Beyond the Grave

Thank you, SM.

I’ve had a royally shit couple of weeks at work, and I was dreading today. I was perilously close to going AWOL and telling them all to stick it. The only reason I didn’t was because of you.

It felt so real. At work, the meeting room, in dress down because of the heat. You were purposely leaning towards my seat with your leg across my leg space. I sat down so that my leg touched yours, playing secret dangerous footsie like we used to. Then you leaned in and told me you still loved me.

My first reaction was extreme joy. Elation. Then I remembered that this couldn’t be real as you are dead. I told myself to enjoy it while it lasts. I don’t remember the rest of the dream.

I woke up feeling shite. Crap day ahead, and my dreams are taunting me. However, it dawned on me, whilst I brushed my teeth, that I could interpret this another way. A message from you to be strong;  that I can do this. And of course, that you still love me.

And so I got through today, thanks to you. It was shit but I did it by remembering your message. Please come again soon – although it hurt when reality hit, the good bit was worth it.

I love you, SM.  Until we meet again, x.

Struggling

The only time I’ve ever wanted to kill myself more than now was the first time the thought entered my head.

I’ve had such a bad day. Reading about the memorial to you at work hit me so, so hard. Then this whole thing with my sister has just pushed me down the slope. I’m so lonely. And then coming home to a letter asking me to prove im alone was the last straw. I need you so much. I just want to be with you.

My son is the only thing keeping me alive.  The thought of him waking up alone in the house tomorrow sickens me, so I can’t do it. But I want to. Right now, I just want to be in your arms. Saying nothing, doing nothing. Held tight, your love tangible in the air.

I know you had demons you couldn’t carrying on fighting. I wish you were here and could help me fight mine.

I love you forever, SM x

Still Here

“If you asked me how many times I think of you, I’d say once, cos once you were in my head you never came out”

I found this quote totally by chance today; I wasn’t even looking for it. It blew me away and I had to read it about 7 times. But it’s so true. It’s been 4 months since you couldn’t take any more; 4 months since you left. And not a moment goes by when I don’t think of you.

Everything reminds me of you.
I want to tell you stuff about my day.
Share jokes, news, office gossip and banter.
Show you things I think you’ll find interesting.
Tell you things about me that we hadn’t gotten round to discussing.
Share every second of my life with you, and yours with me.

I’m discharged from therapy now. I feel stronger, more like myself again. But the loss of you hits me still a couple of times a week at least. That raw remembrance that you aren’t here anymore. That you actually did it. It still hurts; the edges are slightly dulled with time, but it it still fucking hurts.

And as much as I know that I need to live, for my children, family and friends, overall, I still want to be with you.

I don’t know if that will ever change.

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.

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.

Going Solo

The first time you decided we must end things, you emailed me explaining why. One reason you gave was because if our colleagues found out, we would be vilified and hated. We’d lose friends and life would become difficult. The very next time I saw you, you seduced me and suddenly we were back on again. This happened 3 or 4 times: you’d end it, and a maximum of 36 hours would pass before you’d find a reason to contact me and suddenly we would be back on again.

I know this was because we were drawn to each other, soul mates, more in love than it is possible to explain. I couldn’t function without you, and vice versa. But each time, I took a step closer to depression. Sometimes I got strong and told you to get out of my life this time, find a new job and let me move on. I suspect this hit you hard and I know that one time when I did it, you ended up in the psych unit, although you never confirmed it was part of the reason why.

But now you are dead, ashes in an urn somewhere, and I am here, trying to live without you. Ostracised from our work colleagues for exactly the reasons in your email. Watching them meet up and have happy times on Facebook throws so many conflicting emotions at me, and it makes me feel so low sometimes that I am strongly considering closing my account.

They are moving on, living life, and I am not. I should, but I feel I shouldn’t because I think they think I shouldn’t. I’m sure they hate me, I know at least one blames me for your death. I’m sure they wish it was me under the train. Part of me wants them to know how ill I am, that I am suicidal now and that I take the same drugs you did. But maybe that will make them think that I should be like this, “serves her right”. I’m sure they don’t think of you the same way they do me. And that’s purely because you are dead and I haven’t done it yet. But it takes two to fucking tango. You pursued me. I defined that fucking line and you pushed to cross it. I’m not saying I was pressured or non consenting, but it all came from you, and yet I am the one vilified, hated and wished dead.

There are two things I would do if I could turn back time, and one is that I would stand strong behind that line and refuse to cross it. Refuse to give you my address when you asked for it. Locked the door and not let you in when you arrived. Not given you a hug when you gave me your gorgeous sad eyes. And not looked up when you kissed my hair and said you wanted to do more. June 15th. I should have been strong and not let any of that happen.

But the fact of the matter is, SM, that it was one of the best days of my life. Or, as you described it, wonderful.

Gone

Even now, I still can’t believe you aren’t here anymore.

The realisation hits me daily, each time a strange tingling sensation somewhere in my body. That’s the drugs; it’s how I feel emotions now. I can tell how strong I’m feeling by how big the sensation is. When I read the order of service for your funeral, it was shoulders to feet, and almost painful.

I console myself with the fact that it is what you wanted; you are happy and peaceful now, and I run over some of the last messages you sent me in my head:

I crave death.
It’s all I want.
If I had a gun, right now I’d be dead.

But the fact that I knew this and still couldn’t save you from your demons is one of the reasons I can’t face life right now.

Last Day

It was almost comforting to find out that Sam also wonders what you did on your last day. And I find it very comforting to know that I was the last person you know to see you alive. There’s probably no relevance to it really, maybe that’s just how your last day went. But perhaps, just perhaps, you planned it like that. And perhaps that was because I was significant to you.

Well, I know I was significant to you, I was the one that broke your marriage. I was the one you confessed to having an affair with, and falling in love with, two days before. What I mean is, perhaps that was the only way you could express from the other side, that I meant to you what you mean to me.

So what did you do after you left my house? I know you got the half seven train back home, and you would have been back in the area at around 9:30 – 10:00. That’s the time Sam started searching for you after Peter raised the alarm over the texts you sent him. Did you buy an 8 pack of Stella and sit by the railway? Did you go to the pub? Had you decided at this point that today was your final day, or did you slowly get to this point throughout the day?

I was calling your phone for hours after you found the end you craved. My last WhatsApp message has never delivered.

When Sam confirmed you had gone, I switched off the tv, dialled Mel and collapsed to my knees on the floor. That’s where she found me ten minutes later, sobbing.

I cried all night. When I couldn’t stand to be in bed any longer at 4 am, I went outside and cried in the light of the full moon. I held it together in front of the kids, dropped them at nursery, went home again and cried. When my mum and sister arrived, I was still crying. It’s only since being on medication that I only cry in severe moments. The relief is immense.

Being emotionless is the only way I cope now. I told you months ago that if you did it, my world would fall apart. Even I didn’t realise quite how apart it could fall; quite how broken it is possible for a person to be. I’m just existing now. Waiting for the time the grim reaper calls. When I’m feeling OK, it’s years in advance in a slow, natural decline. But when I’m on a low and the DEFCON level rises, it doesn’t seem so far away. And that doesn’t bother me.

In fact, I just can’t wait to see you again.