36 Today

Do you remember what we did for my birthday?

You stayed over, for the first time ever. We shared a bottle of Malbec that you had bought for the occasion. Sheepishly, you explained it was your favourite and therefore a selfish choice, but I loved the fact you were sharing something close to you.  We fell asleep together and woke up together. It was so special.

So tonight, I have a bottle of Malbec here for you and some Haribo,  that you were always eating at work. I’ll fall asleep alone and wake up alone though.

Happy birthday, SM. Always in my heart. Miss you forever xx

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Alaska: My Turning Point?

I was reading an article about fictional characters that have aided people with depression, and Alaska resonated with me.  This morning, whilst guiltily enjoying a McDonald’s breakfast, I downloaded Looking For Alaska by John Green to my Kindle.  This afternoon, I finished it, having had difficulty putting it down to go about my day in between.

The story is so very different from ours, yet I could draw so many parallels and felt that the characters were empathising with me, rather than the other way around.  What they went through, their thought processes; it all helped me start to sort through the past couple of month’s events in my head, and take a step or two towards coming to terms with your decision.

No one is ever going to know, exactly, what was going through your head.  Whether you had been planning it for weeks, as I suspect, or whether at some point in your last 24 hours, you decided that it was the only thing you could possibly do.  Without a drop of arrogance, I am fairly sure that I have the most accurate understanding, all down to the secrets and thoughts you entrusted me with over the last year of your life, and the conversations we had in the last 48 hours.  I am honoured to be that person.  But I need to remember that not knowing every detail doesn’t stop me from loving you, and caring.  Its is OK to not know.  I just wish I could have done more to help you understand that your thinking was entirely unnatural, incorrect and not the right thing to do.  I still compose messages and conversations that I feel could have helped.  It is totally pointless and it makes me feel terrible that I didn’t think of them at the time.  I am now in a strong enough state that I try and stop myself when my mind hits that track, and the guilt at doing so doesn’t tear me apart as once it did.

I think that you purposely confessed to your wife in order to tip you over the edge, hit DEFCON 1 and be able to step out in front of the train.  You knew what her reaction would be; knew it would redefine what rock bottom actually is for you.  And so I must stop the small pangs of anger at the response she gave, as predicted, that helped you along the path.  After all, as you once said, “she has done no wrong”.  I am the other woman.  I still blame myself, but I must start to believe that ultimately, the only person who caused you to kill yourself is you, and whilst that wasn’t an OK thing to do, it happened, and it just ‘is’.  I already kind of knew that I need to believe this before, but now I KNOW it.  I dare say it will take me a long time to get there, but I know I must do that.

I still have suicidal feelings.  Not the urge to do it, I hasten to add.  More the feeling that it is probably the way I will die, at some point in the future, whether that be in 10, 20, 50 years time.  But I think I can live with these feelings for now, and channel them slightly differently.  Rather than having the need or desire to kill myself, I am at peace with the inevitability that is: one day, I will die.  I accept that it will happen, and it doesn’t scare me.  I hope that this will be the way out of the labyrinth for me: that by accepting and coming to terms with what is every living being’s ultimate fear, I am no longer suffering.  I have escaped the labyrinth not by coming to its end, but dissolving the the walls that make up the passages around me.  Removed it, rather than being released by it.  I hope that taking ownership like this will help me start to take control of my depression, take back my life, and live again.

If only I could turn back the clock to help you take control of your labyrinth.  But maybe the train was the only way you could have done it.  I’ll add this to the list of questions I have to ask you when I see you in utopia once again.  By the way, I hope you’re looking after the place, ready for when we are reunited.

