I hesitated before writing this. Who wants to read that I’m struggling? Who am I to think anyone would want to know? People have got their own stuff going on and don’t need to hear mine. Yet here I am, opening up a bit. Because I must. I’ll only get worse if I don’t.
Just over a week ago, I found myself crying tears of shame in A&E after a panic attack. Relieved to discover it wasn’t the heart attack I’d self-diagnosed; ashamed that I couldn’t cope with life. Yesterday, I was going to go out for a coffee, just to get out in the sunshine. I got dressed and ready, then I hesitated. I questioned myself. Where am I going to go? I won’t be meeting anyone. I’ll be on my own again. I can do that at home. So, with my self-confidence beaten, I got changed again, into kit I wear around the house, and didn’t go out.
I’ve been here before. For me, this leads to depression, even agoraphobia. I don’t want to go back there again. It’s a terrible place to be.
Long time readers will know that I’ve been fighting for years with anxiety and periods of depression. Since Trisha died, I’ve been concentrating on practical things and not dealing with the loss. I’m lucky that I can rationalise my way through daily life but that comes at a cost. My body is showing symptoms and I need to let my emotions catch up.
If you’re expecting a coherent explanation of how I feel, I can’t give you one. I don’t have one for myself. My inner monologue describes snippets of feelings to me but that description has no real meaning, no flow to it. If this is grief manifesting itself, then it’s true that it has no linear path; it’s more of a scribble that meanders its own way, in its own time. I need to start making sense of what happened, not just when Trisha died but over the whole course of her illness. That means talking to someone. That means reaching out and admitting that I can’t deal with everything. I don’t have unlimited reserves of strength. I’m not superhuman. I never was.
If I’ve learnt one thing dealing with this – and I’ve probably learnt only one thing – it’s that ignoring these feelings won’t make them go away. Help is there. If you’re struggling, please talk to someone – anyone. Don’t hide away and think that you don’t deserve to be heard, to be helped. You do deserve it. You are worth someone’s time. Please go and find the help you need.