my ‘fiancee’. I managed to get through the update and even almost finished my hot chocolate – I’m struggling to get anything down at the moment.

We made our way to the Arts Centre (catching Pokemon along the way; she’s gotta catch em all) and eventually the show started. I’ve not seen Funny Girl before and didn’t know the story line; I bought the tickets months ago based on the stars – Caroline O’Connor and David Hobson. They did not disappoint, they were amazing. But the story – what a terrible ending. I needed a happy ending and it didn’t happen. They broke up and then took their bows. WTF? This is a musical – we expect happy endings. I needed a happy ending. I needed to know that love will win and they can accept changes and move on in life together. I didn’t need them to give up on each other. I didn’t need her to accept his walking away and saying it was for the best. I’m sorry, but this rained all over my parade. How dare they?

Mel and I parted ways and I had to make my way back along the same happy family-filled walkway. And then past the area where my hand was asked for in marriage. It was all torture. I cried on the tram ride home and still on the walk home. I felt like it wouldn’t stop.

I did manage to stop for a bit but not long. I couldn’t stop the tears. I was on the couch filling tissue after tissue after tissue. My heart was racing and my stomach was aching. I felt like my chest was caving in on me. I started to cook some dinner but it was a painful process. I gave up half way through and collapsed on the floor in front of the couch. I didn’t know if I’d make it back up; I honestly didn’t feel like I had the energy and I certainly didn’t have the motivation.

Self-preservation finally kicked in and I realised I needed food or sugar or something to get me moving. I had some juice and continued on with dinner. I managed about 5 mouthfuls before breaking down again. I have never felt pain like this before. I have never felt so low, worthless or just down right sad. I felt like I was falling into an ever increasing darkness that didn’t have a light at the end of the tunnel.

I sent a text to Gary in the hopes that he might come around; I knew he was out having fun (the joys of torturing myself with Facebook) so I asked him to come round on Monday. He had plans Monday and Tuesday and left it at that. I didn’t know who else to call – I didn’t think I could gain comfort from anyone else. My sister is too far away and has her kids; my bestie was also too far and has kids. My other friends were working or again, just too far. And they weren’t Gary.

Gary asked me what was happening. I replied:

‘I’ve been crying on and off since I got home. I feel like my chest is closing in on me. I can barely eat and my head is pounding. I keep getting shivers and at times I feel like I’m struggling to breathe. My chest and stomach have a constant ache. I’m sinking into a deep depression that I can’t see a way out of and I’m supposed to start my new job tomorrow. I’ve never felt more alone.’

I received a reply 22.5 hours later: ‘U ok’.

I’m not sure how I got myself to bed last night but I did. I even managed to put the dishwasher on. I eventually got to sleep but kept waking up. The aches were getting stronger and I was just waiting for the tears to start. I was dreading waking up in the morning as I didn’t want to cry again. I was dreading having to start a new job and pretend everything was fine with a bunch of strangers. I was dreading having to move on with my life.

Last night was my darkest hour. I keep saying in my head ‘my darkest hour, yet‘. Yet is a powerful word. I can’t go back to that darkness but I’m scared I’ll end up back there. I want to say and know and truly believe that that was my darkest hour. But I keep hearing ‘yet’ on repeat.

Today was better. But it’s not over. Yet.