What Should Have Been: Ikea

I’m so excited, sitting in the passenger seat as you drive us down the A3(M). I’m trying not to show it, but I can’t keep still, I’m grinning like an inane idiot and I’m talking nineteen to the dozen. You’re perfectly aware that I’m ecstatic, and keep smiling to yourself, not really believing it. All we are doing is going to Ikea to get some bits for our house that we move into tomorrow, but I love Ikea, I love you and the fact that we are going to actually live together is beyond my wildest dreams. Of course, you’re excited as well, but your disbelief comes from not believing that I’m truly excited about being with you.

We arrive in Southampton and park up. The gender divide starts now, with me wanting to browse everything and you wanting to be businesslike, going only to the areas we need, selecting what we want, picking it up and getting out of there as quick as possible. We ‘compromise’ on me dragging you around everywhere anyway. You pretend to be cross, but your excitement at tomorrow’s move outweighs your annoyance at the queues, slow moving people and my exclamations of “ooh that’s nice”, and then walking on to the next item. I win you over on the escalator on the way out, when I put my arm around your waist, fingertips sliding just inside your jeans at the opposite hip. I look up, give you the eyes that never fail to melt you, and tilt my chin up ever so slightly. You smile, utter something about being weak when it comes to me, lean down and kiss me. As we pull apart, I tell you I love you, looking into your eyes and smiling. You smile back, tuck my hair behind my ear, and, flushing slightly red, warn me that I’ll be in trouble later.

My eyes sparkle as you turn away to push the trolley off the escalator. We load the car and set off home. This time it’s you excited and edgy, your foot on the gas and your hand on my thigh. I know that when we get home I’ll be bundled indoors whether I like it or not, not that the latter is ever true. It’s just a case of how bad my punishment is going to be, and I can’t wait to find out.

Reasons To Stay Alive

A couple of weeks before you died, you recommended I read Matt Haig’s book, as it explained how you felt. I never did, as I read the blurb and knew I already understood. At the time I thought it was because of my previous research into depression plus having been your confidante for so long. Now I know it’s because I too have the same dark passenger.

I’ve not had a great week this week, and today I finally started reading it. It is difficult because I know it’s how you felt, and because it fills me with despair that ultimately you ignored the contents. But it has helped me acknowledge something about my feelings now.

I don’t want to die. I just don’t want to live anymore. I want to be in that parallel universe you always talked about, the one where we are together and life is perfect.

I don’t want this life any more.

It’s why I watch the trains past my house in fascinated fear. It looks like it would really hurt to be hit by one, but at the same time I wouldn’t have this life any more.

The first time I felt like this was a couple of months before you died. I was sat in the car at the level crossing and I just said aloud, “I don’t want this life any more”. I thought it was because I didn’t have you at that time, you were very suicidal and had pushed me away. It wasn’t. It was one of the first very clear indicators, had I known, that I had depression.

What I hate the most though, is that I don’t want to stop feeling like this. I want out of this life.

I love my kids dearly, more than anything in the world, more than I can possibly express. I want to see them grow up, want to share their lives. But I don’t want my life.

They keep me alive at the moment. I know they need me and it stops me from acting on my impulses and desires. I thought about overdosing one night this week, but how would they cope in the morning? The thought made my blood run cold, so I didn’t. This whole thought process took less than a couple of seconds, yet I keep dwelling on it.

I just want a break from being me. To get out of my head for a while. But I know I won’t want to go back in it. I guess that’s where suicide comes in.

Therapy

I worked some stuff out in therapy this week. I think a lot of where I am, anxieties etc, boil down to the fact that I mourn you like a partner. Which is what you were to me, affair and all. But being the Other Woman, I am not allowed to mourn you as such. I wanted to choose your funeral music. I wanted the final piece to be the Star Wars theme. I wanted to be up there at the front, openly grieving along with your family and friends. For fuck’s sake, I wanted to fucking go to your funeral! But instead I am shut off from the world, desperately trying to hold it all together, trying to mourn but not feeling that I am allowed to, wanting the world to understand but not wanting to upset anyone.

I told you I wouldn’t be able to go, or grieve properly. You brushed it off. Another “I told you so”, SM.